Looking for a San Bernardino Car Accident Attorney?
Should you hire one?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the legal profession of San Bernardino Car Accident Attorney so you know all there is to know about it!
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Table of Contents
What Does A San Bernardino Car Accident Attorney Do
A San Bernardino car accident attorney is a legal professional or type of lawyer specialized in the area of car accidents and traffic laws particularly in the area of San Bernardino (California).
Car accident lawyers are legally trained professionals experienced in dealing with any matter related to car accidents, particularly in seeking compensation for victims or defending those sued for car accident liability.
A San Bernardino auto accident lawyer can provide legal services such as:
- Consult and advise victims, defendants, or others on matters related to car accidents, traffic laws, and applicable regulations
- Provide legal guidance as to a person’s rights or obligations
- Investigate the facts of a particular car accident
- Review and gather medical evidence for the filing of a claim or lawsuit
- Communication and speak with doctors and health professionals about the injuries suffered
- Speak with experts in recreating the scene of the accident
- Draft and file a car accident lawsuit
- Deal with courts and understand the court procedures to litigate a car accident case
- Deal with insurance companies for various claims
- Negotiate proper settlements and compensation for victims of accidents
- Defend against a car accident claim and litigate the matter in defense
Auto accidents claims and lawsuits can get quite complex and automobile accident lawyers are legally qualified and trained to provide the necessary legal support and representation to plaintiffs and defendants in this context.
If you were in a car accident and looking to understand its legal ramifications, you may want to consult with the best San Bernardino car accident lawyers to review your matter.
Should You Hire A Car Accident Lawyer San Bernardino
The short answer is that anyone involved in a car accident does not necessarily need to hire a San Bernardino car accident lawyer.
Everyone has the right to self-represent and handle its own car accident claim or lawsuit.
In some cases this may be a good choice for instance when the circumstances of the accident are quite simple, the issues are not contested, or the victim is capable and knowledgeable in handling the claim.
On the other hand, for most ordinary folks, it may be important to consult with a San Bernardino auto accident attorney to do things the right way and avoid doing or saying something to jeopardize any possibility of getting a settlement or compensation.
In essence, it’s not appropriate to generally assert that every car accident will require you to hire a car accident lawyer or not.
What’s important is to assess your overall needs and determine if you are prepared to hire a lawyer or will a lawyer bring value to your case.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a good understanding of your rights and obligations?
- Are you in a good medical condition to represent yourself?
- Do you have the time to dedicate to the case?
- Are you able to communicate with other parties such as the opposing counsel or insurance company without compromising your case?
- Are you able to emotionally control yourself when dealing with the other parties?
- Do you know how much is a fair settlement for your car accident?
- Are you able to afford the lawyer’s legal fees?
These are just some questions that can help you evaluate the need to hire a lawyer.
Questions To Ask An Auto Injury Law Firm In San Bernardino County
It may not be easy to find the right law firm or San Bernardino accident lawyer to handle your case.
To get you going, we have put together some questions that you can ask a law firm or lawyer to get a better understanding of what they do and how they can help you:
- What are your legal fees to handle a car accident claim?
- Do you accept a contingency fee arrangement?
- How many car accident claims or lawsuits have you handled before?
- What percentage of your law practice involves car accidents and automobile injury claims?
- Have you dealt with a case similar to mine?
- Will you be working by yourself on my matter or with other lawyers?
- In how many car accident cases did you get a settlement or verdict?
You can also consider other aspects about the lawyer or law firm when looking to make a selection such as:
- Is the firm or attorney recommended by individuals that you know?
- Does the firm or lawyer have a good and solid track-record?
- Are there good reviews about this lawyer?
- Will the lawyer give a free consultation to discuss the matter?
In the end, if you are looking to choose a lawyer to represent you, you must be comfortable and assured that he or she has the proper experience and knowledge to help you and that the legal fees make sense.
Common Causes of Automotive Injuries in California
Car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons.
Particularly, the most common reasons why an auto accident may take place is due to driver distraction.
Human error and driver distraction represent some of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States, and include things like:
- Text messaging behind the wheel
- Not paying attention to the road
- Using a cell phone
- Eating behind the wheel
- Talking to other passengers
- Adjusting the radio knob
Another important reason why there may be motor vehicle collisions in San Bernardino and in other areas is due to reckless driving or the driver’s carelessness.
In the category of reckless and careless driving, you can find:
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Not caring for traffic lights
- Exceeding speed limits
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
You can also find other reasons for car collisions that may not be attributed directly to the driver such as weather conditions or defective automobile parts.
