What Steps Can I Take When Preparing To File A Personal Injury Claim?
The most important step you can take when preparing to file a personal injury claim is to document everything. Everything that you claim in your case is subject to the scrutiny of an insurance company that is predisposed to be suspicious. The documentation starts with the collision. Almost everybody carries a cell phone with a camera function, and you should take pictures of the scene, license plates, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, property damage, the streets, and the location of debris in the street. If you were injured, see a doctor the same day if you’re able. If it is not possible to see a doctor on the same day of the collision, you need to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. However, if you need to get to the emergency room, it is advised to request an ambulance. Insurance companies make notes as to whether a client needed an ambulance or went to the emergency room. They will note the number of days between the date of the accident and the date of your first medical visit.
Injuries are first documented when the police arrive. The police will create a police report indicating whether you had any complaints about injuries. If you have visible injuries such as bruises, cuts, lacerations, and bleeding, you need to make sure to photograph them when you get home. If you require medical care because of your injuries, you need to be consistent with your treatment and follow up with the doctor’s instructions including medication. Calling a lawyer is important, but it is not the most important action that will ensure your case has the best outcome. The success of your case will depend on you doing all of the things that need to be done before you see a lawyer. You do not want to run to see a lawyer first. Injured people see doctors, they don’t run off to see a lawyer. If you see a lawyer before you even see a doctor, it will create suspicion and red flags.
Should I Notify Police After An Auto Accident?
Yes, you should at least call 911, report the accident and see if the police will respond. If you’re asked by a 911 operator if there are any injuries, tell them. If there are no reported injuries then they are not likely to send a police officer to the scene. But the reason why it’s important to at least call 911 is that all 911 calls are recorded and you are, at that point in time, documenting the facts of the accident, who is at fault, where it happened, how it happened, and whether you’re hurt and that starts the creation of the chain of documentation that will assist you in getting the best result in your case. So, the short answer is yes, call 911.
Will My Personal Injury Attorney Have Access To The Police Report If Police Respond?
Yes, assuming that the police do make a report. Sometimes the police come to the scene and they don’t make a report; but if they do, yes, your attorney will have access to the report. Here, in Southern California, we are generally talking about the LAPD, the California Highway Patrol, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff. Or you could be dealing with any of a number of local police departments if you happen to be in a smaller city such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Burbank, Culver City or other cities that have their own police department. Your lawyer can get the report, he can get any photographs that the police officers took and he can get the body camera footage that is more and more commonly used and recorded in the event of a collision. So, these are all important things that your attorney can get.
Should I Ever Admit Any Fault In The Accident If I Think I May Have Some Fault?
It’s a bad idea to admit fault. You may not have all of the facts; you may be admitting to something that you really shouldn’t and an admission of fault can be used against you to your very great harm. The best thing to do is to act like a concerned human being rather than admit fault. Inquire of the other party, is anybody hurt? Be a caring human being. You don’t have to admit fault. If you are at fault that can be determined later by insurance companies or lawyers. Your job is not to determine fault or to admit fault and you can complicate your case by admitting to something when you may not realize you didn’t do anything wrong.
For more information on Filing A Personal Injury Claim In California, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (818) 530-1770 today.