Patterson Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Patterson, in Stanislaus County, is a town included in the statistical area of Modesto and has a population of about 22,000 residents. Bordered by Interstate 5 and Route 33 running through the east side, its rural location near the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge offers many opportunities.Help From a Patterson Personal Injury Lawyer
Although residents of Patterson don't see many serious accidents every year, they know that taking the highway can be a different situation. In 2017, the California Office of Traffic Safety reported 20 accidents in Patterson that resulted in injuries or fatalities. Three involved speeding, and drunk driving caused another three. However, motorists from other areas and drivers of big trucks can make highway driving dangerous when higher rates of speed are involved.
We work hard at the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith to get you the compensation you deserved when you were injured in a traffic collision. We handle traffic collision claims of all types, whether it involves a big rig, another motorist, or you were riding on a bicycle, motorcycle, or on foot. We believe that those injured by another person's or entity's negligent actions should never have to pay for their economic losses. We are here for you when you need us, whether you or a loved one has suffered an injury or has lost a loved one through wrongful death.Proof of Negligence in a Personal Injury
In a personal injury case, four things have to be shown. The first is that the at-fault party owed a duty of care toward the injured person, and this means they were expected to act the way a reasonable person would safeguard others from danger.
The second element is that the at-fault person failed in that duty by acting negligently, such as speeding, driving drunk, or running a red light.
The third element is that the negligent actions of the at-fault party caused an injury to another person.
The final component is that the injured person suffered financial loss due to the accident, including lost wages because they could not go to work, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.Building a Strong Case for Compensation
An experienced Patterson car accident lawyer can prove that the negligent party caused your injury, which allows you to place a claim for financial compensation. We start by sending our investigators to the accident site to search for evidence that will support your injury claim. They begin by checking the police report for mistakes and talking to witnesses to the crash. Cameras are mounted to scan traffic, and local businesses can provide videos showing the accident in progress.
Performing accident reconstruction can be helpful also. Investigators don't stop there and look for road maintenance issues that might have contributed to or caused a crash. In these cases, the government entity in charge of maintenance may be held responsible. Once the evidence is gathered, our lawyers work to construct a strong case for our client, which can be used in negotiations with the insurance company or civil court to obtain the compensation they deserve.Personal Injury Claims
Many people think that a Patterson auto accident attorney only handles car collision claims; however, it is more comprehensive. In addition to car accidents, personal injury lawyers also take claims that include the following, among others:
- Dog bites
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Electric scooter collisions
- Farming accidents
- Monsanto Roundup cancer injuries
- Motorcycle collisions
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian injuries
- Products liability
- Truck accidents
- Uber/Lyft accidents
- Wildfire injuries
- Wrongful death
Most people have no problem dealing with their insurance company after a minor accident. However, this is much different than dealing with them if you or a loved one is injured. After all, insurance companies are out to make a profit, so they commonly offer the lowest settlement possible with the hopes that the injured person will find it acceptable. By signing an early settlement agreement, the injured person cannot make any claims on the accident in the future.
If the injury is ongoing and more medical care is needed, the person may still face many bills that are difficult to pay. An early sign-off is to the insurance company's advantage, and they know it. Those who have to take off work because of an injury are stressed enough to sign, and the insurance companies know that too. This is one of the reasons that insurance companies are so powerful. In addition, they can be manipulative and may look for ways to delay or avoid paying a claim, such as the following:
- Requesting a recorded statement: An insurance company can manipulate many things in a recorded statement to go against the injured party. This can be as simple as asking the injured person how they are. Most people would respond with "fine" because it is automatic when asked. However, this one little word could be used to say you were uninjured and have the company deny your claim.
- Final offers: About 80 to 90 percent of the injured people feel forced to accept an insurance company settlement because they simply refuse to pay more through negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle this situation and get you the compensation you deserve.
- Delays, delays, and more delays: The longer an insurance company waits to pay a claim, the more frustrating it can be. This can result in the injured person settling without all of their expenses.
- Medical records: One tactic used by insurance companies is asking for copies of your medical records. They look for information that might help them deny your claim. For example, a patient might have suffered injury years previously, but the accident caused further injury to the same part of the body. An experienced lawyer is used to these tactics and can handle dealing with the insurance company for you by protecting your rights and insisting that you are paid what you need for your injuries.
Choosing a personal injury lawyer can be challenging when so many are listed in your area. Some handy tips to keep in mind when looking for one to handle your case or ask for advice include:
- Look for a lawyer who only practices personal injury law.
- Find a lawyer interested in you and your family, not just in your case.
- Many accident injury cases are settled through an insurance company, but not all are. When choosing a lawyer, you want to be equally comfortable dealing with the insurance company or in a courtroom.
- See if the lawyer has the financial means and time to properly investigate your accident. Some cases may include hiring an expert witness or other outside help, and not all law firms can do this.
- A lawyer with published articles or books shows that they are well-versed in the law. I am proud to have written several, including one on California auto accidents and another on motorcycles, which are free to download on your Kindle.
- Check a lawyer's record of wins in cases. Those who have a history of winning high figure verdicts and settlements are happy to share this information.
- Look over client reviews on Yelp, Google, and Avvo. This can give you an idea of whether the lawyer can help you win your case.
The following video gives tips on finding the right personal injury lawyer for you.Personal Injury Lawyers in Patterson, CA
Accidents caused by the negligent actions of another party can cause financial problems to the injured, adding to the pain and stress. We may be able to help you obtain compensation to at least alleviate the financial burden when you call our experienced Patterson personal injury lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. In addition, we offer an online form to get in touch with us. You owe nothing until your case is won.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 4.5.22]
Photo Attribution: Public Domain
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