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Every year, thousands of victims suffer serious injuries in car accidents around the Riverside area, many of which prove catastrophic or even fatal for Riverside residents. Of course, injured Riverside car accident victims experience physical and mental pain and suffering. Additionally, they suffer from the financial burden of medical bills and the possibility of missed time from work. Many injured victims find themselves struggling to navigate the challenges associated with your recovery and mounting expenses.
Injured victims do not have to fight this battle alone. The experienced Riverside car accident attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Contact our experienced Riverside car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to learn more about your available legal options following an auto accident.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have a long history of successfully pursuing personal injury claims for a variety of clients.
Some of our firm’s most successful cases include:
While past results do not guarantee any future settlement award, our team’s experience offers a wealth of knowledge, compassion, and dedication to every Riverside client we represent. We fight to maximize compensation for injured victims who are entitled to damages.
Motor vehicle accidents oftentimes cause extensive damage and serious injuries. Depending on the severity of the injuries suffered, victims may face substantial challenges immediately following the accident, and potentially for the rest of their lives. Victims with severe injuries may have to make major accommodations in their daily lives to adapt to their injuries.
Accident victims suffering traumatic brain injuries, unfortunately, can experience a lifetime of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Some common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include sleep disturbances, ringing in the ears, and visual difficulties. In addition, brain injury victims can suffer from cognitive issues including difficulty completing simple tasks, short-term memory loss, holes in long-term loss, and difficulty focusing or concentrating. Victims of traumatic brain injury may also experience changes in personality or difficulty controlling their emotions.
Depending on the area of the brain that suffers damage, injured victims can experience a wide variety of symptoms for days, weeks, or even years following the accident. Even minor traumatic brain injury can cause lingering symptoms.
Due to these challenges, many victims of a traumatic brain injury can’t return to work for some time after an accident. Others can never return to work in the same capacity as they worked before the accident. Many of the cognitive and emotional issues associated with a traumatic brain injury can make it difficult for victims to return to work in any meaningful capacity.
The severity of a spinal cord injury often depends on the location of the injury and the extent of damage to the nerves. In a complete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is completely severed, leaving the victim paralyzed below the site of the injury. Incomplete spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord does not sever entirely, leaving the victim with some sensation and/or mobility below the site of the injury. Injuries that occur close to the neck along the spinal cord oftentimes have more debilitating consequences.
For example, tetraplegia can result from a spinal cord injury close to the neck resulting in a lack of mobility for any body part below the victim’s neck. Victims with injuries at a location closer to the base of the spinal cord may retain functioning in their arms and hands, experiencing immobility of only their lower extremities. Frequently, victims with spinal cord injuries require a wheelchair for independent mobility. Many have to relearn how to accomplish basic tasks, including personal hygiene and caring for themselves.
Not only do burns cause more pain than nearly any other type of injury, they also create a high risk for infection, among other complications. The skin helps protect the body from foreign particles like bacteria that create serious infections when introduced to the bloodstream. Burns, unfortunately, strip away the layer of protection provided by the skin, which can leave the victim prone to infection. Many burn treatments may also require multiple phases of treatment to effectively heal the injury. Burns have an extremely high risk of complications. Even with full, effective treatment, burns can cause scarring and disfigurement that permanently change the victim’s appearance.
Some accident victims immediately lose limbs, as the force and impact from the collision completely sever the limb from the body. Other victims may require an amputation in the weeks following an accident if a limb slowly dies from a reduction or loss of blood flow. At times, limbs receiving insufficient blood flow may become necrotic and ultimately may require amputation to save the victim’s life.
Amputees frequently must relearn how to perform basic tasks. Victims suffering amputation of a lower extremity may need rehabilitative services to relearn how to walk. Hand and arm amputees may have to relearn how to perform basic tasks, including caring for themselves. While many amputees opt for prosthetics, the assistive devices, upkeep, and replacement is expensive. Most amputees have to replace prosthetic devices every three to five years, making prosthetics a lifelong expense.
Severely broken bones, especially multiple broken bones or those that require surgical treatment, can cause victims to miss work for weeks during recovery. Victims who have jobs that require physical labor often cannot work due to immobility. Others may struggle with pain or disorientation from pain medication, making it impossible for them to complete their job duties.
