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Section 1714 of the California Civil Code says that everyone is responsible for an injury caused to another by their lack of ordinary care or skill. This is the basic definition of negligence that lies at the heart of a personal injury claim. If another person, be they a motor vehicle driver, property owner, store owner, nursing home, product manufacturer or some other entity, injures you because of their lack of attention, competence or due regard for your safety, they can and should be held liable to you for the full extent of harm they have caused, including paying for your current and future medical expenses, lost income or diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.

As the plaintiff (injury victim) in a personal injury case, the burden falls on you to prove your case. This means proving not just that the other party was negligent, but that their negligence is both the factual and legal cause of your injury, as well as proving the extent of the damage they have caused you. If settling outside of court, you have to prove these elements to the other party’s insurance company. If litigating in court, you have to prove them to a judge and jury. Being able to do this effectively requires knowledge of the law and legal procedure, effective communication, negotiation, and litigation skills, and the resources and determination to see a case through to its successful conclusion.

These are qualities you’ll find at the Allen Law Firm in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Salinas. We have over 20 years of experience resolving personal injury cases in Monterey Bay, with a long list of satisfied clients and excellent results. Read on for some of the main reasons you need an attorney to help you with your personal injury claim, and call our experienced lawyer if you’ve been hurt by the negligence of another.

Insurance Companies Try to Settle Your Case Too Cheaply

After a car accident, slip and fall, or other injury, don’t be surprised if you hear from the other party’s insurance company within a matter of days. They’ll make it sound like they want you to be taken care of quickly, and they’ll offer you a check that would seem to cover your immediate expenses, such as a doctor’s visit or vehicle repair. What they are trying to do is settle your claim as cheaply as possible before you’ve had a chance to talk to a lawyer. Their lowball offer is unlikely to account for your future medical needs, loss of income or disability, pain and suffering, and other damages you are entitled to under the law. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how much your claim is worth and when the time is appropriate to settle your case. It’s a simple fact that people who don’t have a lawyer get less than people who do. If getting the full amount of compensation due is important to you, and we think it should be, then it is wise to talk to an attorney before you accept any offer from the insurance company.

When the insurance company calls, they will ask to record your conversation and make it seem like a natural matter of course. You might be used to having customer service calls recorded as a routine matter and think nothing of it, but the insurance company’s goal during that call is to get you on the record making statements they can later use against you regarding who was at fault or how serious your injuries are. California is a two-party consent state, meaning you can’t be recorded without your permission. If you haven’t talked to a lawyer yet, keep your answers brief and factual, or better yet, wait to talk to them on the record until you have talked to an attorney first.

Insurance Companies Blame Someone Else or Dispute How the Accident Happened

If they aren’t offering a lowball settlement to get rid of the case quickly before you know what your damages are, the insurance company might try claiming their insured isn’t the one at fault. They’ll dispute how the accident happened and say it couldn’t have happened the way you say it did, or that your injuries couldn’t have been caused by the accident. With over 20 years of investigating accidents and proving liability, our team at the Allen Law Firm knows how to stand up to these tactics and prove your case, including in court if need be.

Insurance Companies Blame You for the Accident

Part of shifting the blame away from their insured often involves putting some or all of the blame on you. In California, you can pursue a claim against a negligent party even if you were mostly to blame, but any percentage of fault assigned to you reduces the amount of compensation you can recover. You shouldn’t take the insurance company’s word for it if they say you are at fault; that’s a question for the jury if your case goes to trial. Meanwhile, we’ll build a strong cased based on the facts and evidence that proves the full extent of the other party’s responsibility.

Insurance Companies Dispute Your Injuries

When they can’t avoid being held liable for the accident, insurance companies will turn to alleging you aren’t really injured as bad as you say. They’ll send you to their own company doctors to generate a medical opinion that differs from your treating physician, or they’ll say you have a pre-existing condition or degenerative disease that is to blame for your harm. Once again, our experience resolving injury claims is invaluable in building a well-documented case that stands up against unfounded allegations from the other side.

Contact the Allen Law Firm Today

The Allen Law Firm is your source for practical legal advice and professional representation when you’ve been injured by the negligence of another. Contact our experienced Monterey personal injury lawyer today at any of our offices in Monterey, Salinas, or Santa Cruz. Your consultation is free, and we only charge a fee once we are successful in getting compensation for you.

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