November 14th, 2019


There is no requirement in California for an accident victim to retain an attorney when filing an auto accident claim. There are actually many injured parties who handle their own claim and accept the first offer from the insurance company as though that is the full value of the claim. However, the real truth is the offer is merely the amount of money the company is willing to pay for ending the claim according to their narrow value determination. Of course, those early and quick settlements also include a full release from further responsibility for medical problems should the accident injuries manifest later in life. The settlement may seem appropriate at the time, but what if the injury becomes worse? The novice injured party is never a match for an insurance company claims adjuster when representing their own claim because the agent is a trained professional negotiator. And when they offer a quick low to moderate settlement package, general damages for long-term problems are rarely included in the amount. This is where the San Francisco personal injury lawyers at the Cartwright Law Firm can be of great service, and here is why.

Dealing with the Insurance Company

Many insurance companies will use technicalities as a method of denying or reducing claim values. This happens even in a pure comparative negligence state like California. Fault is not a sufficient reason for a claim denial unless the claimant is a driver and was 100% at fault for the accident. And normally you are not dealing with the same company that insures your vehicle, even though this can be the situation. Ultimate comparative negligence percentages are not determined until a case goes to court, but the insurance company will want to estimate the level of personal contribution when negotiating a claim. Their estimate is not the final word, but merely an offer. And sometimes there is an outright denial. Having an attorney from the Cartwright Law Firm means keeping the insurance companies honest in claim evaluation.

Typical Damages

In obvious claims where the company knows they will pay some amount, they will often offer a discounted allowance for the physical property damage along with coverage of the medical bills based on the level of fault that may be assigned to their client. In addition to these two elements of a claim, injured victims are also eligible for financial recovery for lost wages and general damages for the long-term impact of the collision. This amount can even include mental anguish. However, insurance company adjusters often make the initial offer with little or no calculation for general damages, and they get difficult when a novice injured claimant tries to negotiate a pain-and-suffering settlement. Your attorney from the San Francisco personal injury lawyers can evaluate your injury case for whole damages and take the company to court when they do not negotiate in good faith.

Never attempt negotiating your own accident injury claim with a California insurance company. Always call the San Francisco personal injury lawyers at the Cartwright Law Firm for professional representation.