Attorney Tricia Wang
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Myths Busting That Could Help you After a car Crash PART I

© Law Office of Tricia Wang

If you just got into a car accident and seriously injured yourself, you would wish that you knew about these facts now, if not earlier. After you got hurt physically, the last thing you want is to get shortchanged for all the pain and suffering you have been through.

Myth #1: I feel all right after my accident, so I wasn’t injured.

The Truth: Symptoms after a car collision injury can take hours, days or even weeks to develop. Of special concern are head injuries (concussions). Head injuries can be life-threatening, and you may not feel any symptoms for an hour or more. Often, victims of car accident would think physical injuries only refer to cuts, scrapes and bleedings, and, would tell their insurance company that they feel fine when asked right after the accident. They did not know soft tissue injuries symptoms such as neck strain or whiplash, upper and lower back pains, and pinched nerve can take days or weeks to develop and can cause serious mobility issues.

If you got into a serious car crash, don’t resist ambulance, go to emergency/urgent care immediately for a full check-up. Keep an eye on your symptoms and get medical evaluation if you develop any new aches and pains.

Myth #2: My insurance agent cares about me and will take care of me.

The Truth: First, if you only have liability coverage, your own insurance company will not, and, cannot take care of you. Occasionally, we run into clients complaining that they pay good money year after year to their insurance company, not knowing that the liability coverage covers only the other party. So when they get into an accident, their insurance company won’t take care of them, this happens when you hit the other car and you are the party at fault, your insurance company will pay for the other party’s damages caused by you.

Secondly, the other party’s insurance company will not take care of you, this is true whether it is their insured’s fault or not. While this individual insurance adjuster for the other insurance company may be a nice person, it is not his or her job to help you get fair and reasonable compensation. His or her job is to save money for his or her employers, i.e. insurance companies, and, use as little money as possible to settle your claim.

Myth #3: If I file a claim, my insurance premium will go up.

The Truth: This is the most common misconception by people across the board. If you are not at fault in causing the collision, your insurance premium WILL NOT go up. If you have collision coverage, you can use it to get your car repaired or replaced; if you have medical payment coverage, you can use it to get medical treatments such as chiropractic or acupuncture care, or physical therapy, for yourself and for your passengers. As long as it is not your fault, your insurance company cannot increase your fee. On the other hand, if you were the one that caused the accident, such as running a red light, rear-ended other vehicle, even if you don’t file a claim, your insurance company will raise your premium for sure.

Myth #4: File a claim makes me a mean person. Or, I am undocumented immigrants and filing a claim will get me deported.

The Truth: Is this a joke? Believe it or not, there are people reluctant to file claim because they felt the person causing the accident were so nice and apologetic, and probably don’t have the money to pay. In most cases, it is the at-fault driver’s insurance company that will pay for the accidents, not the at-fault driver. That is what insurance is for.

Also, filing an insurance claim WILL NOT get you deported. Undocumented immigrants have the same right to get compensated for their injuries and pain and sufferings as US citizens.

Myth #5: Of course I would buy insurance from the agent who quoted me the lowest insurance premium. He saves me money.

The Truth: Yes, it is true but only if the coverage provides you with the same protection. Do check the coverage and make sure what you are getting. Besides the mandatory liability coverage, do check those optional coverage such as “Comprehensive”, “Collision”, “Medical Payment”, and very importantly, “UM (Uninsured Motorist) and UIM (Under-insured Motorist)”, and the policy limits each offers. You would want to get yourself sufficient protection by getting reasonable coverage and higher limits, not just go for the lowest $15k/$30k liability coverage mandated by law.

Especially in California, there are so many uninsured drivers and drivers with minimum coverage on the road. If you were hit by one of the uninsured or underinsured driver, either when you are driving or when you are walking as a pedestrian, and, sustained serious injuries, your UM and UIM coverage can kick in and work to protect you and your loved ones, but only when you have good UM and UIM coverage. Just image if you sustained a fractured bone in an accident, a $15k policy limit offer from the liable insurance would not even be enough to cover your ambulance and emergency room bills, not to mention surgery, rehab, loss earnings, pain and suffering!

If you feel all the above myths are too easy, we’ll get to some serious stuff in Part II of this article.

If you were unfortunate to get into a car crash and suffered serious injuries, do not add more misery to yourself by trying to handle the claim all by yourself. With an experienced attorney on your side, you will have peace of mind that you get fairly compensated, and protected. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. Call us at (510) 791-0232, or reach us by Wechat: TriciaWangLawOffice.