If you were involved in a car accident, connect with an accident attorney in Modesto to help you navigate the situation and pursue the benefits you deserve. Car accidents are stressful and confusing events, but a Modesto car accident lawyer can help you file a claim. You don't have to handle it by yourself.
To make this process a little easier and less confusing, review this guide to car accidents in the Modesto area, and lean on Accident.com to connect you with a California accident attorney who can help you move forward.
Modesto Car Accident Statistics
Modesto, California is the 19th most populated city in California, with an estimated population of almost 217,000 people. With 752 people per square mile, as you would guess, not everyone is a perfect driver.
In fact, in 2017, traffic accidents caused 2,141 combined injuries and fatalities. Of these, 212 had alcohol as at least one of the causal factors. Over 260 of these incidents were due to excessive speed, while 152 were because of a hit and run.
Accident Hotspots That Modesto Auto Accident Lawyers Know
Some of the hotspots in Modesto where accidents are most likely to happen are multi-lane roads and highway interchanges. McHenry Avenue north of Standiford Avenue is notorious for accidents thanks in part to multiple shopping center entrances. State Highway 99 has its fair share of accidents along its length too.
There is also a particularly tough area between Briggsmore Avenue and Woodland Avenue. The road design in this segment is an elevated three-lane divided highway, which can contribute to accidents in certain conditions. Additionally, there are a few scattered hotspots in downtown Modesto that can be attributed to the tight confines of this area.
Recent Modesto Accidents
Accidents in Modesto can be severe and involve multiple vehicles. In one recent example, a tractor-trailer traveling northbound on Highway 99 drifted and left the highway. It impacted a sign, and in an attempt to recover, the driver over-corrected and the entire rig turned over onto its side, blocking all three lanes. An ambulance also traveling northbound and carrying a patient didn't see the truck and collided with the wreckage. The ambulance itself was almost hit by a small car that luckily was able to stop in time. However, this car, in turn, was struck by a pickup truck that left the scene. This accident occurred around 1 am, so visibility may have been a factor.
In another example, a Modesto couple survived a violent multi-car accident caused by illegal street racers. Driving in separate vehicles on Highway 99, a pregnant woman was several cars behind her fiancé. As the two illegal racers went past, one cut between the woman's car and another, clipping her and creating a pinball effect. Four vehicles went out of control from the subsequent collisions, with one flying off the viaduct into a homeless encampment and igniting into flames. The race vehicle that caused the accident fled the scene, but the California Highway Patrol later caught the driver. The other race vehicle is still at large as of the writing of this article.
All of these situations show how quickly you can find yourself in a predicament where you're injured and need help. You, like so many other Modesto residents, aren't alone in your pursual of benefits. An accident attorney in Modesto can help you sort through the event and work to recover the damages you deserve.
What to Do After Getting in a Car Accident in Modesto, CA
Based on the available data, Modesto residents have a 1 in 101 chance of getting injured in an auto wreck. Fortunately, you have help on your side to get you through this situation. At Accident.com, we want you to be prepared for the aftermath and know how to protect your rights.
In addition to the following steps, remember to take advantage of the resources at your disposal. If you're in a Modesto car accident, you can contact the local Modesto Field Office of the DMV. You can visit in person at:
124 Burney Street
Modesto, CA 95354
You can also utilize their online resource for submitting accident reports (Form SR-1). Please note: If your accident involved an injury, death or property damage of more than $1,000, you must submit this form within 10 days of the accident. Otherwise, the DMV could suspend your driver's license.
You can also request copies of Modesto police accident reports by using their access page. At the actual scene of the accident, be sure to do the following:
1. Don't Leave! An Accident Attorney in Modesto Can Help
No matter how minor the accident may seem to be, you need to stay at the scene of an accident or leave some method of contacting you. It doesn't matter if the accident wasn't your fault. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and at best, it'll jeopardize your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. At worst, you can face prosecution.
In fact, in California, leaving the scene classifies as a hit and run and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Which classification depends on how severe the injuries are to other people involved and on your prior criminal record. If you're worried about what may happen after an accident, remember that the situation will be far worse if you leave. Instead, stay at the scene and contact an accident attorney in Modesto.
