Fontana Car Accident Attorney
Public data suggests that most Fontana residents spend just over 30 minutes each day commuting to work. Spending a significant amount of one’s day in traffic is often considered a small price to pay in exchange for the chance to reside at the base of beautiful, largely uninhabited mountains and simultaneously maintaining access to the expansive opportunities that being connected to significant population centers affords. Unfortunately, spending so much time in traffic is not always a relatively insignificant inconvenience. Southern California’s famously congested roads “play host” to many of the millions of injurious motor vehicle accidents that affect Americans every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately three million individuals require medical care for non-fatal car crash injuries annually.
If you have recently been injured in a car crash, it’s important to understand that the California State law protects your rights as an accident victim. Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your collision, you may be entitled to significant compensation via the insurance claims process, the personal injury claims process, and/or the workers’ compensation claims process. Our firm has extensive experience assisting injury victims in the wake of car crashes. Whether you sustained a relatively minor case of whiplash due to a fender bender or the injuries you sustained in a high-speed accident were catastrophic, our knowledgeable, experienced, and effective approach to client representation will serve your needs as efficiently as possible under the circumstances. Our team refuses to cut corners as we advocate passionately on behalf of our clients. However, we also understand that if you’ve been injured in a wreck, you need access to any compensation you’re entitled to as soon as possible. As a result, we will treat your case with the focus, determination, and respect that it deserves so that we can deliver results without undue delay.
Protecting the Rights of Car Accident Victims
Unfortunately, personal injury attorneys have earned the nickname “ambulance chasers” within popular culture. It is important to understand that if you have been hurt in a car accident, you should not avoid seeking legal guidance because you are concerned about being taken advantage of. There are some personal injury attorneys who do not act with integrity. However, our firm has earned a reputation for excellence and for quality representation of our clients, in part, because we believe strongly that every accident victim is entitled to understand their rights under the law and how to effectively exercise those rights. When individuals choose to entrust their cases to our firm, we treat those individuals with respect and we treat their cases with dedication, attention to detail, and focus. No one can promise that every attorney will behave with integrity. However, our firm’s reputation for excellence can help you feel confident that if you schedule a risk-free, no-cost consultation with our team, that we will behave with integrity and that you and your rights as an accident victim will be treated with the utmost respect.
Determining Fault for California Car Accidents
The fact that California is a comparative negligence state is beneficial for car accident victims. The classification as a comparative negligence state means that in California, you are entitled to compensation from others who have contributed to your injuries – and can be held legally liable for those contributions – even if you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your harm. Meaning, you could significantly benefit from scheduling a free consultation with our firm to explore your legal options, even if were partially or significantly at fault for your accident.
Determining the amount of fault assigned to each party that helped to cause the accident in question is a tricky business. As a result, it may take some time and investigative effort before our firm can definitively determine “how much” any party involved in the accident was at fault for the harm that the collision caused. If during the course of your case, it is determined that you were partially at fault for the accident in question, the amount of compensation that you will be eligible to collect will be affected by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if it is determined that you were 10 percent at fault for the accident and the harm you have suffered is valued at $100,000, you will remain entitled to pursue $90,000 in damages from those that were up to 90 percent responsible for that harm.
Car Accidents – Causation Matters
The first step in determining fault in a car accident involves clarifying exactly what caused the collision in question. Only after the cause(s) of the accident is revealed can fault be assigned to the parties involved. It’s important to avoid making any assumptions about causation or fault until our firm has done the necessary investigative work. Failure to exercise caution when thinking about causation and fault can lead you to assume more blame than you should.
