California Auto Accident Lawyers
Representing Car Accident Victims in Chico and Surrounding Areas for Over 30 Years
Being involved in a traffic accident is a traumatic experience. The sound of screeching tires, the rapid deployment of the airbag, and the abrupt force of the collision can leave you shaken and terrified. When you’ve been seriously injured in a car crash through no fault of your own, you may not know where to turn or what legal recourse you have. As the medical bills continue to pile up, you may feel as if this nightmare will never end.
At the Law Office of Zink & Lenzi, we greatly empathize with the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that arise from an automobile accident. That’s why, for more than three decades, we have dedicated our time, energy and resources towards helping car crash victims get their lives back on track.
If you become our client, we will help you make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and pursue a fair and adequate recovery on your behalf. Our auto accident lawyers are effective negotiators with a strong track record of securing favorable settlements for clients. If the insurance company will not pay you what you deserve, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and fight for every penny they owe you in court. Navigating California’s insurance system and traffic accident laws can be complex and stressful. Let us fight the legal battles so you can concentrate on healing.
Hiring a car accident attorney puts you in the best possible position to recover the maximum amount of compensation available for losses you’ve incurred resulting from someone else’s negligence.
Steps You Can Take Right Now to Protect Your Rights:
- Seek prompt medical assistance and follow the physician’s advice to help yourself heal properly
- Notify your insurance company of the accident but do not talk to a representative from the opposing insurance company
- Schedule a free consultation with our firm. Call us at 530-895-1234
What Damages Can I Recover in an Auto Accident Claim?
When you file an auto accident claim or lawsuit, you are essentially seeking damages or compensation for losses resulting from the accident. These compensatory damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses: emergency room visit, doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing (MRIs, CT Scans, x-rays)
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings (diminished ability to earn a living)
- Property damage: auto repairs, rental
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life and activities
- Wrongful death (medical costs, funeral bills and compensation for the pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life that your loved one experienced between the time of injury and the time of death)
Benefits of Hiring the auto accident attorneys at Zink & Lenzi:
As your tireless advocate and legal representative, you can count on us to:
Investigate Your Accident
We will visit the accident site and work together with accident reconstruction specialists, forensic engineers, and other experts to determine the cause of the crash and who was at fault. We may also speak to the police officers that arrived on the scene and any witnesses that were present at the time of the crash. No stone will be left unturned in our efforts to obtain evidence that proves a causal link between someone else’s negligence and your injury and losses.
Manage the Insurance Claims Process
In order to make sure your rights are protected and your claim is properly filed within the applicable statute of limitations, we will handle all interactions with the key players involved including insurance company representatives and attorneys, the at fault party’s attorney, and medical providers.
Calculate the True Value of Your Claim
To maximize your recovery, we will gather all relevant documentation that substantiates the totality of your losses. This may include medical records and bills, employment and lost wage information, auto repairs, testimony from your physician/s and other medical experts, and your own personal account of how your life has been adversely impacted by the accident.
Charge Nothing Until Your Case is Won
The Law Office of Zink & Lenzi works on a contingency fee basis which means there are no up-front attorney fees or out-of-pocket costs. You won’t owe us a dime unless we are successful in securing compensation for you.
Common causes of auto accidents around Chico, CA?
- Distracted driving: inattentiveness, eating, using cellphone/texting,
- Violating the rules of the road: running red lights or stop signs, illegal U-turns, failure to yield the right of way, speeding, unsafe lane changes
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Bad weather
- Poor road design/construction
- Defective auto parts
Types of Vehicle Accidents in Chico:
Rear-end collisions – these are the most common types of auto accidents in which the front bumper of one driver’s vehicle collides with the rear bumper of another driver’s car. In most cases, the driver that strikes the other car from behind is determined to be at fault, usually due to driving distracted, fatigued, or under the influence of alcohol. Being hit in a rear-end accident can be jarring. The force of impact can cause your head to jerk backward and then forward
Head-on collisions – when two cars traveling at high speeds in opposite directions collide, the results can be devastating, even fatal for those involved. People can get crushed or pinned inside the car or thrown from the vehicle. The physical trauma to the body is serious and can include traumatic brain injury, broken bones, burns, lacerations, internal bleeding, and spinal cord injuries resulting in permanent disability. Liability in a head-on collision is clear-cut when one driver veers into the wrong lane or drives on the wrong way on a one-way road.
T-bone/side-impact crash – this type of collision occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. These broadside accidents most often happen at intersections where one driver runs through a red light or stop sign or fails to yield the right of way to another driver. The force exerted can lead to brain injuries, broken arms and legs, and spinal fractures.
