Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accident FAQs
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I was hit by a car while participating in a peaceful protest. Can I sue the driver for damages?
Yes. California's personal injury laws protect victims injured as a result of another person or company's negligence and a person for intentionally inflicted injuries.
The right to peaceful protest is one of our nation's most sacred principles. Unfortunately, as protests over social and economic issues have become more common, so, too, have instances in which motorists negligently or purposefully drive their vehicles into crowds of protesters, causing devastating injuries and deaths.
If a driver hits you with their vehicle while you're participating in a peaceful protest, they could face criminal charges. Although criminal prosecution of the person who hurt you may help serve justice, it won't compensate you for your injuries or other losses.
Fortunately, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for a wide range of damages—and if the driver faces (or has been convicted of ) criminal charges, this can serve as strong evidence in your case. Additionally, if you hold an uninsured motorist policy that insurance coverage may be available to help pay for your injuries and losses. An adept California personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for:
- Related medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Other financial or intangible losses
Punitive damages may also apply in cases involving intentional injuries—intending to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and discourage similar bad behavior. The downside of punitive damages is the tax consequences associated with these damages, as well as the fact that insurance will not pay for the award of punitive damages.
After a death in an intentional vehicular assault, a skillful wrongful death attorney may be able to help your family recover funeral expenses and other damages.
Consult Our Experienced Injury Recovery Specialists
Hurt in an intentional attack while protesting? Understanding your legal rights and options is absolutely essential. Contact the Inland Empire Law Group at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 today to speak with a legal professional for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Don't delay, as California limits how long you have to take legal action.
What are loss of consortium damages?
After sustaining serious injuries in an auto accident, you're entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, your spouse or registered domestic partner may also be entitled to collect damages for loss of consortium.
About Loss of Consortium
Consortium refers to association or companionship with another person. California law allows for loss of consortium damages in a personal injury claim as a type of non-economic damage. Examples of loss of consortium includes:
- The stress of having a spouse who is emotionally traumatized, depressed, anxious, or irritable following the accident.
- Having a spouse who is less able to help you with your own problems, stresses, and personal challenges due to the effects of the accident.
- The strain of having to handle more of the cooking, cleaning, yard work, childcare, and other household chores because your spouse is injured.
- Difficulty in pursuing a healthy sexual relationship.
- The loss of the ability to have children, if applicable.
- A reduction in the overall quality and enjoyment of your marriage.
Since loss of consortium damages are defined by the effect an accident has on a couple's relationship, it does not matter if the spouse or domestic partner was also injured in the accident. In fact, loss of consortium damages can be included even if the spouse or domestic partner was not physically present when the accident occurred.
Eligibility for Loss of Consortium Damages
To be able to seek loss of consortium damages, you must be married or in a registered domestic partnership. Unmarried individuals are not eligible for compensation, even if they've been romantically involved for several years and live in a marriage-like relationship.
Although technically any personal injury case can include loss of consortium damages, this type of compensation is generally only reserved for claims with serious injuries that result in permanent disability. Juries tend to react negatively to spouses or domestic partners seeking loss of consortium damages in smaller cases, thus creating a backlash against the core of the settlement.
A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury claim that occurs as the result of a fatal accident. These claims seek compensation for the deceased person's medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of future earnings, and the loss of companionship and relationship with the deceased person. That last type of damage is similar to loss of consortium.
Loss of Consortium and Comparative Fault
California's comparative fault system allows for drivers who are determined to be partially at fault for an accident to still collect compensation for their injuries. However, their eligibility for compensation is reduced by their assigned percentage of fault. This percentage reduction affects loss of consortium damages as well.
For example, consider a case in which the injured driver's claim seeks $20,000 in loss of consortium damages. If the driver is found to be 40 percent at fault for the accident, the claim is reduced by $8,000. As a result, the eligibility for loss of consortium damages drops to $12,000.
Pursuing Loss of Consortium Damages
To some extent, seeking loss of consortium damages means you'll be comparing your relationship before the injuries to the state of your relationship currently. If applicable, the defense is allowed to ask about prior marital difficulties or separations you've experienced. While the fear of revealing sensitive personal information should not keep you from seeking the full compensation you're legally entitled to receive, it's important to be emotionally prepared for what this can involve.
If you are interested in pursuing loss of consortium damages as part of a personal injury or wrongful death claim, hiring a skilled attorney is a must. Negotiating this type of settlement can be quite complex.
