Maximizing Compensation: Key Steps to Take After a Personal Injury Accident

Doctors begin an MRI on a hospitalized, injured woman to look for the signs of a concussion or brain damage.

Accidents that result from other people's negligence, including car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents, can lead to debilitating injuries and financial losses. To help ensure that you recover the monetary compensation you need and deserve for your accident-related injuries, you should take several steps as quickly as possible after your accident.

In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment for your injuries, one of the most important steps you should take is to contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney right away. The California personal injury lawyers at Blair & Ramirez LLP can promptly meet with you to discuss your accident and the surrounding circumstances and determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Our legal team has a strong track record of success when it comes to favorably resolving and litigating personal injury cases. We will fight for your legal rights, both at the settlement negotiation table and in the courtroom, to help you achieve the maximum monetary recovery you deserve.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in California, please call us at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online for more information.

Call 9-1-1 from the Accident Scene

Following a serious accident, your first step should be to call 9-1-1 from the scene of the occurrence. If you can do so, you should make this call yourself. Otherwise, you should ask someone to call 9-1-1 for you. Doing so will dispatch emergency medical personnel, including an ambulance and police officer, to the accident scene. Regardless of how you are feeling at the time, it is a good idea to obtain initial medical treatment at a local hospital. It helps to ensure that any injuries you sustained in your accident do not become worse.

Go to the Hospital

Following an accident, you should go to the hospital in an ambulance or that you have someone else drive you to the hospital. Once you are at the hospital, the responding medical provider can order imaging studies, including MRIs and X-rays, to determine the full extent of your medical condition.

The provider can also render emergency assistance or schedule an emergency medical procedure, such as surgery, depending on your injuries. Finally, a medical provider can help you develop a treatment plan moving forward, ensuring that you receive the proper medical care to get better.

Obtain Information from All Other Involved Drivers

Next, at the scene of an accident, you should obtain contact and insurance information from all other drivers who were involved in the collision, which includes obtaining the drivers' first and last names, telephone numbers, address information, and insurance information. It is usually a good idea to take a cell phone picture of the other drivers' insurance cards, ensuring that you have all of the relevant details you need.

It is also important to take good notes about the other involved vehicles, including the makes and models of those vehicles, license tag numbers, colors, and other identifying information. If any eyewitnesses to the occurrence come forward, it is also a good idea to speak with them about their observations and obtain their names and contact information. Having this information handy will help to ensure that your car accident claim proceeds smoothly.

Be Careful about Your Words at the Accident Scene

When police officers and paramedics come to the accident scene, they will usually ask you what happened and how you are feeling physically. They will then generate a written report detailing what was said. In your responses, you should remain very objective and stick to your observations only. You should not admit guilt or fault for the accident, even if you feel you might be fully or partially to blame.

In addition, you should not badmouth other drivers or allow emotion to play into your narrative because the at-fault driver's insurance company can potentially use anything that you say against you as a way to deny liability or fault for the accident. Therefore, it is best that you stick to facts and objective observations.

Take Photos at the Crash Scene

If you are physically able to do so after an accident, it is a good idea to use your cellular device to take various pictures of the scene. Helpful pictures may include photographs of the accident scene itself, the positions of the involved vehicles, and visible injuries you may have sustained in the accident, such as open lacerations or bruises. When it comes time to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages for your injuries, we can introduce these photographs as part of a settlement demand package – or introduce them into evidence at trial to help you prove your case.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away

As quickly as possible after a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, you should contact skilled legal counsel. In fact, if you wait too long to seek legal representation, you might inadvertently jeopardize your right to recover monetary compensation and damages. Therefore, the sooner you involve skilled legal counsel to represent you in your case, the better off you will likely be.

The California personal injury lawyers at Blair & Ramirez LLP can help you take action right away by beginning an investigation into your accident circumstances and determining your eligibility for monetary compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit. We can then set to work right away, pursuing monetary compensation for your accident-related losses and getting you on the road to monetary recovery.

Injuries that Accident Victims Suffer

Victims of motor vehicle accidents frequently suffer debilitating injuries, resulting in lengthy medical treatment and ongoing pain and suffering. The specific injuries that an accident victim receives will depend upon the size and scope of the motor vehicle accident itself, including the number of vehicles involved, the speeds of the involved vehicles, and the way in which the accident victim's body moves inside their vehicle during the crash.

