Car accidents caused by drivers who violate traffic safety laws or fail to pay attention to the road, the result can be serious and fatal injuries. When a motor vehicle accident victim suffers life-altering catastrophic injuries or a loved one dies, the victim and family must endure financial challenges caused by loss of family income, staggering medical bills and even funeral costs.
Civil lawsuits for personal injury or wrongful death provide a forum for obtaining monetary recovery to ease these fiscal burdens. However, the multi-billion dollar insurance industry is built on denying, delaying and minimizing the amount paid to victims of driver negligence. Insurance companies use a team of attorneys, experts and extensive litigation resources to deny auto accident victims and their families’ fair compensation for their injuries and losses. Common defense strategies employed by insurance companies include:
Financial pressure based on delay: Auto accident victims are particularly susceptible to this tactic when they lack legal representation. Insurance adjusters recognize the challenges when you are unable to work and your medical bills mount. Our personal injury attorneys know how to neutralize tactics of delay so that our clients are not forced to settle for less than the value of their claim.
Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations provides a powerful defense that can completely eliminate a meritorious car accident injury claim. If you are injured in a car accident in San Diego, you generally have two years to initiate a personal injury action by filing a complaint to initiate a lawsuit.
Comparative negligence: Insurance companies immediately investigate car accidents involving their insured to develop evidence and theories for shifting responsibility to the accident victim. California law embodies the doctrine of pure comparative fault. This means that if both parties share fault, the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault even if the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault.
Tort Claims Act: If a municipality or other government entity contributed to your accident by designing an unsafe intersection, for example, you must provide written notice to the public entity within six months of suffering injury. If you fail to comply, you will typically be barred from recovery against the government entity.
Denying factual claims: Insurance companies frequently use accident reconstruction experts to develop an alternative theory for how the accident occurred. Medical experts may dispute the cause or severity of your injury.