SCV Personal Injury Attorney | Making a Successful Injury Claim after a Car Accident | The Mason Law Firm | Mason Rashtian

A car accident is not an everyday event.  No one likes it and no one expects to get into one.  But, do you know what to do if you were involved in an accident?  Do you know what to do to make your injury claim more successful?  Below is a very general and simple guideline that may help you.

1.   Stay calm and keep your composure.

Depending on your injuries, collect yourself and take a deep breath.  Be civil to the other driver and never get into an argument.  Do not talk about the cause of the accident or who may be at fault – remember that anything you say can and usually will be used against you later.

2.  Exchange pertinent information.

Exchange pertinent information including names, addresses (both home and business), telephone numbers (home and business), driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information.  The other driver may not wish to give you his or her business address or telephone number.  This may not be crucial information but could help you locate him or her in the future if needed.  If the other driver refuses to provide you with the basic information such as name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information, you may need to contact law enforcement.

3.  If possible, take photographs of the other vehicle.

With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to take photographs.  Most cell phones have a built-in camera which can be used to take photos.  If you have such a cell phone, use the camera to take photographs of the other vehicle while at the scene.

4.  If you are injured, call law enforcement and ask for a report.

While at the scene, you may wish to contact law enforcement and ask that they come to the scene to make an injury report.  This step is not a necessary step.  However, it can be helpful in proving your case if you are the party NOT at fault for the accident.  Depending on the location of the accident, you may need to contact the Sheriff, CHP (freeway) or LAPD.

5.  If injured, get checked out by a professional.

Depending on your injuries, you may need paramedics at the scene or may need to visit the emergency room or urgent care.  Many insurance adjusters, mostly Mercury Insurance, will attack your injury claim if you failed to visit the emergency room or urgent care.

After getting checked out by paramedics or the emergency room, you may need treatment with a medical doctor or a chiropractor.  Remember that getting checked out is NOT the same as getting treatment for your injuries.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need surgery or have a cast placed on broken bones – follow up treatment after these procedures and make sure that you undergo physical therapy.  If you suffer from soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, strains or sprains and back pain, you will need treatment to alleviate those symptoms.  Remember that medication does not heal injured muscles and without treatment, your strained muscles will develop scar tissue which can lead to long term problems.

NEVER wait to start your treatment.  Many times, injured parties wait to see if their symptoms subside before seeking treatment – they do NOT and all you will do is hurt yourself physically and hurt your injury case (the longer you wait to get treated, the harder it is to make an injury claim against the other side).

6.  Do not discuss the accident with the adverse insurance company before speaking with an attorney.

Do not discuss the details of the accident or fault with the insurance company representing the other side without first speaking an attorney.  NEVER give a statement to any insurance company (including yours) without first speaking with an attorney.  If you need to speak with the insurance company before contacting an attorney, do not discuss cause or fault of the accident or your injuries – only discuss your property damage.

7. Do not sign authorization forms provided by the adverse insurance company.    

Insurance companies are notorious for pressuring injured parties into signing medical authorizations, which allows them open access to “all” of the injured party’s medical records. Insurance companies do not have a right to obtain these records.  So, never sign such authorization forms.

8.  Call an experienced personal injury attorney.

The best and only way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced accident or personal injury attorney.  Remember that most, if not all, personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, meaning that the attorney gets paid a percentage of the settlement or the judgment in the case and if there is no settlement or judgment, then the attorney does not charge a fee.

If you have a personal injury case, such as an accident, slip and fall, dog bite, etc., and want to get an honest assessment of your case and be educated as to your options, please give us a call. There is never a fee unless there is recovery in the case. Please contact us at (661) 362-0805 or (818) 700-8422, or email us at mason@mrscvlaw.com for a free case evaluation.

For additional information on personal injury, including, but not limited to, accidents, dog bites, electrocutions, and food poisoning, please visit our website at http://mrscvlaw.com, http://sfvalleylaw.com or contact us at (661) 362-0805.

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Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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