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Home » California Car Accident Lawyers » What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Car Accident?

What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Car Accident?

According to the National Safety Council, there were almost 5 million medically-treated injuries sustained in U.S. car accidents in 2020. These crashes cost over $473 billion. Most drivers have car insurance policies to cover damages if they cause a collision, but insurance companies don’t like paying compensation.

If you sustain injuries in a car accident, you need to take action to protect your right to compensation. Johnson Attorneys Group wants to help you obtain every dollar you’re owed.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

What you do at the scene of a car accident and in the days and weeks afterward can protect — or hurt — your health and right to compensation. You should always assess your injuries and try to help others injured in the accident first. Your health is your first priority.

Call the Police

When you dial 911, tell the operator pertinent details about your accident. Include the location, the number of vehicles involved and whether anyone sustained severe injuries. The information you provide helps the dispatcher decide how many first responders to send to the scene.

The officer who responds will talk to drivers, passengers and witnesses. They’ll also record details about the accident in a police report. You’ll need a copy of that report to file a car accident claim. Your Johnson Attorneys Group lawyer will use this official documentation as evidence in your case.

Gather Evidence

Police officers, insurance companies and attorneys will all investigate your accident, looking for evidence showing how and why it happened and who caused it. Even so, evidence can change before they arrive.

Rain and wind can wash evidence away. Vehicle placement after an accident can tell investigators a lot about how it happened, but that evidence is blurred once the cars move.

You can use your phone to take pictures and make videos before things change. Record details like:

  • Vehicle placement and damage
  • The entire accident scene
  • Skid marks, or the lack thereof
  • Weather, light and road conditions
  • Injuries
  • Witness statements and any conversations you have

Recording this evidence is one of the most crucial things you can do to protect your rights after a car accident.

Get a Medical Assessment

Car accidents can cause serious injuries, and not all of them are visible. Some develop over hours and days. Trained medical professionals can spot and treat these conditions, so it’s vital to allow paramedics to examine you at your accident scene. If none arrive, go to a clinic, doctor or hospital when you leave.

A medical examination doesn’t only protect your health, but it also protects your right to compensation. Your doctor will document your medical condition immediately after your accident, providing a baseline.

Unfortunately, insurance companies may say you didn’t sustain your injuries in the car accident to avoid paying your damages. Your medical records are critical evidence that proves otherwise.

Avoid Claiming any Responsibility

Your percentage of fault for causing a car accident reduces the amount of compensation you can receive. Insurance companies can use something as simple as an innocent apology to claim that you caused the accident so they don’t have to pay.

Don’t claim any degree of responsibility in conversations with anyone after your accident. Insurance company investigators are likely to question people you speak to, hoping to find evidence to use against you.

Contact Johnson Attorneys Group

You probably don’t know about all the pitfalls you may face when dealing with insurance companies and car accident claims, but Johnson Attorneys Group does. We can handle all communications for you to protect your rights. We’ll even report your accident to your insurance carrier and file your claim on your behalf.

Johnson Attorneys Group knows California’s laws and regulations governing car accident claims. We’ll handle the legal matters so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

How Else Can You Protect Your Rights?

Until you accept a settlement offer or win a civil lawsuit, you must continue to protect your rights so you don’t lose out on any compensation.

Beware of Insurance Company Tricks

If you don’t have an attorney, insurance company representatives often try to trick you into signing legally binding documents or making statements to damage your claim. Be very wary and don’t sign anything until a lawyer reviews it.

When you hire a car accident lawyer, you can appoint them as your personal representative. That means all communications from insurance companies must go through your attorney’s office, and you’ll avoid making potentially costly mistakes.

Continue Recommended Medical Treatments

Like accepting medical attention at the scene of your accident, continuing with the treatment regimen recommended by your physicians protects your health and your right to compensation. People often think they’re recovered enough to return to their daily activities and stop following medical advice before they’re actually ready. Doing so can cause setbacks and prolong your recovery period.

Insurance companies can use discontinuing medical care to discredit you. They might say that your injuries weren’t as serious as you claimed because you’d follow doctors’ orders if they were.

Avoid Social Media

Any statements or photos you post on social media accounts can be used against you in further attempts to discredit you, even something unrelated to your accident. It’s best to avoid social media altogether until your case reaches a successful resolution.

Keep Records

When Johnson Attorneys Group builds your case, we’ll need proof to substantiate your right to compensation. You’ll incur various expenses and accumulate lots of paperwork related to your accident, and you should keep meticulous records. We’ll use your documentation to calculate how much your case is worth.

You should keep all bills and receipts in one place, but you might also keep a daily journal. Some of the compensation you may obtain relates to how your accident and injuries impact your life afterward. A daily account of your experiences can help to prove your eligibility.

What Kinds of Compensation Can You Receive?

Every accident is different, and compensation amounts can vary significantly. However, California accident victims may qualify to obtain damages in three distinct categories.

Economic Damages

This category is where your bills and receipts will come in handy. Economic damages repay you for certain expenses:

  • Lost wages from the time you’re unable to work
  • Medical treatments
  • Property damage
  • Qualifying daily expenses

Non-Economic Damages

Car accidents and the injuries you sustain can have far-reaching consequences that change your life. Non-economic damages are compensation for issues like:

  • Becoming unable to enjoy your life
  • Emotional, mental and physical pain and suffering
  • Harm to your relationships
  • Inconvenience

Punitive Damages

You may obtain punitive damages only in specific circumstances. Punitive damages punish the guilty party for maliciousness, reckless or aggressive behaviors and the like. Not many accident victims receive punitive damages, so ask your attorney if you qualify.

Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you need a car accident lawyer who will fight to protect your rights, call Johnson Attorneys Group. We won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you, and we’ll work hard to win the compensation you deserve. Best of all, you won’t pay any fees until we win.

Accidents can happen at any time, so someone from Johnson Attorneys Group is available to speak to you 24/7. Your consultation is free, and there’s no obligation to hire us. We’ll assess your case, provide information and tell you how we can assist. Use our contact form, live chat or call (800) 208-3538.

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