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What to do if you have been injured in an accident

Posted by: on Tue, Oct 09, 2012

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Have you been injured by someone’s negligence?

If you are in an automobile accident, or a slip and fall, you should remember that your ability to recovery damages and compensation for your injuries (both physical and/or property damage),will likely be strongly affected by the actions that you take (or do not take) immediately after the accident occurs. Remember that first and foremost, obviously the needs of the injured occupants of the vehicles must be attended to first. You should call an ambulance, if that seems to be appropriate and prudent under the circumstances. You should then gather up as much information as possible about the accident and the surrounding scene to help your legal counsel, especially before the cars are moved or people leave the scene of the accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should write down their names and contact information as soon as possible before memories are forgotten and they disappear from the scene.

The police should be called to complete the accident report before you leave the accident scene. In fact, in Nevada, it can be a crime, depending upon the circumstances, to the leave scene of an accident, particularly if it is obvious that serious injuries or death occurred. If for some reason the police do not investigate the accident scene, then the drivers involved should all exchange insurance information and go to a local police station to fill out an accident report shortly thereafter. If you suffer a slip and fall accident resulting in an injury, take your cell phone and immediately take close up and more distant photos of the what caused the fall. For example, if there was a large puddle of water in a commercial location that caused you to fall and sustain a serious injury, the water could be cleaned up and gone by the time you return to the scene to take photos. This could seriously impact the value of your claim, particularly if you had no credible witnesses willing to support you side of the story.

If you are injured and cannot get an ambulance to come to the scene, then have someone take you to a hospital emergency room. You should also consult with your family doctor and/or chiropractor as soon as possible to avoid arguments from the insurance companies that you were not really injured. Injuries such as cuts and bruises that may heal quickly should be immediately photographed as well as any damages to the vehicles involved before the vehicles are repaired. Make certain that you contact our office before speaking with any insurance adjusters. After you contact our office, we have a list of healthcare providers throughout the Las Vegas Valley who will treat you on a personal injury lien basis, including chiropractic, orthopedics, and other medical specialists including surgeons..

When necessary, the payment for such medical treatment can be deferred until after your case is settled, in which event our office will then distribute the settlement funds to the medical care providers, such as your doctors, before distributing your portion. Of course if you have insurance policies available which will pay for your own medical expenses immediately, then you should use that method of payment. The value of your personal injury claim after an accident occurs depends on a variety of different factors, including but not limited to: the type of injury involved, its severity and location, the amount of medical bills incurred in treating the injury or ailment, the length of your medical treatment, was there any permanent impairment or scaring, the amount of your lost earnings if you miss work (or cannot work in the future), and the damages related to your pain and suffering. All of these and other factors (such as any contributory negligence on your part that caused the accident or injury) must be analyzed together to come up with a settlement proposal to offer the other parties and insurance companies.

Other factors that are also significant in determining the settlement value of your claim include whether or not you had any pre-existing medical conditions that might have merely been aggravated by the accident and whether or not you were partly or comparatively at fault in causing the accident. Of course, another significant factor that can greatly impact the damages that you are able to recover is the amount and limits of any insurance coverage available.

You should also keep in mind that no two cases are exactly alike and that we cannot specifically or accurately predict the value of your case until after all of the evidence has been gathered including all medical records. The valuation portion of the process is typically commenced after your injuries have healed and physical conditions have been stablized. After we meet with you and review the accident scene, the causes of the accident, and the status of any medical conditions of any injured parties, we can then certainly provide you with a reasonable range of damages.

These types of cases are handled by the Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright office on a contingency fee basis, which is simply a percentage of the amount recovered on your behalf for damages incurred relating to or arising out of your accident. This means that our law firm is paid when the case settles. If you have any other questions, we would be pleased to consult with you for no charge as soon as you can after the accident occurs.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on litigation and dispute resolution, including representing clients in all forms of alternative dispute resolution and serving as mediators in private dispute resolutions for third parties.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.