San Bernardino, CA Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are a leading cause of personal injury and death for people of all ages, from young children to older adults. According to San Bernardino County, there were 16,123 people injured/killed in 2019 due to vehicle accidents, which is a +6% increase from 2018, and a +35% increase from 2010. Most motor vehicle collisions are preventable, and when they do occur, they happen because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. When you have been injured in a car crash, or if you have lost a loved one in a traffic collision, it is essential to get in touch with a San Bernardino accident lawyer who can help you to seek compensation for your losses.

Types of San Bernardino Car Accident Claims We Handle

At Heidari Law Group, P.C., we represent clients in many types of car accident cases, such as:

  • Rear-end collisions;
  • Head-on collisions;
  • Side-swipe accidents;
  • T-bone or side-impact crashes;
  • Rollover accidents;
  • Single-vehicle crashes;
  • Red light accidents;
  • Drunk driving crashes;
  • Distracted driving accidents; and
  • Aggressive driving collisions.

Damages in a Car Accident Case in San Bernardino

Many people who are injured in car accidents start the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. With an auto insurance claim, you may be able to obtain a settlement from the insurance company. Yet, in many circumstances, an insurance settlement is insufficient to cover losses, and an injured person files a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.

In a lawsuit, the injured person can be eligible to obtain compensatory damages. There are two types of compensatory damages. Both kinds of compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for different types of losses. Under California law, those types of compensatory damages include:

  1. Economic damages, which refer to “objectively verifiable monetary losses including medical expenses, loss of earnings, burial costs, loss of use of property, costs of repair or replacement, costs of obtaining substitute domestic services, loss of employment, and loss of business or employment opportunities”; and
  2. Non-economic damages, which refer to “subjective, non-monetary losses including, but not limited to, pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation, and humiliation.”

San Bernardino Car Accident Statute of Limitations

Most car accident lawsuits in California will need to be filed within two years from the date of your accident, according to California law. It is important to remember that the statute of limitations refers to the clock on your lawsuit rather than a clock on your auto insurance claim. However, even if an auto insurance claim takes a significant amount of time, you will still be required to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. To be clear, filing an auto insurance claim first will not pause the clock on the statute of limitations.

If there is a possibility that you may need to file a government claim — such as a claim against a government employee who caused the accident and was on the clock while driving, or a claim against a city or municipality due to a failure to maintain the road in a safe condition — your time window may be significantly shorter. In such cases, it may be necessary to file a claim in either six months or one year from the date of the accident. You should review your case with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you have time to file a claim and to seek compensation for your losses.

Getting Financial Relief After a Car Accident in San Bernardino

In the State of California, individuals impacted by car accidents have the legal right to seek monetary compensation for the full spectrum of their losses. This includes tangible expenses as well as less quantifiable damages. However, obtaining complete and fair financial restitution following an automobile collision can be a complex process. Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. Our experienced car accident lawyers in San Bernardino, CA, are committed to assisting those injured in maximizing their financial recovery, whether through settlements or court verdicts. As a victim, you may be eligible for compensation covering:

  • Automotive repairs or vehicle replacement; 
  • Emergency medical treatment; 
  • Hospital bills and other health care bills; 
  • Lost wages and loss of earning power; 
  • Pain and suffering; 
  • Scarring/disability; and
  • Wrongful death. 

Understanding Compensatory Damages in Car Accident Lawsuits

Compensatory damages play a crucial role in car accident lawsuits, aiming to make the injured party ‘whole’ again. Economic damages ensure that all out-of-pocket expenses linked to the accident are covered—this includes past, present, and estimated future medical bills, lost wages if the injured party is unable to work, and costs related to any permanent disability or disfigurement. Non-economic damages, while more subjective, attempt to put a monetary value on the pain and suffering experienced since the accident. They address psychological impacts such as depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and strain in relationships due to injury. Calculating these damages requires a comprehensive understanding of both the immediate impacts and longer-term consequences of the injuries, often necessitating the testimony of medical experts and life care planners.

Role of Evidence in Building a Strong Car Accident Claim

The strength of a car accident claim largely depends on the quality and amount of evidence presented. Immediately after an accident, collecting accurate information from the scene, such as photos, videos, and witness accounts, can significantly influence the outcome. Documentation of injuries and treatment records are essential to establish the claim further. In addition, employment records and expert testimonies can support claims for lost wages and future earnings. As cases progress, continually collecting and preserving evidence is crucial, as delays or missing information can weaken a claim. Experienced attorneys understand these dynamics and work meticulously to build robust arguments that accurately reflect the harm suffered and the compensation required.

