Being in a car accident can be a bewildering and overwhelming experience. It can be difficult to know what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident, let alone where to turn to for legal help. You know that you are facing financial losses due to property damage, personal injury, wrongful death, and lost income. But how do you even begin to defend yourself against large insurance companies?
Start off by having the best accident attorneys at your side. We have experience with accidents involving cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, government vehicles, hit & run accidents, teenage drivers, drunk drivers, drivers under the influence of drugs, uninsured drivers, and underinsured drivers.
Who Should You Talk to in the Aftermath of a Car Accident, and What Should You Say?
- First and foremost, be honest with the police. The evidence at the scene of the accident will speak for itself. Do not lie to law enforcement. If you attempt to sidestep details or change the facts while speaking with law enforcement, you will only be providing evidence against yourself. Determining liability comes down to what can be proven by the facts and the evidence at hand. So be honest with the police, and trust your attorneys to act on your behalf to give you the best possible protections under the law.
- When speaking to the police, be as detailed as possible. Don’t assume that any detail is meaningless or insignificant.
- Make sure that the police interview all the witnesses at the scene, including passengers and passerby.
- Do not give a statement to any other party at the scene, other than the police. Do not discuss the details of the accident with the other driver or passengers involved. Do not give any sort of apology, even if you only wish to say that you regret that the accident occurred. Expressing anything that can be construed as you admitting fault can be used as evidence against you in court.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t believe that you are seriously hurt, the severity of your injuries may not be evident until later. If you don’t show that you were concerned for your health immediately after your accident, it will be difficult to prove that you had legitimate reason to be concerned days or weeks afterward. Keep a record of your doctor’s diagnosis, hold onto copies of all medical paperwork, and follow all prescribed treatment exactly as described.
- Do not talk to any insurance company, even your own. Don’t speak to an insurance representative or adjuster, even those representing your own insurance company. Their job is not to help you, but to save their company money. While it may seem that they are only investigating or verifying the facts, they are actively examining your statements for information that places you at fault for the accident. When they call you, inform them that you have a lawyer handling the situation.
- Contact a personal injury attorney at Ashton & Price as soon as possible. We decades of expertise in auto accidents. Not every lawyer or legal firm has experience with accident reconstruction, connections with top-tier independent medical experts, or the resources necessary to adequately investigate and prepare your claim for damages. We will handle everything for you. You will have a team of determined and successful trial lawyers fighting on your behalf. Ashton & Price has an extensive record of securing significant financial damages for our clients from insurance settlements and jury awards.
Ashton & Price has 20 Years of Experience in Helping Auto Accident Victims in Sacramento and Throughout California
Insurance companies want to protect their bottom line by keeping their money. That’s their job, and they’re good at it. That’s why collecting the maximum possible financial compensation from insurance companies requires a great deal of experience and aggressive, sophisticated legal strategies. That’s our job, and we are very good at it. We have earned more than $100 million in settlements and jury awards since our practice opened in Sacramento in 1996.
If you have been in a car accident, contact us at the Ashton & Price Injury Law Center, and talk to one of our attorneys. Even if you believe that you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to recover compensation.
We’ll Make Sure You Get the Treatment You Need, and Won’t Pressure You Into a Low Settlement
Even if your car accident seemed minor at the time, you can’t know the full extent of your short- and long-term injuries or financial losses until you have been examined and treated by medical experts. We have developed long-term relationships with some of the most respected medical experts, trauma treatment specialists, and forensic economic experts in Sacramento and throughout California. We’ll make sure that you receive the medical treatment you need, with no out-of-pocket expenses, even if you don’t have medical insurance.
How Do You Determine Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?
Some states have adopted “no-fault” systems in which drivers don’t have to show that somebody was at fault before their insurance company will cover their costs, with the tradeoff being that drivers cannot sue one another for emotional or psychological injury. California is NOT a no-fault state.
In the state of California, car accidents must be settled in court in order to determine the liability of each party. For instance, if you were injured in an accident and the other driver was determined to be 70% at fault, then you may seek compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering for up to 70% of your total damages.
Determining who was at fault in an accident, or the extent of each driver’s fault is not an easy task. This can be especially complex when accidents involve commercial or government vehicles. Accurately making and proving these determinations requires skilled accident reconstruction, legal expertise, and an in-depth understanding of how California’s case law applies to car accidents within the state.
Ashton & Price has a well-earned reputation for fighting aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure that their rights are protected, and that they are awarded the maximum possible financial compensation.
Were You Hit by a Driver Who Was Drunk, Using Drugs, Distracted, or Who Hit and Run?
The circumstances of an accident can make a huge difference. In California, the law places a cap on the amount of financial damages you can recover from insurance, unless it can be proven that the responsible driver was criminally negligent.
It isn’t just illegal to drink or take drugs behind the wheel. Many legal actions and activities become illegal when they are done behind the wheel. Driving a car while holding a cell phone, taking prescription medication that is intoxicating, or even setting a GPS system or applying makeup can be considered a criminal activity if it distracts a driver and causes an accident. When drivers engage in any behavior that inhibits their ability to drive safely, that behavior becomes a criminal offense. Proving this is the case means that the cap on damages is waived, and you can seek full financial restitution for your damages and injuries.
Working with a trained personal injury or wrongful death lawyer can be critical in convincing a prosecutor to pursue criminal charges against a negligent driver so that you can be awarded the full amount of your financial claims. We work with accident reconstruction experts and medical specialists in order to determine the cause of an accident, allowing us to prepare the strongest case possible for proving the negligent driver’s responsibility for their actions. We will even pursue payment from your own insurance policy if the drunk or negligent driver was uninsured, underinsured, or fled the scene.
How Do You Deal With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident?
The answer is, unless you have the experience, knowledge, and skill to negotiate with a national, multi-million (or billion!) dollar corporation, you don’t. If you want to have the full force of the law on your side, then you want a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. Over the last 20 years, we have recovered $100 million in financial rewards for our clients. This is due not only to our expertise, but our years of working with independent medical experts and accident analysts.
We know all of the strategies and tactics that adjusters and insurance defense attorneys use to undermine the extent of your injuries, and undervalue the financial damages that they are willing to pay.
Insurance companies, adjusters, and representatives are not your friend. They are trained to be extremely patient, calm, approachable, and even friendly and personable. They will talk to you as if they are only interested in doing what is best for you. But the truth is that their job description is to save their employers as much money as possible. Insurance companies coach their employees and provide them with scripts that are designed to earn your trust so that you will hurt your own case.
Insurance companies employ adjusters, accountants, and statisticians to carefully calculate the minimum settlement offer that they believe they can get you to accept. They will even offer what appears to be evidence that you cannot do any better. In almost every case, the amount of compensation that you are owed and deserve is significantly more than what your insurance company will claim your damages are worth.
At Ashton & Price, we are aggressive about protecting you and your rights. You deserve to be awarded the full and fair damages that you are owed for your injuries and losses. We’ll make sure that you get what you’re owed.