How to Pursue an Uber Accident Settlement

Lyft and Uber accident settlements and claims have become common in today’s world, as rideshare services have become increasingly popular. 

Don’t resign yourself suffering, hire an Uber or Lyft accident attorney to help address your car accident claim. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 and speak with an accident lawyer near you. The law entitles you to sue and recover damages, if you can show that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. Let’s take a closer look.  

How to Sue Uber for an Accident

If you were injured in a rideshare accident, you may be able to sue the Uber or Lyft driver who hit you. You may have a potential lawsuit, if you can show they caused your injuries:

Remember This About Negligent Driving  

If the other driver was negligent and caused your injury, their insurance should cover damages. Some examples of negligent driving are:  

  • Speeding 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Making a wrong turn, and more. 

Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Services 

For rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, the law mandates service wide insurance coverage. Uber provides the following coverage amounts for accidents occurring during a driver’s pickup or trip:  

  • $1,250,000 third-party liability  
  • $1,250,000 Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury  
  • $50,000 Personal Injury Protection per person  
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision  

Related Article: How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters After an Accident

Getting Rideshare App Companies to Pay for Your Accident

In some cases, you may be able to sue Uber or Lyft directly. This applies if they are solely responsible for your accident.  

Here’s an example.

An Uber driver drives down the road and hits you. The rideshare app (Uber) certified the driver, which enabled them to take part in the rideshare services. Unfortunately, Uber didn’t inspect the car, and the company is negligent. As a result, the driver is operating a defective vehicle. If you can prove this, you could sue the rideshare company directly.  

The Average Car Accident Settlement & Why It’s Important to Have a Rideshare Accident Lawyer

What to Expect for Your Lyft or Uber Accident Settlement

As a general rule, there is no “certainty” when it comes to typical car accident settlement amounts and offers. All you can do is work with an experienced rideshare attorney, develop a strong case, and negotiate effectively.  

The more evidence you have, the more likely the defendant will settle quickly. 

Rideshare Insurance Coverage: the Odds Are in Your Favor

As rideshare companies provide their drivers with extensive auto insurance coverage, the odds are more favorable for plaintiffs. You could receive up to $1.25 million in property damages if you show that the driver was at fault at the time of the accident. 

What is Bodily Injury Liability and How to Recover Property Damages

Fighting an insurance company for Lyft or Uber accident claims for bodily injury liability and damages is not easy. If they can, they will try to avoid paying. To ensure legal compensation, it is your responsibility to present a solid case. 

As the facts for every case are different, average Lyft accident settlements will vary. You’ll find the same with Uber accident settlements, which is why it is important to hire a rideshare accident lawyer. If you bring forth a sound case, your settlement amount will likely resemble a high damages amount. For example, you have an injury and need considerable surgery as a result of an accident. In this case, your damages could total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, if you have injuries as an Uber passenger, your car accident settlement will be lower. The reason for this is because it cannot exceed your actual damages. 

Related Article: What Does an Accident Lawyer Do?

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation with a Ride Share Accident Attorney  

If you were hurt in a rideshare accident, the law may entitle you to significant compensation. An experienced attorney or law firm is necessary to successfully navigate ride share claims and develop effective legal strategies. 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a large network of accident lawyers who are standing by to provide assistance. Call us today at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to an experienced rideshare accident attorney for a free consultation. We’ll get you started in just 10 minutes or less. 

How to sue for an Uber Accident Settlement

How Many Car Accidents Occur in the U.S. Each Year?

Statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that car accidents happen frequently. So, what are the car accident statistics and how many car accidents happen per year in accidents in the US?

Car Accident Statistics & How Often Car Accidents Do Happen

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 37,000 people die annually due to car accidents. Additionally, 2.35 million people are injured or disabled due to car crashes. Children under 15 account for 1,600 traffic fatalities, while the fatality rate for people ages 16-20 is nearly 8,000 annually. 

While technical and legislative changes have been addressed to reduce fatal accident rates, many car accidents are due to driver impairment or behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 29 deaths every day in the U.S. that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Numbers for 2014 put total DUI crash fatalities at 9,967, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in the country that year. 

These numbers are overwhelming. With over 200 million drivers on the road, the unimaginable can happen in a split second. Drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians are at risk of fatal injuries at every moment. Therefore, it is important to understand the rules of the road and how to handle various situations to avoid crash deaths and car accidents. 

Safe Driving Tips

  • Wear your seat belt at all times. Get in the habit of buckling up as soon as you enter the vehicle.
  • Obey all speed limits and signs.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These days, there are great options when it comes to getting a ride. Whether you order an Uber or Lyft ride share, call a local car service or taxi, or ask a friend to give you a ride, there are various options. Getting on the road if you are impaired can have a negative impact on your life, and the lives of others, for years to come. 
  • Keep your eyes moving. Get used to being aware of what is happening on all sides of the road. Also, check your rear view mirror regularly.
  • Know that other drivers will make mistakes and drive irresponsibly. It is important for you to be alert and ready to react in a manner that keeps everyone on the road safe. While you may be angry with the other drivers or pedestrians, causing an accident on purpose will result in bigger problems.
  • When approached by an emergency vehicle, pull over to the right of the road and stop.
  • When driving on multi-lane roads or highways, know that the left-most lanes are for passing only. If you do not intend to pass a vehicle, stay in the right lanes.

Car Safety Check

Before driving a vehicle, and especially in bad weather conditions, do a simple car safety check.

  1. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure all lights are working properly.
  2. Make sure your turn signal indicators, or blinkers, are working.
  3. Check that there is no sign of fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle.
  4. Don’t forget your tires. If they look flat, stop by a gas station or repair shop for air before driving long distances.

Next, adjust mirrors before you get on the road. To adjust the left mirror, place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right side, move your head towards the center of the car and adjust the mirror the same way. This will help reduce your blind spots.

Car Accidents Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages under the law.

At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced car accident lawyers who are standing by to provide a free consultation. Our agents will connect you to an attorney who will guide you through the litigation process after evaluating your case.

Contact us today at 888-943-0190

Car accidents happen often in the US. Know how many car crashes a year and car accident statistics before getting on the road. Image is of cars driving on highway at dusk. Photo is taken of behind cars; head lights are all on. Sky is orange and road is asphalt. There are many cars on the road.

How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters After an Accident

If you have been in a traffic accident, here is everything you need to know about how to talk to insurance claims adjusters. We know you are not enthused about going through the potentially lengthy legal claims process, and would rather focus is on recovering from injuries and returning to everyday life.

This is understandable, and therefore it is important to work with an attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney will handle your case from start to finish. When dealing with your insurer, your attorney will work as your advocate.

Your insurance company wants desperately to reject your claim and leave you with as little money as possible. That is the core of their business, after all.

We know, it is a lot to take in. But, let’s clarify so that you understand.

How Insurance Companies Actually Work

It is easy to assume that when an auto accident occurs, you will be protected. The reality is unfortunate and harsh.

Insurance companies profit by paying out as few claims as possible. The fewer claims an insurance company pays, the higher its profit margins. When they have to pay a claim, they will generally make the lowest settlement offer possible, known as insurance underpayment.

In America, we are often told your insurer should be among your first calls after you have been in a vehicle collision. This is horrible advice.

Insurers profit when their customers:

  1. Don’t get into car accidents, or
  2. Get into accidents, but have their claims rejected or underpaid.

Simply put, your insurer hopes you’ll fail and be left with nothing. They want you to contact them “as soon as possible.” While you’re on the phone with the insurance adjuster, they’ll coax you with a pre-prepared conversation, so that you’ll reveal sensitive information about your accident. If they catch you saying a single thing that could be used to reject your claim, they will write it down and undermine your attempt to obtain benefits.

So, what should you do?

How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters

Contact an experienced auto accident attorney. Their job is to be your advocate, and they will speak to your insurer on your behalf. They will protect your claim and negotiate a favorable outcome. It’s no surprise that working with an attorney leads to significantly better payouts on average.

How to Deal With an Insurance Claims Adjuster

Even if you avoid contacting your insurer, they may try to contact you.

If you’re wondering how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, the answer is: don’t.

We encourage you not to speak to them, even if they take steps to contact you. Avoid conversation, and have your attorney speak on your behalf.

It’s important to reiterate this because it is the key to maximizing compensation.

After an accident, your attorney will know what to say to your insurance company. Moreover, your attorney will have the experience necessary to guide you through your legal options.

Now, suppose you’re still curious about how to speak to an insurance claims adjuster without undermining your claims. In that case, there are a few considerations to keep in mind: their responsibilities and your legal rights.

