accident attorney

When to Call an Injury Attorney

Nobody expects to get injured in a car accident, and so people injured in auto crashes are often uncertain how to proceed. The reality is most people who are injured incur some medical expenses, and without the help of a personal injury lawyer, these same people often forego appropriate medical treatment because they don't know how they will pay for it. A common question injured victims face is when they should call an attorney, and what the attorney will do for them. There are a few common misconceptions that go against the injured, such as the assumption that an attorney only helps at the end, once medical treatment is complete.

What Kind of Injuries do 'Personal Injury' Law Firms Handle?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 31 million people each year seek treatment in a hospital or emergency room for accidental injuries. These injuries may include broken bones, muscle or tendon tears, cuts and burns, as well as accidental ingestion of toxins and damage to internal organs. The most common causes of injuries are:

  • Automobile accidents, including motorcycle and trucking accidents
  • Bicycle/pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Strike by a falling object
  • Dog bites
  • Medical error (commonly assumed to be medical malpractice)
  • Defective or dangerous products (often called 'product liability' cases)

Most of these accidents involve someone else's negligence. In California, if you were injured in one of these situations, and someone else is partially or fully to blame (liability), they may be responsible for making you "whole" again, or providing the financial means to pay for your medical treatment to help you recover to the state of health you were in prior to the accident or car crash. 

When to Call an Injury Attorney or Car Crash Law Firm

In California, you have two years to file your claim for your injury. After two years, you cannot recover money for your injury. This rule, called the statute of limitations, applies regardless of where in California you live. For example, the statute of limitations for car crashes is the same whether you live in Orange County, Los Angeles County, or in the Bay Area. All California residents must file before the two year limit. The same applies for visitors to the state of California.

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If you were injured in a car crash, you should call an injury attorney as soon as possible. There are many reasons why time is very important right after your injury. For example, the at-fault driver's insurance will likely push you to accept a small amount of money as a settlement. Their insurance may pressure you to make a recorded statement, which will most often be used against you in the future. Many people have a hard time seeing an appropriately trained doctor soon after a crash; many law firms can help injured people gain access to lien-based medical treatment, meaning the doctors will treat the patient at no out of pocket cost to the person, and the law firm will pay the doctor when they win the case.

Don't Settle Your Claim Alone

Most people assume that if they hire an attorney, they will need to either pay the lawyer a lot of money up front, or they will have to pay a large portion of their settlement to the law firm. In many cases, the injured person does not know what his or her case is worth. It can be very difficult to know if the settlement amount the insurance is offering is fair. In most cases, an experienced California injury attorney will be able to compare your case against thousands of other injury claims in order to determine how much money is fair and reasonable. Once an amount is determined, a good injury law firm will have a specific strategy to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. Also, most car crash lawyers in California are willing to work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the lawyer does not take a fee unless he or she wins. This is good for plaintiffs (the injured) because most people do not have cash on hand, ready to pay a lawyer just in case they are injured. 

Don't Underestimate Car Insurance Claims Adjusters

Auto insurance adjusters may seem friendly on the phone, but make no mistake, their job is to get you to accept as little money as possible to settle your claim. After all, these are multi-billion dollar publicly-traded companies that are trying to make as much money as possible. Next time you're watching sports, pay attention to how many insurance companies are advertising during commercial breaks. Why do they do this? Auto insurance is an extremely profitable industry. That's all fine, of course, but when you're injured and the person who caused your injury has an insurance policy that is supposed to cover the costs of your medical treatment, you should not have to fight tooth and nail to get what is rightfully owed you. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters often rely heavily on complex computer algorithms, meaning no matter how friendly you are to them, or visa versa, at the end of the day, the computer spits out a number and that is how much money they will try to get you to settle for. With an injury attorney who knows what he or she is doing, that computer-generated number is meaningless.

Future Medical Care and "Pain and Suffering"

You should call an injury law firm when you are trying to figure out how to pay for future medical expenses. Depending on your injury, the cost of your future medical expenses may be large. It can be difficult to know whether you have calculated enough money to cover future medical costs. Many California car accident law firms hire expert witnesses to calculate how much a client will need to treat their injury in the future.