Common Asked Car Accident Questions

What types of car accident claims can an attorney handle in San Bernardino, California?

An attorney in San Bernardino can manage a variety of car accident claims, including rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, side-swipe accidents, T-bone or side-impact crashes, rollover accidents, single-vehicle crashes, red light accidents, drunk driving crashes, distracted driving accidents, and aggressive driving collisions. Each type of accident requires a specific approach to effectively establish liability and pursue compensation.

How is compensation determined in a car accident case in San Bernardino?

Compensation in a car accident case can include economic damages like medical expenses, lost earnings, and repair costs, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, and emotional distress. The goal is to cover all objectively verifiable monetary losses and compensate for subjective, non-monetary losses, ensuring that the injured parties’ financial and emotional harms are addressed.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in California?

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is typically two years from the date of the accident. It is critical to act within this period to ensure your legal rights to compensation are preserved. Special circumstances, such as accidents involving government vehicles or poor road conditions, may require a claim to be filed in a shorter timeframe, possibly within six months to a year.

What should one do immediately following a car accident in San Bernardino to preserve their rights?

Immediately following a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention, document the accident scene with photos or videos, obtain contact information from witnesses, and report the accident to the police. Following medical care and initial documentation, contacting a skilled car accident attorney is essential to navigate the legal steps and efficiently handle insurance claims or litigation.

How do car accident attorneys in San Bernardino help in maximizing financial recovery after an accident?

Car accident attorneys in San Bernardino help maximize financial recovery by thoroughly investigating the accident, understanding all facets of the client’s damages, negotiating assertively with insurance companies, and preparing compelling cases for trial if necessary. Their expertise ensures that all potential avenues for compensation are explored, from immediate medical costs to long-term care and emotional distress.

Can you explain the difference between economic and non-economic damages in car accident cases?

Economic damages refer to direct monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. These are quantifiable and can be calculated based on bills and other financial records. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover subjective impacts like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of life’s pleasure. These damages are compensated based on the severity and lasting impact of the psychological and physical injuries.

What is the importance of contacting an attorney early in the process of a car accident claim in San Bernardino?

Contacting an attorney early is crucial because they can help protect your legal rights, provide guidance on dealing with insurance companies, and ensure that critical evidence is preserved. Early legal intervention is also vital for adhering to the statute of limitations and enhancing the strength of your case by collecting fresh evidence and witness testimonies.

How do attorneys deal with insurance companies after a car accident in San Bernardino?

Attorneys handle negotiations with insurance companies to ensure that their clients receive the maximum possible settlement. They scrutinize the insurance policies for applicable coverage, counter lowball offers, and, if necessary, challenge denials of claims. Their negotiation tactics are backed by a thorough understanding of state insurance laws and personal injury litigation.

What type of support can one expect from a San Bernardino car accident attorney throughout the legal process?

From the initial consultation through to settlement negotiations or court proceedings, clients can expect their attorney to provide comprehensive support. This includes legal advice, handling all paperwork, systematically gathering evidence, representing the client in all legal settings, and providing constant updates about the progress of the case.

What are some steps taken by attorneys to prepare a car accident case for trial if it does not settle?

If a car accident case goes to trial, attorneys prepare by gathering detailed evidence, including accident reports, medical records, and expert testimony. They also conduct depositions to question witnesses and involved parties under oath. Preparing visual aids to illustrate the accident scenario and the impacts of injuries on the jury, alongside constructing a strong narrative around the case, are additional critical steps.

Why Choose Our San Bernardino Car Accident Attorneys

Car accidents are always difficult to deal with, especially when insurance companies get involved. At Heidari Law Group, P.C., we specialize in offering tailored legal services to our clients. We are committed to proactive, results-oriented services in all of our cases, and we stand ready to offer complete support throughout the process, including:

  • Taking time to understand what happened, and answering all of your questions;
  • Investigating the available evidence regarding the accident;
  • Handling the legal paperwork and settlement negotiations; and
  • Taking appropriate action to get you the best settlement possible.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is crucial to seek the representation you deserve. The right legal support can help protect your rights and secure fair compensation. Heidari Law Group offers expert assistance to guide you through the legal process. They provide a free consultation to evaluate your case and understand your needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Heidari Law Group today for the support you need.