The Cifarelli Law Firm has been handling auto accident cases for almost 30 years. We have handled hundreds of cases both in pre-litigation, resolution through negotiations with insurance companies before a lawsuit is filed, and in litigation through the discovery process through and up to trial verdict. Our firm has handled all phases of accident claims, and we have successfully handled them over many, many years.
Auto Accident Types We Handle
The Cifarelli Law Firm handles accidents involving all types of vehicles from commercial trucks making deliveries, to delivery vehicles of a more consumer nature such as pizza deliveries and food deliveries. We handle motorcycle accidents and even accidents involving bicycles and automobiles.
All types of automobile accidents take place in California every day. They happen so quickly and the injuries sustained can have an eternal impact on your life. If you or a loved one have been injured in California while operating a vehicle, you may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for your injuries. It is in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer who handles those with injuries from an auto accident.
Many factors can determine the types of injuries you may suffer from, like the type of accident you are involved in and the speed at which the accident occurred. Some common injuries seen in California auto accidents have been:
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Head Injuries
- Joint, Ligament and Tendon Injuries
- Musculoskeletal Injuries
- Nervous System Injuries
- Whiplash/Neck Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Representation for Those Injured in Auto Accidents
Accurately assessing the type of and extent of the injuries from an auto accident claim is one of the most important aspects. Insurance companies work very hard to settle injury claims for as little compensation as possible. They may try to present a minimal settlement and sell it as their best and final offer although it might not even cover the medical bills you have incurred up to that time.
We do everything we can to ensure all of your current and future medical needs are considered in any type of settlement offer, when you hire our firm to represent you. We also seek full compensation for any pain and suffering, property damage, loss of income and any other losses as a result of the accident you’ve been involved in.
Life after the Accident
Your life can be changed forever after being injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident. You may suffer severe, debilitating, life-altering injuries in a split second. The quality of your life can be negatively impacted for years after the accident. According to California personal injury law, your injuries may entitle you to medical benefits, damages and financial compensation.
If you are approached by the liable party’s insurance company regarding a quick and easy lump sum settlement, DO NOT ACCEPT THEIR OFFER. You and your family will not benefit from this, only the insurance company and liable party will. Most likely, the settlement offered to you, will not take into consideration the full cash value of your claim. Retaining an experienced car accident lawyer will assure that you receive the full and entire dollar amount and your claim will be determined by factors including the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wage compensation
- Pain and suffering compensation (if applicable)
- Vehicle repair costs
Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
Choosing the right personal injury attorney to handle your accident and injury claim makes a huge difference regarding the outcome of your case. There are a few attributes you should consider when looking for a personal injury attorney. First is experience. It’s important you retain an experienced attorney whose entire practice focuses on personal injury cases. It is not wise to have a general practice lawyer who dabbles in accident claims. Choosing the right lawyer is vital to the outcome of your case, to your health, your career and your financial stability.
Another quality is how long the personal injury attorney has been in practice. Choosing a larger firm may not benefit you as you could be passed off to a new associate and that could end horribly for your case, you and your family. The personal injury attorneys at The Cifarelli Law Firm posses all of the attributes you need to help you with your case and more. We are more than willing to take your case to trial if a fair and just settlement cannot be agreed upon and are experienced trial attorneys to do so.
What to Do Following a Car Accident in California
The first step after having a car accident, or any accident for that matter, should always be to take account of your physical well-being to make sure you are not injured, and if injured, seek appropriate medical care immediately. Go to the nearest ER. Have yourself evaluated. Make sure you are not ignoring a significant physical injury. Once your healthcare is assessed and you know what you are looking at as far as damages, then seek to determine if you have a legal case. If you were in the right or the wrong, or if you were hit by no fault of your own or as a result of someone else’s greater fault, then you have rights. At that point you should consult a qualified, experienced attorney who handles accidents.
At the Accident Scene
Do not leave the scene of the accident. Stay at the scene. It is never advisable to leave or flee the scene. No matter how minor the accident is or how minimal the damage is, it’s crucial that you remain at the scene. Leaving the scene could cause you to be charged with a hit-and run. The legal consequences can increase quickly if anyone was hurt or suffered bodily injury due to the accident or if any property was damaged. Call an ambulance immediately if anyone was injured at the scene.
