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Riverside Car Accident Lawyer

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Car accidents occur every day. Unfortunately, most are not true “accidents” at all, but rather highly preventable crashes. Some people may walk away from a serious accident with only a few scratches, while others never fully recover. Close to 40,000 people will lose their lives in car accidents every year in the United States alone.

The team of attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo understands the impacts serious car accidents have on victims and their families. For over 30 years, our firm has been committed to protecting injured drivers’ and passengers’ rights after life-changing accidents in Riverside. Reach out today to schedule a free case consultation.

Why Choose DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo?

  • At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, our team has more than three decades of experience handling complex injury claims in Riverside and throughout California.
  • We have no problem standing up to aggressive insurance carriers, and our team is fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial if that is what is necessary to win your claim.
  • You will always have access to your attorney to ask any questions or raise concerns about your case. We believe in constant communication with every client that we help.

How Will Our Attorneys Help Your Claim?

Vehicle accident claims in Riverside often become complicated, particularly when going up against aggressive insurance carriers. The reality is that individuals with limited legal experience often struggle to recover maximum compensation. When you work with our experienced attorneys, you will have an advocate who can:

  • Investigate every aspect of the incident, which includes uncovering all evidence needed to prove liability.
  • Make sure that you are fully evaluated by trusted medical professionals who can treat your injuries and help calculate total losses.
  • Handle every negotiation with insurance carriers and legal teams involved with your case.
  • Fully prepare your case to go to a jury trial.

DAM Firm legal team

How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim?

After a Riverside car accident, you may wonder if you have the opportunity to take legal action. Every case is different. We highly recommend you contact one of our Riverside personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation if you have any questions about your individual situation.

Like other personal injury claims, negligence is the basis for a car accident claim. To prove legal liability, a plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant had a duty to act reasonably and responsibly
  • The defendant breached that duty in an act of negligence
  • That negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries

California operates under a comparative fault rule, meaning the court retains the right to reduce a plaintiff’s compensation by a certain percentage. For instance, if you were 10% responsible for the incident, then you may lose 10% of the damages the court would award. Determining comparative fault is a complicated process since there are no hard rules for shaping percentages. Having a strong Riverside injury attorney on your side improves your ability to demonstrate the true facts of a case.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Information presented by the California Office of Traffic Safety indicates that there are more than 222,000 total motor vehicle collision injuries during the most recent reporting year of data on file. Vehicle accident injuries in Riverside range widely in type and severity. Some of the most common injuries we assist clients with include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
  • Spinal cord trauma, often with paralysis
  • Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
  • Severe sprains or strains
  • Broken or dislocated bones

Car accident victims in Riverside may also experience various emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the initial incident, the injuries, and the recovery process. Unfortunately, these types of injuries, including feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety, can last for quite some time after the collision occurs.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Riverside

Vehicle accidents occur due to a wide variety of reasons, often because of the negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. Some of the leading causes of vehicle accidents caused by driver negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign or stop light
  • Failing to use a turn signal

The Office of Traffic Safety data confirms the dangers associated with various forms of driver negligence, particularly speeding. During the most recent reporting year in California, there were nearly 67,000 speed-related traffic collision injuries. Unfortunately, alcohol-impaired driving led to more than 27,000 injuries and a significant percentage of all roadway fatalities during that same year.

In addition to vehicle collisions caused by negligent driver actions, collisions can also be caused by the actions of government entities, companies, or manufacturers. For example, some of the following scenarios could lead to claims against municipal governments or even vehicle manufacturers:

  • Poorly maintained or designed roadways can lead to collisions and injury claims against a government entity or construction company.
  • Incidents caused by a defective vehicle part, such as faulty brakes or steering components, could lead to claims against a vehicle company or manufacturer.
  • Incidents caused by confusing roadway construction detour signs could lead to a claim against a construction company or municipal entity involved in the construction.