Insurance Claims Adjusters Responsibilities:

  • Investigating claims
  • Determining if the insurance company is liable
  • Determining the losses
  • Identifying whether a claim should be rejected
  • Making settlement offers that are as “low” as possible
  • And more

What You Should Not Say to an Insurance Claims Adjuster, and What to Do

When speaking to a claims adjuster, write down their contact information. Specifically, this includes their: phone number, business address, and insurance company.

Again, we do not encourage you to speak to the adjuster. But if you insist, do not disclose any information about yourself or details of the auto accident. Offer only basic information about your identity, so that they know that you’ve been in an accident.

If the adjuster offers to let you make a recorded statement, do not agree. It’s a common tactic for insurance claims adjusters to get the information they need to deny your claim.

If the insurance claims adjuster makes a settlement offer, do NOT agree. It is almost certainly a low-ball offer. Agreeing to the low-ball offer leaves many thousands of dollars (even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) on the table.

Finally, the adjuster may attempt to have you sign documents that admit fault or otherwise harm your claim. Do NOT sign anything. This is a common and aggressive tactic of insurers. Instead, contact a qualified local attorney and ask them for guidance on how to proceed.

How to Handle Claim Denials

The best way to handle a claim denial is to simply avoid it by working with an attorney to submit the claim in the first place.

If you already filed an insurance claim and it was denied, you have options. You can resubmit the claim or otherwise challenge the claim denied.

Insurance claim adjuster secret tactics include focusing on the tiniest details to shift the blame to you. They want you to be at least partially at fault for the accident, so they can justify underpaying your claim or even denying it entirely.

Find an Auto Accident Attorney Today for a Free Lawyer Consultation

Working with an attorney who handles claims against insurance companies is invaluable. Their goal is to protect your rights and secure the maximum possible compensation.

Contact an accident lawyer in your area. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with experienced local lawyers who sue insurance companies.

how to talk to insurance claims adjusters and how to handle claim denials, car collision.

Injured in a Single Vehicle Accident? You Might Be Entitled to Damages

Across the United States, single-vehicle accidents are common. However, when people envision a typical car crash, they often think it involves two vehicles. As a result, one car accident where no one admits fault or no one else is involved is not usually perceived as a legal claim. After all, if the driver who caused harm (the defendant) and the driver who receives the injury (the plaintiff) are not both present during the accident, is it even a legal claim?

Single vehicle collisions occur with surprising frequency, and they do not always involve two vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the United States, 9,973 deaths linked to single vehicle collisions occurred in 2019. As such, it is fair to say that single vehicle collisions are a problem area for major and minor car accidents that deserve more attention.

If you have an injury as the result of a single vehicle accident, you may find your case strategy requires a more skillful touch. For free lawyer consultation over the phone, Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 and connect to an experienced car accident attorney near you in our network.

Curious about single vehicle collisions?

Check out our short video on the subject below, or keep reading!

WATCH THE LATEST VIDEO SHORT FROM 1-800-THE-LAW2: Single Vehicle Accident video on Youtube

1800THELAW2 ON YOUTUBE: WATCH SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT VIDEO

Liability is Not Obvious in a Single Vehicle Accident

In a single-vehicle collision scenario, it’s not always obvious whether someone can be legally liable for injuries. This stands in stark contrast to car accident scenarios where liability is obvious, such as a drunk driver accident. Whereas in DUI cases, there is clearly a driver in the wrong. However, in a single vehicle crash, that is not always the case.


To determine liability, a comprehensive evaluation of evidence is necessary. In the early stages of any legal claim, assistance of an experienced car accident attorney is invaluable.

As the injured person, you might not realize that you have an actionable claim for damages under the law — but an attorney can determine who is potentially liable, and how much they potentially owe you. Naturally, this has an impact on your legal claims for a single car accident. No insurance? If you lack proper insurance coverage, it’s much more critical to work with an attorney, as you won’t have any benefits to fall back on if you don’t sue and recover damages.

Who Can You Sue in a Single Vehicle Collision?

In a single vehicle crash, there is no driver who collided with your vehicle. Thus, you’ll have to explore other avenues for damages recovery and legal compensation.


Many victims do not realize that there are many other parties who are potentially liable for their injuries. A few examples are:

  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Government or other public agency
  • Private business and/or property owner
  • Negligent drivers
  • And more

What are the Two Collisions that Happen in a Crash?

Two examples of one car accident cases where no one admits fault, yet another party is potentially responsible.

Tree Accident Example

For the first example, suppose you have an injury that resulted from a fallen tree while driving. Here’s what happened. The tree was located on City property, and it was poorly maintained. The City made no proper inspections, and thereby allowed the tree to become structurally damaged. As a result of improper maintenance, it fell on a nearby car. Specifically, the tree accident involved your car, the tree, and no other vehicle. If this happened to you, you could sue the City and recover compensation for the one car accident, even though it involved no one else.

DUI Crash Example

In the second example, imagine your injury was a single vehicle collision that resulted from a DUI crash. This is what happened. A drunk driver swerved into your lane, and you suddenly switched lanes to avoid a car reck. In turn, you lost control and crashed your vehicle. Under these circumstances, you can sue the drunk driver despite the fact taht they never actually touched your vehicle.

Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

Here’s an important single care collision advice:

If you’ve been in a single vehicle collision, avoid leaving the scene until you can do everything needed to preserve your legal claims. This may involve recording pictures and video evidence of the car crash scene, calling an attorney to help you physically evaluate the situation, and speaking to nearby witnesses to get their contact information. Many times, witnesses are a useful resource to prove that your version of events is correct.


Since environmental hazards and road defects cause many single-vehicle accidents, it is important to record that information in detail. When possible, collect video evidence, take pictures, and write down every detail you observe and remember from the car crash.


Also, be sure to secure medical assistance as soon as possible. Failure to seek timely medical assistance can undermine your legal claims. So, if you are seriously injured, do not delay. Get the medical attention you need.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 For Free Lawyer Consultation Over the Phone

If you had an injury as a result of a single vehicle accident, please call us today. In order to preserve your legal claim, it is important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Our network of highly skilled auto accident attorneys provide free lawyer consultation over the phone. After investigating the evidence, your lawyer will develop a case strategy that may potentially lead to recovery of damages. Consultations over the phone are confidential.


Call us now to get connected to an experienced car accident attorney in 10 minutes or less. Legal consultation is free and confidential. If you decide to not move forward with the case, there is no commitment.

single-vehicle accident

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is distracted driving awareness month, so we feel it’s important to take a moment to explore some basic issues, and to bring the facts to light.

Distracted driving is an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, even though it contributes to so many accidents. Given the widespread use of mobile phones over the last 20 years, car accidents are becoming more common due to inattentive or distracted drivers.

If you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you should be aware of the risks posed by distracted drivers, how to avoid them, and what you can do legally if you are injured.

How to Win Your Case

In auto accident cases, you are entitled to damages under certain circumstances. You’ll have to prove that the defendant not only hurt you, but also that he was negligent, reckless, or intentional.

Distracted driving is “negligent” or “reckless” conduct. In other words, the driver who caused your injuries didn’t mean to cause injuries, but he behaved recklessly under the circumstances. Their behavior increased the likelihood that someone would get hurt, and that’s exactly what happened.

For more information on: What is the Difference in Negligent vs. Reckless Driving?

To win a distracted driving case, you have to prove that the driver was distracted while he was driving, and that his behavior wasn’t justified under the circumstances.

Confused? Don’t worry, let’s use a brief example to clarify. 

When It Is Not Considered Distracted Driving  

Let’s say you’re injured in an auto accident. You believe the defendant was distracted while driving, which led to the collision (they weren’t paying attention to the road).

As you investigate the case further, you discover that the defendant-driver had their attention diverted because their passenger had a seizure. The seizure caused the passenger’s arms and hands to enter the driver’s field of view, and even interfere with their use of the steering wheel. The driver had to take a moment to deal with the situation, which distracted them from the road.

In these circumstances, the driver’s distraction would be justified. It would not be unreasonable. It might be a bit harder to win the case, or the damage recovery might be reduced.

On the other hand, suppose the driver was distracted because he was texting friends while driving. This behavior is unreasonable and unjustified, and qualifies as negligence or recklessness under the law, so you might be entitled to damages.

Statistics of Distracted Driving Infographic 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we have created an infographic to help the public better understand some important facts and statistics of distracted driving. Enjoy!

Click Here to Download

April is national distracted driving awareness month. Distracted Driving Infographic by 1800thelaw2.com

Examples of Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving can take on many forms, including: 

  • Texting while driving 
  • Cell phone use while driving 
  • Talking to other passengers while driving 
  • Inattentiveness (i.e., looking at the sidewalk instead of the road ahead) 
  • And more 

For example, while most people associate cell phone use with distracted driving, a driver can be drawn into conversation with his friend in the passenger seat. This conversation could distract the driver, causing them to make a mistake that leads to an accident.

