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Important Steps to Take after an Auto Accident

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April 2, 2014

If you’ve ever been in an auto accident, you know how disorienting the first few minutes can be after it takes place. From making sure that you and your passengers are unharmed to pulling over to the side of the road and talking to the other drivers, it is important to have a plan in place that will help you get the information you need in order to make sure your legal obligations are fulfilled and your auto accident attorney has every possible detail. Taking these steps will help you get through the situation and help get your accident resolved as soon as possible.

1.  Stay at the Scene

The first thing to remember is to stay at the scene of the accident, especially if you or one of the others involved in the wreck need medical assistance. Pull off to the side of the road, safely away from traffic, and dial 911 to report the accident and summon the medical attention you need. If you flee the scene of the accident, you may be guilty of a hit and run. Cooperate with police to file the accident report before you leave and be sure to identify any witnesses that may be able to provide more information about the events that happened before, during, and after the accident.

2.  Collect Information from All Involved

Moving forward in the process, you will need to provide police and insurance companies with all pertinent information to help you settle any claims. In addition to talking to the driver of other cars involved, take down contact information, insurance policy details, and the make, model, license plate number, and VIN for each car. Keep a disposable camera in your car or have your cellphone handy to take pictures of the damage to each car and the scene. This way, you have done your due diligence to accurately and properly document the accident under the law, and you also have everything you need to give to your insurance agent and auto accident attorney afterwards.

3.  Be Careful What You Say

As the saying goes, what you say can be used against you in a court of law. In this case, comments you make at the scene to others involved in the accident could come back to haunt you. Even innocuous phrases such as “I’m sorry” can be used by the insurance company of the other driver to make it look like you are admitting fault. This could lead to your insurance claims being denied and having your rates skyrocket while you struggle to get money together to pay for repairs and potential hospital bills. Be courteous and provide your information to the other driver or drivers, but when discussing the accident, stick to the facts without any excess information or opinion.

4.  Seek Medical Attention If Needed

If you have any injuries as a result of the accident, it is extremely important to see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to getting the treatment you need for an injury, you want to have information on record about the injuries sustained in the accident. This way, you can have documentation to give to your insurance company and prove the severity of your injuries if the other driver’s insurance company tries to dispute your claim.

5.  Call Your Insurance Company

If possible, it is best to contact your insurance company as soon as you complete the accident report with the police. Give your insurance agent all the information that is requested, including the details that you’ve gathered from the other motorists. Your insurance agent will advise you on the next steps you should take, including seeking repairs from an approved auto body shop and filing the appropriate accident forms with the DMV.

6.  Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

If you have been in an accident and want to explore your legal options, get in touch with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles before too much time passes by. An auto accident attorney will represent your interests and deal directly with the insurance companies so that the pressure is off of you moving forward. This gives you the assistance you need since a professional will be handling your case and keep you from feeling pressured into settling a claim with an insurance company that does not fairly compensate you for the damage and injuries you’ve suffered.

Auto accident attorneys will also evaluate your case for free and help you determine the strength of your claim. In addition, you will be able to get advice on the immediate steps that you should take so that you are in the best position possible when dealing with the insurance companies. Call your attorney immediately after the accident when the information is still fresh in your mind so you have the best representation for your case.

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Learn your Legal Rights and Responsibilities Following a Workplace Injury

Posted in Blog
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April 1, 2014

 First Aid Station

Getting hurt at work can provoke a number of problems in addition to the pain and suffering that the accident caused. Many people worry that their job will be in jeopardy if they tell their employer about the injury or if they seek medical attention. Luckily, the California Worker Compensation Law has you covered when it comes to getting hurt on the job in Los Angeles. The injury or injuries that you suffer will likely be covered by insurance that most employers are required to carry, insurance that’s meant to help you pay for your medical bills as well as cover lost wages as you recover. Not every workplace will make this easy for you, so it is important to know your rights and responsibilities following a workplace accident.

Your Responsibilities

In order for workmen’s compensation to work for you in the face of an injury, you need to understand your responsibilities. Most employers are not going to readily offer workmen’s compensation coverage when you suffer an injury. Remember, your employer is trying to protect his assets while you are likely trying to protect your own. In order for the situation to work out fairly, you should follow these steps:

  • Tell your employer about the injury right away. Do not try to hide it. The longer that you hide an injury, the less likely it is that it will be covered under workmen’s comp.
  • Seek medical attention right away. If your situation is an emergency, do not delay; simply go to the emergency room. If it is not urgent, ask your employer if there is a certain list of doctors that you are required to see in the event of a workplace injury.
  • Inform your employer of all injuries and diagnoses that you receive from the doctor in addition to the factors that caused the accident.
  • Keep a written record of everything that happened from the time of the accident all the way through to the doctor appointments and treatments. This lessens the possibility of having to endure the “he said/she said” charade further down the road.
  • Enlist help from a third party if you are seriously injured or are unsure about how to proceed with your case.

Your Rights

Every injured employee has rights that must be abided by according to the California Worker Compensation Law. These rights are not always readily known to the injured person because the employer is typically not very helpful in this type of case. If at any point you feel that your rights are not being honored, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles that specializes in workmen’s compensation can help you get what you deserve.

  • Negligence does not have to be solely the employer’s responsibility. Even accidents that occur as a result of the employee’s negligence can be covered. The exception to this rule is if the employee was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident.
  • You have the right to a second opinion, even if your employer requires that you see a specific doctor for the workmen’s compensation claim. The second opinion might not be covered under the worker’s compensation, but you do have the right to seek it to ensure that you are being properly treated.
  • You are entitled to receive a copy of the workmen’s compensation claim. This allows you to ensure that your claim was properly filed and that it includes all of the details that you provided regarding the accident and the injuries.
  • Not all injuries are sudden. Even repetitive motion injuries, such as carpel tunnel syndrome or occupational illnesses as a result of breathing in toxic substances can be covered under the workmen’s compensation insurance.
  • If the doctor releases you but requires lighter duty than your normal responsibilities, your employer is required to provide a job with these lighter duties.
  • You have the right to attend all required medical appointments and treatments regarding your injury, even if they are during working hours.
  • You have the right to take the appropriate time to recover from your injuries, according to the treating doctor.
  • You have the right to financial assistance. The amount that you receive will depend on the type and severity of the injury and how it affects your ability to work. Temporary and permanent disability coverage is available in the event of an injury.

 Final Thought

 Suffering an injury at work is not only painful, but also frightening. Not knowing how you will provide for your family or pay your medical bills can be debilitating. Under the Workmen’s Compensation Law, you have rights that your employer must honor. If you are overwhelmed, confused, or feel as if you are being taken advantage of by your employer, it is well worth a consultation with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to discuss your rights. Anyone that is hurt on the job has rights and should not have to go through the experience alone. Protect yourself and your family by hiring the right lawyer to ensure that you get the assistance that you are entitled to as a result of your accident. 

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