D4A Magazine - Issue 2 PTSD After a Car Accident

M E E T SUSANO COR I A

1. How did you start in the Personal Injury business? My story begins in the South-Central LA neighborhood of Vermont & 49th Street (back when it was still called South Central). My parents set out to raise a family and provide a good education for my sisters and I. My father worked in construction as a general laborer andwhen I was approximately 12 years old, he suffered a major injury at work. This really took a toll on him and our entire family as he suffered a great deal with severe burn injuries and was unable to work for a very long time. However, I have always maintained that something good always comes out of a bad situation and I feel that my father’s accident was what prompted me to seriously consider becoming a lawyer. While I was an undergraduate student at UCLA, I got a job at the UCLA School of Law (Clinical Program Office) and then I worked at a local personal injury law office shortly after that. This principle of something good resulting froma bad situation is what Pl attorneys likemyself strive to do every day for our clients. I always tell my clients that I can’t take back their accident but I can guide them It’s very important for people to take the proper steps after a car accident. One of the things that I am heavily recommending to all of my current and former clients is to get a dash cam on their vehicles. Many cases are lost due to lack of evidence. Particularly where we have a liability dispute involving red lights, the passing of stop signs and lane change/merging situations where a dash camwould be vital in proving what happened in the accident. However, most people don’t have dash cams in their vehicles so we have to rely on good old-fashioned gathering of evidence at the scene after a collision. Obtaining an independent witness is very helpful. Also, with almost every driver having cell phones nowadays, I always advise that people take pictures of the scene, the damages to all vehicles involved and towards getting their lives and health back in order. 2. What are the steps to take after a car accident?

photos of any other property that may have been damaged after an accident (ie/ city light poles, private fences, etc.). 3. Why is it critical to see a physician right away after an accident? Some people are lucky enoughnot to suffer any injuries after an accident. However, for the rest of the folks who do suffer an injury after a collision, their health must come first. Prolonging or delaying medical attention could make their injuries worse. I often ask potential clients why they waited days or weeks after an accident to see a doctor and I always get the same answers: 1. I thought the pain would go away on its own. 2. I did not think this was a serious enough injury to go to a hospital/ doctor. 3. I don’t have any health insurance. All of these are valid reasons, however, the insurance companies take advantage of these delays in obtaining medical care by denying or devaluating their injury claims due to these “delays” in obtaining medical care. This is where personal injury attorneys like myself can offer assistance to these individuals. Working with companies like Doctors for Accidents makes it easy for attorneys to find convenient locations for any client throughout the state. 4. What is it like to open your own law office? As an attorney, you either go work for a law firmor you go into business for yourself as a sole practitioner. It is very difficult for any attorney fresh out of law school to open their own law office and expect a ton of business to walk thru the door. In my case, when I opened my own law office in 2011, I started with a home office and just one legal secretary. However, this allowed me to keep my overhead low and allowed me to focus on each individual client and build a relationship with them that has lasted for almost ten years now. Since then, my office has grown steadily over the years and we have been able to serve thousands of clients. My beliefs have always been to put my clients’ needs before my own; never do things just for the money and I’ve also learned that each Client and their respective needs are unique. I’ve never lost sight of these thingsT and this has made for a good recipe in terms of recruiting new business for my practice andmaintainingmy clients happy so that they keep coming back or referring their loved ones to my office.

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