Injured persons have two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury suit, unless the injury was caused by medical negligence. In that case, the time for bringing a claim is as short as one year. This means you should take immediate action to allow the lawyer to start to investigate the source of the damages claimed. In most cases, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claims are similar to those time limits just stated. To learn more about your legal right to compensation, please contact the dedicated team at the Inland Empire Law Group. Free, no-obligation consultations are available at either our Rancho Cucamonga or Victorville offices.
I was in a motorcycle crash. Does it matter if I was hit by a truck and not a car?
If you're hurt in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else's negligence while driving a truck or car, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries and other losses. Your right to pursue a financial recovery doesn't change just because the accident in question involves a motorcycle and a truck, rather than a motorcycle and a car. However, in either case you need an exceptionally skilled legal counsel to make sure you secure the best recovery possible. The attorney you hire to represent you should have extensive experience handling motorcycle crash claims, as both types of cases present unique challenges.
Truck Accident Claims Aren't as Straightforward as Car Crash Cases
Truck and car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and damages, potentially entitling victims to sizable settlements or monetary awards. However, the question becomes who is responsible for the collision and injuries. For example, their is a list of possible defendants that can be as short as the driver of the car or truck or can be long. Some of the possible responsible parties include the truck driver, the trucking company, the shipping company, the mechanics responsible for performing regular truck inspections and maintenance, the company that loaded the cargo, parts manufacturers, and others. You'll need an attorney to help you identify the appropriate party (or parties) to name as defendants in your lawsuit, as well as send all possible defendants, including the responsible trucking company, a spoliation letter requiring them to preserve documents and other valuable evidence related to your case.
Like truck crash cases, motorcycle accident claims can lead to significant damages and recoveries. In both instances, the greater the losses and possible financial recovery, the harder the defense attorneys will fight to prevent compensating you fairly. The at-fault party's insurers and attorneys may also try to use unfair misconceptions about motorcyclists to cast you in a bad light. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help you overcome these and other barriers to your potential recovery.
Consult an Experienced California Accident Attorney
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our skilled injury lawyers have successfully resolved motorcycle and truck crash cases for many clients. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
I was hurt in a pedestrian accident. Can I recover damages even if the car didn't hit me?
Yes. The problem of pedestrian accidents has reached crisis proportions, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, with the state reporting more serious or fatal pedestrian crashes than any other. In fact, pedestrian accidents injured more than 14,000 people in the Golden State in 2018 alone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all pedestrian crash cases involve a direct collision between victim and vehicle. Oftentimes, pedestrians are hurt while attempting to avoid being struck. Fortunately, a pedestrian doesn't actually have to be hit by a car or truck in order for their injuries to be compensable.
If you were hurt while taking evasive action to prevent a negligent motorist from hitting you with their vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. Following a near miss, it is critical get the identity of the driver, or at least the licenses plate of the vehicle to recover damages from the negligent driver. Also, with an impact between a car and a pedestrian, uninsured motorist coverage can also come into play under the right facts. A skilled California pedestrian accident attorney can help you protect your right to a fair financial recovery. Here's why you need knowledgeable legal counsel:
- Pedestrians lack any meaningful form of exterior protection and, as a result, the injuries and damages sustained in knockdown crashes can be significant. This means potential settlements and financial awards in pedestrian accident cases can be substantial—and insurance companies often fight vigorously to avoid paying.
- The motorist's insurer or defense attorney may try to shift blame for the accident to the pedestrian. Not only can a savvy pedestrian crash lawyer build a strong case to show why the other party was at fault, but they can help clients recover damages even if they were partially to blame for their injuries.
Schedule a Consultation to Find Out How We Can Help With Your Case
The talented injury recovery professionals with the Inland Empire Law Group have helped pedestrian accident victims collect fair compensation. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with a member of our accomplished legal team.
Do I need to call the police after a minor car accident?
Every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they're at risk of being involved in one of the approximately 10 million car accidents that occur in the United States each year. While some of these accidents result in serious injuries, extensive property damage, and even fatalities, others are what most people would refer to as “fender benders” – crashes in which property damage is minor.
People who've been involved in minor crashes often question whether it's necessary—or even worth the hassle—to report the accident to law enforcement. Don't be fooled into believing that everything will be okay and the insurance company will take care of the damages. It's almost always a good idea to at least report a car accident to the police, even if the police decide not to come to the scene of the collision. In some instances, California drivers may be legally required to report the accident to be able to make a claim to their insurance company, such as in a hit and run situation.
