You’re going to need the advice and representation of a
personal injury attorney if you’re injured in California. Chances are, though, you’re not going to
be hiring an attorney within the first few hours of the incident.
So, with or without an attorney, here are Five Very Important
Steps you should take immediately after an accident or injury.
Step One: Don’t Discuss The Incident With the
Other Party or Their Representative
The other party, or their representative (usually an
insurance company adjuster or investigator) may try to get to you to answer questions soon after the incident – oftentimes within hours. Statements that you make at the time of the
accident or following the accident could be used against you as the case
Do not talk to the other party or their representative with
your attorney present!
Step Two: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you’ve been injured, or there is a possibility that you’ve
been injured, get thee to a doctor, emergency room or an urgent care facility
immediately. Be sure that the medical
practitioner documents your injuries and the fact that you’ve just been
involved in an accident (or fall, or dog bite, etc.)
Step Three: Write Things Down
It’s natural for our memories to fade with the passage of
time. We’re all human. Make written notes so that you can refresh
your memory about the incident. In
California, some cases don’t get to court for years. Defense attorneys (the lawyers who are going
to try to gut your case) will do their best to paint you as a liar or
exaggerator if you don’t have a great recollection of the incident.
Step Four: Save The Evidence
You want to
be sure, to the extent possible, that evidence is preserved. Evidence is essential in proving your case
down the line!
lose, alter or destroy evidence!
Vehicle Accident: Repair work should not be started
until detailed pictures have been taken of your vehicle (car, truck, bicycle,
Dangerous or Defective Product: Save the product and its parts (for
example, if a bottle breaks, save the broken pieces!). Keep the box in which it came. Save the receipt!
Dog Bite or Animal Attack: Save the torn clothing and any
other evidence of the attack. Don’t wash
the clothes you were wearing.
Slip and Fall / Trip and Fall: Keep the shoes you were wearing, do
not throw them out and do not keep wearing them. You will want to keep them in the condition
that they were in at the time of your fall.
In other words: Don’t wear, repair or throw them out until your case is
Step Five: Take Pictures of Your Injuries
pictures of all parts of your anatomy that show signs of injury before the
healing process begins. Date the
pictures accordingly (be sure that your digital camera has the right
date!). Then take daily pictures of your
If you have
scarring, be sure to get pictures. If
you’re going to have the scars surgically removed or reduced, be sure to take
before and after pictures.
situations, your lawyer may hire a professional medical photographer to take
I represent people who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. It's my job to take the pressure off of you so that you are free to heal.
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