Car Accident Lawyer In California, A crash can be scary, whether you were involved in a collision with a big rig, motorcycle, automobile, pedestrian, bicycle, or distracted driver. When a person or family is injured in an automobile accident that was caused by another party, a Fresno car accident attorney may be able to seek compensation for:
- Damage to vehicle, including rental car expenses while car is being repaired or valued
- Out-of-pocket losses, such as past and future medical bills and lost wages
- Past and future pain and suffering endured as a result of the injury
In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can fight for your best interests. The Fresno car accident lawyers at Freedman Law have recovered over $1.25 billion for injured clients throughout the Central Valley. We will advocate aggressively for your right to maximum compensation.
Car Accident Lawyer In California
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Why Choose Freedman Law?
California Car Insurance Laws
Insurance & Medical Expenses
Leading Causes of Fresno Car Accidents
What Kind of Damages Can Be Claimed After a Crash?
What to Do After a Car Accident
Car Accident FAQ
Seek Help From a Fresno Car Accident Attorney
Why Choose Freedman Law for Your Car Accident Claim
- Our attorneys have represented over 10,000 clients in Fresno personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims. We have the skills, experience, and resources that you need to hold the at-fault driver accountable.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis for maximum affordability. You will not pay any upfront fees and you will only pay for our services if we recover a settlement on your behalf.
- Our law firm is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our clients. We are the highest-rated personal injury firm in the Central Valley, and we have almost 500 five-star reviews on Google.
What Are California Car Insurance Laws?
California follows a fault-based system when determining liability for car accidents. If you are in an accident that another driver caused, the responsible motorist would be liable for the damages you suffered. You could file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
To uphold this responsibility, California requires all drivers to hold the following amounts of car insurance.
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person per accident
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person per accident
- $5,000 for property damage per accident
Drivers can choose to purchase higher amounts of insurance if they choose. When filing a car insurance claim, you can only recover compensation up to the driver’s policy limits. In some situations, you may want to initiate your case by filing a lawsuit instead of starting with an insurance claim.
Optional insurance policies can help pay for your own losses in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. If you are injured by a negligent driver who is uninsured, for example, you can file a claim under your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy to pay for your damages.
Deciding what to do after an auto or truck accident in Fresno accident can be a challenge. In these situations, a car accident layer can evaluate your case and help you strategize your next steps. Speak to an attorney at Freedman Law as soon as possible after your accident to determine your optimal path to compensation.
Insurance & Medical Expenses
There are various types of insurance to potentially cover a person for injuries sustained in an automobile accident including their own automobile policy, which may or may not have medical payments coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The at-fault party may or may not also have coverage, which may or may not be enough to compensate you for your loss. You may also use your own health insurance for your medical expenses, but they typically require that you pay them back out of any future settlement or judgment. A Fresno car accident lawyer can assist you in sorting through your available health coverage options.
Leading Causes of Car Accident Lawyer In California
Car accidents happen for all sorts of reasons, many of which involve driver error. Some of the leading causes of collisions in Fresno include:
Cell phones, eating, daydreaming, children in the backseat, or following directions can easily take a driver’s focus away from the road. Even if it’s only for a split second, getting distracted can result in a catastrophic accident.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even prescription medications, can dramatically impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
According to the National Safety Council, fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision.
The faster a vehicle travels, the longer it takes to stop to avoid an accident, and the easier it is for a driver to lose control.
Abrupt lane changes, weaving, failing to yield the right-of-way, failure to obey traffic signs and signals, etc., are all aggressive driving behaviors that easily contribute to an accident.
Dangerous road conditions, such as large potholes, construction zones, inclement weather, gravel or dirt roads, etc., can pose a serious threat to drivers.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Claimed After a Car Accident?
A severe injury from a car accident can be financially debilitating. You have the right to demand compensation from the at-fault party for your financial and personal losses related to the crash. Some of those damages can include but are not limited to:
- Medical Expenses: This includes past medical bills and the costs for any future treatment you may require, such as emergency services, surgeries, hospitalizations, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and other medical needs.
- Lost Wages: Reimbursement for the income you have lost and will lose while recovering. If the accident leaves you unable to work or earn the same level of income as before, you may be able to recover the difference for loss of earning capacity.
- Property Damage: This can include repairs to or the replacement of your vehicle if it is totaled. Other objects involved in a car accident may also require repair or replacement, such as buildings, mailboxes, and personal property (e.g., cell phone, laptop, etc.).
- Pain And Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and any mental anguish caused by the crash.
- Punitive Damages: In cases that involve egregious or malicious conduct, California courts may award punitive damages.
Even if an at-fault party’s insurance company agrees to pay your injury claim, they will not cover damages beyond their policyholder’s limits. If your damages exceed these limits, you will have to file claims against other liable parties for the difference or sue the at-fault driver personally.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The moments after a car accident can feel scary and overwhelming. However, this time is the most crucial for your future claim. To protect yourself and preserve your right to compensation, it is important to take the following steps as soon as possible after your collision.
First, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. When the police arrive, provide a statement to the responding officer. Ask the officer for his or her name and badge number so that you can find the police report at a later date.
Be careful to only state the facts that you know are true. Avoid guessing or making assumptions about how the accident occurred. If you do not know the answer to a question, respond with “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”
Most importantly, avoid admitting fault for the collision. You may not know the full story behind the accident, and further investigation is necessary to determine fault. Your attorney from Freedman Law can conduct a full investigation into your accident and help identify the liable party.
Car Accident FAQ
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT?
If it can be proven that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of a car accident, then it is safe to assume that some of the responsibility for your injuries might fall on you. In California, the courts operate under a pure comparative negligence system. This rule reduces your compensation based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 30% to blame, you can only receive 70% of your compensation or $70,000. Only if you are found 100% at fault, will you be unable to recover any compensation.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT?
In California, car accident victims have two years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit. This is a law known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to recover any compensation.
CAN I RECOVER COMPENSATION IF MY RECOLLECTIONS OF THE EVENT CHANGED?
It is common for accident victims to make inaccurate statements immediately after a collision. Still, it can be challenging to explain why your memory now contradicts what was said at the scene. A car accident attorney can advise you on the best course of action and help you gather evidence to prove your side of the story.
DO I NEED TO FILE A LAWSUIT?
Situations where you wonder whether to settle or sue can quickly become complex. It is best to consult a car accident lawyer who can evaluate your case’s worth. If it is significantly more than the amount the insurance company is offering, an attorney may advise filing a lawsuit. Simply filing may be enough to prompt an insurer to settle for fair compensation.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETTLE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Unfortunately, there is no precise answer since the length of time it takes for a car accident claim to settle will depend on a variety of factors. For example, the complexity of the crash, whether multiple parties are liable, the extent of your injuries, and the strength of the evidence supporting your claim.
HOW MUCH IS MY CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM WORTH?
Since each case is unique, there is no exact formula to calculate a case’s worth. However, an attorney can give you an accurate estimate after considering the following factors:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The length of your recovery.
- Whether you will need ongoing medical care, adaptive equipment, or suffer permanent disabilities.
- How your pain and suffering affect all aspects of your life.
- How much income you have lost from being unable to work.
- How much money you will lose in the future due to your injury.
- Strength of evidence against the at-fault driver.
- Any aggravating factors. (e.g., the at-fault party was intoxicated)
- The at-fault party’s policy limits.
If your damages exceed the at-fault party’s policy’s limits, the insurance company is not required to pay the difference. If you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM), that is when your coverage will kick in. However, if you do not carry UM/UIM or your losses still exceed that policy, your attorney can help you explore other options for recovering further compensation to make up the difference.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Next, seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible following the collision. You may not feel injured at the scene, but you may have an internal or underlying injury. In some cases, shock may be numbing your pain and symptoms may not appear for hours or even days following the accident.
By going to the hospital, you can identify and treat these injuries before your symptoms worsen. Your medical records will also serve as valuable pieces of evidence in your case. When receiving treatment, make sure to save all documents related to your injuries.
DOCUMENT ALL LOSSES!
Keep copies of medical bills and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses.
Take photographs of visible signs of injury.
Document all days missed from work and how your everyday life was impacted as a result of your injury.
Remember that everything you say about the accident to anyone (your doctor, your friends, the police, the insurance company for the other side, etc.) can be used against you later in litigation, so accuracy is always important.
Once you have retained an attorney, that attorney can assist you in communicating with outside entities, including insurance companies.
Seek Help from a Fresno Car Accident Attorney
After your accident, a representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you. The representative may ask for a statement so that your case can conclude faster, or even offer a settlement right from the start. In these situations, you should never speak to an insurance representative or accept a settlement offer until you contact an attorney from Freedman Law.
Insurance companies have a goal to protect their best interests. Paying a maximum award to each injured victim would impact their bottom lines, so representatives may attempt to offer a low settlement early on.
Additionally, providing a statement soon after your accident could harm your claim. You may not know all of the facts about the collision at this stage, and your early statement could be inaccurate. If you learn new information later, the insurance company can use discrepancies between your statements against you.
Our car and motorcycle accident attorney in Fresno has one goal: to represent your best interests. By hiring a lawyer to represent your case, you will gain an advocate who can help guide you through the claims process and maximize your award. Your attorney will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and evaluate all settlement offers to ensure that they meet your needs.
As soon as possible after your accident, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. After your consultation, your attorney will initiate an investigation into your collision and begin gathering the evidence you need to prove your right to compensation.
Schedule Your Consultation Today For Car Accident Lawyer In California
If you are injured in a Fresno car accident, the attorneys at Freedman Law can help. We will work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve. Call 559-447-9000 or contact today to schedule your consultation and discuss your legal options with a Fresno car accident attorney.