Skip to Main Content

Six All-Too-Common Myths About Car Accident Injury Claims in California

There are car accidents reported every day in the San Joaquin Valley. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that nearly 5.4 million people are hurt in motor vehicle collisions nationwide each year. Following a bad crash, it is imperative that victims know how to effectively navigate the claims process. There are a lot of myths about how car accident claims actually work. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we have extensive experience handling these claims. Here, our Stockton auto accident attorney debunks six all-too-common misconceptions about car crash cases in California. 

Myth #1: There is No Reason to Go to the Doctor for a Minor Injury

False. If you were hurt in a car crash in Stockton, it is imperative that you get evaluated by a doctor. Even seemingly minor injuries can have delayed symptoms or underlying issues. A seemingly minor injury may be far more serious than you realize. Prompt medical care is a must. Beyond that, there are legal reasons to see a doctor after a motor vehicle collision as well. A doctor’s visit establishes a medical record. These records are crucial for any personal injury claim related to the accident. Without this documentation, you will not have a viable car accident injury claim.

Myth #2: Your Own Insurance Company Will Step Up and Cover Your Medical Costs

False. It is a common misconception that your own insurance will fully cover all medical expenses after an accident. However, that is often not the case—especially if you suffered serious injuries in the crash. If you have MedPay coverage and/or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, your own insurer may cover your initial bills. However, if you lack that coverage, your own auto insurance policy may not cover any of your medical costs. The reality is that insurance companies aim to minimize their payouts. In California, policy limits, deductibles, and exclusions can all affect your claim. A Stockton car accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process.

Myth #3: If You are Partially At Fault for a Crash You are Out of Luck

False. You may have a claim for financial compensation for another party even if you are partially at fault for your own crash in Stockton. California follows a pure “comparative fault” rule. Each party to a collision will be held liable for their share of the “blame” for a crash. You can still recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Here is a simple overview of how it works: Imagine that you were involved in an intersection crash in Stockton. You suffered $10,000 in total damages. If you are found 30 percent responsible for your own crash, you will be 30 percent liable for your own damages. In other words, you can still recover $7,000 from the at-fault party. Understanding this can be crucial in ensuring you do not walk away from recoverable damages. An attorney can help.

Myth #4: You Will Probably Be Required to Go to Court to Get Compensation

False. Litigation is relatively uncommon in personal injury claims, including car accident cases. The vast majority of car accident claims in California are settled out of court. Litigation is expensive and time-consuming—so both insurance companies and plaintiffs often prefer to reach a settlement through negotiation. A far greater share of car accident injury claims are resolved through a settlement instead of a verdict. With that being said, getting a full and fair settlement from an insurance company can be challenging. You need strong legal representation. An experienced Stockton auto accident attorney can help negotiate a settlement with the insurer. Your lawyer will build a strong, compelling case that proves liability and damages.

Myth #5: The First Offer from the Insurance Company is Usually the Best You Will Get

False. Quite the contrary, the initial offers from insurance companies are typically “lowball” settlement offers. They are designed to close the case as quickly as possible for the least total cost for the insurance company. Be patient in insurance settlement negotiations—especially after a terrible crash. It is strongly recommended that you are represented by a top Stockton car accident attorney who has experience handling settlement negotiations. Your lawyer can review any offer before accepting it. Remember, you always have the right to negotiate for additional financial compensation. Do not agree to settle your car accident case for less than you deserve. Along with other damages, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for:

Automobile repairs;
Emergency medical care;
Hospital bills;
Long-term medical support;
Loss of wages;
Diminished earning power;
Pain and suffering;
Mental anguish;
Long-term disability; and
Wrongful death.

Myth #6: It Does Not Matter Which Personal Injury Attorney You Hire

False. You need the right attorney for your personal injury case. The expertise and experience of an attorney can have a major effect on the outcome of your car crash injury claim. You should look for a lawyer who has relevant experience, a history of results, and a commitment to providing personalized legal representation. Your case matters. You deserve the highest degree of legal guidance and support. How do you know if you have found the right attorney? One of the best steps that you can take after a bad accident is to set up a free, no obligation, and completely confidential initial consultation. A consultation is a chance to learn more about a lawyer’s expertise.

Hurt in a Motor Vehicle Crash in Stockton?

We are here to help. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton car accident lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars of financial compensation. Hurt in an automobile crash? Get in touch with us by phone now or connect with us directly online to set up a free review of your case. From our Stockton law office, we handle motor vehicle accident injury claims across the region, including in Galt, Lodi, Manteca, Sutter Creek, Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, and Roseville.