Injured in a Car Accident in Fresno CA?
Common Causes of Car Accidents
When driving anywhere, a driver’s key concept is to get from point A to point B. However, many obstacles could prevent this simple task from being completed, and the number one cause is a car accident! Car accidents can happen randomly and at any given time. With that being said, car accidents could give a new driver high anxiety or paranoia when it comes to getting behind a wheel. Here are a few factors that could potentially lead up to a severe car crash:
- Drugs ( Driving Under Influence )
These causes can turn a simple trip to the grocery store into a trip to the hospital, depending on the damages caused.
Common Motor Vehicle Injuries
Now if a simple trip the store resulting in a trip to the hospital isn’t enough, imagine a simple trip to the store ending in losing a life. The number one thing about accidents is that they are unpredictable and if the measures of safety are low, as in riding a motorcycle; one can very much lose their life if they are not taking the correct precautions and avoiding anything that could possible sabotage their wellbeing. Riding a motorcycle is a lot different than driving a car, due to the fact that you are no longer surrounded by a body that take most of the damage from any accident. So although one may be skilled in driving, they must also be up to par with not allowing anything to become a distraction when riding a bike. A motorcycle or any moto vehicle injury can go from being treatable to becoming a psychological injury. A few common motor vehicle injuries are listed below:
- Brain and Head Injuries: Concussions, TMI (traumatic brain injury)
- Neck Injuries: Whiplash “straining of the neck”
- Spinal Cord Injuries: “expensive treatments” i.e Disc Injury, Fractures, Spraining, Straining and Lumbar Injuries
- Back Injuries: Bruises, Scrapes, Cuts, Damages to teeth and/or jaw area
- Internal Injuries: Infected organs (spleen, liver, lungs, heart, aorta, bowels, or kidneys) Rib fractures could become fatal and need immediate medical attention
- Psychological Injuries: Emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD(post-traumatic disorder)
What to do after an Auto Accident in Fresno, California
As stated previously, accidents can happen any and everywhere, in Fresno, California. Here are some things you should do if you happen to be involved.
- Obtain all information between you and the driver. Also, be sure to include any passenger information. (i.e. names, addresses, telephone numbers, vin numbers, and license plates)
- Seek a medical professional if any injury has occurred.
- Report the accident to the police. By doing this, you are ensuring that at least all needed information will be given when the report is finished.
- Contact a Fresno Car Accident attorney
Do I need a Police Report?
Although it seems that the normal process of a car accident scenario is to include police for a full report, that is not always said to be true. Obtaining a police report is necessary when injury or damage is involved only. Officers must be at the scene to file this report. The initial report should include everything needed to be included in any further investigation and/or to present to insurance agencies to have the matter handled. In the matter of no police officer showing up to the scene, then their initial report will not be needed. However, within 60 days of the accident, a report can be done online for record purposes only and will not generate any further investigation.
Car Accident Claim
An initial car accident ruling can take from anywhere around nine months to 18 months after said accident. This timeframe is set to insure that all information needed is gathered properly and fully reviewed by both parties before coming to a settlement. The acceptance or denial of a car accident claim should take no longer than 40 days after having received proof of the claim. Insurance agencies are to acknowledge the claim, start the investigation, and provide forms and instructions regarding what to do next. Healthy communication between drivers and their insurance agencies are highly important and should have distinguished a reasonable assistance no later than 15 days after receiving notice of the claim. Once a claim has been accepted, the insurer must then pay the claim immediately but no later than 30 days from the date the settlement was reached on.
Who can be Held Liable?
The sticky situation behind who is really held liable behind a vehicle accident is that proof is needed to validate any wrongdoing. Liability can fall into either parties hands with enough proof to back up the claim. However, the initial verdict of liability is left up to the insurance team and/or lawyers that may be involved. Let’s say if a driver was to rear-end the driver in front of them and then gained injury from the car behind them for the abrupt stop, then vehicle code section 17150 would take over stating that the civil liability for any accidents lies with the owner of the car who rear-ended the one in front of them. Now let’s say if an owner was to give the car to an unlicensed driver then, the owner would be held liable for the negligence of not ensuring that the person behind the wheel had an actual driver’s license. Again, the liability falls down to being able to provide valuable proof and having that proof determine that the other driver was actually at fault.
