According to the National Safety Council, there are 10 million accidents annually.
These accidents tend to range from backing into a neighbor’s car to massive pileups on the freeway. Many of these car accidents can often be avoided as distracted driving continues to be the leading cause. Research has shown that those who use a hand-held device, such as a GPS or a smartphone, are 4 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident compared to those who do not.
An auto accident can dramatically and sometimes permanently, change your life. Trying to figure out what to do can be overwhelming. An experienced accident lawyer can help.
In over 20 years of practice, Vivian Yochelson has handled a wide variety of personal injury matters including automobile accidents. She has had numerous successful results, including settlements of seven figures, but most importantly she will fight for her client’s rights and tell them the truth about their case.
WE GO ABOVE AND BEYOND
FOR OUR CLIENTS
Call for free initial consultation on your case
Aftermath of an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are capable of significantly disrupting a person’s life, often presenting many emotional, financial, and physical obstacles. You might not be able to do many of the things you take for granted. And since you’re not working while you’re recovering, bills can add up fast – for medical expenses, car repairs and all the other bills you normally pay every month. A major car accident can cause devastating injuries that lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and years of treatment. Even a minor fender-bender can cause long-term and painful conditions.
Healing From Your Injuries
Even if you did not have visible physical injuries, soft tissue injuries take a long time to heal as well.
An accident can be emotionally traumatic. Consider seeking support from friends, family, or a professional.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
If you don’t understand how insurance companies operate, it can be hard to fight against their tactics, especially when they’re armed with advice from a whole team of lawyers. Don’t admit fault. They may try to offer you a quick, low settlement. Don’t feel you have to take the first offer.
Repairing/Replacing Your Car
Your insurance company cannot require that an automobile be repaired at a specific repair shop.
Make sure to get a written estimate of the damage and keep all receipts. You may need them for insurance report or part of your legal action.
A lawyer can help you understand your legal options and ensure your rights are protected.
Yochelson & Associates has helped many drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other victims of automobile accidents obtain compensation for their injuries.
Automobile Accident Checklist
#1 – Important: After a car accident, call 911 and see a doctor
Why this is important:
If you feel that you’ve suffered an injury, your first and foremost concern should be your health.
Even if you feel fine, injuries may not be immediately apparent. See a doctor as soon as possible to identify and treat any injuries.
What to do:
If someone requires emergency medical care, paramedics should be called without delay.
After the police and/or paramedics are in route to the scene, you should wait for them to arrive.
#2 – Assess the Scene
Assess Your Situation
- Safety first. Move to a safe area away from traffic if possible.
- If you or someone in your vehicle sustained a visible injury: i.e, bruise, cut, scrape, or stitches, take photograph(s) of the injury to preserve the state of the injury at the time of the injury.
- Are the police coming? In California, the police do not always come to an accident scene unless there are life threatening injures.
- If a police officer has come to the accident scene, be sure to ask if a report of the accident will be prepared and where and when it will be available. If the officer does not intend to prepare a report, be sure to request the officer’s name and badge number for later contact.
- Are there witnesses?
- Does something or someone else seem to stand out or be very noticeable at the scene?
Collect all Necessary Information
- Exchange contact information with the other driver.
- Copy the license plate number of the car. Sometimes the driver is not the owner of the car.
- Do not sign statements regarding fault or promise to pay for the other parties damages.
- Take photos of your car and the otehr car. Take pictures from all angles, not just the damaged portions.
- Take photos of the accident and surrounding area. It is better to take too many pictures than not enough.
- If you were a pedestrian, take photos of the crosswalk or the location where you crossed at street or where you were standing, walking, jogging, at the time of your accident.
- Obtain all witness information.
- Make a note of the time and any details that seem relevant.
You may think it’s only a minor fender-bender
and not realize that your brain has been injured.
#3 – After the Accident
After the insurance and driver’s license information has been exchanged, most people have the misunderstanding that evidence gathering and preservation from a car accident has concluded. This, however, is not the case. It’s not necessary to try to collect ALL the evidence necessary to support your case. In fact, accident victims rarely have the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain some of the most important evidence in their case.
Revisit the Scene
- Return to the accident scene, visit any nearby homes or business for any potential witness(es) to the accident.
- Revisit the scene of the accident several times at the same time at which the accident took place. Some people may habitually visit, stop by or drive by the location of the accident as part of their normal daily routine. You may able to find a witness.
- If you have obtained witness information, do not contact or speak to the witness(es) again. Do not try to solicit a written statement or any other information from the witness. Let your attorney contact any possible witness(es).
Speak to a Qualified Auto Accident Lawyer
- Although you can file your claim without a lawyer’s help, teaming up with a lawyer after a car accident can significantly raise your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
- Insurance company representatives are trained to be friendly and sympathetic, and that may lead you to believe the insurance company has your best interest at heart and will take care of your needs. Unfortunately, this isn’t how insurance works.
Insurance is a for-profit industry, and your “friendly” insurance company is looking to boost their own profits by paying as little as possible in claims.
In California, you are required to have Automobile Insurance Coverage.
For more information regarding Auto Accidents, visit our Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions page.
For more information regarding Uninsured Motorist Coverage in visit our Understanding Uninsured Motorist page.
Yochelson & Associates offers a free consultation so you can decide the benefits of having an experienced car accident attorney on your side. 818.345.9050