According to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there have been 203 people killed in San Bernardino County due to car accidents in one year and 7,915 people injured.
Types of Car Accident Injuries in San Bernardino CA
There are many types of injuries drivers and automobile passengers may suffer in a car accident.
Here is a list of common car accident injuries:
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Facial trauma
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
What Damages Can Victims Recover
Car accidents can lead to different types of damages such as property damage in minor cases or even bodily injuries.
Victims of automobile accidents can seek damages in two categories:
- Economic damages
- Noneconomic damages
Economic damages are all the damages that are directly related to the car accident and are tangible, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation services
- At-home services
- Medical devices
- Out-of-pocket expenses
In addition, it may be possible for a victim to obtain noneconomic damages that are intangible in nature, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
Car accidents can therefore cause both financial harm and emotional (or psychological) harm to its victims.
It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney or lawyer for auto accidents in California to ensure you get legal advice on what damages you may effectively seek and obtain.
What To Do After A Car Accident
There are millions of car accidents in the United States every year.
Although we do not want a car accident to happen to us, statistically we may be involved in a car accident at some point in time in our lives.
If you get into a car accident, here are the things you should remember to do:
- Call the police to ensure the accident is duly reported
- If you or anyone is injured, make sure to get proper medical attention
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Identify possible witnesses and collect their contact information
- Get the information of all the other drivers involved along with their insurance policy information
- Do not admit fault or guilt to anyone
Once you have done all of that, in the next days or weeks following the accident, make sure you get a copy of your police report, medical file and reports, and any other documents relating to the accident to build your claim.
It may be worth contacting a San Bernardino accident lawyer to get an initial consultation about the accident, what should you do, what should you avoid, what are the timelines to file a claim etc.
Handling Car Insurance Claims With A Car Accident Attorney
In California, like in all other states, drivers are required to carry auto insurance.
However, there are many drivers that do not respect the law by carrying the right insurance coverage.
There are instances that an insurance claim may be filed even when the other driver was uninsured.
You may have an uninsured insurance policy or underinsured motorist coverage in your policy that may allow you to file a claim when the other driver was not insured or did not have sufficient coverage.
An experienced San Bernardino accident lawyer can evaluate the available insurance coverages and assess the type of claim that may be filed with the insurance company.
The end result is to obtain a fair settlement compensation to recover damages suffered following an accident.
Getting the right compensation may be achieved by filing an insurance claim alone or by looking at other legal alternatives as may be suggested by a car accident attorney in San Bernardino CA.
Filing A Car Accident Claim
Although you must call or speak to a personal injury lawyer or motor vehicle accident lawyer soon after a car accident to understand how the filing of a car accident claim works, you should keep in mind that there are deadlines that may need to be respected.
For example, in California, the statute of limitations laws require that personal injury lawsuits be filed within two years from the date of the accident when filing a personal injury claim and three years from the date of the accident when filing a property damage claim.
When you are within your time limits to file a claim or lawsuit, you may consider various types of legal action:
- Negligence lawsuit
- Product liability lawsuit
Under California negligence laws, a person injured in a car accident (the victim) may recover compensation by proving:
- That the at-fault driver owned him or her a duty of care
- The driver violated his or her duty of care by its negligent conduct or behavior
- The defendant’s negligence caused damages to the plaintiff
In California, just like in many other states, drivers owe other drivers a duty of care when driving on roads, highways, or motor ways.
The California courts will evaluate various aspects of an accident involving a car to attribute liability, such as:
- Could the defendant avoid the accident?
- Could the defendant foresee that the victim would be harmed?
- Was the defendant’s conduct reasonable in the circumstances?
- Is there a causal link between the plaintiff’s injuries and the accident?
- Is there a deviation between the defendant’s conduct and reasonable standards of care?
Car Accident Statistics
According to 2008 reports, here are some important statistics with regards to car accidents in San Bernardino:
- More than 1,000 car accidents were caused by drivers being under the influence of alcohol
- There were 250 fatal car accidents of which 94 of the crashes were due to drunk driving
There are many car accidents caused for various reasons such as:
- Aggressive driving
- Lack of attention
- Auto defects
- Bad weather
- Dangerous roads
- Traffic law violations
- Defective parts
- Poor car maintenance
In 2018, 171 people were killed and injured in single-vehicle crashes where most of the accidents occurred along the I-215.
Car Accident Attorney San Bernardino Takeaways
What should you know about a San Bernardino Car Accident Attorney?
You or a family member got into a car accident and you want to know your legal obligations.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Auto Accident Attorney San Bernardino
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