How to Properly Handle an Accident
If you, or someone close to you, has been in a car accident recently, there are a few steps you should take:
- Be sure to acquire the information of every person who happened to be involved in the accident. You will need to make sure you obtain driver’s licenses and any information regarding insurance. It would also be beneficial to take a picture of the accident and any damaged property.
- Contact the police as they will take statements from all involved parties, compile a police report and assess the situation to identify fault. You are okay to give a statement to the police, but do not give a statement to the other party’s insurance company or sign anything.
- Make sure you consult with an attorney experienced with personal injury cases before you sign anything or speak with anyone representing the other involved parties.
- Visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible, even if you do not believe you have any serious injuries.
Serious injuries can sometimes take weeks to surface and if you haven’t seen a doctor right away, attributing the injuries to the accident may be difficult. The other party can use the fact that you didn’t see a doctor right away as a way of disputing that injuries – which may appear weeks later – were in fact caused by the auto accident.
Laws in California
Car laws in California are complex but include some basic fundamentals that are easy to understand. These laws can be found in the Vehicle Code.
One of these laws states a driver cannot be negligent while operating their vehicle. If a driver is negligent while operating the vehicle, and the negligence results in another person’s injury, the driver can be held liable for the damage.
Comparative negligence is also used in the state of California which simply means you can be partially at fault for an accident and still receive damages from the other person involved. You would need to be less at fault than the other person in the accident.
Common Causes of Car Wrecks
Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of car collisions. It can be caused by texting and driving, engaging in conversation and driving, not paying attention in general, or driving while drowsy. Because of the increasing amount of distractions available to drivers, inattentive driving is becoming more and more common. Drunk driving is also a problem.
When Does a Lawyer Need to be Involved?
It is often true the other involved party’s insurance company will not work fairly with the victim. This is especially true if the victim received serious injuries in the accident. Insurance companies are directed by their own internal attorneys, so it would largely benefit you to have representation as well.
You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you have been severely injured in an accident. To build your case in your favor, gather written statements, any and all witnesses interviews, and advice from known experts. Gathering this information earlier on is best as memories will be fresher. Please note, Additionally, obtaining these materials is easier with the assistance of experienced legal counsel.
Working with an Insurance Company
You should avoid dealing with the involved party’s insurance company on your own. Their goal is to have you provide a statement that will hurt you later on and in turn, justify them providing a minimal amount of money for your injuries.
If you can, consult with an attorney before interacting with the other party’s insurance company. The best case scenario is to work with your own attorney and have them communicate on your behalf.
If you have been in an auto accident, you are likely entitled to compensation if you have suffered injuries and property damage. General damages and special damages are the two types of damages considered in California.
Non-economic damages can also be called general damages. This is often how compensation for “pain and suffering” is classified. Non-economic damages handle issues such as having a lesser quality of life after the accident occurred. This compensates for the damage you suffered and has impcted your day-to-day life.
When something with monetary value has been damaged, this would be classified as special or economic damages. This includes medical bills, wages lost, and any profits your business may have lost. These economic damages are not always obivous immediately following an accident.
It is important to consult with an attorney while you decide which damages are important to seek. You may not completely understand what is required to recover from your injuries. An auto accident lawyer can help you fully understand how much you are entitled to.
Choosing the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Experience is key when choosing a car accident attorney. You want someone that handles car accident claims on a regular basis and someone who goes to trial regularly.
If an insurance company knows an attorney won’t go to trial, it will not pay the full amount of the damages since there is no threat of litigation. An attorney that has a reputation for not being afraid to litigate a case if it does not settle will be better able to obtain the full measure of damages to which their client is entitled.
In short, select an attorney who:
- Is very experienced in personal injury
- Goes to trial regularly
- Has access to the best doctors and staff to handle your case with efficiency, care, and kindness
The Cost of Hiring a Lawyer
At Los Angeles City Law, you are not charged a fee unless you recover money from your claim. If we are unable to obtain any compensation for you, we do not charge you. We are on your team and it is in our best interest to get you the maximum recovery possible. We also do not believe you should ever have to pay a consultation fee. Our incentives to resolve your claim are aligned with yours, so we do provide free consultations to those who are interested in having Los Angeles City Law as their representation.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the personal injury lawyers at Los Angeles City Law Firm provide competent, aggressive legal representation that achieves the best possible results for our clients. Our firm is client-focused and embraces the highest ethical standards. If traveling to our office is an issue, we are able to make arrangements and come to you. To schedule a free case consultation, please contact us toll-free at (866) 999-6640.