Suppose the passenger contributed to the accident by distracting the driver. In that case, it may be possible to sue the passenger for damages. For a strategic approach, this makes it easier to secure the maximum possible compensation.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

If you’ve been in a car accident because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to significant damages. When pursuing your claim, you’ll want to work with a qualified attorney who can help you from start-to-finish.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our attorneys are standing by to help you. We have a network of lawyers who are experienced in handling distracted driving cases.

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll connect you to an experienced attorney in 10 minutes or less. 

distracted driving

What to Do When Involved in a Parked Car Hit and Run Accident

According to an Allstate Insurance study from 2010, 69 percent of all hit-and-runs in the U.S. involve parked cars. If you unknowingly hit a parked car, you may feel embarrassment and want to drive off. Or if your parked car was hit, it can be extremely frustrating if the person did not leave a note with any contact information. Here is how to proceed in both instances.

If you hit a parked car:

  1. Stay at the scene – it’s the law. Leaving the scene after you hit a parked car is considered a hit and run. Conviction of a hit and run can lead to a substantial fine, jail time or community service, and suspension of you license.
  2. If the owner/driver of the parked car cannot be found, leave a note. Most states require you leave a note that includes your name, address, contact number, an explanation of what happened, and if you were driving another person’s car, their name and address as well. You may want to leave your insurance information if you have it handy, as well. There’s no need to admit in writing that you weren’t paying attention or any other information that might be used against you later on when the insurance companies are settling the claim. Tuck the note securely under the windshield wiper.
  3. Before you leave the scene, take pictures and videos that show the condition of both cars, in addition to the license plate numbers. This can help safeguard you if the driver of the parked car claims you did more damage than you remember.
  4. Try to find a few witnesses. Get their contact information and take a video of their description of the hit. This will help show that you were diligent in trying to find the owner, and take responsibility for the accident.
  5. Call your insurance company as soon as possible so they can expedite the claims process. The property damage liability portion of your coverage will pay for damages to the parked car, while collision coverage will cover your own car, once you pay the deductible.

If your parked car was hit:

  1. If you get back to the parking lot from the mall and notice your car has been hit, the first thing to do is check to see if the driver is still around and collect his or her information. If the driver did not stick around, look around for a note or information the other driver may have left.
  2. If no note was left, check the area for any witnesses. Ask security to view footage from the parking lot and see if you can identify the other car’s license number. If you can find eyewitnesses, get their account of what happened and be sure to get their names and contact information.
  3. Take photos of the damage to your car expedite the claims process with your insurer.
  4. If the damage was bad enough, call the police. They can take a report and probably expedite the time it takes to access any surveillance cameras.
  5. Contact the insurance company – or both companies, if the other driver left the information in a note.

What is a Hit and Run?

Hit and runs refer to an auto accident where a vehicle hits a person, object or other vehicle. Then, the driver flees the scene without providing their information.

Hit and run statutes vary from state to state, however it is usually considered the crime of a driver of a vehicle who is involved in a collision with another vehicle, property, or person, who knowingly fails to provide his or her name, license number, and other details as required by law to the injured party, witness, or police officials.

If a vehicle has hit property and no other persons are involved, it may suffice to leave the information attached to the damaged property, provided that the person who caused the accident make a police report.

Examples of hit and run accidents include:

  • A driver hitting pedestrians in the crosswalk and then speeding off
  • A driver hitting your unattended parked car without leaving contact information or any means of collecting damages

What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident

If you are the victim of a hit and run, getting medical attention is the number one priority. Call the police for help if you can, otherwise call out for help from fellow drivers/pedestrians. If your injuries are not serious, it is important to remain calm and try to gather as much evidence as possible given the status of the scene. Having more information increases the likelihood of the police catching the driver who hit you, and helps your car insurance company make decisions about your claim.

Try to get information about the make, model, and license plate number of the car. Next, look around and talk to witnesses. Perhaps, they were able to view additional details about the car, or can supply missing information about the driver’s profile.

Document the scene, take pictures and videos on your phone. Be sure to get different angles of your car, especially if there are remnants of paint from the other car. (This will help prove you are not attempting to defraud your insurance company.)

If the hit and run occurred when your vehicle was parked, you should also document as much information as you can – the time you discovered the damage, the location of the vehicle, and details on the damage.

While it may be tempting to go after the other car, either by driving or on foot, this may cause more harm than good. Not only are you putting other vehicles at risk with reckless driving, but also you may injure yourself further.

It is best to call the police and file an accident report that includes the details you gathered, as well as the names and contact information for witnesses you were able to find. Even if the police cannot find the driver, having an official police report can go a long way in processing your auto claim.

Contact your car insurance company. In terms of auto insurance, hit and run accidents are the only accident in which you are not at fault for which you will be required to pay your collision deductible, in most cases. There is no other coverage on your auto policy that will cover a hit and run, which is why you will be required to pay the deductible. If you do not carry this optional coverage, you will not have insurance benefits to cover your damage.

What Are Potential Hit and Run Consequences?

A hit and run is generally defined as being involved in a car accident, either with another vehicle, a motorbike, or even pedestrians, and then leaving the scene without stopping to identify oneself, or provide aid to anyone who might need assistance.

Common hit and run circumstances include:

  • Drivers causing serious injury to a pedestrian and fleeing the scene because he or she was driving with a suspended license from a previous DUI charge and did not want to be charged for another offence
  • Drivers hitting a parked car and leaving the scene to avoid paying for property damage
  • Drivers hitting police cars that have been set up as part of a roadblock to avoid getting in trouble

Fleeing the scene of an accident has serious consequences and all drivers should think twice before leaving the scene of any accident they have been involved in.

Hit and Run Charges

In most states, it doesn’t matter whether a driver caused the accident or not. The fact that a party left the scene is enough to face consequences of a hit and run. An exception to this is if someone left to try to get help, as long as he or she returns to the scene immediately.

Major vs. Minor Penalties

Hit and run consequences vary from state to state, but many classify the charge as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on specific circumstances. Felony charges tend to be imposed in instances where a person has suffered any kind of injury, whether the injured person was a pedestrian or occupant in another vehicle. Guilty persons may be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, in addition to the possibility of jail time of up to 15 years. A misdemeanor offense, while less severe than a felony, is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and also up to one year in jail.

In addition to criminal consequences of a hit and run, almost every state imposes administrative penalties related to the person’s license. Any conviction will usually result in automatic suspension or revocation of the driver’s license for about six months. Some states impose the suspension for as long as three years, or even a lifetime depending on the circumstances of the accident.

At-fault drivers may also be subject to civil cases. An injured party can file a claim for damages to their property, in addition to compensation for medical treatment and lost wages.

What Evidence is Needed to Convict a Hit and Run?

In a criminal trial, a prosecutor must usually prove the following facts to find someone guilty of a hit and run:

  • While driving, the defendant was involved in the vehicle accident
  • The accident caused serious injury, permanent injury, or death to someone else
  • The defendant knew he or she was involved in the accident that caused injury to someone else, or knew that injury was probable given the circumstances of the accident, AND he or she willfully failed to perform one or more of the following duties:
    • To stop immediately at the scene
    • To provide reasonable assistance to any injured persons
    • To give involved parties or authorities their contact and vehicle information; if not their vehicle, to provide the details for the owner of the vehicle; to provide the name and details of injured individuals in his or her vehicle; to show a driver’s license upon request at the scene; to notify authorities without unnecessary delay to fatalities as a result of the accident.

Can You Recover Damages If You Were Not Wearing A Seatbelt?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident (due to the fault of another driver), but you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, then you may be wondering if you’re legally entitled to sue and recover damages. After all, failing to wear your seatbelt could have contributed significantly to your own injuries, and could be considered negligent behavior.

Whether you’re entitled to damages — and to what degree — depends in large part on the rules of the state in which your case will be litigated. It also depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident.

Except for a few states, however, you should be able to sue and recover damages in many no-seatbelt cases. As these cases can be a challenge to litigate, it’s important that you work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to navigate the strategic roadblocks. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a skilled attorney in our network today for a free legal consultation.

For now, let’s explore how fault works in accidents where both sides engaged in negligent behavior.

Comparative Fault and Contributory Fault Basics

States implement one of three fault doctrines when evaluating how to allocate fault after a car accident. So, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of your accident, one of the following may apply:

Contributory Fault

Under the contributory fault doctrine, if you — the plaintiff — are even 1 percent at-fault for your own injuries, then you are prohibited from suing and recovering damages in a car accident. For example, if you failed to wear a seatbelt, and that failure contributed to your injuries, then the court would preclude you from obtaining any sort of compensation through a lawsuit.

As the contributory fault doctrine is extremely strict and anti-plaintiff, you’ll want to work closely with an attorney to ensure that you do not run afoul of the rule. There may be ways in which you can strategically develop the case (and present the facts) that show you are not responsible for your own injuries, even if you engaged in negligent activity at the time of the accident.

