CALIFORNIA’S MOST TRUSTED AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Auto accidents are a physical, emotional, and financial nightmare. Not only you might lose the use of your vehicle, you may also have significant medical expenses. You might also face time away from work. All of these can impact almost every aspect of your life. If you are like thousands of auto accident victims, you have many questions about what you should do after an accident. At Century Park Law Group, we can answer your questions and advise you on your best course of action. We promise that you will get the best medical treatment to maximize your recovery. Unfortunately insurance companies try to minimize their losses and don’t account for future medical costs or pain and suffering from your injuries. The settlements that they offer may not be adequate for your needs. You may be entitled to much more.
HOW CENTURY PARK LAW FIRM CAN HELP YOU
We fight the big insurance companies to get you the highest compensation possible.
- Over 50 Years of EXPERIENCE
- 99% SUCCESS RATE
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CENTURY PARK LAW GROUP IS THE TOP PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM WITH OVER 5000 FIVE-STAR REVIEWS
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WHY SHOULD I GET AN ATTORNEY FOR AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
Minor accidents that don’t result in injury are fairly straightforward. Both parties exchange information and contact their respective insurance companies. The insurance companies pay for covered repairs, minus the cost of the policies’ deductibles for the at-fault party or parties. When someone is injured in an automobile accident, things get much more complicated. When a car collides with other vehicles or objects, the speed at which it was driving turns into force. When a human body gets in the way of that force, the physical consequences can be severe, and the injuries may be permanent. This is when hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is a smart idea. Although you are not required to hire a lawyer to handle your case, having a legal expert on your side helps protect you from liability and get you the compensation that you need to:
- recover from your injuries
- recoup lost wages
- cover future medical costs
- make up for reduced earning capacity
- help alleviate pain and suffering
WHAT DOES A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY DO?
When people think of personal injury attorneys, they often picture them standing in a courtroom, before a jury. While there are many cases that go to trial, the vast majority are settled out of court, sparing everyone involved a great deal of time, resources and stress. Your attorney will do everything in his or her power to resolve your case in the shortest amount of time, but an experienced attorney should not be afraid to take your case into the courtroom if the offered settlement isn’t enough to compensate for your injuries. In the end, the decision is yours to make. An attorney should only commit you to a settlement with your express consent.
It is very important to consult an attorney early on to make sure that you do not invalidate your claim, make statements that may jeopardize your case or accept any terms or settlements offered by the insurance companies involved.
How long this phase will take depends on the details of your accident. Your attorney will gather whatever evidence is available, such as photographs, witness statements and collision reports. Your personal injury attorney will be your advisor and guide through your legal proceedings.
You may be eager to get the process started. After all, you are probably watching your doctors’ bills mounting and you can anticipate receiving many more. But once your questions have been answered and your attorney has all of the information available about your accident, he or she will need to wait until your recovery is complete or your condition stabilizes to proceed.
During this time, your job is to focus on what matters most—healing.
Once your doctor has released you from treatment, your attorney will gather the items that are needed to document your injury, including medical bills, reports from doctors, test results, employment records, and other items that will help prove the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. This process may take time, as your attorney will need to wait for providers to provide the requested information.
Request an offer from the insurance company
This may be a lengthy process, because the insurance company may need to do its own research on your case before making their offer. Once the insurance company makes an offer, your attorney will review it with you and advise you on your best course of action. If you decide not to accept the offered settlement amount, your attorney will take the next step.
File a lawsuit/demand arbitration
Your lawsuit may have multiple defendants, each of whom will need to be located and served notice of your lawsuit. Depending on who and where they are, locating them may take time. Defendants typically have 30 days from the time that they are served to respond to the notice.
Discovery is the pre-trial phase of a lawsuit, where both sides investigate the facts of the case, by gaining evidence from the opposing party and other sources. This may include depositions from either party and from witnesses and experts. The discovery phase can sometimes be a very lengthy process, depending on the details of the case. Your attorney will guide you through this complex process.
Once the discovery phase is complete, your lawyer will request a trial date when the judge or jury will examine the evidence presented and listen to both parties’ arguments. They will then determine whether or not the defendant will be held liable for your injuries and, if so, to what extent.
Here are some actions that you should take after a car accident for your own protection:
- Stop. Even if the accident is a minor fender bender and no one is injured, you are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other party. Failure to stop may lead to a hit-and-run charge, which has severe penalties.
- Call the police. If anyone has been killed, injured (even mildly) or if the damage from the accident exceeds $1,000, it’s not just a good idea to call the police, it’s California law. Although the law states that you need to notify police within 24 hours, a collision report from the scene of the accident can help support your case and remove any doubt.
- Tell the truth. Admit that you don’t know things that you aren’t sure about. If you are asked if you are hurt and you do not feel actual pain at the moment, say that you aren’t sure, rather than no. Your body is filled with adrenaline after a motor vehicle accident and swelling has not yet set in. Your injuries could reveal themselves over the next days or weeks.
