Richard E. Damon
A Professional Law Corporation
 

Accidents:  Traffic, Aviation, Boating, Motorcycle, Bicycle

Traffic Accidents.

Richard Damon has nearly 40 years of experience representing people injured in traffic accidents.  These include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, aviation accidents and bicycle accidents.  Over the past years, he has recovered literally millions of dollars in compensation for people injured as a result of the carelessness of others.  He will use his education, experience, and skills honed over the years to work for you in obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, wage loss, and your pain and suffering.  He will attempt to settle your case promptly.  If it is not possible to settle your case because of the unfair tactics of an insurance company, he will take your case to trial and allow a jury to decide how much you should recover for your injuries.

Do not be intimidated by the unfair tactics of claims adjusters and insurance companies.  They will do whatever they can to delay or deny your recovery.  You need to have an intelligent, aggressive, and competent trial attorney on your side. 

What Should You Do if You Are in a Traffic Accident?

At the time of the accident, you should gather as much information as you can about the other parties involved and any persons who may have witnessed the accident.  Get the name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information from the driver or other person who has caused the accident.  If there are witnesses, obtain their names, addresses, and telephone numbers, so that your attorney can contact them later.  Call the police and make sure the police officer takes a full report from you.  Remember that it is possible you will not discover until after leaving the scene of the accident that you have been injured, so do not allow anyone to leave the scene until you have obtained the basic information described in this paragraph.

If you are able, take photographs of the accident scene.  If you hire an attorney, he or she can arrange to have private investigators take photographs of the scene and of your injuries.  If you are able, obtain photographs of the other vehicle as well as your own.  This will help to show not only the severity of impact, but also the manner in which the collision occurred, the speed of the vehicles, the point of collision, and that you had the right of way.

Get Appropriate Medical Treatment

Following the accident, if you believe that you have been injured, it is essential that you obtain medical treatment from qualified medical personnel, preferably a doctor of medicine (M.D.).  Have the doctor or emergency room take x-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans, and other diagnostic tests if in doubt about the extent of your injuries.  After you have been properly examined and diagnosed by a doctor, he or she may refer you to a physical therapist, chiropractor, osteopath, massage therapist, or other person who can provide treatment to help you recover.  Be sure that you follow medical advice and obtain as much treatment as you reasonably need to recover from your injury.

Preserve Evidence and Keep Your Vehicle

Be sure to preserve any evidence you can obtain of the accident.  When you take your vehicle in for repairs, make sure that you first have photographs depicting the damage to your vehicle.  Photographs showing extensive damage will be useful in settlement proceedings or at trial in order to establish the severity of the impact.  In addition, be sure to retain damaged parts of your vehicle, including such things as structural parts which have been badly deformed. 

Remember that the insurance company fighting against you will be certain to minimize your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.  The insurance company and its adjusters will claim that your vehicle was hardly damaged, which proves that you could not have been injured.  The insurance company and its adjusters will also claim that you had a pre-existing injury which is responsible for your damages.  It is important that you have tangible evidence to show that the collision impact was powerful enough to cause substantial injury to you.

If at all possible, do not allow the insurance company to take your vehicle away if it has been totaled.  In a major collision, the vehicle itself may be the best evidence of what happened and who was at fault.  If you cannot keep your vehicle, at the least be sure that you have a large number of clear, well-lighted, detailed photographs of the vehicle illustrating the damage it sustained (and which caused you to suffer severe injuries).

Do Not Attempt to Deal with the Insurance Company on your Own!

When the insurance claims adjuster calls you after the accident, the best advice is not to speak to him or her.  Remember that the other party’s insurance company is not on your side.  The claims adjuster will attempt to get you to make damaging admissions which will only hurt your case and prevent you from getting a full and fair recovery for your injuries and damages. 

 

DO NOT AGREE TO GIVE A STATEMENT!

You should not be speaking to the other side until you have retained counsel.  Your attorney will assist you to give a statement if and when the occasion arises and after you have received full legal advice as to your rights and responsibilities.  The other side’s claims adjuster will use anything you say to fight your claim.  You need to have competent, aggressive legal advice before you tell your side of the story to anyone from the insurance company.  Once you give a statement, the insurance company will do its best to construct a defense by twisting what you say and devising a plausible story for the driver who is at fault to escape blame and responsibility.