Another challenging aspect injured persons encounter is how to calculate general damages, commonly known as "pain and suffering" damages or money. This amount is the money the at-fault person pays to compensate you for the pain they put you in. How much is your pain worth? Experienced injury attorneys can look at past cases and build your claim based on their knowledge of California case law. Pain and suffering damages are not commonly offered by insurance companies, and a good lawyer will fight hard to recover as much money as possible on your behalf.

The Lions Injury Lawyers are proud to represent clients throughout California, from San Diego all the way to the Oregon border and everywhere in between. If you were injured, you owe it to yourself to speak with a good attorney. You have nothing to lose, and even a short conversation with a good injury law firm will give you peace of mind, if nothing else, that you are proceeding correctly. You will speak with a lawyer (not a salesman), who will answer your questions and give you a free, no pressure evaluation.

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Documenting Expenses for your Personal Injury Claim

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Costs add up quickly when you're trying to recover from an injury, from co-payments for doctors visits, to prescriptions and travel to and from medical facilities. If you were injured in an accident and it was not your fault, you are entitled to reimbursement for these expenses. Unfortunately, many claimants do not keep track of their expenses (bills), and so the defense insurance company is not obligated to pay for costs that are not appropriately documented. A few tips on how to organize your car accident injury-related bills may help you recover more money for your injury settlement.

Your Claim Comes Down To Documentation

Your injury attorney will be using your medical records and bills to prove the extent and severity of your injury. Your injury lawyer will also be using any bills you have to prove out of pocket expenses, such as receipts for travel expenses, receipts for prescriptions you fill at a pharmacy, and other expenses. If you missed work, for example, you cannot simply tell the at-fault insurance company you missed work and expect them to compensate you for your lost wages. You must provide proof of all lost income via pay stub or other documentation. This can be agitating and difficult, but the more aware you are of the process at the beginning, the better.

Start a File

Many individuals who are hurt in a California car accident are going through the experience for the first time. Unfamiliar with how insurance adjusters evaluate injury claims, they assume the best. This is not wise. Insurance adjusters are well-trained to minimize the amount they will pay for an injury claim. When possible, they will reduce the amount they will pay as low as they can. In order to prove lost income, or out of pocket expenses, you should start a file where you keep all documentation related to your injury. This includes photographs of the scene of the accident, all correspondence from the other driver, bills, medical records, and anything else your injury law firm might need in order to get you the most money for your injury settlement.

California Injury Claims

If you were injured in California, no matter whether it is in Southern California, the Inland Empire, or up north, the state insurance code provides insurance companies several "loopholes" through which they can deny payment. An experienced injury attorney in California will be well versed in the tactics used by insurance companies, and will be able to guide injured clients through the process. You should provide your attorney with all information related to the claim, but you should not provide the at-fault insurance company this information directly. There are many reasons for this, but the way you provide information to the insurance company can drastically affect the leverage you have to settle for a higher amount. 

How To Proceed With Your Injury Claim

First, you will be well served to consult with an experienced injury attorney or injury law firm. Consider all the things you likely do not know about how injury claims work. Also, remember that all insurance companies are for-profit corporations that make billions of dollars a year - their motivation is not to pay all your bills, it is to create a profitable business. Therefore, expect them to pay as little as possible to you to settle your claim. An attorney will give you the best chance of settling for fair value with the at-fault insurance company. Keep all documents and photographs, and do not simply mail them or email them to the at-fault insurance company. First, you should speak with an attorney and get a free consultation. This could literally save you tens of thousands of dollars, and a good attorney may be able to help you receive the best healthcare available without having to pay out of pocket. 

California Injury Attorneys

The Lions Injury Lawyers represent car crash victims throughout the state of California. We represent plaintiffs from San Diego, to Orange County, from Los Angeles, all the way up to San Francisco and beyond. Our office prides itself on achieving fair and reasonable settlements for our clients. If you're unsure where to go from here, an attorney is waiting to take your call and discuss your claim or case. You will never write us a check or have to pay out of pocket - our injury law firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no up front cost to you, and we take our fee as a percentage of what we win. If we don't win, we don't take any money or bill you. If you were injured in California and are looking to pay for your medical bills and be paid for your pain and suffering, call The Lions Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Fall Weather Driving Hazards

Parts of California may enjoy some of the most predictably sunny weather in the country, but even minor changes can result in major safety hazards. An increased awareness of road conditions that can result in dangerous conditions may help you avoid an accident.

