Accidents in San Diego county can take more away from you than your car. In severe cases, you may experience injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. This could range from a problematic, lingering case of whiplash to severe bodily injuries. In such scenarios, you may lose the ability to work, and medical bills mount up quickly.
Could you receive compensation to make up for what you lost because of the accident? In California, the process can prove complicated. Here is a quick seven-step guide to use for understanding how to file a claim.
1. Make Sure That You Are Safe
Move your vehicle to the side of the roadway or to another safe place to ensure that you and your passengers are no longer in danger. Immediately call emergency services (9-1-1) for a police officer or ambulance if you are able to do so. Wait for police to arrive and provide them with your identification, insurance information, and registration. Provide the officer with an auto collision report, which is a factual description of how you saw the incident unfold. DO NOT discuss the specifics of the accident with the other party involved in the accident, as doing so may harm your legal position when you try to recover damages at a later date.
2. Gather Necessary Information
Before leaving the scene of the accident, make sure you gather all of the necessary information from all other parties involved in the accident (including names, contact numbers, insurance information, license plates, etc.). Do not rely on the officer to do this for you. Make sure you also obtain the name, agency, and badge number of the officer who has reported to the scene.
3. Make Sure You Receive Proper Medical Care
The first place you should go IMMEDIATELY after the accident is to the nearest medical facility so that you get a proper and thorough medical evaluation. You should visit a medical facility even if you do not believe you have a serious injury, as many injuries may not be immediately apparent—it is crucial to be examined by a doctor. Moreover, a proper record of your injuries and your medical care will be necessary later in the recovery process.
4. Keep It Secret
Do not speak to anyone about the accident or your injuries other than the police, your medical provider, or your lawyer. Giving statements to other persons other than those mentioned above may damage your legal case in the future. Finally, you should then file a claim with your insurance provider. You should NOT speak to an insurance provider representative or sign any documents from an insurance provider, especially those that represent the opposing side or other driver. You should contact an accident attorney in San Diego from Hepburn, Hernandez and Jung Trial Attorneys who know how to deal with insurance providers to best represent your interests. Let our experienced attorneys fight on your behalf so you can concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
5. Schedule a Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
When you decide that legal representation will be the right way to go, you’ll need to go through the process of finding a personal injury attorney to trust. Most firms offer consultations at no cost to you so you can determine if their team is a good fit for you. Take more than one of these consultations to best understand your options. Go with an experienced team that puts you at ease.
6. Wait Through the Negotiation Phase
When you engage personal injury lawyer, and they begin handling your case, the first phase usually involves negotiating with the insurance company to see if an equitable settlement is possible. This phase may take quite some time. Continue to care for your injuries and document your expenses.
7. File Your Lawsuit in Court
Have negotiations failed? It’s time to move on to the next and final stage — filing your claim in court. With your attorney’s help, this process will be easy, and you will have a greater chance of having your day in court to argue for the compensation you believe you deserve.
Find Proven Legal Representation Today
Remember, there is a limited amount of time in which you can bring a personal injury suit in California. As soon as you are able, consider the value of scheduling a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney. Start the process today and contact a law firm that’s ready to fight for you.
What the video below to learn more about the best personal injury lawyers in San Diego and Carlsbad.