Nothing in life can be more alarming and disorienting than getting into a car accident. Such an event can be potentially life-altering. That’s why you should know what steps to take and how to proceed after you have gotten into a car accident. Keeping these things in mind can help you to have better results and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Whether you or someone you love has been in an accident, you need to advocate for them and protect their rights from those who would abuse them.
Visit a Doctor
If you can even think that you might have suffered an injury from a car accident, you should visit a doctor right away. You need to do this because it will document your injuries immediately after a car accident. In this way, your car accident personal injury lawyer will be able to argue that the injuries suffered came directly as a result of the car accident. You can’t expect the auto insurance companies to play fair. In most cases, they won’t play fair. If you don’t visit a doctor right away, they will try to attribute your injuries to some other cause, and you may have a harder time getting as fair of compensation for your accident. With the documentation from a doctor, it makes it much easier for your Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
Immediately after a car accident, if you have the ability, you should document everything about the scene of the accident. You should take as many pictures of the accident as possible. Granted, the responding police officer will have likely taken some photos as well, but you don’t want to rely on this. You want your own photos because this will provide you with additional evidence from the scene of the accident. This gives you additional documentation from the accident, which will set you up in the right way. Another thing that you should do is to speak with witnesses from the accident if possible. Write down their names and phone numbers. You want to get a firsthand account of what they witnessed right away because memories start to fade immediately after an accident.
Speak with a Lawyer Immediately
You should speak with an auto injury lawyer as soon as possible. That’s because your personal injury attorney will set out right away to help you. They will put everything together to make things much easier for you. Your lawyer will protect your rights, and he will also set up a presentation of your accident that puts you in the most favorable light. Having someone experienced in law can make all the difference. Immediately after an accident, evidence and memories start to fade. You can lose the strength of your case, which is why it is a good idea to set out with these intentions right away.
Stay at the Scene
If you have gotten into an accident, you should remain at the scene of the accident. Never drive off because you could be charged with hit and run. You want to verify that the other drivers in the accident are fine. Look at yourself, look at your passengers and then check with the drivers in the other vehicle. You will want to secure medical assistance for any individuals who need it.
Call the Police
For damages to your vehicle or injuries, you should contact the police so that they can make a report of it as well. A formal accident report will put everything on file. In addition, don’t forget to get the names of the responding officers to the scene. Let’s say that the other driver doesn’t want to exchange information. In some cases, this has happened. It won’t be a problem, however, because the police report will take down the information of both drivers. The responding officer will write down the following information:
- License numbers
- Contact information
- Insurance details
Never Admit to Fault
While you should be as friendly as possible to both the other driver and the responding officer, you should never admit to fault. Never apologize or admit to causing the accident. Let the officer investigate to figure out who was at fault. The reason is that this can be used against you in the courts, and it can hurt your right to compensation. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage. Whenever it comes to discussing the accident, you should always use discretion. You don’t want them to later try to use this against you in the courts.
Beware of Giving a Statement to Insurance Companies
In particular, beware of the opposing insurance company. These companies play dirty. They don’t care about you; they care about freeing themselves of liability. Here at West Coast Trial Lawyers, we advise that you never give a statement to an insurance company. It’s not that you can’t give a statement. However, we implore you to do this with your lawyer present. In this way, your lawyer can make sure that you don’t say anything that could hurt your case. Even something that you said innocently to the company could later be used to hurt your chances for compensation in the courts. These companies are not your friend, and if they try to pull this tactic with you, you should look at them like a rattlesnake poised to strike.
Getting Compensation for Your Injuries
Based on California law, those who have been injured in an accident may be entitled to some compensation. The damages that you can get from an accident include:
- Lost wages
- Severe emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Reduction in earnings for the future
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
When the unthinkable happens and you find yourself in an accident, you need a lawyer who will stand behind you and protect your rights. While it may feel like you will never heal from the emotional and physical aspects, having an auto injury lawyer can help defend your rights after you have gotten into an accident. You want someone who can thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case because they will be the best equipped to help you receive proper compensation. Through these circumstances, you will see how a light at the end of the tunnel does exist. Having an experienced car accident personal injury lawyer on your side can make a big difference in how much compensation you receive.
Having a good attorney can help to preserve evidence and bring the right evidence to light that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. If your accident came as a result of the negligence of other people, you need someone who will stand behind you and back you in your case. In the state of California, the compensation for those who were injured in an accident can be quite substantial. They will look at a number of things to determine how to best help you. You shouldn’t have to pay for the rest of your life because of the negligence of someone else. Here at West Coast Trial Lawyers, we can help.