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Wet Roads

We all know that California cities often crawl to a stop during heavy rains, but most of the precipitation on the roads is not heavy rain, or rain at all. With daylight savings time approaching, the days feel shorter and many drivers will be making their morning commute in the dark. Condensation settles on the road heavier this time of year than most. Even cities in Southern California, like Los Angeles, Orange County (which includes major business hubs like Costa Mesa and Irvine), and all the way down to San Diego, experience higher levels of morning dew. Similar to black ice in colder climates (some parts of California of course to have black ice as well), dew can be unrecognizable and therefore even more dangerous. If you are driving in the morning or evening, consider there may be more condensation on the roads than you can see, making fast stops and high speeds dangerous. Every year, drivers are injured and killed in California car accidents that are the result of a driver not realizing slick conditions on the roadway. Slow down, give yourself more time to break, and remember that there's more water on the road than you see, even if it is in the form of dew or fog.

Fog

Similar to dew, fog becomes a safety issue this time of year, especially in coastal cities and mountainous areas. Fog presents many safety hazards, and is a more obvious dangerous condition than dew, as drivers can readily see their visibility is impaired. Don't use your bright beam headlights - it doesn't help and it makes the situation even more dangerous for other drivers. Drive slower, put your normal lights on, and give yourself plenty of time to get to and from your destination. Keep your foot on the brake, as fog can be more dense in some areas and significantly decrease vision. The California Highway Patrol responds to fog-related accidents resulting in injury and death every year at this time, sometimes single-car accidents where the driver becomes disoriented and crashes. Avoid crashing your car in fog by taking it slow and proceeding cautiously.

Pedestrians

Halloween is, of course, a time of great excitement and increased pedestrian traffic. It is not just the neighborhoods, either. Consider there are more people at the grocery store and shopping mall, and as happens during every holiday season, people preparing for holidays are often aloof and not paying attention. Auto versus pedestrian accidents often result in serious injury or death, as no person is a match for a moving automobile. Pedestrians bear responsibility too: if you are walking in areas that pedestrians share with cars, remember to keep your eyes up and stay off your cell phone. Drivers owe pedestrians a heightened level of care because they are driving heavy machinery that can be dangerous and deadly. Pedestrians too can help avoid accidents simply by paying attention and acknowledging they see drivers, and visa versa.

Darkness

Daylight savings time results in more darkness, especially in the early evening. You should drive more slowly in the dark, taking more time to get to your destination. Remember that visibility is decreased, meaning other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians are more difficult to see. Drive slowly, and remember that your response time is diminished when it is dark outside.

Involved in a Fall Weather Car Accident or Injury?

For those unlucky enough to be injured in a car accident, or an auto versus pedestrian accident or slip and fall injury, the road to recovery can be challenging. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with and even more difficult to get fair compensation for your losses. Speaking with an experience personal injury attorney may be advisable. If your injury wasn't your fault and you are wondering how you will pay for everything, a good injury law firm will be able to give you sound counsel regarding your options. The Lions Injury Lawyers help people throughout California bounce back after an accident. If you are wondering what to do and how you will recover, the attorneys at The Lions Injury Lawyers will be more than happy to give you a free case assessment, as well as recommend medical providers that may be willing to provide high quality healthcare at no cost up front.

"Delayed" Car Accident Injuries

The variety of injuries you may suffer if you are involved in a car crash is expansive. There are typical injuries, such as fractures, cuts, whiplash, and neck strain. Some of these appear immediately, such as a broken bone or a laceration (cut). However, some injuries do not appear until several days or weeks after the accident. What then?

See A Doctor

The best advice is always to seek the treatment and evaluation of a qualified medical professional. Often times this means a visit to your primary care provider. However, if your health care provider is like most medical offices, getting an appointment is not easy. For many offices is Los Angeles and Orange County, which are heavy populated areas, it can take weeks and even months to get in to see your doctor. If you are frustrated with the amount of time you have to wait to see a doctor, you are actually appropriately justified in feeling that way: it is critical to your health that you see a doctor after an injury accident, especially when you cannot determine the full extent of your injuries by yourself. 

Go To Urgent Care If Necessary

If you can't get in to see your doctor, or you feel you are being marginalized and turned away with minimal "gloss-over" care at your normal doctor's office, you should go to an Urgent Care facility, even if you have to pay out of pocket. Sometimes, an established injury attorney may be able to sign a lien so you can visit an Urgent Care facility at no out of pocket cost to you. The important this is to see a doctor as soon as possible.

