What To Consider Following a Car Accident
An auto accident can happen to you in the most unsuspecting manner. An accident can happen during rush hour, in a quiet neighborhood, in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night. No matter how or when the accident happens, the incident itself can be very traumatic and cause unnecessary stress.
For the most part, people do not prepare for an auto accident when learning how to drive, but it is crucial to know what to do in the days or even hours immediately after the accident has occurred. Understanding what to do after an accident can help you not only to protect your rights as a victim, but also help to ensure your overall wellbeing. The following factors will help you as you recover after an auto accident.
In the moments following an auto accident, injured drivers and their passengers can sometimes face challenges in their recovery, including financial concerns. Even minor car accidents can often lead to emotional suffering along with unexpected expenses related to time taken off work and property damage.
If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you will need to consider speaking to a car accident attorney. A proficient attorney can provide you with a better understanding of your legal options, help you understand what to expect throughout the legal process, and champion for your right to full compensation.
How an Auto Accident Can Affect Your Life
All auto accidents have the potential to leave a victim with disastrous, long-term consequences. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, one way to reduce the impact of the incident is to seek the legal expertise of a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in auto accident injury law. A proficient attorney will ensure that the rights of the accident victim are protected and will also work to ensure that the victim receives the compensation he or she deserves.
Life-Altering Consequences – It is rare to experience an auto accident that does not involve some form of life-altering consequence. Unless the collision was a miniscule fender-bender, it is likely that those involved will face certain changes. These changes can include, but are not limited to the following:
The Potential of Not Having a Working Car – When a person undergoes a vehicle collision and the vehicle has been damaged, the person faces the potential of not having a car to get around. For a majority of people, a working vehicle is an essential part of earning a living. If the auto accident victim’s car has been completely totaled and the victim does not have the means to purchase another vehicle, this can be catastrophic to the victim and his or her family.
The Loss of Time – The aftermath of an auto accident can demand a great deal of time. For instance, an injured person may be required to seek medical attention for his or her wounds. This can lead to long hours of treatment and/or physical therapy.
Additionally, auto accident victims will also usually have to deal with insurance companies that will likely require the filing of certain documents.
Vehicle Repair Costs – Repairing a vehicle in the aftermath of a collision can be very costly. In the event that an insurance company is denying the victim coverage, the person may find his or herself forced to cover the expenses. Those who do not have the financial means to make an auto repair can face losing their primary means of transportation.
Long-Term Injuries – Many auto accident victims will experience long-lasting injuries that could take a toll on their quality of life. Vehicle collisions have the potential of causing injuries that can progress as time goes on or imply will not heal. Some of these injuries may include the following: Spinal cord injuries, Traumatic head injuries, Injuries that cause disfigurement or permanent scarring, Amputations, or Severe burn injuries.
Accomplished Attorney in a Broad Range of Auto Accident Cases
Recognized as one of Inland Empire’s premier attorneys, Attorney Justin H. King has represented clients who were injured in accidents including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and public and private transportation. The firm understands that the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can lead to an excess in anxiety and financial concerns. In some cases, the victim will experience complete upheaval.
The proficient team at the Law Offices of Justin H. King are prepared to answer your questions and bring you straightforward legal advice. As a top-ranked law firm, the team is committed in protecting their client’s rights and aggressively negotiating on their behalf. Consider contacting the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King through their online contact form for a no-cost, confidential consultation.
California Auto Accident Laws
The State of California is one of the only states that has not placed a cap on the amount of damages that may be sought following a motor vehicle accident. Nonetheless, there are certain limitations that may apply to your case.
California personal injury laws allow for both economic as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages involve actual expenses accrued as a result of the accident. These expenses can include costs such as medical care and the loss of wages following the accident. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include damages such as the loss of quality of life and pain and suffering. In rare cases, a victim can be awarded punitive damages, which are set to punish the at-fault driver for committing particularly atrocious actions.
When awarded damages, California follows the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that damages will be apportioned based on comparative fault rules. In a claim where you have been found to be partially at-fault for contributing to the accident, the amount of damages you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage you have been found at-fault.
The State’s Statute of Limitations
In California, there are strict limitations on how long a person has to file a claim. When filing a personal injury claim, such as an auto accident, the petitioner will only have a maximum of two (2) years from the date of the accident to file the claim. When filing against a government agency, however, the petitioner will only have a maximum of six (6) months to bring the claim forward.
It is very important to adhere to the statute of limitations. If you are seeking to file a claim where the statute of limitations has expired, your claim will be invalid, even if you did suffer injuries as a result of the carelessness of the other driver. Although two years sounds like sufficient time to file a case, it is hardly enough time to build a strong case and collect necessary evidence.
What To Consider Following a Car Accident
After an auto accident, what you say to others can have an adverse effect on your ability to collect damages. Consequently, it is best to withhold sensitive information from the other driver and his or her insurance claims adjuster. This is just one of the many actions you can take to protect your rights and interests following an accident. Although there is nothing that can fully prepare you for the aftermath of an automobile accident, the following steps can help you build a strong case and protect your right to a maximum compensation.
California Vehicle Code §20002: Accidents and Accident Reports
State law mandates motorists to stop following all automobile accidents, and failing to stop could result in hit-and-run charges. This is true even if the other driver caused the motor vehicle accident. When involved in an accident, pulling over at the closest and safest location is highly recommended.