If you accept blame for your accident before these issues of causation and fault are determined objectively, you could unintentionally devalue your case by leading insurance claims adjusters and other parties involved in the accident to believe that the accident unfolded in ways that are not supported by fact. For example, if you glanced at your phone to confirm that your Bluetooth function was enabled right before you crashed, you may be under the impression that you’re to blame for your accident. If you assume that blame, you may limit your ability to hold the other driver involved fully accountable for their actions after you learn that they were high, sleep-deprived, and texting-while-driving at the time of the crash. In short, don’t assume that you were at fault, and don’t admit blame until you know what caused the crash to occur in the first place. Otherwise, you could devalue your claim and limit your opportunities to seek legal recourse.
Common causes of car accidents in California include:
- Impaired driving – Prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and/or alcohol
- Speeding – Exceeding speed limits or otherwise operating too fast for conditions
- Distraction – Taking one’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and/or mind off the task of safe vehicle operation
- Right of Way issues
- Road maintenance issues – Those responsible for maintaining roads safely can be held legally liable for a failure to do so under certain circumstances
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Failure to use turn signals
- Auto defects – Auto parts manufacturers, rental car companies, auto retailers, and others in the chain of distribution for faulty auto parts may be held liable under certain circumstances
- Tire problems – Failure to address known tire issues and tire defects are both surprisingly common contributors to the causation of auto accidents in the U.S.
- Improper lane change maneuvers
- Slippery road surfaces
- The presence of animals – Domestic and wild
How to Know if You Might Have Grounds to File Legal Action
Successful personal injury claims must meet three fundamental legal standards. First, an injury victim must prove that the defendant named in the case owed the victim a duty of care under the law. This is usually not a difficult standard to prove in a car accident case because every traveler on a California road is required to follow all safety laws and regulations to better ensure the safety of everyone else on the road. What can be more challenging is proving the other two legal standards. These standards require victims to successfully assert that the defendant behaved in a negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous manner and that this breach in their duty of care directly led to the victim’s injuries.
You may not know for sure whether your case meets these standards at this time. That’s not unusual for a prospective client. Understanding the ins and outs of how these standards apply to your situation is our job. When you arrive for your free consultation, we’ll review the circumstances of your accident and advise you as to whether your case is likely to meet these fundamental criteria.
Communicate Cautiously with Insurance Agents
Too often, car accident injury victims refrain from seeking legal guidance in the wake of a collision because they aren’t interested in suing anybody in the wake of their crash. The choice to file formal legal action is a personal one and one that only you can make. However, even if you are uninterested in holding others personally responsible for the harm you have suffered, you still need to speak with an attorney to safeguard your legal options and to better ensure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.
For example, it is almost certain that in the wake of the crash you will have to deal with at least one insurance company. You may hold a policy with this company or this company may represent someone else involved in the accident. Either way, the insurance company does not maintain loyalty to you. Insurance companies need to turn a profit because they are legally beholden to their shareholders. As a result, if an insurance claims adjuster can find a reason to devalue or reject your claim, they will. Allowing our experienced legal team to negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf will better ensure that your claim is paid promptly and is fairly valued. Our team is familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use to get out of paying the full, fair value of accident victims’ claims. If you negotiate with these companies on your own, you may unintentionally say something that could limit your ability to receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
When Crashes Happen While Drivers Are on the Job
If you were injured while driving a vehicle for work or while driving for work-related purposes (say, to run an errand for your boss), you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits in addition to filing a personal injury action against third parties that are partially or totally responsible for causing your injuries. If you are unsure of whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, simply let us know that your accident occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities (and tell us a bit more about what you do for a living and whether you operate as an independent contractor or work as an employee). We will be able to advise you of your legal options accordingly.
Our firm chooses to offer consultations to all California accident injury victims at no cost. We offer this service because we believe that every injury victim deserves to understand both what their rights are under the law and how those rights may be exercised effectively. When you arrive for a consultation, you can ask questions and receive personalized guidance from a knowledgeable car accident attorney. Attending this consultation will not obligate you to work with our firm moving forward or to file legal action. This is a free, confidential process with no strings attached. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by connecting with our firm today but you may have a great deal to gain by doing so. We look forward to speaking with you.