Pure Comparative Fault

Under the pure comparative fault doctrine, you can be 99 percent at-fault for your own injuries and still recover damages. The law would not prevent you from suing and obtaining compensation from the defendant, no matter how fault is allocated. However, it’s important to note that while you can sue and recover damages, those damages will be proportionally reduced by your contribution of fault.

How does this work?

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident in which you were not wearing a seatbelt. The court determines that you were 30 percent at-fault, due to your failure to wear a seatbelt. The total damages is roughly $100,000. You would be entitled to recover 70 percent of the total damages, or $70,000.

As such, even in pure comparative fault states, defendants have much to gain from showing that you were also at-fault — by doing so, they can reduce their damages’ liability to some degree.

Modified Comparative Fault

Under the modified comparative fault doctrine, you can sue and recover damages in a lawsuit against the defendant, but only if you were less than 50 percent at-fault. If you are 50 percent (or more) at-fault, then you will be prohibited from recovering damages entirely.

The modified comparative fault doctrine is thus a mix of pure comparative fault and contributory fault.

For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The court finds that you were 60 percent at-fault, as if you had been wearing your seatbelt, you would not have sustained any significant injuries. Under modified comparative fault, you would not be entitled to recover any damages through a lawsuit. If the court found that you were 40 percent at-fault, however, then you would be entitled to recover damages.

Proving that the Defendant “Caused” the Injury

Whatever the particular “doctrine” of fault that applies in your state, you can reduce how much fault the court allocates to you by showing that your negligent acts were not actually connected to the injuries — and that it was the defendant’s negligent acts that caused your injuries.

This can be a bit difficult to understand, so let’s use a brief example for clarity.

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident, and you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the collision. The defendant-driver sideswiped you, causing you to sustain multiple fracture injuries on your left side.

Now, the defendant knows that you were not wearing your seatbelt, and they are attempting to paint that you as highly negligent. They want to prove that your failure to wear a seatbelt is what led to severe injury. In truth, however, your failure to wear a seatbelt — though negligent and somewhat irresponsible — is not linked to the injuries you sustained. It is not as though you were flung forward through your window.

Here, the same sideswipe injuries would have occurred had you been wearing your seatbelt. As such, your negligence in failing to wear a seatbelt did not actually contribute to your injuries (and thus, fault cannot be allocated to you in this context).

Contact A Car Accident Attorney In Your Area For A Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of experienced car accident attorneys who are standing by to provide assistance, whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Call us to get connected to a skilled accident lawyer in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no downside to contacting us to schedule an initial consultation.

We look forward to speaking with you.

What is the Difference Between Negligent and Reckless Driving?

Negligent and reckless driving cases may result in injuries and damages that are essentially the same. If there are similar injuries or damages to one’s property, you may be wondering about the differences when it comes to negligent vs reckless driving. The latter tends to have worse consequences in many states across the nation. Negligent driving is typically a civil traffic offense, but reckless driving may be considered a crime.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving includes unlawful and unsafe driving with a disregard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Individuals who engage in reckless driving are aware of the risks involved with their actions behind the wheel, but continue to drive in a dangerous manner. A reckless driver has not only taken unnecessary risks, but do so in areas where the chances of injuries or damages are high. Due to the willfulness and intention of the driver, it is usually considered a criminal activity.

Examples of reckless driving include:

  • Driving well above the speed limit
  • Not using turn signals when turning or changing lanes
  • Driving under the influence
  • Texting or talking on the phone
  • Refusing to stop at Stop signs and/or red lights
  • Failing to turn on lights while driving at night or in rainy conditions
  • Racing on public roads or illegal street racing
  • Knowingly operating a vehicle while intoxicated

Negligent Driving

Negligence occurs when drivers fail to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle, which could lead to personal injuries and damages to one or more vehicles. Drivers have a legal obligation to act in a certain manner that is dictated by law but when he or she proceeds to breach that duty by acting in a particular manner or failing to act at all, they are being negligent. Unlike reckless drivers, negligent drivers do not know about the inherent risks associated with their behavior, which is why these accidents are often classified under traffic infractions.

Negligent driving includes:

  • Unintentionally failing to provide a safe environment for other drivers and pedestrians
  • Incidents where the term “accidental” may be used to describe the event
  • Driving on private property without the owner’s consent
  • Driving under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol

Suing A Defendant For Negligent vs. Reckless Driving

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, then you may be entitled to damages under the law. Though many plaintiffs aren’t aware, the potential compensation — and the legal strategy you pursue — could be influenced by the defendant’s actions.

Suppose a defendant was street racing when they collided with your vehicle. The lawsuit will be different than if the defendant was driving at a reasonable speed but distracted. The street racing defendant would be considered a “reckless” driver, making it easier for you to hold them liable. Bonus punitive damages might also be available, depending on the circumstances.

There are a number of unique issues in car accident disputes involving either negligent or reckless driving. It’s worth connecting to an experienced car accident attorney for guidance on how to proceed. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation today.

Damages May Be Different

As a general rule, it’s easier to “scale up” the damages claim in a reckless driving case (as opposed to a negligent driving case), as the driver that injured you not only is more likely to have caused serious injury, but also engaged in behavior for which a jury may feel like “punishing” them through a large damages award.

Additionally, however, reckless driving cases may also provide ample opportunity for a punitive damages recovery.

Punitive damages are bonus damages that multiply the baseline damages. For example, if your case is worth $50,000, then the punitive damages amount may be up to $350,000, for a $400,000 total recovery.

Punitive damages are only available at the discretion of the court, however, and that too, only when you can show that the defendant-driver engaged in malicious or egregious misconduct that recklessly disregarded the safety of others.

Given the possibility of maximizing the damages award, it’s critical that you pursue punitive damages where it might be potentially available. Doing so requires the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney who has experience securing such damages for clients.

Consequences & Safety Tips

Penalties for negligent and reckless driving differs by state, but may include suspension of one’s driver’s license, fines, and even imprisonment depending on the severity of the accident. Given the more serious nature of reckless driving, the consequences associated are greater than negligent driving.

Avoid reckless and negligent driving to keep yourself, fellow motorists, and pedestrians safe by following these tips for safe driving:

  • Allow plenty of time to get to your final destination. This will help you avoid speeding, changing lanes quickly without signaling, and overall aggressive driving.
  • Wear glasses and/or contact lenses when driving to see clearly, especially at night.
  • Avoid distracted driving such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, and playing with the radio. When engaged in any of these activities, it’s easy to go too fast, swerve into other lanes, and run traffic lights/signs.
  • Don’t drive under the influence. Always assign a designated driver, keep a local taxi number handy, or stay at a friend’s place. A conviction related to DUI can lead to license suspension and jail time.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you may have a right of action against the defendant. Of course, depending on whether the defendant-driver was acting negligently or recklessly, the legal strategy (and damages) involved may change. It’s important to work with an attorney who understands how to navigate these challenges.

We’re here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced car accident lawyers who are standing by to provide a free consultation. Our agents will connect you to an attorney who can guide you through the litigation process after evaluating your case.

Don’t delay. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected today.

The Difference Between Negligent and Reckless Driving

What NOT to Say After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then the law may give you a right of action to sue and recover damages to cover your losses. Oftentimes, however, injured plaintiffs don’t fully understand how their legal claims could be impacted by the statements they make following an accident.

Even basic, amicable conversation (whether with an insurance adjuster, the opposing attorney, or the driver who caused the accident) can lead to disclosures that undermine your claims and prevent you from securing the compensation you deserve.

Of course, you should be careful about the statements that you make, but first-time plaintiffs may not realize what sort of statements qualify as “risky.” As such, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer who will take over your case and communicate on your behalf. This will prevent any potentially damaging disclosures. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a lawyer today for free legal advice.

For now, however, let’s briefly explore some basic issues tied to verbal disclosures.

Disclosures Can Undermine Your Case

Disclosures can undermine your case in a number of different ways:

a) Disclosures that can be interpreted as an “admission of fault” can impact the allocation of fault and liability in the dispute; and
b) Disclosures that lead to an inconsistent interpretation of the facts (surrounding the accident) can weaken the proof of liability, or reduce the potential damages amount available to be claimed.

This may strike some readers as indecipherable “legalese,” so let’s explore a simple example for clarity.

Example

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident. Before you head to the hospital for diagnostic work and treatment for your injuries, you’re able to spend some time at the scene of the accident, speaking with the driver who caused the accident by rear-ending you. In your conversation with them, you apologize for having stepped on the brakes too suddenly, as you thought you saw something on the road — this may have contributed to the rear-end accident itself.

Though it may seem like an unproblematic apology, the truth is that your statements could be used in court to undermine your claims. After all, if you’re arguing that the defendant was liable for your injuries, then they could challenge that by arguing that you actually caused the accident by breaking suddenly, and at an inappropriate time.

Accidents are complicated. Instead of evaluating the accident yourself and speaking about it with others, it’s best to remain quiet about what you “think” happened and consult an attorney first.

Some Evidence Is Inadmissible In Court

If you did happen to accidentally make some statements at the scene of the accident, it’s worth noting that some of them will not be allowed into evidence. This will be significantly to your benefit.

Generally speaking, “hearsay” statements are inadmissible in court. Hearsay statements are those introduced to prove the matter at-hand.

So, for example, if the defendant is trying to prove that you were distracted from the road at the time of the accident and is trying to introduce evidence that you said you were in a heated conversation with your passenger (when they talked to you at the scene of the accident), then that could potentially be inadmissible. It likely qualifies as hearsay — a statement that is only meant to prove the fact.

However, it’s worth noting that there are a number of exceptions to the hearsay rule. Examples include:

A) If the statement was an “excited utterance” that you spontaneously made at the spur of the moment, that can be admitted into evidence;
B) If the statement was clearly against your own interest (i.e., a statement about how you were speeding);
C) If the statement was one that reflected a “present sense impression” of the situation at-hand;
D) And more.

Hearsay and its exceptions can be quite complex and challenging to argue. As such, we encourage you to get in touch with an experienced attorney who understands how to navigate the evidentiary record and ensure that problematic statements are not admitted into evidence.

For A Free Consultation, Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near You.

If you’ve been in a car accident, then there are a number of people (and entities) that you’ll be interacting with as you explore your recovery options. These interactions could lead to disclosures that undermine your damages claims, and prevent you from securing the maximum possible compensation. As such, it’s critical that you work with an attorney at an early stage in your case.

Your attorney will act as a “middleman,” ensuring that you can avoid the frustration and hassle of these legal interactions, while also avoiding potentially damaging disclosures.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our staff is standing by and ready to accept your calls. Contact us to get connected to an experienced car accident lawyer near you.

Get free legal advice now!

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident

When you’re the victim of a car accident, it can have a devastating impact on your life. People experience painful injuries, lifelong physical injuries, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress, and more. Additionally, a victim could have lost a friend or loved one who was in the accident with them.

If you’re the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may want to pursue a lawsuit against the other party. One factor that can significantly impact your case is a victim impact statement. Keep reading for a full overview of what a victim impact statement for a car accident is, how to write one, some popular tips, and an example statement.

What is a Victim Impact Statement?

A victim impact statement is a personally written account of how the car accident affected you. Many times, a serious car accident can have long-standing consequences. It’s an opportunity for a victim to explain the full extent the car accident may have had. For example, a police report may mention that the victim had a broken leg. But, what might not be mentioned is the other consequences, like:

  • Time off of work
  • Hospital bills
  • Cost and time of physiotherapy appointments
  • Canceled vacations or plans
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression when it comes to driving
  • The impact of the injuries and accident on friends and family

Your victim statement is a comprehensive overview of how the individual’s life has changed due to the car accident.

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement

A victim impact statement for a car accident doesn’t need to focus on the details of the accident itself. You shouldn’t feel that this is the time to explain what happened and who is at fault. That will be covered in the legal proceedings. Instead, the victim impact statement should discuss the physical, mental, emotional, and financial impacts you’ve experienced.

Wrapping up the whole experience in a statement can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to walk you through the process:

  • Start with the emotional impact. You can discuss how you felt that day and how you feel now. You were probably scared and shocked on the day and might still feel anger and fear today. Describe these emotions in as much detail as you can so the jury can understand just how emotionally traumatizing the car accident was.
  • After covering the emotions, you can transition into your physical injuries and disabilities. You’ll want to cover how much these injuries hurt, how long and challenging recovery has been, if recovery made you take time off work, time lost with family, friends, hobbies, and other consequences. You may want to wrap this up in a personal story. Some common examples are having to cancel a booked and paid vacation because you were recovering. Or, having to become a burden and reliant on your family members during recovery, which impacted them as much as you. You need to go over these details, so the jury understands the full consequences of your injuries.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to emphasize the financial consequences. You can cover how much this accident cost you in terms of healthcare and recovery costs, wages lost at work, and more. This will help the jury decide the amount of compensation you and your family may deserve.

Do’s & Don’ts Of Writing A Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident

While writing your victim statement, try to keep these common do’s and dont’s in mind:

  • Do: Write in “I feel” and “I believe” statements rather than definitive “The defendant did…” statements. You should only include what you believe to be true, as the defendant can question the legitimacy of your statements.
  • Don’t: Use this as an opportunity to go over the details of the accident and lay blame on the defendant.
  • Do: Express your emotions clearly, add details, and paint a picture of what you’ve been through.
  • Don’t: Mention the type of punishment you think or want the defendant to receive.
  • Do: Have someone review your statement for proper spelling and grammar.
  • Don’t: Swear in your statement; it can cause the jury to see you in a negative light.
  • Do: Staple and include related paperwork that can help verify your statements, such as receipts.

Example of A Victim Impact Statement

Your Honor,

On August 25, 2021, at the intersection of Fir Street and 96th Avenue in San Diego, California, I was in a car accident with Mr. Smith. The accident happened at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon. My car was totaled as a result of the accident and I walked away with a broken arm.

That day, I had left work for a brief period to go to a routine doctor’s appointment. It was easily the most shocking and traumatizing experience of my life having a car ram into the side of my driver’s door. I couldn’t get out of the car and I sat there shocked with my arm pinned under the wheel. The paramedics arrived on the scene and were able to pull me out. I remember screaming in pain like I have never screamed before. I was taken to the hospital and informed I had broken my arm.

It took nine weeks for me to fix my broken arm. I had to cancel a vacation I had booked for Mexico. I also had to move into my parent’s home, so my mom could take care of me. I became a burden to those I love most, needing help eating, changing my clothes, showering, and more. I couldn’t even go to the grocery store and take my debit card out of my wallet to pay for my groceries. I needed someone to come with me everywhere I went. I felt helpless, useless, and an annoyance to everyone.

During my recovery, I had to take a leave of absence from work, losing nine weeks of wages. The hospital bills alone were tremendous, but I have also been in six months of physiotherapy. Not only are those appointments expensive, but they take up my time every week.

Today, I still don’t have full use of my arm. There’s a dull pain that shoots down my arm constantly. More importantly, I haven’t driven a car since the accident. I still have trouble getting into a car. I experience flashbacks and sometimes have panic attacks.

This accident has shattered me in every single way – financially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I don’t know when I will be the same again, but it’s quite possible I’ve been changed forever. I ask the court to consider the full impact this accident has had on my life when deciding on a settlement. The jury needs to understand that I am not who I used to be and it’s been hard to reconcile that for myself, my family, and my friends.

Thank you for listening to me today.

Why Write A Victim Impact Statement?

The point of the victim impact statement is for the individual to present a more complete picture of how the car accident changed their lives, either for the short-term or the long-term. The added benefit is that writing and reading out a victim statement can feel very therapeutic. It allows the victim to feel heard and tell their side of the story to the person who caused the accident or to the court.

Lastly, a victim impact statement adds a personal touch to your lawsuit. It’s an opportunity to speak to the jury, so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us For Car Accident Legal Representation

If you’ve been in a car accident, consider getting legal representation so you and your family can get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our experienced car accident lawyers have helped thousands of injured drivers get their rightful compensation. We’ll help you in every step of the process, including your victim impact statement for your car accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Writing Victim Impact Statement

Whiplash Injury Facts: The Long-Term Effects

Whiplash is a common injury resulting from a car accident, truck accident or any other type of accident where the head is rapidly and abruptly “whipped” forwards and backwards.

The most common type of car accident is an impact in the rear. Typically, the vehicle that gets “rear-ended,” or impacted in the rear, is at the greatest risk of experiencing a whiplash injury.  

Contrary to popular belief, a whiplash injury is not trivial. In its early stages, whiplash can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, head and base of the skull. Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sleep problems, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and poor concentration and memory. Most people recover from whiplash symptoms in a few weeks to a few months. However, about 15-20 percent of people develop chronic pain.

Whiplash Injury Treatments

The causes of whiplash pain may be related to sore and inflamed muscles, and strained discs and ligaments. This pain will not go away by itself; regular medical treatment is required.

Treatment typically involves X-rays and, possibly, an MRI for a diagnosis, followed by regular physical therapy – strengthening exercises, body mechanics – and, sometimes, spinal injections. In some cases, surgery is required.

Whiplash victims receiving treatment early on have a significantly better chance of fully recovering. Without proper treatment, whiplash victims can continue experiencing muscle pain, joint pain, chronic headaches and more for years following an accident.

But getting the right treatment can be a problem, and paying for the right medical care can be expensive.

A personal injury lawyer can be a tremendous help. Experienced whiplash injury lawyers can refer you to their network of medical specialists to ensure that you get the care you need. A lawyer can also help you get compensation to cover your medical bills, time off work, rehabilitation therapy, emotional distress and more.


Sources: 

What is Whiplash?” Spine-health: Trusted Information for Back Pain. Retrieved August 5, 2015.

What To Do After a Bike Accident

Bicycle accidents can be stressful situations, and the injuries may be severe making it difficult for you to remain calm and think clearly. Knowing what to do before a bicycle accident happens is the key to handling the accident correctly and ensuring fair compensation for your injuries and damaged property.

Many cities across the U.S. are starting to create bike lanes and cycling-friendly areas. While riding a bike is great exercise, it comes with risks – just like any other mode of transportation. If you are involved in a bike accident, your immediate actions may impact your recovery and future lawsuits. Here are some tips on what to do after a bike accident:

  1. Before assuming you are fine, take a few moments to slow down, catch your breath, and make sure you can feel all parts of your body. Many cyclists assume they are okay, stand up, only to bend over again in pain. Take your time getting up, stretching, and assessing any damage before getting back on the seat and pedaling away. Some quick tests including walking back and forth a few times, moving your arms in all directions, and looking up, down, left, and right to evaluate whether you have any pain. If you do, call for help.
  2. If you feel nauseous, dizzy, or see any blood, don’t move around too much. Wait for medical assistance. A quick way to check on whether you hurt your head is to look at your helmet. If it is cracked or bent, consider a checkup with a medical professional as soon as possible since some injuries take a day or more to show up. Confusion or disorientation are signs of a concussion so if you don’t know where you are right away, there’s a chance you have one.
  3. Once you have checked yourself out and concluded you don’t have any serious injuries, check the condition of your bike. Wheels tend to take most of the beating in bike accidents, but make sure your tires are holding air, that the wheels are true, and that there aren’t any broken spokes sticking out. Test out the brakes in case they have jammed up.
  4. Next, take a look at the position of the brake levers and shifters. It’s usually easy to push them back into place, but riding away without checking may cause you more problems! Assess any damage or misplacement of the chain, and ensure the saddle is firmly attached to the seat post. Finally, inspect the frame for scratches and cracks that may have occurred due to your fall because even minor cracks can cause more damage as you pedal away.
  5. To minimize the injuries sustained with bike accidents, prepare a basic bike kit – especially if you are riding in remote areas, or for an extended period of time. It should include a multitool, chain link, spare tube, and mini-pump. A few basic first aid supplies are also recommended – bandage and wrappings, for example.

At the Scene of a Bicycle Accident

The best time to gather evidence is at the scene of the accident. Insurance companies need convincing evidence to get an idea of what happened. When gathering evidence, it is best to get as much information as possible and follow these helpful tips:

  • Remain calm
  • Check for injuries: keep in mind some injuries may not be apparent right away
  • Call the police
  • Gather information: insurance information, names of anyone involved in the accident, addresses, phone numbers, car details, license plate numbers, witness information, accident details
  • Take photos: bicycle damage, car damage, accident layout

If your bike crashes into a car, or gets hit by a car, you should go through the steps of a vehicle-to-vehicle accident:

  1. Call the police so they can take an official report. Do not attempt to negotiate with the car driver or entertain the idea of accepting money they may offer to fix your bike. You may not know for several days whether you have actually sustained injuries that cause sprains, whiplash, or joint pain.
  2. Give the police an accurate account of what happened, get the contact information for any witnesses, and swap contact information with the driver. If your accident is serious enough, consider consulting with an attorney to understand what your options are for recovering damages for your property, as well as any medical expenses.

After a Bicycle Accident

The accident does not end at the scene, what you do after the bicycle accident is just as important as what you do at the scene.

  • Seek medical attention
  • Document the accident in detail
  • Pick up your copy of the police report
  • Get your bicycle inspected and repaired
  • Note all expenses
  • Notify your insurance company of the accident
  • Speak with a lawyer

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are on the rise, making it important to be aware of actions which are common factors of bicycle accidents. According to the California Highway Patrol, these are the most common causes of bicycle accidents:

  • Bicycle rider using the wrong side of the road
  • Driver making unsafe left or right turn
  • Bicyclist riding from driveway or sidewalk into path of car
  • Driver opening door as bicycle passes
  • Bicycle rider weaving, leaving edge of road or bike lane
  • Bicyclist making unsafe left turn
  • Bicycle without headlight or reflectors

If you were injured while bike riding a bike accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve. Compensation you may receive includes: expense reimbursement for medical treatment, property damage and rehabilitation benefits. It is risk free, you get paid or you don’t pay at all! Calling us is easy and our helpful representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your life back on track with the help of a bike accident lawyer.

SOURCES:

  1. California Highway Patrol. Bicycle Riding. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  2. Washington Area Bicyclist Association. What to do after a crash. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  3. Washington Area Bicyclist Association. What to do in the event of a crash. Retrieved December 23, 2014.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Riding a motorcycle may give you a thrill each and every time you get on your bike, but whether you ride as a primary means of transportation or just for fun on the weekends, driving one in California can be dangerous.

Common accidents include those involving blind spots, rear end collisions, driving between lanes or while changing lanes, failure to yield, taking curves too fast, and intersection accidents. Injuries may include amputation, broken bones, paralysis, brain injuries, and in the most extreme cases – death.

Knowing how to handle the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can save lives. As with other vehicle accidents, the first thing you’ll need to do is assess the status of everyone involved. If you are not in need of immediate medical attention move everyone you can to a point of safety, except those who might experience greater injuries due to any movement. If other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians have been hurt, call 911 right away and request an ambulance.

Next, take out your phone and snap pictures of the scene before authorities arrive, as they will likely move things around. Get the license plate number of all vehicles involved, street signs, the position and damage to all vehicles, and images of any possible cause of the accident such as slippery road conditions, fallen branches, debris, etc.

Once you have taken pictures, gather as much information as possible on everyone involved. This includes driver’s license information, vehicle registration, insurance provider, policy number, and license plate numbers (in case the images on your phone are accidentally erased).

Talk to witnesses to get their account of what happened. Take their names and contact information because it may be difficult to get written statements at the scene of the accident. You or your attorney can get in touch with them at some point in the future for an official statement.

Do not discuss the specific events or details of the accident with anyone other than the authorities. And never admit liability, even when speaking to police officers. Explain the facts of what happened without making any subjective statements and let them investigate the specifics to reach their own conclusion. Get the officer’s business card, or take down their name, phone number, and badge number so you can easily contact them to receive a copy of the official accident report.

If you are arrested or taken into custody, do not resist. Do not give statements to any parties until you have had contacted a motorcycle accident attorney. They will direct you on how to proceed.

Otherwise, contact your insurance company to make them aware of the accident.

If an adjuster from the other side’s insurance provider contacts you, do not panic, but do not answer their questions. Explain that it is a bad time and ask them to make an appointment for another day and time. Let your attorney know so he or she can coach you on how to reply, or sit in on the call.

Keep a record of all repair bills, medical expenses, and time off work that has resulted from the accident so that you provide all the paperwork to your insurance provider when filing your claim.

What is the Most Common Motorcycle Injury?

Motorcycles pose a safety risk, even for the most cautious drivers on the road because they are less stable and less visible than cars, vans, and trucks. When motorcycles crash, riders lack the protection of being enclosed and are more likely to be injured or killed.

Most Common Motorcycle Injury

The most common motorcycle injury is to a rider’s feet or legs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a fall takes place, a rider may put their hands out to protect themselves, yet hands and arms were much lower on the scale of injuries than feet or legs, which represent 30% of non-fatal injuries. This data highlights the importance of wearing a good pair of shoes that won’t slip off in a crash, like boots that zip, clip, or tie up above the ankle. Riders may also want to invest in long pants that have abrasion protection.

Other Common Motorcycle Injuries

The second most common motorcycle injury is to the head and neck, accounting for 22% occurrences.

Your head is one of the most important and heaviest parts of the body. While concussions may be mild, brain damage may be debilitating, or worse – fatal. Neck injuries may include everything from sprains to paralysis. Protect your head and neck from potential injuries by wearing a helmet at all times.

Road rashes occur when a rider slides across the pavement after an accident. This injury may result in more than just a cut, scrape, or bruise – such as permanent damage to the skin, irritation, infection, and even surface nerve damage. Consider wearing protective garments like kneepads, gloves, and a jacket. Leather is the best material to prevent road rash.

Injuries to the chest, back, shoulders, hands, arms, hips, and pelvis are also commonly caused by motorcycle accidents. As when driving a car, stay alert, follow the direction of traffic, avoid impulsive and unpredictable movements, and wear mandatory safety gear.

While only 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all motorcyclists wear a helmet, being cautious is better than sustaining any of these injuries.

What to Do When Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

Getting into a car accident is an already stressful situation, but learning the at fault motorist is uninsured can only make the situation worse. Instead of the at fault motorists insurance policy paying for your medical, vehicle, and replacement car expenses, the responsibility falls on, you, the victim. It happens more often than people think, in fact 1 in 7 at fault motorists in a collision were uninsured.

In 2013 there were 250 million licensed motorists in the United States, and 16.1 percent of those motorists were uninsured. It is essential to be prepared for uninsured motorists before a car accident happens.

Steps to Take If You Are in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist

If you were hit by an uninsured motorist, it is important to remember these simple steps.

  1. Call the police immediately, document, and take pictures of the accident
  2. Exchange contact information, and also get witness contact information
  3. Contact your insurance company, talk to them about uninsured motorist coverage
  4. After the incident: Take care of yourself if you have bodily injuries, and repair your car
  5. Contact a car accident lawyer for a FREE consultation. A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim, protect your rights and help you navigate the legal process.

What Are Your Options for Future Protection Against Uninsured Motorists?

With uninsured motorists being involved in 14 percent of accidents, it is necessary to plan ahead. Insurance companies offer a variety of plans to protect yourself against uninsured motorists, so you aren’t stuck paying medical bills, worrying about lost wages, and vehicle repair or the replacement of your car. Many states require insurance companies to bundle your car insurance with uninsured motorist coverage.

A few examples of coverage that can protect you are: uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and rental replacement car coverage. Talk to your insurance company to find out whether you are protected or not against uninsured motorists. Don’t get stuck paying for your own compensation.

If you’ve been in a car accident with an uninsured motorist and you are the victim, an experienced car accident lawyer can maximize your compensation. Save yourself the stress, time and money while a lawyer handles your claim.


SOURCES:
1) Statistics Brain. Uninsured Motorist Statistics. Retrieved November 18 2014.
2) Esurance. Five-Step Guide to Handling an Accident with an Uninsured Driver. Retrieved November 18 2014.
3) Council of Better Business Bureaus. Victims Pay the Price for Uninsured Drivers: Even though it’s against the law, about 1 in 7 at-fault drivers are uninsured. Retrieved November 18 2014.
4) Statista. Total number of licensed drivers in the U.S in 2012, by state. Retrieved November 18 2014.

What to do When Injured in a Car Accident

Increased Car Accidents During the Holidays

The number of drivers on the roads peak as friends and families get together to celebrate during the holiday season. As a result, more drivers are impaired by alcohol leading to a predictable increase in car accidents, according to California State Highway Patrol departments. DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. In fact, during the Christmas and New Year period, the average number of fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers increased 34% in previous years.

Even pedestrians are more at risk during the holiday season. New Year’s Day is considered by some to be the most dangerous days to walk, as statistics reveal more pedestrian deaths occur on January 1st than any other day.

Car Accident Laws in California

If you have been in a car accident in California, there are time limits for filing different kinds of cases. Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years while property damage lawsuits must be filed within three years. These timeframes apply to the date of the car accident – not the date when the insurance claim was filed.

Car accident laws in California differ if your accident involved the government in any way (i.e. getting rear-ended by a city bus). Those rules require you to get your paperwork completed quickly and it may be best to consult an attorney from 1-800-THE-LAW2 as soon as possible.

If you share part of the fault for causing the accident, you can still recover compensation from any other at-fault party in California, regardless of the degree of your own fault. However, the compensation you recover will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

long beach car accident attorney

How to Prepare for a Trial Scenario

Being involved in any kind of accident is scary, and it is understandable that individuals may panic. However, there are specific steps to take when injured in a car accident in California that will benefit you during a trial.

At the scene, or immediately after – seek medical attention. Even if you feel normal after the accident occurs, symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, and numbness may appear in the following days. Do not wait days until weeks after the accident to consult a doctor, as it will be harder to prove that your injuries were the result of the car crash.

Keep detailed notes and photos on your injuries, medical treatments, and the names and addresses of any doctors or professionals you were referred to after the accident. Keep receipts for medications and file every piece of paperwork that involves the car accident – whether from the insurance company, police documents, or medical notes. Print emails so you have the hard copy of all documents arranged in order.

Take pictures of the accident location, including stop signs and traffic lights. Snap pictures of your damaged car from multiple angles.

If you are able to write down the names and contact information of witnesses immediately after the accident, that is a huge plus because they may be able to corroborate your claims in court and to the insurance company.

Navigating the claim process can be complicated and an experienced attorney will have the knowledge and resources to help you get the highest possible amount for your claim. Get a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer when you call 1-800-THE-LAW2.

What to Do in a Rental Car Accident

Getting involved in a rental car accident may seem much worse than getting into a car accident involving your own vehicle. Taking responsibility for damages to your own car is one thing, but what happens when you’ve damaged someone else’s property? Before panic starts to set in, calm down and consider your situation.

Make sure everyone in your car and surrounding vehicles are safe. Call 911 immediately if anyone requires medical attention. If the cars are in an awkward position and putting other drivers at risk of danger, move the vehicles out of the way or call the police to help redirect traffic. Once the scene is safe, exchange information with the other driver(s) and take pictures of all vehicles that are involved.

What happens next depends on what kind of auto insurance you have. In some cases, individuals may only have car insurance through the rental company if they do not own a vehicle. On the other hand, others may be covered not only by rental coverage but also by their auto insurance and credit card companies.

How to Handle Damages in a Rental Car Accident

  1. If you paid for your rental car with a credit card, figure out what kind of coverage you have. Many credit cards will cover damages to the rental car under the Collision Damage Waiver. However, this does not include damages or injuries that have been inflicted on other cars or individuals.
  2. Before you take a trip, it is worth calling your credit card and asking whether the company offers primary coverage. This coverage means that you won’t have to deal with your auto insurer for coverage of rental car damages. It also helps avoid the chance of your insurance premiums increasing. Some credit cards may only provide secondary insurance, meaning you’ll have to go through your car insurance company first and the credit card company will pick up the costs of what’s left.
  3. Other details to double-check with your credit card company include exclusions on specific types of vehicles and trips. For example, expensive luxury cars are usually excluded, but sometimes vans and SUVs fall under the same category. Likewise, if you booked the rental car on a business credit card, you may need to prove that your travels were indeed business related.
  4. If your credit card does not cover rental car accidents, contact your auto insurance company to verify the extent of rental car coverage. Comprehensive and collision damage for your personal car typically pays for damages to a rental car. In the case where another car is involved in the accident, you’ll need to rely on your personal car insurance’s liability coverage as credit cards do not cover liability.
  5. Rental car companies also offer supplemental insurance. While you may consider this daily cost a waste of money, it can be helpful to exempt you from paying the deductible that your own insurance company and some credit cards will require. It’s also useful to sign up for this insurance when your credit card and personal insurance do not provide enough coverage for your comfort.

Whatever combination of coverage you may decide on, just make sure you have safeguarded yourself enough to avoid having to pay for damages and injuries out-of-pocket.

What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

Driving to and from work, taking the kids to soccer practice, and weekend getaways are standard activities for millions of people who own vehicles across the nation. And while accidents happen everyday, you may not put a lot of thought into the idea that it could happen to you.

There are about 90 fatalities on the roads each day due to a variety of reasons including drunk driving, driving well above the speed limit, and not wearing seat belts. All drivers should be prepared in terms of what to do after a car accident not your fault.

Below are the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

The first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you are injured, call out for help so that people at the scene are aware that you need medical attention. If you are able to move or have not sustained any obvious injuries, check on your passengers, and other drivers/passengers who are part of the accident. Try to keep everyone calm while you call the police and ambulance but do not physically move anyone unless it is to get them out of harm’s way.

If the accident is bad enough, chances are that witnesses will automatically call the police and ambulance. Even if it is a minor accident without major damages or injuries, consider calling the police yourself in order to get a police report which can be used as leverage when you file your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Try to gather as much information as possible, depending on the severity of your injuries. If the other driver is clearly at fault, then he or she is responsible for reporting the accident to their insurer. However, you should still collect all the relevant details to protect yourself in the event of future litigation including:

  • The other driver’s name, address, number, insurance company name, and policy number.
  • Pictures of the accident, including license plate numbers, cross streets, position of the vehicles, damages to all cars involved, and damages to any private property as a result of the accident.
  • Witness names, numbers, and statements.

In an ideal scenario, the other person informs their insurance company, you submit your expenses, and the insurance company releases the payment for damages/medical treatment.

However, things don’t always work out so smoothly which is why protecting your interests is important. After you leave the scene of the accident, seek help for any physical injuries you experience. Pay a visit to your doctor or the emergency room even if you do not feel any obvious aches and pains as it may take up to a week for symptoms to appear. Keep a record of all your medical bills to provide copies to the at-fault party’s insurer.

Next, contact your own insurance company to let them know what happened. In the event the other person’s insurance company denies responsibility, your own company will likely appreciate your effort of informing them before they launch their own legal challenge against the other company.

If you do not provide a police report with your claim, insurance companies may completely deny it. In this case, your own insurer may cover the damages, sue the other company, or try to reach a settlement that works for everyone.

Consider consulting with an experienced car accident attorney to figure out how to proceed in a way that gives you the best chances for a favorable outcome.

What to Do After a Car Accident with No Insurance

Statistics from a few years ago found that one in seven drivers on the road have no car insurance at all. Being involved in an auto accident is traumatic enough, but if the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, the whole situation can feel like a complete nightmare.

Determining fault and figuring out who is going to pay for damages are two factors to examine after a car accident with no insurance by one of the parties.

Protect Yourself from Uninsured Drivers

While most states have laws concerning insurance coverage, many drivers may not be able to afford the cost, especially during downturns in the economy. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage are options you should have to protect yourself. In fact, some states like California require all drivers to carry this type of coverage. Individuals involved in an accident with an uninsured driver (or even those who are underinsured) are vulnerable to substantial expenses.

Uninsured motorist coverage means that if the other driver does not have insurance, your insurance company will compensate you for your losses even if the accident is their fault.

Legal Penalties for Car Accidents with No Insurance

Car accidents involving drivers with no insurance are a great danger to all other drivers – and pedestrians. Drivers caught operating a vehicle without valid insurance may be fined $100-$200 for a first offense, and between $200-$500 for a second offense.

Additionally, the car may be impounded and towed away in which case it will not be released until the uninsured party obtains coverage and pays all towing and storage fees.

In California, the license may be suspended up to four years. This can happen whether the uninsured driver is at fault or not. Drivers may be able to get their license reinstated after one year if they obtain valid insurance, provide proof of it at the DMV, and pay a reissuance fee.

Civil Costs for an Accident without Insurance

The at-fault party in an accident is responsible for the cost of all resulting damage. This includes damage to all vehicles involved, medical costs for injuries to all parties, and damage public and private property such as street signs and lights, bus stop fixtures, store fronts, etc.

Uninsured coverage does not mean that an individual will be free from paying for their part in the accident. The insurance company paying out the uninsured coverage will likely sue the responsible party to recover their costs.

What To Do After a Minor Car Accident

A minor car accident such as a fender bender may be inconvenient, but at least you do not have to worry about serious injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than seven million car accidents each year. Of those, more than two million people are injured and about 40,000 are killed. Fender benders tend to involve damage to the car, and most people settle quickly.

Vehicle-to-vehicle fender benders may result from various circumstances such as backing out of parking spaces or driveways, the inability to stop at intersections due to faulty brakes or slippery weather conditions, driving too fast in parking lots, distracted driving, as part of a chain reaction, or nodding off on the road.

While no one wants to be involved in any kind of car accident, fender benders have a straightforward protocol compared to more serious events.

Steps After A Minor Car Accident

Don’t panic. The first thing to remember is that no one has been hurt – it’s only steel and glass, and could have been a lot worse. If you are on your way to work, call the office and let them know you’ll be late.

Be pleasant, but not apologetic. Your natural instincts may be to apologize for the fender bender whether or not it was your fault. But it’s better to leave any comments for your insurance company because anything you say to the other driver may be used as evidence against you – even in a civil case.

Do not yell or react negatively toward the other driver(s). You do not want to escalate the event by turning a simple accident into a physical altercation. Avoid pushing, shoving, or threatening anyone.

Check for injuries. Even a fender bender can cause whiplash, soreness, or sprained muscles. If you or someone at the scene seems to be in any kind of pain, do not hesitate to call the police.

Calling the police is not always necessary, but you should do so if the vehicles are in an awkward position that has the potential to cause harm. If your vehicle was badly damaged, call the police in order to get a police report for your insurance claim. They will provide a report with the names and addresses of all parties involved, details surrounding the accident, a diagram, and make a designation of who was at fault. If the other driver was at fault and you reside in an at-fault state, this report will be crucial for your claim.

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. While you may also show the other drivers your own driver’s license, be sure to get it back before he or she leaves the scene.

Take photos and videos with your phone. Even if your car only has a minor dent, it is still a good idea to document the position of the cars, the damage to the other driver’s vehicle in case they claim more serious damages than you remember.

Contact the insurance company to submit your claim. While the other driver should inform their own insurance provider, you may want to call the provider to cover all your bases.

What Can You Sue For in a Car Accident?

After a car accident, you’ll need to determine how to proceed with your case – especially in the event of serious injuries which require regular doctor visits, time off work, or permanent disability. In deciding what you can sue for, you’ll need to first consider which legal argument will be used to hold the defendant liable and second, the damages (i.e. the dollar amount you will ask for.)

Legal Argument

In regards to car accidents, people usually end up suing for negligence, which is the basis of a personal injury case. Negligence results in the failure to exercise a reasonable level of care considering the specific circumstances.

In the event of a car accident, that means when Driver A fails to use reasonable care that ends up causing Driver B harm, then Driver B can file a lawsuit alleging that there was negligence on the part of Driver A. Failure to comply with driving laws, texting while driving, failure to keep a safe distance, and any other number of careless behaviors can provide the legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages

The amount of damages you’ll sue for in a car accident is based on what you’ve lost – both monetary and otherwise. If you are filing a claim, insurance companies use a variety of methods to determine the value of a personal injury claim. It usually involves compensation for the medical bills you provide as well as lost wages, and possibly some amount money for pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” is subjective and more difficult to prove. It can be even more problematic if the car accident was minor.

Pain and suffering refers to the physical and/or emotional stress associated with an accident and the injuries caused by it. The majority of states in the U.S. follow a standard fault-based liability system, where the person who caused the accident is considered negligent and thus held financially responsible for all reasonable damages. But there are a handful of states that follow a “no fault” system that prevents the injured party from filing a personal injury claim and from collecting compensation for pain and suffering. The only exception in the latter case is if medical bills exceed a certain dollar amount, which varies from state to state. If you are unsure about the laws in your state, consult with a personal injury attorney.

When calculating pain and suffering, insurance companies tend to look at the severity and permanence of injuries. A person with a broken arm will likely be entitled to less money for pain and suffering versus someone who suffered an injury that put them in a wheelchair – whether permanent or temporary. This makes sense because the more severe and permanent the injury, the more pain and suffering you are likely to experience.

To calculate the dollar value in regards to pain and suffering, insurance companies multiple the amount of your medical bills by a number between one and five. The more severe the injury, the higher the multiplier. Your attorney can help you come up with a figure to request based on their experience, as well as reasons to justify the amount in your demand letter.

What to Do If You Are Being Sued for a Car Accident

Consider the scenario in which you were in an auto accident in the past and your insurer settled the matter at that time. If you’ve put the event behind you and moved on with your life, you may be shocked to learn that you are again being sued for car accident damages.

While this is definitely an unwelcome situation, keep your cool and avoid reaching out to the other party. Yelling or threatening them over the phone or in person will only add weight to their claim about the damages they have suffered since the time of the accident. Anything you do or say may potentially be used as evidence against you.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to your insurance company. Even if you changed companies since the time of your accident, the one who handled the original claim must still work with you. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that justify a new lawsuit being brought, your original coverage is still valid, and the old insurance company would still be responsible for protecting your rights under your old policy at the time of the accident.

In most instances, the policy of the at-fault party is sufficient to cover the penalties and injuries involved. However, in circumstances when this is not the case, you would likely have found out shortly after the accident and paid out the additional funds yourself. If you did end up paying out-of-pocket at the time of the accident, there is a good chance that your insurance company will not be able to cover any further costs for this new case. Keep in mind that while the insurer must defend the suit, they are ultimately looking out for their own best interests.

If you live in a no-fault state, there may be restrictions that limit the right to sue and allow recovery for injury from an insurance policy. Unless there are severe injuries or the injured party can show evidence that meets certain pain and suffering criteria, state laws may restrict general injury suits.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

After alerting your insurance company, you may want to reach out to a car accident attorney in your area for a free consultation. He or she can review the facts of your case and provide professional guidance based on experience. If you feel comfortable enough with the attorney, consider hiring their law firm to handle the case.

You, or your attorney if you choose to hire one, will need to gather evidence related to who was ultimately at fault for the accident. Factors to evaluate include speed, collision angle, broken traffic laws, weather conditions, time of day, and other causes that may be relevant to the case.

If you were clearly at fault and the lawsuit has any degree of validity, settling may be the right decision. Doing so will save you the long and stressful process of going to court. You can easily hire an attorney to help you move through the settlement process in a shorter period of time compared to the time it takes to prepare for a trial.