California law requires drivers to report accidents to law enforcement if there are any injuries or if the property damage sustained in the crash is expected to cost more than $1,000 to repair. In the absence of feeling injuries at the scene of the collision, accident victims may think they're in the clear. However, even seemingly minor auto body damage can be expensive to repair, and it's not unusual for just a few dents and dings to result in repair bills exceeding $1,000. Also, injuries from these impacts that cause a lot of visible damage can still result in serious injuries that develop in the days, weeks and months following the collision.
Reporting an accident to law enforcement also gives victims an official document for use at a later time. There are some downsides with a police report as well. Sometimes, an investigating officer makes a determination of fault for the collision, and that determination is wrong. If this happens, then an injury victim may want to submit a supplemental report to correct the errors in the report, such as a wrong statement attributed to the injured party or some other error. If a police accident report is prepared, make sure you get a copy as soon as it is prepared. This report may come in handy if the accident turns out to have been more serious than originally thought, or there is a dispute as to liability for the collision. For example, some car accident injuries can take days or longer to develop, which also underscores the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after a seemingly minor crash.
Were You Involved in an Accident?
If you were involved in an automobile collision, report the crash to law enforcement, even if it seems relatively minor. Not all collisions will get the attention of law enforcement, but you will have done your part in reporting the collision. This may make it easier to pursue a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, if necessary. Also, understanding all your options after an accident is just as important. The skilled attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule a free initial telephone or in person consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Is there a difference between a motorcycle accident lawyer and a car accident lawyer (or personal injury lawyer)?
In California, there are no specialties or certified specialists for motorcycle accident lawyers, car accident lawyers or even for personal injury attorneys. While all licensed attorneys are legally capable of representing injured individuals, not all lawyers are properly equipped to handle the challenging issues which arise in a motorcycle collision. To make sure you secure the best recovery from your motorcycle crash case— it is critically important you find an attorney with experience in, and a successful track record with, handling “motorcycle accidents” as part of their case history. A lawyer skilled in litigating a motorcycle case understands the unique prejudices held by jurors against motorcycle riders and their perception that they bikers are reckless, irresponsible and the cause of their own injuries. Additionally, the injuries are often unique or substantially more severe than similar impacts between vehicles. Further, in many motorcycle cases, the motorcyclist is unable to recall the events, does not know how the impact occurred or is too injured to aid in establishing the facts of the case. In other instances, the death of the motorcyclist leaves a gapping hole in the story of what he or she was doing moments prior to impact. Hiring the right attorney, willing to dig deep to find all the necessary answers for a successful motorcycle injury or death claim is the best choice a person can make who wants to secure appropriate compensation for the injuries or losses suffered in a motorcycle accident.
Here are some additional thoughts about what sets motorcycle crash cases apart from other accident cases, and why a motorcycle accident attorney is best equipped to help you fight for the best financial recovery:
- More serious injuries and damages. Most motorcycle crashes aren't light taps and fender-benders. When passenger vehicles collide with motorcycles, the resulting injuries are severe, catastrophic, or even deadly.
- Potential for larger settlements or financial awards. Motorcyclists with devastating injuries may be permanently unable to work, and require long-term or lifelong medical or assistive care. An experienced motorcycle crash attorney knows how to communicate the cost of such losses and can draw upon a network of qualified experts to testify on your behalf.
- Bias against motorcyclists. Despite research showing that motorists are not responsible for the majority of motorcycle-passenger vehicle crashes, motorcycle riders have a pop-culture reputation for throwing caution to the wind that can negatively affect their fight for damages. A motorcycle crash lawyer comes prepared with the facts and evidence needed to shift the blame back where it belongs—to the at-fault party.
Consult Our Injury Recovery Professionals
Are you hurt, unable to work, and facing mounting debt due to a motorcycle crash that is not your fault? The skilled trial motorcycle accident attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
What happens if I get into a car accident in another state?
No one expects to be involved in a serious car accident while visiting another state for work or vacation. Sadly, it happens all the time—and when it does, it can make filing a personal injury lawsuit and seeking compensation for injuries and damages even more complicated and confusing. If you were hurt in a car crash caused by another person or entity's negligence while out of state, here's what you need to know to protect your right to recovery.
Following an out-of-state accident, the initial steps you'll take to protect your rights are practically identical to those you would take after being involved in a crash in your home state. For example, you'll want to:
- Report the accident to the police
- Take photos of the accident scene, as well as any property damage or injuries
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver
- Find out if anyone witnessed the crash and write down their contact information
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Inform your auto insurance company of the accident
After that, you'll want to speak with an experienced attorney in the state where the crash occurred. Since the accident happened in a different state, any subsequent insurance claim or lawsuit will be governed by that state's personal injury laws. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options, evaluate the strength of your case, identify potential defendants, and figure out what types of compensation you can pursue. After you return to California, a local attorney can help you find a highly qualified attorney in the state where the injury occurred. Contact our office to find free help for your out of state traffic collision claim.