Determining Liability After a Collision
Having liability determined plays off many key factors and should have withstanding proof that either or the party is at fault. As stated before, it is a good idea to have your ducks in a row showing the proof of the person at fault. Although a police report seems to be the main key to come in handy, it is not always the guaranteed factor. Only 80% of the time do you have a chance of a police report actually having all the information given to be correct and viable. There is a 20% chance that the information could not have anything correct or sustainable to be used in a ruling. This happens because either one of the drivers information was not able to be heard due to either needing medical attention immediately or be unconscious and not being able to give a clear statement. By acquiring a top-flight car accident lawyer, you can insured that they will provide their own investigators, accident reconstruction experts, people who are able to measure skid mark damages, and people who are able to determine the injury or damage that occurred to the vehicles.
Comparative Fault Laws in Fresno California
The Comparative fault law is a legal doctrine that is able to divide up any faults between all parties. The state court allows injured parties to collect funds for damages even if they are the ones that are at fault for the initial accident. In a personal injury lawsuit, a defendant would claim that the plaintiff’s own negligence caused or contributed to their own harm. When the defendant makes this claim, the jury would then decide what percentage of fault is due to the injured parties own negligence. That percentage will then reduce the plaintiff’s overall award for damages caused.
Compensation Available to Injured victims
Being compensated for a car accident can vary state to state and be different in so many ways. Here are a few compensation amounts pertaining to certain injuries:
- Two million for motorcyclists suffering traumatic brain injury
- 906,000$ for a pedestrian being hit by a truck while in a store
- 825,000$ for an auto accident victim
- 812,500$ for a car crash victim
- 625,000$ for a car crash victim requiring multiple surgeries
- 450,000$ for a client being hurt by the airport shuttle driver who ran a red light
These amounts are just a gist of how much could be received if the parties were put in this situation. However, compensation is based on all viable proof and many other factors, such as:
- The extent of one’s injuries, having been documented by medical records
- The total amount of incurred and medical expenses to come thereafter
- Whether the party’s injuries are temporary or permanent
- The course of the party’s treatment and however many medical providers are involved
- The prospects for one’s recovery
- Whether or not the collision has resulted in scarring or disfigurement
- The degree of physical pain and emotional suffering
- If and how the injury has impacted your work, daily activities, ability to play sports and/or participate in hobbies
- Being whether or not you were partially at fault for the initial crash
- The clarity being given of the argument proving the other party’s fault for the crash
Fresno Car Accident and Insurance Laws
All states insurance codes require that vehicle drivers are covered with a minimum of 15/30/5. This mandate ensures that the injured or death of one person is redeemed properly and with a sufficient amount. This person could be guaranteed up to 15,000 for injury or if a death was caused, 30,000 for injury or death to more than one person and 5,000 for property damages.
In the state of California, the following requirements are to be up to par to properly and safely be legal behind a steering wheel.
- Having Commercial General Liability. Limits of not less than two million dollars per occurrences and an annual aggregate of four million dollars. Policy should be based on per occurrence basis.
- Having Automobile Liability. Comprehensive automobile liability having limits of not less than one million dollars per accident for bodily injury and for property damages. Coverage should include any and all auto used in connection with the agreement
- Professional Liability. Limits of not less than one million dollars per occurrence and three million dollars annual aggregate. Coverage should be issued on a per claim basis. This occurs if a a contractor employs licensed professional staff. The contractor is agreeing that it shall maintain in full force and effect for a period of three years.
- Workers Compensation. This policy is required by the California Labor Code.
How to File a Lawsuit
1. Figure out how to name the defendant you are wanting to sue. Involving a fresno car accident lawyer to help aide in this process is an option to make this initial process easier.
2. Ask the fresno car accident lawyer to prepare and validate the payment amount you have requested.
3. Find the right court to file your claim.
4. Fill out court forms properly and thoroughly have your car accident lawyer to revise and look over these forms to ensure you are providing sufficient information.
5. File your claim with the court.
6. have your claim served.
7. Go to court.
Why Choose Our Fresno Car Accident Lawyer?
Pacific Attorney Group is a car accident law firm that is based in California, who provides comprehensive support from start to finish. You may contact this Law firm at 800-358-9617. Upon contacting, you are given free consultation and do not have to pay a penny unless the lawsuit has won in our favor!