Category: Car Accident

3 Tips to Avoid a Holiday Car Crash

With the holiday season upon us, people will be back on the roads traveling to visit family. More vehicles on the road could mean an increase in car crashes. Follow these tips to better protect yourself from a car crash:

Tip #1: Be Prepared

Map out your trip. Looking up the best route for your trip ahead of time will keep you from fidgeting with a navigation system or looking up directions on your phone while you are driving. These are forms of distracted driving. Taking your eyes away from the road for even a few seconds could cause a crash. If you do need to use a navigation system, ask a passenger to find directions or pull over somewhere safe first.

Check the weather. Inclement weather can be a dangerous factor when driving, especially if it causes low visibility. Stay alert, slow down, don’t follow other cars too closely and if you need to brake, leave yourself plenty of room. If you know it is supposed to snow or rain during your trip, it could also be beneficial to have your tire tread and windshield wipers checked for high performance.

Tip #2: Get Plenty of Rest

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving could account for nearly seven percent of all traffic crashes. It is easy to miss your recommended hours of sleep during the holiday season. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that adults between 26 and 64 years of age sleep seven to nine hours each night. However, with work, holiday preparations, family gatherings and long travel days, it can be difficult to get enough sleep.

If you feel tired while driving, ask one of your passengers to switch places with you. If you are alone, pull over at a safe place to take a short nap or find somewhere to spend the night. Though not a long-term solution, caffeine could help you concentrate on the road for a few hours.

Tip #3: Designate a Sober Driver

Holiday parties and family gatherings will be in full swing through the new year. California law enforcement agencies implement maximum enforcement periods during the holiday season because they know that holidays also mean an increase in impaired driving.

Even one or two drinks at your holiday party could put you at risk for a drunk driving accident. Take a few minutes before an event to designate a sober driver or make other arrangements.

Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney After an Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Fairfield, we recommend that you call our car accident attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP. A car accident attorney could help you gather important evidence to determine fault. In addition, an experienced attorney could help you through the claims process, negotiate your settlement or fight for you in court.

You could have a viable claim to recover compensation for lost wages and medical bills. Call us at (707) 425-0671 or contact us online to discuss your situation. Check out our FAQ page to see our answers to frequently asked questions!

What to Do When the Other Driver Isn’t Insured

If you’re in a car accident with another motorist that is uninsured or underinsured, it may create even more hassle. Being knowledgeable about car insurance policies can help you to ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your damages.

Uninsured Coverage

If you happen to have an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll have to go to your insurance company to cover any damages. Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, is insurance that covers you when you are involved in a car accident with an individual that does not have car insurance. It also protects you if the other motorist is at fault for the accident. Though, it’s required by most state laws that drivers have insurance, some motorists are driving without insurance and this is one way to protect yourself and your car.

Underinsured Coverage

Similar to uninsured coverage, having underinsured coverage (UIM coverage) can help you recover damages when you are in a car accident with a driver who has a policy that does not cover compensation for damage and injuries.

It’s best to file a claim immediately with your car insurance company. Many insurance companies limit the time that the policy holder has to file a claim.

Questions About a Car Accident?

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP. Our law firm takes the unique approach of having all of our attorneys look over and offer their guidance on all of our cases. This way we can all work together to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss.

What Should or Shouldn’t I Do After a Car Accident?

When you’re in a car accident, it’s understandable if your state of shock affects your decision-making process after the accident. You might forget to collect the other driver’s information, neglect to seek medical help for your injuries, or not even consider calling the police to file a police report. These decisions, however, are essential steps to take in order to file a strong car accident case. They are especially important should you be interested in seeking compensation for damages sustained in the accident. Don’t just walk away from a car accident. Make sure you get all the information necessary for your insurance and injury claim.

Do This!

After the car accident, it is important you seek medical help immediately if you or someone else is injured in the accident. Severe car accidents have resulted in catastrophic injuries such as crushed or amputated limbs, traumatic brain injuries, or paralysis. First responders are trained to handle these severe injuries. They can provide initial emergency care and transport the injured parties to the nearest hospital for additional treatment.

