Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyers
Suffering an injury in a Bakersfield car accident can turn your entire life upside down. You will likely have to miss work. You may need expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation services. You may begin to wonder how to cover your bills and what options you have to get the support you need during these tough times. Before you make any decisions regarding filing a claim, it is important that you learn about your legal options.
Bakersfield Car Accident Statistics
At least eight people are injured in Kern County car accidents every day. According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 96 people were killed and 3,020 were injured in Kern County car accidents. During that same year, there were 24 deaths and 1,065 injuries in the city of Bakersfield as a result of traffic accidents. Citywide, there were also 25 fatalities and 240 injuries that resulted from alcohol-related crashes.
There are many ways in which we can all avoid getting into a car accident in Bakersfield:
- Put away your cell phone. Distracted driving is a common cause of Bakersfield traffic accidents. Texting, checking a map, making a call and reading email are all extremely dangerous activities if your vehicle is in motion.
- Stay sober. Intoxicated drivers put everyone on the roadway at risk. If you have been drinking, you should call a cab or have a friend drive. Alcohol and drugs can affect your ability to focus, to make sound decisions and to react to changing roadway conditions.
- Check your speed. Just obeying the speed limit is not enough to prevent an accident. You must also slow down when approaching a turn, when the roadways are wet and when the traffic is congested.
- Check your blind spots. When turning or changing lanes, it is important to look for smaller vehicles such as motorcycles that may have pulled up alongside your vehicle.
- Know and obey the traffic laws. Do not speed, disregard stoplights or stop signs and always yield to oncoming traffic when making a turn.
After the Crash
Accidents are common and even the safest drivers can get hurt. If you are ever involved in an accident, it is important that you take the steps necessary to protect your rights. The actions you take immediately following the crash could affect your ability to receive fair compensation for your losses.
First, it is important to check if anyone has sustained an injury. Under California law, the authorities must be notified when someone has been hurt and you must remain at the crash site. While waiting for an ambulance and the Bakersfield police, it would be in your best interest to take the following steps:
- Write down the name, number and insurance information for the other drivers involved.
- Collect contact numbers from anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
- Take photos of the crash site, tire skid marks, the damaged vehicles and your injuries.
- Write down everything you remember about the accident before your memory gets fuzzy.
- Do not admit fault for the crash.
- Get your account of the incident into the police report.
- Accept an offer to ride in an ambulance to the hospital.
- Receive medical attention right away.
- Keep records of your medical bills.
- Write a journal of your day-to-day struggles.
- Use caution when dealing with insurance companies.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Whether you choose to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash, you will likely have to deal with a number of insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are skilled at finding ways to save money. Although they may sound friendly and eager to help, they are neither your friends, nor will they help you. If you do talk to insurance adjusters, it is important to ensure that you do not contradict yourself. What you say will be used against you. Do not allow them to record your conversations and do not give them formal statements. Please contact an experienced Bakersfield car accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and look out for your best interests at all times.
Getting Fair Compensation
If you have been injured in a Bakersfield car accident, it is important that you learn about your legal rights and options. Financial support may be available for all of your losses. For example, a successful personal injury claim against a careless driver can result in support for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, the cost of rehabilitation services and other related losses. Accepting an inadequate claim can hurt your chances of pursuing fair compensation. Make sure you understand the potential value of your claim before making any decisions.
The experienced Bakersfield car accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of upholding the rights of injured victims and their families. We have significant experience successfully dealing with insurance companies. We are skilled negotiators who will not rest until you have been fairly and fully compensated for your losses. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free and comprehensive consultation and case evaluation.