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Roadway collisions in the United States claim a life every 12 to 15 minutes. The National Safety Council estimated 35,200 fatalities and 3.8 million serious injuries in 2013 due to car accidents. While most incidents are caused by human error, a lawsuit with the help of a Fresno car accident attorney can provide compensation for such losses.
Fresno Freeways and Roadways
Fresno streets form a nearly perfect grid aligning to a compass. It may be divided into quadrants with the State Highway 180 Sequoia Kings Canyon Freeway running east to west and the 41 Yosemite Freeway running north to south. In 2011, 34 traffic fatalities involving 49 vehicles were reported. Seven fatalities were due to drunk drivers. Seventy-three people experienced a fatal accident, including 17 pedestrians. Most traffic accidents are concentrated along the freeways, particularly on the 41, city center, and neighborhoods to the northwest between Shaw Avenue and West Herndon Avenue east of Van Ness Boulevard. Collisions also frequently occur near the Yosemite International Airport.
What Types of Car Accidents Happen in Fresno?
There are five main types of car accidents, categorized according to the basic orientation of the vehicles and people involved in the incident. First, there are lane departure crashes in which a driver leaves a lane and collides with another vehicle or an object. Lane departures include head on collisions and off-road collisions. Second, collisions at junctions involve a vehicle hitting the rear, side, or angle of another vehicle. Third, collisions may involve pedestrians or cyclists. Fourth, a vehicle may impact an animal. Finally, rollovers are uncommon but more likely lead to serious injury or death.
Should I Get a Fresno Car Accident Attorney?
If you have sustained loss due to a traffic accident, you may wonder if you should call an attorney. It depends on what happened and what losses were suffered. If you or a loved one experienced an injury or death, an attorney can help you gain compensation. Losing pay due to taking time off work for medical or other related reasons is serious, as is lost time from school or household duties.
Does the other driver and insurance company admit fault or is the case contested? If fault is contested, you have grounds for calling a lawyer. When out of pocket expenses due to medical bills, lost income, and automotive repairs are in the neighborhood of $15,000 or above, contact an attorney. You may have the opportunity to file a large claim if your injury recovery time was long or permanently debilitating. If you are called to court, remember that self-representation will require hours of preparation as you research the system and how to settle car accident claims. You will then have to present your case before the judge in a 5- to 10-hour hearing.
If you have not been injured but have sustained some other loss, there is still an opportunity to file a claim. Call Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP for a free, no-obligation consultation to help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Types of Compensation Available After a Fresno Crash
Individuals who are involved in Fresno car accidents may be able to recover a wide range of types of compensation for their losses. At Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi, our team will work with trusted medical and economic experts who can assist us in calculating our clients’ total expected losses so we can move forward with the best information possible with an insurance settlement or at trial.
First, we want to make sure that clients recover complete compensation for their economic damages. This includes calculable losses that we can add up by examining invoices, receipts, and bills. Some of the most common economic damages from a car accident in Fresno include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage replacement
- Property damage expenses
- Out-of-pocket losses
We also want to ensure that we take non-economic losses into account, which are more measurable because they are not necessarily attached to bills or receipts that a person receives. Non-economic damages include compensation a person receives for the way they are physically and emotionally affected by the injuries, the recovery, and any disability. We were to recover compensation for pain and suffering damages as well as loss of enjoyment of life damages.
Will Insurance Cover All of the Expenses
When a car accident occurs, there is a very good chance that it will end up being resolved between a settlement with the insurance carrier of the at-fault party and the crash victim. In cases where there are multiple at-fault parties, the insurance carriers will negotiate back and forth as to who pays compensation and how much.
Even though most claims are indeed resolved with insurance carriers, that does not guarantee that the insurance policy will be adequate enough to cover all expenses. Drivers are only required to carry the minimum insurance limits set forth by California law, which includes bodily injury coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident as well as $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. Many drivers choose to carry higher policy limits than this, but that is not required.
In the event the crash victim’s total expenses rise above the at-fault driver’s insurance limitations, then the victim may not recover total compensation for their losses. It may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to pursue additional compensation from their personal assets.
When do You Have to File Your Claim?
There are various timelines that individuals need to be aware of after a car accident occurs. First, auto insurance carriers are going to have strict porting deadlines in place, often within a day or two after the crash occurs. You need to meet these insurance carrier deadlines to ensure that the claims adjusters do not delay or deny the claim unnecessarily.
Additionally, the California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date a crash occurs, which means Fresno car accident victims have a two-year window with which to file their claim. Failing to meet this deadline will mean that the car accident victim becomes unable to recover compensation.
How Can Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP Help?
Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP’s Fresno car accident lawyers are some of the top ranked in the nation. After we have accepted your case, we partner with you and adopt your cause as our own. We will take steps to ensure you receive compensation. We know that times can be very hard after life-altering traffic incidents, so we will compassionately serve you as we handle your case. Car accident settlements can help you pay for medical bills and other costs associated with the accident. This can sustain you when you’ve lost income due to disability leave from work.
Thousands of people are killed each year in California and even more are injured. Fatalities in recent years have been between 2,500 and 3,000. Injuries have numbered above 225,000. If you are one of these victims, we will not treat you as a statistic. We can formulate a case that will win you much needed compensation.
Call us at 1-877-800-1700 for your free, no obligation legal consultation today.