According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 38,000 people die every year on U.S. roadways due to car crashes. Car accidents are devastating and can have long-term effects on the victims’ lives.
In the wake of a car crash, the parties involved may find themselves uncertain about where to seek help or what their next steps should be.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, we’ll help you understand the law, answer your questions, offer advice, and aggressively fight for your rights.
Common causes of car accidents
Although some accidents result from poor road conditions or inclement weather, driver error or negligence causes most motor vehicle accidents.
Here are some of the most common causes of automobile accidents:
- Distracted Driving: Any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road can significantly increase the risks of a car collision. Some examples include texting, adjusting temperature or radio controls, drinking or eating, and applying makeup.
- Impaired Driving: Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while they’re on the road suffer from difficulties in focusing, poor judgment, vision problems, and slower reaction times. These don’t just endanger the safety and life of the driver; they also put passengers, motorists, and pedestrians at risk.
- Speeding: When drivers exceed the speed limit, they’re less able to control their vehicle. It takes them longer to slow down or come to a complete stop, making it more difficult to avoid a car crash. Furthermore, car collisions that happen at high speeds are more likely to cause severe or fatal injuries.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Drivers should always make sure that their vehicles are in good working condition. Failing to check for problems or make the necessary repairs if there are faulty auto parts can result in catastrophic collisions.
Auto accidents can lead to injuries ranging from mild to severe, such as broken bones, burns, lacerations, whiplash, head and neck trauma, traumatic brain injuries, and permanent disabilities, to name a few. If you’re uncertain about whether you have a personal injury case, we can help with a free case evaluation.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Knowing what to do after an accident is crucial. Victims need to take certain steps to help protect themselves, their rights, and their interests.
Even if you’re unsure if you’re injured, these steps are essential. Make sure you keep accurate records of everything.
Here’s a list of the top things to do after an automobile accident:
- Check that everyone involved in the accident is safe. If anyone is hurt and needs immediate medical attention, call for emergency assistance right away.
- Even if the accident is just a minor one, never drive away. In some instances, it may be a crime to leave before law enforcement officers deem it okay to do so.
- Prevent further accidents by protecting the scene. Keep your flashers on or set up flares. If the lights don’t work and it’s dark, get a flashlight and wait by the side of the road.
- Call the police, even if no one is seriously injured. Most insurance agencies will require claimants to present a police report. Avoid moving the vehicles unless they obstruct traffic.
- Make an accurate statement to the police. Avoid speculating, guessing, or misstating any of the facts or actions of others. If you’re unsure about something, let the officer know. If asked whether you’re injured, tell them that you’re not sure instead of saying no. In certain cases, symptoms from car accident injuries take time before they manifest, so it’s best to get checked out at the hospital.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident. If there’s visible damage on the vehicles or if you have injuries, take pictures of them as well.
- Make sure to record the information of everyone involved in the accident—both drivers and passengers alike. Get their name, address, and phone numbers.
- Seek medical attention, even for minor injuries. Remember, even a slight impact can lead to a permanent and serious injury to the spinal cord or a brain injury.
- Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning to claim for damages or benefits.
- Share only the basic facts about the accident with the insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney.
Car Accident Settlements
An individual who sustained serious injuries from an accident, either as a driver or passenger, may consider filing a lawsuit to help them with the recovery of the following damages:
- Costs of vehicle towing and repair
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Mental anguish or distress, pain and suffering
- Property damage and losses
- Past, present, and future medical bills or doctor fees related to the accident, such as rehabilitation or long-term care
The value of a claim depends on several factors, including the accident’s impact on the victim’s day-to-day life and overall well-being, their ability to work after the accident, and their medical expenses.
It’s best to consult a professional and capable Temecula car accident attorney with experience who can help their client estimate a potential settlement or judgment amount.
Related: Temecula Bus Accident Lawyer
Why hire a Temecula car accident lawyer?
There are many horror stories of insurance companies using dubious tactics to deny or only pay for partial claims. Unfortunately, it’s their job to find ways to pay the least amount possible. Hiring a competent car accident lawyer with expert knowledge of the laws can increase the victim’s chances of obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement.
You can trust that the attorneys at The Zucker Law Firm will be there for their clients during this difficult time. They’ll help you navigate the complex legal process, help you file a claim with your insurance company, explain your options, or file a suit against the liable party.
They also offer the following benefits:
- Insurance adjusters often try to get car accident victims to accept a settlement as soon as possible, especially when they still don’t have a personal injury attorney to help them understand their rights. A lawyer will prevent you from settling too early. Without knowing the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your future, you may miss out on compensation that you’ll need to cover future expenses or treatment.
- Insurance companies will try to make it look like the accident was your fault and get you to make statements that they’ll later use against you. A car accident lawyer will help you avoid giving statements that can potentially weaken or damage your claim.
- A lawyer can help collect and present evidence such as police reports, medical records, eyewitness testimonies, security camera footage, and reports from accident reconstruction experts and other expert witnesses.
Car Accident Attorneys Serving Temecula, California
When someone experiences an injury due to an auto accident, it can be overwhelming. Legal jargon, the fear of liability, or the stress of a possible court case are the last things anyone wants to deal with while they’re injured.
At The Zucker Law Firm, our car accident lawyers serve Riverside County, including Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, and the surrounding area. Our team will be your guide to getting through this difficult time and help you get your medical bills paid.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and needs the representation of an experienced Temecula personal injury lawyer, call (951) 699-2100 or send us a message to get started on a free case consultation.