There are many San Bernardino car accident attorneys from which to choose after an accident. It is important to hire a skilled lawyer who has experience handling your type of claim. Remember, you are entrusting this person with your important legal rights, so you want to pick a lawyer who you can trust. Our experienced team has decades of experience fighting for injury victims all across California.
Our San Bernardino car accident attorneys are here to help you understand what will happen at every stage of your case. Learn more about California accident statistics, what to do after a collision, common car crash injuries, and how our experienced San Bernardino car accident attorneys will protect your rights to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our client was stopped at a two-way stop sign before proceeding into an intersection where he was struck by a police cruiser traveling 70 mph, resulting in serious injuries.– ARASH KHORSANDI
You might not realize just how many lives are impacted by San Bernardino car accidents. San Bernardino County reports that over sixteen thousand people were either injured or killed in collisions in 2019. In addition to these victims, accidents affect their family members, friends, and employers.
Traffic accidents place a burden on the police officers and emergency medical technicians who respond to them – as well as the medical providers who care for accident victims. They can even increase government costs for the prosecutors who must file criminal charges in cases of drunk, impaired, or reckless driving – as well as the DMV workers who must deal with a license suspension. The effects of a car accident ripple throughout a community and cost millions of dollars in all kinds of unexpected places.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 3,606 fatalities on the roads of California in 2019. Thousands more were injured. About half of all drivers who were killed in a fatal accident tested positive for legal or illegal drugs. This shows a strong correlation between impaired driving and road deaths.
Meanwhile, NHTSA estimates that nearly nine thousand people died in traffic accidents across the U.S. in just the first three months of 2021. This was more than ten percent higher than the number of traffic fatalities during the same period of 2020. Even as the number of miles driven decreased, the number of road deaths increased.
This unexpected result is likely related to a driving phenomenon that occurred during the pandemic. Drivers were found to engage in more risky driving behaviors during lockdown order: speeding, driving without a seatbelt, and impaired driving all increased during the height of COVID. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that even phone motion (an interesting measure of distracted driving) increased between March and April 2020.
Crash victims who were tested in emergency rooms were also found to have drugs in their systems at a higher rate than before the pandemic. It is not known exactly why these risky behaviors began or whether they will continue into 2022 and beyond, but it is clear that drivers must be more cautious than ever while out on the road.
It can be difficult to know what to do in the chaotic aftermath of a collision. If you are prepared, you can help keep everyone safe at the accident scene, prevent your injuries from becoming worse, and protect your legal rights until you are able to hire a San Bernardino car accident attorney. Stay calm and do the following:
It is not uncommon for a driver who caused an accident to try to avoid the police. They might say that they have insurance, or that they can just “take care of it,” or that the crash really wasn’t that bad. You do not know that any of this is true. You also do not know if you need immediate medical attention.
It is important to call 911 and let the dispatcher help you determine whether you need the police or medics. If you don’t call 911, you could be without medical help when you seriously need it. Your legal rights could also be in jeopardy if you do not get a police report.
While you are waiting for the police to respond, you must get out of the path of oncoming traffic. Often a crash causes a secondary accident due to “rubbernecking.” Drivers tend to pay attention to an accident scene instead of the traffic ahead of them. You do not want to be in the roadway when this happens.
If you are not able to drive your car to the side of the road, leave it where it is, and find a safe spot to wait in. This should be a place that is far away from traffic. If it is a warm day, try to find some shade, as you will likely be outside for a while. If it is at night, try to find a place that has good lighting.
It is important to get checked out after an accident – even if you do not think that you were hurt. Many injuries are latent. This means that they might not show symptoms for hours or even days after a crash happens. Some of these injuries can be life-threatening. A slow bleed in the brain, for example, might not show symptoms for hours.
If it is not caught in time, it could cause brain death by depriving the brain of the vital oxygen that it is supposed to receive from the blood. It can also cause a patient to die from blood loss if the bleeding is not stopped in time. Both of these fatal outcomes can be prevented if a doctor is able to detect the problem early. Even less serious injuries will have a better prognosis if they are caught early.
