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Riverside Car Accident: How to File a Claim

Riverside Car Accident: How to File a Claim

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Riverside County, California, you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what steps to take next. Taking immediate action, gathering the right information, and dealing with insurers can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. 

This blog discusses the steps to do after a car accident, what information you should gather, and why it is important for you to consult a Riverside car accident lawyer.

Are you an accident victim and are unsure of what to do next after the car crash?

Car Accidents in Riverside, CA

Riverside County has witnessed a concerning increase in car accident fatalities over the past few years. According to the SHAPE Riverside County statistics, the number of deaths due to car collisions has shown an upward trend. From 2016 to 2018, there were 12.6 deaths per 100,000 population, and this number increased to 13 deaths per 100,000 population from 2018 to 2020.

These statistics highlight the importance of being vigilant and cautious while driving in Riverside. The city’s bustling streets and popular landmarks attract a significant number of drivers and pedestrians daily, contributing to the potential for accidents.

Common Accident Hotspots in Riverside

Being aware of accident-prone areas can help you stay cautious and reduce the risk of collisions. Some locations in Riverside have a higher incidence of car accidents,such as:

  • Magnolia Avenue: A busy thoroughfare with heavy traffic flow, especially during peak hours. Stay cautious and adhere to speed limits when driving along this road.
  • Adams Street: Another major road in Riverside that experiences frequent traffic congestion and accidents. Be vigilant when navigating Adams Street, especially at busy intersections.
  • Van Buren Boulevard: Known for its commercial establishments and residential neighborhoods, Van Buren Boulevard can be a high-risk area for accidents. Exercise extra caution while driving here.
  • Challen Avenue: Challen Avenue, located in the heart of Riverside, is another spot where accidents occur more frequently. This avenue sees heavy traffic flow during rush hours and can become congested, increasing the risk of collisions.

Leading Causes of Car Collisions

Despite the presence of advanced safety features in modern vehicles, car accidents and crashes can still occur due to various factors. Some of the leading causes of car collisions include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving, including unsafe lane changes and improper passing
  • Weather conditions
  • Driver fatigue
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Defective car parts
  • Road hazards
riverside car accident

Immediate Actions To Do After A Car Accident

Immediate actions after a motor vehicle accident in Riverside are crucial for ensuring the safety of everyone involved and preserving valuable evidence for your insurance claim or potential legal case. Here are the immediate actions you should take:

  1. Safety First: The first and most important step is to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others involved in the accident even if it looks like a minor accident. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, away from traffic, to prevent further collisions.
  2. Check for Injuries: Assess yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately to request medical treatment. Common injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and broken bones. 
  3. Call the Police: Even if the accident seems minor, it’s essential to call the Riverside Police Department or California Highway Patrol by dialing 911. A police officer will arrive at the scene to conduct an official accident report. This report will be valuable when filing your insurance claim or seeking legal recourse.
  4. Exchange Information: While waiting for the authorities to arrive, exchange important information with the other parties involved in the accident. Obtain their names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance details.
  5. Gather Evidence: If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene from multiple angles. Capture the vehicle damage, the position of the vehicles, skid marks, and any visible injuries. These photos can serve as critical evidence during your insurance claim process or if you need to prove fault in a legal case.
  6. Obtain Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information. Their testimonies could be valuable in supporting your version of events.
  7. Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid discussing or admitting fault at the accident scene. Even if you think you might be responsible, fault is often determined after a thorough investigation. Admitting fault at the scene could be used against you later during insurance negotiations or legal proceedings.
  8. Consult with a Riverside car accident attorney: eek advice from an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate details about what happened. An attorney can help you understand your case and get maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering.

What Evidence Do I Need

To strengthen your car accident claim, here are the types of evidence you must collect:

  • Witness Information: Obtain names, phone numbers, and addresses from any witnesses present at the accident scene.
  • Medical Records: Medical records documenting your injuries, treatments, and related expenses will be vital in assessing the extent of your damages and claiming appropriate compensation.
  • Photographs and Videos: Take photos and videos of the accident scene, property damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries.
  • Police Report: Obtain a copy of the official police report filed after the accident. This report contains important details such as the officer’s observations, statements from involved parties, and potential citations issued.
  • Insurance Information: Gather insurance details of all parties involved, including policy numbers and contact information.
  • Accident Reconstruction Expert Reports: In complex cases, an accident reconstruction expert may be necessary to analyze the evidence and recreate the accident.
  • Lost Income Documentation: If the accident caused you to miss work and lose income, keep records of missed days, wages, and any benefits used during your absence.
  • Receipts and Invoices: Keep all receipts and invoices related to accident-related expenses, such as medical bills, prescription medications, rental car costs, towing fees, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

FAQs on Filing Claims in Riverside, CA

Here are some frequently asked questions about filing claims in Riverside, CA, along with important information to help you navigate the process:

What is the statute of limitations for car accident claims in California?

The statute of limitations is the time limit within which you must file a car accident claim. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accidents, is typically two years from the date of the accident. Initiate your claim before this deadline expires, as failure to do so may result in losing your right to seek compensation.

How does California’s fault system affect my car accident claim?

California follows a “fault” system when it comes to car accidents. This means the party at fault for causing the accident is responsible for compensating the injured parties for their damages and injuries. To recover compensation, you must establish the other party’s fault and demonstrate how their negligence or wrongful actions led to the accident.

Should I go directly to the insurance company after an accident?

While it may be tempting to handle the claim directly with the insurance company, it’s essential to exercise caution. Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses, and their goal is to minimize payouts to maximize their profits. Going directly to the insurance company may lead to low settlement offers that do not adequately cover all your damages.

Why should I consult with a lawyer for my car accident claim?

Consulting with a Riverside car accident lawyer can be highly beneficial. An experienced lawyer can:

  • Assess your case and determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical needs.
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to secure fair compensation for your losses.
  • Investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case to establish fault and liability.
  • Protect your rights and interests throughout the entire claims process and, if necessary, represent you in court.

What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim?

If your claim is denied or if the insurance company offers an inadequate settlement, you can appeal the decision or negotiate further. Having an attorney on your side can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement or, if needed, taking the case to court for a favorable resolution.

Seek Legal Help Today!

Filing a car accident claim in Riverside, 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 award-winning legal professionals who can help you go through the entire legal process of filing claims following a car accident in Riverside, CA. We can help you get the compensation you deserve, while letting you focus on your recovery.

We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t need to pay anything unless we win. Call Ayuda California today at (844) 865-0721

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