You are a safe and alert driver. When you get on the road, your own safety and that of your passengers and fellow drivers are uppermost in your mind. You take no unnecessary risks and follow all traffic laws. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this way of thinking and acting. There are people so unsafe on the road that they should not even be allowed to drive. If you have been injured in an accident that owes to the recklessness of such a person, then you should take legal action.
What to do After a Car Accident
But first, there is the question of what you should do after a car accident. You will be shaken and confused. It will take you a few moments to gather your wits about you. Once you have done so, you should do the following:
1. Check Yourself And Passengers
You must first make sure that you and others in your car are not gravely injured. You may not necessarily experience pain. Indeed, the only thing you can check for at that moment is excessive bleeding. You should rub your hands over your body to determine this.
Avoid offering help to other people unless you’ve checked yourself. If you believe that you’re not severely injured but other people are, that’s the time to get up and offer assistance.
2. Call 911
You should then call emergency services. Do not assume that someone else will. The 911 operator will ask you questions about the condition of everyone in the car. You should be as detailed as possible. Do not worry that your exchange with the operator will delay emergency vehicles. The operator will dispatch an ambulance and police to the scene soon after your call.
3. Exchange Information
If you are up to it, you should go over to the other vehicle and check their condition. You will also need to exchange contact and insurance information. You should at no point admit fault for the accident. Nor should you blame the other person for the accident. It is best to keep the situation calm and under control. Even if you know for sure that the other person caused the accident, you should keep it to yourself—for the moment.
4. Take Photographs
Use your phone camera to take pictures of the damage done to your car. You should also take photos of the accident scene from different angles.
The photos you take right after the car accident can help the insurance company and police determine who is the party at fault and how severe the injuries of the drivers are. Ideally, you should never move your car after the accident and take photos as soon as possible.
5. Go To The Hospital
You should have yourself examined by a medical professional. Even if you do not feel any pain after the accident, the emergency room will be able to detect injuries that you can neither see nor feel. Some injuries will only show symptoms in days or weeks after the accident, which may cause severe pain and discomfort. In fact, seeing a medical professional late can mean more expensive treatments and procedures.
Be sure that the medical examination is documented and ask for a copy when it is completed. Any documents acquired from the doctor should be compiled as these are required by the insurance company during court hearings. You should also take photographs of any cuts, bruises, or wounds you’ve received before they are cleaned, treated, and bandaged.
6. Call An Attorney
As you recover, you should start thinking about the future. Your first call should be to a car accident personal injury lawyer. You should call reputable lawyers, such as Dominguez Firm’s Riverside car accident lawyers, before you report the accident to your insurance company. It is important to remember that insurance companies concern themselves with their interests; a lawyer will be the only one focused on yours.
Regardless of how minor the damages in your car and your injuries are, it’s always important to call an attorney when you’re involved in a car accident. These professionals have the experience to properly represent you in court so you’ll get the most from your settlement. Moreover, hiring an attorney is crucial especially if the other party is blaming you for the accident.
Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
If the car accident was the fault of the other driver, their insurance company will try to contact you. They may offer you a small sum of money so that you will drop any further claims. You should do nothing without first consulting with a car accident lawyer.
Speaking to the other party’s insurance company without a car accident lawyer can adversely affect the amount of settlement you can get from them.
During your initial consultation with your lawyer, they will ask you to recount the events that led to the accident. You should try to provide them with as much fact and detail as you can. Your statements will be used to establish a legal strategy against the insurance company, so they are important.
Once you have a lawyer, you should refer all communications and correspondence of the other driver’s insurance company to them. If the amount of money offered compensates you for medical bills, lost wages, and the physical and emotional turmoil you have had to endure, then your West Coast Trial Lawyers may advise you to accept it. If the money comes nowhere near doing so, then your attorney will press the insurance company for a higher settlement. If the latter refuses, then you will need to sue.
The Impact of a Serious Car Accident
A serious car accident can put you on your back for months. You may have to undergo highly invasive surgeries to make you well again. You will then need to go through a period of rehabilitation and convalescence. All this costs money and drains you of it. You will not be able to work during this time. Indeed, you may even lose your job or your entire livelihood. The latter may be the result of a permanent injury suffered during the accident.
A serious car accident can turn your entire life upside down. The grave injuries caused by such accidents have been known to cause tremendous strain in families, even to the point of splitting them up. You should not have to shoulder the entire burden. The person whose recklessness has brought so much pain, confusion and stress to your life should be held accountable.
How a Lawyer Can Help
West Coast trial lawyers help people like you get the justice and compensation they deserve. Such lawyers possess the skill, expertise, and experience to gather the relevant facts, introduce the right eyewitness and forensic evidence, and employ the relevant parts of the law to further your case.
Your Los Angeles accident attorney will go beyond the police report. They will use their own in-house professional investigators to re-interview witnesses, make inquiries into the driver, and gather evidence from the scene of the accident.
The witnesses interviewed by police at the scene may not have been complete. Your lawyer will go in search of others who were there and hear what they have to say. There are people who do not like to deal with law enforcement officials but do not mind speaking to a civilian investigator. The re-interviews may lead to new evidence. It may turn out that one of the persons at the scene recorded the entire accident on their phone. Such evidence can go a long way toward proving your version of events.
Your Los Angeles accident attorney will also assess the state of mind, sobriety, and driving record of the person who caused the accident. If they were drinking before the accident or were not in a fit state to be behind the wheel, your lawyer will find out about it.
The forensic evidence left at the scene will also be re-examined. Experts will be brought in to reconstruct the accident based on the marks, debris, and car damage photographed at the scene. Such simulations are admissible in court and can demonstrate how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Your lawyer will also get statements from medical professionals explaining the nature of your injuries and the extent to which they have left you debilitated. This can be crucial in your lawyer’s attempt to prove that you were in an accident caused by the recklessness of the other driver, that the accident left you seriously injured, and that the insurance company owes you a certain amount of money.
Contrary to popular belief, hiring a car accident lawyer isn’t a waste of time and money. These professionals can actually help you save a lot of your resources so you can get back on track even after the accident. When you hire a car accident lawyer, you can focus on recovering from your injuries as they can manage all of the necessary paperwork and legal requirements on your behalf.
If you have been in a car accident, then you need legal representation. West Coast trial lawyers can help.
Car Accident Lawyers Are Essential
You’ll have to accomplish several things when you’re involved in a car accident, all of which can be too overwhelming. If you want to make the process easier for you, work with a car accident lawyer right after the accident. Their experience in handling car accidents will make it easy for you to negotiate with your insurance company and ensure that you’re properly compensated.