“YOUR ATTORNEY IS YOUR COACH”
“Lawyer-Up” NOW, Ask Questions Later
The best time to hire a Personal Injury Attorney is immediately, just as soon as the Car Accident or Slip & Fall occurs. By analogy, let’s say you’re on a professional football team, heading to the Super Bowl. When do you want your Coach to be there? Right from the very start, of course! Your Attorney plays the same role as your Coach. How well the litigation process proceeds, may be determined largely by how well you handle the “kick-off.” Don’t make mistakes that you will later regret.
“Scouting” the Opponent
Just like a Life Coach needs Scouting reports on the other team, you need all of the relevant information from the other car involved in an accident. You need name, address, telephone number, Insurance Card, Registration, Driver License, to name a few. Just think of your Driver License as your “Name,” your Registration as your “Rank,” and your Insurance Card as your “Serial Number.” That’s all the information you ever can be required to give. Your Attorney can help you obtain and organize this vital information, as well as contact both your insurance company, and the other guy’s insurance company. Your Attorney can contact the local Police Department, to get a copy of the Police Report, and get it right away.
Don’t Talk Too Much
At the scene of an accident, don’t be offering apologies or explanations. Don’t say “I’m so sorry,” or “it was my fault,” or “I was on the telephone.” For example, I was once in a serious Car Accident on the 170 Freeway. I was a passenger, not the driver. The accident was clearly the other Driver’s Fault, since he veered suddenly into the Car Pool Lane, in order to swerve around a line of traffic, as the cars ahead of him slowed to a stop. As he swerved, he crossed a double yellow (actually quadruple yellow) line, and plowed into the side or our car, since we were already in the Car Pool Lane.
Oddly enough, the Driver of our car had been in an unrelated Bumper Bumping earlier that morning. The Driver’s Daughter, age 15, could not stop from saying, “OMG (oh my gosh), Mom, two accidents in one day!,” within earshot of the other Driver, who was at fault. At first, I tried a polite “Shhh” in order to give the talkative teenager the idea of keeping quiet, but it didn’t work. Eventually, desperate to stop her conversation, I said “shut-up!” Of course, I lived to regret that comment ….
The point is, right from the start, you’ve got to think like an Attorney, and if possible, hire an Attorney … right away! Some things … a lot of things … are best left unsaid.
If it’s a serious accident, there may well be litigation, including Court Hearings and Depositions. At your Deposition, if you have an experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer that knows how to be a good Coach, you will learn things you’ve never learned before … like how to answer simply “yes,” or “no,” and then to remain silent … no matter how uncomfortable that might feel.