Auto accidents are responsible for an astounding number of injuries and fatalities each year. In 2018, 36,560 people died in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The statistics included accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcyclists, big trucks, pedal cyclists and pedestrians. The number of injuries in traffic collisions totaled 1,889,000 in 2017, the latest year that statistics are available.
For immediate assistance after an auto accident throughout Southern California, call attorney David Azizi and team 24/7 at 800-991-5292 for your free, no-obligation case review. David will check out your case, tell you what options may be available to recover damages for you and can give you a rough estimate of how much you might recover.
Navigating Auto Accidents in Santa Clara
Auto accidents can not only disrupt your life but leave you with high medical bills, lost wages because you are unable to work and the pain and suffering that comes with an injury. This is when you need the services of an experienced lawyer to help you obtain the compensation you deserve and need.
David Azizi uses his legal knowledge, compassion and a tenacious determination to obtain compensation for his clients following an auto accident injury. Super Lawyers, the legal ranking firm, rates him as one of the top personal injury lawyers in throughout California year after year. He is comfortable both in dealing with the insurance company on your behalf or in presenting a case in civil court to get you the compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Compensation – What You Should Know
Collecting the compensation you need and deserve following an auto accident can be difficult for those who go it alone. Although it is your right to be compensated, what you are awarded depends on the nature and presentation of your claim and the documentation that accompanies it. Without sufficient evidence and documentation, the insurance company may deny your claim. Further, without proving that negligence was involved, the case will be dropped.
Important Actions and Evidence After an Auto Collision
When considering what to do after an auto accident, If safety and physical condition allow, the injured party can take important steps that include the following:
- Exchange information with other drivers and their passengers. Include names, addresses and phone numbers. Insurance information should be exchanged with each driver.
- Check for injuries to those in your vehicle and in the other vehicles. If an injury is serious, call 911 for medical attention.
- Call the appropriate police authority to report the accident. The police will make a report and give you a copy as well as collecting the names, addresses and additional information from everyone involved in the crash.
- Phone your insurance company. Do not admit any guilt. Just give them the basic information.
- Phone your lawyer. The lawyer will come or send out investigators to collect the evidence needed if you or a loved one is injured and may want to place a claim for damages.
- Take photographs of the accident scene. This includes vehicle and road defects and injuries.
- Seek medical attention even if your injuries are minor or you think you are fine. Some injuries do not cause symptoms right away because of the adrenaline rushing through your body. In addition, certain types of injuries such as whiplash can take up to 72 hours for the first symptom to appear.
How Our Santa Clara Auto Accident Law Firm Investigates
An experienced personal injury lawyer investigates the site to gather evidence. This includes talking to witnesses, checking the police report for errors and looking for video from traffic cameras or businesses. Accident reconstruction is performed in some cases, which shows how the collision occurred. If no settlement agreement can be reached, the lawyer will have the gathered documentation to use in civil court.
Common Injuries In an Auto Accident
Despite new safety features on cars and trucks, the number of accident injuries and fatalities are escalating. Casualties in 2017 were listed as over 40,000 with 4.6 million people hurt nationwide, according to the National Safety Council. The economic cost of the accidents taken as a whole came to approximately $413 billion. The most common injuries in auto accidents are due to debris such as glass shards within the vehicle and impact with solid structures such as the dash, steering wheel or windshield. Some are more dangerous than others.
For instance, a head injury can be life-threatening or cause permanent disability. Others such as neck and back injuries can cause permanent or long-term problems for the victim. Still others such as fractures and lacerations often cause minor problems. Certain types of car accidents are frequently linked to specific injuries such as:
- Rear-end crashes are usually associated with cervical (neck) strain, commonly called whiplash.
- Rear-end crashes This type of accident often results in head and spinal cord injuries. These can be due to a crushed roof which happens when the roof is unable to withstand the weight of the vehicle. Many rollover accident injuries occur when the vehicle occupant fails to wear a seat belt, leaving them open to ejection from the vehicle.
