San Bernardino Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a San Bernardino car accident, you are probably wondering how you will pay the bills. You are probably wondering if you should talk to an insurance adjuster and take the first offer they give you. You very likely want to put this unpleasant episode behind you, heal and move on with your life. However, when it comes to auto accidents, the answers are not black and white. The claim process is fraught with traps that insurance companies set for you. If you make a mistake during the process, that is sufficient to jeopardize your case and affect your ability to get fair compensation.
The experienced San Bernardino car accident lawyers at our law practice have a long and successful track record of helping injured victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a San Bernardino car accident, please contact our San Bernardino personal injury attorneys for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
San Bernardino Car Crashes
According to California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 203 people were killed and 7,915 were injured in San Bernardino County car accidents in the year 2010. In the City of San Bernardino, there were 15 traffic deaths and 1,011 injuries during that same year. Seven fatalities and 109 injuries were reported as a result of San Bernardino DUI crashes.
The city of San Bernardino is the county seat of San Bernardino County. With more than 200,000 residents as of 2010, it is an Inland Empire anchor city. Attractions including the Coussoulis Arena, the Fox Performing Arts Center, the Robert V. Fullerton Museum of Art, the Heritage House and the San Bernardino Railroad and History Museum, are some of the many reasons to travel to this beautiful city.
There are, unfortunately, many car accidents that occur in San Bernardino each year, with tragic results. According to the California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 15 fatalities and 1,011 injuries were reported as a result of car accidents in the city of San Bernardino. During that same year, seven people were killed and 109 were injured in San Bernardino drunk driving collisions. Countywide, 203 fatalities and 7,915 injuries were reported due to car crashes during that same year.
Street Racing and Alcohol in San Bernardino
Speed and intoxication are often common causes of serious injury accidents in San Bernardino. On March 8, 2012, Nuvia Rivera, 25, was killed in a car accident, which police say, involved both alcohol and street racing. According to a KABC news report, the fatal crash occurred on Baseline Road in San Bernardino when three cars were racing each other. The collision occurred when a driver, Cecelia Sorto, veered into oncoming traffic when trying to get around another vehicle. Rivera, who was not involved in the speed contest, was killed in the crash.
Highways and Offramps Lead to Serious Injuries in San Bernardino
Many of the most serious injuries suffered in San Bernardino car accidents occur on highways and off-ramps. One person was killed in a San Bernardino car accident that occurred on the Del Rosa Avenue off-ramp off eastbound Highway 210. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred the evening of August 1, 2012.
The Interstate 15 in County of San Berdoo
One of the most dangerous roads in the United States is the Interstate 15, which runs through San Bernardino. A Fox News analysis of fatal crashes over a five-year period showed that the 15 Freeway is one of the top 10 most dangerous roads. Speed and alcohol, once again, are common causes for many serious injury and fatal accidents on this freeway. Such accidents, of course, are entirely avoidable.
Teenage Driving Worst in San Bernardino
A recent study released by Allstate Insurance revealed that San Bernardino is the worst in the state and 13th worst in the country when it comes to teenage car crash fatalities. In the year 2007, 35 teens were killed and 1,765 were injured in San Bernardino County car crashes. All parents would be well advised to teach their children safe riding habits. This includes turning off cell phones, staying below the speed limit and leaving enough space between vehicles. It also helps teens when parents are good driving role models.
After the Crash
If you have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury, you should stop, remain at the scene and wait for the authorities to arrive. If, however, you can move without suffering further harm, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. It may be in your best interest to:
- Wait for the authorities and provide your account of the incident when the San Bernardino city police or sheriff's deputies arrive. Make sure you remember to request a copy of the police report.
- Get contact and insurance information from other drivers involved in the crash as well as contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
- Write down everything you remember about the accident. It can be easy to forget important details. Writing down the facts right away can help you stay accurate when discussing the crash with insurance adjusters.
- Take photos of the crash site. Make sure you photograph the positioning of the vehicles, the damage to the cars and your injuries.
- Get prompt medical attention.
- Research your legal options and contact an experienced San Bernardino personal injury attorney before speaking with an insurance company.
Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents
You can sustain a painful injury in even a minor collision. It is vital that you see a doctor right away if your head hurts, you feel confused, your neck is sore or if your back is in pain. Immediate medical attention is also needed if you suffered a bone fracture, a severe laceration or any other type of debilitating injury. Some of the injuries commonly suffered in San Bernardino car crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma - (often caused by seat belt injuries)
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
Legal Options for Injured Victims in San Bernardino
Thousand of people are injured in San Bernardino County car accidents this year. If you are injured in a car crash, it is important that you are aware of your legal options. You will have to notify your insurance company and provide a brief statement to the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. Make sure you do not admit fault for the crash or say something that could hurt your claim. From there, the insurance adjuster will decide what is the best option for the insurance provider. They will likely deny your claim or offer you a settlement.
You do not have to accept an inadequate settlement. In fact, you can ask for more or appeal their decision. If you are still not satisfied with their offer, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault driver. Filing a lawsuit is often the only way to get fair compensation for all of the losses suffered in the crash.
Types of Damages Covered
It is important to determine the potential value of your claim before accepting an offer. Once you accept a settlement, you will no longer be able to seek support for your injuries. Therefore, it is not advisable to agree to a deal without first making sure that all of your losses are covered.
The types of damages that can be covered include:
- Medical costs: All medical expenses that are directly related to the accident can be included in a claim. There should be support for the treatment you received whether it was at an emergency room, hospital, physician office, ambulance or rehabilitation facility. You should also receive compensation for needs such as medical devices and medications.
- Pain and suffering: All car accidents can result in a significant amount of stress, but injury accidents can result in pain and suffering. When you file a personal injury claim, you may request support for non-economic losses such physical pain and emotional distress. You may also seek support if you sustained a disability that prevents you from working or from participating in activities you once enjoyed.
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity: You can seek damages for the amount of money you would have earned had you not suffered an injury. This includes the wages lost while healing as well as future wages you will not be able to earn because of a disability.
- Rehabilitation: Often, expenses related to rehabilitative therapy such as physical therapy and chiropractic care, can get extremely high. These are expenses that are usually not fully covered by health insurance companies.
Protecting Your Rights
The experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have a long and successful track record when it comes to representing injured clients and their families. We have a 97 percent success rate when it comes to personal injury cases. Our attorneys can help you avoid the pitfalls most people succumb to during the claims process, and help ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for your losses. Please contact us for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
Compensation for Injured Car Accident Victims
Anyone who has suffered a loss in a San Bernardino car accident can seek compensation for his or her losses if the crash resulted from someone else's negligence. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Car accident victims would be well advised to collect important information immediately after the incident including identification and insurance information from other parties involved, photos from the scene and contact information for eyewitnesses. These important pieces of information can prove invaluable during the claims process.