Let’s be honest. Getting hurt in a car accident because another driver was not paying attention or operating a vehicle safely stinks! Now, you are hurt, and the medical bills are piling up. It’s understandable that you and your family seek justice, but there is no way to speed up the legal process or erase the effects of these injuries on your life. You have many questions, and some of them are only answered correctly by a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
How the Tort System Works in California
Each of the fifty United States have their own legal system for resolving claims between drivers and passengers who get involved in car accidents. California is not a no-fault state. There is no system by which each occupant of a motor vehicle uses his or her own PIP benefits to finance the first round of medical treatment. In our type of tort system, injured victims must seek financial relief from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. However, a preliminary investigation could reveal that the defendant in your car accident case had little or no insurance. Before you would be able to substantiate your injury claim, you will need to complete your medical treatment and determine if there is a serious injury.
It could be necessary to hire a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to advise you immediately after the crash. Remember, when you seek assistance from a licensed attorney, you will typically be agreeing to pay this professional out of a settlement from an insurance company or a jury verdict obtained at a trial. A lawsuit should include the costs of your medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost earnings. However, hiring an attorney does not guarantee that you would recover anything from the defendants or their insurance company. In order for the insurance company to take your injury claim seriously, there must be compelling medical evidence that your damages resulted from the car crash.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we understand that being injured in a car crash is devastating. You are prone to worry about many things, including who will be responsible for the medical bills and how you will get back to work. This accident was not your fault. Your life is now permanently altered by the defendant’s failure to operate a vehicle with care. There are so many unknowns about your financial future. You shouldn’t do this alone. A serious car accident can result in a lifetime of medical bills. You may never get back to your quality of life prior to the crash.
*Exit the damaged vehicle and verify that all occupants are safe.
When a car crash occurs, it’s crucial to ensure every person is safe. You can contact 911 for emergency medical assistance. Remember, every vehicle may appear stable, but there is the potential for a vehicle fire or other damage to crash victims and innocent bystanders after the crash. You also want to verify that everyone can exit the vehicle. If some passengers or drivers are trapped, the fire department or other emergency responders may have to remove them from their vehicle.
*Determine when to seek medical treatment.
While the EMS personnel may try to take you to the hospital, you have the right to go on your own. Be sure to consult a doctor as soon as possible and document all the pain that you feel from the crash. Any personal injury claim is proven based on the medical records that can be requested by the insurance company after the accident. You might need surgery, wound care, reconstructive procedures, or other specialized services as a result of the crash.
*Report the vehicular accident.
If possible, you should never leave the accident site until law enforcement takes the accident report. You don’t want to be charged with hit and run or another moving violation because you did not give your account of what happened. Law enforcement officers try to determine the at=faul person. They take the information of all participants and potential witnesses. You have the right to get a copy of the accident report to verify all of this information, but the report may not be ready for a few days.
*Take pictures of all damage at the scene.
There can be evidence in the roadway, including debris and faulty signs or traffic signals. There can be visible damage to one or both vehicles. There can be unsafe weather conditions that contributed to the crash. These photos will be used later by attorneys to recount what happened and to establish who was at fault in the crash. Without this evidence, it can be hard to prove that you were hurt on the date in question. Since crash scene evidence is easily lost, someone should take pictures as soon as possible. A well informed car accident attorney in Los Angeles will use this information to support your claim.
*Find out how to maintain contact with all parties.
If you are able to, you can take the information of the at-fault party, share your own vehicle and insurance information, and get the phone numbers of witnesses. Don’t make any statements about who was at fault. Don’t give recorded statements to any insurance company without the advice of a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.
*Keep a notebook about the accident.
A car accident impacts your mind and your memory. You can easily get confused about the details of the crash. You will quickly forget what happened and who said what on that day. Use your notebook to keep everything straight to the best of your knowledge. You will also need to track all medical providers who treat you for these accident-related injuries.
*Find an experienced attorney.
At your earliest convenience, you and your spouse should sit down with a licensed Los Angeles car accident lawyer and discuss your rights as a car accident victim under California law. This individual will usually take clients on a contingency fee basis, subtracting his or her fees and costs from a settlement or jury award. An attorney also handles the communications with the insurance companies on your behalf.
If you wait to contact a well-informed accident attorney, you can learn more about what to do next. A Los Angeles car accident attorney may want to assist with reporting this accident to your insurance company. Don’t compromise your case by issuing statements or letting evidence disappear in the days after the accident. Your case will rest on showing how the other driver caused the crash by his or her negligent behavior and that your medical damages reflect serious and lasting effects on your life. For more details, please contact West Coast Trial Lawyers and get expert legal representation!