The elevated volume of children arguing in the backseat fills the empty space in your car. Screams from an fatigued baby echo in your head. Time ticks by on your clock as you race to get to sports practice.
All of the sudden a car swerves into your lane and your vision goes blank. Glass shatters, metal rips, and air bags deploy as the vehicles make contact. Your car comes to a rolling stop as you try to make sense of what just happened.The First Step: Preventing Additional DamageGet yourself and your family to safety. Oftentimes, vehicle accidents are made worse when another tragic accident takes place as a result of confusion and chaos. While it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, separating yourself slightly from the carnage is acceptable and preferred to avoid additional tragedy. Contact the proper authorities. Although it is commonly believed that passersby are the first individuals to report an accident, this is not always the case. Go ahead and make the phone call--if it is possible--to expedite the process. It is important to obtain professional help at the scene of an accident as soon as possible, especially if injuries or a fatality are involved. If the accident involves a fatality, contact the next of kin if possible. They will appreciate the opportunity to process the information before it becomes public and find out the next steps that must be taken to get their affairs in order. Step Two: Determining FaultIn a nutshell, let's leave this task to the people who can determine fault better than anyone we know: responding law enforcement officers and the insurance company. Do not, under any circumstances, ever admit fault in an accident scenario. Regardless of the situation and what you believe to be true, do not ever apologize, explain, or accept fault. This can effect the insurance company's ability to subrogate for damage recovery, thus potentially voiding your coverage. Take photos and exchange information to be submitted to your insurance company. Even if you do not believe that you are at fault, complete these steps in order to provide the insurance company and potential lawyer with necessary information about the accident. This can be used to help subrogate for losses or contact the other driver's insurance company.After a serious accident, the responding law enforcement official will file a preliminary crash report. This will be available online in a matter of days. The official policy report will take a bit longer to generate, and it may be requested at a later date--typically a few weeks after the accident. Insurance company personnel will utilize the details from this report to determine fault and assign recovery values to the individuals involved in the accident.The Third Step: File a ClaimMany insurance companies require policyholders to report a claims within a "reasonable time." Unfortunately for an personal injury lawyer, this period of time is not defined. The sooner a claim is filed, the sooner the insurance company can set a reserve and determine if an auto injury lawyer may be necessary. Oftentimes, quick notification to an insurance company gives the injured party an advantage of immediate actionStep Four: Consult with a Car Accident Personal Injury LawyerIf major injuries results from a vehicle crash, a car accident personal injury lawyer may be necessary. While an injured individual may be able to recover funds from an opposing insurance company, they may be entitled to more compensation that they were unaware of. A Los Angeles accident attorney can help explain the options for recovery to a potential client and can provide legal advice on court proceedings. Oftentimes, an insurance company is going to settle a case out of court for minimal limits. By investing in a Los Angeles accident attorney, clients can rest assured that they will not fall victim to another greedy insurance company. These professionals can help obtain monetary compensation for the losses, health conditions, and medical procedures for individual(s) who have been involved in serious accidents.The Fifth Step: Be Prepared for NegotiationAs previously stated, most insurance companies and attorneys prefer to handle matters outside of the court room. Not only is it a more relaxed environment, but oftentimes the at-fault party can get away with settling for less in mediation. A personal attorney can help advise clients on what deals are worth it and which ones will not provide adequate compensation. They will help coach clients every step of the way.Negotiation can happen after just one meeting or it can last over a series of meetings. The timeline for negotiation varies greatly depending on the severity of the situation, the other insurance company, and the willingness to accept offers that may have been presented. Oftentimes, when a negotiated deal is reached the insured will be asked to sign a receipt and release which bars any additional legal action going forward.Step Six: Finding Your AttorneyThis is a task that is easier said than done. Find an attorney that specializes in your particular area of concern and research their practice. Look at reviews and ask prior clients about their practice, manner, coaching style, and litigation background.Advice about good and bad West Coast Trial Lawyers will spread quickly based on experiences from other clients. Compile a list of West Coast Trial Lawyers who are potential options and compare/contrast them all. Clients can work best with a lawyer who fits their personality and understands their compensation goals.Step Seven: Preparing for CourtIf mediation just isn't working, a court date and/or jury trial may be inevitable. This is especially common in cases that facilitate major injuries and/or surgery. An experienced lawyer can help prepare clients for court by explaining what to expect, participating in mock court room scenarios, and giving advice on acceptable responses to questions that might arise. Court is stressful for any driver, but the process can be made easier with an attorney who is experienced, professional, and prepared for auto accident cases.
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