While some accidents are out of utter carelessness, in contrast, even the most careful of drivers can cause car accidents. Accidents are generally traumatizing that even the smallest of accidents can leave the victim with severe trauma. The time right after an accident can be confusing for most people; therefore, everyone should have the right information on what to do after an accident.
Suppose you or your loved ones have suffered a minor accident resulting in injuries in West Coast Los Angeles; you should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can to protect your rights. Working with a personal injury lawyer from West Coast Trial Lawyers will allow you to learn about your rights and the next cause of action from a seasoned attorney with vast experience in personal injury law. Our attorneys have managed to stand out from the rest in the West Coast area; through teamwork we have attained a track record of securing $1 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Such a track record has given our firm a top ranking in Los Angeles. The attorneys at WCTL have always had clients’ interest at heart; hence they can help you rebuild your life after an accident.
West Coast has seen and continues to experience many accidents, both severe and minor. Despite measures to minimize the number of accidents, accidents are still a significant crisis in the larger California area. Therefore in the event, you are involved in a minor accident, knowing your rights and the best way to protect them is vital. Calling your insurance company after a minor accident can be a very important step to take.
Important steps to take after a minor accident as explained by our auto injury lawyer
The confusion and trauma that comes with an accident, however small the accident is can be challenging for one to consider what is best for them immediately. However, after an accident, the steps you take help to determine whether you will be eligible for any form of compensation. When it comes to proofing your claim, the most important factor apart from the facts of your case is documentation of the accident. Therefore what you do after an accident and who you talk to goes a long way towards building a concrete accident claim.
Ø Don’t leave the accident scene
A minor accident can have bearable aftermath than a severe accident. Therefore, don’t leave the accident scene as this might appear as a case of a hit and run. Anyone that leaves the scene of the accident can face a criminal charge, therefore, watering down any subsequent claims.
Ø Check the state of other parties involved in the accident
Always look out for those involved in the accident. An occupant in your car, passenger or fellow motorist could have sustained a serious injury. Establishing the state of everyone is the key to accessing fast medical attention to help prevent further injuries.
Ø Call the police
Police play a vital role in every accident. Always ensure that you contact the police to document the accident. Further, record the details of the officer at the scene of the accident. The police force experiences frequent transfers of their officers, therefore having the correct information of such an officer can help reach out to them in the event their services are required in your claim.
Ø Speak to eye witnesses and collect information from all the parties involved in the accident
Eyewitnesses can play a vital role in your accident claims because most times, they have firsthand information about the accident’s occurrence. Subsequently, take the contact details of all the other parties, where motorists are involved, take the details of their insurers; as you collect such information, our auto injury lawyer advises that never accept fault. Even if you are convinced that the accident is your fault, trauma sometimes pushes people to admit to things they haven’t done. An admission to liability at the scene can later be used against you hence jeopardizing your case.
Ø Take photos of the scene of the accident
Photos of the scene of the accident, together with the damages occasioned to your car, can serve as good evidence to prove your claim.
Ø Do not overshare information
Oversharing information more so details of the accident can harm your case. When speaking to insurance companies of the other victims of the accident, ensure you do so with the help of your car accident attorney.
Ø Document damages suffered
Even a minor accident can cause PTSD leading to various visits to a therapist. Also, ensure that all the visits you make to medical personnel are recorded. If you happen to miss work due to the minor injuries sustained, please ensure you record such events. Proof of any damages suffered requires concrete evidence, and documentation forms part of the evidence held in high regard under the law of evidence. Therefore the intent is to ensure that the moment you decide to pursue your claim, you will be in an excellent position to maximize your benefits.
Ø Pay attention to statutory timelines
To receive personal injury protection benefits is determined by the steps you undertake within the fourteen days from the time of the accident. As a victim of a minor accident, you might be tempted to forgo medical attention. If you develop complications from the accident after the lapse of fourteen days, you will still not be eligible for PIP benefits. Talking to a car accident attorney as soon as possible can help you gain knowledge of such statutory timelines.
Ø Causes of Accidents in West Coast
The causes of accidents in the West Coast are similar to those ailing the entire country, and they are as follows:
Ø Driving under the Influence
Ø Mobile phone use
Ø Disregarding traffic rules
Ø Fatigue in the case of long-distance drivers
Ø Driving on the wrong lanes
Ø Not paying attention to other road users
Common minor auto accident injuries
If the minor accident results from a rear-end accident, a whiplash happens to be among the injuries that might result. Most people tend to acknowledge the seriousness of whiplash and, at times, might fail to seek medical attention. Such an injury can, later on, lead to unforeseen severe neck issues. A good auto injury lawyer understands the impact a whiplash can have and can recommend a medical checkup before dismissing the existence of injuries.
Ø Soft Tissue Injurie
Most minor accidents lead to soft tissue injuries that can easily be treated. A minor accident can lead to a back strain, trauma to the skin, and other body muscles. Unlike serious accidents that cause injuries to internal organs, soft tissue injuries rarely result in something major when treated fast.
You have to document all your injuries if at all you want full benefit from your claim. In the event of litigation, such documentation will help build a strong case; the Court does not require convincing but proof. Therefore in Court, alleging the occurrence of an accident is enough. With a competent personal injury lawyer, your documents can be preserved until required to be presented before a Judge.
There are various benefits you stand to gain through the launching of a successful claim. Most victims of minor car accidents tend to downplay their injuries as less severe. Others might choose to forego their benefits out of ignorance. Those who choose to fight for their rights can recover damages if they pursue compensation through the right channels. Through the assistance of an attorney from WCTL; you can receive the following compensation;
Ø Lost wages
Ø Material damages
Ø Compensation for monies spent on medication
Ø General damages per the claim
West Coast Trial Lawyers
When a minor accident occurs, you might feel like you are undeserving of compensation. Some minor injuries sustained at times might end up becoming worse if not attended to. An injury like a whiplash requires urgent medical attention; therefore, you might need to dig into your finances to pay for the medical bills. Subsequently, even a minor accident can lead to PTSD, thus requiring a therapist’s attention. Therapy fees can be costly, and most insurance doesn’t cover such bills. As a victim of PTSD, you will have to use your finances to pay for therapy. Other damages that can arise from a minor accident involve material damage to your car; car repairs are not cheap, even a small car dent can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Various parties can be held responsible for compensating you in the event of an accident. Apart from your insurance company being responsible for repairs of your car and payment of PIP benefits, where the damages suffered have exceeded what the insurance company can offer, you will have to go after the negligent party in your case for compensation. It is advisable to speak to your insurance company after sustaining even a minor accident, but please do so after consulting with an attorney.
However minor you think your accident is, our attorneys can help you maneuver through the complicated processes of pursuing your claim. If you have been involved in a minor accident and don’t know where to start, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information.