In this article, you will discover:
- How much of a problem driving uninsured or underinsured drivers in California is.
- How hiring a personal injury attorney may help you, even if you are not at fault.
- The optimal point in the process to hire a personal injury attorney.
Is It Common For People In California To Have Inadequate Or No Insurance At All?
It is very common for drivers in California to be uninsured or underinsured.
If drivers have insurance at all, most have a policy that only offers minimal protection. The minimum policy in California is 15-30, or $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence. If you are involved in a minor fender-bender, this type of plan will sufficiently cover you.
However, if you get into a more severe accident, you will very quickly exhaust the limitations of this kind of plan. You will find yourself looking to the opposing driver’s assets to satisfy any claims you have if your insurance does not include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If they are uninsured or underinsured, chances are they will not have many, if any, assets of significant value.
If the opposing driver has insurance at all, chances are that they will only have a minimal policy. This is why it is imperative you choose the insurance coverage that will sufficiently protect yourself.
Personal injury attorneys generally do not make any more money if their clients have a better policy that covers these things. However, having one better enables them to get you the most compensation if you are severely hurt by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.
If It Is Clear The Other Driver Was At Fault For The Accident That Caused My Injuries, Do I Still Need To Hire A Fresno, California Personal Injury Attorney For My Car Accident Case?
Technically and legally, you do not need to hire a personal injury attorney if the other driver is the one at fault in your accident. Doing so is to your benefit, however.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer ensures you maximize your potential claim reward, especially if insurance companies are involved, as opposed to self-representing. Partnering with a qualified personal injury attorney with trial experience is crucial, especially when you are involved in an accident and have serious injuries.
An insurance company’s goal is to settle as quickly as possible for as little to their bottom dollar as possible, regardless of whether or not it is the outcome you deserve. Insurance companies are known not to take self-representing individuals and individuals who hire an attorney that will not go to trial seriously.
Insurance companies run searches on your attorney before your case goes to trial. If they find verdicts that your attorney won or if their in-house counsel and panel counsel of local attorneys inform them that your personal injury attorney has gone to trial and has won a verdict, they will take your case much more seriously, and, more often than not, increase the value of your compensation.
If you self-represent and your injuries are not severe, you will never get a policy limit.
At What Point Should I Hire A Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney?
When you should hire a personal injury attorney ultimately depends on your individual situation.
Generally speaking, in instances where you are seriously injured due to the incident, we advise you to retain an attorney as soon as you are released from the hospital if you cannot arrange to retain one while still in the hospital.
If you are involved in something less critical, such as a low-speed, rear-end collision in a Starbucks parking lot, it is generally safe to say that you can wait a week or so. During this period, it is good to do things like go to the doctor or chiropractor and get your car repaired.
Nevertheless, the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better for your case. An attorney will ensure you do not make critical mistakes like giving a recorded statement to the opposing driver’s insurance company. These are designed to poke holes in your case. The insurance company knows there is potential for a lawsuit anytime there is an accident and takes whatever means necessary to avoid one. They even go as far as to contact the driver who is not at fault and ask seemingly innocent questions. These questions are likely going to be manipulated to your detriment. They try to demonstrate that you were inattentive and did not do anything to avoid the accident. They even do this in cases of clear liability where their client is on video running a red light or rear-ending someone.
It is of the utmost importance that you have somebody qualified and experienced at your disposal as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute of your 2-year statute of limitation, you may have created gaps in treatment that will weaken your case. You may not have seen the right doctors and did not realize it. You may have even said something that is outright damaging to your case. Promptly hiring a qualified personal injury attorney mitigates all of this.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Auto Accidents Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.