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Bakersfield Traffic Accident: What To Do After

Bakersfield Traffic Accident: What To Do After

Bakersfield, the thriving urban center of Kern County, experiences a steady flow of vehicular activity, reflecting its importance as a transportation hub for the state of California. However, as a direct consequence of this constant traffic, the issue of car accidents is an ever-present concern for both residents and commuters. The city’s dynamic activity, full of vehicles traversing its streets, creates a setting where the potential for fatal crashes is always looming.

The city’s rapidly growing population, along its central location, means that the roadways are consistently teeming with diverse types of vehicles, from passenger cars to large commercial trucks. The mix of drivers with different levels of experience and caution amplifies the risk of fatal Bakersfield traffic accident occurring at any given moment.

Furthermore, the presence of several major thoroughfares, intersecting highways like the infamous Highway 99, and bustling urban areas only adds to the complexity of the local traffic, creating a challenging environment for all drivers. And traffic accidents can have far-reaching consequences, resulting in injuries, property damage, and even loss of life.

This blog will be your comprehensive guide for the post-accident process, helping you navigate the complexities of your legal rights and insurance claims. It will also give you the knowledge and tools required to effectively manage the aftermath of a Bakersfield traffic accident. It’s essential to understand these steps so you can protect your well-being and recover with your accident lawyer the compensation you rightfully deserve

We will discuss:

  • Critical steps after a traffic accident
  • What to do if you are not at fault for a car accident
  • Consequences of not getting legal help for your claims

Involved in a car accident in Bakersfield? Ayuda California can help.

Critical Steps After a Traffic Accident

If you’re involved in a traffic accident in the city of Bakersfield, it’s important to take the right steps to properly handle the situation. These will help you in the long run if you need to make an insurance claim or receive compensation from a negligent party, so in the event of an incident on the road, make sure to:

Ensure Your Safety

First, check for any injuries you or your passengers might have. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately to request medical attention, and if it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic to prevent further accidents. If you have any hazard lights on hand, don’t hesitate to use them to signal the accident to other drivers, especially on dangerous roads like Highway 99.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved, including names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information. Take note of the other vehicle’s license plate number, make, model, and color. Also check for any witness, as their statements might be very valuable for your case.

Report the Accident

You must report an accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there is property accident damages exceeding $1,000, injuries, or fatalities. File a report with the local police or the California Highway Patrol as well to get an official report of the accident.

Take Photos

If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, license plates, and any relevant road conditions. This accident evidence can be valuable for your insurance claim down the line.

Provide Accurate Insurance Information

Provide your insurance information to the other driver(s) and request their insurance information in return. If you cannot get it at the accident location, or the driver flees the scene, you can request his or her information from the California DMV directly.

Don’t Admit Fault

This is one of the most critical steps: Do not admit fault or blame the other driver(s) at the scene. Fault will be determined by the insurance companies, authorities and, if necessary, in court. Seek immediate legal help and let your accident lawyer handle the liabilities for you.

Cooperate with Authorities

Follow any instructions from law enforcement officers at the scene. Obtain the name and badge number of any responding police officers, and make sure to get the report number. Police reports often are the official version of the events, which is the basis of any liability claim you may have.

Document the Accident

Memory does not get better with time, so write down your account of the accident while the details are fresh in your memory. Include information about the time, date, location, and what happened. This will help you keep the details straight for further questioning you might face during the legal and insurance proceedings.

Get Medical Attention

Calling an ambulance is not the end of the medical procedures involved in a car accident in Bakersfield. Some common types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries are not obvious immediately after the crash, and can cause severe complications down the line. A personal injury lawyer will help you get the medical assistance you need.

Seek Legal Representation

If you got hurt due to an accident, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and interests. Look for an attorney with a proven track record on car accident cases, and follow their advice and instructions to the letter to obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that these steps are just general guidelines, and the specific circumstances of your type of accident may require additional actions. Always follow the instructions of law enforcement officers, take note of all the details, and consult with a traffic accident attorney for guidance on your particular situation.

