If you suffer a personal injury in California, you could be eligible for compensation under the personal injury laws. This compensation helps you cater to the accident's medical and personal needs. If the liable party has Allstate insurance coverage, it helps to know how to file a claim with Allstate to receive the compensation you deserve. But you will need legal help and support for a smoother process. A skilled personal injury lawyer will take you through the process, protect your rights and fight until you obtain a fair outcome for your case. This article covers the information you need to understand what to expect and how to navigate the legal process.
What To Do After an Accident
Accidents happen when we least expect them. They leave you anxious and confused, without knowing what to do next. But having the correct information could ease your burden and help you make the right move towards obtaining the compensation you deserve.
If you have sustained an injury in an accident, it is advisable to seek medical help immediately. That is the only way you can convince the responsible party, the police, and even the jury that you were injured in the accident. People that sustain minimal injuries can remain at the accident scene for a moment, gathering information and evidence that could help them build a strong case against the responsible party.
Documenting the accident as much as you can immediately after it happens is vital. If you have sustained severe injuries and must rush to the emergency room, have someone document the accident. They can take pictures, video coverage, or take notes about the accident, the scene, the injured, and damaged properties. That could serve as evidence if you pursue compensation in a civil court.
Additionally, call the police, or have someone contact the local police department if you are too injured to do so. The police must assess the accident scene and report their observations.
California laws require drivers to stop and exchange information at an accident scene. Therefore, ensure you obtain information from all parties involved, including the following:
The Allstate car insurance policy details of the at-fault party, including their name and policy number
The liable party’s identifying information, including their name, contact details, and vehicle registration number
The names, contact details, and addresses of any witnesses at the accident scene
It is crucial to book an appointment to see a doctor even if you do not feel hurt. Some injuries take time before they start hurting. Other times a person could be in shock, unable to realize that they are hurt. Severe physical injuries develop even without early signs.
It would also be best to try and submit an accident claim with Allstate within twenty-four hours of the accident. You can call their offices, file an online claim, or download an Allstate app on your mobile phone. You could lose your right to file this claim if you delay.
Once you report the accident to Allstate, the insurance company will do the following:
Assign you a claims number
Appoint a claims adjuster to your case
Remember that insurance companies must conduct an independent investigation into the accident before responding to a compensation claim. Thus, the adjuster will investigate the matter immediately after the company receives your claim. The adjuster will also contact you within a few weeks to gather information about the accident, your injuries, and other details.
Dealing With an Allstate Insurance Representative
Once you file a claim with Allstate seeking compensation for your damages, the company will assign an adjuster to your case. The adjuster will contact you within a few weeks to gather information regarding the accident. Insurance claim representatives only serve the interests of their employers. Therefore, the adjuster will only be interested in information that will serve the interest of Allstate. However sympathetic they could sound on the phone, do not be duped into providing information that could compromise your case.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. Companies will likely lose more than they can afford if they agree to all the claims they receive. They fight compensation claims to avoid paying all listed damages or anything. Thus, the adjuster will not make it easy for you to receive the compensation you deserve. They could start by denying the claim on grounds like insufficient evidence. You must gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. If the company cannot deny the claim, the adjuster will make you an offer that will most likely be below the compensation you deserve.
It is advisable to be careful when communicating with an Allstate adjuster. Anything you say to them could be used to deny your claim. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself if you must speak to the adjuster:
Do not speculate or guess the facts of the matter — Leave out unnecessary details and only stick to the facts
If asked questions, answer in the simplest way possible — You could end up saying more than you should if you go into the details
Do not admit to any guilt even when you feel partly responsible for the accident
Do not give the adjuster a recorded statement
Be as truthful and honest as possible
Do not sign anything given to you by the adjuster until you consult with an attorney
Do not allow the adjuster to downplay your injuries or pain
Speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer if you experience difficulties handling the adjuster
Negotiating With an Allstate Adjuster
Insurance companies will try their best to avoid court cases. They will always prefer an out-of-court settlement. In that case, the adjuster will come to you with an offer once they realize it is challenging to deny your claim. More likely than not, the offer will be below the compensation you deserve. But, the adjuster will try their best to convince you to take the offer. You could be tempted to accept that offer if you need money urgently for your medical and personal needs.
If you want to recover the compensation you deserve from Allstate, avoid negotiating directly with the adjuster. The adjuster will use all kinds of tricks to avoid paying the total value of your claim or even to deny you compensation. It is best if you hire a competent personal injury lawyer from the start of the process. Then, your attorney will negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf.
Experienced lawyers have handled all types of insurance adjusters in their careers. Therefore, your lawyer will quickly spot and stop any questionable tactics by the adjuster. Your lawyer will aggressively protect your rights and ensure that only your best interests are served. Obtaining the compensation you deserve is possible with a lawyer by your side.
Other Reasons You Need a Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers ensure that their injured clients receive adequate compensation for their damages. They have the proper training and understand the legal process you should take in pursuing compensation after an accident. Thus, your lawyer's responsibility goes beyond dealing with the insurance adjuster.
First, your lawyer will ensure you receive medical attention required for your injuries. Some accidents result in severe physical injuries, while others leave victims with minor injuries. Your lawyer will assess your medical needs and ensure you are treated immediately after the accident. Your lawyer will also manage your ongoing medical treatment until you recover fully.
