Each day, thousands of people die all over the country due to preventable car accidents. Most people experience life-changing or catastrophic injuries as well. Human error is the most common cause of traffic accidents. Reckless, careless, or distracted driving can cause motor vehicle collisions. Other causes can stem from inclement weather, defective vehicle products, or poor road maintenance. If you've recently been injured in an auto accident while driving in California, don't put off seeking legal advice. Contact a car accident lawyer Redlands to schedule a consultation. The lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys fight for the rights of their clients and will hold the at-fault parties accountable for your injuries and other losses.
While you can file a claim on your own, working with an experienced attorney can significantly increase your chances of earning a higher settlement. Insurance companies have one goal-to pay you as little as possible. Because of this, you may find yourself struggling to successfully negotiate with the insurance adjuster. Additionally, your medical bills will begin to pile up, you may have missed several days, weeks, or even months from work, and you may be desperate enough at this point to accept a lowball settlement offer.
An attorney will ensure that an insurance company does not take advantage of you. They will build a solid case that will clearly prove the other driver was at fault for the accident. They will strengthen your case by bringing in experts, such as private investigators, medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and economists.
An experienced personal injury attorney will have the knowledge and resources to hire experts to help build a case that is strong and one that will force an insurance company to pay you the compensation you deserve.
There are many common causes of car accidents all across the country. In most cases, it's a matter of driver error, including driver distraction or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Below is a list of the most common causes of auto accidents in California.
Distracted driving can involve any activity that will take the driver's focus and eyes off the road. This can include:
Unfortunately, it only takes a split second for an accident to occur. Because of this, a driver must give the road 100% of their attention.
Distracted driving is considered a form of negligence and can make the driver legally responsible for the collision.
Poor road maintenance can involve trash or debris in the road.
Drivers swerving out of the way to prevent hitting large objects in the road can result in a catastrophic car accident. In cases such as these, the city may be held responsible for poor road maintenance.
Snow, ice, or heavy rainfall can make it dangerous to drive on a busy street. While a city will make an effort to keep the roads safe, extreme conditions can lead to dangerous roads.
Other dangerous conditions can include large chunks of ice left in the middle of a road, ice buildup, or slippery roads.
When a driver gets behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can turn their car into a dangerous machine. Unfortunately, a large majority of drunk driving accidents often end in serious injuries or fatalities.
California has a dram shop law that makes it possible for the accident victim of a collision to bring a personal injury claim against a third party. In some situations, the accident victim can bring a claim against the private individual, restaurant, or bar, that provided alcohol to an intoxicated person who caused an accident.
This may be the case if:
The lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys understand local and state DUI laws. Our firm will work with experts in the field to prove the influence of alcohol contributed to the car accident. We will gather police reports, expert opinions, and eyewitness testimony, to help support a claim. In some cases, the accident victim or their family will be able to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in the Inland Empire
Knowing what actions to take immediately following an accident can help you stay calm and in control of the situation. There are some things you should do to help yourself and protect your rights, especially if you file a claim against the at-fault driver.
In your glove compartment, you should keep a checklist of the proper steps to take after an accident. This way, if you're involved in an accident you won't have to rely on your memory.
After an accident, you have a legal duty to remain at the scene and ensure that everyone is okay. Even a minor accident will require everyone involved to stop and assess the situation before leaving.
Do as much as possible to make sure the scene of the accident is safe for people and other vehicles passing by. This will help to prevent a pileup or further collisions. Move disabled vehicles to the side of the highway if possible. Always put on your emergency flashers and set up flares or cones if you have them.
As soon as you're in a safe location call 911. It's always wise to report a car accident, regardless of how minor it is. The police will visit the scene of the accident and write a police report. A police report can be an important piece of evidence in an insurance claim. However, you want to be careful never to admit fault to the police as they are writing down your statement. If you're not sure who's fault the accident was, state as much. When asked whether or not you have sustained any injuries if you are unsure, state as much.
Be sure to record important information such as license plate numbers, insurance card information, contact numbers, and the driver's name. If anyone witnessed the accident you will also want to obtain their contact information so your lawyer can speak to them at a later time.
Take photos of the scene of the accident if possible, using your phone. You will need to get pictures of your injuries, the condition of the roads, weather conditions, faulty traffic lights, missing traffic signs, skid marks in the road, debris in the road, and damage done to all vehicles involved.
An accident can leave you feeling disoriented and shaken up. You may have trouble remembering the events surrounding the accident by the next morning. Because of this, you must write down as many details that led up to the accident as soon as possible before your memory begins to fade.
Get a copy of the police report and speak with your insurance company to report the accident. In most insurance company policies, you will be required to immediately report an accident to your insurer. Make sure you give the number of the police report to the insurance representative.
After an auto accident, you must head to the emergency room as soon as possible. While you can wait to meet with your primary care doctor, this leaves a large window in between the time of the accident and medical treatment. By visiting the emergency room immediately after the accident you can prevent the at-fault driver's insurance carrier from accusing you of sustaining injuries after the accident occurred.
Even if you feel fine after the accident you must still seek medical treatment immediately. In some cases, signs and symptoms of a serious injury will not be apparent for twenty-four to seventy-two hours after the collision. This is actually very common for injuries such as whiplash or concussions. Seeing a physician immediately will help your case immensely.
Keep a file with all of the documents related to your accident. This will include a copy of the police report, medical records, photos you have gathered, information regarding witnesses, and anything else related to the accident.
Once you have notified the insurance company about the accident and you have received medical attention for your injuries, now's the time to contact a car accident lawyer. A lawyer will want to see you right away to get all of the details of the accident and will need to begin conducting an investigation immediately. One of their first stops will be the scene of the accident. Because the streets may be cleaned and car accident debris will be removed from the roads, getting to the scene of the accident as soon as possible will be crucial. Other evidence may become lost, damaged, or can fade over time. After an accident, time is of the essence, so you must speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
The at-fault driver will also be required to report the accident to their insurance carrier. Because of this, you can anticipate a call from an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver's insurance company. If possible, do not answer the phone. If you do end up speaking to the insurance carrier do not make any statements and refer them to your lawyer. The insurance adjuster's job is to get you to admit fault. They can do this by tricking you into admitting that you are partially to blame for the accident. They will also try to get you to downplay your injuries. This is because the more severe the injuries are, the higher the settlement amount will be. To avoid damaging your claim and to protect your rights do not speak to the insurance adjuster if possible.
Your auto accident attorney will take over all communication with the insurance company and the at-fault driver's attorney. During this time, the attorney will negotiate with the insurance company regarding the settlement amount you deserve. This will be based on the severity of your injuries, the cost of medical treatment, lost wages from work, pain and suffering, property damage, and other damages. In some cases, the negotiation process can be very lengthy. Your attorney will use aggressive negotiation tactics to force the insurance company to pay you a fair settlement amount. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, then your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to court.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you're entitled to compensation. Contact our experienced Redlands car accident lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a consultation. We have a deep understanding of California's liability laws and can help you determine who was at fault for the collision and how to proceed with your claim. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, we can also fight for you in court and will do everything we can to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.