Report injuries to the police. If no one was injured in the accident, report this information as well. Police officers can write up a report of the accident for you and provide details regarding road conditions, injuries, and other factors. This report could be beneficial to your car accident claim when attempting to prove that the other driver is liable for your injuries. If possible, collect the other driver’s information as well. This includes his or her:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Home/Work/Cell Phone
  • Vehicle License Plate
  • Insurance Company’s Name
  • Policy Numbers

Don’t Do That!

After the car accident, resist the urge to leave the site of the accident immediately. Instead of facing the possibility of criminal charges for a “hit and run”, stay at the accident site. This is especially important if you have been injured in the accident. Don’t leave to find assistance but call 911 and wait for help. First responders will assist you with any injuries you sustained in the accident. It is also important to contact a car accident attorney to begin collecting evidence for your car accident case.

Do not sign any authorization forms, property damage documents, or finalize insurance paperwork without consulting with a car accident attorney first. You are not legally required to give the other insurance company a statement. Further, make sure all repairs to your damaged property and medical treatment for your injuries are completed. You’ll want to know the full extent of the damages you sustained and the total end costs before submitting your car accident claim. This way you can increase your chances of getting a large amount of coverage or complete coverage of the damages sustained in the car accident.

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at the Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP. Our law firm takes the unique approach of having all of our attorneys look over and offer their guidance on all of our cases. This way we can all work together to get you the compensation you deserve for your injury costs.

What Are Common Delayed Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident?

What are delayed injury symptoms?Car accidents are notorious for causing immediate and noticeable injuries. Broken bones, burns, lacerations and spinal cord injuries are all possible outcomes after a crash. However, car accidents can also have delayed symptoms that may take hours or days to materialize. Common delayed injuries after a car accident include:

  • Internal bleeding: The blunt force trauma from a car accident could cause internal bleeding, which is potentially fatal if left untreated. You may experience severe bruising, confusion, dizziness and fainting.
  • Whiplash: You may suffer from neck, back or shoulder pain after an accident. These are possible signs of whiplash.
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome: If you suffered a concussion during your accident, then you could experience delayed symptoms caused by post-concussion syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, problems concentrating, impaired memory function and headaches.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Car accidents are traumatic events. As a result, you may be at risk for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. This is a debilitating mental health condition that can affect every aspect of your life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of PTSD include panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks and depression.
  • Blood clots: When your body is subjected to blunt force trauma, it can increase the risk of a blood clot forming. Large amounts of blood could flow to the area where the injury occurred. If a clot forms in a blood vessel, it can travel to other parts of the body and cut off circulation. This could trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Always seek medical attention after a crash, even if you believe you were not seriously injured. Not only could medical attention save your life, it may also immediately establish documentation that shows the extent of your injuries.

Should I Talk About My Injuries with an Insurance Adjuster?

It is likely that you will be contacted by an adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company soon after your accident. The adjuster may ask about any injuries you suffered during the crash. Telling the adjuster that you believe you are not seriously injured could affect the outcome of your claim and any future compensation.

If you did not seek medical attention after the accident, then it is possible that you suffered serious injuries that will require more medical care than you had originally anticipated. When the insurance adjuster calls, it is best to leave them with identifying information and politely hang up the phone. If you believe the negligence of one or more parties contributed to your accident, then you should call an attorney. An attorney can help you review options for recovering damages from these parties.

Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP provides experienced and passionate legal representation for individuals who were injured by the negligent actions of others. Our East Bay Area car accident attorneys make each case a team effort to provide the best possible outcome for our clients.

Auto Accident Liability: Lane Changing

Accidents are horrible enough, however, not knowing the rules around an accident is even worse. Lane changing is among the most common causes of auto accidents on the road. Especially on highways and multilane roads, high-speed limits and more cars are prone to getting in accidents. With the rising responsibilities and risks of drivers on the road, it can be even trickier finding out which party is at-fault.

