Here Is What You Should Do After Suffering an Injury
When an accident suddenly strikes, be it a rear-end car crash, a traumatic slip-and-fall at a grocery store, or any other traumatic event, the initial shock, anxiety, fear and anger of what had happened overcomes the victim.
It may cause the victim to disregard and fail to preserve crucial evidence in their case. You may not know what to do next. It's crucial to understand the initial steps after an injury. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will review below.
If you've been a victim of someone else's negligence, be it an individual driver, or a company, such as Target, Costco or Douglas Emmett, that failed to exercise a proper standard of care in maintaining their premises or hiring and training their employees, it is important to know the initial steps to preserve your rights, to ensure you can obtain proper compensation for your injuries down the road.
Make a Report
After a traumatic event, it is perfectly normal for the victim to want to leave the place they associate with their pain, embarrassment and suffering as soon as possible.
If your injuries are so severe that they require immediate hospitalization, you should call 911 and seek immediate help. In most other cases, you should stay at the scene of the accident until you make sure that an appropriate report has been made.
After a car accident, police will often refuse to take down a report unless it was a hit-and-run, or a victim suffered major injuries.
However, many kinds of spinal injuries and soft tissue trauma may not manifest until some time later. It never hurts to ask, so let the officer at the scene know that you would like a report to be made.
Keeping things in writing will go a long way towards helping you build a stronger case.
By the same token, victims of slip and fall injuries at a store or another business location should also request that an incident report be made.
Management and supervisory employees will sometimes attempt to brush things under the rug in the hopes that the injured individual will go home and forget all about it. Protect your rights by preserving the evidence. Documenting the occurrence is the first step of many.
Personal injury cases are often won and lost based on the determination of liability.
The insurance company for the party at fault will attempt to shift the blame to the injured victim. It is essential that you secure the identities of the people who were present during your accident and who can confirm your version of the events.
Get Medical Help
Any accident, whether or not it resulted in actual injury, is traumatic, stressful and inconvenient.
Unfortunately, frustration from a rear-end collision, or humiliation from a slip and fall accident does not entitle the aggrieved party to compensation for pain and suffering.
While there are no concrete numbers that can be placed on how much pain and suffering compensation may be awarded in any particular case, generally the amount of compensation correlates with the medical costs incurred by the injured victim.
Insurance adjusters and juries alike perceive higher hospital and doctor bills to indicate a greater level of pain and suffering.
Often, whiplash and spinal cord injuries from a rear-end collision may take days or weeks to manifest. If you have any doubt as to whether or not you suffered an actual injury to your health and body, seek medical attention immediately.
Paramedics that come out to the scene of the accident will always offer to transport you to the nearby hospital for a check up.
Accept their offer. If a few days go by, and you begin developing symptoms, see a doctor immediately so that your concerns can be properly documented and addressed.
There is nothing worse for your case than suffering pain in silence, hoping that it will just resolve itself, or refusing to seek medical care because it is time consuming and inconvenient.
If you've been involved in an accident, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to make sure you take care of your health first. Let your injury attorney take care of the rest.
Document your Injuries
Bruises, abrasions, burns and discolorations heal and go away with time.
No matter how vividly you can describe the pain you suffered when the glass shattered and cut your skin, or the air bag deployed and broke your nose, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Photograph and preserve all pictures of the injured parts of your body. A strong case is a well-documented case.
Repair your Car
One of the most pressing concerns of people involved in a car accident in Los Angeles is when they can get their car back.
Property damage is an entirely separate part of your claim that gets resolved before any other claims for bodily injury, lost wages or future medical care.
However, before your car is repaired or declared a total loss, you have to be sure that the damage to the vehicle was properly documented.
In a motor vehicle accident, your car is one of the most important pieces of evidence.
Request and preserve a copy of the repair estimate and all pictures. Your attorney will also want to inspect the vehicle to determine if an accident reconstructionist needs to get involved.
In our age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, people's first reaction to any extraordinary or stressful event is to share with their friends on social media. You must resist that temptation, at least until you speak with a personal injury lawyer.
Remember that anything you post in public domain can be used against you by the insurance company and later on in court.
Even if you were not at fault for what happened, the other party's insurance company will try to use your posts to show that you were not hurt or damaged.
Consult With A Personal Injury Attorney
Insurance companies are businesses, with their main concern being the bottom line.
When you are contacted by an insurance representative a few hours or days after your injury, and they ask you to give a recorded statement, or offer you some money in exchange for a written release, you should know that they are not doing so for your benefit.
Their sole job is to minimize losses for their company. So the less they pay you, the more they get to keep in their pocket, regardless of how badly you were injured or what your case is actually worth.
Insurance companies also know that victims who represent themselves are not in the position to fight or bargain extensively on their own behalf simply because they lack the experience, skill and resources to do so.
In fact, there are different insurance representatives (they're called “adjusters”) that get assigned to cases where the injured person is represented by an attorney.
That is because they understand that once an attorney gets involved, they will no longer be able to lowball the victim into accepting an unreasonably low settlement.
To get a better idea about your real case value and lost wages, please read article about case value calculator and recovering lost wages information. You will also need to know to recover compensatory damages.
Another reason why having a personal injury law firm to handle your case will greatly increase the amount of your ultimate recovery is that the only leverage you have against the insurance company is the possibility of a lawsuit, meaning if they fail to pay you the amount you believe your case is worth, you have to be willing and able to file a lawsuit and fight them in court.
For most injury victims, this is their first and hopefully last brush with the insurance companies and the legal system.
So by default, such individuals are at a disadvantage, because insurance companies handle thousands of such cases every day. There is no substitute for knowledge and experience.
At Injury Justice Law Firm we help our clients level the playing field by providing them with the same caliber of legal representation that the insurance companies enjoy.
Immediate Free Case Evaluation
If you have suffered an injury, do not be victimized again by the insurance company.
Let our skilled and compassionate injury lawyers fight your battle and help you get the maximum possible recovery in your case. Call today for an immediate free case evaluation. You are promised caring and compassionate representation and our best efforts to obtain the most successful outcome for you and your family.