At Cutter Law P.C., our auto accident lawyers are well aware that when a serious injury occurs, it can tremendously affect the victim's mental and emotional well-being, as well as his or her ability to work. If you've been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Serious injuries and deaths from auto accidents in California remain extremely high, totaling 2,791 fatalities in the state (2011) and 32,367 nationally for the same time period. Sacramento is California's sixth most populous city; Oakland is its eighth largest. Our streets and highways are home to a significant number of accidents.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents In Oakland And Sacramento
- A malfunction or defect in the vehicle
- Distracted driving
- Driver negligence
- Bad weather
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Dangerous conditions on the road and other hazards
- Failure to comply with traffic laws
- Reckless driving or speeding
- Sudden Acceleration Accidents
Beyond auto vs. auto accidents, our firm also represents clients who have been seriously injured in auto accidents involving pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and big rig trucks.
11 Things To Do After A Sacramento Or Oakland Car Accident
1. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS OK — Before concerning yourself with vehicle damage and exchanging insurance information, make sure that all parties involved are OK.
2. AVOID MAKING A STATEMENT — It doesn't matter if an accident was your fault or not; you should avoid statements of guilt or apologizing. Even a simple, innocent statement such as "I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention" can be seen as an admission of liability and used against you during a trial.
3. CALL THE POLICE — Even if there aren't any serious injuries resulting from the car accident, it is a good idea to call the police. There's a chance you will need to file a police report with your insurance claim, even if it's just for damage to your vehicle. (If you need information, here is the Sacramento Police Department's website.)
4. CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY — Reporting the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible is important, even if you are completely at fault. Make a note of the time the accident occurred and the money spent pursuing your claim.
5. TAKE PICTURES — Pictures of the damage and scene are important. Having proof of the extent of the damage can help you with the insurance claim and serve as evidence if there is a dispute in the future.
6. TAKE NOTES — Notes, like pictures, are important in detailing the car accident and the nature of any injuries as soon as possible.
7. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION — Not all injuries that result from vehicle accidents are instantly apparent. A lot of people report symptoms of pain or discomfort after 24 to 48 hours have passed. Unless you are certain that you have not suffered any injuries, you are advised to seek medical attention from your local emergency room or physician. Slight accidents can still result in severe and potentially permanent spinal cord injuries. Losing consciousness or becoming confused for even a short time following an accident could be suggestive of a concussion or closed head injury. When left untreated, this can cause cognitive and behavioral changes.
8. BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU TALK TO — If you are contacted by the other parties' insurance company, the best response is to refrain from any talking or admission and instead get in contact with your own insurance company or attorney.
9. DON'T NECESSARILY ACCEPT THE FIRST ESTIMATE — Remember that your well-being is not the insurance company's primary concern. Its concern is settling your claim for the smallest possible value. Often this process involves making several low offers in an attempt to save money on the claim.
10. KEEP A FILE — It is important to keep a file of all of your accident-related documents and information. This should include a claim number, the claims adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car, and any additional expenses you may have incurred caused by the accident.
11. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, GET AN ATTORNEY — Many of our clients come to us after attempting to negotiate claims on their own. Nearly all of them were surprised at the tactics commonly employed by insurance companies. These tactics can include harassment, pressuring you to accept an offer, not returning calls and discounting injuries by claiming that the accident doesn't warrant either side seeking medical attention. No one wants to deal with this, especially when they're hurt. Contacting an attorney immediately after the accident will allow you to simply focus on getting better and fixing/replacing your car.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer In Sacramento
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. Should your injuries make travel difficult or impossible, one of our lawyers can meet with you at your home or in the hospital. If we accept your case, there is never a fee unless we win. Give us a call toll free at 888-285-3333 or fill out the contact form below.