Modesto Car Accident Lawyer
While high-impact collisions often result in serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries or death, even small rear-end crashes can cause long-term pain. In California, a car is more than a luxury, it is a necessity to get to and from work or fulfill family obligations. But, what happens when you are hurt in a car crash? For some, it is a minor inconvenience, but for others, it is a life-altering event. In either case, it is essential to talk to an experienced Modesto auto accident attorney about obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.A Modesto Car Accident Lawyer Who Cares About You
I am an aggressive advocate for those injured in serious auto accidents in Northern California and a Modesto car accident lawyer who has the experience and resources to pursue the compensation my clients deserve. I’ve helped many residents of Modesto and the surrounding area in all types of car accidents. With State Route 99 and Interstate 5 providing motorists with access to and through Modesto, the area is considered heavily trafficked. Major construction efforts such as the State Route 99 - Pelandale Avenue Reconstruction Project are common. Unfortunately, the area sees its fair share of automobile, motorcycle, and big rig accidents.
My staff and I provide quality services and a compassionate ear to all. Additionally, we have the strength and financial capability to take on big insurers and trucking companies. I notice other personal injury lawyers in Modesto claim they can deliver the goods, but a thorough review of their sites shows that few of them know how to obtain adequate verdicts for severely injured people.
I don’t play hide the ball. A list of our office's verdicts and settlements can be accessed here.
If you have been injured after a bad car accident, a car accident lawyer in Modesto from the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith can discuss your case with you and determine your best options for recovering financial compensation. Our personal injury law firm offers legal representation to Californians and Modestans injured in auto accidents. To set up a free case evaluation, call us today at (209) 227-1931 to talk about your options going forward and give you an idea of how much your personal injury case may be worth.What Causes Most Car Accidents in Modesto?
The reasons auto accidents happen are as varied as the types of drivers on the road. For the most part, car accidents are caused by driver error. Some of the most common are:
- Speeding: Auto accidents are often caused by drivers that exceed the speed limit. This is due to a motorist’s inability to stop in time to avoid an accident or take evasive maneuvers.
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol: Drunk driving kills approximately 10,500 people annually. DUI is a leading cause of serious injury and death in car accidents along with driving above the posted speed limit and distracted driving.
- Falling asleep at the wheel: Driving when tired, either from shift work or other reasons, causes many auto accidents due to inattention, decreased cognitive function or falling asleep.
- Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals: Some drivers run stop signs or traffic signals, particularly at intersections, causing a serious car accident.
- Driving in a way that is not safe in inclement weather or on roads in poor condition: It is crucial to modify speed or other aspects of driving based on the road conditions. Failure to do this, especially on busy highways, can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Driving recklessly on public roads in California like Highway 99: Reckless driving can be the result of anger or lack of care for other motorists. Heavy fines are levied in California against reckless drivers.
- Not yielding right of way: Some drivers believe they always have the right-of-way while others may become confused. It is important to know the rules of the road such as who goes first at a four-way stop.
- Distracted driving: Multitasking while driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, many people text on the phone, eat and look at GPS devices while driving. Some laws have been written to limit this activity. However, this behavior continues almost unabated.
California is an at-fault state with regard to motor vehicle accidents. This means that liability is assigned to the drivers and is used to calculate car accident damages. In some cases, the fault can rest entirely with one driver, while in others, the degree of fault is divided between drivers. The latter situation is called a comparative fault. Say for instance that one driver was traveling toward an intersection and entered it without stopping at a stop sign. The other driver, who had the right of way, sped up to enter and cross the intersection before the oncoming vehicle. Both drivers were wrong in this case. The jury decides what percentage of fault is assigned to either driver. This, in turn, affects the number of damages the injured party receives. For example, the driver who was 60 percent responsible for the accident will receive 40 percent of the financial damages he incurred. If the amount were $100,000, he or she would receive $40,000. The other driver would collect 60 percent of the damages.Most Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are several main types of auto accidents consisting of:
- Rollover accidents: Specific vehicles are susceptible to rollover accidents because of their higher centers of gravity. This includes sport utility vehicles (SUVs), vans, and light pickup trucks. Rollovers are often violent and result in catastrophic injury or fatality.
- Rear-end collisions: This is generally caused when one vehicle is following another too closely. It can happen when the lead vehicle has faulty brake lights.
- Single vehicle accidents: Accidents involving one vehicle are common. Single vehicle traffic collisions are often caused by run off road crashes or drunk driving.
- Head-on collisions: This usually occurs when one driver erroneously drives in the wrong lane. Head-on collisions are often fatal since the impact combines the velocity of both vehicles.
- Side impact accidents: Also called a T-bone collision, this type of car crash often occurs at intersections. While the end result depends on the location of impact and vehicle damage, 25 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities are due to broadside collisions.
Here are the intersections that are especially dangerous in Modesto. Our office has researched the number of intersection accidents in Modesto over a recent 10 year period. If you are injured in such an intersection, give me a call. Besides the other driver, there may also be a responsibility on the government body who designed these dangerous intersections.
