In California in 2014, there were over 162,000 car accidents resulting in injuries. Additionally, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in the same state and year, there were 3,074 traffic-related fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact California personal injury attorney Johann Hall today. With his experience handling various types of car accident cases, he will aggressively fight for your right to compensation. When dealing with a motor vehicle accident, there are five important things to keep in mind.
1. Know the common causes of car accidents and refrain from activities or behaviors that lead to them, so you can avoid becoming involved in an accident in the first place.
One of the most common causes of car collisions is distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs when a driver is not completely focused on the road and can occur in any number of ways, including texting while driving, paying attention to other persons or objects in the vehicle, eating while driving, or using a cell phone. You can do your part to avoid collisions by focusing on driving and refusing to engage in distractions while you are out on the road.
2. Your injuries may be more serious than you realize.
While some injuries may be obvious after a collision, keep in mind that you may not be aware of the extent of your injuries immediately after the accident. Soft tissue injuries, in particular, may not be noticeable until the next day or later. These types of injuries include neck sprains and back sprains. Additionally, it is possible that you have internal injuries that may not be obvious visually right away. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to at least see your primary care physician after an accident, just to get yourself checked out and confirm that you do not have any more serious injuries.
3. Report the accident and follow all proper insurance procedures
If the other driver caused the accident and is liable, you will generally want to contact the police to arrive at the scene and make an accident report. The officer will likely speak with you and the other driver and make a determination of fault. The police report will be helpful later on to establish that the other party is at-fault for the accident. You will also want to take a look at your own policy to make sure that you are following proper reporting procedures, even if the other driver was at-fault.
4. Check your own insurance policy to determine whether you have medical payments coverage, and if so, determine your coverage limits
Medical payments coverage is not mandatory in the state of California; however, many people opt for this additional coverage on their policy. This additional form of insurance coverage allows for your medical bills for injuries sustained in a car accident to be immediately paid up to a designated amount (your medical payments coverage policy limit). This coverage applies to you and any of your passengers, whether you were at fault for the accident or whether the other driver was at fault. Your attorney will be able to review your medical payments policy coverage and advise you on the best course of action to take advantage of this portion of your policy.
5. Speak with a lawyer right away after the accident to ensure your rights are being protected.
Of course, seeking any necessary medical attention is the most important thing you can do once you have been involved in a car accident. The next important step is to contact a personal injury attorney and set up a consultation to discuss your potential case. Typically, personal injury lawyers in California will operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay any funds up front. Rather, payment will come in the form of an agreed to percentage of your settlement or award, and if your lawyer does not recover a settlement or award for you, then you do not owe them any money.
Your lawyer will be able to contact the insurance company for the at-fault driver and attempt to negotiate a settlement for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost time from work, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. Your lawyer may also be able to help you out by negotiating your medical bills down to a lower payment in order for you to get more money out of the settlement. Call California car accident attorney Johann Hall today to get started with a free consultation on your potential case.