In the confusion after a car accident, it can be hard to remember to gather information and protect your rights. If you have to be transported directly from the scene for your injuries, it can be even more difficult to obtain the documentation and evidence you will need in order to pursue compensation later on.
10 Things You Should Write Down After an OC Car Accident
Although your first priority should be your medical treatment and recovery, it is important to write down as many details as you remember while the event is still fresh in your mind. Even if you believe you will never forget what happened, here are ten important things you should write down as soon as possible after a wreck in which you are injured:
- The date and time of the accident
- The location of the accident
- The direction you were traveling and what happened just before the accident
- How the accident happened—you might even consider drawing a diagram
- The drivers and vehicles involved
- A physical description of the other driver and any passengers
- Any potential witnesses
- The weather conditions on the day of the wreck
- The road and traffic conditions on the day of the wreck
- A date, time, and description of any communication from the other driver and his or her insurance company
A successful personal injury lawsuit settlement can help you cover the mountain of medical bills and other expenses that pile up after you are injured in a serious car accident in Orange County, but you don’t have to collect evidence and find answers on your own. If you were injured, our Riverside personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed. Please give Russell & Lazarus a call today at 1-(949) 851-0222 for a completely free case review.
Preventing Orange County Car Accidents at Red Lights & Intersections
Red lights are in place to prevent accidents, but intersections with traffic lights still remain the site of an extremely large portion of traffic collisions in California and across the country. What can you do to reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident at a stop light?
Be aware, even if you have the right-of-way.
Far too many drivers assume that since they have a green light, they don’t need to look for oncoming cars or worry about other drivers. Even when you have the right-of-way, glance to your left and right when driving through an intersection.
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists.
Intersections are the place where pedestrians literally share the street with cars—a situation which can be extremely dangerous. Watch out for pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road, and be aware that not all pedestrians will cross only when they have a WALK signal.
Make left turns with care.
The most common type of accident at a lighted intersection is a left-turn accident. When making a turn, look carefully and give yourself plenty of room. When others are turning, be aware that not everyone uses their turn signals.
Slow down when approaching intersections.
Don’t wait to slam on your brakes when the green light turns yellow; be prepared to stop as soon as you approach an intersection. Many rear-end accidents occur when cars drive too fast as they approach a traffic light.
Unfortunately, intersections can be the site of some of the most serious accidents because they can lead to head-on crashes and T-bone crashes. Driving safely through an intersection can significantly reduce your chance of a life-changing crash.
Do you need assistance with a California car accident injury case? Call Russell & Lazarus today to request a confidential consultation.
Why More California Car Accidents Happen During the Holidays
Car accident rates skyrocket around all of the major holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. What should be a time of joy and peace too often turns into a time of tragedy. Why are there more traffic accident injuries and fatalities around the holidays than at any other time of the year?
- Drinking and driving. The holidays are a time to celebrate, but they aren’t a reason to act irresponsibly. Unfortunately, far too many revelers overindulge during the holidays and make the dangerous and illegal decision to drive home.
- Fatigued driving. Many people travel long distances to visit friends and family—and, many drive at odd hours to beat the traffic or neglect to take regular driving breaks. The result is accidents caused by fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel.
- Distracted driving. Around the holidays, drivers might have a vanload of kids or relatives. Others might be talking with relatives on a cell phone or thinking about holiday drama. All of these distractions can take focus away from driving safely.
- Congested roads. Millions of people take to the highways and interstates on and around the holidays. More cars on the road mean more traffic and more traffic accidents.
- Poor weather conditions. While wintery conditions aren’t an issue in Southern California, snow and ice can be serious concerns in the mountains and in other regions of the country.
If you have been injured in a California car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could collect compensation for your losses, including your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Watch Out for Fraud at the Scene of an Orange County Car Accident
As if the shock and panic of being involved in a car accident wasn’t enough, there are some con artists out there who may try to take advantage of the shaken victims of car accidents in Riverside. In some cases, individuals or criminal organizations may stage an accident with you to try to get you to pay for alleged injuries. In other cases, you may be contacted after an accident by con artists posing as doctors, attorneys, repair shops, and others who are out to take advantage of you after a wreck.
Here are some common accident fraud “red flags” and schemes:
- The claims report mentions passengers or witnesses that were not present at the time of the accident.
- You receive an unsolicited call from an auto repair shop, attorney, or medical provider who offers help after an accident.
- The driver caused the accident by suddenly hitting the brakes, ignoring traffic laws, or going out of his or her way to make you wreck.
- The other car was already damaged, or the other driver is on a temporary license.
- The driver talks you into giving or accepting cash at the scene or refers you personally to an auto shop, doctor, or other service.
While many of these staged auto accidents are intentionally minor, innocent victims are sometimes injured or lose a significant amount of money to scammers. To protect yourself, always be suspicious of any offer made at the scene of the wreck or any unsolicited offers of help, and immediately contact an attorney of your own choosing to guide you.
Health Issues for Senior Drivers That Could Cause a CA Car Accident
After a 100-year-old driver in Southern California struck a group of school children with his car last month, many have been discussing the possible danger of elderly drivers in California. It is important to understand why older drivers may face issues behind the wheel and what health problems may lead seniors to cause car accidents.
Why are elderly drivers increasingly involved in traffic accidents as they age?
- Vision issues. Vision becomes worse with age, and conditions like cataracts also can affect older drivers. While many wear glasses, some drivers may not keep up with prescriptions, while others might struggle with sensitivity to light, peripheral vision, or night vision.
- Hearing issues. Being hard of hearing can make it difficult to know when an emergency vehicle is approaching, to hear a horn, or simply to be aware of the traffic around you. Many seniors experience hearing loss as they age.
- Side effects of medications. The elderly also face a larger general range of medical issues that often require prescription medication. Some of these prescriptions can cause side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, or slow reflexes.
- Slowing movements and reflexes. Seniors have less muscle mass, slower response times, and less range of motion. They may be less able to respond quickly in an emergency, avoid a collision, or effectively slam on their brakes.
- Memory and reasoning issues. An elderly driver may become confused by road design, may forget familiar areas, or may lose touch with driving regulations.
Elderly drivers should try to remain aware of their mental and physical health, especially as it relates to driving safety. Speaking with your doctor and your loved ones about these issues is especially important for knowing when to hang up your keys.
Who Pays When a Passenger Is Injured in a California Wreck?
Although we often focus on drivers who have been injured in Orange County accidents, recent news of a passenger who died in multi-car Buena Park crash is a sad reminder of the needs of some of the most innocent victims in these tragic accidents. If you weren’t driving, who is responsible for paying your medical bills if you are injured in a Riverside wreck?
In California, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from:
- The driver of the car you were in. Whether you have been involved in a single-vehicle crash or a multi-car crash in Orange County, you may be able to pursue compensation from the insurance company that covers the driver of the car you were riding in at the time of the accident.
- The drivers of the other vehicles. If more than one vehicle was involved in the wreck, it may be more complicated to determine who is responsible for your injuries. However, you may be able to pursue compensation from the insurance companies of other drivers involved in the wreck.
- Your own insurance company. Depending on the details of your insurance coverage, you may be able to receive compensation from your own insurance company after you are injured in a wreck as a passenger.
Contact a Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured as a passenger in a Riverside wreck, you may be facing complicated choices. A Riverside personal injury lawyer would be happy to discuss options with you in a completely free, no-obligation consultation today. Just give us a call at (949) 851-0222, or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page for more information.