Whether you were a driver or a passenger, you can expect to describe your past involvement in a car accident as a jarring experience. Maybe you were not sure what actions you needed to take. After you read this article, you will be better prepared for the next time that you get involved in a similar incident.
The goals of an accident victim
• Protect his or her health
• Protect his or her legal rights
Actions that ensure protection of victim’s health
• Arrange to see a physician as soon as possible
• Follow the doctor’s advice. Follow the treatment program; take any prescribed medications. Go to all scheduled appointments.
• Allow whatever time has been suggested for the recovery; in other words do not perform any activities that the doctor has forbidden.
• Ask questions, if the doctor’s instructions have not been clear.
• Understand that a claimant has the right to seek a second opinion.
Actions that ensure protection of a claimant’s legal rights
Upon returning to your place-of-residence, take the time to jot down as much as you can remember, with respect to the accident. Create a detailed account.
Do not share information about the accident with anyone other than your lawyer. By the same token, do not withhold any information from your lawyer.
Do not show others any pictures of you that have been taken since the date of the accident’s occurrence; that includes sharing pictures on a social media network.
Consult with selected personal injury lawyers in Thousand Oaks, so that you can choose one of them. Depending on the strength of your case, it could be that not all the consulted lawyers agree to have you as a client. If you feel that you have a strong case, arrange to meet with the attorney that you have chosen to retain.
Stand prepared to file a claim, if the case seems to have reached a standstill, or is moving ahead at a slow pace. Think, too about filing a claim if the opposing party plans to charge you with comparative or contributory negligence. You might want to initiate a lawsuit.
Do not agree to start negotiating with the insurance adjuster until you or any injured passenger has reached the stage of maximum medical recovery. Give the treating physician the right to declare whether or not the recovery period has allowed for arrival at the point that is known as MMI (maximum medical improvement).
Watch for any evidence of bad faith on the part of the opposing party’s insurance company. Record the date when you noted the appearance of such evidence. That information could prove useful if you or a passenger developed new symptoms, after both sides had settled, and you had signed a release.