A car accident can throw your entire life off track. If you or a loved one was injured after a serious automobile accident, it can be incredibly disorienting and overwhelming. If you’re not sure what to do, the process can feel even scarier.
After an accident, it’s important to get in touch with a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles. Working with a personal injury attorney can ensure you have an advocate working in your corner to prevent you from being taken advantage of. You’ll get the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills and help you recover.
But even when working with the best personal injury lawyer in the area, you need to follow a few steps after getting into an auto accident. Let’s cover what they are to ensure your claim goes smoothly.
Steps to Take After An Auto Accident
After getting into an auto accident, you might be in shock. It can feel disorienting and confusing. You’ll probably feel a jolt of adrenaline or feel a little confused. While this is all normal, it’s important that you react properly to get the information you need to get the appropriate financial compensation.
Overall, you need to get clear documentation of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and injuries. You’ll need to collect evidence that you can present to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and potential to the court, to show that you deserve compensation.
Here’s how you can get the information you need.
#1. Avoid moving the vehicles involved in the accident
If the accident was relatively minor, you might feel tempted to move the car off to the side of the road or just leave the scene of the accident altogether. While minor fender benders can be moved to the edge of the road, you definitely don’t want to leave the scene.
If you leave, you might be charged with a hit-and-run. This will hurt your chances of getting compensation for your injuries or damage.
Instead, leave the vehicles where they are and call the respective authorities. When the police are on the scene, they can make the appropriate decisions about moving the vehicles.
#2. Check on any injuries
Identify any injuries you and your passengers have. Check-in with other vehicles or pedestrians to account for any serious injuries.
If there are severe injuries, call an ambulance immediately. If you need to get immediate medical attention, this should be your priority. While the following steps are important, they aren’t more important than your life.
Get the care you need first.
#3. Exchange information with other drivers
Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, get the information from all the drivers and passengers involved in the accident. Exchange phone numbers, names, and insurance details. Get the license plate and driver’s license numbers of parties who were operating vehicles.
At this stage, it’s important that you don’t admit fault. While you can check-in and make sure everyone is okay, don’t apologize for the accident occurring. If it seems like you’re admitting fault, it could be harder to get compensation later on.
It’s also important to get information from passengers– not just the drivers. Passengers can be important for getting information to back up your story or give a different perspective to the series of events that led up to the accident.
#4. Talk with other witnesses
Witnesses who weren’t involved in the accident will also be important for telling your story. Talk with other drivers or pedestrians that may have seen the accident happen.
See if they’d be willing to share their contact information. Whether they are or aren’t, take detailed notes of what they said happened. This information can be incredibly useful for backing up your story and proving the level of compensation you deserve.
#5. Take photographs of injuries and damages
While still on the scene, record any damages to your vehicle in photographs or videos. It’s important to do this while still at the accident scene because it will be harder for the other driver to argue that the damages didn’t happen during the accident.
You can also take photographs of injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, or bruising.
It’s important to make clear documentation of the damages and injuries sustained during the accident, both at the scene and after. If you start to develop pains, anxiety, or other physical or emotional stress, you could be entitled to compensation. However, you’ll need a clear timeline of when those events occur.
You’ll also want to think of financial damages occurring because of the accident. This would include missed work, events, or other expenses that have resulted because of your accident or the injuries from the accident.
You can use this information later to prove the logic behind the amount of compensation you believe you are entitled to. Be sure to keep records of receipts or logs of your costs to point back to when the time comes.
#6. Contact an attorney
Working with an attorney after an automobile accident can make the process less stressful. If this is the first time you’ve been in an accident, you might be anxious to get the process over with. This could push you to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company gives you.
However, any insurance company is going to try and get away with paying as little as possible. If you accept the first offer you’re given, you might find that you didn’t get enough compensation and you’re left paying for your expenses out of pocket.
Working with a personal injury attorney can ensure you don’t get taken advantage of. With the right attorney in your corner, you can know you’re getting the right amount of compensation and you don’t need to worry about out of pocket costs. An attorney can also ensure you’re accounting for both current and future medical expenses, helping to make sure you’re well taken care of now and into the future.
After you’ve collected all the information you need from the scene of the accident and you’ve gotten the medical attention you need, contact a personal injury attorney to represent you.
Working with a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
The best personal injury lawyer will work with you to ensure your needs are properly met and you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Immediately following an accident, be sure to get the medical attention you need, document the scene of the accident, and connect with the West Coast Trial Lawyers.
West Coast Trial Lawyers have experience in personal injury cases and know exactly what to do to ensure you’re properly protected after an accident. With the right personal injury attorney by your side, you can get compensation for your medical bills, time away from work, and damages to your property.
Don’t make the time after an accident more stressful than it already is. When working with the best personal injury lawyer, you can rest easy knowing you’re well taken care of.