Obtain the compensation you deserve after a car accident.

What to Do If You Are Not at Fault for a Car Accident

California operates under a traditional fault-based system for auto insurance, which means that the at-fault driver is responsible for covering the costs of the accident, including medical bills and property damage. However, California does have a “pure comparative fault” system, which allows for shared liability in accidents in Bakersfield.

Under the pure comparative fault system, even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you can still seek compensation for your damages, but the amount you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident and your total compensation is $10,000, you can still recover $8,000 (i.e., $10,000 – 20%).

Pure comparative fault can make the process of determining liability and recovering damages more complex. Insurance companies, legal professionals, or the courts may need to assess and allocate fault percentages in such cases.

While California doesn’t have a “no-fault” auto insurance system like some other states, it does require drivers to carry liability insurance to cover the costs of injuries or damages they may cause to others in an accident. California’s minimum liability insurance requirements are periodically updated, so be sure to check the current minimums with the California Department of Insurance or consult with your insurance provider for specific details.

Bakersfield traffic accident

Consequences of Not Getting Legal Help for Your Claims

If you’re involved in a traffic accident, and you don’t seek legal help afterward, you might risk several potentially negative consequences in the long run. Every accident is different and has their own complexities and complications, so letting a legal professional to take care of the case is the smartest choice to guarantee your financial recovery and well-being:

  • Incomplete Compensation: Without an attorney at your side, you may not receive the full compensation you’re entitled to for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies may offer a lower settlement than you deserve, leaving you with financial losses.
  • Liability Disputes: If you choose to not get legal guidance, you might face challenges in proving the other party’s liability for the accident. This can result in shared fault or reduced compensation.
  • Complex Legal Procedures: Dealing with the legal aspects of a traffic accident can be intricate. There may be deadlines for filing claims or lawsuits that you’re unaware of, and failing to meet them could jeopardize your case.
  • Unfair Settlements: Insurance adjusters may pressure you to accept a quick settlement, which might not cover all your medical expenses. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to court if necessary.
  • Unforeseen Injuries: Some injuries may not manifest immediately after the accident. Without the kind of medical assessment that a legal professional can get you, you may not account for potential long-term medical issues that can result in extensive future costs.
  • Emotional and Psychological Distress: Traffic accidents not only can be emotionally and psychologically traumatic, but also very difficult to prove. A lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of emotional damage, guide you through the evidence process, and advocate for your best interests.
  • Legal Compliance: Adhering to local, state, and federal laws is crucial after an accident. Failing to do so may result in legal penalties or additional complications in your case.
  • Evidence Preservation: Properly collecting and preserving evidence is essential for building a strong case. A lawyer can guide you in securing evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and photographs
  • Negotiating with Third Parties: If third parties, such as medical providers or lienholders, have claims against your settlement, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf to reduce these claims and maximize your recovery.
  • Peace of Mind: Legal assistance can provide peace of mind during a stressful time, allowing you to focus on your recovery while a professional handles the legal aspects of your case.

In short, while you’re not legally obligated to seek legal help after a motor vehicle accident in Bakersfield, doing so can help protect your rights and interests, increase the likelihood of a fair outcome, and ease the complex and often stressful process of dealing with the aftermath of an accident. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is always the best choice.

Seek Legal Help Today!

Filing a car accident claim in Bakersfield, California, can be overwhelming, but with the right steps and legal guidance, you can protect your rights and secure fair compensation. By taking immediate actions, collecting essential information, and understanding California’s fault-based system, you can strengthen your claim.

Ayuda California has a dedicated team of experienced car accident attorneys, medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts who can help you go through the entire legal process of filing claims following a car accident in Bakersfield, CA. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your property and medical bills, while letting you focus on your recovery.Our fees work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t need to pay anything unless we win. Call Ayuda California today at (844) 865-0721.

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