Dos and Don’ts After an Injury
Like it or not, accidents can happen to any one of us at any time. Even if you consider yourself a careful and cautious person, you can never fully account for the actions of others. For example, car crashes alone contribute to countless injuries, and many auto accidents happen unexpectedly and are not our fault. In 2020, in Los Angeles County alone, there were 65,377 people who were injured or killed on our roadways, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
If you’ve sustained an injury like this, you likely have lots of questions about what to do next: “What should I do/not do if I sustain an injury in an accident?”, “What if I’m injured but don’t have insurance?”, or “Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?”
At G. Aldrich Law, we can help you answer all of these questions and more, but you must give us a call to get started. Our offices are located in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California, but we’re able to help those in Lake County, Los Angeles County, Colusa County, Riverside County, and other surrounding Northern and Southern California counties.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in California
Many times after a bad accident, the insurance claim itself won’t be enough to cover all your expenses and you’ll have to file a personal injury claim. Although there’s no state law requiring you to work with a lawyer, hiring a reputable personal injury attorney can greatly increase your chances of success. This process can be long and stressful, but a skilled lawyer can take on this responsibility for you so you can concentrate on your recovery.
If you experience a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should be aware of the following dos and don’ts:
Don’t leave the incident scene right away: The only exception to this rule is if you have serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. If you’re able, you should exchange information with the other driver as well as any witnesses who may have seen the crash take place. This is to ensure you document all of the information you need and avoid claims of a hit-and-run.
Don’t share details about your case: Your attorney should be your main point of contact during this entire process, and you can and should be completely honest with them. However, you should not share details of the incident or your claim with friends, and especially don’t post on social media!
Don’t give too much information to the insurance adjuster: The insurance adjuster will likely call you one to two days after the accident and try to get you to give a statement—do not do this! It’s far too early in the process to provide this information. The adjuster’s goal is to close out your case as quickly as possible and try to get you to accept a low settlement. Always talk to your lawyer first and wait for their advice when dealing with insurance providers.
Don’t accept the first settlement offer: Adjusters are notorious for trying to lowball you on a settlement, hoping to move on quickly from the case. However, this won’t account for all your future costs, like unforeseen medical expenses and time missed from work.
Do seek medical attention: Your health is the single most important thing to focus on after an accident. Even if you’re uninsured or underinsured, don’t neglect your injuries. Symptoms from car accident injuries can take days or even weeks to show up, and if you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company may actually try to use this against you claiming, your injuries weren’t real.
Do contact a personal injury attorney: It should be obvious by now, but the best thing you can do for yourself in these situations is work with a lawyer. Getting compensation for accident victims like you is exactly what they’re trained to do. Let them help you!
Do document everything: This includes writing out your own account of what happened leading up to the crash, during it, and afterward. You should also keep a journal where you can note how your injuries are affecting your everyday life and how they might be limiting your ability to perform basic functions, draw a paycheck, or spend quality time with your family. This is all vital information that can be used in your claim.
Do keep every piece of evidence: Thorough documentation is crucial to mounting a successful personal injury case. You need to keep every single medical bill, keep all doctor visits in your calendar, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, police reports, and witness statements.
Helping You Make Informed Choices Every Step of the Way
If you live in or around the Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California, area and want to sit down with an experienced, professional, yet also personable attorney, give us a call at G. Aldrich Law today.