Car accidents often seem to happen out of nowhere. You may be driving to work, paying attention to the road and other vehicles around you, when a distracted driver runs a light or rear-ends your car. Suddenly, you face a lengthy physical recovery, anxiety about how you’ll afford the medical bills and lost wages resulting from the accident, and other stressors this incident has caused you. However, it’s important to recognize that California allows auto accident victims to pursue compensation to help pay back the various costs associated with the collision. While you may pursue compensation without the assistance of an auto accident lawyer, working with someone familiar with the process is the best way to ensure you maximize your settlement offer. This post will explore some of the top causes of car accidents and injuries in Riverside County and some tips for securing the compensation you need to support your recovery.
Unsurprisingly, distracted drivers are more likely to cause an accident. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds (and while traveling at high speeds), can put your safety at risk. While most people think of distracted driving as texting while driving, many other behaviors constitute distracted driving. For example, looking at a GPS or navigation screen for too long can lead to an accident. Turning your head to talk to passengers in the backseat, eating while driving, or even reaching down to retrieve a fallen object can remove your full attention from the road, jeopardizing your safety and that of others on the road. Many collisions occur because a driver has turned their attention elsewhere when behind the wheel.
Speed limits exist for a reason. However, impatient drivers or even people who are running late for work may travel above the speed limit to make up for the lost time. Unfortunately, exceeding speed limits puts yourself and others at increased risk of collision and injury. In the last few years, major cities across the country have reported a climb in drivers traveling at exceptionally high speeds—sometimes exceeding the speed limit by 20, 30, or 40 miles per hour. Car crashes involving a speeding vehicle often lead to more severe injuries, requiring surgery, immediate medical intervention, or even permanent damage.
Driving While Intoxicated
Even though the public recognizes the dangers of drunk driving or driving while intoxicated, this behavior still occurs. Perhaps someone has imbibed too much alcohol but still thinks they are capable of driving themselves home—putting themselves and others at significant risk. Alcohol, marijuana, and other controlled substances can impact your reflexes and reaction time, preventing you from identifying and responding to potential hazards on the road. Accidents involving impaired drivers tend to cause severe injuries requiring long and difficult recoveries.
Reckless Driving Habits
Impatient or unfocused drivers may put themselves and others at risk. Reckless driving behaviors, such as weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating other vehicles, and failing to stop fully at intersections, can increase the likelihood of a collision. If you spot a car that is changing lanes quickly and incessantly, try to give it ample space to pass you. A careless driver may neglect to notice your vehicle as they change lanes without checking for other cars, leading to painful and costly injuries.
Poor Road or Weather Conditions
Although Southern California usually enjoys bright and sunny weather year-round, sudden rainfall or unexpected drops in temperature may create slick and slippery road conditions. Sharing the road with other drivers who lack experience driving in wet conditions can be dangerous, as they may lose control of their vehicles and cause a crash. Additionally, some roadways may be in need of improvement, so watch out for potholes, bumps, and other conditions that may impede your ability to drive safely.
Steps to Take Following an Accident in Temecula
As safe as you may be behind the wheel, accidents do happen. First, assess yourself and others at the scene for injuries and call for an ambulance if necessary. You should also contact local law enforcement so the responding officer can compile a police report, documenting the conditions and factors contributing to the accident. Even if you do not believe your injuries warrant immediate medical attention, visit a doctor within a few days of the incident for an evaluation and assessment of any harder-to-detect injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries. While you focus on your physical recovery, consider enlisting the guidance of an experienced Murrieta auto accident lawyer. Your attorney will help you determine the worth of your claim, handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, and work to maximize your settlement offer. Let your attorney handle these elements of the claims process while you focus on what matters most—your recovery.
Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to speak with a dedicated and knowledgeable Temecula auto accident lawyer.