Do I Have To Reimburse My Health Insurance From My Settlement?

Accident Injury Lawyer

After an accident, the injured victim will seek medical treatment. Emergency care, medical imaging, and surgeries can cost a lot. When health insurance is available, these expenses will be covered by the health insurance company. This creates a lien, which is a legal right that a creditor has in another’s settlement until that debt is satisfied. The lien is created for the expenses provided for the medical treatment to the injured victim and is attached to the settlement or judgment.

Liens are formed in three ways. First, they can be made by contracts as treatment is sought with a medical provider. These are agreement made to pay the medical provider from the settlement funds. Second, liens are created through statutes. For example, California Civil Code § 3045.1 places a statutory lien for any emergency care rendered by a hospital. Private health insurance companies, on the other hand, are contractual. Within the policy, the insurance companies have a contractual subrogation right for reimbursement for all payments made towards medical treatment where a third party is at-fault and there is a recovery from the third-party.

Although there may be a lien on a settlement or judgment, these liens can be reduced. Some examples of reduction are for costs, attorney fees, or public policy, such as the made whole doctrine which limits the lien claimant’s reimbursement where the injured victim has not fully recovered by the third-party settlement or judgment. Other policies such as the common fund doctrine limits an insurance company’s ability to recover funds from the injured victim’s settlement or judgment by implemented a pro-rated share of the fees and costs among the lien claimants. The doctrine is incorporated into insurance contracts. Though, insurance policies covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are not provided discounts for attorney fees.

Other reductions can be made for unrelated charges, unreasonable charges, reduction for comparative fault, apportionment for claimants, and deductions for our-of-pocket payments.

In short, regardless if the claim is reported to the health insurance company, there is a contractual duty by the victim to repay the amount paid by the health insurance company.

Consult with a Car Accident attorney

Dealing with private health insurance liens can be tricky. But there are many tactics in reducing the total lien amount. Work zealously and diligently in negotiating the final lien amount early on in the case to ensure maximum recovery. Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. An attorney should be consulted.

Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.

 

Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403

Consultation: Free - 60 minutes

Tel: (310) 363-0551

Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com

 

 

Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.

is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR ATTORNEY-WRITTEN BLOGS

 

This article is made available by the posting attorney for educational and/or discussion purposes only, as well as to give the reader some general information and a superficial understanding of legal terms, but certainly not to provide specific legal advice.  The article does not constitute either formal or informal legal advice, and is not a solicitation for the provision of legal services.  Under some interpretations of the legal ethics rules, some or all material in this article may be considered attorney advertising, but it is certainly not legal advice, and was never intended to provide legal advice.  The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements, including any posted articles such as this one.  Every legal matter is different.  No specific results are implied by any discussion provided in any article, and no specific results could be achieved.

 

When reading this article, the reader must understand that there is no Attorney-Client relationship between the reader and the posting attorney.  An attorney-client relationship is established only when there is either a Contract between the parties, or a private, confidential meeting and/or communications between the Attorney and the client.

 

The posted article may be changed, improved, or updated without notice.  The posted article is basically an expression of opinions and thoughts, and the posting attorney makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or validity of any information in the article, or otherwise on this website.  The posting attorney will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, in any way or form.

 

This article should not, and cannot, be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.  This material does not constitute legal advice, and no reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in the posted article, without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that reader’s particular circumstances.

 

Furthermore, the posting attorney does not endorse any content provided on this website, including any blogs or articles posted by others on this website, and is not associated with the publisher or the website, in any way or form.

You Agree to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer

10 + 9 =

Guide To Exchanging Information At A Car Accident Scene

Accident Injury Lawyer

Am I Required To Stay At The Scene?

California Vehicle Code § 16028 states in pertinent parts, “…[e]very person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway shall provide evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle that is in effect at the time of the demand is made. The evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device. However, a peace officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the vehicle is being driven in violation of this subdivision…” California Vehicle Code § 20002 further states that everyone involved in an auto collision must also “…[p] resent his or her driver’s license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of that property.

What Is The Minimum Amount Of Information I Must Exchange?

The following information must be exchanged:

1. Name of driver;
2. Driver’s address;
3. Driver’s license number;
4. Vehicle Identification number;
5. Address of registered owner of vehicle; and
6. Proof of financial responsibility/insurance.

