Car accidents happen every day. Some are unavoidable, whereas others are caused by careless or reckless driving. Below, our attorneys cover the most common reasons for car accidents in Visalia. We’ll also explain how our Visalia car accident lawyers can help if you have a crash.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Visalia, CA
Car accidents often come down to driver carelessness, or negligence. If another driver’s negligence causes your injuries, then you may have an accident claim. With that in mind, here are the six most common reasons for car crashes in Visalia.
Speeding is a leading cause of car crashes – including fatalities – in California. This is because speeding:
- Reduces stopping distance
- Makes it harder to react to hazards
- Increases the chance of severe injuries
Crashes at speed are more likely to cause life-changing or fatal injuries due to the severity of the impact.
2. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving means doing anything which takes your focus away from the road. This includes texting, watching videos, eating, or turning around to supervise children.
When a driver is distracted, they can’t react to hazards in time. Or, they may make sudden careless movements, such as backing out of a parking space, without checking their surroundings.
California takes distracted driving seriously. So seriously that it’s illegal for under-18s to use handheld or wireless devices while driving. If you’re injured by a distracted driver, contact our Visalia car accident lawyers for help.
3. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Not only is drunk driving a criminal offense, it can cause catastrophic injuries.
Drunk driving slows reaction times and impairs judgment. It causes fatigue and there’s a high risk of a driver falling asleep at the wheel. That’s why California has strict blood alcohol limits (BAC) for all road users.
The limits vary depending on the age of the driver and the license type e.g. commercial drivers have lower limits.
4. Inexperienced Drivers
Young or inexperienced drivers may overestimate their abilities. They may underestimate how difficult it is to drive on busy roadways or in dense traffic. They may drive too close to another vehicle, or too fast for the conditions.
Inexperienced drivers who fail to pay due care and attention can cause serious accidents. This is especially true when driving at speed.
5. Road Conditions
From potholes to slippery patches, the roadway is not without its hazards. A failure to drive with due care and attention means drivers may not spot an obstacle before it’s too late. This could result in an inability to stop, sudden swerving, or colliding with another vehicle.
6. Running Lights and Stop Signs
We must all obey the California Vehicle Code. Failing to stop at a stop sign, or running a red light, could cause a serious incident. This is especially true at busy intersections. These crashes can result in multi-car collisions, sideswipe accidents, and head-on crashes.
In all cases, there’s the possibility of severe injury, particularly at speed.
Other Causes of Visalia Car Accidents
Although we’ve discussed the most common causes of car crashes in Visalia, they’re not the only causes. Here are some other reasons why drivers crash their vehicles in CA.
Driving while fatigued or overworked can cause accidents. For example, a heavy truck driver may crash if they’re working too many hours without a break.
If you’re injured by a commercial driver, call our car accident attorneys in Visalia CA. We can advise who might be at fault for your injuries.
Tire blowouts and other vehicle malfunctions can cause crashes. While some of these faults may be identified through routine maintenace, this is not always possible. For example, a faulty airbag could injure you through no fault of your own.
If a vehicle malfunction causes your accident, contact our Visalia car accident lawyers. We can explain if you may have a product liability claim for your injuries.
Lack of Experience Driving in the Area
Roadways, especially in California, can be confusing.
Drivers may overlook stop signs and one-way streets. They may be unaware of where traffic builds up, or which roads can be most hazardous. If they don’t drive cautiously, with these considerations in mind, they could crash.
Car Accident Consequences
Car accidents can have severe, long-term consequences. Although every accident is unique, common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries/nerve damage
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
After a car crash, you may be forced to take time off work. Or you may be unable to return to your old duties.
In the worst cases, car accident victims die from their wounds or sustain long-term, catastrophic injuries. That’s why we must do everything possible to prevent auto accidents before they happen.
Avoiding Car Crashes in Visalia
While we can’t prevent every crash, there are steps we can follow to reduce the chance of an accident or serious injury.
- Drive defensively. Don’t assume that other drivers will behave responsibly. Be prepared to react at all times.
- Leave a safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle traveling ahead.
