If you can take photographs of your injuries, and it is safe for you to do so, you should consider this as well. Attempt to take photographs of anything and everything, including skid marks, damaged vehicle parts, traffic signs or lights, the weather conditions, chipped paint, broken windows and an overall view of the entire accident scene. Insurance companies tend to relent on calling victims untruthful when there is photographic evidence to back their claims up.
Along with photographic evidence, neutral third-party witnesses can be vital to proving your case. These witnesses have no monetary interest in your case, and if they will corroborate your testimony regarding how the accident occurred, it can result in strong evidence for your personal injury case. Always remember to obtain all the witness contact information at the scene of the accident if you are physically able to do so. If you are unable to do so, do not worry, it is very likely that the police report will have a listing of all witnesses to the accident.
Did you ever write in a journal or diary when you were younger? Looking back, you will notice that the notes you wrote down bring up powerful memories that you had long forgotten. The same is true of a car accident case. Everyone always thinks that they will remember all the details, but car accidents are chaotic scenes and with medical appointments, insurance companies, loss of work, and more, many people forget the details in the upheaval of their lives following an accident.
Make sure to create a diary and write in it every day regarding your pain and suffering levels, doctors’ appointments, activities you were unable to do due to your injuries, your inability to return to work, and anything else that relates to your daily life after a car accident.
Also, in the same documentation file, keep all your vehicle repair bills, towing costs, medical bills, diagnostic imaging tests, medical appointments, physical therapy appointments, evidence of lost wages, and any other documentation that relates to your car accident. Having all of this information in one central location will help your attorney ensure that you receive compensation for all of your injuries and damages.
If you suffered damages related to a car accident, you may be wondering what types of compensation you may be able to receive. The following are some types of compensation that are commonly awarded to victims of car accidents who suffered injuries through no fault of their own.
- Medical Expenses – You may be able to claim all doctors’ visits, diagnostic tests, emergency room visits, surgeries, ambulance costs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prescription medications, medical devices including wheelchairs, handrails, walkers and more.
- Lost Wages and the Loss of Future Wages – You likely missed a great deal of work due to your injury, therefore, you can claim not only your lost wages, but if you are determined to be disabled or unable to return to work, you may be able to claim the loss of future wages as well.
- Property Damage – Any damage to your vehicle, repair costs, towing costs, or the replacement of your vehicle, along with any property damaged inside of the vehicle, can be claimed in your personal injury lawsuit.
- Pain and Suffering – Your daily journal will help document your pain and suffering levels as well as the activities you are no longer able to perform independently. These non-economic damages are legally complex to calculate, and the attorneys at Easton & Easton can help ensure you receive the compensation for pain and suffering that you deserve.
- Punitive Damages – In some cases, the behavior of the other driver was so grossly reckless, negligent or egregious that the court will award punitive damages in an attempt to not only punish the wrongdoer, but to also dissuade others from taking such horrible actions in the future.
Car accidents are a stressful occurrence, both physically and mentally. Victims are uncertain about the first steps to take following their accident. Some of the most frequently asked questions about car accidents are answered below.
Q: What Should I do Immediately Following a Car Accident?
A: Your first course of action should be to ensure your health and wellness. Contact the police and make sure not to move if you feel you are injured. Accept any help from the EMTs at the scene or go to the emergency room. If it is possible, try to get pictures of the accident scene. After an accident, refrain from talking to an insurance company without first contacting an experienced attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Q: What Should I do if an Insurance Company Calls Me?
A: In most cases, the at-fault individual’s insurance provider is trying to get you to agree to a settlement far lower than you deserve. They will often use your words against you, attempt to record your conversations, or obtain a full medical history in an attempt to offer you a low settlement for your injuries and losses. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Q: What Should I do About My Car?
A: You have the legal right to have your car fixed at any repair center you trust. You also have the option to receive the fair market value for your car if the damage is too expensive to have repaired. Do not continue to drive your car until it has been properly inspected by a professional auto mechanic.
Q: What if the Accident Was Partly My Fault?
A: The State of California follows a pure comparative negligence standard. Therefore, if you are partially at fault, you can still recover compensation and damages for the part of the accident that was not your fault. For example, if the jury determines that you were 80% at fault, you would still be allowed to recover 20% of the compensation you deserve. Never let the fact that you may be partially responsible for an accident deter you from seeking the compensation for your injuries and losses you deserve.
Q: What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive in a Personal Injury Case Related to a Car Accident?
A: Every car accident is different; however, you may be able to receive compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of future earnings, emotional distress or mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, if the accident involved particularly reckless or egregious behavior, you may be able to also obtain punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and send a strong message that this type of action is not acceptable.
Q: Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?
A: Under California law, you only have two years to file a claim to attempt to receive compensation for your car accident injuries and losses. While this may seem like a long time, conducting an independent investigation, hiring expert witnesses, and developing a strong case can take a great deal of time, and it is always best to get started as soon as possible. Additionally, if a public/government entity (i.e. government employee, Caltrans, etc) was solely or partially at fault for the accident, then you must file a government claim with the appropriate entity within the first 6 months after the accident or risk being barred from taking further action against them. This is why it is imperative to contact an experienced attorney at Easton & Easton to ensure all necessary steps are taken with plenty of time to preserve your rights.
Q: Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
A: The personal injury lawyers with Easton & Easton are car accident experts, and can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and build a strong personal injury case so that you can receive the full compensation that you’re entitled to. Contact our experienced attorneys at 714-850-4590 or online today to discuss how our legal team can help you determine your next steps towards a fair settlement.
Motor vehicle-related accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Severe injuries and death resulting from a car accident require legal representation by serious personal injury attorneys who are experienced in handling these types of claims.
At Easton & Easton, our lawyers have the experience, legal knowledge, financial resources, dedication, and commitment to make certain our clients recover all that the law allows. While we will not represent fraudulent claimants, we are committed to helping those with legitimate injuries and claims to maximize the compensation they deserve. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Easton & Easton today at 714-850-4590.