Hurt in a California Car Accident? We Can Help You Fight for the Damages You Deserve
If you were injured in a car crash while visiting California or if you are a California visiting another state when an accident occurred, the skilled personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can handle the complicated legal wrangling involved with your claim so that you can focus on your physical recovery. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
How can a truck's black box data help in my truck accident case?
After an airplane accident, the plane's black box recorder can often provide investigators with powerful clues about what went wrong. After a big-rig or 18-wheeler crash, the truck's black box may be able to do the same for you and your personal injury attorney.
Black Box Recorders Can Help in Commercial Truck Wrecks
Also known as electronic control modules (ECMs) or event data recorders (EDRs), black box recorders have been used since the 1990s to prevent fraudulent warranty claims, and to allow trucking companies to closely monitor truck and employee performance. However, because these recorders collect such a wide range of data, they can also shed insight on truck accidents, and serve as evidence in a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
Black box devices installed in large commercial truck often gather the following types of information:
- Overall average truck speed
- Highest speed
- Whether the truck exceeded the speed limit and, if so, for how long
- Time spend driving faster than 65 miles per hour
- Driving time
- Acceleration and deceleration speeds
- Hard braking events or sudden stops
- Speed and number of revolutions per minute (RPMs) recorded prior to the stop
- Seat belt usage
- Distance traveled
- Steering angles and throttle positions
- Air bag deployment
- Idling time
- GPS location
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by another person or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Data collected from a truck's black box can be used by your attorney to prove fault and damages.
However, if you hope to use black box data as evidence in your personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you must act quickly and consult an attorney. Not all trucks have black box recorders and, even if the truck that hit you does, there's no guarantee that the information you want will be there when you need it. These devices are only designed to record events from the past 30 days and, in some cases, the data may be purposely destroyed by the trucking company. An experienced California personal injury attorney can help you find out if the truck involved in your accident had a black box and, if necessary, request an order to preserve this important evidence.
Consult Our Skilled Attorneys About Your Truck Crash Case
Hurt in a California truck accident? Contact Inland Empire Law Group today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your case—and your legal rights and options—with a knowledgeable member of our team.
How is diminished value calculated after a car accident?
After an accident, you may be surprised to find that your vehicle has suddenly lost value, even though you had it fully repaired by a qualified professional. Known as diminished value, the frustrating phenomenon of having your car lose worth simply because it was involved in a collision is due to the fact that most buyers are unwilling to pay full market price for a vehicle that's been in a crash. As a result, your car may now be worth significantly less than it once was.
However, because California is a diminished value state, if your vehicle lost value because it was damaged in an accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. The three main types of diminished value are:
- Immediate diminished value. This is the difference between the car's resale or trade-in value before the accident and after the accident-related damages have been repaired.
- Inherent diminished value. This type of value loss occurs when a vehicle damaged in a crash is repaired to its original condition, but is still considered to have decreased in worth as a result of the accident.
- Repair-related diminished value. Not all vehicle repairs are created equally. In cases of repair-related diminished value, the car's value drops due to the quality of its repairs. This doesn't necessarily mean that the repair work was shoddy, but may indicate the use of generic or aftermarket parts.
The California Jury Instructions discuss the aspect of diminished value and repair of a vehicle. One instruction reads in part as follows:
"However, if you find that the [automobile] can be repaired, but after repairs it will be worth less than it was before the harm, the damages are (1) the difference between its value before the harm and its lesser value after the repairs have been made; plus (2) the reasonable cost of making the repairs. The total amount awarded may not exceed the [automobile]’s value before the harm occurred."
If you've sold the vehicle, calculating the diminished value can be as simple as determining the difference between the car's value before the accident and it's lower resale price, plus the cost of the repairs. Otherwise, comparing the vehicle's previous value to a trade-in offer from a dealership—or using an online diminished value calculator—can give you an idea of what your diminished value claim may be worth.
Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Diminished Value Claim
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our skilled personal injury attorneys have helped numerous accident victims collect fair compensation for their personal injuries, and to help them with the diminished value of their vehicle. Contact us at (909) 481-0100 or (888) 694-3529 today to schedule a free initial case consultation to learn how we can assist you.
