Traffic collisions are an unfortunate reality. Even drivers who obey all the rules of the road and practice safe driving habits may find themselves involved in an auto accident at some point. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in California, you are likely wondering what steps you need to take. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, you may know to contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. Let’s take a closer look at what role your insurance company plays following a car accident, and what specific actions you’ll need to take in order to get your life back on track.
Car Insurance Requirements in California
California drivers are required by law to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that every driver needs to carry at least $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for damage to property. While there may be some exceptions to the above coverage requirements, nearly all California drivers opt to purchase an auto insurance policy.
Actions Your Insurance Company Should Take Following an Auto Accident
As soon as the accident has occurred and you’ve sought any necessary medical attention for your injuries, you should contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. A representative should go over your policy’s benefits, coverage, time limits, and other information so that you can have a clearer understanding of what to expect from the claims process. The insurer is then obligated to investigate the claim within 15 days and provide you with all necessary forms and paperwork within that time frame. They should make a clear decision whether they will accept or deny your claim within 40 days of receiving your claim. If the claim is accepted, payment should be made immediately and within 30 days of the settlement date.
When to Contact an Attorney
While it’s possible to pursue a car accident claim without the assistance of an attorney, the process can often become frustrating and confusing. Working with an experienced car accident attorney who can step in and handle all communications with insurance companies and the other involved parties will allow you to focus on what really matters—making a full recovery. Whether the accident has just occurred or you need help preparing a successful claim, you should consider contacting a knowledgeable lawyer who can guide you through the process.
To learn more about what steps you need to take following an auto accident in the Murrieta, Temecula, or Riverside area, contact the dedicated auto accident attorneys at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation by calling (951) 489-3320 today.