California is famous for its miles of freeway. Living in this iconic state means that you must have a car, and with its infamous traffic, citizens from Los Angeles, Orange County, the Bay Area, and beyond are no stranger to car accidents.
Each year, California residents are involved in thousands of car accidents. You may automatically think of calling your insurance company after a car accident. While insurance matters, you must also take measures to protect yourself and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we help our clients get justice in motor vehicle accidents all over California. While you may think your accident is too minor to warrant hiring an attorney, skilled representation can save you many future headaches.
Many drivers live in fear of becoming a victim of a severe accident, but fender benders and other minor accidents have the potential to cause personal injury as well.
After a collision, you might find yourself frustrated, disoriented, and injured. In this state, you are more likely to make poor judgments, and you may be unable to give complete information immediately. Qualified accident attorneys can help you through these challenges.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we know how to communicate with insurance companies. We advise you on how to make a clear statement and ensure the best results possible for your case. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 to schedule your free consultation so that we can begin work on your personal injury case right away.
California Car Accident Statistics
Not only is California one of the nation’s largest states, but it’s also the most populous. Most of California’s population is densely packed in and around city centers.
For every 100 million miles California residents drive, there is roughly one fatal car crash. If you consider how many residents are driving in California every day, these numbers show that fatal accidents are all too common.
Since 2014, car accidents have been on the rise. For example, Between 2014 and 2016, Los Angeles saw a 20% increase in traffic accidents.
Motorcyclists and pedestrians are at the highest risk for fatal injury in a car accident. Nearly half of all car accident deaths are pedestrians. Despite that, only 14% of accidents involve them. Similarly, motorcyclists are only involved in 3% of Los Angeles accidents, but they account for 15% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
The leading causes of car accidents in California include:
- Driving under the influence – Driving while drunk or high can have disastrous effects by impairing your reflexes, decision-making, and response time.
- Distracted driving – Driving while texting, eating, changing music, or glancing at your GPS increases the likelihood of a collision.
- Speeding – Speeding decreases the time you have to react to oncoming traffic, pedestrians, braking drivers, and other changing conditions. Speeding accidents also increase the impact of collisions, increasing the potential for injury.
- Improper turns – Failure to look both ways and adhere to traffic rules such as stoplights, designated turning lanes, turn signals, and other safety measures can result in collisions.
- Reckless and Aggressive Driving – Like speeding and improper turns, reckless driving shows a disregard for road rules and can increase the likelihood of an accident and injury.
- Inexperienced Drivers – Teens and other inexperienced drivers are more likely to be distracted, misjudge distance or reaction time, driving under the influence, or fail to recognize an unsafe situation.
- Vehicle Defects – In some cases, a car accident occurs as a result of a manufacturing defect. Airbags are one of the most common vehicle defects in personal injury cases.
- Bad Weather – Inclement weather can cause poor visibility, make roads slick, and decrease traction so braking becomes difficult.
- Highway Construction – Most construction zones have cones and signage to mark the area, but car accidents can still happen. Errant equipment and failure to adhere to posted safety warnings can contribute to car accidents.
When and Where are Car Accidents Most Likely to Happen?
Most car accidents occur within 25 miles of the driver’s home. You are more likely to lower your guard in familiar areas or make reckless decisions where you feel secure.
Stoplights are one of the most common sites for car accidents. Brake issues, distracted driving, and improper turns can lead to rear-end collisions and unexpected damage.
Similar to stoplights, intersections also experience a higher volume of car accidents. Drivers often make judgment errors related to who has the right of way, most commonly resulting in side-impact collisions.
Garages and parking lots also see many car accidents each year. Groups of pedestrians and other vehicles looking for open spaces can distract or confuse drivers. Fortunately, most parking lot accidents are minor.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents usually happen when you see many people on the road, like during rush hour between 3 and 6 pm.
Over a quarter of all drunk driving incidents are cited on weekends between midnight and 3 am. Statistically speaking, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive.
What to do After a Car Accident
After an accident occurs, calling the police and ambulance services, if needed, should take priority.
If you are conscious and without serious injury, calling your lawyer at the scene of the accident can have several benefits. At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we offer prospective clients a free consultation where a lawyer will collect and discuss all the pertinent details of your case.