I may have contributed to my pedestrian accident. Can I still recover damages?
In California, there is always the possibility of making a claim, so long as the pedestrian is not the sole cause of the accident. As a pedestrian accident victim, you may find yourself severely injured, unable to work, and racking up an outrageous amount of unexpected medical debt. If a motorist was fully or partially responsible for your injuries while you were a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation. Partial fault for the accident in which you were injured does not exclude all rights of recovery.
You Are Not Automatically Barred From Compensation If You Are Partially at Fault for Your Accident
In California, having contributed to your pedestrian accident doesn't automatically bar you from collecting compensation. This is because the state follows the legal doctrine of pure comparative negligence. Under this system, all parties are assigned a percentage of fault and then any financial awards are reduced accordingly. For example, if you were 10 percent responsible and received a $100,000 financial award, it would be reduced to $90,000 to reflect your assigned percentage of fault.
If you think your actions may have contributed to your pedestrian accident, it's important to speak with a California accident and injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and, if you hire them to represent you, they'll conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to determine liability and the options you have available. They may even be able to negotiate to have you assigned a lower percentage of fault, allowing you to take home more of whatever damages you may be awarded.
Consult a Knowledgeable California Personal Injury Attorney
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our skilled injury recovery professionals have helped numerous victims obtain the compensation they need and deserve after a devastating pedestrian accident. We'd love an opportunity to discuss your case to determine if we can help you, too. Want to know more? Contact us today at (909) 481-0100 or toll free (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, initial case consultation. Don't wait—California's statute of limitations gives you just two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages.
I was seriously injured in a traumatic car accident and am undergoing psychological therapy, can this be included in my recovery?
Car accidents can be both physically and mentally devastating. Though much attention is paid to the physical injuries victims sustain in crashes, these traumatic incidents can also have a distressing impact on their mental health. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 40 percent of motor vehicle accident survivors develop psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, persistent anxiety, and phobias, such as while driving.
The effects a horrific accident can have on your mental health can be long-lasting and require extensive treatment—the cost of which can quickly mount. However, if the car crash that caused your mental and physical injuries was caused by another person or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages.
A full and fair financial recovery in a car accident personal injury case should include compensation for all of your crash-related medical treatment, including psychological therapy needed to address resulting mental health disorders. In addition to the cost of your therapy sessions, your recovery may also include psychiatric appointments and mental health-related prescription medications.
However, recovering compensation for car crash mental health issues can be challenging. Fortunately, an experienced California personal injury attorney can help by thoroughly investigating the accident in which you were injured, gathering essential evidence, and building a strong case for damages. In the process, we'll work with your doctors to ensure that your injuries—and their effects on your daily life—are thoroughly understood and comprehensively documented so that they can be conveyed to the insurance company and defense counsel for the at-fault party.
Let Our Skilled Attorneys Help You Fight for a Fair Recovery
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our injury recovery professionals help victims injured by the negligence of others collect the compensation they deserve. We can assist you in recovering compensation for accident-related mental health treatment. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
Do pedestrian accident victims face bias when seeking compensation?
Accidents involving pedestrians have risen dramatically in recent years, with fatalities reaching a 28-year high in 2019, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries—however, don't be surprised if you find yourself facing bias at nearly every turn. This bias can start with the police officers investigating the scene of the crash, journalists reporting the incident in the media, the at-fault driver, and the insurance adjuster assigned to handle your claim and the judge or jury assigned to decide the facts of the case.
Why is the Pedestrian the One Many People Suspect Is Responsible for His or Her Injuries?
In 2019, a team of researchers from Rutgers University, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M University set out to test the theory that media coverage of pedestrian accidents may be partially to blame. The resulting paper, which was published in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences' Transportation Research Board, showed that news stories subtly and inadvertently shift blame from drivers to pedestrians in two key ways: by using phrases such as “a pedestrian was hit by a car,” rather than “a driver hit a pedestrian” and describing the incidents as “accidents,” which implies that the events couldn't be avoided.
This bias is rampant with insurance adjusters processing your claim because the more they can blame the pedestrian for the incident, the less they have to pay for the injuries. Unfortunately, judges or jurors who hears your case are also impacted by bias to one degree or another. Utilizing a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in handling pedestrian accident cases can help you overcome some of the potential bias. The attorney will focus on gathering important evidence, interviewing witnesses, and hiring the right experts to render opinions and testify on behalf of the injured pedestrian. Additionally, because California follows the legal standard of comparative negligence, even if the pedestrian was partially at fault, the pedestrian may be able to still maximize his or her financial recovery even if partially responsible.
