Highway 99 is the busiest roadway in Chico. In addition to traffic, there are also motor vehicle accidents on this roadway on a regular basis. You have most likely been stuck in traffic jams due to these accidents. If you were really unlucky, you may have been involved in one yourself. This blog is for the latter group of people.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one during a Highway 99 accident, then it is crucial that you take the right steps to increase your chances of recovering adequate compensation. The following steps (in no particular order) could be taken into consideration after an accident on this busy road.
Seek Medical Attention
Never wait to seek medical attention after a serious accident even if you believe you did not suffer harm. Some injuries can take hours, days or weeks before they are noticeable. For instance, the symptoms from a whiplash injury can appear 24 hours or more after an accident. Some injuries with delayed symptoms are more serious. Internal bleeding may not be noticeable right away. However, failing to treat this type of injury can lead to permanent disability or death (intracranial hematoma). Concussions can cause symptoms that linger for weeks or months after an accident (post-concussion syndrome).
There is another reason you should seek medical attention. By seeking medical attention, you are establishing a record of your injuries. Medical records are very useful for negotiating settlements with insurance companies after an accident.
Gather Evidence If You Are Able
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to begin gathering evidence soon after your accident. For instance, you could attempt to gather the contact information of any witnesses. Phone numbers, email addresses, and insurance policy information are generally useful later. You could also take photographs of your injuries or property damage to your vehicle. Police reports can also help you in the long run.
Unfortunately, this step may not be possible for everyone. As you already know, some car accidents lead to serious injuries or death. In those cases, it is important for the family members of the injured or deceased parties to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can quickly obtain evidence before it is destroyed or altered.
Experienced attorneys know the tricks of the trade, and can gather additional types of evidence that could help your case. If you were involved in a truck accident, your attorney could possibly obtain information from a commercial truck’s electronic control module (ECM), which may record speed, hard braking events, and other data from the vehicle.
Be Careful with Insurance Companies
You are all but certain to receive a phone call from the other party’s insurance company in the days following your accident. Insurance adjusters will attempt to ask you information about the crash. By speaking to an adjuster, you are potentially jeopardizing your ability to recover adequate compensation for your injuries or loss.
The adjuster is likely to ask you about any property damage or injuries you suffered. Keep in mind, any answers you give will be recorded. Your answers could be used against you at a later date to reduce the value of your settlement.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to ensure you are taken care of after an accident. Some may even act in bad faith, denying you your right to compensation. Contact an attorney to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. This is the best way to ensure that you will receive adequate compensation for an injury or loss.
Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. As you have most likely gathered by reading this blog, it is easy to make mistakes that could hurt your ability to recover an adequate settlement.
An attorney is acting on your behalf to help you recover the resources necessary to rebuild your life. Insurance companies are not. Compensation from a settlement or verdict could help pay for the expenses associated with an injury or loss. For instance, you could obtain the financial means to pay for your medical bills, home modifications, lost income, loss of future earning potential, and other expenses caused by the accident.
Peters, Habib, McKenna, Juhl-Rhodes & Cardoza, LLP
Peters, Habib, McKenna, Juhl-Rhodes & Cardoza, LLP began helping the residents of Chico, California in 1896. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping the community with a wide range of legal needs, such as real property law, agriculture law, business law, and car accident cases.
You can speak to our attorneys during a free consultation if you or a loved one suffered harm during a car accident. We can help you determine whether you have a case for seeking compensation for your injuries or loss. Call us at (530)342-3593 or use our online case review form.