2. Get to Safety
As mentioned earlier, some Modesto highways are partially on elevated segments with no exits or the ability to escape in the event of an accident. In these cases, move as far forward from the accident as possible so that you decrease the chances of distracted motorists hitting your already damaged vehicle. (This will also help you protect yourself from any further injuries.) Besides, the inevitable traffic jam that'll result in staying idle can prolong the time it takes for first responders to reach your location.
On regular city streets in Modesto, you can move your vehicle if nobody is hurt in order to comply with California DMV recommendations on not blocking the flow of traffic. You can also walk clear of the street to ensure your safety.
Additionally, remember: You should never place yourself in further danger to move a vehicle. Always be aware of your surroundings and consider that some other motorists may not see you, so stay out of the road and wait for help to arrive.
3. Don't Worry About Fault. A Car Accident Lawyer in Modesto, CA Can Fight for Your Rights
A few items to remember:
- Determining fault is not important at this time. It will certainly be important later during claims, but there's no need to voice your thoughts on your role in the accident at this time.
- After an accident, you're probably in a state of shock. Logic is not always the most effective in that moment. What you think happened may not be what actually occurred. There's no law that requires you to admit that you were at fault for an accident. Even if a police officer asks questions that seem like they might corner you into making an admission, you can say you're not sure.
- In the state of California, accepting fault has a lot of side effects, none of which are good. Your premiums can increase by up to 92%. You'll also be financially responsible for the damages caused to your vehicle, any other vehicles and any individuals injured in the accident. Leave the determination of fault to the police, insurance and the court, and contact an accident attorney in Modesto to help you build a strong case.
4. See a Doctor Right Away
You may know your body well and be in tune with your health. However, this isn't a normal circumstance. Certain injuries don't manifest symptoms right away. In a car accident especially, the adrenaline surge can mask any injury you may have. So, it's crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you think you don't have a scratch. They can make sure you don't have any problems that haven't fully appeared yet.
In terms of filing a claim, if you tell law enforcement that you're fine and refuse medical attention, this can hurt you later down the road. The other driver's insurance company (and in some cases, your own) can use this assumption of being injury-free to your disadvantage. They may allege that since you didn't need medical attention at the scene, you weren't injured and, therefore, don't need any damages for injuries.
5. Document Everything for Your Modesto Car Accident Lawyer
Pull out your phone and take photos of the entire accident scene. Include details that may not seem important - tire skid marks, broken pieces of plastic, paint scrapes and even the weather conditions. All of these details can help to recreate what happened in terms that adjusters or juries can more easily picture. It'll also help your car accident lawyer in Modesto, CA to build a case for you.
6. Identify Witnesses
Witnesses can help your case immensely. Their advantage is that they saw the accident from perspectives that are different from your own. Your auto accident attorney in Modesto can build more credibility into your claim when multiple independent witnesses testify as to what they saw and it all matches up to your version of the event.
7. Get Contact Information
Don't leave the scene of an accident without getting the other driver's contact information! Most importantly, be sure to retrieve their name, phone number, driver's license number and insurance company/policy. Without this basic data, it'll be difficult for your accident attorney in Modesto to pursue your damages.
A final important note: If the other driver fails to give you this information, that's a red flag. They may be uninsured or driving on an expired, suspended or non-existent license. If this is the case, be sure to inform the police and your Modesto car accident attorney so they can take the appropriate next steps.
Do I Need Help From a California Accident Attorney?
While you can handle this process independently, expert assistance can go a long way in simplifying it. That's why connecting with an accident attorney in Modesto to help guide you through this confusing and difficult time can be beneficial. These Modesto auto accident lawyers understand the local and state laws, and they can help you deal with insurance companies. Your Modesto car accident lawyer will work to protect your rights and work to get you the compensation that you need.
Find Your Car Accident Attorney in Modesto
Visit Accident.com to get all the information you need to connect with a professional. Accident.com uses sophisticated algorithms to find an attorney who can defend you based on your specific circumstances. Just fill out a contact form and let us do the work. If an accident attorney in Modesto accepts your case, they'll contact you and advise you on how to proceed. Your first consultation is free too! We want you to focus on recovering from injuries and getting the benefits you deserve, not worrying about how to pay for legal consulting.
If you've been in an accident, you've been through enough. Go to Accident.com and let us help you find a qualified accident attorney in Modesto.