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When do I need an attorney after a car accident?

Here in California we tend to live for the road. According to the website Statista.com, as of 2013, there were more than 24 million licensed drivers in the state. It should come as no great surprise then that the risk of being involved in an accident and suffering serious or even fatal injury is on the higher side of normal.

Vehicle collisions can be scary events. It doesn't matter if the crash occurs on the city streets of Manhattan Beach or out on Interstate 405. The fear factor can be exceedingly high. And being in such a mental state is not conducive to victims being sure that they are obtaining the compensation and recovery that may be legally due.

It is in such situations, even when all that occurred appears to be a fender bender, that an experienced attorneys help can be instrumental in achieving the desired outcome. And the sooner you reach out for legal assistance, the more likely it is that your rights and property are going to be well protected.

If you are considering engaging an attorney, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Prepare to offer a thorough and honest account of what happened. In order to receive the best initial assessment of the merits of your case, you will want to be able to give details. What were weather, road and lighting conditions at the time? What can you do to provide as clear a picture as possible of the crash? Who else was involved and what is their contact information?

  • Assignment of blame. If police or ambulances were called to the scene, that's something to share with your attorney. It will also help to know if any tickets were issued and if an investigative report was being filed. If you or someone else took pictures, get those files to your attorney. And if TV stations collected footage, note that
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  • Document damage. Whether it's just the estimate of damage to your vehicle or a full rundown of the bills you have incurred for medical diagnosis and rehabilitation, your attorney should be given the information so that he or she can make a proper determination of the amount that might be recovered.

After an accident, advocating for yourself can be a difficult proposition.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Accident Legal Help," accessed Nov. 6, 2015

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