Driving is the most common form of transportation in California, which means car accidents are a daily occurrence. California roads are full of traffic, road rage, and distracted drivers. Some car accidents may cause little to no damage, however, many car accidents cause severe injuries and damage to all involved.
First Steps After a Car Accident
The time immediately after you are in a car accident can be scary, confusing, and painful. If you are able to, the first thing you need to do immediately after the crash is call emergency services and seek medical attention. This goes for anyone who was involved in the car accident. Many medical conditions caused by auto accidents are not immediately apparent, so even if you do not feel hurt, it is critical to receive a medical evaluation by a healthcare professional. Early intervention can prevent these injuries from becoming more serious. Common car accident injuries can include broken bones, cuts, bruising, whiplash, herniated discs, concussions, and even traumatic brain injuries.
After calling emergency services, if you are physically able to, try to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers if multiple cars were involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information as well. Take pictures and video of all vehicles involved and the surrounding area. This is essential to ensure you have physical evidence of what happened in the accident to bolster your claim. When the police arrive at the accident scene, make sure to get a police report number and a copy of the report if possible.
The third critical step after a car accident is calling a reliable attorney. Curtis Legal Group is ready to discuss your claim right away. Our team can guide you through the complicated web of insurance companies and legal proceedings, helping you stand up to those at fault for your injuries. We are here to ensure you receive fair compensation. Insurance companies can use what you say against you and will do whatever they can to minimize your damages. Our team will handle all negotiations with the insurance carriers and fight for the maximum compensation available. While we are able to successfully settle many cases out of court, we are ready to go to trial to fight for you and your family.
Building a Successful Car Accident Case
To build your case, we will investigate the accident, taking in all evidence available, and determine what caused the accident to occur. For instance, one of the drivers might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol or were texting while driving. The driver at fault may have sped through an intersection or failed to obey a traffic sign. Our team of personal injury attorneys will determine if any of these or other factors might have caused or contributed to the collision. We will talk to witnesses and the police on your behalf and will obtain any security camera footage available to build a strong case. You do not have to worry about who to contact and what to ask. We will make sure all the right questions are being answered.
After a serious accident, your life may change dramatically leaving you feeling helpless. If your car was totaled in the accident and you cannot afford a new one, you may not be able to provide transportation for yourself or your family. With significant injuries, your medical bills could be piling up and you may be looking at years of expensive physical therapy to help you fully recover. Your injuries may even keep you from returning to work, which can put stress on your family and put your livelihood at risk. Even if you have just lost a short amount of time at work, we understand that every dollar counts. Some car accident victims are left unable to care for their own families. The stress from the accident and subsequent injuries can certainly cause you significant pain and suffering. Our car accident attorneys can evaluate your financial situation following the accident to determine a fair amount of compensation that puts your mind at ease and allows you to fully recover.
Northern California Car Accident Lawyers
The car accident lawyers at Curtis Legal Group are here for you. Our attorneys will help you recover financial damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, California law uses a comparative fault system, which means liability is allocated on a percentage basis and you can still recover compensation for your injuries.
We know just how awful a traumatic experience like a car accident can be for you and your family. You can trust Curtis Legal Group to handle all the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on healing. Many car accidents are caused by reckless drivers and our legal team will make sure to hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact us if you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and want to discuss the next steps. Under the law, there is limited time to make a claim, so contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do after a car accident?
Once you have received any necessary medical care, your next step should be to call a car accident attorney. You should call a lawyer before you discuss your case with an insurance company representative. Insurance companies have one goal in a car accident claim: to pay as little as possible. If there are injuries involved in the accident, you need a lawyer on your side.
How do I know if I need to hire a lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer is beneficial in any car accident case, but if there are injuries involved it is even more important. Insurance companies will not pay you what you deserve for your injuries unless you have a lawyer on your side.
Do I need to call the police after a car crash?
Yes, you should call the police after a car crash so that they can file an official report. The police report will be a crucial piece of evidence on which to build your case. If you were seriously injured you should seek medical care first, but someone on the scene should alert the police.
Should I take photographs of the crash scene?
Yes, if you are able to. If not, ask someone else to take pictures, because they will be helpful to your case. Photos can depict the severity of the accident, the condition and position of the vehicles, the tire marks on the road, and any other details that may be pertinent.
The other driver didn’t have insurance. What are my options?
You can choose to file a lawsuit against the other driver, whether or not they have insurance. If they don’t have insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. But your best option for receiving the most compensation is to handle your legal claims with the help of a personal injury attorney.
What should I do if I was the victim of a hit-and-run accident?
If you need medical attention, that should always be your first priority. But you or someone else should call the police to the accident scene as soon as possible. Take pictures and gather any evidence that could help identify the other driver, such as a piece of their vehicle that may have been left at the crash site.
Should I accept an insurance company’s settlement offer?
You don’t have to settle for whatever your insurance company or another party’s insurance company offers you. If you hire a lawyer to assist with your claim and/or file a lawsuit, the insurance company might offer you more money. Discuss your options with an attorney before you accept any settlement.
Can I get my car repaired at any auto repair shop?
Technically, yes, you have the right to take your car to any licensed shop for repairs. Your insurance company may have certain shops they would prefer you go to, but you are not obligated to do so. If you’re working with an attorney, ask them if they recommend a certain shop for repairs.
Is there a time limit to bring a claim?
If you’re filing a lawsuit for car accident injuries, you have two years from the date of the accident. If you’re only filing for property damage, you have three years to file a claim.
Can I recover for lost wages and medical expenses?
Lost wages and medical bills are two of the most common reasons victims seek financial compensation after a car accident. If your injuries prevented you from being able to work and resulted in significant medical bills, working with a lawyer may help you recoup those funds.
Can I sue for compensation if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
You can still file a lawsuit for injuries from a car accident even if you were not wearing your seatbelt; however, you may not receive as much compensation as you would have if you had been wearing a seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt does not disqualify you from filing a lawsuit, but it will be a factor in your case.