Consider contacting an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney as soon after a car accident as possible. Experienced personal injury attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. When appropriate, an attorney may begin working on their client’s behalf immediately following an accident.
A Riverside car accident attorney can start working on your behalf immediately after the accident, including:
After a Riverside car accident, victims oftentimes receive a call or letter from the responsible party’s insurance company providing a settlement offer. More often, an initial settlement offer from the liable party’s insurance company does not reflect the true value of an injured party’s claim. Contacting an attorney can help injured victims develop a better understanding of how much compensation they deserve for their injuries. Many insurance companies will increase their offer simply because they know victims have an experienced, dedicated attorney working on their side.
Injured victims should work with an experienced auto accident attorney to ensure they are accurately calculating the damages they deserve.
A Riverside car accident attorney can help point out all the factors that will influence the amount of compensation injured victims can seek, including:
Financial losses related to the accident. Personal injury claims provide compensation for accident-related losses when the accident was caused by another’s negligence or intentional act. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist injured victims in calculating their past expenses and anticipating their future expenses. Common damages include:
Medical expenses. Many injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, burns, and spinal cord injuries, can cost victims hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical bills. Victims often endure the costs of emergency and immediate care. However, they must also anticipate ongoing treatment and rehabilitative services. Some injuries may require victims to seek long-term assistive care to provide them with skills for coping with and accommodating their injuries.
Victims should include the costs associated with any long-term therapy in their personal injury claim. Many victims need extensive physical therapy to restore strength and mobility in areas of the body impacted by their injuries. If you suffer injuries that will have a lifelong impact, you may need to work with an occupational therapist to learn how to compensate for your injuries. Thanks to those therapies, many victims relearn how to accomplish self-care or return to their jobs. Without those therapy services, however, recovery goals can be much harder and take much longer to achieve.
Lost wages. The amount of time that an injured victim is required to miss from work will depend on their employer, their job duties, and the severity of their injuries. For example, victims suffering a traumatic brain injury may never again perform job duties that require acute focus and concentration. For example, brain injury victims who worked in customer-focused positions may experience difficulties related to their inability to regulate their emotions, preventing them from ever returning to work.
Many employers will work with their employees in formulating a plan to get them back to work as soon as possible. Employers may offer modifications in job duties, specialized equipment, or reductions in hours to help employees return to work. Other employers, however, may not offer injured employees modifications or advantages. Some employers may prefer that injured victims make a full recovery before attempting to come back to work.
Injured victims may work with an attorney to calculate hours and wages missed from work as well as benefits or bonuses they missed out on. Lost wages calculations should include the loss of vacation or any other paid time off.
Pain and suffering. In addition to the tangible financial losses associated with most injuries, victims may face significant pain and suffering—physical, mental, and emotional. Many victims suffer a sense of isolation or hopelessness because they miss important occasions or can’t participate in activities they enjoyed before the accident. Injured victims should consult with an attorney to determine how losses associated with pain and suffering may be included in their claim for damages.
Who caused the accident? When calculating compensation for accident-related damages, injured victims must identify all parties that may be potentially responsible for the accident. Most auto insurance policies offer only minimal coverage to drivers who suffered serious injuries in an accident with a covered driver. Commercial drivers, including truck and rideshare drivers, may carry higher-limit policies that provide substantially more compensation to injured accident victims. By identifying additional entities who may share liability for accident injuries, victims can often increase the compensation they may receive. An experienced personal injury attorney can help injured victims identify entities that share liability for accident-related damages. Potentially liable parties include:
A driver’s employer. Was the driver on the clock at the time of the accident? Did the employer fail to properly maintain the vehicle, force drivers to drive in unsafe conditions, or ask them to ignore federal mandates concerning safe driving times? All these factors can contribute to an accident. If an accident is caused by inadequate maintenance or fatigued driving, an employer may share liability for the resulting damages.
A mechanic that recently worked on the vehicle. A driver usually assumes, after a visit with a mechanic, that any issues that existed were corrected and that their vehicle will work properly. A mechanic who fails to properly repair a vehicle may share responsibility for an accident and any resulting injuries.
