How to collect information after a personal accident in California
When an accident occurs, one of the things that cannot go unnoticed is time. We mean, you can’t let time go by without doing absolutely nothing. Time is of great importance, for once it passes, there is no turning back.
Now, how does this relate to personal injury? As we have said, when an accident occurs, it is extremely important to use the time, especially in those moments immediately following the incident. The first thing you should do is to gather information about the aspects of the accident and document them as much as possible, either by taking photos or by collecting witness testimony.
You will surely wonder: Why not do it later, with more calm and serenity? And the answer is very simple: once a certain amount of time has passed, some information about the accident will disappear. Likewise, people who have witnessed what happened will also disperse and you will run out of witnesses, which are vital pieces to build and win a case, as you should know.
So, if you use your time efficiently, you will greatly increase the chances of winning the litigation and securing a fair settlement of damages.
How to make documentation
Once we are clear about the importance of gathering information and documenting everything that happened, in the immediate aftermath of the accident, we will now offer some tips for doing so.
First, as a basic and essential point, you should write down the day, date and place where the accident took place.
Depending on the type of accident (traffic, public place, etc.), you should observe the environment and write down anything unusual that you notice. For example, if the personal injury was the result of a traffic accident, pay attention to the weather: write down rain, fog, or hail. You should also observe vehicle flow and surrounding spaces (if there are construction sites, for example). Conversely, if the personal injury occurred in a public place, a workplace, etc., keep your eyes on the dangers around and conditions such as humidity.
As a third point, you must concentrate efforts on getting personal information from those involved and witnesses. That is, you should attempt to collect personal data from property owners (buildings, vehicles) that are directly related to the incident, as well as contact information from all those who witnessed what happened.
You should also back up all the information with photographic material. All cell phones have built-in cameras, so there’s no excuse for you not for not to take pictures of the scene. Make sure they’re not irrelevant photos. They have to be accurate and focused photos.
Don’t forget to go to the nearest medical center. It doesn’t matter if your injury was mild or severe; the important thing is that a medical specialist examines the wound and treats it promptly. If you weren’t the only one who was injured, make sure everyone else gets medical care as well.
In the case of a vehicle accident, it is essential for you to make a police report (if there is no police officer, of course). It is also important not to blame yourself for the accident or blame other people. Just discuss the descriptive aspects of the incident, such as what happened, where it happened and who was affected. We want to place a lot of emphasis on not assigning responsibilities.
Last but not least, contact a lawyer. Preferably one of our lawyers. The professionals who make up our team are full of experience and knowledge about the laws governing personal injury matters.
You can also report what happened to your insurance company. However, avoid any type of negotiation and avoid providing information that may be used against you. Before reaching an agreement with your insurance company, you need to be advised by a personal injury attorney.
Reasons to hire a Avrek personal injury lawyer
Unfortunately, a common denominator for people who are victims of personal accidents is the decision to represent themselves on a jury. This decision is made with the belief that, in this way, they will be saving themselves the cost of hiring a lawyer. Additionally, this decision is usually made in cases where the injured person only experienced a minor injury and has insurance that covers medical care.
However, all of these beliefs can be easily dismantled: first, the absence of a lawyer can lead to the loss of the case. And this, in turn, means that you have to pay all expenses out of your own pocket – expenses that exceed a lawyer’s fees.
Second, wounds may worsen over time. If it is a mild wound at first, it can develop into a very serious wound within a few days or weeks. And the medical expenses required to treat a serious injury are quite high.
That is precisely one of the reasons why you should hire a lawyer: while he or she is not a doctor, a personal injury lawyer can identify the factors and details of the accident and intuit the severity of the injury.
But that’s not the only reason. Here are a number of reasons why you should hire an attorney in the event of a personal accident, regardless of your insurance coverage or the severity of the resulting injury.
- There are hidden factors in personal accidents. These hidden factors can be defective products, mechanical errors, among others. But as the name suggests, they are not easily identifiable. Only the eagle vision of a lawyer with expertise in the area can locate and analyze them to determine their impact on the incident. And if you don’t hire a lawyer on time, these hidden factors can no longer be located.
- Some people experience a sudden increase in adrenaline levels when they are injured in an accident. And this adrenaline acts as a sedative and lasts up to 48 hours approximately. In short, it is not possible to determine the extent of injuries until several days have passed.
- On the other hand, honesty is a value that is not present in every person. You may be an honest person, but there will be others who will deliberately omit aspects of their account of the facts in order not to be blamed with any legal responsibility. In addition, the memory is ephemeral, so some details can be forgotten with each passing second.
- Generally, insurance companies will try to reach an indemnity agreement as soon as possible to minimize costs. Obviously, they take advantage of the lack of knowledge and expertise of the injured. To counteract this, the advice of a personal injury attorney is essential.
- Also, liability in an accident is not absolute, nor is it easy to determine. As noted in point 1, there are hidden factors that can produce an imbalance in the distribution of faults in a personal accident. A personal injury lawyer, in addition to identifying those hidden factors, also knows beforehand how guilt can be distributed in the incident.
Possible perpetrators of an accident
The parties involved in a personal accident can be multiple, making it difficult to determine civil liability. The identification of those potentially responsible for an accident is essential to reach a fair settlement agreement for both parties. Let’s examine the hypothetical culprits of a personal injury incident.
- The driver of a vehicle or the owner of a property
- A business that has rented the space
- The person’s parents can also be found guilty of the incident, as long as the person in question was not on legal age.
- Employers, mainly from a construction company. Many personal accidents are caused by failures in a construction site. In turn, these failures are the employers’ fault for not having taken the necessary precautions to prevent such failures from causing harm to third parties.
- Government agencies. Believe it or not, the various bodies holding power can be legally charged for an accident involving personal injury. Obviously, these accidents must occur in a place where the administration is governmental, such as motorways or roads.
- Service organizations. The logic is the same as with government agencies: if the accident occurred in a parking lot or building, it is possible to accuse the organizations providing services to these locations if it is determined that they had an impact on the accident.
- Repair services. Imagine a personal accident caused by a vehicle. This vehicle was repaired shortly before the accident and reported mechanical failures. If it is shown that these failures were due to improperly made repairs, then it is also feasible to charge repair service providers.
Thus, given the multiplicity of possible culprits in a personal injury accident, it is not an easy matter to establish liability. Fortunately, our team of professionals is able to know the distribution of these responsibilities, which increases the likelihood of fair compensation for injuries.