San Francisco residents who have been the victims of car accidents often suffer from serious injuries. An accident that leaves a victim with a spinal cord injury can be devastating and may even result in paralysis. The road to recovery is often long, as rehabilitation and long-term medical care may be required. Furthermore, the costs associated with treatment can quickly add up — even if the victim has health insurance.

One such victim has filed a claim against the city of Los Angeles after his car was hit from the back by a city-owned SUV driven by a city councilman. In his claim, the victim is seeking $500,000 in damages and says he suffered “serious multiple physical injuries” in the accident. The victim’s injuries include “serious spinal injuries” and severe back pain.

It is important for victims of spinal cord injuries to be aware of their legal rights. If a person is hurt in an accident caused by another person’s careless or reckless behavior, they may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.

If a victim has the ability to do so, there are several things they can do following an accident to improve their chances of filing a successful claim. For example, an accident victim should collect any evidence that may show who caused the accident, including photographs. They should also keep track of everything that happens after the accident and make a list of lost work or wages, medical bills and doctor visits. It’s also important to get the names and contact information for people that witnessed the accident. A victim should also make notes of any conversations with witnesses to the accident. Finally, the injured party should make sure to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Driver files claim after car accident with Jose Huizar,” David Zahniser and Andrew Blankstein, Dec. 8, 2012