Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accident FAQs

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  • 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 whichDo You Know What to Do After a Minor Car Accident? 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.    Motorcycle and Car Wreck on a Busy RoadA 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?

    Car That Was Damaged While Vacationing in Another StateNo 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?

    Semi-Truck With a Black Box Recorder InstalledAfter 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?

    Man Using Calculator to Figure Out the Diminished Value of His Car After an AccidentAfter 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?

    Pedestrian on the Ground After a Collision With a CarIn 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 Portrait of Mental Healthsurvivors 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?

    Pedestrian Marking on the Road With Tire TracksAccidents 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?

    Car Involved in a Truck WreckSimply 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 Motorcycle Wreck With a Small Carfinancial 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?

    Pedestrian's Hat on a Smashed Car WindshieldYes. 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?

    Teen Driver After a Two-Car WreckAccording 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?

    Do You Know About the Dangers Headphones Pose for Drivers?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 Traffic Signal on a Busy California RoadLeft-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 amongMotorcyclist Lane Sharing on a California Highway 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?

    Brain Scan After a Traumatic Brain InjuryCar 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
    • Disability
    • 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.

     

  • What questions will a car accident attorney ask?

    Do You Know What Questions a Lawyer Will Ask After a Car Accident?Most car accident attorneys offer potential clients a free initial consultation.  These consultations allow the attorney, or his or her staff, used the time to review the case, gauge its strength, and determine whether the case, clients, and law firm are a good fit for each other.  During that consultation, car accident personal injury attorneys determine the appropriateness of the case by asking prospective clients a wide range of questions. Answering the attorney's questions completely and honestly ensure the best ability for the attorney to evaluate your case and determine if you and the law firm are the right fit for each other.  Sometimes the attorney can direct you to another law firm that might be a better fit for your case.  

    Questions an Attorney May Ask

    The questions the car accident attorney will ask will likely focus on topics such as exactly how, when, and where the accident occurred; the insurance coverages of the involved drivers; the injuries sustained and the medical care received; as well as the available evidence. Examples of some questions car accident attorneys ask during the initial consultation include:

    • Where and when did the accident happen?
    • How exactly did the accident occur?
    • What were the road and weather conditions immediately before—and during—the collision?
    • Did the other driver admit fault?
    • Is there a police accident report?
    • Do the involved drivers have auto insurance? What are the coverage limits? Do the policies include uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage, or personal injury protection (PIP)?
    • Can you provide a complete list of the injuries you sustained in the accident? Are any of those injuries appear to be permanent?
    • Where and when did you first receive medical care for injuries related to the accident?
    • Do you have medical records documenting your injuries?
    • Are there photos or videos of the accident scene, property damage, or physical injuries?
    • Did you have injuries prior to the collision?
    • Did you lose wages or were you unable to work due to the injuries?
    • Have you ever had any prior lawsuits or injury claims?

    Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

    If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for damages such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The Inland Empire Law Group can help you protect your rights and explore your options after a car accident. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case analysis.

     

  • What is reckless driving?

    What Is Reckless DrivingReckless driving is a common type of behind-the-wheel negligence that can lead to accidents, injuries, and deaths. This is no minor traffic infraction. In California, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense that can result in up to three months in jail, between $145 and $1,000 in fines, and as many as two years probation.

    Section 23103 of the California Vehicle Code defines reckless driving as “a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway (or in an off-street parking facility) in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. . . ." Though the term “reckless driving” can refer to a wide range of unsafe behaviors, common examples include:

    • Excessive speeding
    • Tailgating
    • Instigating conflicts with other drivers
    • Purposefully running other vehicles off the road
    • Weaving in and out of lanes in a way that endangers other motorists
    • Engaging in illegal street racing
    • Disregarding traffic signs and signals

    California law considers two types of reckless driving: “wet” reckless driving, which indicates the involvement of drugs or alcohol, and “dry” reckless driving, which drugs and alcohol were not a factor.

    Were You Injured by a Reckless Driver?

    Reckless driving causes countless accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year—both in California and across the nation. If you were injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if the reckless driver's conduct was particularly egregious, you may be entitled to a rarely-awarded type of compensation known as punitive damages.

    Do you have questions about an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit? The knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can answer your questions, and help you better understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.

     

  • Is it always your fault if you hit another car from behind?

    A rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. These types of collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in the United States. More than 6 million car crashes are reported to law enforcement each year and rear-end collisions account for more than one-third of those accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic California Residents Arguing About the Blame of a Rear-End CollisionSafety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, more people are injured in rear-end accidents than any other type of crash; these collisions injure more than 500,000 and kill nearly 2,000 people annually.

    After a rear-end accident, many people just assume that the driver who did the rear-ending is the one to blame. This is often correct since many of these collisions are caused by excessive speed, traveling too closely behind another vehicle or distracted driving.  One NHTSA study found that distraction of the trailing driver was a factor in 87 percent of rear-end accidents. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. The first driver may potentially share in liability if they:

    • Reverse suddenly
    • Have non-functioning brake lights
    • Stop to turn, but then change direction at the last moment
    • Leave a disabled vehicle in the middle of the road without turning on hazard lights or setting up emergency triangles
    • Stopping quickly for no reason

    It's also important to note that being partially responsible for a rear-end accident doesn't necessarily preclude a driver from collecting compensation for damages. California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that each party is liable for their percentage of fault and their financial award is reduced according to their respective liability.

    Do You Have Questions About a California Rear-End Accident?

    If you were injured in a rear-end accident that was not your fault, or even partially your fault, you may be concerned about whether you're eligible to collect compensation for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and other losses. The knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can review the details of your case, and help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to request an appointment for a free initial case consultation.

     

  • What are the motorcycle helmet laws in California?

    California is one of 19 states with a universal helmet law that requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet while the vehicle is in operation, regardless of their age or ability. Some states exempt riders and passengers from wearing a helmet if they're over the age of 21 or have completed an approved safety course. However, in California, anyone driving or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant motorcycle safety helmet—no exceptions. Do You Know the Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California?Additionally, the helmet must feature certification from the manufacturer stating that it complies with U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.

    Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California can have consequences that range from a verbal warning up to a $250 fine. Most importantly, not wearing a helmet can negatively impact any personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit a motorcycle driver or passenger might bring in the event of an accident. California is a comparative negligence state and if a motorcycle driver or passenger wasn't wearing a helmet, it leaves the door open for the opposing party's insurance company or defense attorney to claim that the victim was partially responsible for his own injuries.

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damage.  Even if you weren't wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, an experienced personal injury trial lawyer can assert arguments to overcome some of the comparative negligence claims raised by the defense.

    The seasoned personal injury attorneys at the Inland Empire Law Group have extensive experience helping injured motorcyclists secure the compensation they need and deserve after an accident. If you have questions about your motorcycle accident case, contact us today at (909) 481-0100 or (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We're happy to help you better understand your legal rights, options and rights to compensation.