# of Coll
MCHENRY AVE & STANDIFORD AVE & SYLVAN AVE
BRIGGSMORE AVE & MCHENRY AVE
BRIGGSMORE AVE & COFFEE RD
BRIGGSMORE AVE & CARVER RD
BURCHELL CT & MCHENRY AVE
MCHENRY AVE & NORWEGIAN AVE
MCHENRY AVE & ORANGEBURG AVE
BODEM ST & SCENIC DR
BRIGGSMORE AVE & OAKDALE RD
BRIGGSMORE AVE & EVERGREEN AVE
As a Modesto car accident lawyer, I have seen a large variety of injuries. Some of the most common are:
- Lacerations: These are common and are usually caused by sharp objects within the vehicle.
- Bruising: Impact on the dash, steering wheel or pressure from safety restraints is responsible for most bruising in a car accident.
- Broken bones, including fractures of the femur and the pelvis: Fractures of the lower extremities, scapula, and ribs are often seen.
- Cervical strain and sprain (whiplash): Usually connected to rear-end accidents, this injury is caused by the rapid back and forth movement of the head and neck.
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussion and hemorrhage: A TBI occurs when the brain moves against the bony surface of the skull. A car accident TBI can be life-threatening, depending on the severity of trauma to the head.
- Spinal cord injury at all levels: This injury can result in partial or total paralysis of the extremities. The severity depends on the level of the spinal column where an injury occurs.
- Burns: This can result in lengthy rehabilitation, depending on the severity of the burn.
- Vertebral disk herniation: Herniation of the vertebral disks can cause pain and may require surgical intervention.
It’s a good idea to think about the things you should do before having a car accident. Since most individuals will experience three accidents over their driving lifetime, being prepared is an excellent approach. Here are a few tips:
- Immediately after the crash, call the police or the California Highway Patrol (CHP) if the accident happens on a highway.
- Stay at the scene of the accident.
- Check to see the state of other occupants of your vehicle.
- Try to move the vehicle to the side of the road.
- If you have them, position flares around the vehicle.
- If it is safe to do so, check on drivers and occupants of other vehicles.
- Call your Modesto auto accident lawyer if you have one.
- Get contact and car-related information such as license, registration and insurance policy number from other drivers involved in the accident.
- Obtain contact information from witnesses to the accident.
- When the police arrive, ask the name of the investigating officer.
- Write down a basic description of what happened and the precise location of the accident.
- Tell medical personnel if you hit your head, particularly if the area is not visually injured.
- Make sure to see a doctor even if you are not transported to the emergency room.
When you have been injured after an accident, you need a lawyer to handle your personal injury case. For tips on what to look for in the best car accident lawyer in Modesto, watch the video below:Modesto Car Accident FAQ
What is considered negligence in a car accident?
A Modesto car accident lawyer must first prove that negligence was involved for there to be grounds for a personal injury case. This negligence is not limited to other drivers but can be due to various other reasons. A few of the most common involve auto defects and the failure of local and state authorities to maintain roads in a safe condition. Additionally, there may be a liability if the traffic control devices at these intersections are faulty. This page discusses the system utilized to control traffic at intersections. However, when an auto accident occurs due to a negligent driver, some conditions must be met before the claim/lawsuit is allowed to proceed. These are: The other driver failed to abide by his or her responsibility to drive prudently and lawfully. This failure caused an accident. The accident was the reason why you were injured.
How do you prove fault in an auto accident?
Many factors are involved when a Modesto car accident lawyer determines who was at fault in a crash. The attorney will begin by listening to his or her client’s description of what happened and reviewing police reports. Witness accounts provide descriptions of the accident from different vantage points, consolidating the overall picture. If photos were taken at the scene, they are also a great resource, showing damage to the vehicles as well as final placement. In some personal injury auto accident claims, a Modesto car accident attorney may retain a reconstruction expert who can develop a digital picture of how the incident occurred. This is an invaluable tool in the courtroom.
How long does a Modesto car accident lawyer have to file a claim?
For the vast majority of auto accidents in California, you have two years from the time the accident happened, or you became aware of the injury before it is too late to file. However, this is not always the case. If the crash was due to the irresponsibility of a city, state or federal agency, you have six months to file an administrative claim. This must be done within the first six months following the accident. Afterward, the government agency has 45 days to answer. If the claim is denied, you have six months to file a claim in civil court. The start of these six months is from the time you received the reply in the mail or when it was handed to you personally. If a letter denying the claim is not received within the first 45 days, you have two years to file a personal injury claim.Car Accident Lawyers in Modesto
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto car accident lawyer. When serious accidents happen, your life can be turned upside down with high medical bills coupled with lost wages and property damage. In such times, your focus should be on recovery, not financial loss. That is where an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Reach out to me at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.11.20]
Photo Attribution: depositphotos.com
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