Follow these suggestions for what you can do to protect your rights after a car accident:
- Call the police to the scene to file a car accident report
- Take pictures of both vehicles and the accident scene
- Contact the personal injury team of a local law firm
Taking these actions after a car accident may help you and your legal team identify the at-fault driver, determine the cause of the accident, establish the financial worth of your damages, and build an argument on why you might be entitled to receive compensation for the accident.
Know the Value of Your Compensation Claim
If you can prove the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries, you might have the basis of a personal injury case. Your legal team might be able to help you prove the at-fault driver owed you a standard of ordinary care. According to the California Civil Code (CIV) §1714, anyone who fails to upkeep their duty of care may be held liable for damages they cause. Your lawyer may help you prove the at-fault driver breached their duty care, causing your injuries and damages.
The CIV §1431.2 defines how a defendant may be held financially liable in an event that causes a personal injury, such as a car accident. You may be able to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the following financial expenses and losses:
- Current and anticipated medical expenses
- Current and anticipated loss of earnings
- Property damage or total destruction
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional agony
- Physical disability or disfigurement
Your lawyer may work with you to assess your damages’ monetary value and collect evidence to prove their severity. Once your damages are accurately valued, your lawyer might be able to negotiate a financial settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance provider or their representative. A financial settlement might allow you to receive the compensation you need without having to endure a lengthy court trial.
Know the Value of Your Car Accident Report
One of the first pieces of evidence your legal team might request is your car accident report. It is an objective piece of evidence both sides might rely on to tell the story of the accident. Reporting a car accident is mandatory if a Los Angeles car accident occurs, and it leads to an injury or fatality.
According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you must report a crash if either car sustained more than $1,000 of damages. You can obtain your car accident report as soon as it becomes available. Your lawyer might use it to obtain the following information:
- Contact information of the at-fault driver and their insurance company
- Contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident
- Accident scene diagrams, notes, and photos
- Contact information of witnesses and their statements
- Potential causes and contributing factors of the collision
Your lawyer may review information about your car accident and gather more evidence to substantiate your version of events.
You Can Take Pictures and Collect Additional Supporting Evidence
In addition to your crash report, your legal team might also request photos of your injuries, the accident scene, and both involved vehicles. Take vehicle photos from several angles, both close up and at a distance.
Your lawyer might request additional evidence, such as your emergency room release forms, your medical records, and witness statements. If you are currently not working or were prevented from working due to your injuries, be prepared to provide proof of your current and anticipated income loss as well. If you have any other evidence, share this information with your lawyer.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally gives plaintiffs two years to file a lawsuit on a car accident. When you contact a local law firm immediately after an accident, your lawyer may have plenty of time to ensure your lawsuit is filed on time. Failing to file your lawsuit on time might result in:
- An inability to file your lawsuit at all
- Immediate dismissal of your lawsuit if you are able to file it
Either of these consequences might prevent you from holding the at-fault driver financially responsible for an accident they caused.
Protect Yourself After a Car Accident
Speak to a member of our personal injury team immediately after a collision to find out what you can do to protect your rights after a car accident. Our team may be able to help you understand what actions you can take to prepare and protect your case. Contact the client support team at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (888) 522-6291 today.