Your Legal Options After A Car Crash

Updated: Apr 22

Tips On Filing Car Accident Claims In California

Driving in California is dangerous. Extreme weather, natural disasters, and even the poor state of road surfaces that might have gone neglected for decades may all threaten your trip while you're driving in California. You can also encounter drivers who are distracted by their phones or who speed and change lanes recklessly. Furthermore, you can encounter motorists who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol far too often.

That said, here's a quick guide to California car accident laws and claims, as they would handled by top car accident attorneys.

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These dangers can be seen on California's freeways and streets at any time. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), California had the highest number of fatal incidents in the country in 2019. In total, 3,316 fatal incidents occurred in our state, resulting in the catastrophic loss of 3,606 lives. With 3,294 fatal crashes, Texas came in second on the list. With 2,950 fatal collisions in 2019, Florida came in seventh.

California is known for its congested highways and reckless drivers, so it doesn't matter if you're on a congested freeway, a narrow city street, or a long stretch of farmland highway when you get into a car accident. Your physical rehabilitation from the accident will be your primary concern. If you've taken care of that, you'll be able to focus on rebuilding your life financially. Unfortunately, insurance firms can take a long time to make up for their policyholder's error.

Difficulties with Insurance Claims After A Car Accident

If you collided with are were struck by another car, you will have to negotiate with the driver's insurance policy, assuming they have any insurance at all. If they don't have benefits, you will be forced to negotiate with your own insurance provider in order to obtain assistance from your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

Insurance companies can undermine a victim's allegation and resolve it in a variety of ways. Listed below are a few of their strategies:

  • Insurance firms may use stall tactics. This may include claiming that they are having a high number of incidents and asking you to wait patiently for a response to your claim for damages or a settlement offer. This dragging of the feet is often a ruse to postpone paying the hospital bills and monthly bills, such as car payments and rent. The longer you have to deal with those bills and debtor calls, the more hopeless you will feel. Insurance firms want you to be in a desperate situation.

  • Offers low settlement bid. They stall until you're desperate enough to accept whatever settlement offer they make. When you're facing thousands of dollars in monthly bills and are unable to function, any "lowball" bid can seem appealing. An expert prosecutor will recognize these delay strategies and lowball deals, who will contest the insurance company's bad faith practices. When a California car accident attorney threatens to take things to court, insurance firms will begin to act far more quickly.

  • Shifting the blame/responsibility. They do this to either scare you into dismissing your argument or accepting any responsibility in a car accident. Don't be taken in by it. They might look at your driving record and make you appear to be a reckless driver. They might be able to get their hands on medical reports that prove you've had a similar car accident before. All of these are poor claims that a legal professional on your side can easily refute.

  • Using your statements against you. Another technique is to contact you immediately after an accident to see how you're doing. A representative from the insurance company actually wants you to make a written statement. Don't make a comment to someone. Refuse politely. Insurance brokers are searching for something you'll suggest that they can use later to misrepresent your version of events. Enable your California Personal Injury Attorney to handle all correspondence on your behalf. It relieves your tension and safeguards your situation.

Top car accident attorneys would advice that you avoid negotiation so soon after the accident, at least without a representative. You might be in shock, or you might not know the law that well.

California's Most Common Car Accidents

Although car accidents can occur at any time and in any situation, some types of accidents are more common than most. If you've been hurt in one of these common incidents, click on the name for more information on how to get answers to your questions.

  • Intersection Collisions. According to the Federal Highway Administration in the United States, about half of all motor vehicle collisions involving injuries and fatalities happen at or near intersections. A driver's failure to note a stop sign or traffic signal accounts for around 46% of such incidents. These estimates are backed by data from California intersection collisions. Distracted driving, failure to yield the right-of-way while making left turns, driving under the influence (such as alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two), unfamiliarity with an environment, and poor basic judgment of speed and distance are all common causes of intersection accidents.

  • Accidents that occur at night. When the sun sets, so does our ability to see clearly. Our vision deteriorates, our depth perception suffers, and we also have trouble perceiving colors. These are some of the reasons why California Car Accident Laws allow drivers to use their headlights from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. Even in the middle of the day, there are several risky stretches of road that necessitate the use of headlights.

  • Failure to yield or come to a halt. In 2019, 3,606 people died as a result of injuries sustained in California traffic collisions, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. About 200,000 people were injured. Los Angeles led California with 685 traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. There were 169 deaths in Sacramento County and 134 in Fresno County. Motorists who refused to yield, halt, or otherwise reduce their speed to prevent a car accident were responsible for more than 99 percent of these fatalities.

  • Head-on collisions. Between 2017 and 2018, the California Highway Patrol reported 13,543 head-on collisions in Los Angele