Liabilities in Changing Lanes

Liabilities for any accident are sorted into two main categories: violation of motor vehicle statutes and driver negligence. However, filing a claim based on lane-changing negligence is broken down into four additional parts:

  • Duty: Was the other driver operating his vehicle responsibly?
  • Breach: Did the other driver change lanes without warning?
  • Causation: Were you hurt due to the other driver’s negligence?
  • Damages: Can you prove your injuries using medical records or primary evidence?

If the other driver was driving illegally, you can use this to determine auto accident liability. Most states, including California, have laws in place they are meant to prevent lane changing accidents. The majority of these laws state that drivers should only change lanes when it is safe to do so. Additionally, they must use the correct signals continuously for a minimum of 100 feet before changing lanes. It does not matter if the other driver was convicted of a crime during the accident. You may still be able to use the proof of the law-breaking to build a civil case.

How to Prove Auto Accident Liability in Your Accident

Even though you may believe you know who was liable for the accident, it can be hard to prove auto accident liability it in a court setting. You will need to obtain proof that the other driver was negligent in the form of eyewitness statements, police reports, and photos of the scene of the accident. You might also need to prove that you did not play any contributing role in the lane changing accident by speeding or something of the like.

Contact the experienced lawyers at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP if you are considering filing a lawsuit after a lane-changing accident.

Cell Phone Related Car Accidents

The cause of an accident will determine who is held liable. If the driver that caused the accident was talking on a cell phone or texting, they will likely have difficulty defending their case.They may also face additional penalties. California has laws related to distracted driving which impose limitations on the use of cell phones by drivers.

Even if you are using an earpiece, Bluetooth device, or speakerphone system, if you are talking on a cell phone or texting and driving, a law enforcement officer or another party may claim that you were driving while distracted. The NHTSA reports that one in ten car accident fatalities involve a distracted driver. (more…)

Injured in an Uber Car Accident?

If you are injured in an Uber car accident you probably have a lot of questions. Who is liable? Can I sue Uber? Can I sue the driver? These are all good questions. Ridesharing has become increasing popular over the past few years. With so many people utilizing ridesharing service like Uber, there have been many car accidents involving ridesharing drivers where passengers have been injured. (more…)

Do You Have Enough Insurance?

Two Car Crash 7Being in an automobile crash is a terrible experience. It is even worse when there is not enough insurance to pay for all your injuries and suffering. At the Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP, we have dealt with countless people who have been involved in auto collisions. Many times, accident victims can’t get all of the help they deserve because they don’t have the right insurance. People without enough insurance often tell us that they have “full coverage” believing that they are protected. In reality, there’s no such thing as “full coverage.” You should make sure you know the details of your auto insurance policy. Don’t just assume that you are “fully covered.” (more…)

Man Killed in Cab Accident in Fairfield

On Monday, March 16, 2015, a Loyalton man was killed in a cab crash in Fairfield. The cab, a Ford Crown Victoria, was traveling approximately 60 to 65 miles per hour on Interstate 680 northbound at the time of the collision. The crash occurred at about 1:05 a.m. The victim was pronounced dead at roughly 1:33 a.m.

The cab driver lost control of the vehicle, and it traveled to the right and off of the roadway. Then, the car became airborne and flipped. There were three people in the car at the time, the driver and two passengers; all of them were wearing their seatbelts prior to the collision. The cab sustained significant damage and the driver’s airbag deployed. (more…)

Car Drives into Business in Vacaville

A car crashed into a building in the 1000 block of Hume Way on March 11, 2013. The accident occurred at 9:54 a.m. The car crashed through the front doors of a salon and was entirely inside the building when the car finally came to a stop.

Thankfully, no one was harmed as a result of this crash, and the car did not cause any fires (which is common when cars drive into buildings). In fact, the building inspector determined that the structural integrity of the building was fine, but the business could obviously not be accessed from the front doors. There was one employee in the salon at the time of the crash, and while he did not appear to be injured, he was taken to the hospital as a precaution. (more…)

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Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP.

712 Empire Street,
Fairfield, CA 94533

P: 707.425.0671