Should I File an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit After a Personal Injury in Valley Center?

After suffering a personal injury in Valley Center or elsewhere in Southern California, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with a claim for compensation. If you discuss your injury with friends or family members, or with trustworthy co-workers, you might hear differing perspectives on filing an insurance claim or suing the at-fault party in a personal injury lawsuit. Conducting some preliminary research on the internet might reveal that personal injuries result in both insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits, and you may be unsure if you are required to follow one path over the other or if you have options. 

Our Valley Center personal injury lawyers can provide you with more information about insurance claims versus personal injury lawsuits after a serious accident or injury in San Diego County.

How and Where Did Your Injury Happen?

First, how and where did your injury occur? If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision or a truck accident, the first option for seeking compensation is to file an auto insurance claim. Indeed, most people who are injured in traffic crashes will file auto insurance claims and then turn to a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the insurance settlement is insufficient to cover losses.

Many injuries that occur in workplaces like construction sites will also involve a type of insurance claim known as a workers’ compensation claim. However, in some cases, it may be possible for an injured construction worker to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. 

Beyond motor vehicle collisions and worker injuries, many other types of personal injury cases may start with a lawsuit against the responsible party. Have an attorney assess your case to determine whether you have the option to file an insurance claim or whether you could be required to file an insurance claim. 

Who is Liable for Your Injury?

Next, who is liable for your injuries? If you want to be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to be able to identify the party (or parties) who is liable for your injuries. The liable party could be responsible according to a theory of negligence or strict liability, depending upon the facts of the case. 

Has the Statute of Limitations Run Out?

Under California law, most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. In some cases, however, the statute of limitations may be significantly shorter. For example, if your injury occurred on government property or resulted from the negligence of a government employee, you could be required to file a claim in as little as six months or one year from the date of the injury. If you are trying to determine whether to file a personal injury lawsuit — regardless of whether you have already sought compensation through an insurance claim — you will need to make sure that the statute of limitations has not run out.

Contact a Valley Center Personal Injury Attorney Today

Anyone who has sustained a personal injury as a result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing could be eligible to file a claim. In some circumstances, when an injury claim can be brought under a theory of strict liability (such as product liability lawsuits or dog bite claims), there is no need to prove that another party was careless or that another party engaged in intentionally harmful behavior. Instead, the responsible party can be strictly liable for your injuries, and it may be even easier to obtain compensation. One of the experienced Valley Center personal injury attorneys at our firm can provide you with more information. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about your options.

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