Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles
The first steps in a personal injury claim
The moments following a personal injury, slip and fall or other accident can be confusing and overwhelming. The most important thing is to look after your health and stay safe in the aftermath. Once that is taken care of, you can begin to think about what happened, who is at fault and evaluate whether you have a personal injury claim.
1) After I have been hurt in an accident, what should I do?
In order to preserve your rights to file a claim for your personal injury, there are several steps you should take:
Collect evidence that shows who caused the accident as well as what damage was caused by the accident. Cell phone videos and photographs are very useful. Take photos from many angles, up close and zoomed away showing the damage details, injuries, stop signs and traffic lights if applicable, and all relevant details. If you can, take photos or videos of any other parties involved in the accident and their identifying information.
Write down exactly what happened with as much detail as you can remember. Include identifying information like names, license plates, descriptions.
Take notes of what others involved in the accident say
Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and note what they saw
File a police report if appropriate
Tell whoever is responsible that you will file a claim for property damage and personal injuries
2) Get medical help
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, the very first thing you do should after the accident is get medical treatment. Even if your injuries are not obvious, you should see a doctor because many injuries are not immediately apparent. Besides being the best for your health, getting medical attention quickly strengthens your personal injury claim. If you wait days or weeks after the accident to seek medical treatment, it is harder to prove your injuries were the result of the accident.
Certain types of injuries like neck injury or whiplash, soft tissue injury or brain injury symptoms may not appear for weeks after the accident. A competent doctor will be able to perform a thorough exam and properly diagnose your injuries and recommend the proper care and treatment. The doctor may also identify injuries you didn’t know will be a problem and what recovery treatment and time frame to expect. Take detailed notes on your injuries and medical treatments, costs and doctor recommendations.
3) Contact a California personal injury attorney
Once you or your loved ones have received the appropriate medical care, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer like Chudnovsky Law. Our knowledgeable Orange County accident attorneys will advise whether you have a valid personal injury claim and guide you as to what steps you should be taking. A 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council found that the average person receives a settlement 3.5 times larger with legal assistance than without it. In a California personal injury case, this can make a huge difference in your recovery.
Our Orange County injury attorneys will carefully analyze your case for free. We take personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so you never have to pay any fees unless you win.
4) Help your attorney investigate the accident
Our accident attorneys will carefully investigate your accident and develop the elements needed to prove your personal injury was caused by someone’s wrongdoing or negligence. Depending on the case specifics, we may bring in investigators, accident reconstruction specialists, medical doctors and any other experts needed to analyze your injuries and the accident. Our Los Angeles injury lawyers then carefully document who was at fault, what happened and what the effect of the injuries will have on you and your loved ones.
5) Ask your lawyer what kind of compensation you should receive
Depending on the type of injury or case, there are many items you may be due damage payments for. Some common damages include:
Medical expenses: Doctor costs, prescriptions, medical equipment, rehabilitation
Travel expenses to see doctors and specialists
Pain and suffering or emotional distress
In home care
Lost wages and benefits
Punitive damages to punish the defendant
Loss of consortium and companionship