Since gas prices dropped dramatically a couple years ago, the number of injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents nationwide has gone up by about 10%. There’s no secret as to why—cheaper gas means more people are driving, and more people on the road usually translates to more motor vehicle accidents. At no time is that truer than in the summer, when many families hit the roads on vacation. Given California’s popularity as a tourist destination, more and more out-of-state residents find themselves the victims of carelessness or negligence by other motorists in the Golden State. So what do you need to do and what do you need to know if you’re visiting California and are hurt a traffic mishap.
You’ll Want to Get Medical Treatment Immediately
Though you may prefer to be treated by your own doctor (and you can do that when you return from vacation), there are good reasons to seek medical care as soon as possible in California. First, if you delay medical treatment, opposing attorneys and insurance adjusters may argue that your injuries were not that serious. In addition, you run the risk that you’ll either incur another injury before you seek medical treatment, or that defense attorneys will contend that your injuries were caused by some intervening event.
You Will Likely Need California Legal Counsel
Whether you file a lawsuit or not, you will want to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Your first course of action will typically be to contact your insurance provider—either health or auto insurance (or both)—to seek coverage for medical and other expenses. Don’t be surprised if your carrier is less than helpful. It’s in the insurance company’s best interests to try to minimize or avoid payouts on claims. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you’ll have an experienced advocate to make certain the insurers honor their contractual obligations.
In most instances, when you’ve been hurt in an accident in California, the lawsuit you file will be in a California court. Any attorney who represents you will have to be admitted to practice in California. While it’s possible for your personal attorney, located in another state, to be admitted “pro hac vice” or solely for your case in California, it’s likely that, if your attorney has not practiced in California, he or she will not be familiar with the judges, the laws or the rules of procedure in California courts. Accordingly, you’ll want a lawyer with extensive experience in the California legal system.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside premises liability injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.