Stockton has two of the busiest roadways in the country running across its borders. Interstate 5 and Highway 99 are well known for the traffic dangers they can carry over their entire spans.
Stockton drivers know about the dangers these major routes pose. They are also likely familiar with the hazards of travel on busy streets like Hammer Lane and Pacific Avenue during rush hours.
A careless move by another driver could land you in an accident on your commute or on the way to class. You or a family member might suffer a serious injury. After the scene has been cleared and a visit to an emergency room, you may be left to wonder how to earn help with your recovery costs.
Take Advantage of a Free Consultation with Maison Law
After an accident involving a serious injury, it’s critical to make sure you are fully informed of your rights and the benefits available to you. Car insurance companies won’t be filling you in on these rights. That’s why you should set up a free consultation with a real Stockton Car Accident Attorney as soon as possible.
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, offers a free case evaluation to all victims and it comes with no obligation. Mr. Gasparian can go over your case with you and tell you if you’d benefit from having a skilled personal injury lawyer handling your case. You should at least find out what your injury may be worth and what to watch out for when insurance adjusters start calling you.
Accident Dangers in Stockton
There’s no doubt that travel through Stockton at certain times of the day can prove treacherous. Careless drivers can be looking at a text on a cellphone instead of watching the traffic light ahead. Reckless motorists can go 20 mph over the speed limit and easily lose control and end up in your lane.
Drivers in Cars, Trucks, and SUVs can also threaten Stockton pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Unprotected walkers are owed a special “duty of care” and drivers are supposed to slow down at the sight of any pedestrians, but they rarely do.
Professional drivers working for a rideshare, a trucking company, or a delivery giant like Amazon are additional hazards on local roads. These on-the-clock drivers often become distracted and their sometimes large vehicles can do a lot of damage. Injury claims in these accidents often must target a drivers’ insurance and the insurance of their employers.
What to Do After a Stockton Car Accident
It’s often easy to see how the careless actions of some drivers can cause dangerous collisions. However, after you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may have to bring solid evidence to prove just how careless the other driver was. Other drivers will be defended by their insurance agents, and they can question the fault of their policyholders, even if it’s clear who was to blame.
Your Stockton Car Accident Lawyer will gather all relevant evidence to build a strong case for you, but your lawyer can’t be there on the scene in the moments after an accident. If you’re able, it’ll be up to you to gather the powerful evidence available in the moments right after a crash. Some of this evidence may not be available once the scene is cleared.
If you are well enough, try to collect these details:
- Call 911. Get checked out by paramedics. Tell police officers everything you can remember so they can prepare a collision report.
- Secure pictures. Use your phone to show all damage to vehicles. Take pictures of any visible injuries. Show skid marks on the street and any relevant traffic signs and lane markings.
- Discuss with witnesses what they saw and secure their contact information.
- Exchange information with the other drivers if police aren’t providing this information to you. Don’t make any statements about what happened to other drivers. Insurance companies seek to use these statements against you later.
- Look for surveillance cameras in the area at businesses and homes. Ask any witnesses if they have dashcams in their vehicles.
- Get checked out by your personal doctor. The more medical proof you have on your injuries and pain, the harder it will be for insurance adjusters to deny your claim.
- Keep any damaged clothing and personal items.
Compensation Available After a Stockton Accident
Your personal injury lawyer will be including all of this evidence and more in an accident claim addressed to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Your claim will also include a list of the hardships that you expect to receive compensation for. It’s important to get every damage you’ve absorbed on this list. If it’s not included in your claim, insurance companies won’t be providing support for it.
These are just a few of the factors that may earn you compensation after a Stockton accident:
- All current and future medical expenses.
- Long-term costs associated with a permanent physical disability such as amputation, paralysis, memory damage, or sight or hearing loss.
- Pain and suffering. This puts a monetary value on the pain you’ve endured and the emotional distress caused by the accident.
- Travel to and from doctors’ offices and out-of-town trips to see specialists.
- Income you’ve had to give up while missing work during recovery.
- Damage or destruction of property.
Common Injuries After a Stockton Traffic Accident
Getting all of your hardships itemized in an insurance claim is very important. Your most recent medical bills should be in there, but your personal injury lawyer will also have you thinking of the future.
