It is worthwhile for the client to understand a few legal terms and concepts which apply to all personal injury cases.
Automobile & Motorcycle Accidents
Though accidents can occur virtually anywhere and under any circumstances, some of the more serious and costly accidents occur while people are involved in transportation related activities. It should be stressed that tort litigation involving transportation related activities can be extremely complicated. Retaining an inexperienced lawyer may result in a plaintiff losing a lawsuit or not receiving the recovery that he or she deserves. It is important that plaintiffs choose attorneys with appropriate levels of experience and familiarity with the subject matter of the lawsuit. Like any state, California has its share of serious automobile, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. California requires its residents to carry minimum vehicle liability insurance for their vehicles in the sum of $15,000.00 per person, $30,000.00 per occurrence.
A claim for an automobile or motorcycle collision in California requires proving fault. The amount of the damages to which you may be entitled, depends on the nature of your injury, the reasonable amount of your medical expenses taken together with any loss of past and future earnings or loss of earning capacity. There may be additional damages to which you are also entitled, which we at Neil Krupnick & Associates would be happy to discuss with you.
If you are in an accident, particularly if someone is severely injured, try to collect the following information from the driver(s) of all of the vehicles involved in the incident:
Automobile, Motorcycle and Pedestrian Accident Check List (Most Important Items):
- Name and address of the drivers of all vehicles involved in the collision;
- License plate number of each vehicle involved in the incident;
- Make, model, color, and year of each car or motorcycle;
- Driver’s license number of each driver;
- Make note if it appeared the driver had been drinking or using a cell phone just prior to the crash;
- Note and try to write down everything the other driver said;
- Names and addresses of passengers in other cars; and,
- Try to find people who may have witnessed the collision and ask for their name and phone number.
Before moving any of the vehicles involved in the accident, try to write down the following:
- Position of your vehicle;
- Position of any other vehicles;
- Location of any tire marks, vehicle parts, glass, and other debris caused by the accident that is in the vicinity;
- Location of point of impact;
- Road conditions, e.g., wet, dry, sandy, etc.;
- Traffic conditions; and,
- Describe the weather conditions, e.g., rainy, dry, sunny, dark, etc.
In addition, if you have a camera with you or if you can utilize your cell phone to take pictures, document the site of the collision and the vehicles involved.
After you move your vehicle, write down the following:
- Date and time of accident;
- Location of the collision, e.g., street names, name of city, etc; was the collision at an intersection; was the intersection controlled by signals or STOP signs?
- Your best estimate of the speed that your car was traveling just before the accident;
- The direction that your car and the other vehicles were traveling just before the impact;
- If either car was turning and if so, in which direction was it was turning;
- If the car turning had its turn signal on; and,
- Were the headlights on in any of the vehicles;