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Tips if You’ve Been in an Auto Accident

December 1st, 2011 by

An auto accident can dramatically change your life. You could be injured and/or in pain for a very long time. You must deal with the insurance company. You may miss work. And not least of all, your car needs to be repaired at once. To assist you through this challenging time, here are a few tips that can help protect your legal rights as well as save you time, money, and frustration.

Hire an Attorney: An expert auto accident attorney knows the laws and issues that impact individuals who’ve been in a car crash. An attorney has the experience and strategies to help get the insurance company to provide you with fair monetary compensation, including all your accident related expenses. They can also help get your medical expenses paid even if you don’t have medical insurance.
Have Your Attorney Report The Accident to the Insurance Company: If you’re in an auto accident, one of the first calls you may consider making is to your insurance company. Be aware, insurance companies record these calls—anything you say can be used to determine your claim. A smarter option is to have your lawyer make the call for you. He or she will stick to the facts of the situation and leave emotion out of the conversation.
Passengers in Auto Accidents Have Rights: Even if you weren’t driving, you have rights if you’re a passenger in a car crash. Your attorney can help you get monetary compensation, medical treatment, and lost wages even if the driver of the vehicle you were in is underinsured or at fault. An attorney can help you with this complicated legal situation.
Keep Detailed Records After a  Auto Accident: Keeping detailed, accurate records is critical to getting the maximum monetary benefits allowed by law. Keep a record of any pain you experience noting frequency and severity. Record any treatments and/or doctor visits. Document your loss of earnings if any. Keep receipts for all your expenses. Your attorney can help you organize and prepare these records so you can get proper compensation for your claim.
Don’t Sign Anything without Consulting an Attorney: A harmless looking form may include statements in which you agree not to make any claims against the other person, or in which you accept liability for the accident. An attorney will review the document and make sure you’re not giving away any of your legal rights or accepting fault.
Don’t Accept Payment From the Person Who Hit You: Let’s say you’re in an accident that appears to be the other driver’s fault. If the driver offers a settlement on the spot, do not accept. The damage to your car and you may be far more than what you’re being offered.
You don’t know the extent of your injuries and his or her offer may not come close to paying all your medical expenses.
Accepting payment and signing any waiver may stop you from suing the other driver later. If you wish to sign a waiver and accept payment, have your attorney review the document first.
While you can go it alone after an auto accident, the process can be very frustrating, costly, intimidating and extremely time consuming. Even if you decide not to use an attorney member in Walker & Walker Attorney Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2, I strongly encourage you to get legal help.
The difference an expert lawyer can make can be just as dramatic as the auto accident you were in.
Robert M. Cohen
Attorney at Law
Attorney Member, Walker & Walker Attorney Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2
Walker & Walker Legal Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2 provides access to legal representation in California in both English and Spanish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In most cases our attorneys will help you on a “contingency basis” which means that they only collect fees if you win your case. We represent the skilled legal efforts of more than 90 attorney members.
This newsletter blog is not to be considered legal advice. All the information within this newsletter blog is for general information purposes only. This Web site is intended solely for the use of people residing in California. If you have a specific legal problem, you should always seek the advice of an attorney from your own jurisdiction before relying on information from this or any other blog or Web site. Walker & Walker Legal Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2 is a group of attorneys jointly advertising their legal services to the community and is not a lawyer referral service or a law firm.

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