You’ve Been Injured. What Next?
Personal injury cases are based on the premise that someone was injured by the act of another person or entity. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should seek out a top personal injury attorney who can fight for you and your rights. Since these cases are not necessarily clear cut, it is rarely advisable for you to go this alone.
When pursuing your personal injury case, the first thing on your list should be finding a good attorney. Even after you have narrowed down your choices, you still need to do a little research in order to make sure that he or she will be the right fit for you. This means looking for reviews from other clients, complaints, and even pending lawsuits that may have been filed. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to find this kind of information.
The Face to Face Meeting
You will next want to set a meeting with your attorney. Here, you will discuss the details of your case to determine if you do, in fact, have a viable claim. This is when your attorney will instruct you on what can be expected through each step of the process. This is also the time that your attorney will instruct you as to what will be expected of you. This will include any information you may have, the facts of your case, contacts who can help to verify your case, and any other information pertinent to your claim. The defendant’s attorney will also be contacting your attorney to swap information material to the case.
I Resolve to …
New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make them, but not many of us manage to keep them. They generally have to do with things we feel, if accomplished, would make us a better, or healthier, or more prosperous person. We resolve to lose weight, or stop smoking, or to start working out or running, or to simply try to be a nicer human being.
These are all laudable and worthwhile objectives, and we encourage everyone to do your best to achieve whatever goals you’ve resolved to reach in 2012. But, we have a couple of items we’d like to suggest that you add to your list. They’re not traditional New Year’s resolutions, but we think they would be worth your time and effort, and might save you, or a loved one, or even a total stranger from harm and/or liability in the coming months and years.
Make a List … or Several
- Have all your vehicles checked thoroughly for potential safety issues. This means your cars, motorcycles, motor homes, watercraft, camping trailers, bicycles, even your skateboard. Check them all to be sure that wheels, brakes, lights – anything that could cause an accident, should it malfunction – are in good working order.
Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights ~
If you’re involved in any kind of vehicular accident, there are certain rules you should follow. Some of these rules are required by law, others are there to protect your rights. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an auto accident, a bicycle accident, a motorcycle accident, or are hit by any one of them while walking down the sidewalk as a pedestrian. These rules apply in all situations. While you should always consult with a personal injury attorney for legal advice immediately following any accident, you also need to know, in advance, what to do in case of an emergency.
- Remain as calm as possible. Being involved in an accident is almost always an emotional experience. You may be afraid of potential consequences. You may also be in pain. However, staying as calm as you can is in your best interest. You will be less likely to say or do something that could be detrimental should legal proceedings result.
- First, if anyone was injured in the accident, call 911. “Anyone” means yourself and passengers in your vehicle as well as other drivers, and passengers in other vehicles. Emergency personnel should be contacted even if the injuries seem minor. Second, call the police so the facts of the accident can be documented. In most instances, a single call to 911 will likely dispatch both the police and paramedics. (Note: In certain instances, the police may refuse to come or prepare a report.)
- Even if you believe the accident was entirely your fault, do not make any statements to that effect. Doing so can have serious legal consequences, and might even affect your insurance coverage. You are not obligated to provide this information before obtaining legal advice.
According to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, two teenage bicyclists were injured by a hit and run accident. The driver rolled down the window to ask if the two boys were ok, but quickly drove off after one of the boys had indicated that the other was bleeding and hurt. The boys were taken to the hospital and treated for minor cuts and abrasions while one had a possible broken nose.
Unfortunately for Californians, hit and run accidents have increased by 17% over the last five years according to a report made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). California also has one of the highest rates of hit and run accidents in the US. Hit and run accidents can be especially distressing for victims in that they often have to use their own insurance to pay for medical bills, repairs and damages.
Negligent and distracted drivers pose a risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. In fact, a bicyclist is fatally injured once every six hours in the US. Therefore, it is important to follow traffic laws and carry insurance. Also, take care to protect yourself when bicycling by wearing a helmet, being aware of motorists and learning the correct hand signals to communicate to drivers.
If you or someone in your family has been involved in a hit and run or bicycle accident, you may be entitled to recoup compensation for medical expenses, lost and future earnings, as well as pain and hardship. Contact one of the professional San Fernando Valley personal injury accident lawyers at the Mandell Law Firm for a free consultation. Knowing your rights can make the difference. Call (818) 886-6600 today.