- Head-on collisions: Victims involved in a head-on collision can suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and paralysis. Because of the nature of such accidents, passenger vehicle occupants often suffer fatal injuries.
- T-bone accidents: This type of accident commonly results in pelvic, chest and abdominal injuries. These can include fractures and damage to internal organs. They are common accidents at intersections.
Things You Can Do at the Accident Scene
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. It is to their advantage if someone placing a claim settles quickly, so their first offer is usually low. Once a claim has been signed off on, no further compensation can be claimed. There are a number of ways in which an insurance company can create problems when you place a claim. They can:
- Record your call by saying that the recording is used for quality control. In actuality, the insurance company is hoping you will make an admission of guilt, claim partial responsibility or just make a mistake. Anything of this nature can be used to deny your claim.
- The insurance company may demand a taped statement. Those who are insured have no obligation to agree to this, and it may cause problems later. A request for a taped statement can indicate the insurance company is looking for ways to deny your claim.
- Police did not arrive to document the accident because they are short-staffed in many areas, do not go to every traffic accident. If they do not, it is essential that you take photos and gather information as best you can to document it. Otherwise, your claim could be denied or the amount lowered. If you can, calling your attorney as soon as possible will give them or their investigators time to arrive at the accident scene while the evidence remains.
- The insurance company may insist on using a body shop that does not carry parts for your vehicle. If problems arise because the insurance company cuts corners in this way, you may have no recourse if that replacement part fails.
- The insurance company wants copies of your medical records, driving record or employment information. Using information from any of these records may be an excuse to claim your injury was old, your driving record showed problems and could cause issues at your job. It is always better to let your attorney field questions of this type because the lawyer’s job is to protect your best interests.
Advice and Help After an Auto Wreck from an Experienced Lawyer
Seeking help and advice from an experienced lawyer following an auto accident is an important way to protect your rights and obtain necessary compensation for your injuries. An attorney is experienced in calculating how much financial compensation you will need, especially if the injury is expected to continue into the future. There are a number of considerations you should take into account when searching for legal advice or someone to represent you. These include:
- Ensure the lawyer is experienced in local, state and federal laws.
- Look over previous settlements and verdicts obtained by the lawyer. This will give you a good idea of whether the attorney does a good job for his clients.
- Check out review sites such as Yelp and Google to see what former clients have had to say about the lawyer’s assistance with their accidents.
- Find out by talking to the lawyer what experience they have dealing with auto insurers and health care companies.
Look at the background of the attorney. Lawyers have profiles listed at the State Bar Association and on their website. Super Lawyers is a rating service that features excellent attorneys that come highly recommended. Others such as Avvo rank attorneys and provide reviews.
- Personal injury lawyers tend to charge on a Avvo. This means that they do not get paid until the case is successfully settled, either by the insurers or in court. If your case is not settled successfully, you owe nothing. Ensure the lawyer you are speaking to does not have hidden fees.
Free Consultation After an Auto Accident
Santa Clara Car Accident
If you have already been injured in an automobile accident and are searching for legal counsel, you have probably seen ads for a free consultation. It is important to take advantage of this offer since it provides you with the opportunity to get to know the attorney and for them to learn about your case. It is a good first step in what will become a vital relationship. Some information you may want to bring to the free consultation is:
- Accident reports you may have are helpful.
- Knowing the time and location of the accident helps your attorney.
- Any photographs you may have taken should be brought along.
- Names and other contact information from witnesses is essential.
- Remember to bring along a copy of your auto insurance policy
- Medical records are helpful even if they are not complete. This includes visits to the emergency department.
- Bring a list of expenditures you paid out of pocket due to the accident.
- Write down a list of questions you might have for the attorney.
Start Your Santa Clara Auto Accident Case with the Law Firm of David Azizi
David Azizi has practiced personal injury law in Santa Clara and the surrounding area for more than 25 years. In that time, he has won 98 percent of his cases. David is a fierce protector of his clients’ rights and will leave no stone unturned in building a winning case. Contact David at 800-991-5292 any time of day to schedule a free case review. You can also reach out to him online by using his convenient contact form.