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What To Do After An Accident
Whether you have been involved in a car collision or other type of accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Your health and well-being are the most important priority after any accident. Additionally, if you do not see a doctor, the insurance company can argue that you were not hurt, citing your refusal to seek medical attention. Failing to seek medical attention can greatly limit the number of damages you can receive and could even result in a forfeiture of all potential damages.
After you have seen a doctor, call a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will take over the legal aspects of your case and walk you through your legal rights and obligations. For example, if you were in a car accident, you may be obligated to tell your insurance company, even if someone else was at fault.
If possible, document the accident while still at the scene. This is not always practical, especially when you have sustained serious injuries. If you can, however, take pictures and as early as possible, write down what you remember happening and how your injuries are affecting your daily life.
Proving Liability In A Personal Injury Case
When filing a personal injury claim, you must, generally, prove that another person’s negligence or carelessness caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. To do this, you must show the act of negligence that caused the accident, and that you sustained injuries as a result. For example, if you were hit by a driver that was texting, that is an act of negligence, and you would have to show that the driver was texting at the time of the accident, as well as the full damages — or losses — you sustained.
Unlike criminal cases, you do not have to prove your claim beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, you have to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you must simply prove the defendant, or negligent party most likely acted carelessly and caused your injuries.
Strong evidence is crucial when proving your personal injury claim. Photographs from the scene, video surveillance footage, and your own medical bills are just a few of the most common types of evidence used in personal injury claims. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will collect this evidence and build a solid case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
The Statute Of Limitations On Personal Injury Claims
All personal injury claims in Los Angeles, and throughout the rest of California, are governed by a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim. The statute of limitations on most personal injury claims in the state is two years from the date of the accident that caused your injuries. If you do not file your claim within this time limit, you will likely be barred from receiving any financial compensation at all for your injuries.
While 2 years is the general rule on the statute of limitations, the amount of time you have to file your claim may change depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you are filing a claim against a government entity, the deadline for filing your claim is likely much shorter. On the other hand, if you did not discover your injuries right away, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or delayed. In this case, the clock on the statute of limitations may not start ticking until the date of discovery.
It is critical to speak to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Before filing your claim, a lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine how your accident occurred and which party is liable, and collect evidence to prove your case. All of this takes time, and you do not want to lose your legal claim to damages because you waited too long.
Recoverable Damages In A Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims are intended to provide damages that will make you as whole as possible after the accident. While no one can simply erase your injuries, the only way for the courts to make sure an injured party is as whole as possible after an accident is to award you financial compensation. The most common types of damages available in personal injury claims are as follows:
- Medical expenses
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Long-term care
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
While some personal injury cases are resolved during a courtroom trial, the vast majority are settled outside of court. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies and other at-fault parties to recover the fair settlement you deserve. When liable parties refuse to act in good faith, a lawyer will take them to trial to hold them accountable for paying the full damages you are entitled to.
What some of our clients are saying:
He got me a very reasonable settlement, I am quite happy with it, I have had no time off of work to deal with legal problems, and I was able to do everything with him and his office over emails and phone calls. I will definitely recommend him to anyone that needs assistance with legal matters.
-Los Angeles, CA | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★