What If Your Injuries Only Appear Later?

"Delayed" onset injuries are common in car accidents. Why? Your body responds to trauma and high-stress environments differently than it would in other circumstances is one reason you may not feel the injury right away. Consider than after a car crash, you may be scared, worried about your vehicle, worried about the safety of your passengers or the driver of the other vehicle - the number of things you have to consider all at once is overwhelming, for anyone. Your brain can only handle so much stress. It is rare, but occasionally people who suffer even severe fractures and lacerations do not notice until hours after the accident because they are preoccupied with handling immediate concerns at the scene of the accident.

When injuries appear that you connect to the crash, you still need to seek medical attention. Your car accident attorney will be well versed in arguing on your behalf. Don't expect the insurance company to pay you for your injury unless it is appropriately documented in your medical records. The only way to do this is to see a doctor as soon as possible.

What Kind Of Injuries Are Often "Delayed?"

There is no definitive list as to which injuries that result from car accidents show up later, but the most common injuries are whiplash, concussions, sprains to the neck and back, and bruising. Every person's body reacts differently, but injuries to the "soft tissue" areas of your body, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, can take time to exhibit symptoms, due to the body's endorphin and adrenaline response, which tries to cover up or less pain associated with damaged tissue or bone. 

Will The Insurance Company Pay Your Medical Bills?

The answer depends on how you approach your injury and your injury claim. If you simply submit your medical bills on your own to the at-fault driver's insurance, you do not have a high chance of having your medical bills paid. Why? If you did not seek immediate treatment, they will almost always deny payment, saying there is an inexcusable "gap in treatment." At The Lions Injury Lawyers, we have seen insurance companies deny payment on medical bills that were incurred only two days after a major accident. (Of course, we fought and won, and they ended up paying. But without an attorney, the claimant would have had to pay out of pocket). A good injury attorney will make sure the insurance company pays them. Do not expect them to be paid just because you say the bills are a result of your car accident. Even if the police report says their insured is at fault, and you went to the doctor immediately, insurance companies are notorious for using a very long list of excuses for not paying medical bills.

You're Feeling The Effects of Your Crash - Now What?

You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries. That won't happen easily. The Lions Injury Lawyers know the ins and outs of the insurance industry's approach to injury claims, including the tricks and traps they utilize to minimize the amount of money they will pay you for your claim. Don't get taken advantage of. Even if you don't sign up with our firm, you owe it to yourself to speak with someone who has done this before. (Or, preferably, thousands of times before!) When you call The Lions Injury Lawyers, you'll speak with an attorney, not a salesperson. We are not a legal marketing firm - we don't just sign up clients and sell their files to other law firms. We will fight to get you fair compensation and make sure you don't get taken advantage of by predatory insurance adjusters. Serving all of California, including Orange County, CA, Los Angeles, CA, San Bernardino, CA, San Diego, CA, and the inland empire, we are ready to help you get what you deserve.

Who Pays Medical Bills After A Crash?

If you were injured in a car crash, you likely have medicals bills. And, given the high cost of healthcare in California, these bills are sometimes very high. For some, the cost of medical expenses can be daunting, and the unknown as to how and when they will be paid can be paralyzing. Understanding who pays and how can be helpful for those trying to figure out how to proceed after an injury accident.

What About Car Insurance?

In an ideal world, the driver who causes an accident has car insurance. If he injures someone, eventually his auto insurance will ideally pay for the medical expenses of the injured person. But what if his insurance only covers him for the California state minimum of $15,000 and the injured person's bills exceed $15,000? In that scenario, the injured person's insurance may come into play, if he or she is insured for more than the state minimum. Additionally, if there are other insurance policies that might cover the at-fault driver, such as a business or umbrella insurance policy, those insurance policies might also pay for the injured person's medical expenses.

And If Car Insurance Won't Pay?

It sounds unfair and unlawful, but car insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying medical bills. For example, they may state that the car accident did not cause the injuries, and so they do not have to pay the bills. There's a sliver of truth to this, but the extent to which insurance agencies use this excuse is often ridiculous. Or, the insurance adjusters may state that the amount billed is too much, and so they will offer you the minimum amount for the medical treatment billed. Or, they may simply decide that some medical treatment is not necessary, was not properly prescribed, or the date of treatment was too far after the car accident and therefore not related. 