You may require another surgery in a couple of years, or you could be facing a lifelong disability as a result of your accident. In these cases, your case for injury compensation must be handled correctly. Once you’ve signed off on a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more.
When you see the list of potential consequences for a collision on the road, it’s very apparent that support for an emergency room visit and a few physical therapy sessions isn’t always enough.
These are just a few of the injuries that might leave you asking for the money to cover extended or even lifelong care from an insurance company:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Blows to the head can cause serious concussions and memory loss. In severe cases, TBI may leave you unable to control certain parts of your body.
- Bone Fractures: Another injury that commonly occurs in a powerful collision. Broken bones can be difficult to heal from. Those injuries that affect the legs or hips can take you off your feet for weeks and that inactivity can create even more serious health issues.
- Neck injuries: Whiplash usually involves damage to the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck. Thoracic Spine Injury can severely restrict movement and cause control issues in other parts of your body.
- Soft tissue injuries: Organs can take major damage when someone’s body absorbs a violent collision with a car seat, a car door, or the dash or steering wheel. Impacts can rupture, tear, or bruise the small bowel, bladder, liver, diaphragm, and other organs.
- Airbag injuries: Airbags are supposed to prevent injury, but they can prove dangerous in major impacts. They can cause severe burns to victims and also release shrapnel into the vehicle.
- Wrongful Death: Injuries can be so severe that doctors are unable to save patients. In such tragic cases, the family members left behind are allowed to file a wrongful death claim against the insurance provider for the driver to blame. A personal injury lawyer can file this claim on behalf of close relatives and ask for support to pay for burial costs and replace the income the deceased can no longer provide the family in the future.
Statute of Limitations on Stockton Car Accident Claims
For cases involving injury in California, victims are given two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
You may feel you have plenty of time, but getting started on your case as soon as possible is key. If you are going to trust your recovery to a legal professional, you should give your lawyer as early a start as possible. If you wait more than a week or two to contact a personal injury lawyer, evidence and documents can be harder to secure and witnesses may become harder to locate.
Getting started early is also important when surveillance video may help you prove your claim to compensation. Surveillance files can be erased. Allow your lawyer to put in an early request to secure that evidence.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer After a Stockton Accident?
Generally, if your accident results in property damage and/or very minor injuries, you probably won’t gain anything by hiring an attorney.
It’s when a serious injury is involved that you can need protection from insurance tactics. The higher your hospital bills go, the harder they’ll fight to pay you very little or nothing at all. In fact, they may make you a quick offer while you’re still being treated, hoping you’ll take it.
Don’t sign off on this first offer without consulting with an attorney. Insurance providers hope you’ll think only of your current bills and forget to consider the medical care you could still need down the road.
Your personal injury lawyer doesn’t forget about these factors and will send any “lowball offer” back for you and fight for more. Your lawyer handles all communication with insurance companies and opposing lawyers for you. This prevents you from giving a recorded statement that might hurt your case later.
Your lawyer also represents a threat to the insurance adjuster. If they don’t treat you fairly in an insurance settlement, you will be ready to take them to court to get what’s fair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I talk to insurance representatives for the other driver?
No. Insurance adjusters will be calling you asking for a recorded statement. Decline. Anything you say on the record can be twisted to weaken your case later. This is what insurance representatives are hoping for when they dial your number.
Will I have to take an insurance company to court to get injury compensation?
Usually not. Most cases are resolved by an insurance settlement because insurers don’t like to spend the money to defend their decisions in court. Your personal injury lawyer will have evidence prepared in case going to trial is necessary to earn you what’s fair.
How much is my injury worth?
It’s hard to place a monetary value on your claim until your lawyer has investigated your accident and knows more about your injury. The amount you could receive depends largely on how long recovery takes and the insurance limits of the at-fault parties.
Contact a Stockton Car Accident Lawyer Today
After you or a loved one are hurt due to the negligence of a careless driver, make sure your rights are preserved and protected. Contact a Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer at Maison Law for a free consultation and case evaluation.
We promise to listen to you carefully and we’re going to answer your questions too. Then, we’ll be pleased to help you determine the best approach to earning you and your family the financial support you will need to rebuild your lives.