Getting injured in an accident can be very upsetting, and sometimes even frightening. What can make it overwhelming is if it happens while you are visiting a state whose laws you are unfamiliar with. In California, visiting non-residents could find themselves disadvantaged when it comes to court procedures and other legal concerns, unless they have a competent personal injury lawyer assisting them in pursuing compensation. In the meantime, knowing the following things could help a great deal as well.
Filing a Claim
As it is probably done in your home state, pursuing compensation over an accident in California normally starts off with approaching the insurance company that represents the other person or entity. If, for instance, you are injured in a slip and fall episode, your claim would be submitted to the company providing insurance to the occupier/owner of the premises where said event occurred.
After you file the claim mentioned above, personnel from the insurance company would scrutinize the information as well as support documents, as a means to establish whether you did the following.
- Supplied sufficient information to prove that their insured was liable for the accident that caused your injury.
- Backed up your claim with suitable proof of your damages and injuries.
Since insurance providers are keen on protecting and serving their own interests over yours, it is best to expect them to check these things in detail. It is possible that they would try and exploit any weak points your case may have, which would allow them to pay a low-ball settlement amount. If a settlement cannot be reached through discussion, litigation becomes your only way forward.
California-Specific Laws to Know about
While your accident lawyer would take the lead if it came to a courtroom case, it would do you well to familiarize with two important legal doctrines that hold significance here.
- California’s statute of limitations requires that you file the lawsuit inside two years from the date when you were hurt in the relevant accident. Failing to sue in that period would deprive you of the chance to recover compensation.
- Comparative negligence is recognized by the legal system of California, which means you could see your compensation reduced in the defendant was able to prove you were at fault as well. The shared fault would be decided by the jury, based on what percentage of your action or inaction contributed to the incident.