How To Get Your Bills Paid For

An experience car accident or injury attorney may be able to help you. The insurance companies are likely to deal more fairly with you if you are represented by an attorney, as politically incorrect as that sounds. An injury attorney knows the rules of the insurance code. Also, a good injury attorney in California will have heard the excuses for not paying before. Therefore, he or she will be in a much better position to fight back on your behalf. Also, consulting an injury attorney shortly after your car accident will likely benefit you by learning more about the claim and litigation process before you finish your medical treatment. You may be able to avoid falling into the traps the insurance companies expect you to fall into.

The Lions Injury Lawyers represent injured persons throughout California, including claimants living in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, San Diego County, Orange County, San Joaquin County, and Los Angeles County. Speak with an attorney, not a salesman.

Driving Safely With Children

Navigating busy California roads can be a difficult task in a quiet car. Driving the same roads with children in the car can be a much more difficult task. During summer, when most kids are out of school, more parents are driving their children around town and on road trips. If you're getting ready to spend a lot more time in the car with kids, taking a few minutes to consider your approach may help avoid problems and frustrations in the future. A few safety points to remember:

• Fix Technology or Entertainment Before You Put The Car in Drive

More and more new cars offer abundant entertainment options, from video screens to individual headphones for rear-seated passengers. Before you put the car in drive, start the movie or show, or figure out what the entertainment is going to be, if any. Fixing entertainment is a main cause for distracted driving, and distracted driving is a main factor in many car accidents. These decisions can easily be made before you pull away. If you're driving with another adult passenger, put that person in charge of media and entertainment so you can focus on the road.

• No Children in the Front Seat

This sounds like an obvious precaution to most adults, but tragically every summer children are injured in California car accidents because they are seated in the front seat. Modern airbag systems are not designed for small bodies, and a deployed airbag will often injure small children. Check the owner's manual for suggested body weight before allowing children in the front seat. Additionally, even if the airbag does not deploy, many rear-seated passengers are more likely to leave an accident less severely injured than if they are seated in the front. 

•  Proper Car Seat and Booster Seat Installation Matters

You may have purchased an appropriately sized carseat or booster seat for your child, but if it isn't installed correctly, it is not likely to protect your child the way it was designed to. Many stores that sell car seats are willing to assist with the installation. Similarly, several automobile insurance providers will, upon request, assist with proper installation. You should also occasionally check product recalls and safety alerts. A simple internet search will show results of up to date safety recalls. Even the best brands recall car seats occasionally. Your child's safety in the event of an accident may depend on whether they are in an appropriate seat that is installed correctly.

• Beware the Sun

Every year, children are left in cars while their parents or guardians run into a store. Cars heat up quickly in the summer sun, and children are unable to cool their bodies as quickly as adults. It doesn't take long for a car to heat up, and it doesn't take long for a child to overheat. The consequence of leaving your child or any child in a car alone in the summer heat are too great a risk. Cracking the windows open is not enough. Pets are similarly prone to overheating. Don't risk tragedy - bring the kids inside with you, even on errands that you think will only take a few minutes. California law enforcement are encouraged to prosecute, if appropriate, parents or guardians who ignore the safety of their children and leave them in the car unattended. 

• Parking Lot Accidents

Because children are shorter than adults, they can be difficult for other drivers to see, especially drivers backing out of parking spots. Don't assume drivers in parking lots are paying attention, or that slow speeds mean a lesser danger. Children should know that the parking lots can be dangerous. Many children are injured every summer in parking lots by inattentive drivers. Hold their hands, and don't assume that because they are in a cross walk they are safe. Slow speed accidents can be fatal, but can easily be avoided. Don't be careless just because the cars are moving slowly. No child (or adult) is a match for a car, which weighs several thousand pounds and even at slow speed can cause serious injury or death.

• Check Crash Test Results

If you're renting a car for an out of town visit or road trip, pay attention to the size and safety of the vehicle you choose. Often times people look only at the rental price. The difference between a very small or compact car with lesser safety and a full size car with better safety ratings is nominal. Is saving a dollar or two (or five) per day worth driving a car that has poor safety rankings? If you're driving with children on an extended trip, don't forget to factor in luggage. If you have a few bags, suddenly that mini or small car will be miserably cramped, and even less safe in the event of a crash. Err on the side of safety and rent a car with enough room for your luggage, and one that has a better crash test ranking.

