We’ve handled a wide range of cases from fender benders to life-threatening situations.
Must-know facts about car accidents
Recent insurance studies show that approximately 52% of all accidents happen within 5 miles from a person’s home. One of the most leading cause of car accidents are distracted drivers. These distractions include talking on the phone, to texting, to adjusting the car stereo, and even grooming behind the wheel. Even if you are an excellent driver, you must always be mindful of other distracted drivers on the road.
What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident?
Before you do anything, ensure that everyone involved is not injured or in pain. If there is an obvious sign of injury or pain, seek medical assistance immediately. This will be a stressful situation, but it’s critical that you proceed with following steps:
- Contact the police immediately
- Gather the facts, by taking down notes, using your phone to take photos of the scene, involved persons, injuries, and damages to vehicles
- Look for witnesses standing by and obtain their information
- Do not admit fault to any degree (this may be used against you unfairly)
- Obtain the driver, insurance, and vehicle information (with pictures, if possible)
Most importantly: Do NOT admit fault to anyone.
You will have to notify your insurance company of the incident. It is imperative that you DO NOT ADMIT FAULT TO ANYONE. This includes:
- Insurance companies
- Other parties involved in the accident
Additionally, do not speak to insurance adjusters
DO NOT TALK to adjusters, investigators or anyone before contacting Sunset West Legal Group. Your claim may be jeopardized and its value diminished if you talk to them.
Even if you are not at fault, your words can and will be twisted to manipulate your policy details. Your insurance company, or the other party’s insurance company, will attempt to withhold money that is rightfully yours.
Even if you are an undocumented immigrant, in the state of California, you can still claim compensation for personal injury and wrongful death. If you have been in a traffic collision, you still have rights. Your immigration status cannot be used as evidence in a civil case or wrongful death claim against you.
Nine Simple Ways to Avoid Future Car Accidents
- Observe the traffic around you while pulling into the midst of it all slowly. Try to be aware of blind spots. Vehicles can appear out of nowhere very quickly.
- Look out for the “risk-takers”, the red-light runners, and stop sign runners. Check before leaving a red light to make sure no one is trying to speed through a yellow light.
- Always have at least one hand on the steering wheel. Reduce your in-car distractions. A blown tire or pothole can send your car into another vehicle causing a very serious accident.
- Look out for kids and/or signs indicating pedestrians are walking in the area. Children and animals are known for suddenly popping out from between cars. Watch and carefully and slow down.
- Regularly perform engine maintenance on your vehicle. This will help avoid sudden stalls or other engine failures.
- View 10-12 seconds ahead. Try to keep positioned enough from other cars so if there’s a sudden stop or swerve, you could avoid them.
- Take a look back when reversing. Don’t depend on mirrors alone when reversing. Look over your shoulder to alleviate blind spots. Parking lot accidents are all too common.
- Do not tailgate the car ahead. Make sure you can view the vehicle in front of your rear tires. This can help avoid a collision if the other vehicle makes a sudden stop.
- Be courteous to other drivers on the road. Treat others on the road with the same respect you’d expect to be treated. If you notice anything suspicious while on the road, report it to your local authority.
How does Sunset West Legal Group handle car accidents?
We will engage in intricate and detailed negotiations for a fair settlement from the insurance company. Here at Sunset West Legal Group, we understand that all personal injury claims mainly depend on two factors: Liability and Damages.
Liability: The issue of liability speaks for itself and that is to say, liability means whose fault was it? Most, if not all, personal injury cases arise out of what is legally termed “negligence.” Negligence refers to the idea that a person, or business, owes a duty to others, that they breached this duty, which in turn caused harm to an entity. For example, every driver in every jurisdiction in the United States has a duty to operate motor vehicles in a non-negligent manner, which means a manner that is not potentially harmful to a person or property.
California is a comparative negligence state. That is to say, they take liability in percentages and, as a result, the damages you can recover will be a percentage of the liability of the other party. For example, a car that gets rear-ended is a clear liability case and the victim will be entitled to 100% of the damages incurred. However, for example, when two cars hit each other on their front ends, each may be liable for 50% of the damages incurred.
Damages: Damages are the injuries, physical, mental, societal, and other types that occur due to the negligence of another person or business. Car accidents, for example, can cause physical injury due to the impact of the collision; mental injury because of the trauma; and societal injuries such as loss of consortium. Our job is to make sure that you are justly compensated for all damages.
The types of damages available in a personal injury case consist of both non-economic damages and economic damages.
Non-economic damages consist of:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Humiliation and embarrassment
- Shock and mental anguish
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society and companionship
- Emotional distress
Economic damages consist of:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Property damage
At Sunset West Legal Group, we understand that every injury case is different. We have recovered millions for our clients by advising them on the next steps, negotiating on their behalf with powerful insurance companies, and even representing clients in court in front of a jury. Your free consultation is the first step in letting us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.