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Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in California

George Aldrich Dec. 3, 2021

When you’re involved in a car wreck, it can feel completely overwhelming. Making matters even worse, there is so much misleading information surrounding the car accident claims process in California. While many people know that they can hold liable parties responsible and seek rightful compensation for their injuries, few know how the process really works. Common misconceptions can cause claimants who are seeking their injury claims to make costly mistakes.

At G. Aldrich Law, our attorneys have devoted their careers to assisting and guiding clients through the complexities of car accident claims. As your legal counsel, we can evaluate and investigate the surrounding facts of your unique situation and explore your possible options to pursue damages. Our experienced California personal injury attorneys will fight compassionately to protect your legal rights and help you seek fair financial compensation for your injuries, damages, or losses.

Aldrich Law is proud to serve clients in Lakeport, Woodland Hills, Lake County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, as well as the surrounding Northern and Southern California counties.

Common Car Accident Myths & Misconceptions

Getting injured in an auto accident can be an incredibly stressful experience. Filing your injury claims and negotiating your personal injury claim settlement with the insurance provider can make the entire process even more complex.

Knowing what to expect and being able to differentiate between fact and fiction can make your injury claims process feel more manageable. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about car accident claims in California and why they're not true:

Myth #1: Your own insurance will be responsible for covering medical costs and damages to my car.

This is a common misconception, but it is not necessarily true. California is an at-fault state. This means that the at-fault party – the driver who caused the accident – will be responsible for your medical expenses, vehicle damages, and other accident-related costs. In order to recover damages, you must prove negligence by showing that:

  • The other driver had a duty of care – the duty to operate their car in a safe manner.

  • The other driver breached this duty.

  • The other driver's negligent or careless actions caused the accident.

  • You suffered bodily injuries or monetary losses from the accident.

Myth #2: I feel okay, so I don't need to seek medical attention.

Even when you feel your injuries are minor or you feel okay following the accident, it’s important to receive immediate medical attention – for your own sake, for proper documentation, and to assist with your injury claims.

For your own sake: After an accident, you should be concerned about your overall health and well-being. Sometimes, injuries sustained during the auto accident may not fully manifest instantly. It may take several hours, days, or weeks before you start feeling any symptoms. At this time, reversing the damages may be a little too late.

For proper documentation: You should seek medical attention for proper documentation. Doctor's appointments, medical reports, and other documents showing the extent of your injuries and medical treatments make up a crucial part of your injury claim. Should you fail to provide any of the necessary documentation, your claim may be denied or undervalued.

To reduce potential issues with the insurance company: Insurers expect policyholders to report accident injuries as soon as possible. If you delay seeking medical help, some insurance providers may use this as proof that you weren't really injured, your injuries were exaggerated, or your injuries were caused by a separate event.

Myth #3: If the accident is minor, it's not necessary to report it.

Under California law, you must report the accident to local law enforcement if the accident resulted in injury to or death of a person or property damage worth more than a certain amount. Furthermore, some insurance companies require a claim to be filed within as little as two days in order to recover damages.

Myth #4: I was partially at fault for the accident, but that won't affect the damages I'm able to recover.

California operates using the "pure comparative negligence" system. According to the principle, accident victims are allowed to seek financial compensation for their injuries even if they were partially or mostly at fault. However, the total damages that may be recovered by the plaintiff will be reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault.

Myth #5: I don't need to hire an attorney to file a personal injury claim.

When filing a personal injury claim, reach out to an experienced attorney. Your legal counsel will help facilitate the entire process and can negotiate with the insurer to seek a maximum payout. It’s important to hire an attorney who focuses on personal injury because they know specific laws and statutes addressing your unique situation.

Work With a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney

A traffic accident can change your life in the blink of an eye. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, such an incident can affect your financial, mental, and physical health. However, you don't have to face the challenges and financial liability all by yourself. A trusted personal injury attorney can advocate for your legal rights and help you seek the financial justice that you deserve.

At G. Aldrich Law, we have the diligence, experience, and resources to guide and represent car accident victims in their personal injury claims. As your legal counsel, we will fight for your best interests and help to recover fair compensation to cover medical bills, lost income, vehicle damages, and any additional pain, discomfort, and suffering you must have experienced.

Contact G. Aldrich Law today to schedule a simple consultation with skilled car accident attorneys. Our team can offer you the detailed legal counsel, reliable support, and compassionate representation you need in your auto accident claims. We're proud to serve clients in Lakeport, Woodland Hills, Lake County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, as well as the surrounding counties in Northern and Southern California.