- Never drive fatigued or under the influence of a substance e.g. alcohol.
- Limit distractions. Pull over if you need to make a call, and don’t text or use social media while driving.
- Always wear your seatbelt so that if you do crash, you have some protection.
- Perform regular vehicle maintenance e.g. tire and brake checks.
- Obey highway codes. Stop at stop signs and red lights, and respect pedestrian right of way rules.
- Don’t speed. Speeding affects your reaction time and braking ability.
As mentioned, victims sometimes die from their injuries. This is devastating for loved ones left behind. However, if someone dies due to another person’s carelessness, certain individuals may claim on their behalf. This is known as a wrongful death claim.
Did you lose a loved one in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence? The May Firm wants to know about it. Call to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident attorney in Visalia, CA.
How to Respond to a Visalia Car Accident
Under California law, there are certain steps you should follow after a car crash. To protect your legal rights and ensure you comply with the law, here’s what to do.
- First, check for medical emergencies. Dial 911 if necessary.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved.
- Report the accident. You must do this if there’s any injury, however minor, or property damage over $1,000. You have 10 days to report the crash to the DMV, but you should contact the police immediately.
- Take pictures of your injuries and any property damage. Also take pictures of hazards e.g., wet roads.
- Get medical attention. Even if you feel well, some injuries take time to develop. And you can use your medical records to help prove the value of your claim.
- Contact a Visalia car accident lawyer. They will ensure that you complete all the relevant steps, and they’ll help you pursue your legal rights.
- Once you have your Visalia accident report, you can send it to your insurance company.
Don’t avoid reporting a crash, even if there’s only minor bruising or injury. This could be considered a hit and run – a serious crime.
Compensation for Car Accidents in California
There are two main ways to make a car accident claim in California: through your insurance company, and a civil lawsuit. You can make both claims, as we’ll explain below.
You should notify your insurance company about your accident. Your policy may cover at least some of your losses e.g. medical bills and lost wages.
Do not accept an offer from your insurance company without seeking legal advice. Even if they want to settle quickly. There’s a risk they’ll make a low offer, and you’ll settle for less than you deserve.
If your insurance does not cover your losses, you may be able to make a civil injury claim. You can file a personal injury claim if:
- Someone e.g. another driver owed you a duty of care.
- The person breached this duty e.g. speeding.
- You were injured in a crash.
- This person’s negligence, or carelessness, directly caused your injuries.
You normally have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. However, the sooner you file, the easier it is to present the most compelling evidence. There’s always a risk that evidence will be lost over time.
Do I Need a Visalia Car Accident Lawyer?
To be clear, no. You’re not legally required to hire a car accident injury lawyer in Visalia, CA. However, just because you don’t need legal counsel doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a lawyer.
- Car accident claims are complex. There are various procedural steps to complete. Hiring an attorney lets you focus on recovery rather than paperwork.
- There are time limits for making claims. If you miss these deadlines, you lose the right to claim. A Visalia car accident lawyer will ensure you file on time.
- The at fault party may have their own lawyer. If you don’t have legal representation, you’re at a disadvantage.
- From property damage to medical bills, you may have numerous losses. An attorney will ensure that you claim the maximum compensation possible.
Our team offers a free consultation to every prospective client.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Visalia, CA
Do you need a Visalia car accident lawyer? Contact the May Firm.
Whether it’s a minor injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit, we can help. Our law firm has helped numerous accident victims secure the damages they deserve for their injuries. We treat our clients like family – we’re personal injury attorneys who truly care.
From answering questions to managing the claims process, we’re on your side. If you have a claim, we’ll explain the next steps and how to proceed. You can focus on recovery while we handle the legal issues for you!
We’re a “no win, no fee” law firm. This means we don’t charge anything unless we win your case. There’s nothing to lose, but everything to gain, from calling us. Contact us now to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting with a car accident lawyer in Visalia.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and may not represent the current law in the recipient’s jurisdiction. The article should not be interpreted as professional legal advice from The May Firm or the individual author, nor is the information intended to substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. The article, nor any of the information included, should not be used to act or refrain from acting without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s jurisdiction. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.