Injured in a Car Accident? Our firm is here to assist your in your time of need.

Agoura Hills Car Accident Attorney

Skilled Representation & Dedicated Service

Often, when people are injured in car accidents they are left with questions and uncertainty of what the future holds for them. This is a traumatic time and, apart from dealing with the physical pain and mental suffering caused by your injuries, you also have to deal with the financial expenses resulting from those injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident you should contact an Agoura Hills car accident attorney at Effres & Associates as soon as possible so we can evaluate your case and determine how we can best help you get back to your life.

Causes of Car Accidents in CA

California is home to the most extensive network of roads and highways in the country. Not surprisingly, it also has some of the highest accident statistics. Despite advances in safety technology and awareness, traffic fatalities are on the rise. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, there was an increase in the number of traffic fatalities recorded in the state from 2,816 in 2011, to 2,857 in 2012.

The word “accident” is misleading because it implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence. Most often that is not the case.

Many car accidents are the result of one or more of the following factors:

  • Speeding – Speeding contributes to more traffic accident fatalities every year than any other accident factor. Speeding doesn’t involve only driving at speeds above the posted speed limits, but also driving at speeds that are inappropriate for the traffic and weather conditions.
  • Drunk driving – Although the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol has dropped significantly over the past decade, drunk driving still constitutes the number two accident factor in the country, killing more people every year than any other factor besides speeding.
  • Distracted driving – In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and approximately 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. California has laws that ban the use of texting devices and handheld cell phones while driving; despite these laws, the number of accidents caused every year by motorists engaging in these distracting practices continues to remain high.
  • Tailgating – Most rear-end collisions are caused by tailgating, which interferes with the perception of and reaction to constantly changing traffic conditions. Following too closely reduces the rear drivers’ ability to see changing traffic conditions beyond the car in front of them, and it also shortens the time for the rear drivers to react when traffic conditions inevitably change.
  • Aggressive driving – Driving with no regard for the safety of other motorists, or aggressive driving, sometimes can turn into road rage causing serious accidents that result in injuries and fatalities.
  • Drowsy Driving – There are no laws in California that specifically ban drowsy driving, and thousands of motorists every year are at risk of accidents when they share the highways with motorists who are simply fatigued and too sleepy to drive.

Rules of the Road

The laws, or rules of the road, exist for the safety of everyone in the community, including fellow drivers, motorcycle riders, bicycle riders, and pedestrians. All drivers must learn the rules of the road in order to become licensed, but sadly there many people who drive without a license and others who forget or disregard the rules of the road. Bearing that in mind, we recommend the following defensive driving practices:

  • Be aware of your surroundings – Constantly scan the area and be on the lookout for dangerous drivers. Maintain a safe distance from drivers who appear to be drunk, distracted, or overly aggressive.
  • Wear your seat belt properly – Even if you are traveling a short distance, you should always wear your seat belt with the shoulder harness in front so that you’re are fully secured in the event of a collision.
  • Maintain your vehicle regularly – Regular maintenance is recommended to make sure all safety devices are in working order. Without regularly maintaining your vehicle you cannot be sure your airbags and brakes will protect you.
  • Use courtesy and common sense – It is important to obey the right-of-way rules of the road, but courtesy and common sense go a long way to prevent accidents as well. If another driver fails to obey the rules, let them pass and keep your distance. If you are unsure whether another driver or pedestrian can see you, assume that they cannot and take measures to avoid them.

What to Do After a Collision

If you are involved in a collision, remain calm and be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Pull over. Move your vehicle away from the traffic lane if it is safe to do so. Do not attempt to exit your vehicle in traffic. If you cannot safely exit your vehicle, stay there until assistance arrives.

  2. Call 911 if you know or suspect anyone has been injured. Many times injuries go unnoticed at first due to the excitement or shock from the accident. If you suspect that you may have been injured, it is important to call 911 so you can receive assistance and a traffic collision report is created.

  3. Exchange information. If you have a camera or smart phone, take photographs of driver licenses, vehicle registrations, license plates, and insurance paperwork, as well as all vehicle damage at the scene. If you do not have a camera or smart phone, take detailed notes of the drivers’ name, address, insurance company and policy number; as well as vehicle make, model, and license plate number. You can also ask the reporting officers to take photographs of the vehicle damage.

  4. Report the accident to your insurance company. Most insurance policies require their insureds to report all accidents. Failure to do so might result in a denial of your claim for repair to your vehicle or uninsured motorist coverage. Also, your insurance company can assist you with your DMV reporting requirements.

What Should You Do Next?

If you were injured due to another’s negligence, do not attempt to handle the claim with their insurance company on your own, and do not give a recorded statement to any insurance company that is not your own. Identifying that the other motorist in your accident is liable involves going through DUI test results, analyzing cell phone records, investigating accident scenes, and interviewing witnesses to establish liability.

Assessing the nature and extent of your injuries takes experience and specialized knowledge. If you were involved in an accident, discuss filing a claim with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at our firm. We have been handling car accidents for more than 30 years, and are prepared to fight for you. We offer our services for residents throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, and all surrounding counties.

Call (818) 222-9720 and get a free case review at our firm.

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Working With Effres & Associates
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