Every vehicle accident that occurs in Riverside should be thoroughly investigated so that injury and property damage victims can recover compensation for their losses. Only by discovering the cause of the incident through an investigation can the appropriate party be held responsible.

Do I Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Many people drive as part of their job, such as rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, and truck drivers. If you were injured in a car accident while driving for work, you should first report your accident to your employer. If you are an employee, and not an independent contractor, your injuries should be covered by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. Our Riverside workers’ comp attorneys can help you navigate that system and get the benefits you need while you recover from your injury.

Car Insurance in California

In California, all drivers are required to carry insurance or demonstrate self-insurance capabilities for any vehicle that travels on the road. Failing to carry the minimum liability insurance may result in license suspension, fines, and vehicle impoundment. However, many drivers still get behind the wheel without insurance, which can complicate a personal injury claim. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, our attorneys represent clients who have difficulty with other drivers’ insurance companies, their own insurers, and cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.

Who is Liable for Car Accidents in Riverside?

Determining liability in a Riverside car accident often takes time and an independent investigation. In multi-vehicle accidents, more than one driver may shoulder responsibility for resulting injuries. For cases involving professional drivers, both the driver and the hiring company may be liable for injuries and damages. In some cases, including single-car accident cases, another party may face legal responsibility. Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of every car they release for sale. When design and manufacturing defects cause accidents, the auto manufacturer is responsible for injuries.

When we accept a case, we use a vast network of accident recreation specialists and inspectors to determine liability in the accident. We will hold every responsible party accountable. Getting in touch with a qualified attorney sooner rather than later may preserve evidence and improve your ability to secure a fair settlement.

Types of Compensation Available After a Riverside Car Accident

Individuals who sustain injuries or property damage in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver in the Riverside area should be able to recover a wide range of compensation for their losses. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, our team works diligently to recover both “special damages” and “general damages” on behalf of every car accident victim that we help.

Special damages are also referred to as economic damages, and these types of losses revolve around calculable expenses that a Riverside car accident victim is likely to endure as a result of the incident. When we say calculable, we do so because we can gather up receipts, bills, pay stubs, and other physical proof of loss to add up. Some of the most common types of special damages after an accident include:

  • Any emergency medical expenses
  • Follow-up medical treatment
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medical devices or prescription medications
  • Lost income and benefits
  • Property damage expenses
  • Various out-of-pocket losses

General damages are also referred to as non-economic losses, and these tend to be a bit harder to calculate. Some people will say that general damages are immeasurable, but that is certainly not the truth. Some of the most common types of general damages recoverable include compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium for family members or a spouse, and more. 

How Much Compensation Will You Receive?

There is no set amount of compensation that Riverside car accident victims will receive. Several factors can adjust the total compensation amount up or down. Some of these factors include the severity of the injuries and individual sustains, the total amount of follow-up care they need, the total amount of missed work, whether there are any long-term disabilities, and whether or not there was any shared fault.

As we mentioned above, calculating the special damages is done by gathering physical proof of the loss, such as receipts and bills. Adequately calculating general damages can be done using various methods, but most commonly involves a multiplier method. An attorney will add up all the economic losses mentioned above and then multiply that by a set number (often a number ranging from 1.5 to 5). For example, if an individual sustains $200,000 worth of medical bills, lost wages, and property damage expenses, a multiplier of “three” could be used to reach a non-economic damage total of $600,000.

In this theoretical scenario, an attorney would ask for $800,000 on behalf of their client. However, each case is different, and these numbers were simplified for the sake of demonstrating how this works. Please consult with your skilled Riverside car accident lawyer who can walk you through this entire process.

How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?

Every state places limits on how long injury victims have to file claims, and these limits are called the statute of limitations. The personal injury statute of limitations for California specifies that injury claims should be filed within two years from the date the incident occurred. Failing to file an injury claim within this statutory time limit typically results in the case being dismissed, leaving injury victims unable to recover compensation for their losses.

