From 2014 to 2017, the number of traffic and road accidents in Los Angeles has been continuously rising. From 46000 in 2014 to 52000 in 2015, this number even rose to 55000 in 2016. Unfortunately, a person lost a life every 40 hours in LA because of a car accident. As the saying goes, no matter how careful you are on the road, an accident happens.
What will you do if you get involved in a car accident? Here are the things that you should keep in mind in case you have a bad day on the road.
Stay Calm and Don’t Leave the Scene
If you are not hurt or none of your passengers are hurt, stay as calm as you can. Take a deep breath. Do not leave the scene and stay until the authorities say so. It is your responsibility to check yourself for any injuries as well as your passengers (if you have any). Get to safety and stay on the side of the road while waiting for help or assistance.
If someone’s hurt like a pedestrian, stay in the scene to avoid being penalized by the law. It is your job to stay and help prevent another accident from possibly happening. Set up flares or flashers especially if it’s dark.
Call for Help
If someone is seriously injured, call the emergency hotline. Call the police and report what happened. File a formal accident report. This will help you with your insurance claim. Get the contact information of the officers who responded to your call. If you will hire a Los Angeles car accident lawyer in the future, they might need the contact information of the officers who assisted you at the crime scene.
Take Photographs and Collect Information
For insurance claims and police reports, you have to submit photographs. Take pictures of the damages due to the collision. Take pictures of the visible injuries of you and your passengers as well. It will help your auto injury attorney in the future once you file a complaint and a claim. Taking pictures is one of the best ways to document an accident and to help you in processing your insurance claim.
Aside from pictures, you should write down important details about the accident and the cars involved. Among the information you should write down are:
- Make and model of your car
- The name, age, address of the driver/s involved with the accident
- Location of the accident
- Time of the accident
- Your speed
- Weather condition at the time of the accident
- Traffic condition at the time of the accident
- The time that the police arrived
- Name and contact information of witnesses
File A Claim to Your Car Insurance Company
Once everything is checked and documented, you can start contacting your insurance company to let them know of the accident. You can then ask for information on how to file an insurance claim for your car.
Know Your Rights
Now that your car insurance has been taken care of, it is time to take care of your rights. It is important to talk to a Los Angeles accident attorney. An auto injury attorney will give you legal advice especially in making a statement to the police. Don’t be afraid to seek a car accident personal injury lawyer because this type of lawyer works on a contingency fee basis. It means that their fee depends on the compensation that their client receives.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
If you get involved in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. The nature and extent of your physical injury will determine the compensation you will receive from a judge. A Los Angeles accident attorney will help you gather and present all necessary documents and evidence so you can build a good case. If you don’t know where to start with your car accident claim, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers (https://westcoasttriallawyers.com) for additional information.
Example of injuries that you can file a claim for are:
- Bone fracture
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Any injury that causes you to stop working for a time
- Any injury that causes severe emotional stress
- Any injury that causes you to spend on medication
- Any injury that led to a reduction of your future earning
Finding A Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyer
The compensation you can get from your injury and car damages will depend on your auto injury attorney. If you are seeking one, you have to consider the following to get the best injury lawyer.
- Look for experience and background – go to a lawyer that specializes in car accident injury claim. Do not just hire any lawyer. An experienced injury lawyer would know what to do, what to prepare, how to assess your injury, and how to make the best out of your case
- Evaluate the face of the law firm – if you are hiring a law firm to represent you, do your research first. What types of lawyers do they have? What do their clients have to say about their service? This also includes the firm size, their recognition as a firm, and their role in the community
- Check their availability – availability is their office hours. Can you contact anyone from their office if you need to, especially during the weekend? Do they have an office near you?
- Ability to negotiate – if you are going to hire an injury lawyer, expect it to be a good negotiator. Injury cases are always settled out of court. If you want to have a smooth injury case, your lawyer must know how to negotiate. Going to trial means showing up for deposition and more and it means more days off from work. This is the reason why most injury cases are just settled without trial
- Focus – ask how many cases are on their hands. If you are hiring a law firm, and they assigned a lawyer to you, as the lawyer if he got a time devoted to your case. If not, time to move on and find another injury lawyer that will
- Comfortability – you won’t talk to your injury lawyer every day, still, being comfortable with him or her is important. Comfortability bridges honesty and if you are honest, then your lawyer would know how to make a fight for your case based on the truth you told.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and you got caught in a road accident, don’t hesitate to contact attorneys/lawyers at west coast trial lawyers for information to help you with your claim. It is your right to be compensated for any injury you might sustain or for the damages in your car accident deposition. Let an injury lawyer help you protect your rights.