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Law Office of Jacob J. Rivas
American Board of Trial Advocates
Call for Free Consultation
Phone: 559-263-9667
Toll Free: 888-205-3166


Verdicts & Settlements
"$2,073,373.80 jury verdict against national retail store for negligent operation of a cart resulting in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome to client." - (2017)
"$2,000,000.00 settlement reached during jury selection for client who was struck on left foot by an employee operating a merchandising cart at a retail store resulting in a serious neurological injury to client. " - (2014)
"$1,900,000.00 recovered for families for the wrongful death of their 2 children arising out of a drunk driving auto accident." - (2010)
"$3,400,000.00 settlement against a school district on behalf of 4 victims of sexual abuse by their school principal." - (2016)

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?


Thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents each year, but surprisingly few people know what to do following an accident. If you have been in a car accident, the Fresno car accident injury law firm of Jacob J. Rivas can help you.

Immediately after a car accident, you should get to a place of safety, with your car if possible. Do not assume that oncoming traffic can or will avoid your car. As quickly as possible, call police and medical personnel, if necessary. Check the condition of your passengers, if any, and any others involved in the crash. Do not leave the scene of an accident unless the police indicate you may leave. For more information, please review Mr. Rivas’ page on driver responsibility.

Exchange information with any other driver involved in the accident, including driver’s licenses, insurance and contact information. If there are witnesses to the accident, take their contact information as well so you can obtain their statements at a later time. If you have a camera with you (perhaps on your cell phone), take photographs of the accident scene, if you are able and it is safe to do so.

Speak factually and briefly to the police officer making the report. You should not make any statements to the police or any other person at the scene that may be inaccurate and uninformed. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report once available.

Seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you do not believe that you or your passengers have been hurt, you may have suffered injuries that you are not aware of, or may appear minor at first. The following are some common types of auto accidents and injuries:

  • Brain Damage — When a person is involved in a car accident, the tremendous external forces can significantly damage the brain. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in an open head injury or a closed head injury.  Auto accidents are the leading cause of head injuries in the United States. If you suffer from any kind of head injury following a car accident, it is crucial that you get medical attention immediately. 
  • Paralysis — Paralysis can be temporary or permanent and is often caused by a spinal cord injury. The trauma from an auto, truck or motorcycle accident can cause spinal cord injuries. Permanent paralysis can completely change a person’s life. Partial paralysis suffered from an auto accident can affect parts of the body or, in cases of more catastrophic injury, the whole body from the neck down. 
  • Fog Accidents — Fog is a weather condition produced by the suspension of moisture in the air close to the surface of the ground, limiting driver visibility. The thicker the fog, the more limited the driver’s ability to judge distances or even see objects and other cars on the road until they are so close they end up colliding. Many chain-reaction auto accidents are caused by limited visibility in foggy road conditions. 
  • DUI/Alcohol Accidents — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 53 minutes someone is killed in a drunk driving accident. Other DUI statistics show that many major car accidents are caused by negligent drunk drivers. Alcohol-related car crashes cause devastating injuries to victims and millions of dollars in property damage. 

Most insurance policies specify procedures for reporting an accident. You should follow procedures carefully, but again, just provide the facts of the incident. You need not and should not confer with the insurance company for other parties involved in the accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident as the result of the negligence of others, you should consult with an experienced Fresno car accident attorney without delay, as there are often time limits to filing a claim. The Law Office of Jacob J. Rivas will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call today at Phone: 559-263-9667 or toll free at or contact us online.