• If You Get In A Crash . . . 

Check your injuries, but also pay close attention to your children. You will have a lot on your mind, such as who is at fault, are the police or ambulance on their way, is your insurance current, etc. Don't forget that children sometimes deny or don't recognize their injuries as quickly as adults. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters often shrug off injuries to children, unless fractures are present. If your child is injured, don't accept a small settlement just because they're a child. The law provides them just as much protection as if they were an adult, and you should not brush off their injuries when settling your injury claim.

• Questions

If you have questions about driving safely with children, the internet is full of best practices that will enhance the likelihood of traveling safely with children. If you are involved in a crash and you or your children are injured, the car crash attorneys at The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. are experienced and ready to discuss your situation. Consulting an injury lawyer is a good idea, even if you don't sign a contract and agree to formal representation. The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. currently represent several families with small children who were injured in California car crashes in Los Angeles and Orange counties. We make sure their medical expenses are paid for, and that each client, young or old, receives money for the pain and suffering the car crash caused them. Call today at (949) 329-5000 if you have any questions regarding your California car accident.

Injured in a Low Impact Crash? What You Should Know

Insurance companies would love for you to think that the only car accidents that can cause injuries are high impact collisions. To be sure, it is easy to claim a high velocity impact resulted in injury. Insurance adjusters are known to look at the photos of the vehicles involved and make a judgment as to how severe the injuries involved are likely to be. However, California courts have consistently awarded high verdicts to plaintiffs who were injured in low or moderate impact collisions.

What's the difference between 'high impact,' 'moderate impact' and 'low impact'?

There is no objective measure of whether an impact is high or low, or somewhere in-between. A police officer's report may make mention of the rate of impact, but otherwise this is largely determined by an insurance adjuster, based on statements from the involved parties. More likely, however, they are prone to simply looking at photos and making a determination. What you say is moderate impact may be considered high or low impact by someone else.

Why does it matter?

If an insurance adjuster says you were involved in a low impact collision, they are likely to either deny your injury claim altogether, or at best offer you a small amount of money to settle. This simple, subjective categorization by an insurance adjuster can severely limit the amount of money the at-fault party's insurance will pay to cover your medical bills and pain and suffering.

What if you're injured in a 'low-impact' auto accident?

If you were injured and it was not your fault, you're entitled to have your medical bills and pain and suffering paid by the at-fault driver's insurance. A good personal injury attorney will argue on your behalf and make sure you're not taken advantage of in reaching a fair settlement. First, you should consult an injury attorney. You should also seek reasonable and necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. This is extremely important, as insurance companies love to tell claimants they waited too long to seek medical treatment. See a doctor as soon as possible. This will put you on the path to recovery, but it will also document your injuries, a crucial part of any injury claim.

What About 'Pre-Existing' Conditions?

Sometimes, even a low-speed collision can result in great injury. For example, if you are recovering from a surgery, and you're hit from behind, the impact may aggravate a 'pre-existing' condition. The person who hit you did not know you were recovering from a surgery, but they are still liable for aggravating your delicate condition. Cases like these can be complicated, but an experienced car accident attorney will provide invaluable guidance. If it was not your fault, but you were injured, a personal injury lawyer will likely be able to make sure you're able to recover what the law entitles you to.


The Lions Injury Lawyers have successfully recovered large settlements in personal injury cases that were the result of so-called 'low-impact' collisions. We recovered $100,000 on a case where the damage to our injured client's car was $1,200. How? The injury was legitimate, and the client's medical records clearly showed that the injury was the result of the car accident. If you were involved in a California car accident and were injured, even if the damage to your car was not severe, give us a call at (949) 329-5000 for a free consultation.

10 Things to Remember if You're in a Car Crash

What Should You Do?

The minutes and hours following a car accident can be a confusing blur. Assuming you've moved your body outside the zone of danger, there are a few things you can do to help avoid conflicts regarding the facts of the accident:

1. Seek Medical Attention.

  Yes, there are other things that are important, but be sure to take care of your health first. Try to take a few deep breaths and evaluate your physical condition. Do the same for your passengers. 

