Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Being involved in a car accident in Los Angeles is more than unexpected. It can turn your entire world upside down. Medical expenses, missed work, property damage, and pain cause a lot of stress for you and your family. There are a lot of unanswered questions. How can you know who to trust? Will the insurance company really do what’s in your best interest? If you’re hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, call The Lombardo Law Firm right away at (909) 482-0384 to schedule your free consultation. With more than 25 years of experience, our focus is to help accident victims and their families get back on their feet. We’re available to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Should You Trust the Insurance Company?
California law says that all drivers must have car insurance. Of course, the purpose of car insurance is to help pay for losses such as property damage and medical expenses. The public is led to believe that the insurance company will do the right thing and fully compensate victims for their losses so that they can get back to the same position they were in before the accident happened.
Unfortunately, the insurance company doesn’t always choose to treat victims with fairness and respect. They’ll often tell victims that they can’t pay out enough to cover all of the expenses that resulted from the accident. They’ll slow down the process and essentially pressure victims into taking less than they deserve. Why do insurance companies do this? Because they’re a for-profit company. They want to keep profits high and expenses low. One way that they do this is by offering less than they should for vehicle accident claims.
The insurance company may ask you to sign a settlement agreement. This agreement may be provided to you when you’re under stress from the accident. You may not be working. It may seem like they’re even doing you a favor. Do not sign that document until you have it reviewed by a Los Angeles car accident attorney. If you sign it, there’s a good chance that you likely won’t get help with any future medical expenses that result from your injuries. You’re also signing away your right to sue. The insurance company and their legal team looks out for what they feel is in their best interest – not what’s in your best interest.
What Should I Do at the Scene of an Accident?
- If you’re involved in an accident, stay put. Never leave the scene. If you do not stay and exchange information, you could be charged with a hit and run. A hit and run is a criminal offense classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. If your vehicle is blocking the road or creating a hazard, or if you are in danger of being involved in another wreck, safely pull off to the side of the roadway.
- Next, call the police and ask them to send an officer. The officer will create a report and provide you with a report number. They can also help you exchange information with the other driver or drivers. You also might want to call someone you know and let them know that you’ve been in an accident while you wait for the police.
- If you are hurting in any way, ask for an ambulance. Many people who are involved in a car accident hesitate to get emergency medical care because of the cost. Don’t worry about that. Your well-being is most important. You don’t want any potential injury to get worse. Additionally, emergency medical expenses, including an ambulance ride, is reimbursed by insurance.
- Take photos of all of the vehicles involved. Once they leave the accident scene, you may never have another opportunity to capture photographic evidence. Capture their license plate number along with the damage to their vehicle. You should also take pictures of the scene. This includes the surrounding area, the street signs, skid marks on the ground, and any other property damage caused by the collision.
- When you talk to the police officer or the other involved parties, do NOT admit fault. Do not say you’re sorry because even that small statement can be perceived as you admitting you were at least partially at fault. Remember that what is said will be recorded in the report.
- If you or your passengers are hurt, ask the officer to include that information, specifically the potential or obvious injuries, in their accident report. Also remember to get checked out as soon as you can. Keep copies of any medical bills or out of pocket expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
- Often, the police report contains important information about the accident and the parties involved. The police officer usually declares who is at fault, if anyone. So, do NOT accept responsibility. Liability is a complicated legal issue. Admitting fault may complicate your claim and could make it hard for you to get the financial compensation you need. The legal decision as to who was at fault in a car accident is decided either during the settlement process between the parties (and insurance companies) or by the court.
- Talk to witnesses at the scene of an accident. Ask them what they saw. Write down their name and their contact information. Witnesses can be a valuable part in proving your claim. Your lawyer will call them at a later time and ask them about what they observed.
- Call The Lombardo Law Firm at (909) 482-0384 to speak with a 24/7 automobile accident lawyer. This is important because you need someone who looks out for your best interest throughout the entire process. We can contact the insurance company on your behalf and report the accident properly. We will continue to monitor your claim and handle the insurance company for you. If you decide to call the insurance company claims department yourself, be careful with what you say. They will be recording your conversation. Even small comments that you think are harmless may be used against you later.
- If you call the insurance company claims department of the party that hit you, do not give them a recorded statement. It is highly advised that you call a lawyer first. Claims adjusters are trained to do what is in the best interest of the insurance company.
How We Help Auto Accident Victims
A car accident lawyer does more than represent accident victims in front of a judge. Here’s how we help:
- We handle the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on getting better and getting your car repaired if possible. We know that it can be stressful to deal with the insurance company. The Lombardo Law Firm can help you with your claim and with any settlement negotiations process. We’ll also be honest with you about whether signing a settlement agreement is in your best interest.
- We protect your legal rights. Insurance companies are for profit organizations. They’re not always excited about paying out on a claim. The Lombardo Law Firm is proud to protect the legal rights of accident victims and their families.
- If necessary, we’ll fight for you in court. The good news is that most auto accident claims are settled before court is necessary. If court becomes a necessity, we’ll fight for you.
When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
If you’re involved in a car accident in Los Angeles, the best time to get a lawyer is as soon as you can make the call. So don’t wait. Call The Lombardo Law Firm now at (909) 482-0384. Our lawyers are available 24/7 and the first consultation is free.