If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help protect your legal claims. A personal injury lawyer can play an integral role in the road to recovery after an injury. An attorney can help you get the medical care required to treat your injuries, investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, communicate directly with insurance company representatives on your behalf, and pursue all possible forms of compensation for the damages you sustained as a result of your accident.
Understanding Personal Injury Law
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident or has suffered a serious injury, you may be considering filing a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your accident or injury. This type of lawsuit is known as a personal injury lawsuit, and is based in tort law.
A “tort” is a civil wrong committed by an individual, company, or government agency that courts recognize as grounds for a lawsuit. There are many specific types of torts, including negligence, assault, battery, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and products liability.
As you may know, some of these torts are also crimes that are punishable by imprisonment or other sanctions. The primary goals of tort law differ from those of the criminal justice system. The civil tort system aims to provide relief for the damages incurred by victims (such as money damages or an injunction) and to deter others from committing the same type of harms.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident
- GET TO SAFETY. If you have been in an accident, try get to a safe place as quickly as possible. Only move away from the scene of the accident if you are able. Certain injuries, such as spinal cord or head injuries, can be made worse if the person who has suffered the injury is moved away from the scene of the accident.
- CALL THE POLICE. If you have been in or witnessed an accident, you should call the police right away. The San Francisco Police Department can dispatch emergency medical personnel to the scene of the accident, and will take down information about the accident for a police report. A police report can help establish fault in a lawsuit.
- GATHER INFORMATION. If you have been in or witnessed an accident, gather information at the scene of the accident. Only attempt to gather information if you are able to. Take down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. If you have a camera or cell phone, and you are feeling well enough, take pictures of the scene of the accident. If you were in a car, motorcycle, truck, or pedestrian accident, get the name of the other driver(s) involved and take down their insurance information. Also, take down license plate and vehicle identification numbers.
- SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT. If you have been in an accident, it is important to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. If your injuries are acute or serious, you may need to be taken from the scene of the accident to a hospital by ambulance. It is important to know that not all injuries are obvious right away. If you delay your visit to the doctor, your injuries may get worse. If you do not go to the emergency room or the hospital after your accident, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.
- CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. You should not speak with insurance company representatives about your accident without first contacting an attorney. Insurance companies want to settle your claims out of court for as little money as possible, and may use your statements against you. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you protect your legal rights.
Negligence Can Cause Serious Injuries
Under the law, “negligence” is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care. When courts must determine if a person, company, or government agency has been negligent, they will look to whether the same type of entity would have behaved, under the same or similar circumstances, with the same amount of care. If a person, company, or government agency fails to exercise due care, and causes harm to another, they may be found liable for the damages a person incurs as a result of their injuries.
Unfortunately, negligent conduct is all too common. Negligence can cause serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligent conduct of a person, company, or government agency, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights.
Meet with an Attorney in San Francisco Today
If you or a loved one has been in an accident and suffered a serious injury, a personal injury lawyer help protect legal rights and fight for adequate compensation. For a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Estey & Bomberger today. Call today to speak with an attorney.