The insurance company’s representative may ask you to sign a “release” so that he or she can obtain your medical records from the emergency room, hospital, doctor, or other medical personnel.  Do not sign any release until you have hired an attorney to represent you.  You definitely do not want the insurance company snooping around your private medical records.  Get competent legal advice before you sign anything for the insurance company!

When Should I Retain Counsel?

Remember that your first priorities after an accident are to obtain the necessary information about the other parties and the witnesses to protect your interests.  Your next priority is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Only after you have begun treatment with a suitable health care provider should you consider seeking legal counsel.  Never hire an attorney before you have begun medical treatment.  If you see the attorney first, and then the doctor, it will appear that your foremost interest was in obtaining money for your injury, as opposed to recovering your physical strength. 

What Will it Cost Me to Hire an Attorney?

In the majority of serious traffic accidents, meaning accidents in which you suffer an injury that requires medical treatment for several weeks, Richard Damon will represent you at no initial cost to you.  Rather, he will agree to represent you for a contingent fee, meaning that he will be a percentage of the sums you recover in your lawsuit, and that in the event that you do not recover any money, you will not be required to pay any fee at all.

Of course, our law firm will not agree to represent you unless you have sustained a serious injury.  In the event you have suffered only a minor injury, you may be advised to file an action in the small claims court, which would allow you to recover as much as $7500.  Our law firm normally only represents accident victims whose medical bills are significant and whose injuries are very serious.  We also represent that relatives of victims who have died as a result of their injuries.

If you have suffered a serious injury, or if a close relative has died as the result of a traffic accident, contact our office and we will provide an initial consultation free of charge.  If we decide to take your case, we will then enter into a fee agreement.

What Should I Expect When I Come to Your Office?

Once you have begun medical treatment for your injuries and you know that you have a serious injury, contact our office by telephone to arrange an appointment. Our normal office hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.  In exceptional circumstances, we will meet you outside normal business hours.  When you come in, we will have you fill out a simple intake form.  Bring with you to the first meeting any writings you have which relate to the accident, including police reports, notes you have made regarding the other driver’s identity and the identities of any witnesses, letters you have received from the insurance companies involved, repair estimates and bills, hospital and medical records and reports, ambulance reports, and billings of any nature for medical treatment.  We will meet with you and take down information regarding the accident.  We may proceed to perform an investigation of the accident. Either at the initial meeting, or some time later when we have had a chance to investigate the accident, we will tell you whether we can take your case.  If we do decide to take your case, we will discuss a fee arrangement and have you sign an agreement concerning our fees.

As soon as you have signed on, we will begin an aggressive pursuit of your case. We will gather relevant written records, meet with witnesses, and present your case to the other side’s insurance company with the intention of reaching an early settlement.  We will represent you every step of the way until you obtain a full and adequate settlement of your claims.  Our goal is to ensure that you receive compensation for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and you pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

You will be assured of intelligent, competent, aggressive, knowledgeable representation from the first step to the last.  Our law firm has as much experience as any law firm on the Central Coast of California. 

Boating Accidents

Our law firm has considerable experience in representing persons injured in boating accidents, as well as cases in which property damage is suffered in such accidents.  Richard Damon has trained in the field of admiralty law (the law of the sea), and has represented ship owners and boat owners in maritime collision cases.  He has also represented persons who have suffered injuries while operating boats.

Maritime law is a specialized area with which few Santa Cruz area attorneys are familiar.  Should you have an issue involving ships or boat, please contact our office.


Aviation Accidents

Our law firm has specialized competence in the field of aviation accidents.  Richard Damon is a licensed pilot and has been flying since 1964.  He has a commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating.  He has represented the relatives of airplane crash victims for many years.  If a loved one has died in an aviation accident, Richard Damon can protect your interests by representing you in a claim against the pilot, the aircraft manufacturer, the manufacturers of defective component parts, the airline, the pilot, or the Federal Aviation Administration.

 Airplane crashes are among the most complex type of accidents and require special expertise on the part of your attorney.  Richard Damon has that expertise from his long-time involvement in aviation matters. 

Do not rely on an unqualified attorney to represent you.  If someone you love has lost his or her life in an aviation accident, contact Richard Damon.  In a suitable aviation case, he will represent yon on the basis of a contingent fee.  You will not be required to pay any fee unless you win the case, and in that event, the fee will be an agreed percentage of the total recovery.

 

 

 

RICHARD E. DAMON, PC
9053 Soquel Drive, Suite 203
Aptos, California 95003

Phone: (831) 688-2800

Open Mon - Fri  9am to 5pm
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