Being injured in a motor-vehicle crash is always a traumatic event. The physical pain from injuries along with the stress from worrying about how to take care of yourself and your family can be overwhelming. Michael D. Waks is a car accident lawyer in Long Beach who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for fair compensation.
For over 30 years the Law Office of Michael D. Waks has represented and won millions of dollars for thousands of personal injury clients in Southern California. Call (888) 394-1174 for a free consultation.
Car Accident Lawyer Committed to Holding Negligent Parties Responsible
When you are injured in a Long Beach car accident, you may be entitled to receive damages from the person at fault. You can hold that person responsible for his or her negligent, reckless, or careless actions. California auto accident laws provide victims the right to seek monetary damages for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Funeral expenses
While no amount of money can erase the effects of the car accident, receiving fair compensation for your damages can provide you with financial peace of mind.
Through years of experience, we have built a network of investigators and experts who preserve and gather the evidence required to prove even the most complex personal injury claims.
Michael Waks will deploy all resources necessary to protect your rights against insurance companies, their adjusters, and attorneys who seek to settle your claim as quickly as possible for the least amount of money as possible. Call (888) 394-1174 for a free consultation.
What to Do After a Motor-Vehicle Collision
Your first step after the accident should be to check people for injuries. Even if nobody appears to be seriously wounded, you should call the police to request a traffic crash report (TCR).
Your next step is to seek prompt medical care. Then, contact a lawyer right away so the investigation can begin. Do not post on social media or provide statements to the insurance company since doing so could end up harming your case.
Common Reasons for Auto Accidents in Long Beach
Long Beach has many high-risk areas for auto accidents with three major Interstates: I-710, I-505 and I-605 in its borders. An area to avoid during rush hour is the West Side of Long Beach as many collisions happen there. Be particularly cautious on I-605 near I-405.
Unfortunately, as the roads in the city have become more congested, the number of serious and fatal car crashes has increased. Although insurance companies sometimes argue it is impossible to sustain severe injuries in a low-impact accident, even a minor collision can result in serious injuries for the driver and passengers. Over the past three decades, Michael Waks has represented injury victims who were involved in all types of car accidents including head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, low-impact wrecks, and vehicle rollovers.
Common causes of car accidents in Long Beach include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Texting while driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to obey traffic laws
What Should I Do While My Claim Is Pending?
While some personal injury cases are resolved in just a few weeks, others may take months or well over a year to conclude. During this time, your Long Beach car accident lawyer will handle the logistics of your claim, but you may be wondering what you can do to put yourself in a more favorable position to prevail.
Unfortunately, the outcome of your case is somewhat out of your hands; however, you will still need to be vigilant about avoiding mistakes that could harm your claim. Below are a few steps you can take throughout the proceedings:
- Follow Your Doctor’s Orders: Whether your healthcare provider has instructed you to take time off work, abstain from physical activity, or attend follow-ups, you should always be diligent about following their orders. If the insurance company discovers that you failed in this regard, they may assert that you did not take sufficient steps to mitigate damages and that your negligence has exacerbated your injuries. As such, your financial award could be reduced.
- Do Not Provide a Recorded Statement: After an auto accident, it’s likely that the insurance company will request that you provide a statement. However, insurance adjusters often try to elicit responses that could be used to challenge a claim. As your Long Beach auto accident lawyer, Michael D. Waks will handle all dialogue with the insurance company and other parties to ensure you don’t say anything that may harm your case.
- Take Your Recovery Seriously: In the aftermath of a motor-vehicle collision, your medical recovery should be your number-one priority. While your claim is pending, you will want to avoid doing anything that may aggravate your injuries. For instance, if your doctor has warned you against returning to work, you should stay at home. If it emerges that your actions led to further complications, you may be held liable for at least a portion of your damages.
Will I Have to Go to Trial?
If you’re planning to file a personal injury claim, you may be worried about your case going to trial. The litigation process, with its complex proceedings and potential delays, can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, it’s estimated that just 5% of personal injury cases proceed to trial. However, if the insurance company or other involved parties will not agree to a reasonable settlement, it may be in your best interests to take the case before a judge or jury.
Below are a few factors that could influence how your case unfolds:
- Your Own Negligence: While it might be clear that another party caused the accident that led to your injuries, there are other ways you could be held liable for some or all your damages. For instance, as previously mentioned, if your doctor instructed you to take time off from your job but you went back to work anyway, the insurance company may assert that you did not take sufficient steps to mitigate damages. This could lead to a liability dispute which, if it cannot be resolved during negotiations, could increase the likelihood of your case proceeding to trial.
- Strength of Your Evidence: Strong evidence is the backbone of any successful car accident case. Any gaps in your evidence could be exploited by opposing parties to dispute your claim. For instance, if you lost important financial documents detailing some of your post-accident expenses, the insurance company may argue that these costs cannot be included as part of your settlement. With any dispute, there is the risk that negotiations will be unsuccessful, which could eventually lead to your case going to trial, depending on the circumstances.
- There’s a Damages Dispute: If you incurred significant damages, the opposing party may be more likely to challenge your claim, which might increase the chances that your case will end up in court. Long Beach car accident lawyer Michael D. Waks can help you gather the evidence needed to prove the extent of the damages you have incurred.
Is It Safe to Use Social Media After an Auto Accident?
In the age of social media, staying in touch with friends and family is easier than ever before. Whether it’s posting about a graduation, birthday party, or just a great meal, broadcasting your thoughts is as easy as tapping a button. But that convenience comes at a cost.
It’s no secret that insurance companies sometimes monitor claimants’ social media activity for evidence that could be used to dispute their case. As such, you need to be very careful about what you post on your profiles as even seemingly innocent comments could harm your claim. Attorney Michael D. Waks can provide helpful guidance to reduce the likelihood that your social media content will harm your case. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Check Your Privacy Settings: If you haven’t updated your privacy settings, there’s a high chance that your social media activity is visible to those outside of your circles—including individuals from the insurance company. By setting your accounts to private, only friends and family in your networks can see your posts.
- Do Not Post Anything That Could Harm Your Claim: Insurance companies employ all kinds of tactics to deny or devalue claims, and using social media posts to dispute the claimant’s version of events is just one of them. It is advisable that you avoid posting altogether while your case is pending.
- Screen New Connection Requests Carefully: You should not accept follow or friend requests from people you don’t recognize. It may be from someone working with the insurance company or for an opposing party.
- Ask Friends and Family to Be Mindful About What They Post: Once you’ve taken the steps listed above, the insurance company may have a tough time gaining access to your social media accounts. However, they might also be monitoring your friends’ and family’s public profiles. As such, you should request that those closest to you set their accounts to private and avoid posting about your case, injuries, or the accident. You should insist that they do not tag you in pictures or publish posts about any of your activity until your case has concluded.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Long Beach, CA for a Free Consultation
Michael D. Waks earned his reputation for success by providing clients with tenacious and compassionate representation. He will oversee your case personally to ensure that you and your family receive the full range of benefits of hiring an experienced car accident attorney.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free initial consultation. Sitting down with Long Beach car accident lawyer Michael D. Waks is an opportunity to get answers to your questions, discuss your options, and determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim. If you choose to hire Michael D. Waks, you won’t pay a cent in attorneys’ fees unless he wins your case.