Additionally, insurance carriers in California also have their own internal reporting deadlines, but these are typically more vague. We encourage you to speak to an attorney about your claim as soon as possible so the filing process can begin quickly to avoid any possibility of missing deadlines.

riverside car accident lawyer

What if You Were Partially At Fault?

If you were partially at fault for causing an accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. In fact, because of the pure comparative negligence laws in California, individuals can even recover compensation if they are mostly at fault for causing their own injuries.

First, we want to point out that just because someone else accuses you of having caused or contributed to the incident does not necessarily mean that’s true. One tactic used to suppress settlement amounts is to shift some or all of the blame onto the injury victim. However, the pure comparative negligence law allows individuals to recover compensation, albeit at a reduced amount, if they share responsibility for the incident.

The total amount of compensation a person receives can be reduced depending on their percentage of fault. For example, if a car accident victim sustains $1 million worth of losses but was found to be 20% responsible for the incident, they would receive $800,000 instead of the full amount. These are simplistic numbers used to demonstrate the point, but each case is different. We suggest speaking to your Riverside car accident lawyer for guidance.

Will You Have to Go to Court for Your Claim?

Anytime you file a lawsuit in civil court, there is a potential you may have to actually go to court if a jury trial occurs. However, most vehicle accident claims in Riverside get resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, which typically means individuals do not have to go to court. However, in the event the insurance carrier does not offer a fair settlement, or if the claim gets dismissed altogether, it may be necessary to proceed forward with a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

Even after a lawsuit gets filed, that does not necessarily mean you have to go right to a jury trial. In fact, getting to the actual jury trial process takes quite some time. First, there will be a discovery process where attorneys on both sides exchange information and evidence, and they will have a chance to take depositions of potential witnesses. It is not uncommon for claims to get settled during the discovery process or during a court-ordered mediation as more evidence and information come to light.

Only if a settlement is not reached during this entire process will the case go to a jury trial, which may not happen for quite some time after the initial claim is filed. If you have any questions about the best route for covering compensation for your Riverside car accident claim, we encourage you to ask your attorney about the best path forward for your specific situation.

Steps to Take After a Crash in Riverside

There are some important steps that you can take right after an accident occurs and in the days and weeks that follow:

  1. Seek medical treatment. It is vital that you seek medical care right after an accident occurs, even if the incident does not seem severe. Some injuries do not show signs and symptoms for hours or days after a crash, but a doctor can conduct an evaluation to determine whether or not there is any current medical emergency. Seeking medical care also establishes a solid link between any injuries you sustain in the crash.
  2. Gather as much evidence as possible. If you are able to safely do so at the scene of a crash, you can gather evidence. You can do this using a cell phone or any device that has a camera and taking pictures of everything that you see. This includes vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, debris, traffic conditions, and more. Additionally, get the names and contact information of anyone at the scene written down, including eyewitnesses.
  3. Contact your insurance carrier. You need to reach out to your insurance carrier and let them know that the accident occurred. Do not go into detail about the incident when you call, and make no admission of fault. Just let your insurance carrier know that the accident occurred, where it occurred, and the name and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved.
  4. Reach out to an attorney. Reach out to a skilled Riverside car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Your attorney can get involved quickly and begin an investigation into the incident. They will handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your vehicle repaired.
  5. Keep track of all pertinent documents. Keep track of any documentation that comes in after the accident occurs. This includes medical records, any bills, property damage estimates, proof of lost income, and more.

Reach Out to a Riverside Car Accident Attorney

The Riverside car accident attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo have been helping clients secure satisfactory compensation for more than 30 years. We understand the unexpected and life-altering nature of accidents and the resulting injuries as well as how to make your life a little easier in the aftermath. A qualified Riverside attorney will be with you through every step of an insurance claim or personal injury case, and you don’t have to pay any upfront fees. We only accept payment when we have secured compensation for our clients.

Allow us to represent you during this difficult time, and we will help you maximize your car accident compensation. Contact our Riverside office today for a free initial consultation today at (951) 977-7787.

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