2. Decide Whether to Move Your Vehicle.

If you're on a highway or freeway and you're safely able to do so, most jurisdictions prefer parties involved in the accident to move their vehicles off the roadway. If, however, you're unsure of the safety of doing so, leave it there. Some vehicles are obviously unmovable due to damage caused by the accident, so don't force the issue if the vehicle won't move. If possible, take photos of the scene from multiple angles prior to moving your vehicle.

3. Contact law enforcement.

Usually, this means calling 911. There are many reasons that having a police officer or highway patrolman take an official report may be helpful. 

4. Exchange Insurance Information.

Be sure to exchange information with all involved parties, not just the party you think is at fault. Don't forget to get drivers licenses as well. Most people drive with cell phones that have cameras, so the exchange of information is easier now than ever before. 

5. Take Photos.

You should take photos from multiple angles of all vehicles and the surrounding areas. If possible, do this prior to moving vehicles from where they came to rest after the accident.

5. Witnesses.

You may think it is obvious who caused the accident, but it is always important to have the contact information of witnesses, just in case there is a conflict later on about who caused the wreck.

6. Call An Injury Attorney

Nearly all injury attorneys give free consultations. A short phone call to an injury attorney will help you determine how to move forward. If you were injured, an injury lawyer will know the best path forward, and will be able to give you advice and counsel as to how to best proceed with your claim.

7. Call Your Insurance Provider

Most insurance companies require you to report all accidents involving your vehicle.

8. Don't Talk

Do not talk to the other driver's insurance company. You should never give a recorded statement to the other party's insurance carrier without first consulting an experienced injury attorney. There are countless seemingly insignificant things their insurance adjuster may ask you to say or confirm that can hurt your ability to recover a fair and reasonable settlement for your losses.

9. Follow Up

If you were injured in a car wreck, and you sought medical treatment, you should follow up with your doctor. Usually this means getting the treatment they prescribe. At a minimum, you should go to the follow up visit to discuss your injuries as time passes. Remember, if it isn't well-documented by a doctor, the insurance company will not take your word for it. Harsh as it seems, if a doctor doesn't specifically say you were injured, you were not injured at all in the eyes of the insurance adjuster.

10. Don't Settle For Less Than Fair Value

Insurance companies are incredibly savvy at getting injured people to accept small amounts of money to resolve their claims. If you were hurt, you deserve not only the cost of your medical expenses, but also money for pain and suffering. Don't settle for less than fair. If you feel like you're not making progress with the insurance adjuster, you're not alone: nearly every personal injury claim is valued higher when it is handled by a skilled injury attorney. The lawyers at The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. have the experience to help you recover a fair settlement for your injury.

 

Avoiding Drowsy Driving (It Can Be as Bad as Drunk Driving!)

We've discussed thousands of injury cases with clients and potential clients, and it's amazing how many accidents are the result of drowsy driving. Unfortunately, due to the long nature of many Southern Californian's commutes, many people leave work exhausted and have an hour or more of stop-and-go traffic ahead of them.  According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), a full 1/3 of all drivers have either nodded off at the wheel, or have fallen asleep while driving. As scary as that statistic may be, drowsy driving can certainly be avoided on your part, and there are several indicators that a driver near you is falling asleep at the wheel.

What To Look For

Similar to spotting drunk drivers, drowsy drivers are often driving above or below the normal speed of traffic. Commonly drowsy drivers drive slower than the traffic around them. Driving too slow can be a hazard to everyone on the road. Of course, many drowsy drivers nod off while driving slow and veer into another lane and cause a car crash.

Drowsy drivers are also known to forget things they wouldn't if they were well rested. For example, if you're driving at night and see someone with their blinker on for a prolonged period of time, take caution. Similarly, drowsy drivers may forget to turn their headlights on, or may not turn their lights on all the way. Drowsy drivers may also use their bright beam lights for extended periods of time in an effort to stay awake. Finally, drivers with their windows down or with extremely loud music may be trying to avoid falling asleep. Of course, not everyone who matches these descriptions is drowsy, but they are indicators that the driver behind the wheel may be fighting exhaustion. 

What To Do

Using an abundance of caution, you should avoid getting too close to the driver you suspect is falling asleep. Pass the car when it is safe to do so, but don't try to force the driver to pull over or take matters into your own hands. If you're a passenger in a car that sees someone who is most likely falling asleep, it is appropriate to call the police, similar to what you would do if you saw an obviously drunk driver.