Let Our Adept California Injury Recover Professionals Handle Your Pedestrian Injury Case
A pedestrian accident can turn your entire world upside down, leaving you seriously injured, unable to work, and facing unimaginable medical debt. At the Inland Empire Law Group, our knowledgeable attorneys and paralegals can help you fight for a fair recovery. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100, or submit a web form from this website, to speak with our skilled staff and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
Do I need a truck accident attorney, or can I handle my own claim?
Simply put, if you were seriously injured or sustained significant losses in a California truck crash caused by another person or company's negligence, you need the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney. Even if you've successfully handled other car accident claims in the past, the complexity of truck accidents require the right experienced attorney.
Ways That Truck and Car Accident Cases Differ
Truck crash cases aren't like other auto accident claims. Here are a few of the ways these two types of cases differ:
- Greater injuries and damages in truck crash cases lead to the potential for larger settlements and financial awards. Just because your losses are substantial doesn't mean that the liable party's insurance company or legal team will be eager to compensate you fairly. The right attorney balances out the imbalance of power so you can obtain full financial recovery.
- Multiple liable parties may mean multiple avenues for compensation. In some cases, the commercial truck driver may not be the only one at fault. Depending on the circumstances of the claim, negligent drivers may share liability with a trucking company, truck owner, trucking repair company, or a parts manufacturer. An attorney you does not look for the simple and quick settlement can identify liable parties, investigate all potential avenues for compensation and can fight the legal battle to secure the best outcome for you.
- You're likely to face an aggressive corporate and insurance legal team. Insurance companies and the businesses they insure are focused on protecting their bottom lines. They are not in the business of giving away money. To that end, they often bring in savvy and experienced attorneys to handle litigation with claimants. Having a knowledgeable and accomplished attorney of your own helps level the playing field and sends a message to everyone involved that your case is one to take seriously.
Hurt in a California Truck Accident? Contact Us at (909) 481-0100 or (888) 694-3529
If you were injured in a truck crash caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. The skilled injury recovery professionals with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation.
Do I need a motorcycle accident attorney, or can I handle my own claim?
If you sustained serious injuries and property damages in a California motorcycle crash caused by someone else's negligence and are incurring significant lost wages, medical expenses, and other losses as a result, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to ensure the maximum recovery available under the circumstances of your claim.
Motorcycles provide no exterior protection for riders, which is why injuries motorcyclists suffer in crashes are often catastrophic. After an accident, the severity of your injuries may prevent you from taking an active role in your insurance claim or lawsuit. A knowledgeable personal injury motorcycle accident attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather and preserve vital evidence, identify liable parties, interview witnesses, find all available insurance coverage and perform other essential tasks to build a strong case for damages while you focus on your physical recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Cases Aren't Like Other Personal Injury Cases
Motorcycle accident cases aren’t like other motor vehicle crash cases, either. When the significant injuries and damages in motorcycle accident cases lead to the potential for sizable financial recoveries for victims, you can expect the at-fault party's insurer and legal team to fight particularly hard to avoid paying. Without skilled representation, insurance adjusters and attorneys from the opposing side won't hesitate to push you around and trick you into accepting less than you deserve. An adept attorney can handle all communications with the responsible party's insurance company and defense attorneys, and advocate for your best interests.
Additionally, the old stereotype of motorcyclists being reckless renegades who have no respect for rules or authority can create an implicit bias that negatively affects a victim's ability to recover fair compensation. A savvy attorney can combat this false narrative with facts and help you overcome potentially case-damaging biases.
Let Us Handle Your California Motorcycle Accident Case
Hurt in a motorcycle crash? Hiring the right attorney, one with the appropriate experience, can increase the potential value of your insurance claim or lawsuit. Contact the Inland Empire Law Group today toll free at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100, to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
I was injured in a pedestrian accident. Can I still collect damages if I was partially responsible?
Yes. After being injured in a pedestrian accident, victims who fear they may be partially responsible for their injuries are often hesitant to investigate their right to compensation. If you find yourself in this position, don't make the mistake of not investigating your legal rights.
California Follows the Legal Standard of Pure Comparative Negligence
For personal injury cases, including incidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians, California follows the legal standard of pure comparative negligence. Thanks to this standard, being partly at fault for your injuries doesn't automatically preclude you from seeking compensation for damages. However, depending on the specific circumstances of your case, it could potentially affect how much you're able to recover.
