After a car accident, you may think that you would immediately be aware of any and all injuries you have sustained. However, in reality, many injuries take a few days or even longer to begin showing symptoms. With insurance adjusters calling you and pressuring you to settle the claim, what do you do?
First, you should consult with an experienced California car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. These attorneys are able to take over discussions with the insurance company, taking this burden off of your shoulders. In addition, they guide you through the claims process and make sure that your legal rights are protected.
Seeking Medical Attention
After an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately—even if you do not have any visible injuries. Certain types of injuries, such as soft tissue injuries and traumatic brain injuries, may not have any physical symptoms at first.
However, over time, these injuries may develop and become quite serious. Medical professionals are able to assess one’s physical condition at the time of an accident and look for underlying injuries.
For example, traumatic brain injuries have symptoms that many accident victims attribute to general soreness. An accident victim may think nothing of a headache or some dizziness that occurs after an accident—however, in the days and weeks that follow, more serious symptoms, such as memory issues and sensory problems, may begin to emerge.
Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, also take some time to show up. Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown back and forth suddenly, damaging the muscles in the neck and back. Whiplash is commonly reported after rear-end collisions. Depending on the severity of the whiplash injury, accident victims may experience lingering neck pain for years.
What If I Am Being Pressured to Settle My Claim?
Insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims for as little money as possible—even if it deprives accident victims of money they are legally entitled to. For example, an insurance adjuster may not include funds for future medical care in a settlement offer, although many accident victims should receive these types of damages.
It may be tempting to accept an offer to simply get the insurance company to leave you alone and have some money to pay your medical bills and other expenses. However, it is best to wait to settle your claim until you have completed all of your medical treatment and, if necessary, have obtained an estimate of the cost of your future medical care.
As you visit any doctors and medical facilities that are handling your medical treatment, you should send copies of all of the bills and records you receive to your attorney. Your attorney will use these documents to add up the amount of your damages. In addition, your attorney may forward your records to experts to learn more about how the accident caused your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys have a network of experts they may consult to help build your case. For example, if symptoms of a traumatic brain injury showed up weeks after an accident, these experts are able to study medical records and explain why the symptoms took so long to manifest.
If the insurance company refuses to settle your claim for a reasonable amount of money, your California personal injury attorney is able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
What Types of Damages May I Receive in a California Car Accident Claim?
If you have been injured in a California car accident, you may be entitled to several different types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care that is needed
- The cost of renovating a home to accommodate an injury (such as installing a chair lift on a stairwell)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of employment benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Other types of damages may also be available, depending on the facts of the case. To maximize your recovery, you should meet with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Call Kuvara Law Firm Today to Learn about Your Legal Options
At Kuvara Law Firm, we offer a free consultation so that you may learn about the services we offer and the different paths of recovery available to you.