Patterson Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Although the good people of Patterson don't see a lot of serious accidents every year, they do 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. It is my view that those who are 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 have 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. This means that they were expected to act the way a reasonable person would to 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 person who was injured suffered financial loss as a result of the accident, which can include 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 mounted to scan traffic and at local businesses can provide videos that show the accident in progress. Performing accident reconstruction can be helpful also. Investigators don't stop there but also 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 either in negotiations with the insurance company or in civil court to obtain for our client the compensation they deserve.Personal Injury Claims
Many people think that a Patterson auto accident attorney only handles car collision claims; however, it is a much wider area. In addition to car accidents, personal injury lawyers also handle 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
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 find themselves still facing a large number of 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: Many things in a recorded statement can be manipulated by an insurance company so that it goes 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 that question. 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 people who are injured through the negligence of another feel forced to accept an insurance company settlement because they simply refuse to pay more. 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 having all of their expenses included.
- Medical records: One tactic used by insurance companies is asking for copies of your medical records - all of them. 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.
It can be a difficult decision to choose a personal injury lawyer when there are so many 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 who is interested in you and your family, not just in your case.
- Many accident injury cases are settled through an insurance company, but not all of them are. When choosing a lawyer, you want one who is 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 record 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 how to find the right personal injury lawyer for you.Patterson FAQ
Where can I find reliable auto repair shops near Patterson?
Good reviews on Yelp include the following auto repair businesses:
302 N 9th Street
Modesto, CA 95350
Highway 33 Automotive
227 S 2nd St
Patterson, CA 95363
How can I find a good rental car agency near Patterson?
Yelp includes good reviews for the following car rental company:
250 N El Circulo Ave
Patterson, CA 95363
I'm Ed Smith, a Patterson car accident lawyer. Accidents caused by the negligent actions of another party can cause financial problems to the injured, adding to the pain and stress. I may be able to help you obtain compensation to at least alleviate the financial burden when you call me at (209) 227-1931 for my free and friendly advice. Long-distance callers can reach me for free at (800) 404-5400. In addition, I offer an online form as a way to get in touch with me. You owe nothing until your case is won.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 9.3.20]
Photo Attribution: Public Domain
:cd cha [cs 1622]