It’s important to exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver or drivers. This will make it much easier to file a claim with the insurance company. When talking with the other driver do not discuss liability or who is at fault. Never admit fault regarding the accident.
Immediately call the police. California law requires the police are contacted if there is any property damage totaling more than a certain dollar amount. It is still in your best interest to file a police report even if you suspect that the damage is less.
Today, many people have camera capability on their cell phone, smart phone and tablets. The use of this technology is to your advantage and can help document the accident scene. Also, take pictures of all vehicles involved from various angles including positions of the vehicles as well as the location of the accident.
If any witnesses stop at the accident scene, it’s important you get as much information from them as possible including, their name, address, contact number and email address. Their input regarding the accident could be important if a lawsuit ensues.
When an accident occurs, your emotions and your adrenaline will most likely be running high. This could disguise any pain from injuries you could have sustained. For this reason, it is always a wise decision to make an emergency room visit and see a doctor or medical professional. Injuries from an automobile accident are not always instantly visible. They can present themselves far after the time after the accident. For example, a head injury can leave you feeling dizzy, nauseated and confused. Seeing your Primary Care Provider (PCP) can help you uncover the extent of any injuries after an auto accident if you choose to not go to the emergency room.
Following the Accident
Someone who has been in an auto accident can be entitled to money damages for their medical bills. This would include payment of their medical bills in the past, future medical bills, and the monitoring of their healthcare in the future in the event that the injury sustained as a result of the accident causes problems going forward and perhaps for the rest of their life. Serious accidents can occasionally cause lifelong injuries. One can also obtain damages for pain and suffering, which is the emotional distress side of damages such as nightmares, mental distraction, and the stress associated with the physical injuries and the accident itself.
Having an Attorney is Important
The attorney is there to level the playing field. The insurance companies, both your insurance company and the insurance company for the driver of the other vehicle, will have their own attorneys. Their attorneys will handle the defense of the claim from the beginning, as soon as the accident happens, through the end. A person who is not an attorney and is involved in an accident needs an experienced attorney to advise him or her of their rights. Our firm will adequately seek compensation fully for all damages, past, present, and future, and to protect them through the process to ensure that the victim of the accident receives full recovery for their harms and losses.
When meeting your attorney for the first time it’s important to bring the following information with you:
- Name and contact information of any other drivers involved in the accident
- A copy of the police report
- Names and contact information of any involved witnesses
- Any and all accident scene photographs
- Insurance claim number
- Insurance adjuster name and contact information
This information will allow your attorney to investigate your claim on your behalf. Your attorney will be able to determine any compensation sources available. This includes your own insurance carrier. Your attorney will communicate with and handle all communication with all insurance companies on your behalf. Finally, if appropriate, the attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver involved.
If there is no available insurance from the other party, an experienced attorney can help you look to other sources who might also be at fault. For example: if there is a negligent road design that contributed to the accident, he or she might look at who designed the road, and if that entity is somehow at fault for the accident. The attorney would also help you contact your own insurance company to determine if you qualify for damages from your underinsured or uninsured motorist policy. A good experienced lawyer can help you when it seems, at first glance, that the other party does not have insurance.
Contacting an Auto Accident Attorney
The Cifarelli Law Firm is the best choice for an attorney because we bring a team approach. We bring the entire resources of our firm. Every attorney, every paralegal, and every staff member treats every case as if it is a family member’s case. We are all involved in a team approach to ensure that the client has the best healthcare and the best assistance with perhaps a property damage claim or a lost earnings claim. As a team, we make sure the client is assisted all the way through the process, including trial. No stone is left unturned, and by bringing a team approach to the case and by caring about the case, we make sure that every aspect of an auto accident claim is evaluated, investigated, and thoroughly litigated to ensure the best possible recovery for the client.
Please contact the auto accident attorneys in southern California at The Cifarelli Law Firm today to discuss your case and your rights that need to be protected at (949) 502-8600 for a free consultation.