In a county that has a population of over 3 million people, the odds of being involved in a car accident are quite high. It is, therefore, no surprise that most residents of Huntington Beach have been involved in auto accidents at one point in their lives. Huntington Beach is located in Orange County, which according to statistics from the United States Census Bureau, has more than 3.1 million people, which explains why injurious auto cases come out as high as 21,969, a number recorded in 2017. It is ranked 6th in the most populated counties in the states.
That said, if you have been involved in a car accident that resulted in injury or the death of a loved one, you are entitled to compensation. Depending on circumstances, our Huntington Beach car accident attorneys will assess whether you are entitled to compensation, then proceed to ensure that you acquire the maximum compensation for all your troubles. While accidents can be gruesome and life-changing, do not allow them to also take away your financial security.
Hire a Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer who cares from the Crockett Law Group. We will walk with you through the process, and ensure you maximize your settlement. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.
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What Are Your Responsibilities After a Car Accident?
Even if you haven’t been involved in an auto accident yet, familiarizing yourself with the process of acquiring compensation is very important. That said, hold on to these steps like they are the thin line between a comfortable life after an accident and a miserable life because that’s what they are. Here are the steps you need to take after a car accident:
Remain at the Scene of the Accident
As per the California Vehicle Code Section 20002, leaving the scene of the accident particularly after injuring someone, could make you liable for a misdemeanor. It could even be categorized as a hit and run felony as per section 20001 which could, in turn, have serious consequences. Whether you are on the wrong or have been wronged, remain at the scene of the accident, notify the other party, and exchange contact information with them.
Check for Injuries to Yourself and Others
You should then check whether you or your passengers have sustained any injuries. If you have, dial 911 to seek medical care immediately. Injuries may be made worse by movement and tension. Try your best, therefore, to remain calm and inform emergency medics that you are injured, then wait for professional help.
Make Sure You Are Safe
If you are in a position to drive, move your car to a safe area to avoid being hit or causing traffic which could potentially lead to more accidents. You can move the car to the roadside but if you are not in a position to do this, put on your emergency lights to notify other drivers of the accident. If again this is impossible due to the state of your car, you could alert incoming drivers using warning triangles.
Call the Police
No matter how minor your accident is, calling the police has its advantages. First, it is an authentic way of exchanging information with the involved parties. Second, it helps your case by providing credible evidence of the case. In fact, in some states, without an official report of the accident to the police, you can not legally claim any compensation.
Keep Conversation to a Minimum
It’s natural to want to hold a conversation with the involved parties, but in a legal case such as this, your words could be your undoing. You might, for example, say ‘I’m sorry’, just to sympathize with the injured team, even when they were on the wrong, only to find this held against you. That said, restrict your conversations and wait till your lawyer is present if you have anything you have to say.
Exchange contact numbers, addresses, names, driver’s licenses, and any other vital personal information from the involved parties. Additionally, collect the vehicles’ number plates, the make of the car, model, year, color, and VIN. You should also collect their insurance policy number and their insurance company name.
This applies to slightly injured persons since serious cases should await medical care. As such, victims should take photographs from different angles, to help visualize how the accident happened. Images should also be dated because they are an important part of the evidence of property damage. The mechanism of injury can also be proven by looking at the images and assessing how the damage could have caused injury to you or your passengers. Videos could also be used to supplement the photos.
Seek Medical Attention
This is a step that many forget. The most important aspect of an accident is checking whether you are still healthy. Most times, people do not realize the extent of the injury until after the situation is dire. That said, even though you feel like you’re fine, seek medical care to safeguard your wellbeing. The documents given to you by a physician will also help record the injuries and extent of physical damage.
Notify Your Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company promptly to avoid denial of coverage. However, do not engage in the details of the accident before consulting with your car accident lawyer in Huntington Beach, CA.
Hire a Qualified Attorney
Compensation cases have a lot that could be used to deny you the settlement that you deserve. To avoid entangling yourself, hire a qualified car accident attorney. This way, not only will you safeguard your right to compensation but you will also protect yourself from legal entanglements. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know, but an attorney will have you covered!
Can You Dispute Fault in a Car Accident in California?
If the facts contained in a traffic collision report written by an officer or your insurance carrier are contradictory, you have the right to dispute fault in a car accident, both with the officer who wrote the traffic collision report and with your insurance carrier. This should be done as soon as possible. The officer might misinterpret your words and end up incriminating you, or it could be a deliberate mistake.
Whichever the case, you should write your account of events and visit the police station where the report has been filed, then request that your account may be attached to the officer’s report. This way, you protect yourself from an officer’s biased legal conclusion. Such a report is known as a supplemental report. It might not change what the officer has written down, but it will help you memorize the series of events from your point of view.
That said, you might be worried about the officer’s legal conclusion, but this is not a cause for concern. The traffic collision report is inadmissible as evidence, therefore, can be distorted. However, it does play a role in the insurance adjuster’s liability decision. For such complex matters, contact an experienced accident lawyer near Huntington Beach to help you. This way, you are guaranteed that the insurance adjuster won’t easily sway on their liability decision.
Is It Worth Getting an Experienced Accident Lawyer in Huntington Beach?
As with all professionals, choosing a qualified expert has numerous advantages. When building a house, for example, you can choose to design or hire an architect, but at the end of the day, the difference will be obvious. The same applies to legal matters. You can choose to deal with the insurance company on your own, but the difference between a victim represented by a lawyer and one that is not is obvious.
First of all, the stress that accompanies property damage and bodily injury claims will be shifted from the client to the lawyer which is extremely convenient. Second, the chances of being disputed with a lawyer are slim. An aggressive lawyer knows his/her way around a disputed liability.
Even when you are not at fault, hiring an attorney will benefit you a great deal. With the backing of an attorney, most insurance companies will make a higher settlement simply because there is a risk of being sued, which is bad for business. Alone, they will intimidate you and simply make a lowball offer to get you off their backs. ln summary, an attorney by your side is all the leverage you need for the compensation you deserve.
Have a Huntington Beach Car Accident Attorney Review Your Claim
Our car accident injury lawyers have regularly represented the residents of Huntington Beach against insurance companies who find ways of devaluing the settlement claim owed to a car injury victim or avoid payment altogether. From start to finish, we dedicate our time and expertise in securing the rights and interests of our clients. Crockett Law Group is committed to handling your injury claim and will fight to make sure that you receive the money you deserve. If you’ve been injured as a result of a car crash, contact our Huntington Beach injury firm at (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.