Procedures on How to File a Claim
People who have been injured due to someone’s negligence have the right to file a court claim. When a person is filing a claim they are making a request to an insurance company or defendant for monetary damages.
There are many reasons why a person may want to file a claim. Any sort of injury inflicted by another such as being in a car accident or injured on the job, on another’s premises is enough to file a claim. It is possible to file a claim without a lawyer, however, it is time-consuming and a lot more thorough when a personal injury attorney is on your side.
It is important to contact a practiced attorney when you are filing a claim.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured because of someone else’s negligence? It is important that you get in contact with an experienced lawyer for legal representation.
Filing a claim can seem daunting. There is a lot of legal jargon, complex laws to study, and creating a demand package can be complex. It is important that you have a trustworthy partner on your side when you file a claim. The attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC are skilled knowledgeable and have over two decades in litigating personal injury experience.
We care about our clients and want to work the best we can for their relief. There is no reason you should face this alone. Contact Yarian & Associates at (844)291-1911 or submit an online contact form to get your free consultation today.
Overview on How to File a Claim in California
Your first priority before handling a personal injury claim is to take care of your own medical care for your injury. It is highly recommended that you see a qualified medical professional to assess your injury and access the severity. Not only is this recommended for your health, but it will keep a record of the progression of your injury.
It is important that you keep any ongoing documentation regarding the negligent accident or incident that caused your injury. Many legal professionals will recommend keeping a detailed diary of your medical management, symptoms, and activities that you are unable to perform due to your injury.
Compiling documents regarding your insurance, police or incident reports, property or vehicle costs and repair, or any other evidence is important in obtaining rightful compensation. If you are unable to work it is recommended that you have your employer fill out a Wage Verification form for evidence.
It is advised that you continue to focus on your recovery and keep records until you have calculated the appropriate settlement value. This is why it is vial you take time to assess your injury, in case another condition arises or it worsens before you calculate the complete damage cost.
The settlement process should begin based on the occurrence of the following:
- You have reached the maximum medical improvement, meaning the condition is stagnant and not expected to improve.
- The statute of limitations is approaching
- The defendant’s policy limits are insufficient to cover the complete cost of damages
Demand Packages and Asking for Payment
Once your appropriate settlement value is determined, it is time to draft up a demand package. A settlement demand package is concise, has thorough documentation, and lists costs for damages due to your injury. The demand package will be presented to the defendant’s insurance adjuster in an effort to settle your claim without necessary litigation.
In addition, if the statute of limitations deadline is close the appropriate paperwork to protect the claim will be filed. After this, it is a waiting game to see what the adjuster will offer and if it satisfies your costs.
A firm and strong request that details reasons for why the defendant is obligated to compensate you can have a big effect. Normally, a demand letter will resolve your case. Most people and business entities understand already that they owe you money, and will comply.
In the event that the defendant’s insurance policy is insufficient for covering your claim’s value, an attorney can place your insurance on notice of a potential underinsured claim. There are different types of demand letters. It is best to contact an attorney to help you draft your demand letter so that you will have a higher chance of never heading to court.
It is suggested that you do not accept the first offer given by the defendant’s adjuster. Often insurance companies will undervalue your claim’s costs. Resist the urge to accept a quick settlement and be thorough in evaluating the adjuster’s response.
File Your Claim
There are two options if the defendant’s adjuster hasn’t responded, denied complying to your demand letter, or does not offer a reasonable settlement offer for your injury. Your choices include proceeding to alternate dispute resolution or filing a Complaint to begin the formal litigation process.
Before you can get paperwork and begin your claim you must obtain the correct court documents. A practiced attorney can help you navigate these court documents and help determine which civil court you need to refer to dependent on if the case is medical malpractice, product liability, dog bite, or other types of negligent injury.
Once you and your attorney have acquired the proper paperwork, you can file a claim. The claim must outline how much you wish to recover for your damages, the situation that affected your employment or injury, and more.
The claim will be filed with the civil division clerk, who will ask questions and give you information for the date, time, and location of your court hearing. Both you and your attorney will keep your claim on file in case of a future trial. The claim must be served to the defendant, and if they ignore or reject the claim your case will go to trial.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a claim. If a plaintiff does not file a claim before the time limit is up, they are no longer able to lawfully file the claim against the defendant. A personal injury’s statute of limitations is dependent on the type of claim it is. For example, if it is a governmental agency you are suing there would be a 6-month statute.
Some statutes of limitations are written within legislation and others are incorporated in jury instructions. Normally, a personal injury claim will have a statute of limitations of up to two years after the discovery of the injury. There can be exceptions, however.
For instance, a faulty drug is recalled and creates a new condition in a patient, who does not discover this connection until years later. Then the statute of limitations will begin on the date of discovery.
However, sometimes the defendant in a claim will be a government entity or agency. In this case, the statute of limitations is significantly shorter than a standard statute of limitations. Normally, the statute of limitations for a government agency is within six months of the date or discovery of the injury.
Defendants that refuse your claim, offer a settlement that doesn’t cover your costs, or does not respond, will meet you in court. This is where it is incredibly imperative that you have legal representation. California civil court law can be incredibly complex depending on the circumstances. It is not advised to move forward without a qualified attorney.
Some valuable advice to keep in mind is to bring all your documentation with you. This evidence can help assist you in successfully winning your case. Some types of evidence that can help your case include, but are not limited to:
- Diagrams on the incident
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
Advantages of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
It is possible to file a claim yourself for your injuries due to negligence. However, the personal injury claim process can be complex and time-consuming. It may seem like a cost-efficient idea to not hire an attorney. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that if you are unsuccessful in your claim, you will not receive any sort of compensation.
Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can give you the advantage you need in obtaining your entitled compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through court procedures and collect the appropriate paperwork needed to be successful in your claim.
Some actions a personal attorney can do to help you get the appropriate settlement for your injuries to include, but are not limited to:
- Investigate all aspects of your case
- Collect all the correct documentation
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters
- Compile evidence for a demand package
- Create a persuasive and thorough demand package
- File the claim with the correct claims court
- Obtain testimonies (if needed) from treating physicians
- Litigating on your behalf in court
Steps to Filing a Small Claims Case – Visit the website of California Courts and read their step-by-step process on how to file a claim. See what courts apply to your case, what must be detailed in your demand letter, what is required for your claim and instructions on how to get your court date.
Superior Court of California – Visit the website of The Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles. See the different divisions and what cases apply to them, the jury duty portal with jury instructions, and the forms and filings that may be applicable to your case.
Find a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Attorney for Your Claim
Are you suffering from an injury that another inflicted on you due to negligence? You have rights and there is no reason you should endure this any longer. Contact Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC for a practiced personal injury attorney.
We are a team of experienced Los Angeles attorneys who are passionate about what we do. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC understands the complexities of California law and have decades of experience in litigation. Our attorneys are understanding, aggressive in court, and well-versed in their field. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC practices law and files claims throughout the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County area and adjoining cities including Visalia, Irvine, Burbank, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, and Tulare.
Call (818) 459-4999 or submit an online form for more information and assistance in filing your claim today.
This article was last updated on July 10th, 2018.