California is home to more than 39.5 million residents, making it the most populous state in the country. Since many of these people use cars to get around, it’s not surprising that California records a high number of motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths annually. Even though motorists are governed by traffic laws, not all of them act responsibly when they get behind the wheel. If you get into an accident that’s caused by someone else’s negligence, you should contact one of the Sacramento car accident lawyers at TorkLaw.
Statistics on Car Accidents in California
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 3,563 traffic fatalities in 2018, resulting from 3,259 crashes. This is the last year for which complete data is available. This represented an 8.3 percent decrease in road deaths when compared to the previous year. Of the victims, 1,248 were occupants of cars, while 654 were occupants of pickups or sports utility vehicles. This information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that occupants of cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs accounted for 53 percent of the deaths. In addition to these fatal crashes, thousands more accidents resulted in non-fatal injuries ranging from minor to severe.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Car crashes occur in many different ways. However, there are certain types of accidents that are more common than others both in California and throughout the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions occur most frequently. They account for around 29 percent of all crashes.
As the name suggests, these accidents happen when one driver crashes into the back of another. They can occur when a driver pulls out in front of a moving vehicle or when one drives too closely behind the other. Distracted driving and wet or slippery roads can also cause this type of crash. While some of these accidents are fender benders, others result in extensive damage and serious injuries. Many victims hire Sacramento car accident lawyers to help them get the compensation they deserve.
Other common types of car accidents include:
- T-Bone accidents. These often take place at intersections and are usually caused by drivers who run red lights or stop signs. They can also result from a failure to yield when making a right or left turn.
- Lane-changing or merging accidents. Sometimes drivers decide to switch lanes without checking all their blind spots, and accidents can occur. In addition, when two lanes of traffic merge, one car can sideswipe the other.
- Head-on crashes. These are less common than other types of accidents, but they are very dangerous and are often fatal. These crashes often occur at high speeds, and they tend to involve wrong-way drivers and drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. Often, seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features aren’t enough to protect the driver and passengers.
- Multi-vehicle smash-ups. Accidents involving three or more cars usually occur on freeways, highways, and busy roads. They can be very dangerous since a vehicle may be struck multiple times from multiple angles.
Why Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers Are Essential
Regardless of how your accident occurred, you need to contact an attorney if you suffer injuries. Even if another driver were clearly at fault, their insurer would try to find a way to get out of paying you. Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean your case will go to trial. What it does mean is that you’ll have a better chance of getting full and fair compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Insurance companies look out for their own interests, and you need to have someone knowledgeable on your side. Even if your case appears straightforward, you may get some push-back from the insurer, or they may make you a meager settlement offer. When you have an attorney, insurance companies are less likely to take advantage of you.
Your attorney will play a significant role in getting you the compensation you deserve. Some of the things our attorneys do include:
- Identifying the correct defendant. In many accidents, it’s clear that another driver was to blame. However, in some cases, the defendant may be a third party. We will investigate your case thoroughly and ensure that we pursue the right person or entity for compensation. We have to be able to show that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
- Providing accurate, timely advice. Many car accident victims turn to Google to find out what their next steps should be. While there is lots of information online, not all of it is accurate or current. Furthermore, each case is different, so not everything you see online will apply to you. If you want to get personalized advice, you need to contact a Sacramento car accident lawyer and set up and appointment.
- Arranging for further investigations. Police reports and eyewitness statements are not always enough to prove what happened in a crash. Multi-vehicle accidents can be especially hard to understand. If you hire an attorney, they will have access to professionals like accident scene reconstruction experts who can probe deeper into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
- Helping you to quantify your damages. Most car accident victims want compensation for their medical expenses, but they are not aware of all the losses they could potentially recover. Your attorney will assist you in adding up lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages. They will also help you to present evidence to support your claim.
- Ensuring you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. In California, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to take legal action. If you don’t file your case within that time, the court will not hear the matter. Most car accident cases don’t make it to trial, but you lose leverage if the statute of limitations is approaching and you haven’t filed a lawsuit.
How You Can Afford A Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
Many people assume that they can’t afford to hire a lawyer. That’s because they think they have to pay thousands of dollars upfront. However, that’s not what happens with personal injury cases. At Tork Law, we offer a free initial consultation, and then we work on a contingency basis. This means we don’t get paid until we secure compensation on your behalf. Attorneys’ fees usually range from 25 to 40 percent of your award. The exact percentage depends on a number of factors, including whether your case goes to trial.
Let TorkLaw Fight on Your Behalf
If you have been injured in a car accident in Sacramento, reach out to TorkLaw at the earliest opportunity. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers will guide you every step of the way and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.