Car Accident Victims Deserve Top Legal Representation
Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. You may find yourself dealing with serious, life-altering injuries and massive medical bills. If you are unable to work while you are recovering, you could face additional stress as your everyday bills and expenses begin to pile up. Knowing your rights and how to proceed after an auto accident can make all the difference in feeling empowered to seek fair financial compensation for your damages. Here, we’ve compiled some things you should know about in the wake of a car crash. However, the best thing you can do is reach out to an experienced attorney who knows the law and who can help you fight for the maximum compensation you are owed. At Woods Williford, P.C., our Irvine car accident lawyers have been representing injured victims and their families throughout Orange County since 1999. We are here to answer your questions and guide you through the legal process. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning there are absolutely zero fees for our legal services unless/until we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Give us a call at 949-749-1649 or contact us online to get started.
Understand California Car Accident Laws
First and foremost, if you are injured in a car accident in Irvine or anywhere in Orange County, there are certain state laws you should know. Here are some important California car accident laws to be aware of:
- If the accident resulted in injury or death, you must report the incident in writing to local city police where the accident occurred or to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) within 24 hours. If a police officer comes to the scene of the accident, he or she will prepare this report on your behalf.
- You will need to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if anyone was injured (even minorly) or killed in the accident and/or if the collision resulted in more than $1,000 worth of property damage.
- There is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims in California; that means, in most cases, you only have two years from the date of the car accident (or the date of death if the accident led to a death that did not occur immediately) to bring a claim.
Additionally, you should know that California law follows what is known as the rule of “pure comparative negligence” when it comes to car accident claims. This rule states that anyone may recover compensation in a car accident claim, regardless of whether or not they were partially at fault or what degree of fault they had in causing the accident. However, under the pure comparative negligence rule, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. So, for example, if a jury finds you to be 60% responsible for the collision, you can still recover compensation but that compensation will only be 40% of what you could have recovered if you were found 0% at fault.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident, you are likely to be in shock. However, taking the right steps immediately and in the days and weeks following the accident can allow you to protect yourself and your right to seek financial recovery. If you are involved in a car accident, do the following to the best of your ability:
- If you are injured or if anyone at the scene is injured, call 911 right away.
- Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible if you are injured but do not require emergency treatment.
- If anyone is injured or dies in the accident, contact local police and have them take a written report.
- Report the accident to the DMV when necessary (see above), as well as to your own insurance provider.
- Get the contact and insurance information of the other driver, as well as any witness statements that may be available.
- Take pictures of your injuries and/or vehicle damage as a form of documentation.
- Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible for assistance with your case, especially if you encounter any complexities at all with your claim.
How An Attorney Can Help
When the at-fault driver’s insurance provider refuses to offer a fair settlement for your claim, or simply denies your claim altogether, you need an attorney on your side who can fight for the full and fair compensation you are owed. At Woods Williford, P.C., our Irvine car accident lawyers are prepared to put over two decades of legal experience on your side. We handle all types of car accident claims, from collisions caused by drunk drivers to accidents involving rideshares like Uber and Lyft. When you work with us, we will investigate the cause of the accident, work tirelessly to establish liability, and build a case aimed at recovering the maximum settlement or verdict possible. For a free and confidential consultation, call us at 949-749-1649 today.