After a car crash, you do have a certain amount of time in which to file a personal injury claim in California. However, exactly how much time you have depends on the circumstances of the crash. If your car crash involved you and another private party that is not attached to a governmental entity, you have two years to file your personal injury lawsuit.
However, if your crash involved someone who was working for a governmental entity, you only have six months to present your claim. You must also present your claim directly to the governmental entity in question.
For this reason, if you get into a car crash in California, it is very important to determine whether the other party was working for a governmental entity at the time of the crash. If the other party was a city, county, state, or federal government employee, you may only have six months to file a personal injury claim. Otherwise, in most cases, you will have two years after a car crash to file your personal injury claim in California.
I Was Hit By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver In California. Do I Have A Chance Of Recovering Financially For My Injuries?
In some cases, it is possible to recover financially for your injuries after being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you were driving your car during the crash, this depends on your insurance coverage. If you were a passenger in someone else’s’ car during the crash, it depends on your insurance coverage as well as the insurance coverage of the person driving the car at the time.
Car insurance policies usually give you the opportunity to purchase supplemental underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. These are policies that cover you in case you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
When you are hit by an insured driver, you are able to make a claim against their insurance company, who will ultimately be the entity paying for your damages. When a driver is underinsured, their insurance company will only cover up to a certain amount (usually far less than would be necessary to cover your medical bills). When a driver is uninsured, there is no insurance company to collect from at all. In the cases of both underinsured and uninsured drivers, parties seeking damages are left with few or no recourse, since it would be very difficult if not impossible to collect the necessary sum from the individuals themselves.
However, if you or the driver of the car in which you were injured purchased supplemental uninsured/underinsured driver insurance, you can make a claim on the policy to help pay for your injuries and damages.
I Was Injured In A Car Accident, And It Is Clear That The Other Driver Was At Fault. Do I Still Need To Hire A Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney?
Yes, you should still hire a personal injury attorney no matter how clear it is that the other driver was at fault. If you have suffered significant injuries, it will always be in your best interest to be represented by a skilled personal injury attorney.
There are several reasons why this is so, but the main reason is that the insurance company who will stand as the defendant in your case has a singular goal to pay you as little as possible, and virtually endless resources with which to pursue that goal. They have attorneys, experts, and consultants on retainer, as well as whole departments whose whole job is to limit your recovery as much as possible.
Therefore, in order to pursue anything close to a fair and just settlement, you will need to have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney by your side. The right personal injury attorney will know how to approach the insurance company in question such that they do not feel that they can take advantage of you. They will be able to convince the insurance company that it is more beneficial for them to give you a fair settlement than to pursue a prolonged, exceedingly expensive court case (which may wind up ultimately costing them more than simply giving you the money to which you are lawfully entitled).
Understanding that you need an attorney to represent you on a personal injury case is like understanding that you need a doctor to treat you for a serious injury. If you scrape your knee, you may not need to see a doctor to treat that scrape. You can probably just clean it up and put a band aid on it yourself. However, if you get a gash down to the bone on the same knee, you will need medical attention. That sort of gash would need stitches and possibly even surgery, which you cannot perform yourself. If you treated it with the same DIY attitude as a skinned knee, you could wind up with a massive infection that could lead to sepsis, amputation, and even death.
In a similar way, there are certain legal matters you can take care of on your own. Many standard legal proceedings in other matters can be filed pro se, or on your own without an attorney. However, when it comes to a complex, extremely high-stakes case like a personal injury negotiation, refusing to hire an attorney would be like refusing to see a doctor for a massive knee gash. In both cases, a professional is required to provide their services. Also in both cases, refusing to pursue those professional services can have disastrous consequences. For more information on Personal Injury Law in California, a free initial consultation is your next best step.