What to Do After a Car Crash:
Call 911/Police: After the accident, assess the situation and determine whether anyone was injured. If so, call 911 to get an ambulance and police on the scene. When police arrive, ask them to file a police report to document the accident.
Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t think you’re seriously hurt, it’s important to go to the local emergency room or see your primary physician soon after the accident. It’s not uncommon for the adrenaline of the crash to mask pain or symptoms of a more serious condition. Getting treatment is not only the best thing you can do for your health, it also serves as reliable evidence that your injuries were caused by the crash.
Document the Crash: Take pictures of damage to your vehicle, the accident scene, and your injuries.
Exchange Information: Get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are witnesses, you should get get their contact information as well and ask them if they would be willing to make written or verbal statements. Be cordial and cooperative with everyone involved but do not apologize or admit fault for the accident.
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation.
Get a Property Damage Valuation: An insurance adjuster will most likely inspect damage to your vehicle but you should collect repair estimates on your own.
Keep Track of Your Medical Treatment: Take note of all the doctors and medical providers who you receive treatment from. Request copies of all medical records and bills and file somewhere safe so you can prove your medical expenses later. It’s also important to keep a “diary” of how your injury is affecting your life — Have you taken time off work? Are you struggling to complete daily tasks that were once routine? Is your family environment more stressful?
Dangerous Roads in Butte County:
Since the beginning of 2018, the California Highway Patrol has reported more than 15 traffic fatalities throughout Butte, Tehama, and Shasta Counties. Many of these accidents have occurred on Highway 99 and have been attributed to speeding, unsafe passing over double-yellow lines, and drunk driving.
Another hotspot for car accidents is the 25 mile stretch of Highway 70 between Marysville and Oroville. This narrow two-lane highway has earned the nickname Blood Alley” because of the number of people who have lost their lives on this road over the last decade — 34 to be exact. Slower moving trucks and farm equipment frequently travel on this narrow two-lane highway which can make other drivers on the road impatient and more likely to pass.
Highways 162, Highway 191/Clark Road, and Highway 32 are also considered dangerous in the area. On roads that aren’t highways, the Skyway, East Gridley Road and Foothill Boulevard are known to have high incidences of car crashes.
Why Can’t I Trust the Insurance Company?
Contrary to the commercials you see on TV, insurance companies do not always have their policyholders’ best interests at heart. This can be difficult to comprehend after you’ve been in a car wreck. As someone who has faithfully paid their premiums, you expect to be taken care of when the worst happens. The unfortunate reality is insurance companies often place profits above people. The less money they pay you, towards increasing their bottom line.
Shortly after your accident, an insurance adjuster representing the other driver may attempt to contact you. While the adjuster may sound friendly and act concerned for your well-being, it’s important to proceed with caution. Their motive for reaching out to you is most likely to, a.) obtain a recorded or written statement that can be used against you to devalue or dismiss your claim or b.) convince you to take a settlement that is less than what you deserve.
You are under no legal obligation to provide a statement to the negligent party’s insurance carrier. In fact, we advise against it until you speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that can trip you up and get you to inadvertently fudge the facts or admit partial fault for the accident. They will use what you say against you to lower the amount of your claim or dismiss your claim altogether.
If offered an early settlement, don’t accept. The insurance adjuster may try to convince you that the offer is the most you are eligible to receive in hopes that you will take the bait. The truth is there is no way of knowing the full extent of your injuries so soon after your accident. Our car crash attorneys can protect you from being taken advantage of and will take the necessary steps to calculate the true value of your claim.
When you have a lawyer on your side, it lets the insurance company know that you are serious about getting the compensation to which you are entitled under California law.
Auto Insurance Coverage in Chico, CA
All motorists in Chico and throughout California are required to carry insurance coverage including:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
- Property Damage Liability Coverage: $5,000 minimum
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: $3,500 minimum
What If I Was Hit By An Uninsured Driver?
Unfortunately, in Butte County, nearly 1 in 3 motorists drive without automobile liability insurance or lack the sufficient coverage needed to pay for the damages they inflict in an auto accident. If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to use your own uninsured/under-insured motorist (UIM) coverage to compensate you for your losses. Even if you do not have auto insurance coverage, we can seek alternative coverage options such as checking to see if a relative has coverage.
Recover What You Deserve!
Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a car crash in Chico, CA? You may be entitled to receive compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation before speaking to the insurance company.