Immediately after you have been injured in a car accident, you should collect any and all evidence that you may have in relation to the accident. This includes taking photographs of your injuries and of the damage to your vehicle, as well as making notes about what the traffic conditions were at the time of the collision. You also should write down your recollection of the incident while your memory is still fresh. Furthermore, after seeking medical treatment, you should start keeping notes about how your injuries are affecting your daily routine and your overall well-being, including details about the pain and other symptoms that you feel.
Should I apologize to the other driver?
As a good person, you may feel compelled to take responsibility for your share of the accident and to apologize to the other driver. Maybe it's true that you contributed in some way to causing the accident and there may have been something you could have done to avoid the collision. Do not, however, make the mistake of telling the other driver these things. Your personal injury claim is a legal dispute between you and the other party, and the statements you make to the other driver may end up being used as evidence against you. Discuss the case with no one but your Antelope Valley personal injury lawyer and let your lawyer represent you with the other driver and all other parties involved.
Am I entitled to compensation?
The vast majority of all car accidents are directly attributable to human factors. In other words, the careless, reckless or otherwise negligent actions of one of the drivers can almost always be shown to be the cause of a car crash. If the other driver is responsible for your collision, you should have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in order to recover compensation. Whether you were injured in an accident caused by driver distraction or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you should not be forced to pay the price.
Will the other driver's insurance pay for my injuries?
Under California state law, anyone who registers a vehicle is required to provide financial responsibility to pay for the costs associated with an accident. Most drivers fulfill this requirement by purchasing liability insurance. The minimum coverage amount for a liability policy is $15,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person, $30,000 for injury or death to multiple people, and $5,000 for property damage. By establishing that the other driver holds liability for your car accident, you may be able to recover payment from the other driver's policy. Many drivers carry only these minimum coverage amounts, but others choose to pay for greater coverage.
What if the other driver doesn't have insurance?
According to a report issued by the Insurance Research Council, 15 percent of drivers in California are uninsured motorists. Many more are underinsured motorists, people who have chosen to pay for only minimal amounts of coverage. In the event that the other driver's insurance is not sufficient to pay for your claim, or if he or she has no insurance, we may still be able to help you recover financial compensation. You might have personal injury protection coverage on your own policy, which is a type of insurance that pays for medical expenses and lost income regardless of who is at fault for causing a collision. Another approach is to sue the other driver directly with the goal of obtaining a wage garnishment or property lien that can be used to satisfy your claim for damages.
Shouldn't I just handle the insurance claim on my own?
You might think that your car accident claim is relatively straightforward and that it should be simple to recover the compensation you deserve. Maybe you are concerned that hiring an attorney would be too expensive and you would prefer to minimize costs by handling the case on your own. The fact is that people who hire legal representation for an injury claim will nearly always end up recovering more compensation than those who don't. We know how to prepare your case with compelling evidence to support your claim and we have experience engaging in aggressive negotiations. If the insurance company refuses to pay you the amount you deserve, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial.