Traffic accidents take a huge economic and personal toll every year. Americans now drive about 3 trillion miles on highways, roads and streets that are increasingly congested.
Traffic accidents are on the rise, particularly truck and motorcycle accidents. In the United States alone, these and other vehicle accidents kill as many as 40,000 people a year and cause several million minor and serious injuries.
The Automobile Club has estimated that the economic cost of these accidents nationally each year is more than $164 billion. On average, a single death in a traffic accident costs about $3 million and an injury costs $68,000.
With its 172,000 miles of roads and highways, California is a national leader in traffic accidents and the deaths and injuries they cause. In 2011, California had more than 160,000 accidents, with over 2,800 fatalities and 224,376 injuries. Los Angeles County alone reported almost 50,000 accidents and more than 70,000 injuries.
With these escalating statistics, it makes sense to be prepared and to know a reputable California accident lawyer in case you, too, are involved in a traffic accident.
Jacoby & Meyers has proved itself again and again as a successful vehicle accident attorney. With more than 40 years of experience in more than 100,000 cases, Jacoby & Meyers has the experience and will to build and win a successful motor vehicle case.
What to Do Immediately after a Traffic Accident
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Note the time, date and location of the accident.
- Describe any unusual road and weather conditions (rain, fog, ice, construction, etc.).
- Gather as much information at the scene as you can: driver information, insurance information and vehicle identification and license number.
- Get medical care for yourself and your passenger(s). Even if you feel ok, see a doctor or visit an urgent care facility immediately after the accident.
- Make a police report, if there were no police at the scene. This creates a record of the accident and the parties involved.
- Just discuss the facts of the accident: Who, what, where and when. Avoid admitting any responsibility yourself or blaming others for what happened.
- Contact a traffic accident lawyer immediately.
- Let your insurance company know that there’s been an accident, but talk to your lawyer before settling with them.
Information to gather at the scene:
- Contact information for everyone involved in the accident
- Name, driver’s license number and contact information for all driver(s)
- Names and contact information for all passengers
- Driver’s insurance information: insurance company and policy number
- Car license number
- Automobile registration information
- Pictures. Remember, cell phones, I-pads and computers all have cameras!
- Names and contact information of witnesses.
Why Contact a Traffic Accident Lawyer Immediately?
It is impossible to know at the scene how serious the accident has been. What at first appears to be a relatively small event can turn out to have huge long- and short-term costs.
A lawyer is clearly required in large or serious accidents, where there are injuries and extensive property damage. The sooner you can identify and hire an experienced lawyer, the more likely you are to be able to deal successfully with the complex issues involved in major accidents.
It is always a good idea to contact a lawyer even when an accident does not appear to be too serious. Here’s why.
- A lawyer with traffic accident experience begins gathering information and evidence about the accident immediately. Delays of even one or two days can mean the loss of critical information and can limit compensation for damages.
- Injuries and damage may not be apparent at the accident scene. People experience an adrenaline rush immediately after an accident that can hide injuries for 36 to 48 hours.
- Others involved in the accident may modify their story about the accident and your liability.
- Insurance companies may act too quickly to settle a claim in order to manage their costs.
What Do You Look for When Hiring a Vehicle Accident Lawyer?
- A law firm that is established and well-staffed.
- A track record of success handling both simple and complex traffic accidents.
- Lawyers who have individually handled and won major and minor cases involving traffic accidents.
- Resources to stick with the case, even with long delays in settling.
- Experience identifying all potential sources of compensation and pursuing them.
- Experience investigating accidents, including the use of forensic engineering and safety analysis.
- A network of medical and economic experts.
- Litigation experience: an established track record taking cases to court and winning.
Jacoby & Meyers: Experienced California Traffic Accident Lawyers
Jacoby & Meyers has more than 40 years’ experience handling all types of traffic accident cases in Southern California. Every client works directly with the lawyer who is best suited to manage and win his or her traffic accident claim.
Jacoby & Meyers has the resources to fully assess, investigate and manage a case successfully, even if the process takes more than a year. Jacoby & Meyers has handled more than 100,000 cases and has gotten our clients over $1billion in recovered damages.