Auto Accident Injury in Bakersfield, CA
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Bakersfield? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around Bakersfield, CA that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Bakersfield, California
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. As the ninth-largest city in California and the most populous in Kern County, Bakersfield’s accident-related injury and fatality rates are high. In 2017, 53 traffic fatalities and 1,367 injuries occurred on Bakersfield roadways. Of those accidents, 1,831 resulted in property damage worth reporting. Alcohol was a major contributing factor in nearly one-third of fatal accidents, with 18 crash deaths attributed to intoxication.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
The Bakersfield Police Department does allow for online reporting. However, you may only use the online reporting system for an accident if it is a non-injury hit-and-run collision in which you have no information about the suspect. Otherwise, you must request the assistance of a sheriff.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Car crash injuries and fatalities cost California taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Crash related deaths alone account for $5.83 billion in spending, with an overwhelming majority of that money going toward work loss costs. A fraction of that money — $49 million, to be exact — goes towards medical expenses. Road users that account for the majority of damages are vehicle occupants, at 59%. Pedestrians account for 22% of spending while motorcyclists come in third, at 16%.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in California
Liability Laws for Bakersfield
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
California, like the majority of states, uses an “at-fault” system for accident claims. What this means is that the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance must cover the cost of damages sustained in a car accident. Drivers must carry a minimum of $5,000 in property damage liability coverage and $15,000/$30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. Drivers must also carry uninsured motorist coverage.
Statute of Limitations in Bakersfield
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. The statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim varies in California based on a few different factors. You have three years from the date of the incident to file a property damage claim, two years to file a personal injury claim and just six months if the claim involves a government entity.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near Bakersfield, CA
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in California!