How To Avoid Driving Drowsy

  • Get enough sleep! This may seem obvious, but when your body wants to sleep, there are very few things that will keep it awake. Eventually, the human body succumbs to exhaustion, even with caffeine and other stimulants in the system. Also, don't assume you can only become drowsy in the evening - many drowsy driving car accidents happen in the early morning hours and involve drowsy drivers who are heading to work early.
  • Don't rush it. If you plan ahead, you'll give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination, allowing for rest breaks if exhaustion arises.
  • Avoid driving at night. Drowsy drivers, inattentive drivers, and drunk drivers are all out at night!
  • Check your medications. Many medications cause drowsiness, so if you're taking something new, take the time to make sure you are aware of the possible side-effects. Err on the side of caution and do not drive if drowsiness is a possible side effect and you have not taken the medication before.
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage if you're trying to stave off exhaustion, but be aware that the stimulating effects of caffeine are no match for an exhausted mind or body. Caffeine should be a last-ditch effort, and you should never assume that because you're drinking caffeine, you won't fall asleep. Many accidents that have resulted in serious injury and death were caused by drowsy drivers who were drinking caffeine at the time they caused the accident.

What To Do If You're Injured By a Drowsy Driver

The Lions Injury Lawyers help individuals who are injured in car accidents, and we have helped many Californians recover from car accidents caused by drowsy drivers. Some of the car accidents that result in the worst injuries are caused by drowsy drivers, but insurance companies generally do not view drowsy driving on the same level of seriousness as drunk driving. The Lions Injury Lawyers fight to help people injured by drowsy drivers recover both physically and financially. Call (888) 248-1409 if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver. Contact The Lions Injury Lawyers today with any questions!

Documenting Your Expenses For Your Personal Injury Claim

The cost of an auto accident can quickly spiral out of control. When you face the potential for large medical bills due to someone else's negligence, it is understandable that many people become distraught and frustrated. Add to the mix the cost of childcare, time off work, transportation costs to and from treatment, and prescription medications, and your out-of-pocket expenses may become substantial. With the help of a good injury attorney you can be reimbursed for these expenses, but not without receipts. Insurance companies are notorious for refusing to pay for any expense without a receipt. 

Keep All Receipts

The best thing you can do is to keep all of your receipts. Most smartphones are able to scan receipts easy. Give these to your personal injury attorney. In the hands of an experienced injury lawyer, the at-fault party's insurance company will likely eventually pay up. Unfortunately, some costs can be impossible to recover without a receipt. For example, if you have young children and you have to pay someone to watch them when you go to your doctor appointment, you must have some documentation of this in order to get your money back.

Keep A Diary

The better you keep track of your expenses and physical recovery, the stronger your case is likely to be. Detail your progress physically, and of course record all out-of-pocket expenses. Remember, if the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay for your recovery. The cost of transportation adds up. After a few months, that ten mile drive (one way) to your doctor cost you a lot more than a few dollars! Don't just pay for it - keep track of it!

Provide Your Injury Lawyer Your Bills

Billing departments commonly send out frequent reminders of outstanding bills. Your attorney should have these, as they make your case stronger. Your attorney should be the first point of contact for medical billing departments, but if this is not the case, you want to make sure your lawyers have the most accurate cost of your medical expenses. 

"I Don't Want To Sue Anyone"

If someone hit you and injured you, that person's auto insurance policy will pay for your injuries eventually. Of course, most people who try to reach a settlement on their own either settle for a small amount, or become so frustrated that a good injury attorney is needed to get a realistic and fair settlement worked out. Don't feel bad about filing a claim - this is what auto insurance is for. Most of us do not keep tens of thousands of dollars in our bank accounts, just in case we injure someone. This is what insurance companies do, and they make enormous amounts of money. You are only hurting yourself by not filing a claim if you were hurt by the negligence of an insured driver.

When To Call An Injury Lawyer

If keeping track of all your medical expenses becomes too much, a good injury law firm will have an experienced staff ready to help you. Also, if you're trying to get your medical bills reimbursed but the driver's insurance company is not playing fair, you need a lawyer. Unfortunately, often the only way to get the insurance company's attention is for a lawyer to call on you behalf. When this happens, their review process automatically changes. This works in your favor, and most of the time it means you will walk away with more money in your pocket. 

For more information about California Personal Injury claims, contact The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. today.