With safer cars on the road, the number of fatalities and serious injuries in auto accidents has been declining nationwide. California, however, has seen an increase in fatalities: The number of people killed in traffic accidents last year dropped to its lowest point in more than sixty years elsewhere in the nation, but rose in California, according to federal government statistics.
In 2011, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents nationwide, down 1.9 percent from the previous year, the lowest number since 1949. Bucking the favorable trend, fatalities increased 2.6 percent in California in 2011 to 2,791, more than any state except Texas.
The most common factors associated with auto accidents in California include:
- Driver distraction, for example talking on a cell phone, texting, rubbernecking, etc.
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal or prescription drugs
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Failing to yield
At the San Diego law offices of Harrison & Bodell, we handle all kinds of auto collision claims when the accident occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. These include:
- Head-on crashes
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone crashes
- Underride accidents
What to Do After an Auto Accident
Knowing what to do when you’ve been in an accident can make a great difference in the amount you’ll be able to recover for your damages. First, you should call the police; then get prompt medical attention. Don’t discuss the accident with the other driver beyond exchanging names, plate numbers, and insurance information. Some drivers are so naturally polite that they instinctively apologize, even if they were not at fault. Don’t ever apologize and don’t discuss whether you’re hurt, other than asking for someone to request an ambulance if you need one. It is not uncommon to think you are uninjured immediately after an accident, only to develop symptoms over the next few hours or even days.
These are the steps you should to take:
- Call the police and wait until they arrive.
- Get the names, insurance companies, and plate numbers of all parties involved in the accident.
- If possible, take photos of all cars involved in the accident.
- If there are witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information.
- Go to a nearby hospital emergency room, urgent care clinic, or your regular doctor and get checked out.
- Call an experienced San Diego auto accident attorney, such as Harrison & Bodell, to schedule a consultation.
- Refer the insurance adjuster to your lawyer. An insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver will contact you and request a recorded statement. Do not give a statement or sign any medical releases or other paperwork without consulting a lawyer. The insurance company is not interested in providing you with fair compensation—only in paying the least amount they can get away with.
First Choice Personal Injury Lawyers in San Diego
When you want a top-rated personal injury lawyer for your California auto accident case, call the attorneys at Harrison & Bodell. Both partners have years of experience helping car accident victims recover compensation for all of their economic and non-economic damages, and both have been designated San Diego Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor available to only the top five percent of the profession.
The Harrison & Bodell law firm accepts auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay us nothing unless we win money for you, giving everyone equal access to superior legal representation.