A motor vehicle accident can happen to anyone. In fact, chances are – if you’re reading this now – you have probably been in a car accident just recently and are looking to get some legal advice.
Luckily, we brought our Los Angeles CA car accident attorney Howard Craig Kornberg to outline the best legal tips that you can use after you’ve been injured in a car crash.
#1: Don’t hesitate to get medical attention
You can seek medical care either at the scene of the motor vehicle accident if your injuries are serious, or by going to a hospital on your own. Either way, going through a medical checkup after a car accident and documenting your injuries is vital, as failure to do so may hurt your personal injury claim.
#2: Document your medical expenses and time off work
If you’re going to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, you need documentation supporting your monetary losses associated with medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses related to transportation and accommodation. Also, it’s essential to have documented proof that you had to skip a specified number of days at work due to injuries and/or disability.
#3: Seek legal help ASAP
While retaining an attorney after a car accident is optional, it’s highly recommended in order to maximize the value of your personal injury claim, negotiate fairer settlements with insurance companies and obtain compensation as soon as possible.
Besides, the best car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg offer free consultations to give you legal advice about your particular case.
A rule of thumb is that victims of a motor vehicle crash in California generally recover two to three times as much as people who choose not to be legally represented when handling their claims.
#4: Do NOT admit fault
No matter what were the circumstances of your car crash, never admit fault at the scene of the collision. Let an experienced attorney determine fault and liability in your motor vehicle accident before jumping to conclusions. Besides, statements made at the scene can be used against you as evidence (for example, even if you weren’t at fault for the accident but said “I’m so sorry” in shock at the scene of the accident, this statement can significantly hurt your chances of winning a claim).
#5: Don’t hesitate to file an accident report
Don’t waste your time when it comes to filing an accident report if you’ve been injured in a car crash, as your claim may be forever barred from being brought to court.
California’s statute of limitations for property damage after a car accident is three years from the date you’ve been injured, while for personal injury is two years.
#6: Report the accident to your insurer
Not reporting your car accident promptly may hurt your chances of collecting damages. However, do not do it on your own: seek legal advice to find out what’s the best way to report your accident.
#7: Negotiate with your insurance company
Never should you ever accept those unfair and cheap initial settlement offers from insurance companies, as they do not take into account the full scope of your injuries and damages?
Let a Los Angeles car accident lawyer review your particular case to determine what benefits are available to you under your insurance policy, how much money can be recovered, and how to settle your claim to obtain maximum compensation.
#8: Do NOT sign any documents alone
Do not sign any documents or papers offers to you by insurance companies, the other driver, or the insurer of the at-fault driver before seeking legal advice from a skilled attorney.
#9: Do NOT give recorded or written statements
Do not give any recorded or written statements to anyone without consulting a lawyer first, as this may make it impossible to sue the at-fault driver or recover damages later on.
Let our attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg walk you through the process of filing a personal injury or property damage claim after a car accident to find out what legal options are available in your particular case.