For example, if you were injured by a speeding or distracted driver while jaywalking, you and the driver would likely share liability. You would each be assigned a percentage of fault, which any financial award would is adjusted to reflect the percentage of fault. If you were 30 percent at fault for jaywalking—while the driver was determined to have been 70 percent at fault for reckless or distracted driving—and you won a $100,000 financial award, that award would be reduced to $70,000 to reflect the comparative negligence.
The potential to have your award reduced highlights the importance of having an experienced California personal injury attorney handle your pedestrian accident case. A skilled attorney can investigate your case, gather important evidence, and negotiate to ensure that you're assigned a fair percentage of fault for the accident and your injuries.
Let Us Resolve Your Pedestrian Accident Case For Top Recovery
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our accomplished injury recovery professionals have helped many pedestrian accident victims collect the vital compensation they need and deserve. We'd love to take a look at your case and tell you if we can help you. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation to talk one of our adept attorneys about your legal rights and options.
Our teen was hurt in an accident that wasn't her fault, but the other driver and their insurance company are trying to claim she was responsible for the crash because she's a new driver. How can we prove that the other driver is liable?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens are more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers from any other age group—and their inexperience is often to blame. While that doesn't mean that all teenagers are bad or dangerous drivers, it does make it easier for other motorists—and their insurance companies—to claim that the teen was the one responsible for causing an accident. Fortunately, if your teen was hurt in a crash that wasn't their fault, the experienced injury recovery professionals with the Inland Empire Law Group can fight to establish the other driver's liability and recover the compensation your child needs and deserves for their injuries.
Attorneys Can Help Determine Which Party Was Liable for an Accident
For example, we can conduct a thorough investigation into the crash, gather valuable evidence, interview witnesses, and hire accident reconstructionists or other experts to testify on your teen's behalf. Things like great attendance and performance in school, good student auto insurance discounts, successfully completed internships, and other accomplishments can also be used to show that your teenager has good character and is a responsible person.
After a serious accident, your teen may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages. In addition to compensation for all accident-related medical expenses, financial recovery may include lost wages if your teen missed work because of the crash, as well as damages for physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and more.
We Can Help Your Teen Fight for the Compensation They Deserve
At the Inland Empire Law Group, we understand just how distressing it can be to have your child injured in an accident and then have to wonder if they'll get just compensation. Not to worry, we've helped countless clients in similar situations and may be able to help you as well. If you'd like to learn more, contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable member of our legal team. Don't wait—the sooner you involve an attorney in your case, the better.
Is it illegal to wear headphones while driving?
Many drivers enjoy listening to music, audiobooks, or radio programs to pass the time during their daily commute. However, in some circumstances, these types of in-vehicle entertainment can prove dangerously distracting. As a result, California is one of several states that have laws restricting how drivers use audio media while operating a vehicle.
The Dangers of Driving While Using Headphones
Being able to hear what's going on around the vehicle—such as the sounds of traffic, approaching emergency vehicles, or potential hazards like screeching tires—is essential to defensive and safe driving. Playing music or other audio media too loudly can make it difficult for drivers to hear sounds that could help them avoid accidents. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that listening to audio media through headphones, earphones, or earbuds not only further diminishes a driver's ability to hear critical sounds around them, but also increases their cognitive distraction level.
California has long banned the use of headphones and earplugs while driving or biking, but until just a few years ago, it was perfectly legal to wear earphones or earbuds. That changed on January 1, 2016, when a state law went into effect making it illegal to wear earbuds on top of the ears (these types of earbuds are also sometimes referred to as earphones) or inside the ear canal—regardless of whether they're actually playing audio. Motorists who violate the law can face fines of $160 or more. Additionally, though California law prohibits headphones, earphones, or earbuds on or in both ears, drivers using a single earphone or earbud are still in compliance.
Do You Need an Experienced Rancho Cucamonga Car Accident Attorney?
If you were seriously injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of a driver who was wearing both headphones, earphones, or earbuds at the time of the accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. Have questions about your case? Call the Inland Empire Law Group at 888-694-3529 or 909-481-0100, or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Who is at fault in a left-turn accident?
Left-turn accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in California. These crashes occur when a vehicle making a left-hand turn collides with a vehicle that's headed straight, generally in the opposite direction. Left-turn accidents can result in serious injuries and property damages, leading to significant medical expenses and unexpected time away from work.