Your personal injury lawyer will also ensure that you have solid evidence to support your claim. If you call a lawyer right after the accident, they will be sure to gather enough evidence at the scene. Your lawyer will interview you and other witnesses to build a case that could be useful as a defense during the trial. Personal injury lawyers are also smart enough to determine the liable party from the evidence gathered at the accident scene.
You can concentrate on your recovery while your lawyer works behind the scenes to ensure your case is progressing well. If you have incurred severe injuries and need to be hospitalized, it could be difficult for you to follow up with the case while at the hospital. Your lawyer takes the burden off your shoulders, leaving you with enough time and energy to concentrate on your recovery.
Your lawyer can hire experts to analyze the accident scene and determine the cause of the accident and the responsible party to solidify your case. The insurance company needs to know that you have strong evidence against them to pay the compensation you deserve. The company will likely deny your claim once they realize that you are unsure of the cause of the accident or the liable party. But an accident expert's report is strong evidence to deliver a favorable outcome.
Allstate injury claims have to be filed within strict deadlines if you wish to reserve your right to compensation. You must have built a solid case against the responsible party. That seems like a challenge for an ordinary person. But experienced personal injury lawyers have been doing it for a long time and are likely to beat the strict deadlines.
If negotiations with Allstate do not yield good fruits, your attorney can quickly file a lawsuit against the company in a civil court. Personal injury attorneys know the legal processes to follow and documents to prepare for the lawsuit. Your lawyer will also represent you during the court proceedings, protecting your rights and putting up a fight until you receive your compensation.
Damages You Will Likely Receive After a Successful Claim With Allstate
Your claim to Allstate must include damages you have incurred in the accident. Your lawyer will help you determine the losses you have incurred to file a complete claim. If you manage to file a successful claim, you could receive payment for the following damages:
These include all direct financial losses you have incurred due to the accident. They could include the following:
An accident will likely leave you with physical injuries, for which you will require medical treatment. You must include all those medical costs in your claim to receive compensation from Allstate.
Your medical expenses will include hospital visits, doctor's appointments, medications, emergency room services, operation costs, and needed therapies after the accident. You should also include all costs related to your medical needs, including transportation to and from the hospital and over-the-counter medications you must have bought during your treatment period.
Additionally, include any medical needs you need in the future to recover from the accident altogether.
If you are an employee or run your business, you will likely lose some income during the treatment and recovery. You deserve compensation for that too. Lost wages include all the money you could have made were it not for the accident. It is calculated according to the amount you make in a day, then multiplied by the number of days you will miss from work. Include any wages you will likely lose in the future if you are yet to return to work.
Lost Earning Capacity
These damages include the losses you incur if your earning ability is affected by an accident. Some people completely lose their ability to engage in gainful employment. Others lose their ability to work in the same capacity before the accident. You must factor that in if your earning ability was affected by accident.
If you have lost any property in the accident, you deserve compensation. It could be that your car or motorcycle was damaged in the accident. The money you recover here must be enough to repair or replace the damaged item.
Also, include other expenses you must have paid out-of-pocket after the accident—for instance, the visit to a repair shop and caregiver services.
Ensure that you have documented all these damages as proof to support your claim. For instance, keep hospital receipts and notes from doctors and other healthcare providers. Pictures of the damaged properties will also help support your claim.
Most accident victims pay more attention to the economic losses that they forget how substantial the non-economic losses are. Non-economic damages include those indirect losses you have incurred due to the accident. They do not include a direct loss of money but are significant losses deserving compensation. Some of the non-economic damages you could include in your claim are:
Suffering and pain>
Stress, anxiety, and depression
Loss of enjoyment in life>
The Process of Filing an Accident Claim With Allstate
Filing an accident claim with Allstate is not a complicated process. But, you will need legal help to maneuver the process better. Here are essential steps to consider taking right after the accident:
File a Claim With Allstate
It involves notifying Allstate about the accident, your injuries, and your desire to pursue compensation for your injuries. The company will give you a claim number that you will use to track the progress of your claim.
Evaluate all damages you have incurred in the accident, including medical costs for your treatment, lost income, lost earning ability, the pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you with that.
It helps to determine the value of your claim. Consider the cost of your treatment from the doctor's report, how long you need to be out of work to recover, an estimate of how much you have lost in property damage, and what you deserve for your non-monetary damages. Remember that your claim payment depends on the terms and coverage in the Allstate insurance policy.
Get Medical Help
Start your treatment journey right after the accident. It shows how serious you are about your injuries. It also prevents your injuries from worsening.
Also, have your damaged property repaired. If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, have the damage assessed by an auto repair shop immediately after the accident.
Receive Your Claim Settlement
If you successfully negotiate with an Allstate adjuster, you will receive compensation once you sign an agreement with the company.
Remember that you always have a choice to file a lawsuit in a civil court if you cannot come into an agreement with the company. A jury will review your case and consider all evidence presented in court to reach a verdict.
Find a Reliable Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
If you have been injured in an accident in California and want to pursue compensation with Allstate, you need legal help to file a successful claim. Like other insurance companies, Allstate could try its best to deny your claim or offer lower compensation than you deserve. A skilled personal injury attorney can aggressively defend your claim, protect your rights and represent you in all negotiations until you receive your compensation. Contact San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm at 619-478-4059 for more information and assistance. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will not rest until you receive adequate compensation for your damages.