With two Interstates, a State Route and countless smaller highways, it should come as no surprise that Fontana car accident lawyers see a lot of business. But what if you’re the one suffering from the aftereffects of an automobile accident? What are your options? Here’s a quick guide to filing a claim and seeking compensation after trouble on the road.

<b>Personal Injury Claims</b>

Insurance companies are supposed to handle medical expenses after a car accident, but if they aren’t paying what was promised, you may wish to file a lawsuit to cover your hospital bills. If you were the victim of a drunk or negligent driver, you can also ask for money to ease your pain and suffering.

Regardless of the nature of your lawsuit and the extent of your injuries, you have two years after an accident to file a claim. This is the statue of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in California. Exceptions are only made if your injury doesn’t appear or make itself known until sometime after the limitation has passed, in which case you have exactly one year after diagnosis to take your grievances to court.

<b>Insurance Claims</b>

What if your vehicle is the one to sustain damage? What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or his policy isn’t enough to cover the cost of repairs?

Most insurance claims in California are handled by the Small Claims Court. This is an informal, small-scale court where there are no juries, the judge is king and lawyers are allowed but not strictly necessary. The Small Claims Court handles any litigation worth $5,000 or less.

For higher dollar amounts, the matter travels to the Superior Court. You <i>do</i> need a lawyer here, and your case might be tried in front of a jury if you and the other driver can’t reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. The payouts, however, can be worth the trouble.

<b>What You’ll Need To File</b>

Documentation is critical when filing a successful lawsuit. The longer the paper trail, the more legitimacy you’ll lend your claim. Here are just a few of the things you might gather to create a file:

*Admittance papers to the hospital
*Medical records, including any prescriptions or health equipment you were required to purchase after release, such as back braces or canes
*Accident reports, including any on-the-site statements from the police
*Documentation of the blood-alcohol level of the other driver
*Your original insurance policy

With more than 200,000 residents working and driving in Fontana, there may very well come a day when you experience an automobile accident. If you do, contact a Fontana car accident lawyer to make sure you’re compensated fairly and quickly.