- Take pictures. A picture says a thousand words. One look at your photos can reveal the severity of the accident. If you can’t take photos right away, take them as soon as possible afterward.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). If you followed #2 above, the police will collect information for all parties involved in the crash and provide it to both parties. If not, you should exchange information with the other parties, including passengers. This information should include their name, address, and phone number and you should also get insurance information from all involved vehicles. Taking a photo of their driver’s license(s) and insurance card is an easy way to collect most of this information.
- Report the accident. Report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company. If your policy provides Medpay, this insurance will cover all of the occupants of your vehicle, not just you as the driver. Your insurance rates should not increase by using Medpay. Each driver, regardless of fault, must also file a copy of Traffic Accident Report SR-1 to DMV within 10 days if anyone was injured or killed, or if the damage exceeds $1,000.
- Seek Medical Attention. If you start to feel pain, dizziness or headache, even days or weeks after your accident, seek medical attention immediately. The more time that passes before you seek treatment, the more likely that the insurance company will claim that something else rather than the accident caused your injury. The forces at work in even a mild automobile accident can cause permanent injury to your spine and soft tissue damage is very common.
- Keep all of your documentation. Your attorney will need it to build a case and make sure that you get the compensation that you need.
- Hire an attorney experienced in personal injury law. At Century Park Law Firm, our 99% success rate and 50 years of experience show our commitment to getting our clients the compensation that they deserve.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the Department of Transit and oversees all of the highways in the United States. The most recent NHTSA statistics reveal common factors among accidents on our major roadways.
- Alcohol Impairment. The most common cause of fatal traffic accidents was alcohol impairment. 29% of all fatal accidents involved a driver under the influence of alcohol, with 61% of those drivers having a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.
- Speeding. 26% of fatal accidents involved at least one driver who was speeding. 36% of that 26% was also under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
Failure to use seat belts. 43% of vehicle occupants that were killed in automobile accidents were unrestrained at the time of the accident.
- With so many automobile accidents occurring every day, insurance has become a big business. You need the right personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process and fight the big insurance companies for you.
Century Park Law Group has been fighting—and winning—against the insurance companies. Contact us today at (844) 444-2754 and we will fight to get you the highest compensation possible.
Some actions that you take after an accident may leave you at risk. Being aware of what they are and what could happen if you take them can help protect your case and get you the compensation that you deserve.
- Failing to call the police. Police officers are professional investigators who file collision reports from the scene of the accident. They can take photos, question witnesses, collect evidence from the scene and make professional observations that most civilians wouldn’t even realize. The collision report contains valuable information that you need to file with your insurance company and make your case. Without a police report, the facts of the accident may be left open for interpretation.
- Admitting fault. Although it may seem rude, it is not a good idea to apologize at the scene of an accident or admit fault in any way. Even if you know that your error was responsible for the accident, the insurance company may determine that there were other factors involved and the fault may be split between drivers. Admitting fault may weaken your case and reduce your compensation
- Failing to gather evidence at the scene. You have only one chance to document the accident—immediately afterward. If you have a phone, take photos of any visible injuries, all vehicles that were involved, and anything else, such as signage that may help to prove fault. If possible, take photos before your cars are moved. If not, take them as soon as possible afterward. If there are witnesses on the scene, be sure to get their contact information as well.
- Not seeking professional medical attention. There is no reward for “toughing it out” after an accident. Even if you feel that you can rehabilitate your injury on your own after a collision, failing to have your treatment conducted by a doctor and other medical professionals will jeopardize your claim. It’s not enough to tell the judge that you were injured. Compensation is only paid on verifiable injuries.
- Accepting an insurance company’s judgment. Insurance companies are for-profit companies that do not have your best interest at heart. Their priority is protecting their profit, not your physical well-being. Without an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights, getting the compensation that you need is almost impossible.
- Accepting the insurance company’s first offer. Although it may be tempting to accept, the first offer is usually the low-ball. Giving your attorney enough time to build your case will show the insurance company that you are willing to go to trial, if necessary, to get what you deserve. Well-built cases tend to get more serious offers.
- Procrastinating. It may seem like a lot of effort and stress to pursue the compensation that you deserve, but waiting too long to file your claim may result in not being able to file at all. There is a statute of limitations for filing automobile claims, and it’s best to get started as soon as possible. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to spearhead the process takes the stress out of filing.
- Failure to fight your ticket. If you are cited at the scene of the accident, it’s important to your case that you fight it. Your attorney can represent you in traffic court and advise you on your best strategy.
- Not being completely honest with your attorney. In order for your attorney to best defend you, he or she must know every detail of your story. Instead of trying to “look good” in your attorney’s eyes, coming clean allows your attorney to craft the right strategy for your situation.