Car accidents happen often. Every person driving a motor vehicle in Los Angeles can expect that they will be involved in a vehicular collision at some point. , and sometimes more than once during their years of driving. Some accidents may be serious, while others are minor fender-benders. Whatever the severity of the accident, it is important to understand how to handle this type of event. The person involved in a car accident does not always know what to do, or how decisions made after the accident might affect their future.
Don’t think you were injured?
Anyone involved in a smash up, whether driver or passenger, should see a doctor after the collision. This is important because not all injuries are immediately apparent and the doctor may find serious injuries that have no immediate signs or symptoms. In some cases, brain injuries have no outward symptoms initially, but may manifest themselves during the hours, days or weeks following the debacle. In some cases, an untreated brain injury can be deadly if immediate medical diagnosis and medical treatment are not administered, and with these, there is often no more warning than a headache.
Do I release medical records to the other driver’s insurance company?
The other driver’s insurance company adjuster or representative may request your medical records after the wreck. You should not provide this information, especially without the advice of a personal injury litigation lawyer. Releasing medical records to the insurance company could be giving them information to use to lower the amount of damages they should pay, or they could use it as a basis to decline any claim. The insurance company does not look out for the best interest of the injured party; they worry about their own interests, which is to not pay out claims.
What happens if I believe the collision was partially my fault?
The first thing to realize is that car accidents happen quickly. So afterwards are confusing. Consequences include high adrenaline. So how quickly the accident occurred, and any possible injuries place the body into a shock mode. Consequently, this means you may not be in a good position to determine if you have any fault. The actions of the other driver also need to get considered.
Hence, admitting any fault is stupid. Also, doing that at the scene can be fatal to your claims. Because of this admission, it gets used by the other driver’s insurance company as evidence against you. Also, it is also possible there are other extenuating factors that may have led to the collision. Experts may show malfunctioning traffic signals or the other driver being under the influence.
Thus, retaining a personal injury attorney is a step in the right direction. Also, the consulting attorney has the knowledge and resources to investigate. Most of all this is necessary. Basically it helps determine the possible causes of the accident.
Partial Fault and Recovery Issues
As discussed, it also does not mean if you are partially at fault, you will not be able to recover damages. But a legal professional can explain in detail how this type of circumstance will apply in your case. Typically it means you are still able to recover damages for injuries and property damage. But any award of compensation will get reduced by the percentage that you were at fault in the collision.
Do personal injury claims for car accidents always go to court?
Car accident claims do not always go to court. Hence, even before a personal injury lawyer considers going to court, he attempts settlement. The discussion are usually with the insurance company of the other driver. He gets called the defendant.
The car wreck lawyer will do this to speed up the recovery of compensation on your behalf. When negotiating with the insurance company does not work, the attorney will attempt arbitration. In the event that negotiation, arbitration or mediation fail, claims get taken to court. Consequently, this is the forum where the lawyer will prove your side of the case. Also, he needs this proof so he can recover an awarded amount of compensation on your behalf.
What if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when the collision happened? Does that mean I cannot file a claim for damages?
So this will depend on the state and local laws. So in some cases not wearing a seatbelt can negate or reduce potential compensation. Also, this gets done on the basis that not wearing a seatbelt results in more serious injuries. Thus, if safety precautions got used the injuries would become lessened. Furthermore, it does not mean that a claim cannot ge filed. Also, it is possible to still get awarded damages. In California we have a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. Hence, a percentage gets deducted for the negligence of not wearing a seatbelt.
No Pain and Suffering Damages for California Car Accident Victims
But in California, plaintiffs not wearing seatbelts aren’t entitled to pain and suffering damages. BecBecauseuase of this, many PI attorneys will not take on cases like this. Furthermore, these general damages are a major component of a personal injury case.
So ultimately, a plaintiff not wearing a seatbelt faces serious problems legally. Consequently a car accident victim can get stuck with major economic loss. If the plaintiff is partially at fault, he faces only getting part or none of his medical bills covered.
Do I have a case against a manufacturer if my airbags did not deploy in a car collision?
This can depend on different factors. Factors include whether the collision had enough force to cause the airbags to deploy. A personal injury attorney can determine if you do have a product liability claim. With the use of experts, personal injury attorneys investigate why airbags did not deploy. So if they should have under the circumstances then a suit is possible for negligence. Also, this determination gets made once the investigation is complete. Mostly this gets done with the assistance of expert engineers, mechanics, and others. The lawyer can then assist in filing a product liability claim.