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Filing Accident Claims in California

Filing an accident claim in Bakersfield, California, can be daunting. From understanding the legal process to dealing with insurance companies and navigating through potential disputes, it’s important to know the steps involved in filing a claim. To ensure you are properly represented, this article explores important information to guide you through filing accident claims in Bakersfield.

Call for Help from the Police

The first step is to call the police and make a report. Be sure to get the officer’s name and badge number. It is vital to call for help from the police because they can investigate the cause of the accident, determine who is at fault, and ensure that any injured parties receive medical attention. 

Additionally, the police will create an official report of your accident, which can be used for insurance and legal purposes. Furthermore, calling the police also helps ensure the safety of all parties involved and clear any road hazards.

Notify California DMV of the Accident

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must be notified within ten days of an accident if there is any property damage, injury, or death. You can notify the DMV by completing and submitting a Report of a Traffic Accident Occurring in California (Form SR-1). This form is available online or at any DMV office.

If you hit a parked car, you must try to find the owner and leave a note with your name, address, and phone number. If you can’t find the owner, you must attach a note to the car explaining what happened. You should also notify the police.

File Your Claim Within Set Deadlines

Depending on the accident’s severity, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, or even the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s important to know that there are statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims, so it’s important to act quickly. 

For example, if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company, you have just 30 days from the date of the accident. If you’re planning to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you have one year from the accident date. And if you’re planning to file a claim with the California DMV, you typically have just ten days.

What To Do If You Do Not Have Insurance

If you’ve been involved in an accident and don’t have insurance, there are a few things you can do to file a claim still and get the compensation you deserve. You’ll need to contact leading Bakersfield auto accident lawyers who can help you and protect your rights.

Once you’ve found an attorney, they will likely advise you to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Even if you don’t have your insurance, the other driver is still responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. However, it’s important to note that this process can be complicated, so working with an attorney is always in your best interest.

Another option available to those without insurance is to file a claim with their own auto insurance company if they have it. This is known as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It can help cover damages even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover all of the damages. However, this coverage typically only pays out up to a certain limit, so it’s important to discuss your options with your attorney before moving forward.

Evidence, an Insurance Company, Needs to Verify Your Claim

Another thing you need to do is file a claim with your insurance company. But what information will they need from you?

Your insurance company will need basic information about the accident, such as when and where it happened and who was involved. They’ll also need to know about damage to your vehicle and injuries sustained.

To verify your claim, your insurance company will likely request documentation from you. This may include a police report, medical records, or bills for repairs. It’s important to gather all of this information before contacting your insurance company so that they can process your claim quickly and efficiently.

Out-of-Court Settlements

If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may wonder if you should file a claim with the court or try to settle the matter out of court. Both options have pros and cons, and it’s important to understand them before deciding.

Filing a claim with the court can take longer and be more expensive than settling out of court, but it offers some advantages. For one, you may be more likely to receive compensation for your injuries if the case goes to trial. And, if the other party is found at fault, they may also have to pay punitive damages.

On the other hand, settling out of court can be faster and cheaper than going to trial. It also allows you more control over the outcome of your case. If you reach an agreement with the other party, you can avoid the stress and expense of a trial. And, if you’re not happy with the terms of the settlement, you can always reject it and go to trial instead.

Filing an accident claim in Bakersfield, California, can be challenging, but understanding the law and hiring a legal professional to help you with your case can make it much easier. With the right guidance and knowledge, you will have all the information necessary to ensure that you get fair compensation for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident.

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