Seek Medical Attention
Even when emergency medical response is not required, seeking a medical evaluation soon after the accident is important. There are plenty of injuries that can take several days to become apparent and obtaining a professional medical evaluation can ensure all injuries are being treated, including internal ones.
Receiving medical treatment for an injury is also a cornerstone of a successful personal injury claim. By establishing a medical record, you will prove that you were in fact injured in the auto accident.
There are some injuries that are easily visible right after the auto accident. For these injuries, you can sometimes need the assistance of an emergency medical support team. Even if your injuries are not visible straight away, it is still important to check in with a physician to help reduce the grievances. There are many cases where a victim could fail to recognize that an injury exists, until the physician was able to identify such injury present. Identifying an injury straightaway can help you in ensuring that your injury does not progress, thus obtaining medical treatment will help the overall recovery process.
When it comes to personal injury cases involving auto accident claims, it is important to see a doctor in order to establish a medical record that is valid. One of the key elements of a successful personal injury claim in the State of California is obtaining a medical record that helps to illustrate that you did in fact sustain an injury.
Failing to seek medical attention immediately after the accident can also be detrimental, however. If you know you were injured in an auto accident but sought medical attention months after the accident happened, there is a very high likelihood that you will either not be able to obtain restitution or will receive a significantly less amount of restitution.
For those who fail to seek medical attention right after an auto accident, insurance companies can make the argument that there was not a significant injury or no injury at all. If you were injured, the insurance company can argue that you did not sustain the injury from the accident but suffered the injury through other means.
Collect Information at the Scene
When you undergo an auto accident, there are various elements that can help to prove your case. For this, however, it is important to act quickly. If it possible and if it is safe to do so, take pictures of the scene. Important elements to pay special attention to can involve the following: Skid marks on the road, Lack of posted street signs, Faulty roads, Obstructive brush or other elements, or Weather conditions.
Aside from collecting the contact information of the at-fault driver, you should also collect the information of those who witnessed the accident. By obtaining witness testimony, you will essentially supply corroboratory evidence for your case.
Other information that can be collected at the scene for the purpose of validating one’s version of events includes:
- Taking pictures or video of the scene, including injuries, roadway conditions, weather conditions, damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and/or other helpful relevant information. Taking pictures of the vehicles involved can be useful for a multitude of reasons. For one, it can serve to demonstrate the total impact sustained by the vehicles. When it comes to seeking financial compensation for the vehicular damage, taking pictures can help the insurance company understand the costs that need to be covered. Taking pictures can also be essential during the litigation process. By taking pictures, you can help to reconstruct the incidents that led to the collision.
- Police reports are essential when proving fault; however, a police officer may implicate you for causing the accident. Even if this is the case, obtaining a copy of the report can help create an image of the accident as it transpired by all accounts.
Do Not Settle Your Case Without Seeking Legal Support First
Many auto accident victims can be in a rush to seek financial compensation because their injuries demand it. There are some injuries that can require medical attention that can be costly. Some of the most expensive yet immediate needs can involve: Needing a new car to get to work, Needing an emergency MRI or CAT scan, Immediate surgery, and/or Medications for pain or infection.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will use a victim’s need for immediate financial compensation to their advantage. For many victims, this will mean that the insurance company will attempt to settle the case for an amount that is far less than what the victim is entitled to. It is understandable that a client will need to recover financially after an auto accident. If it’s possible, however, attempt to obtain financial support by using other means. This can help to recover the restitution you need without having to settle your case for less. If you are suffering from injuries after an auto accident, seek the legal support of a qualified personal injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve.
After a Serious Auto Accident, Talk to a Professional Attorney
As an auto accident victim, one of your primary concerns should be to seek the legal support of a specialized attorney who will protect your rights. When a vehicle collision happens, many injuries can take a while to develop. Unfortunately, the State of California imposes strict deadlines that allow a person only a small window of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. A skilled attorney will help to ensure that you have the opportunity to file a claim for the injuries you have sustained.
Suffering a vehicle accident can be a sudden and traumatic experience for any driver. If you have been injured because of the carelessness of another driver or a company, you have the legal right to seek monetary compensation for the damages you accrued from the incident. With a collection of well-founded documents, you can help your case in a court of law. A personal injury attorney who has the right experience can help you prepare your case and give it the best opportunity at being successful. Additionally, you should know that filing a claim would not come easily. You will likely face many challenges from not only the insurance company but also the negligent party that caused the accident. An experienced attorney can help to defend your rights throughout the litigation process and help to make sure that you receive the financial compensation you truly deserve.
In a few seconds, a single auto accident can change your life in many different ways. If you were injured in an automobile accident, it is critical that you seek the legal support of a skilled attorney who will protect your rights and interests. An experienced personal injury attorney will defend your right to a maximum compensation.
The proficient personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Justin H. King are exceptionally qualified in the most complex auto accident cases in California. The firm is well-aware of the disingenuous tactics auto insurance companies use in an attempt to undermine a person’s claim. The firm uses all tools and resources at their disposal to aggressively defend their clients’ right to a full compensation. Consider contacting the attorneys at the Law Offices of Justin H. King and schedule your free initial consultation today.