In the moments after a car accident, getting compensated for your injuries or reimbursed for lost earnings is the last thing on your mind. But after the dust settles, it’s natural for your mind to wander and wonder how you’ll get back to the life you had before the accident. We often hear questions such as how is my car going to get fixed? Who will pay for a rental? How am I going to work? How am I going to pay for medical care? How am I ultimately going to get compensated for my injuries?
At Cohn & Swartzon, a personal injury firm that emphasizes Southern California and Central California car accidents, our mission is to help you restore that normal life. With that in mind, we’ve put together some guidelines to help guide you through the immediate aftermath of a car accident, as well as the steps you should take to secure the compensation you deserve.
Don’ts and Do’s of Car Accident Compensation
If you are in a car accident, there are a few do’s and don’ts – or “don’ts and do’s” – to remember that will protect your rights and increase the likelihood of securing maximum compensation.
Don’t admit fault or apologize at the scene. In serious accident cases, fault and/or negligence will be determined as part of your claim or litigation.
Do stay at the site of the accident until law enforcement arrives. Your insurance company and legal counsel will want a copy of the traffic collision report to help substantiate your case, so secure the on-site officer’s information before you leave.
Don’t panic. Car accidents in Southern California are extremely (and unfortunately) common, and the right legal partner can help you obtain the compensation you need to get back to your normal life.
Don’t sign medical authorizations for give statements to the insurance carrier without first speaking with an experience team of legal professionals.
Don’t say you are “fine” immediately after a car accident when you do not know the true extent of your injuries. Mostly individuals are overcome by shock and adrenaline and many of the injuries and related symptoms may not surface for a day or two
Do speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. If you’re entitled to car accident compensation, your lawyer should start investigating your accident and working on your compensation claim as soon as possible.
Finally, don’t accept a settlement without getting a legal opinion first. This is a very important point because once you agree to terms and sign a settlement which are often offered for low, quick amounts, you can’t go back and ask for additional compensation, even if new challenges related to the accident arise later.
Key Points of the Car Accident Settlement Process
If you have been in a car accident in Southern California, the process starts with filing a claim. Remember, you are dealing with trained professionals on the other side, and that even your own insurance company rarely acts with your best interests at heart. It is always best to contact an experienced professional such as those at Cohn & Swartzon and let them report the claim on your behalf.
Your and the other party’s insurance company will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault, and later, evaluate your damages. Your attorney will factor in both economic (those damages that can be calculated)and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) to determine what your car accident compensation is worth.
Most car accident cases are eventually settled through a negotiation process but make sure you hire a law firm such as Cohn & Swartzon that will prepare your case for trial from the very beginning. That way, if you are unable to reach a settlement, your legal team will be ready to file a lawsuit and prepare for trial if needed.
Case Study: Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Our client was taking a leisurely walk during his lunch break when a vehicle driving in completely reckless manner struck him. Our client was propelled through the air, over the sidewalk, into a parking lot, where our client was knocked unconscious and then spent several days in the hospital.
Unable to work for a period of time, the at-fault insurance party first asserted a coverage dispute and then argued about the extent of our client’s injuries. Ultimately, the matter resolved for all available policy limits with $1.1 million ultimately awarded in compensation.
Why Cohn & Swartzon is the Right Choice for Pursuing Car Accident Compensation
Pursuing compensation for a car accident can seem like an an intimidating task, especially if you are recovering from injuries or emotional distress.
Working with an attorney who knows how to navigate the complexities while allowing you to concentrate on healing is the best path forward. You’ll need an experienced representative who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and their legal teams, both of which are always looking for reasons to minimize your settlement.
“One of the reasons that I started representing car accident victims is because I worked as legal counsel for insurance companies earlier in my career. I saw how they treated people whose lives were turned upside down by a serious accident, and I wanted to make sure that other victims receive what they’re entitled to, not what the insurance company feels like paying out.”
– Jason D. Cohn, Founding Principal, Cohn & Swartzon
Finally, partnering with knowledgeable attorneys like the Cohn & Swartzon team can relieve the stress of pursuing car accident compensation yourself, freeing you up to focus solely on recovery.