An auto accident can happen so quickly. One minute you’re driving down one of Sacramento’s busy streets and the next you’re looking at your damaged car after a crash. You may not think you need an auto accident attorney at that moment, but having one could be the difference between being treated fairly by other parties or being stuck with medical and auto repair bills you can’t afford to pay. The Law Offices of Edward Smith is here to help you get the justice you deserve. Keep reading to learn what to do after an accident.
How Your Auto Accident Attorney Can Help You
What Should I Do First After a Car Accident?
Your safety should be your first concern. Start by getting yourself and your car out of the way of oncoming traffic if you’re able to move and the damage to your car is minor. Put on your parking brake after you are out of danger and turn on your hazards so other cars know to steer clear. This is especially important at night when it can be harder to see cars off to the side of the road.
Try to assess your injuries and those of anyone in the car with you. Then, have someone call the police to report, even for minor incidents or if the other driver says they’re not hurt. You may not know the severity of your own injuries until you’ve been assessed by a medical professional. It’s also important to have an impartial observer document what they see and who they think is at fault for the accident.
You should get as much information as possible from those on the scene. That can help if you need to follow up with someone later to clarify important details.
Information to Gather
- Names of the drivers and passengers in both cars
- Descriptions of each vehicle, including year, make, and model
- The license number of both drivers
- Plate numbers from each vehicle
- Contact information for all witnesses at the scene
- The address and description of the accident location
- Badge numbers and other information from police officers responding to the accident
Try to take photos of all vehicles and any signs of damage. Also, make sure you get shots of the bottom of your car. That’s because it’s easy to overlook damage in that area when the exterior only appears to have minor damage. This also protects you in case someone disputes the condition of your car after the accident.
Avoid signing any documents from anyone who’s not a law enforcement officer. Remember, you don’t want to inadvertently give up any rights you’re entitled to.
Do I Really Need an Attorney?
Some people may think hiring an attorney is a hassle. If there is serious damage to you or your car, it’s best that you seek the help of an attorney. Inexperience with injury laws in Sacramento could force you to drain your savings and possibly end up in bankruptcy trying to pay all your medical bills.
Ed Smith makes sure his clients understand all their rights and what they’re entitled to, depending on the circumstances of their accident and any personal injury suffered.
Personal Injury Circumstances
- Lost wages due to being unable to work
- Damage to any items in your car or anyone else who was a passenger
- Long-term medical bills for things like physical therapy or counseling to deal with any trauma
- Managing physical pain still present long after the accident
A good lawyer can also help in negotiations with an insurance company who may be dragging their feet on covering your repair bills and get them taken care of in a timely manner.
What Should I Look For in an Attorney?
It’s tempting to hire the first attorney who contacts you or just go to someone in close proximity. You should ask potential lawyers lots of questions and assess how much experience they have dealing with personal injury situations like yours. Get verifiable information on their success rate handling those cases.
Ed Smith’s perfect 10.0 Avvo score is a testament to his experience and dedication to his clients. He understands California law, specializing in handling cases involving personal injury from a motor vehicle. He’s a member of the Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, The Brain Injury Association of California, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and The Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Typical Questions to Ask
- How long they’ve been in practice
- Examples of cases like yours they’ve dealt with
- The amount of experience they have in a courtroom
- Some of the settlement outcomes they’ve obtained
The right attorney may not be just around the corner from you. That’s why you need to do your homework and hire the best attorney for your situation. You should never feel pressured into accepting a settlement not sufficient to cover what you’ve lost.
No car accident attorney puts your needs first the way Ed Smith does. You’ll never end up questioning whose side he’s on.
How Much Can I Expect to Get?
The final amount of any award depends on whether you end up settling with an insurance company or bring a lawsuit against any other entities. Factors affecting your payout include:
- The primary person at fault for the accident
- Manufacture defects that may have played a contributing factor
- How seriously you were injured in the accident
- What your insurance company will cover
- How much damage was done to your vehicle
- If you ended up with permanent scarring or disabling injuries
- What you’ll be expected to pay for current and future medical bills
- Income you’ve lost because of the accident
The cause of your accident also plays a big role in determining the amount of any cash settlement. What Ed Smith can guarantee is he’ll work hard to get you what you deserve.
Common Accident Causes
- Fatigued Driver – Was the driver at fault exhausted to the point where they were unable to focus on driving?
- Road Conditions – How well-maintained was the road or highway at the time of the accident?
- Weather Conditions – Did the weather contribute to the crash?
- Impaired Driving – Had the driver consumed alcohol or some other substance altering their comprehension of current driving conditions?
- Careless Driving – Was the driver acting in an aggressive manner and disregarding safety by cutting off other cars or driving too closely behind you?
- Inattentive Driving – Can it be determined if the driver was on a mobile device or otherwise not focused on driving?
Any of these things could influence the amount of money Ed can recover for you. That’s why it’s important to obtain as much documentation as possible related to your accident.
Documentation You’ll Need
- Medical Bills
- Police Reports
- Records from medical providers detailing your injuries
- Information related to any manufacturer defects in the car that played a contributing factor
- Documentation of any wages lost
- Automobile repair estimates
Having evidence to back up your claims leaves Ed in a much better position to get the fairest settlement possible for you.
Watch the video below to find out what you should discuss with your auto accident attorney after getting into an accident.
Taking on Ed Smith as your attorney means gaining peace of mind and knowing someone is 100% looking out for your interests. You want an attorney willing to go to bat for you every time, and that’s what Ed Smith does. Set up a consultation with Ed online now.
What other questions do you want to ask your auto accident attorney? Don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section below.
If you have been injured in an accident, please call us for free and friendly advice at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400.
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