Car Accident Lawyer
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries and death in the United States. Each year, between 30,000 and 40,000 people are killed in traffic accidents, and millions more are injured. Unfortunately, auto and medical insurance don’t always cover all the costs associated with car accidents. When this happens, legal intervention could be necessary. A car accident lawyer could help protect the rights of victims and ensure they receive fair compensation for their losses, including reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage.
What To Do After A Car Accident Occurs
No one wants to get into a car accident, but it’s important for drivers to understand what to do if they are ever involved in one. According to traffic safety experts, drivers should:
1. Remain at the scene
Even if a crash is minor, drivers should never leave the scene of an accident until it is appropriate to do so. This is particularly true if there have been injuries or fatalities. Drivers who leave the scene of a crash can be charged with hit-and-run or other serious crimes.
2. Stay calm
While accidents can be stressful and upsetting, drivers should do all they can to remain calm. Keeping a clear head helps people maintain focus and remember important details about the accident, including information that needs to be reported to police investigators, insurance agents and, possibly, lawyers.
3. Check on passengers and the occupants of other vehicles
Drivers should next check on the occupants of their vehicle and other vehicles to make sure they haven’t suffered any injuries. If someone is unconscious or complains of neck pain, he or she should not be moved unless fire or other hazards present a threat. Likewise, the involved vehicles shouldn’t be moved unless it is dangerous to leave them where they are.
4. Call 911
Drivers should call the police after all accidents that cause property damage, injuries or fatalities. Drivers should obtain the names and badge numbers of all officers who respond to the scene.
5. Take pictures of the crash scene and write down crash details
While waiting for the police to arrive, drivers should use their cellphones or other cameras to take photos of the crash scene from multiple angles. They should also write down all they can remember about the details of the crash.
6. Exchange contact and insurance information
Drivers should obtain the names, contact information, license numbers and insurance policy information of all other drivers involved in the accident. Names and contact information should also be obtained from all other passengers and witnesses. Drivers should make every effort to be polite and calm when interacting with other drivers and passengers.
7. Don’t apologize or admit guilt
While remaining polite and calm is important, drivers need to remember not to apologize or admit guilt for the crash. This is true even if a driver thinks he or she is responsible for the accident. The aftermath of an accident can be confusing, and it might not be clear who or what caused a collision until it is investigated by authorities.
8. Report the accident to the insurance company
Drivers should notify their insurance company that they have been in a car accident as soon as possible. They should cooperate with the agents and tell them exactly what happened. Lying to an insurance company can lead to serious consequences, including denial of coverage and fraud charges.
9. Call an auto accident lawyer
Certain car accidents may require the help of a car accident lawyer, including accidents that involve drunk driving, reckless driving, injuries or deaths. A lawyer could carefully review the case and explain all the legal options available.
Car Accident Statistics
U.S. car crash fatalities have been on the rise for several years. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that there were at least 40,000 annual U.S. traffic deaths in 2016, 2017 and 2018, which has not happened since the Great Recession in 2008. In addition, approximately 4.5 million Americans were seriously injured in car accidents in 2018. In California, 3,651 people were killed in car crashes in 2018, which is a 2 percent increase over 2017.
Common Car Accident Causes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of car accidents are caused by human error. Some of the most common causes include:
1. Distracted driving
Distracted driving is the top cause of all car accidents in the U.S., and the problem is getting worse. Cellphones, onboard GPS and infotainment systems, eating food and zoning out can make a driver lose focus and get into a serious crash.
Speeding has been causing car accidents since motor vehicles were first invented. Exceeding the posted speed limit reduces the amount of time drivers have to react to obstacles, such as pedestrians, animals and other vehicles. As a result, a speeding driver is at greater risk for both causing a crash and causing more severe injuries during a crash than a driver who is not speeding.
3. Drunk or drugged driving
Alcohol and drugs reduce a driver’s reaction time, cause drowsiness and impair decision making, which can all lead to car accidents. People should always designate a sober driver, call a ride-sharing service or use public transportation if they intend to go out and drink.
4. Reckless driving
Reckless driving occurs when a driver engages in aggressive driving maneuvers, such as excessive speeding, tailgating, and improper lane changes. Many times, reckless drivers are suffering from road rage or simply feeling impatient. Whatever the reasons for their dangerous driving behaviors, reckless drivers are a risk to everyone on the road.
Rain can cause dangerous road conditions by making roadways slippery and hazardous for vehicles, particularly when it mixes with oil on the surface of the pavement. While inclement weather is an act of nature, drivers are still responsible for slowing down and driving carefully to avoid accidents. Drivers who lose control of their vehicles during a storm can be ticketed or even sued for damages.
6. Texting While Driving
Mobile phones are a convenient tool for our modern lives but as these devices have become common items they can be the cause of distractions that cause serious car accidents. Make sure when you are driving that you are not distracted by your phone.
Car Accident Injury Types
Car accident injuries cost the U.S. economy nearly $300 billion each year in medical costs and lost work days. Some of the most common types of car crash injuries include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Broken ribs and other broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries, such as liver and spleen damage
- Knee and leg injuries from impact with the dash
Individuals who suffer injuries as the result of a car accident could turn to an auto accident lawyer for help. Legal counsel could protect a victim’s rights and work to obtain the maximum settlement possible from the insurance company.
Some of the types of car accidents include:
Why Hire A Car Accident Attorney?
Not all car crashes require legal intervention, but a car accident attorney could be beneficial in certain cases, including those that involve reckless driving, drunk driving, serious injuries or fatalities. An attorney could carefully assess the case and handle all negotiations with the insurance company, ensuring that a fair settlement is paid. If litigation is necessary, legal counsel could gather evidence supporting a personal injury lawsuit and file the required documents in court. If the lawsuit is successful, injured victims could be entitled to compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Wages lost during recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Property loss
When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer
You should seek the legal help of a car accident attorney when involved in a car accident, regardless of fault. If an insurance company offers a settlement that seems too little for the claim, if the agent is pushing you to accept it or if you only want to know what is at stake for you and your loved ones, contact an auto accident attorney before signing off on a settlement. We have provided resources to help you understand auto insurance coverage as well as what is involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist .
Rizio Liberty Lipinsky Can Help
Rizio Liberty Lipinsky represents victims of auto accidents in California. With the skill that comes from experience, Rizio attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve, both for the present and the future. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling 888-292-8888, or complete our online form and we will contact you promptly.
Rizio Liberty Lipinsky’s jury verdict of $57.9 MILLION was awarded to a 25 year old man who was severely injured in a car accident. This is the highest personal injury award in California and the second highest personal injury awarded nationwide that year. This verdict won Greg Rizio the prestigious Consumer Attorney of the Year award for 2015.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.