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Livingston Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

Livingston Personal Injury LawyerLivingston is a small agricultural town in Merced County that lies in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Its population rose in the last census in 2010, with 13,058 residents up from 10,000 a decade earlier. It is near where the Southern Pacific Railroad crosses the Merced River and Highway 99 meanders through Livingston. 

Both Foster Farms and Joseph Gallo Farms are in Livingston, and each year the sandy soil produces a robust crop of sweet potatoes. Grapes grow well in Livingston, and E&J Gallo Winery has a major pressing facility near town. The combination of an agricultural way of life with access to recreational and commercial areas in Northern California provides residents with a great way of life. 

Accident Statistics in Livingston, CA

No matter where you live or how careful you are, accidents happen. This is true in Livingston, where 35 people were injured or killed in 2017, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Alcohol was involved in 11 of the 35 accidents. There was one pedestrian accident and three that involved bicyclists. There were no motorcycle accidents that year. The OTS reports that seven of the accidents involved a fleeing driver, two occurred at night, and one involved speeding. Over the year, there were 34 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Help From a Car Accident Attorney in Livingston

At the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, our staff, lawyers, and investigators understand the trauma and emotional stress a car accident causes. We do everything in our power to help our clients move forward after an accident. We refuse to believe that anyone injured by someone else’s negligence should have to pay for the financial toll the accident takes. We apply our legal acumen and investigative skills to obtain the compensation you need and deserve after you are injured, or a family member is killed. 

Proving Fault in a Car Accident

The injured party needs to prove that negligence caused damages. Without doing this, the case will not be successful in civil court or considered by insurers. To prove that the at-fault party was negligent, we dispatch our investigators to the accident site to gather evidence. This comes from a variety of sources, including surveillance cameras on traffic lights and from businesses and even homes. Our investigative team interviews witnesses who saw the accident and reviews police reports for inaccuracies. By using accident reconstruction, the investigators can see the placement of the vehicles before and after a crash. 

Our investigators also examine the road surfaces for marks, potholes, and the condition of stop signs. In doing this, they may be able to show that government agencies who are responsible for road upkeep are derelict in their duty. If poor maintenance is responsible for the car accident, a lawsuit can be filed against the offending government entity. However, there are different rules and time limits in this type of suit, and our injury lawyers will make sure that all documents are filed in a timely fashion. Finally, when all the evidence is gathered, it is released to our Livingston car accident lawyers to build a strong case for our client.

What an Injured Person Can Do to Help

Immediately after a car accident where you are injured, chances are you are in pain and scared. The situation is likely chaotic, and your anxiety level is undoubtedly high. If possible, there are a few things you need to be cautious of:

  • Be aware that injuries might not always be evident since your adrenaline rush can mask the symptoms for hours. If someone asks you how you feel, be noncommittal. If you say you’re okay, it can be used against you later on.
  • Never apologize for the accident. It is natural for people to feel bad when others are hurt, even though it is not their fault. Even a simple expression of sorrow can be misconstrued as guilt by an insurance adjuster. 
  • You will need to report the accident. Some insurance companies ask if your statement can be recorded. It is best to refuse. This has nothing to do with your veracity. Insurers often will take a simple statement and turn it around to use against you.
  • If the insurer asks for your medical records, it is best to refer them to your attorney. Many times, they are on a fishing trip to see if there is something in your records that they can use against you. For instance, if you injured your neck in the past, and suffered a new neck injury, the insurer may be tempted to say your pain is from a previous incident.
  • Think before you jump at an insurer’s offer. Once you accept their payment, the case is over. It is best to wait until treatment is completed to do that. If it isn’t and you need further treatment down the line, you will not be able to ask the insurer to pay for it. Your Livingston personal injury attorney will give more insight into this. 
  • Insurers do not like huge payouts. It stands to reason that the greater the injury, the bigger the insurance company payment needs to be. That is why insurers will often drag the process on when grave injuries are involved. This is done to wear down the injured person who is feeling a financial crunch. 
  • Don’t allow an insurance adjuster to frighten you into accepting a payment offer. Somewhere around 85 percent of all cases settle because of intimidation by the insurer. 
How a Personal Injury Claim Works

Personal injury claims are civil lawsuits brought against an at-fault party or their insurance company. In many cases, having an accident lawyer in Livingston on your side is recommended. Studies have shown that compensation is higher when an injured party has retained a legal representative. The attorney can discuss the accident with the insurer and answer any questions the company has. Next, a demand letter is sent to the insurance company outlining damages. If the insurer fails to offer compensation that meets the injured party’s needs, negotiations will begin. Frequently, the insurer will offer a low-ball amount, knowing that the inability to work is affecting the injured party and their family. If negotiations do not succeed in obtaining the needed compensation, the case is brought to civil court. It is essential to choose a Livingston auto accident attorney who is as comfortable at the negotiation table as they are in court. 

Types of Personal Injuries We Cover

Our law firm has exclusively handled personal injury cases since 1982. We’ve helped clients obtain the compensation they deserve in a variety of injury cases such as:

What Makes a Lawyer Right for You

It is important to become familiar with a lawyer’s practice before retaining them. There are several ways to do this, including:

  • Check out their page on the internet. Most lawyers will post information about their practice online. One particular area that might be of special interest is their verdicts and settlements page, which lets you know how the attorney resolved previous cases. Ours can be reviewed by clicking on the following link: Settlements and Verdicts
  • Take advantage of their free first consultation if they offer one. This allows you to directly interact with the attorney and gauge whether they are right for you.
  • Check into the lawyer’s ability to investigate your accident. We use our own investigators who are trained in this type of work. 
  • Determine if the attorney has the resources to hire experts to testify in your case. 
  • Ask about the attorney’s credentials. This includes organizations they belong to. Check whether they have written articles or books on legal subjects. Their knowledge base is vital to your case. 
  • Look at reviews found on the following sites: Avvo, Yelp, and Google.

Watch the following video presented by attorney Ed Smith on choosing the right Livingston personal injury lawyer for you:

Personal Injury Lawyers in Livingston, CA

I’m Ed Smith, a Livingston car accident lawyer. Being involved in a car accident or other personal injury is a traumatic experience. Call me for free and friendly advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400. I can also be reached online if that is more convenient for you.

Since 1982, I’ve helped clients in Livingston and surrounding areas with car accidents, wrongful deaths, and other traumatic incidents.

I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, among other prestigious organizations.

Check out my reviews and the way I handled previous cases on the following pages: 

Go to Amazon to download free of charge two of my ebooks that will provide comprehensive legal insights:

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 12.11.20]

Photo by Joao Marcelo Marques on Unsplash

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Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.