What Should I Do If the Personal Injury Accident Was Not My Fault?
Personal Injury Law is exactly as it sounds, an area of law based on injuries to someone’s person. Typically the injuries were sustained traumatically, meaning in an accident of some sort, whether a car crash, trip and fall, dog attack, etc. Once you have sustained personal injuries in a scenario such as this, you have the right to seek damages from the person who caused the accident.
Under California law, the right to recovery is based on the legal doctrine of Negligence. The simple definition of negligence is, the failure to take proper care in doing something. Someone is negligent if they run a red light and hit your vehicle.
They failed to use proper care. To prevail in an action for Negligence you need to prove three things (keeping in mind you have the burden of proof); one, you need to establish the other person was indeed negligent. Two, that you were harmed (bodily injury, loss of income, damage to your vehicle). And three, that the negligence was a substantial factor in causing your harm.
Although there are only three elements, there is a lot that goes into proving each one. How should I proceed in a claim for Negligence? Focus on the first step to begin.
MAKE RECORD OF THE EVENT
If you were involved in a personal injury accident, be certain you make a record of the event. Whether it’s a car accident, an accident that happened on someone’s property, or a dog attack, get a record of the event.
Usually, the best answer is to call the police, however, it is more and more common these days that police literally will not come to the scene or if they do, will not take a report. Budget issues and staffing have cut into the ability of police to make a personal injury report of every incident. This is unfortunate because the purpose of a police report is to capture the evidence.
Evidence includes debris location on the roadway, skid mark analysis, noting where the damage to the vehicles is, and most importantly, getting witness identification. Police are best suited to get the cooperation of parties and witnesses so the question is, what to do if the police won’t come to the scene?