Monthly Archives:' March 2018

6 Essential Items to Keep After a Car or Motorcycle Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a shocking experience. Even if no one is injured, most motorists involved in a collision — either with another vehicle or with a stationary object — feel a sense of anxiety and discomfort afterward.

Because of this, it can be difficult to know what to do after you’ve been involved in an accident.

After you’ve contacted the police, spoken to your insurance provider and carried out the other tasks recommended in our guide to responding after an accident, there are several items you can and should hold onto to increase your chances of a successful insurance claim.

We’ve listed these six items below, all of which are worth remembering when you launch the process of filing your insurance claim or seeking legal action against the party responsible for the accident.

Valuations of damage to your vehicle

Was your vehicle damaged during the accident? From minor scratches to major structural or engine damage, it’s important that you have a full appraisal of your vehicle performed to give you a complete understanding of how much it will cost to repair (or replace).

Most insurance claims, lawsuit damages or settlements are calculated based on the value of a vehicle and the approximate cost of repairs. Providing a detailed valuation of your vehicle and the cost of repairing its damage can help you strengthen your case or insurance claim.

Photographs of the accident scene

This is one of the top items on our list of things to do after a car accident and for good reason. If you have a smartphone, use it to take photos both of the damage to your vehicle, the damage to the other party’s vehicle (or vehicles) and any injuries you sustained during the crash.

Obviously, this advice is primarily for minor accidents, where the priority is to record the results of the accident rather than to rush to help other people. In a serious accident, safety and health should always come first.

Once you’ve photographed your vehicle and any other relevant items, make sure you store the photographs in a secure location. A photographic record of vehicular damage and injuries can be immensely valuable when it’s time to make an insurance claim.

A police report of the accident

For anything other than minor accidents (for example, a tiny scratch on your vehicle caused by a backing car or shopping trolley), it’s always a good idea to contact the police for a record of the events.

After responding to the call, the police officers that visit the scene will write a report. Often, you can acquire a copy of this report by contacting the police. A full, comprehensive police report is an important document that can assist you in successfully making an insurance claim.

Proof of your regular income

If your accident resulted in injuries that prevent (or prevented) you from working, it’s important to have a written record of your typical weekly or monthly income.

Proof of income can take the form of records showing direct deposits from your employer, bank records demonstrating withdrawals from your own business account (if you are self-employed), paycheck stubs, or even records of the tips you receive (if you work in the service industry).

All of these records strengthen your case and increase your likelihood of receiving an adequate level of compensation for any income you’ve missed or will potentially miss out on as a result of an accident.

Recent medical records

If the accident you were involved in causing any injuries — even if minor — it’s important that you keep copies of all medical records. This is important even if you didn’t sustain any major injuries as a result of the accident if only as a precaution against future injuries developing.

In addition to medical records, you should keep copies of your medical bills, prescriptions and all other documents provided by your doctor. The more complete your medical records, the easier it will be to prove to your insurance provider that you suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

An activity and injury journal

During the process of making a claim or taking legal action, you’ll need to recall the dates of specific events. Keeping an activity and injury journal gives you a complete record that you’ll be able to reference, if required, in the insurance claim or legal process.

There are several ways to keep a journal. If you have injuries as a result of your accident, you can keep a physical journal and write down symptoms as they occur throughout the day. If you don’t have injuries but simply need a written record of activity, you can use a word processor.

Regardless of the specific format you choose, an activity and injury journal is a highly useful tool for keeping track of events that follow from your accident, as well as a valuable asset during the legal or insurance claims process that can help a Costa Mesa car accident attorney assist you.


6 Tips From Costa Mesa Auto Accident Attorney for After a Car Accident

It’s a situation almost every motorist will face at least once: you’ve been involved in a car accident.

Luckily, no one has been injured. However, the accident has left both your car and the other party’s car damaged — in fact, both vehicles are likely to need thousands of dollars in repairs before they’re back in acceptable condition.

As a motorist, what should you do in this situation? As a Costa Mesa auto accident lawyer’s office, we deal with hundreds of cases every year involving motorists that collide with other vehicles without causing any injuries.

As with everything in life, the best course of action can depend based on the specific type of situation you find yourself in. However, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself in the event of an accident, particularly from a legal perspective.

We’ve outlined these six tips below. For more information, or if you’re reading this directly after an accident and need advice, you can contact us on 1-800-410-4085 or complete our free case evaluation form online.

Before anything else, seek help for injured people

Before you do anything else, including working out who is to blame for the collision, it’s vital to check that no one has been injured in the accident.

If anyone has been hurt during the crash — either in your car or the other person’s vehicle — make sure you contact emergency services. Health and wellbeing is always the top priority in any accident situation, and it’s important that injured people are treated and cared for.

Avoid apologizing for the accident

This might sound ridiculous, but it’s generally best not to apologize to the other motorist after a car accident. The reason for this is simple: while apologizing might be great for easing tension, there’s a risk it could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.

From an insurance perspective, this can be used against you to reduce the amount you receive in compensation after an accident.

Instead, focus on making sure everyone is okay after the accident. If your car is damaged, take a moment to assess the damage. If your passengers are shaken or concerned, talk to them to make sure they’re alright and free of injuries.

Use your smartphone to record evidence

Your smartphone is a valuable tool in the event of an accident, especially if it has a high-quality camera. Use it to your advantage by capturing photographic evidence of the scene, from your vehicle’s damage to skid marks, traffic lights, stop signs and other traffic features.

It’s also important to take photos of any injuries you have, no matter how minor. Bruises, cuts and other physical injuries can also play a major role in determining the outcome of your claim after an accident.

This evidence can be valuable in helping you build a strong case for an insurance claim in the event that you weren’t responsible for the accident.

Contact the police after the accident

Even if no one was injured in the accident, it’s important to contact the police if the crash results in more than minor damage. This gives both you, the other party and the police a clear record of the outcome of the accident, as well as the damage that occurred to either vehicle.

In the event that you need to make an insurance claim, a police report can simplify the process and help you create a stronger case. The presence of a police officer also reduces the risk of a difficult or violent reaction from the other driver — a major risk in some accident situations.

Call an auto accident attorney when possible

Although many minor accidents can be resolved without legal action, others can require some amount of legal process. This is particularly common if your car or motorcycle accident led to significant damage to either party’s vehicle, or resulted in injuries.

As one of the top Costa Mesa auto accident law firms, we’ve assisted hundreds of motorists in successfully navigating the complex legal environment that can emerge after a car, truck, bike or motorcycle accident.

For more information, or for urgent assistance, please contact us on 1-800-410-4085 or fill out our free case evaluation form.