Being involved in a car accident is not as improbable as you might think. There were 36,664 collisions in Orange County last year. In Los Angeles County, there were four times as many. You are almost guaranteed to get into a wreck if you live in Southern California long enough. With odds like this, drivers should educate themselves about what to expect after an accident so they are ready to take appropriate action when the time comes.
The vehicle accident lawyers at Neale & Fhima have handled thousands of accident cases. Based on our experience, we compiled information to help prepare people for the difficult period following a traffic accident. You can read our suggestions below. If you are looking for answers to specific questions not addressed here, or if you have already been involved in an accident and need legal advice, please contact our office.
Three Challenges Facing Car Accident Victims
Your time and energy will be in short supply after a car crash. It is important not to spend them dealing with relatively inconsequential matters. The following issues have the most potential to impact a victim’s wellbeing (for better or worse), so addressing each of them should be a priority:
- Physical Trauma. Nothing is more important than seeking medical treatment after a car crash. The initial shock of the accident will cause a victim’s body to release adrenaline, which can mask the symptoms of injuries that would otherwise be immediately apparent. Avoiding or delaying treatment will also make it more difficult to obtain compensation from the other driver.
- Psychological Distress. Car accidents can leave emotional scars that are every bit as debilitating as physical injuries. Victims may find themselves unable to get behind the wheel of a car, especially if they will be driving in conditions similar to those that existed at the time of the accident. Victims can also experience more generalized problems, like anxiety, hypervigilance, or insomnia.
- Financial Hardship. Unlike physical and emotional harm, the financial repercussions of an accident are easy to quantify. But they can also be the most difficult to overcome. Even victims who are fortunate enough to have quality medical insurance coverage can fall into debt quickly if they are unable to return to work or to perform their job duties properly.
The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend
Insurance companies do a masterful job of shaping public opinion regarding their services. They employ some of the catchiest advertising slogans ever devised, telling people they will be “in good hands” after an accident, or that the adjuster will act “like a good neighbor.”
Unfortunately, none of this holds true for an accident victim dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. The adjuster’s only goal in this situation is to pay you as little as possible. Never give a statement or sign documents without seeking legal advice first. In fact, beyond exchanging contact information, it is best to avoid communicating with the adjuster altogether.
Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer Makes Sense
Deciding whether to hire an attorney is a decision every car accident victim must make. If your accident only resulted in property damage, hiring a law firm to assist with the settlement may not be necessary. But if you were hurt in the crash, and your injuries were serious enough to require medical attention, contacting Neale & Fhima is the right thing to do. Here is why:
- The consultation is free, confidential, and does not obligate you to hire our firm.
- Unlike the other driver’s insurance adjuster, our loyalty is to you and to no one else.
- If we do not believe our services will result in your collecting more money for your claim, we will tell you so.
- We can take immediate action to preserve evidence to prove the other driver was at fault.
- Should you decide to hire our firm, we will handle all legal matters on your behalf, so you can focus on your recovery.
Do not risk your future by driving the streets of Southern California unprepared for an accident. Make sure you have Neale & Fhima’s contact information handy. We have offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. You can reach us by phone at (888) 506-0899 or by using the form below.