During this free consultation, a lawyer can advise you on how to issue your statement to the insurance companies, police, and other involved parties.
You might feel that your accident is too minor to warrant a call to a personal injury lawyer, but you should call an attorney in any accident that requires a trip to the doctor.
If you are unconscious or suffering from serious injury, you must seek medical care and document your medical bills, treatments, and injuries. You should get a thorough examination after a car accident, as not all injuries are visible.
Still, these injuries still play a role in your case and settlement. While you may not see concussions and internal bleeding, both require urgent medical attention.
If you can, take photos of all damage to your vehicle and possible personal injury. Smartphone cameras offer a convenient way to take quick snapshots of the scene and close-ups of damage to send to your lawyer and insurance company.
The other driver or at-fault parties may take their own pictures for their records. During this time, exchange information with the other driver. However, do not offer any apologies or comments onwho is at fault or cause of the collision.
Make sure to ask for their insurance company name, policy number, first and last name, address, and contact information, such as phone number or email, even if the other party is only visiting California.
Note the involved vehicle’s make, model, year, registration, and license plate number.
The police report should include relevant information about the date, time, and location of the accident. However, it is always prudent to keep track of your own records. Ask the police officer for their name, badge number, and contact information.
Make note of the direction you were traveling, the nearest intersections, your recollection of the events leading up to the car accident, and any details pertaining to the weather, visibility, or nearby construction zones.
If there are any witnesses, collect their names and contact information, as well.
Once you have as much of this information as possible, your lawyer can begin work on your case.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident
In the state of California, drivers are obligated to follow safe driving protocol. Failure to do so constitutes negligence. In the event of a car accident, injured parties must prove the other driver’s negligence to be awarded compensation.
California law dictates that negligence occurs when:
- The driver fails to follow safety regulations and traffic laws
- The driver fails to operate their vehicle in accordance with regulations
- The accident occurs as a direct result of the other driver’s actions
- The accident has caused injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, our experienced team of accident lawyers conducts a thorough investigation to support the claim of negligence in your case.
California law uses comparative negligence. Comparative negligence means that each person involved in the car accident is liable for a portion of the damages.
In an accident where both parties are at fault, the court will determine a percentage of fault to calculate the final award for monetary losses for each driver involved. For example, if the total damages were calculated at $100,000, someone who is 20% liable for their accident would receive $80,000.
Even if you suspect you have any fault or responsibility, you should refrain from making a statement on the matter until you consult with your attorney.
Don’t Make These Mistakes After a Car Accident
Auto accidents are inconvenient, shocking, traumatic, and sometimes devastating. You may make misguided or misinformed decisions in the moments following an accident.
For this reason, we stress the importance of calling an auto accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Your attorney will help minimize the room for error and poor judgment.
Many victims make these common mistakes after their car accident when they do not contact a lawyer:
- Choosing not to call the police – You might think your accident isn’t severe enough to report, but an official police report provides vital evidence for your case in court. The police will collect this evidence, prepare a report, and issue any necessary citations for infractions.
- Admitting fault – Moments after an accident, you might rush to apologize or admit fault. Resist the urge to do so, as it can harm your case.
- Leaving the scene – If you leave the scene, you can be accused of a hit and run or other violations. For this reason, you should stay on the scene until the police have arrived.
- Rejecting medical treatment or otherwise downplaying injuries – Some accident victims will reject medical treatment while their adrenaline is still high. Some injuries may present hours, weeks, and even years after an accident, so you must keep detailed medical records in case you ever need to file a personal injury claim.
- Not following doctor’s orders – If your doctor gives you a treatment plan, follow it. In car accident cases, you must show that you have made every effort to recover using the resources you have. Failure to do so will undermine the severity of your sustained injuries.
- Forgetting to collect information and gather evidence – Take photos, exchange contact information, and look for witnesses. This information helps any future investigation and gives your lawyer material with which to build your case.
- Disclosing too much to the insurance companies – Insurance companies want to minimize their payouts. Victims often fall for tricks and disclose information that can later be used against them. Qualified accident lawyers will advise on how best to issue your statement to your insurance company.