What Other Information Should I Gather?

The following information should be gathered at the scene:

1. Photographs of the vehicles;
2. Photographs of any damage;
3. Photographs of any skid marks;
4. Photographs of any injuries;
5. Photographs of any obstructions;
6. Photographs of any security cameras;
7. Witness’ contact information;
8. Passengers’ contact information;
9. Written statements;
10. Recorded statements;
11. License plate;
12. Vehicle make, model, and year;
13. Driver’s phone number;
14. Driver’s email address;
15. Driver’s employer information; and
16. Driver’s date of birthday.

What Happens If I don’t Exchange Information At The Scene Of An Accident?

If at at-fault driver flees the scene of an auto accident, whether there is injuries or property damage, they can be charged with California Vehicle Code § 20002(a), a misdemeanor commonly known as “hit and run.” The party that flees the scene of an accident could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00. the Courts tend to be very hard on hit and run cases because this type of behavior shows conscious disregard for the safety and public of others, a willful and intentional unlawful act.

Do I Need To Report The Car Accident To The Department of Motor Vehicles?

In California, the law requires that traffic accidents on street, highway, or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident if there was an injury, death, or property damage more than $1,000.00. Untimely reporting of the traffic accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles could result in the Department of Motor Vehicle suspending a driver license. California Vehicle Code § 1806 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to record accident information regardless of fault and requires that the driver file an SR-1 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles regardless of whether they caused the collision.

What If I Don’t Want My Insurance Rates To Go Up?

The non-fault driver should not have an insurance rate increase for reporting the incident to their insurance carrier. This should apply even if they are using their collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, or underinsured motorist coverage. However, some insurance companies have complete discretion to remove any applicable discounts, such as good driver discounts or no accident discounts. As a result, the non-fault party’s insurance may still increase. Unfortunately, whether or not the insured is at fault, the incident must be reported to the insurance, or the Department of Motor Vehicles will report it through their internal reporting process.

If I Am Not Hurt At The Scene Of The Accident, Should I Still Exchange Information?

Thousands of car accidents occur every day that occur at a relatively low speed of 10mph or less. This is enough speed to cause whiplash when there’s a sudden stopping motion or an impact from behind which causes a person’s neck to snap forward and backwards quickly. The symptoms may not appear right away and take a few weeks to appear. It also does not take much force at all to cause a brain to rock against the inside of a skull. This can lead to bruising or bleeding of the brain. A low impact car accident can easily cause back or spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord can be tweaked from low impact, and the smallest tweak the wrong way could cause long term pain.

The first thing everyone should do when they are involved in a collision is to seek medical attention. Call 9-1-1 and wait for ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive at the scene to assess and address any injuries. No one should take any risks with their health. Many injuries such as spinal cord injuries, concussion symptoms, and other internal injuries can arise a few days following the collision. Those involved in an auto collision should always seek medical attention to make sure there are no potential injuries. Following up with a primary doctor just after a few days can do no harm.

Consult with an attorney

Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. Following an auto accident, it is important to have an attorney when reporting a claim to make sure all rights are protected and to ensure maximum recovery of the claim. Regardless of whether there are any injuries or damages, if an accident is being reported, seek consultation with an attorney.

Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.

 

Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403

Consultation: Free - 60 minutes

Tel: (310) 363-0551

Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com

 

 

Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.

is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR ATTORNEY-WRITTEN BLOGS

 

This article is made available by the posting attorney for educational and/or discussion purposes only, as well as to give the reader some general information and a superficial understanding of legal terms, but certainly not to provide specific legal advice.  The article does not constitute either formal or informal legal advice, and is not a solicitation for the provision of legal services.  Under some interpretations of the legal ethics rules, some or all material in this article may be considered attorney advertising, but it is certainly not legal advice, and was never intended to provide legal advice.  The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements, including any posted articles such as this one.  Every legal matter is different.  No specific results are implied by any discussion provided in any article, and no specific results could be achieved.

 

When reading this article, the reader must understand that there is no Attorney-Client relationship between the reader and the posting attorney.  An attorney-client relationship is established only when there is either a Contract between the parties, or a private, confidential meeting and/or communications between the Attorney and the client.

 

The posted article may be changed, improved, or updated without notice.  The posted article is basically an expression of opinions and thoughts, and the posting attorney makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or validity of any information in the article, or otherwise on this website.  The posting attorney will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, in any way or form.

 

This article should not, and cannot, be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.  This material does not constitute legal advice, and no reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in the posted article, without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that reader’s particular circumstances.

 

Furthermore, the posting attorney does not endorse any content provided on this website, including any blogs or articles posted by others on this website, and is not associated with the publisher or the website, in any way or form.

You Agree to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer

14 + 4 =

What Happens If I Get Bit By A Dog?

Accident Injury Lawyer

Seek Medical Attention

Call 9-1-1 and wait for ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive at the scene to assess and address any injuries. No one should take any risks with their health. Many puncture wounds could cause severe injuries such as amputation, and often dogs carry various illnesses. Seek medical attention immediately following a dog bite.

Get The Owner’s Information

Get the information of the owner of the dog and any witnesses that saw the attack. In California, it is mandatory to exchange information.

Report The Dog Bite To The Police

A police report can be made at the nearest police station near you.

Report The Dog Bite To Animal Control

Some incidents are required to be reported to public law enforcement so that they can properly investigate the incident. The report can be incident to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/biteintro.htm and/or the Los Angles County Department of Animal Care and Control at http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The victim should check their homeowner’s insurance company to see if they cover dog bite attacks. It depends whether the dog bite happened on private or public property, and the breed of the dog.

A Lawsuit Can Be Filed To Recover Medical Expenses, Time Lost From Work, Pain & Suffering, And Other Damages

California Civil Code § 3281 states in pertinent part, “every person who suffers detriment from Personal Injury, the unlawful act or omission of another, may recover from the person in fault a compensation in money, which is called damages.” California law limits recovery to actual harm caused to the victim. Those damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include “objectively verifiable monetary losses” which includes past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and loss of use of real property. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(1). The amount recoverable for medical care and services must be reasonably and attributable to the injuries suffered from the incident. However, when determining future medical costs, the calculation can get difficult, since the medical treatment has not yet occurred. Typically, an attorney will consult with an expert in the field to evaluate your injuries to determine any future medical care and assign a reasonable value to the care.

Contrary to economic damages, non-economic damages include “subjective non-monetary losses” which includes pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, injury to reputation, and humiliation. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(2). Emotional injuries include mental injuries such as fear, insomnia, grief, worry, inconvenience and the loss of enjoyment of life.

California Civil Procedure Code § 335 states that all claims for personal injuries must be brought within two years of the incident.

Consult with an attorney

Damages are limited but the type of damages is very case specific. Given the severity of an incident, a party may even recover for the lost earning capacity and loss of ability to provide household services. Others allow for the recovery of emotional distress, even when the party making the claim was not directly harmed by the incident.

It is important to understand the extent of your damages and what can be recovered based on the specific facts surrounding the claim. It is just as important to consult an attorney in your state immediately following an incident to better understand and protect your legal rights. Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional who is ready to serve your needs.

 

Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403

Consultation: Free - 60 minutes

Tel: (310) 363-0551

Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com

 

 

Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.

is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR ATTORNEY-WRITTEN BLOGS

 

This article is made available by the posting attorney for educational and/or discussion purposes only, as well as to give the reader some general information and a superficial understanding of legal terms, but certainly not to provide specific legal advice.  The article does not constitute either formal or informal legal advice, and is not a solicitation for the provision of legal services.  Under some interpretations of the legal ethics rules, some or all material in this article may be considered attorney advertising, but it is certainly not legal advice, and was never intended to provide legal advice.  The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements, including any posted articles such as this one.  Every legal matter is different.  No specific results are implied by any discussion provided in any article, and no specific results could be achieved.

 

When reading this article, the reader must understand that there is no Attorney-Client relationship between the reader and the posting attorney.  An attorney-client relationship is established only when there is either a Contract between the parties, or a private, confidential meeting and/or communications between the Attorney and the client.

 

The posted article may be changed, improved, or updated without notice.  The posted article is basically an expression of opinions and thoughts, and the posting attorney makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or validity of any information in the article, or otherwise on this website.  The posting attorney will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, in any way or form.

 

This article should not, and cannot, be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.  This material does not constitute legal advice, and no reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in the posted article, without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that reader’s particular circumstances.

 

Furthermore, the posting attorney does not endorse any content provided on this website, including any blogs or articles posted by others on this website, and is not associated with the publisher or the website, in any way or form.

You Agree to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer

8 + 2 =

Do I Have To Report An Auto Accident To The Dmv?

Accident Injury Lawyer

California Civil Code § 1714(a) says in relevant parts, “…[e]veryone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This statute is the foundation of negligence law in California and binds all California vehicle driver’s to legal responsibility for causing an auto collision. If someone is involved in an auto accident, California law requires that the parties report the incident to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

California Vehicle Code § 16028 states in pertinent parts, “…[e]very person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway shall provide evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle that is in effect at the time of the demand is made. The evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device. However, a peace officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the vehicle is being driven in violation of this subdivision…” California Vehicle Code § 20002 further states that everyone involved in an auto collision must also “…[p] resent his or her driver’s license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of that property.

For some incidents, filing an accident report is mandatory. For example, California Vehicle Code § 20008 states in pertinent parts, ”… [t]he driver of a vehicle, other than a common carrier vehicle, involved in any accident resulting in injuries to or death of any person shall within 24 hours after the accident make or cause to be made a written report of the accident to the Department of the California Highway Patrol or, if the accident occurred within a city, to either the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city in which the accident occurred…”

How Do I Report A Car Accident To The Department Of Motor Vehicles?

In California, the law requires that traffic accidents on street, highway, or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident if there was an injury, death, or property damage more than $1,000.00. Untimely reporting of the traffic accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles could result in the Department of Motor Vehicle suspending a driver license. California Vehicle Code § 1806 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to record accident information regardless of fault and requires that the driver file an SR-1 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles regardless of whether they caused the collision. The form can be found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/sr1.pdf.

What Information Is Required To Report A Car Accident To The Department Of Motor Vheicles?

The information that is required to fill out is the following:

1. Number of vehicles involved;
2. Date of accident;
3. Accident location;
4. Whether the accident was on private or public property;
5. Time of the accident;
6. Whether the vehicles were moved, parked, or stopped in traffic;
7. Whether any of the drivers were driving for an employer at the time of the accident;
8. All drivers’ names;
9. All drivers’ driver’s license numbers;
10. All drivers’ date of birth;
11. All drivers’ address;
12. All drivers’ phone numbers;
13. All vehicle year, make, and models involved in the accident;
14. The vehicle identification number of all vehicles;
15. The license plates of all vehicles;
16. The insurance company of all drivers involved in the incident;
17. The policy number of all insurance companies covering the incident;
18. The policy holders of the insurance policies;
19. Whether there was any property damage; and
20. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of any passengers.

Where Can I Mail the SR-1 Form?

Once the form is filled out, it must be sent to the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Financial Responsibility Department
Mail Station #J237
P.O. Box 942884
Sacramento, Ca 94284-0884

Consult with an attorney

Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. Following an auto accident, it is important to have an attorney when reporting a claim to make sure all rights are protected and to ensure maximum recovery of the claim. Regardless of whether there are any injuries or damages, if an accident is being reported, an attorney should be consulted.

Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.

 

Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403

Consultation: Free - 60 minutes

Tel: (310) 363-0551

Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com

 

 

Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.

is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR ATTORNEY-WRITTEN BLOGS

 

This article is made available by the posting attorney for educational and/or discussion purposes only, as well as to give the reader some general information and a superficial understanding of legal terms, but certainly not to provide specific legal advice.  The article does not constitute either formal or informal legal advice, and is not a solicitation for the provision of legal services.  Under some interpretations of the legal ethics rules, some or all material in this article may be considered attorney advertising, but it is certainly not legal advice, and was never intended to provide legal advice.  The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements, including any posted articles such as this one.  Every legal matter is different.  No specific results are implied by any discussion provided in any article, and no specific results could be achieved.

 

When reading this article, the reader must understand that there is no Attorney-Client relationship between the reader and the posting attorney.  An attorney-client relationship is established only when there is either a Contract between the parties, or a private, confidential meeting and/or communications between the Attorney and the client.

 

The posted article may be changed, improved, or updated without notice.  The posted article is basically an expression of opinions and thoughts, and the posting attorney makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or validity of any information in the article, or otherwise on this website.  The posting attorney will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, in any way or form.

 

This article should not, and cannot, be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.  This material does not constitute legal advice, and no reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in the posted article, without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that reader’s particular circumstances.

 

Furthermore, the posting attorney does not endorse any content provided on this website, including any blogs or articles posted by others on this website, and is not associated with the publisher or the website, in any way or form.

You Agree to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer

2 + 6 =

10 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT

Accident Injury Lawyer

California Civil Code § 1714(a) says in relevant parts, “…[e]veryone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This statute is the foundation of negligence law in California and binds all California vehicle driver’s to legal responsibility for causing an auto collision. If someone is involved in an auto accident, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights.

 

  1. Call 911 & Seek Medical Attention

 

The first thing everyone should do when they are involved in a collision is to seek medical attention. Call 9-1-1 and wait for ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive at the scene to assess and address any injuries. No one should take any risks with their health. Many injuries such as spinal cord injuries, concussion symptoms, and other internal injuries can arise a few days following the collision. Those involved in an auto collision should always seek medical attention to make sure there are no potential injuries. Following up with a primary doctor can do no harm.

 

  1. Pull Over To A Safe Location

 

Following an auto collision, the drivers should pull over to a safe location and make sure the emergency blinkers are on. If the incident occurred on the freeway and the vehicles are operable, pull off of the freeway. If the vehicles are inoperable, make sure to leave warning signs along with the emergency blinkers. It is not recommended to stay inside the vehicle but to exit and to pull over to the shoulder. If seeking medical attention, wait for their instructions.

 

  1. Exchange Information

 

California Vehicle Code § 16028 states in pertinent parts, “…[e]very person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway shall provide evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle that is in effect at the time of the demand is made. The evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device. However, a peace officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the vehicle is being driven in violation of this subdivision…” California Vehicle Code § 20002 further states that everyone involved in an auto collision must also “…[p] resent his or her driver’s license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of that property.

 

  1. Photograph The Incident

 

Make sure to take photographs of everything – treat the incident like a photoshoot. It is important to document every little detail, including all four corners of both vehicles, skid marks, any broken traffic signals, loose parts, prior damage to vehicles, injuries to parties, witnesses, documents relevant to the incident, anything damaged inside the vehicles, car seats, broken headlights, broken taillights, etc.

 

  1. Gather Witness Statements

 

If there are any witnesses at the scene, their information should be gathered. If possible, they can provide a written or recorded statement at the scene. Make sure to have their permission before recording and to get all their contact information. If the police are there, make sure they speak with them and provide their statements.

 

  1. File An Accident Report

 

If someone is involved in an auto accident, the incident should be reported to the neared police department or highway patrol. For some incidents, filing an accident report is mandatory. For example, California Vehicle Code § 20008 states in pertinent parts, ”… [t]he driver of a vehicle, other than a common carrier vehicle, involved in any accident resulting in injuries to or death of any person shall within 24 hours after the accident make or cause to be made a written report of the accident to the Department of the California Highway Patrol or, if the accident occurred within a city, to either the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city in which the accident occurred…”

 

  1. Notify The Department of Motor Vehicles

 

California law requires that drivers involved in an auto collision report the incident to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The form requires to fill out is called an SR-1 form and can be found on the DMV website.

 

  1. Repair The Vehicle

 

After a collision, the vehicles won’t run the same and will likely have moderate to severe damage, internal and external. Make sure to take the vehicle to a certified body shop that uses original manufactured parts to get the vehicle repaired so it can safely be driven on the road.

 

  1. Notify Your Insurance Company

 

Following an auto accident, it is important to notify your insurance company and to open an insurance claim. However, see step #10.

 

  1. Consult With An Attorney

 

Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. Determining whether an attorney needs to be involved in a claim is crucial. Insurance agents are trained to find reasons to deny coverage for the incident – even when it is the insured’s own comprehensive, collision, underinsured, or uninsured motorist coverage. The more claims that are denied, the less claims have to be paid out. It is important to have an attorney when making a claim to make sure all rights are protected and to ensure maximum settlement of the claim.

 

Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.

 

Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403

Consultation: Free - 60 minutes

Tel: (310) 363-0551

Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com

 

 

Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.

is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.

 

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