In the aftermath of a car accident, the physical and emotional toll can be overwhelming. Amidst the chaos, one crucial decision can significantly impact your journey toward justice and recovery – choosing the right car accident lawyer. In San Bernardino, where bustling highways intersect and traffic congestion is a daily reality, having a skilled and experienced attorney by your side is paramount.
This blog aims to guide you through the intricate process of selecting the best car accident lawyer in San Bernardino. From understanding the key qualities to look for in an attorney to exploring the local legal landscape, we’ll provide you with the insights and tips needed to make an informed decision during a challenging time.
Whether you’re dealing with insurance claims, medical bills, or the complexities of the legal system, our goal is to empower you with the knowledge necessary to navigate these issues effectively. Let’s embark on this journey together, ensuring that you receive the support and representation you deserve after a car accident in San Bernardino.
San Bernardino car accident statistics
According to the 2017 data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, San Bernardino County witnessed 15,104 individuals experiencing injuries or fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. In the city of San Bernardino alone, 1,429 people were injured or killed in such accidents. Fontana, a neighboring city expected to surpass San Bernardino as the county’s largest, recorded 756 individuals injured or killed in traffic accidents.
Despite the county ranking lower in incidents involving pedestrians or bicycle riders, it ranked in the top 10 for car accidents attributed to underage drinking, resulting in 80 victims injured or killed.
Reasons for car accidents in San Bernardino
As previously mentioned, the substantial population growth experienced by San Bernardino County in recent decades resulted in the addition of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of additional vehicles on the county’s roads. Today, many households own more than one car, and as of 2018, the last year for which statistics are available, over 80% of San Bernardino residents commuted to work by car, typically solo.
Another notable change is the construction of numerous large warehouses and distribution centers in San Bernardino County. This has led to a significant rise in truck traffic, not only in urban areas like Fontana and the city of San Bernardino but also along Interstates 10, 15, and 40.
Illegal street racing is identified as another contributing factor to many catastrophic and fatal car accidents in San Bernardino County. This perilous form of reckless driving has become widespread in San Bernardino and other parts of Southern California in recent years, prompting the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to actively work on putting an end to it.
Lastly, the city of San Bernardino holds the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in drunk driving crashes between 2010 and 2012, with 94 auto accidents per 1,000 residents during that period.
San Bernardino car accident injuries and damages
Any car accident in San Bernardino has the potential to cause significant injuries, even those initially perceived as minor. Certain injuries not only pose serious health risks but can also have long-lasting effects on a person’s life. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, which may result in partial or full paralysis, either temporary or permanent
- Internal injuries, encompassing bruised, damaged, and/or lacerated organs
- Crush injuries
- Facial injuries, eye injuries, dental injuries, and scarring
- Wrongful death
While individuals who lose their lives or suffer permanent injuries in car crashes are entitled to damages for their losses, seemingly minor injuries can also lead to substantial medical bills and psychological trauma. Furthermore, these injuries have the potential to disrupt a person’s life significantly. Examples of such injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Whiplash and nerve injuries
- Dislocated joints and/or deranged joints
- Cuts and lacerations
- Muscle strain and/or sprain
While many individuals fortunately recover from the injuries listed above, some face prolonged health complications. Factors such as age and underlying health conditions play a role in the severity of the impact. For instance, a broken hip, while not minor, typically allows most people to return to normalcy within months. However, in an individual over the age of 60, the same broken hip can lead to serious complications, including death.
Dealing with the insurance company
Certainly, don’t navigate the complexities of dealing with the insurance company on your own. Allow the experienced San Bernardino car accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm to take charge.
Following a car accident in San Bernardino, you may find it challenging to think clearly or be in too much pain to engage with an insurance company adjuster. Importantly, you are not legally obligated to communicate with them or provide a recorded statement, despite what they may assert. Direct dealings with insurance adjusters can potentially be detrimental to your case. Insurance companies are focused on minimizing payouts, and their adjusters are trained to make lowball offers and expedite settlements. Moreover, they may attempt to exploit any statements from you that could weaken your claim or lead to its outright rejection.
Allow our law firm to handle all negotiations with the insurance companies while you concentrate on your recovery. We are well-versed in their tactics and can effectively counter them. As our client, we will also have a comprehensive understanding of the value of your case based on the extent of your injuries and losses. Trust The Dominguez Firm to advocate for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
What compensation could I be entitled to for my San Bernardino car accident?