California law requires that vehicles intending to make a left-hand turn yield the right of way to vehicles approaching in the opposite direction, and wait until it's safe to make their turn. As a result, when left-turn crashes occur, the driver making the left-hand turn is almost always found liable. However, there are some exceptions. Left-turning drivers may not be liable—or may only be partially liable—in the following scenarios:
- The driver heading straight was traveling at an excessive speed.
- The driver heading straight didn't obey traffic lights or signage, such as a red light or stop sign.
- The driver turning left initiated the turn while it was safe, but unexpected circumstances required them to slow, swerve or stop.
- The driver going straight was under the influence of alcohol or drugs thereby contributing to the collision.
- The driver proceeding straight was talking, texting, or otherwise distracted thereby making their actions a cause of the collision.
- The driver heading straight acted in a way to increase likelihood of the collision.
If you were injured in a left-turn accident that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damages, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Because California follows pure comparative fault rules, accident victims may still be able to collect compensation, even if they were partially responsible for the crash and their injuries—however, their financial recovery will be reduced to reflect the percentage of their liability.
Were You Hurt in a California Car Accident?
After a serious car crash, it's vitally important that victims understand their legal rights and options. The knowledgeable attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can answer your questions, address your concerns, and offer advice on navigating the personal injury litigation process. Contact us today toll free at (888) 694-3529 or locally at (909) 481-0100 to request a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with one of our experienced attorneys.
Is motorcycle lane splitting legal in California?
Lane splitting—defined by the California Department of Motor Vehicles as “passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane”—is a common practice among motorcyclists. In fact, one study found that 80 percent of California motorcyclists regularly lane split on the freeway.
Despite its popularity, there are questions surrounding both the safety and legality of lane splitting, also known as lane sharing or filtering. Contrary to popular belief, lane splitting is actually legal in California. State law never specifically forbade the practice and, in 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 51 into law, giving the California Highway Patrol (CHP) the ability to develop lane splitting guidelines.
The guidelines include tips to help motorcyclists who engage in lane splitting to do so more safely, as well as safety advice for motorists. CHP tips for lane-splitting motorcyclists include:
- Observe speed limits
- Assume that you're not visible to motorists and passenger vehicle occupants
- Stay out of other vehicles' blind spots
- Wear protective gear that's as visible as possible
- Split between the far left lanes, rather than between other lanes of traffic
- Avoid lane splitting next to big-rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, buses, and other large commercial trucks
The CHP also offered the following tips for motorists:
- Watch for motorcyclists and anticipate their possible movements
- Check mirrors and blind spots, especially prior to turning or changing lanes
- Signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic
- Never intentionally block or impede a motorcyclist in a way that could potentially cause harm to the rider
Consult an Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Were you hurt in a California motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault? Whether you were the motorcyclist involved in a traffic collision, or a motorist who was struck by another vehicle, the knowledgeable attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can investigate your claims, help you understand your rights and potential options for compensation, and present a strong case. Do you have questions about a California lane-splitting motorcycle accident? Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
What type of monetary recovery is available to injured TBI victims?
Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which estimates that there are more than 5.3 million Americans—or roughly two percent of the population—living with disabilities caused by a TBI. These injuries can irreversibly change an accident victim's life, resulting in the need for ongoing medical treatment, assistive care, and other costly accommodations. In fact, one Northwestern University study found that living with a TBI can cost between $85,000 and $3 million over the course of a lifetime.
The Wide Range of Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Fortunately, victims who sustain TBIs in car accidents caused by another person or entity's negligence can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court and seek money for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages. A monetary recovery or judgment for economic damages is intended to compensate an accident victims for quantifiable financial losses arising from the accident and the accident related injuries. Examples of economic damages—also known as special damages—include:
- Medical bills
- Future accident-related medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Other past and future accident-related financial losses
The payment or award of money for non-economic damages, also known as general damages, have pay for items where there is no direct monetary value. Non-economic damages in car accident TBI case can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and consortium
These damages are harder to calculate into dollars and cents, but they are real and an injured person can greatly benefit from the financial assistance for the losses suffered by the TBI victim.
Finally, there is a third type of damages known as punitive damages. Money may be awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior was particularly egregious or wanton. An attorney can help you determine if a request for punitive damages might apply in your case.
Consult a Knowledgeable California Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one sustained a TBI in a car accident caused by another person or company's negligence, the skilled attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can investigate your case, and help you understand your rights and legal options. The injury professionals at the Inland Empire Law Group can provide quality legal services, from pre-litigation settlement demands to taking a case to trial if necessary to secure the best result for your injury claim. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.