Common motor vehicle accident injuries that deserve compensation include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Soft tissue neck and back contusions
  • Leg and ankle fractures
  • Rib fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Full and partial paralysis Bruises
  • Open lacerations Internal organ damage

If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle crash that another driver caused, the skilled legal team at Blair & Ramirez LLP is here to help. Our team can help you maximize the monetary compensation you receive for your physical injuries, including compensation for your related medical expenses, pain, suffering, and inconvenience. Moreover, if the insurance company is unwilling to compensate you adequately for your injuries, we can take prompt action by filing a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf.

Burden of Proof in an Accident Claim

In California motor vehicle accident cases, the accident victim who suffers the injuries has the sole legal burden of proof, meaning that they must satisfy several legal elements to be eligible for monetary compensation. First, they must establish that another driver behaved in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances, such as by violating one or more road rules. In addition, the crash victim must demonstrate that as a direct result of this negligence, the accident occurred and led to their physical injury or injuries.

An accident victim who can satisfy these legal elements can recover various monetary damages, including compensation for all of their related:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity (or the ability to work following their accident)
  • Physical pain and suffering (both past and future)
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Embarrassment and humiliation from visible scarring

Our legal team will do everything possible to help you maximize your total monetary award by aggressively negotiating with insurance company adjusters and, if necessary, litigating your case to a prompt resolution in the court system.

How a California Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

By retaining a skilled personal injury attorney to represent you as soon as possible after your car crash, you increase your chances of obtaining top dollar for your case. Our skilled legal team can take several steps on your behalf to help you maximize your accident-related monetary recovery.

First, we can investigate your accident circumstances if the at-fault party's insurance company is disputing liability for the accident. If necessary, we can retain an accident reconstructionist to review accident reports, visit the accident scene, speak with eyewitnesses, and piece together exactly how the accident occurred and who caused it.

Next, we can handle all dealings with the insurance company on your behalf. No matter what insurance companies and their representative say, they are never on your side and are never interested in paying you the monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries. Instead, insurance companies only have their own interests at heart. After all, insurance companies stand to lose a significant amount of money if they have to make a large settlement payout in your car accident case.

Our legal team can zealously and aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf and ensure that any settlement offer fully and fairly compensates you for your accident-related losses. Moreover, if the insurance company and their representatives refuse to compensate you fairly, we can threaten them with personal injury litigation and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in the California Court System on your behalf.

If we file a lawsuit in court, we may still resolve your case through settlement at some point along the way. In fact, the majority of motor vehicle crash cases settle out of court, sometime during litigation. Litigating a car accident case and taking it to trial can be expensive for everyone involved, as medical experts and others do not testify in cases for free. Our legal team can help you decide whether a particular insurance company settlement offer is worth accepting – or whether you should consider litigation options in your case.

During litigation, our team will handle all components of written and oral discovery on your behalf. If the defense attorney asks to take your deposition during discovery, we will prepare you for the deposition and be by your side while you are testifying. We can also engage the insurance company in post-deposition settlement negotiations.

When parties to a car accident lawsuit cannot resolve all of the issues in their case, the case will typically proceed to a civil jury trial. At trial, the parties each present evidence in support of their version of events and try to convince a jury to accept their position. If your case must go to a jury trial, our legal team will represent you throughout the proceedings and introduce evidence on your behalf in pursuit of the best possible jury award possible.

As an alternative to a jury trial, we can consider methods of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or binding arbitration. For example, during a binding arbitration proceeding, the parties conduct their case before a neutral arbitrator and present evidence outside of court, just as they will at a courtroom jury trial. The arbitrator then listens to the evidence and decides the amount of monetary compensation to award the accident victim.

Our legal team can help you make informed and intelligent decisions throughout your case and pursue the highest available monetary compensation on your behalf.

Contact a Skilled California Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you sustained injuries in a recent motor vehicle crash, you should become aware of all of your legal options – and that you have skilled legal representation at every stage of your case. The experienced legal team at Blair & Ramirez LLP has the knowledge and experience to help you maximize your monetary compensation and become whole again after your motor vehicle accident.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in California, please call us at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online.