You drive to survive. You are careful and cautious when on the road, and you follow all the rules. Unfortunately, not everyone does the same. Some people do not pay attention when on the road. Others drive in a reckless and irresponsible manner. If you have been injured as a result of colliding with such a person, you can claim damages from them. Hiring a car accident personal injury lawyer is the first step toward doing so.
The Day You Hoped Would Never Come
You have a busy and hectic life. An accident is the last thing you want to deal with. Even if you do everything right, a crash may be unavoidable, and it can occur at any time. Your only option is to be ready. The first moments after a crash can be disorienting, but there are some things that you should do to protect yourself and improve your chances of making a successful claim. They are as follows:
1. Call emergency services
You must make your health and well-being your first concern. Your first action after a collision should be to call 911. The operator will want to know the condition of everyone in your vehicle. You should give them as much information as you can. They will dispatch an ambulance to your location immediately.
2. Gather as much information as you can on the crash
Unless you have been seriously injured, you will be able to go to the other vehicle. You should speak to the driver and get contact information from them. You should also use the camera on your phone to take pictures of the damage done to your vehicle and theirs. You should also take pictures of the larger scene.
3. Speak to the police
Police will show up at the crash scene. They will take down a statement from you. It is important to tell them the truth, as it is a crime to lie to the police. However, you need not say anything that puts you at fault for the crash. If you are asked a question that you feel uncomfortable answering, then you can tell them that you would rather speak to an attorney first.
4. Have yourself checked by a medical professional
No matter how you feel, physically and mentally, after the accident, you should go to the hospital. It is important for you to receive a full medical examination. This is the only way to verify that there has been no internal damage. You will also need the documentation of a medical examination if you want to pursue a legal claim later on.
5. Contact a personal injury lawyer
If you were in a car crash that was not your fault, then you should contact a car accident personal injury lawyer. It is the only way to protect your rights and pursue your interests.
In the Gravest Situations
You may not have the option of doing much at all immediately after the accident. If the crash was serious and you sustained severe injuries, then you will be rushed to the hospital. Once you arrive, you may be forced to undergo a series of extensive surgeries to save your life. You may then need time to recover and rehabilitate. Going through such an ordeal is painful and inconvenient. Your bills will continue to pile up and you will not be able to work. You will also receive additional bills for the medical treatment you have received.
If the accident has caused permanent injury, you may not be able to return to work. Indeed, you may have to give up your livelihood altogether. Such an injury may also require you to hire an in-home care professional.
These grave situations can result from a car accident. They can put tremendous financial strain and stress on your family. You should not have to go through such difficulties alone. The person whose recklessness caused the accident should be made to pay. A Los Angeles accident attorney can help you put together the kind of case that will yield this outcome.
How to Protect Yourself
If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance company will be responsible for settling your claim. However, they will be uninterested in dealing fairly with you. In fact, you should not be surprised if they attempt to contact you directly after your injury and offer you a low-dollar settlement. You should not accept it. Your best move is to refer them to your Los Angeles accident attorney. Your lawyer should handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance company. This is the best way to avoid saying, signing, or doing anything that will undermine your case.
The insurance representative who calls, texts, or comes to visit you may have a pleasing demeanor. They may seem like they want to do right by you. This is simply not the case. They are trained to gain your trust. Do not give it to them. Their job is to protect the interests of the insurance company, not your interests. Your auto injury attorney is the only one who will do that.
Building Your Case for Compensation
If you are recovering from a bad accident, an auto injury attorney is probably the last person you want to speak to. However, you should speak to an attorney sooner rather than later. One of the first things your lawyer will want to do is take down your memories from the accident. They will want to record the circumstances that led to it. If you cannot recall everything, that is okay. Your attorney needs only the basics to figure out the best approach to the case.
To gather as much evidence as possible about the accident, your lawyer will bring in a private investigation team. They will go to the crash site and recover any traffic camera footage available. They will also track down people who witnessed the accident to get their statements. There are instances in which people who witnessed a crash caught the entire incident on their cell phone cameras. Getting this kind of evidence can go a long way toward bolstering your case.
If you were seriously injured in the crash, your lawyer will review the records kept by the medical team looking after you. Your attorney will also bring in independent experts to assess your condition and make a statement about the nature of your injury, its debilitating effects, and the prospects for your recovery.
Your attorney will also bring in a specialist who can look at the dents, scrapes, tire marks, and debris left by the accident and build a computer simulation of how it unfolded. Such simulations can be powerful visual aids in a court battle.
However, your case need not go to trial. The main aim of your lawyer is to get you compensation that is commensurate with all that you have suffered and endured. Your attorney will do their best to avoid a long, exhausting, and expensive jury trial. The insurance company will also want to avoid such a process, as jury trials are risky and can end with them having to pay a huge settlement.
If you have been in an accident, it is important to get high-quality legal representation.
Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash