If you are involved in (or injured in) an accident, it is vital that you obtain trustworthy legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Michael Crosner has been specializing in personal injury law for over 45 years and has worked on several highly publicized personal injury lawsuits.
I sat down with Michael to answer some common injury questions.
Q & A
Question 1: What steps should I take if I am in a car accident?
Crosner: Yes, there are key steps to help prevent a bad situation, such as a car accident, from getting worse:
- Call the local police, sheriff, or highway patrol
- Obtain complete name, phone & address of the other driver
- Copy all important information from other party's driver license & registration (often easier to photo these documents with your cell phone camera)
- Obtain the complete identification of all witnesses
- Photograph damages to all vehicles involved in the accident
- Photograph any physical evidence such as skid marks or debris
- Obtain immediate emergency or other necessary medical care
- Consult a personal injury attorney for assistance in investigating the accident; reporting the claim to the appropriate insurance carries; obtaining any needed medical care on a lien basis (no initial out of pocket expense); repairing your vehicle damages; and obtaining a rental car.
Question #2: If I am in an auto accident should I talk to my own insurance company? What if the opposing party's insurance company contacts me - should I speak to them?
Crosner: It’s advised that you speak with a personal injury attorney before discussing anything with an insurance company (your carrier or opposing party’s). Many times they can do all the talking with your insurance company and thereby eliminate any confusion and possible adverse outcome of your claim.
Never give any insurance company a detailed recorded or written statement of the facts of the accident or the nature and extent of your injuries without legal representation. If the opposing insurance company contacts you simply obtain their name, phone number & claim number and instruct them to call your attorney. You are under no legal obligation to provide information to the opposing party's insurance company, it should be done only by your attorney.
Question #3: Am I limited on recovery to the opposing driver's liability insurance policy limit?
Crosner: You are not necessarily limited to the insurance coverage of the other driver. A personal injury attorney can seek out all other possible sources of coverage, such as (1) the separate policy for the registered owner of the car; (2) employer - if the driver was in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident; (3) errand - if the driver was on an errand for another individual at the time of the incident; (4) excess liability policy or umbrella policy - which would be in addition to the underlying liability policy of the driver or registered owner; (5) joint venture - while working with another responsible individual; (6) underinsured motorist coverage on your own automobile insurance policy; and (6) personal assets of the other driver.
Attempting to collect additional coverage is a complex area of law and requires the trained legal experience of a personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Claims
If you’ve been harmed by another person in an automobile accident, slip and fall injury, or by a drunk driver it’s your right to pursue a personal injury claim. California law says you have rights in that situation, rights which are important enough to be enforced through the courts, if necessary. Also remember that if you’ve been hurt in and are in need of a personal injury lawyer, hiring an experienced, trusted and successful injury lawyer to represent you is a key first step to getting a fair settlement.
Whatever the cause, if you’re hurt in an automobile accident in Santa Monica, protect your rights and get the level of care and compensation that you deserve!
The Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyers of Crosner Legal also assists victims involved in serious auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites due to the negligence of an individual or company. Crosner Legal offers free consultation. The advice is free and you pay nothing until your case is aced!
1507 7th St. Suite 417
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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