Car crashes happen every day. Some are minor fender-benders, while others result in serious injuries and deaths. If you are facing large medical bills, are unable to work because of your injuries, or find yourself battling insurance companies over a settlement, you may want to have an Anaheim car accident lawyer on your side. To speak to a member of our team about working with an attorney, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 today for a free consultation.
Steps You Should Take After an Accident
Here are some things you will want to do after a car accident to protect yourself and look out for your well-being.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Anaheim, call (800) 598-7557
Examine Yourself for Injuries
Some car accident injuries require immediate emergency medical treatment. However, other injuries may not be apparent right away. After any vehicle accident, it is important to check and double-check yourself for injuries, even if you left the scene on your own two feet. For example, whiplash symptoms can take days to develop. While whiplash is not life-threatening, it is painful, and patients may need expensive physical therapy to heal and recover their range of motion.
If any medical problems develop, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only is it important to treat your condition, but you will need documentation of your injuries if you plan to seek financial compensation.
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Exchange Information and Report Your Crash
You also need to make sure that you report your accident to the proper authorities. California Vehicle Code (VEH) §20000-20018 outlines the state’s laws regarding what to do immediately following a car accident. The statutes state that drivers must stop at the scene of an accident and provide their contact information to other drivers involved. You must report accidents involving injuries or death to the Department of the California Highway Patrol or another local law enforcement agency within 24 hours. If an officer was present at the scene, they would make the report. If not, you can fill out an SR-1 Accident Reporting Form at the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.
File an Insurance Claim
California mandates that drivers carry liability insurance. This type of coverage pays for bodily injuries and property damages you cause with your vehicle. If you were in a crash with another driver, and they are at fault, you can seek compensation through their insurance provider.
According to VEH §16430, all drivers must show financial responsibility of $15,000 for one person’s death or injury and $30,000 for the death or injury of two or more people. Drivers must also maintain $5,000 in property damage coverage. These amounts are minimums; drivers can purchase additional coverage.
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Consider Your Legal Options
Insurance is one remedy for your damages, but sometimes, it is not enough. If the insurance policy of the driver who caused your crash does not provide enough coverage to cover your damages, you may need to seek compensation in a lawsuit. A lawsuit may also be a solution if the insurance company denies your claims or an uninsured driver is responsible for your accident.
An Anaheim car accident lawyer can assist with settling your case both inside and outside of court. An attorney will review any settlement insurance offers and ensure it is enough to adequately compensate you. If it is not, a lawyer can attempt to negotiate a better settlement. When insurance cannot offer a solution, a lawyer can take your case to court.
There is no time limit for reaching an insurance agreement, but it is best to begin the claims process as soon as you can. If you take your case to court, the statute of limitations restricts your time. You have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death case in civil court, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1.
If you want to explore your legal options, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free consultation. We can review the specifics of your accident and advise you as you consider your next steps.
More About Recovering Damages
In California, more than 4,000 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number includes vehicle occupants, as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The total economic impact of these deaths was nearly $6 billion.
Non-fatal accidents can leave car crash victims with critical injuries that could cause lifelong complications. This includes head injuries, spine and neck injuries, broken bones, amputated limbs, and internal damages. You may require surgeries, rehabilitation, hospitalizations, and more to heal.
If someone else’s reckless driving is to blame for your accident, these costs are an unfair burden. If a car crash resulted in your loved one’s death, the person responsible should pay your family member’s medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, and other wrongful death damages. An attorney may be able to help you recover awards for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of income
- Household expenses
- Vehicle damages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Severe scarring
- Loss of consortium
To win compensation, a lawyer will attempt to show that another party breached the reasonable duty of care owed to other drivers on the road. Driving behaviors that may constitute a breach include running a stop sign, texting and driving, driving drowsy, driving while intoxicated, speeding, and driving aggressively.
Accidents can have more than one cause. What happens if you are partially at fault for your accident? California is a pure comparative fault state, meaning the law does not bar plaintiffs from seeking awards, even if they are 50 percent or more to blame for their accident. However, your awards will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Help Is Available
Ben Crump Law, PLLC believes everyone deserves a chance at justice. No one should be allowed to get away with hurting others through reckless behavior or wrongdoing. If another person caused your crash, we want to help you make sure they pay.
An Anaheim car accident lawyer can help give you a voice. Whether arguing for your rights during insurance negotiations or in court, our goal is to achieve the awards you need and deserve to recover from your accident. Our team gets results. We have helped clients recover millions of dollars in damages in car accident cases. We are ready to take your case, and we charge nothing out of pocket or upfront. Call our offices today at (800) 598-7557 to learn more during a free consultation.