- Accepting a settlement prematurely – Litigation is exhausting, and you want to move on from the incident as soon as possible. However, a reliable car crash attorney will do everything in their power to win you the best settlement, even if it is not the first one offered.
- Posting information about the accident to social media – Avoid posting accident information or photos online. If you do not post anything about the accident, it cannot be used against you.
What Will a Car Accident Attorney Do for You?
The best way to find out what Adamson Ahdoot LLP can do for you is to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm by calling (800) 310-1606. At your free consultation, an experienced accident attorney will work with you to discuss the details of your case, understand your recollection of events, and determine the best course of action for you.
The attorneys at our law firm have over 100 years of combined legal experience litigating cases involving vehicle accidents in California. While this may be your first car accident, our car accident lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot LLP are well-versed in the nuances of accident law.
With your help, accident attorneys can organize the details of your case, argue on your behalf, represent your best interests, and ensure a smooth road to getting your entitled compensation.
In cases involving injuries or vehicle damage, car accident attorneys can guide you through filing your claim and giving your statements. Accident attorneys have the experience necessary to navigate negotiations with insurance companies and responsible parties.
Your accident lawyer will also identify inaccuracies in the report, as well as the other driver’s account, and keep your statement free of inconsistencies.
One of the most common mistakes victims make after an accident is settling too soon. Greedy insurance agents will often offer lump-sum settlements before the case can go to court.
This fast cash can entice victims, but a knowledgeable auto accident attorney prevents you from making impulsive decisions. An auto accident lawyer knows that the first offer for settlement is rarely the best and will fight aggressively for justice on your behalf.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, each lawyer at our law firm awaits the opportunity to advocate for vehicle accident victims.
Call us today at (800) 310-1606 to schedule your free consultation.
Preparing for Your Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident lawyers will often conduct independent investigations of motor vehicle accidents on their clients’ behalf. To ensure the best results and minimize wasted time and money, clients should come to their free consultation prepared.
Vehicle accidents happen every day and you never know when they could happen to you. Knowing what to expect can leave you better prepared for an unexpected situation.
Your free consultation starts with a case assessment. Case assessments can take place online, over the phone, or during an initial visit. Your attorney will ask you to describe the facts of the accident, as well as any injuries or damages you sustained.
Your case assessment may also include follow-up questions, such as:
- Have you spoken to any insurance company representatives? What did you say?
- Who else have you spoken to about the incident, including family, first responders, medical professionals, and other drivers?
- What do your auto insurance and health insurance cover?
- Do you know of any witnesses? Do you have their contact information?
While it benefits you to consider your answers to these questions ahead of time, you should also come prepared with any relevant documents. If you have access to your medical records, the crash report, and photos of the damage and your injuries, bring them to your free consultation with your lawyer.
Considerations When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Like many car accident attorneys, Adamson Ahdoot LLP offers you a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and any relevant injuries. After your free consultation, our law firm will not bill you until we win your case.
Litigation is expensive and exhausting, especially if you’re recovering from serious injuries or coping with the grief of a deceased loved one.
Do not make the mistake of downplaying your injuries or motor vehicle damage. Let a qualified car accident attorney decide how to proceed. With a free consultation, an Adamson Ahdoot LLP attorney can inform you if your case warrants a civil claim at no cost to you.
Call us today at (800) 310-1606 to schedule your free consultation. For over 100 years combined, our law firm has been proud to serve in a variety of motor vehicle and personal injury cases.
Why Adamson Ahdoot LLP is the Right Choice for You
At Adamson Ahdoot, you can trust that the best motor vehicle accident lawyers handle your case. Our law firm offers the intimacy and attention to detail of a smaller firm with the resources and expertise of a larger one.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we put people first. We are proud to serve a diverse clientele in their motor vehicle needs, and we make our free consultations available in both English and Spanish.
We know the period following an accident is a challenging time in your life. We promise that during your free consultation, the lawyer you meet with will be compassionate to your situation. We aim to be approachable in all our dealings, so please feel free to ask questions at any time.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we walk the line between aggressive advocacy and unwavering support for all of our clients.
We’re a full-service civil litigation firm with over 30 years of combined experience handling injury cases.
Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation with a premier injury attorney.