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San Jose personal injury attorneyWhen you have been hurt in a car accident, you may be facing a myriad of challenges, including recovering from your injuries, getting back to work, and generally dealing with the aftermath of the crash. Unfortunately, things can become even more difficult when the insurance companies get involved.

While insurance coverage is a consideration in virtually every car accident, it is not uncommon for carriers to offer much less than you would need to start putting your life back together properly. Insurance companies are well-known for their “lowball” settlement offers that seek to minimize their payouts and avoid costly litigation.

Protecting Yourself from Insurance Companies

If you were injured in a crash and are in the process of negotiating with an adjuster—either from your own insurer or that of the party who caused your accident—it is important to keep in mind that:

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A recent California Supreme Court ruling changes the amount of money that a car accident victim can claim from a lawsuit. In the past, car accident victims could sue the wrongdoer and be awarded a settlement for the total cost of the treatment and medical expenses.

The holding came out of a case that was initially filed in Southern California. A woman was hit by a meat truck and sustained severe injuries to her spine. As a result, she had to undergo expensive surgery and get treatment for her recovery. An appeals court awarded her the full amount for the hospital bills after she filed a lawsuit against the owner of the meat truck. But the dispute was whether she should be awarded the full amount or the amount that her insurance company paid.

In this woman's case, her insurer had made a deal with the hospital, paying less than a third of the actual cost of the surgery and treatment. But after the appeals court ruled that she should be awarded the full amount and not the discounted amount, the meat company appealed.

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