In addition to improving your health and giving you the best possible chances for recovery, seeing a doctor right away can also protect your legal rights. You are entitled to fair compensation for your pain and suffering. But if you make your injuries worse by not seeing a doctor right away, the insurance company could try to say that you added to your own pain and suffering.
They will try to get away with paying you less for your pain and suffering. You don’t have to let them get away with this. By seeing a doctor as soon as possible, you will protect both your health and your legal rights.
Once you have hired the right accident attorney for your case, they will take steps to protect your legal rights immediately. This starts by communicating with the insurance company. Once they are notified that you have an attorney, they may no longer contact you about your case. All communications must go through your lawyer’s office.
This protects you from accidentally saying anything that could hurt your case. It also protects you from lowball settlement offers, high-pressure tactics, and other strategies that insurance companies use to get out of paying fair settlement amounts.
Another important thing attorneys do at the start of a case is preserve evidence. A lot of evidence can be destroyed or lost if it is not saved at the start of a case. For example, security footage is routinely deleted to make space for new footage.
An attorney can take steps to ensure that video footage from a security camera is saved in the event that it is needed as evidence. Physical evidence – especially damage to the vehicles – is also likely to be lost. Because car owners are in a hurry to get their vehicles repaired after an accident, an attorney must quickly act if they need damaged parts or photographs of the damaged cars.
Your doctors will advise you on the best treatment for your injuries. They might recommend that you see a specialist, or have physical therapy, or see a chiropractor. It is important to follow through on these recommendations.
If you don’t, the insurance company could claim that you made your own pain and suffering worse because you didn’t get the treatment you needed. This can allow them to get away with paying you less for your pain and suffering. Do not give the insurance company any chance to get out of paying you what you are fairly owed.
Following medical advice will also ensure that your body has the best chance of recovery. If you aren’t sure about a certain recommendation, talk to your doctor about it, or get a second opinion. What you should not do is ignore the advice without any explanation.
In many cases, pain and suffering is the largest component of a personal injury award. It is also the most difficult to prove. (After all, there is no medical test that shows exactly how much pain you are in.) This means that insurance companies are likely to attack your pain and suffering to try to pay you less for it. They might claim that your injuries weren’t really “that bad,” or that other claimants received less, or that your case won’t be compelling to a jury. Don’t listen to them. Your accident attorney will ensure that you get the compensation you really deserve.
In order to prove the value of pain and suffering, it is helpful to show exactly how you have been affected by your injuries. Maybe you couldn’t go to the gym while you were healing. Perhaps you couldn’t sleep because you were in pain. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can also cause friction in your personal relationships and affect your productivity at work.
All of these are very real losses. You are entitled to fair compensation for them. You may not remember all of the details later, so it can be helpful to document these things in a journal. Make a note of the activities you could not participate in, events you missed, physical pain, and all the ways you were affected by your injuries. These details help make a compelling case that is persuasive to a jury.
Skipping medical treatment is not the only way you can make your pain and other medical issues worse. Your body will be vulnerable as it is healing, and your doctor will likely advise you to be careful with your activities. You might be advised to forego sports, or work part-time, or take other steps to avoid making your injuries worse.
Follow this advice. If you make your injuries by taking unnecessary risks, this is just one more opportunity for the insurance company to attack the value of your pain and suffering. (Legally, the negligent driver is only liable for the pain and suffering they caused – not any additional pain and suffering you caused through your own actions.) Being careful protects your legal rights and gives your body the time it needs to heal.
First off, do not worry about trying to prove your case. That is why you have hired a car crash lawyer! Our experienced attorneys use all kinds of evidence to prove the other driver’s liability. Witness statements, police reports, and photographs of the accident scene can all be used to prove what happened. We also use physical evidence from the damaged vehicles: this can be analyzed by an accident reconstructionist, who can then give an expert opinion about what caused the accident.
In some cases, the evidence does not even come from the accident scene. For example: if a car with defective brakes were involved in an accident, the manufacturer who sold it could be liable for the entire accident. In this case, your attorney would present evidence that the brakes were defective before the car was ever involved in a crash. Whatever the situation, our attorneys are prepared to find the evidence we need to prove who was at fault.