The vehicle manufacturer, or a manufacturer of the vehicle’s parts. If mechanical failures contribute to an accident that a negligent or careless manufacturer caused, the manufacturer may bear liability for an accident.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Riverside saw more than 2,000 car accidents during a recent year that resulted in injury or death. Because most people are unaware of what steps they should take following a car accident, the following frequently asked questions can help you understand what to do after you have been involved in an accident on a Riverside roadway.
Safety comes first. Get your car out of the way of traffic if it is possible to do so. In California, the civil code CVC §16000 (a) requires that you notify law enforcement of any accident that results in damage to a person or property exceeding $1,000.
If you are physically able to do so, you should also speak with witnesses to the accident and obtain their contact information. Drivers involved in the accident should exchange names and telephone numbers, driver’s license information, license plate numbers, and insurance information. You should also consider taking photos at the scene. Some images that could be helpful include road signs such as traffic signals and speed limit signs. It is also helpful to obtain photos of the damage to each vehicle.
Once you have spoken with the police at the scene and obtained as much information as possible, you need to be checked out by a medical professional. Remember, your body has an automatic response that could be masking symptoms of an injury, even if you think you are uninjured. This step not only ensures you are protecting your health but can be important if you decide to file a Riverside car accident claim.
According to California’s Department of Insurance, the sooner you contact your insurance company, the better. But while you must report your accident to your insurance company, it’s always best to talk with a Riverside car accident attorney first.
You may also hear from an insurance adjuster from the company representing the at-fault driver. Use caution when speaking with the adjuster, because seemingly innocent questions like “how are you doing today?” could be used to reduce the amount of settlement they offer. Above all else, do not sign any documents provided by either insurer without having them reviewed by experienced legal counsel.
You should check with your own insurance company to see if you or a member of your household has uninsured motorist coverage. Contact a lawyer immediately to explore your options for holding an at-fault uninsured driver financially responsible for the harm they have caused.
You should contact an attorney who has experience dealing with Riverside car accidents as soon as possible. While the police are responsible for attempting to identify the person responsible for your injuries, there may still be options for you to collect a settlement for your financial costs while recovering from your injuries. Without an explanation of your options, you may not know what to do next.
Probably not—and certainly not before we review it for you.
The fact is that a settlement offer made shortly following a car accident usually comes with strings attached. Often, an insurance company will make a settlement offer as a way of avoiding future liability. This means any expenses or losses you suffer as a result of your injury after the settlement are your problem. The insurance company is aware that you have concerns about your finances, particularly if you are going to be out of work for an extended period of time. This is the primary reason they will attempt to have you accept a settlement immediately.
When an insurance company offers a settlement, you should speak with an attorney right away. The language in the agreement will usually stipulate that when you accept the settlement, the insurance company bears no future responsibility for medical bills, lost wages, or other costs associated with your care. Chances are that they will try to convince you they have no intention of making a larger offer—do not fall for this threat. Reasonable settlements take time, and a quick settlement offer is usually a trap.
No two car accidents result in the same level of injury, which makes addressing the question of compensation complicated. Some car accident victims suffer minor injuries and require minimal compensation. Other victims suffer life-altering injuries such as traumatic brain injury. These victims often need far more treatment, must longer roads to recovery, and are likely to require far more medical care than, say, a victim with a broken leg.
The types of compensation you may be able to collect after an accident include lost wages, medical expenses, compensation for having to hire a nurse or other care provider during your recovery, and in some cases, you may be able to recover for rehabilitation costs. When you add these numbers up, you may be surprised at the total costs associated with a car accident injury.
Medical costs associated with your recovery include not only your initial visit to a physician after a car accident in Riverside but follow-up care as well. This means any tests, X-rays, physical therapy, specialized equipment, prescription drugs, and even modifications to your home to accommodate your injuries may also be covered.
Car accident victims can also claim lost wages. This is true whether you work at a typical job or you are self-employed. Lost wages include not only your current income, but also future earnings if you are unable to return to work or if your earning capacity is reduced due to your injuries. In some cases, you may also be able to recover incidental wages such as losses to pension accounts and other associated compensation.
You may use your current health insurance plan to pay for your treatment. However, you should also be aware that if your plan is employer-based, you may be required to pay the insurance company back for all accident-related costs. You should obtain a copy of your health insurance contract and have your car accident lawyer review the contract to determine if you will have to repay the expenses associated with your injury.
