What to Do if You Are Injured in a California Accident
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a California car accident, slip-and-fall, or any other type of accident, the task of putting the pieces of your life back together again may seem overwhelming. This article provides an overview of the things to consider, and the steps to take, in the aftermath of a car accident or other serious accident.
Seek Medical Attention First
Your health, of course, should be your first priority whenever there is any chance of injury. If you have been in an accident, be sure to see a doctor right away. Everything else can wait.
Even if the accident didn’t seem serious at the time, it is always a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible. Certain types of injuries, especially soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash, sprains and strains, may take several days or even weeks to result in symptoms, but once they appear the symptoms can last for years. Furthermore, because the body’s soft tissues — muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments — are very delicate, injuries of this type are very common. In fact, it is not unusual for these injuries to occur even in low-impact car accidents that take place at speeds of 10 miles per hour or less.
Preparing a California Personal Injury Claim
Once you are sure that all immediate medical needs have been met, it is time to consider seeking compensation for any injuries that you or your loved ones have suffered as a result of the accident.
It is important to act quickly if you are planning to file a claim because, in California, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This means that, in most cases, you must file your personal injury claim within two years of the date of the accident in which your injury occurred or the date you discover the injury. An attorney experienced in personal injury law can help you decide whether to pursue an accident claim, and can guide you through the complicated process of filing a claim if you decide to do so.
Whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance company or against the party responsible for your accident, having a thorough record of what happened can help you prove your case and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is important to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible after a car accident or other serious accident. You should document not only the accident itself, but also the events leading up to it and any damage or injuries that occurred as a result. Be sure to include any information that might help to determine who was at fault in causing the accident.
Photographs are a great way to provide documentation. You also should collect the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident, since these people may be able to provide valuable information to support your personal injury claim. Take notes about any conversations that you have with witnesses after the accident.
Also, keep a detailed record of everything that happens after the accident, including medical symptoms that you experience, doctor’s appointments, missed work, and medical bills. These things may be useful in helping you prove your case and obtain compensation for yourself and your family.
Seeking the Help of a California Personal Injury Attorney
Regardless of whether you are seeking compensation through an insurance settlement or must bring a personal injury lawsuit, the process can be complicated and time consuming. Especially in the aftermath of a serious accident or injury, it may also be stressful and emotionally draining.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can relieve much of this burden by helping you understand the law and build your case. An attorney can also work on your behalf with the insurance company or other party to reach a fair settlement, and in many cases, may be able to help you avoid the time and expense of trial by resolving your claim out of court.
As an advocate for your rights, a personal injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf, allowing you to focus more completely on your recovery and on getting back to the things in life that matter most to you. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, schedule a consultation today and get the help you need to start putting your life back in order.