If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to understand your rights. It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney right away after the accident to make sure that your case is getting started on the right track. Contact car accident lawyer Johann Hall today to discuss your potential case.
Seek Necessary Medical Care
First, your health and well-being are the most important things in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. If you have been injured, you will want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should call 911 right away if anyone involved may have serious injuries. If you do not immediately need to go to the hospital, you should also contact the local police department so that they can respond to the scene of the accident and write up an accident report. The accident report may become an important part of your case.
Some common injuries resulting from a car accident include back sprains, neck sprains, and head injuries such as whiplash. Of course, there are other types of injuries you may have suffered, depending on your position in the car, the force of impact, and whether or not you were wearing your seatbelt.
Once you have gotten any necessary medical attention, you should contact an attorney that handles personal injury automobile accident cases. By hiring an attorney, you’ll be able to get the advice you will need going forward with your case.
Reporting the Accident
Under California law, you must report any car accident that involves a death, injury, or property damage that is in excess of $750 to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days. You may report the accident yourself, or it may be handled by your insurance agent or attorney. You should also take a look at your own insurance policy and make sure that you report the accident in accordance with the terms of your policy.
Medical Payments Coverage on Your Policy
In California, medical payments coverage is not mandatory. However, in the event you were injured in a car accident, you will want to check your policy to see if you opted for this coverage. Medical payments coverage comes in different increments, so how much money is available for you to use depends on the policy you purchased.
The money can be used for any medical treatment you received after the car accident which was necessary, reasonable, and related to your injuries from the accident. If you have an attorney, your attorney can work with your insurance company to obtain the money for your medical payments coverage and can distribute the money to providers and achieve discounts on their bills. This process can help increase your net settlement amount.
Damages You May Be Entitled to Recover in Settlement
If the other driver is found to be at-fault for the car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages you suffered due to the accident. You may be able to get money in a settlement for the cost of your medical bills for treatment you needed for your injuries because of the accident. This may include the ambulance bill if you were transported from the scene of the accident to the hospital, any hospital bills—including those for radiology and pathology services, along with diagnostic tests like MRIs—and bills for physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.
Additionally, your settlement may include money for lost wages to compensate you for the time you were forced to be off work while recovering from these injuries. It is important to note, however, that generally in order to get compensation for lost wages, the time off work will need to be verified by your employer and it must be documented in your medical records that you were off work due to your doctor’s recommendation.
If you are married, your spouse may also have a claim for loss of consortium. Compensation for loss of consortium essentially means money for your spouse’s loss of companionship that he or she suffered because you were seriously injured in the accident. You may also be entitled to recover for pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident, which will vary depending on the seriousness of the accident and your injuries.
It is important to understand all of your rights after a car accident so that you can make sure you are fully compensated when you have been injured due to the other driver’s negligence. Call California car accident attorney Johann Hall today to discuss the facts of your case and your potential for compensation.