Additionally, you should review your car insurance policy. Some policies do have optional health coverage (MedPay) which you may have taken out when you obtained your auto insurance policy. Your insurance agent can advise you if you have this coverage.
The simple answer is yes. When you have suffered a prior injury and an accident resulted in new damage, our experienced Riverside car accident attorneys can help. Typically, your lawyer will retrieve your medical history and review the treatment you were given during the course of the injury. This is important because a car accident may force you to restart treatment for an old injury. That does not mean the at-fault driver is off the hook for your medical costs. However, the insurance company will attempt to use the information in your medical records as proof that the at-fault driver is not liable.
You face two likely scenarios in this circumstance. First, your attorney can help protect your privacy by preventing the release of your medical records. Second, the injury you suffered in the accident still requires treatment. It will be up to your attorney to protect your rights even if you have had a similar injury in the past, unrelated to the car accident.
No! Many drivers think if they have been hit by a drunk or reckless driver who has criminal charges pending they have to wait to file a claim. This is not true. It is important to remember that a Riverside car accident lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that is completely separate from any criminal case. The criminal charges have no impact on whether the driver is liable for your injuries. Your car accident lawyer need only prove the driver was responsible for your injuries, not whether they were drunk or acting recklessly.
Many victims of car accidents think they can settle their claims without the help of a lawyer. The fact is that insurance companies are hoping this is exactly the approach you will take. Insurance companies know that most car accident victims do not know the law, so they can likely talk you into a lower settlement than you deserve.
There are several reasons why you should hire a lawyer following a car accident. An attorney acts as an advocate for your rights. You will have many questions about your claim that an attorney can answer. Additionally, the more serious your injury, the longer it is going to take you to recover. An attorney who has experience handling serious injuries understands how long it may take you to get back to “normal” and they can stand up to the insurance company if they attempt to get you to accept a less than ideal settlement for your injuries.
Money is always a worry while victims of Riverside car accidents are recovering from their injuries. However, there is good news: When you are the victim of a car accident, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Riverside car accident lawyer. When you choose a lawyer, you will likely learn that they work on a contingency fee basis. This means that until they are successful in obtaining a settlement for you, you pay no legal fees.
There is no simple answer to this question since every case is slightly different. The severity of your injuries, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate, your goals as to the outcome, and numerous other factors will play a role in the speed with which your case is resolved.
If you work with a lawyer, they will make sure all inquiries from the insurer are handled immediately. When an insurance company does not get information promptly, there is often a holdup in the settlement.
Many drivers think the only way to get a Riverside car accident lawsuit settled is to go to court. However, the vast majority of cases are settled outside of court. Insurance companies generally prefer not to go to court because they know that the longer it takes them to resolve a case, the more money it will likely cost them. They have a financial interest in reaching a settlement.
If you were injured in a Riverside car accident or you lost a loved one due to someone else’s reckless driving and you are considering filing a Riverside car accident lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit, you should seek legal help immediately. A Riverside car accident lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys can review your case, explain your options, and help you determine the best way to proceed.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, consider consulting our Riverside car accident lawyers to guide you through the personal injury claims process. Do not hesitate to contact Gomez Trial Attorneys or call us at (619) 237-3490 for a free consultation and case evaluation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“This is the best law firm in San Diego for a reason. I was lucky to have my case picked up by the Gomez Trial Attorneys after I was struck by a car while crossing the street. This was an unexplainably painful time in my life, and, as a 22 year old college student, I did not know what to do. I met Max Halpern, who is the lawyer that represented my case, a week later. Even though I did not know at the time, I could not have been in better hands.
I kept on with my studies, daily life, and physical and mental recovery as Max silently worked hard at my case. All though out my experience, Max kept in constant contact, updating and informing me of everything I needed to know. then one day it was over and Max had won big.
I do not know if it is appropriate to share details of a settlement but I will say that this team took the ugliest, hardest, most painful experience of my life and turned it into something boundlessly positive.
I believe my life is better now for having been represented by Gomez Trial Attorneys and I will walk away from this chapter of my life forever grateful. These people are the living definition of excellence.”
Review by: Bubba E.
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