If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a San Bernardino car accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses, known as damages. These damages can encompass various aspects:
- Medical Expenses: You are entitled to compensation for all medical bills related to your injuries, covering hospital bills, ambulance fees, physical therapy, consultations with specialists, in-home care services, and psychiatric counseling.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages. If you are unable to return to work due to your injuries, you may also receive compensation for the loss of future wages.
- Property Damage: This typically covers the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
- Pain and Suffering: This category, falling under non-economic damages, is intended to compensate you for the physical and mental distress caused by the accident. While not quantifiable with a calculator, it often constitutes a significant portion of the final settlement or verdict. An experienced San Bernardino car accident law firm can estimate this amount based on their handling of similar cases.
- Punitive Damages: While not commonly awarded, if the defendant’s behavior was particularly malicious or intentional, punitive damages may be included in the settlement or verdict. The purpose is not only to assist the victim but also to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Seeking legal representation from an experienced San Bernardino car accident law firm is crucial in navigating these complex matters and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your losses.
Your options if you lost a loved one in a San Bernardino car accident
If you’ve lost a family member in a car accident in San Bernardino and you are the next of kin, you have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. While the sudden loss of a loved one is irreplaceable, seeking accountability from those responsible can help alleviate the financial burdens the family may be facing.
Common damages in a wrongful death claim can include:
- Ambulance Fees: Costs associated with emergency medical transportation.
- Medical Bills: Expenses directly related to the injuries and subsequent death of the family member.
- Lost Income: Compensation for income lost during hospitalization and future income the deceased was expected to earn over their lifetime.
- Funeral Expenses: Costs related to the funeral arrangements.
- Burial Costs: Expenses associated with the burial of the deceased.
Additional possible damages may include:
- Loss of Decedent’s Financial Support: Compensation for the financial support the deceased would have provided to the family.
- Loss of Consortium: This includes the loss of companionship, love, community, affection, moral support, and even the loss of sexual relations.
- Training and Guidance: Compensation for the loss of training, guidance, or other emotional support that the family member would have provided.
It’s important to note that each wrongful death claim is unique, and the specific damages pursued may vary based on the circumstances of the case. Seeking legal guidance from an experienced attorney in San Bernardino can help ensure that you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve during this challenging time.
Tips for finding the right car accident lawyer in San Bernardino
If you or a cherished individual has sustained injuries in a San Bernardino car accident, securing the services of the most proficient personal injury lawyers in the region is crucial. However, determining the right law firm or accident attorney for your case can be challenging. To assist you in making an informed decision, consider posing these essential questions to any San Bernardino car accident lawyer:
- What is your level of experience in handling San Bernardino car accident cases?
- Will you personally handle my case, or do you delegate cases to other law firms?
- Based on your experience, what is the anticipated timeframe for resolving my case?
- Is there a possibility that my case might proceed to trial?
- Do I need to provide any upfront payments, and how is your compensation structured?
- What information or assistance do you require from me to strengthen my case?
Pay close attention to their responses. Additionally, assess the quality of communication during your interaction. Are they rushing through the conversation, or are they thoughtfully addressing your questions? Remember, you are the one engaging the services of the accident attorney, and first impressions hold significance.
How much do car accident lawyers charge in California?
In a contingency fee arrangement, the personal injury lawyer is paid a percentage of what you recover as compensation through a verdict or settlement. In California, this rate is typically between 30% and 40% of the total amount you receive.
Do I need a lawyer for a car accident in California?
Handling interaction with large insurance companies alone is not advised at all. If you’ve suffered losses due to a car accident, you should have a competent lawyer by your side who can help you understand your legal rights, determine your losses’ compensation, and explore all your options.
How much to expect from car accident settlement California?
|Type of Accident
|Rear End Accident
|Approximately: $10,000 – $50,000
|Approximately: $20,000 – $100,000
|Approximately: $7,500 – $45,000
|Head On Collision
|Approximately: $25,000 – $150,000
How much can someone sue for a car accident in California?
3 Common Amounts You Can Sue for a Car Accident in California
|Severity of Accident
|Possible Amount to Sue for
|Approximately: $5,000 – $25,000
|Approximately: $25,000 – $100,000
|Approximately: $100,000 – $1,000,000+