If the other driver does not have insurance, don’t panic! There could still be other sources of compensation that are available to you. For example: if the vehicle was borrowed, the owner would be responsible for paying for your injuries, and their insurance could cover the accident.
If you were on the clock or running a work errand when you were hit, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy should cover your medical bills. Your health insurance policy is also required to pay for medical bills under your usual coverage, even if the injuries were caused by someone else.
And if all else fails, you might have coverage on your own auto insurance policy that can pay for your injuries. Many drivers pay for uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM and UIM) coverage. You might also have medical payments coverage to pay for medical expenses. Your injury lawyer will help you find all possible sources of compensation to ensure that you are paid the compensation you are owed.
If you are unable to go back to work for a time, you are entitled to compensation for all the wages you would have earned during that period. If you can go back to work, but only part-time, you are still missing out on wages that can be compensated. But if you have severe, permanent injuries, they can permanently impact your future earning capacity. You might never be able to return to work.
In this case, you are entitled to compensation for all the wages you would have earned between the date of the accident and the date of your expected retirement. In other cases, the victim can return to work, but only with a lighter workload or shorter hours. This, too, can decrease your future earning capacity.
In that case, you are entitled to compensation for the difference between your earnings before the accident and after you have been injured. You are also entitled to compensation for any employment benefits you lose (such as an employer’s contributions to health insurance premiums or retirement accounts).
Permanent injuries not only cost you lost wages – they also accrue ongoing medical bills. Often these bills will continue for the rest of the victim’s life. You are entitled to compensation for the future medical bills you will have to pay as a result of your car accident injuries. Because the exact value of these bills cannot be determined, injury lawyers work with experts to make accurate projections of these expenses.
A life care planner can estimate what types of care you will require and what this will cost. An economist can then extend these totals over your expected lifetime and adjust them for inflation. These expert reports serve as evidence to support your claim for future medical expenses.
It is very common for an insurance company to make a settlement offer shortly after the accident. They might promise that you will get paid quickly and threaten you with lengthy delays if you do not accept this offer. They might tell you that your case won’t do well in court. They might even threaten you with less money down the road.
There are many high-pressure tactics that insurance companies use to try to get injury victims to settle their cases quickly. A quick settlement prevents you from fully investigating your case. It even prevents you from consulting with your own attorney. Any claims the insurance company makes about the value of your case are legal advice, and you should never take legal advice from someone who is actively working for the other side.
If you don’t take the first settlement offer, it will indeed take longer to get paid for your injuries. But there is a reason why insurance companies push so hard for a quick settlement. This prevents you from learning the true value of your claim.
Though many injury victims truly need the money, you can miss out on thousands of dollars if you do not take the time to thoroughly investigate your claim. Insurance companies know this. Do not let them talk you out of fair compensation for all your losses – take the time to get legal advice from an injury lawyer who is actually on your side.
Like many injury lawyers, Arash Khorsandi and his trusted attorneys at Arash Law require no upfront payment. We work on a contingency. This means that you agree to pay us a portion of whatever injury award we get for you. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. This system helps to ensure that all injury victims have access to the legal advice they deserve – even if they cannot afford to pay an attorney right away. We make sure our clients understand all the details of a contingent fee agreement.
This includes other expenses that might be deducted from your total settlement (such as court costs and expert witness fees), as well as the circumstances that can change the percentage paid in attorneys fees. (Filing a case in court requires far more legal work, so most attorneys increase the percentage of settlement they are owed if the case goes to court.) Your fee agreement will be clearly stated in writing, and we will answer all your questions to ensure that you are comfortable with all financial arrangements. The important thing is to be sure that you are not missing out on legal advice out of financial concerns.
A quick internet search for “San Bernardino car accident attorneys” will show you many options for injury lawyers near you, but the best attorneys in California are right here at Arash Law headed by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. Our skilled motor vehicle accident attorneys have decades of experience.
Our skilled legal team has collected over 400 million dollars for clients across the Golden State. We serve San Bernardino and all surrounding areas, so we are close by, wherever you are at. Call (888) 488-1391 today to schedule your free consultation.
Clients across California trust our experienced legal team to protect their important legal rights. We will fight hard for you, too, so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.