Fresno Personal Injury Lawyer
With a population of nearly one million, Fresno has evolved into a diverse city with a range of interests, cultures, and job opportunities. However, this growth also comes with the potential for accidents, leading to physical and emotional trauma and financial hardships.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, seeking early legal intervention is crucial to building a solid case. Our Fresno personal injury lawyers can provide free and friendly advice on proceeding with your compensation claim. Call us at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.
At our California personal injury law firm, we understand the stress of pursuing a claim. That's why we work tirelessly to ensure you receive full and fair compensation through a civil court settlement or lawsuit. Our legal team has the experience, skills, and resources to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about how we can help.
In this article:
- How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Accident Case
- Establishing Proof in a Car Accident
- Recovering Financial Compensation
- Is There Enough Insurance?
- How Compensation Is Calculated?
- Types of Cases Handled By Our Personal Injury Law Firm
- Common Injuries in a Fresno Personal Injury Case
- Fresno Personal Injury FAQ
- How a Fresno Injury Attorney Can Help
While it may seem that only in some instances where an injury lawyer is needed this is not always true. It's a given that when a motor vehicle accident involves serious injuries, insurance companies often dispute liability as a way of avoiding paying for damages incurred. Legal assistance from a personal injury law firm is usually required to obtain a fair recovery in a compensation claim.
But what about minor accidents? In many cases, they are not as minor as they seem. A rear-end collision that causes cervical strain and sprain is often overlooked or considered a mild injury, and it is far from that. Any injury involving the cervical or neck portion of the spine and its accompanying muscles and tendons should not be taken lightly. For some, the pain resolves with rest and time. But for others, it persists for years and leads to a less active life. Even in an accident at low speed, damage to a vehicle can cost a significant amount to repair to retain your vehicle's value and usefulness.Establishing Proof in a Car Accident
It is often necessary to negotiate with an insurance company to recover damages. To do this effectively, you must provide enough evidence to show that the at-fault driver or other party caused the car crash. If possible, this requires an investigation of the accident site testimony from witnesses and footage from security cameras that recorded the incident.
Stores often have cameras positioned within and outside the commercial establishment. Traffic lights have video cameras to catch errant drivers that also record accidents. If the video camera owner refuses to provide the footage, a Fresno personal injury lawyer can subpoena it.Recovering Financial Compensation for Your Injury Claim
Let's face it, being hurt in an accident costs a lot. Whether it is a car wreck, falling in a local store, or riding on a bike path that is not adequately cared for by a government agency, visits to the emergency room, hospital stays, and time lost from work all add up. While trying to recover damages, you are faced with calls from insurance companies and others asking questions about the accident.
Having stress while trying to recover from an injury is not helpful. Incorporating information about the incident, medical reports, and other records, a top-rated personal injury attorney in Fresno can prove a case to obtain the financial compensation you need to get back on your feet.Is There Enough Insurance for a Bodily Injury Claim?
A Fresno injury attorney will also speak on your behalf to insurers. Protecting your right to adequate compensation is an essential role for a lawyer. As a case moves forward, it may reach a point where the insurer is unable or unwilling to arrive at a fair settlement offer. In that case, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Before doing so, our office will determine whether the responsible party has enough insurance to cover your injuries and the required expenses to present your case to a jury.
If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance and liability is appropriately determined, we will try to settle the case without filing a lawsuit. If there is enough insurance, our personal injury law firm will spend time getting to know you and your family to understand how your catastrophic injuries have impacted your life. This will make it easier for us to prepare your case for trial.How Is Compensation Calculated?
Compensation is calculated in several ways. Each type of compensation is divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to concrete expenses such as medical costs, lost wages, and the cost of traveling to and from medical appointments. Noneconomic costs, however, are more complex and case-specific. They represent the physical, emotional, and psychological damage an injured individual experiences. They include:
- Anxiety-related to the accident
- Physical pain in the weeks and months after an accident and extending into the future.
- Inability to interact socially or to leave home for fear the accident will happen again.
- Loss of the very things the person enjoyed before the accident
- Loss of time spent with the family or a spouse
- Punitive damages that do not represent a loss but are meant to punish the negligent person
Personal injury cases encompass a wide range of types. Here are a few examples:
- Car accidents: These represent the most common type of personal injury case. In California, the number of car accidents is about 500,000 annually. The number of deaths associated with them is approximately 3,900 each year. Conversely, there are roughly 300,000 injuries. The majority of auto accidents are due to driver errors. This includes reckless driving, drug, and alcohol impairment, operating a motor vehicle while distracted, speeding, or getting behind the wheel when fatigued. According to a 2020 report by the California Office of Traffic Safety, the last year data was compiled in Fresno, there were 1,113 reported injuries and deaths from roadway accidents. Of these, 197 involved the use of alcohol. Overall, 156 involved speeding. Losing a loved one to a negligent driver is one of the most common reasons for a wrongful death claim.
- Truck accidents: Due to their size and weight, being in an accident with a large truck often results in catastrophic injuries. Some common reasons for truck accidents include the low visibility of smaller passenger vehicles, failure of trucking companies to allow truck drivers ample time to deliver their cargo, lack of adequate sleep time for truckers, and reckless behavior. In addition, failure to maintain trucks by ensuring the vehicle is fit for the road, such as ensuring tires are not worn out and brakes are working correctly, can cause accidents.
- Premises liability: Ensuring your home or commercial establishment is safe for visitors is essential. When this is not done, visitors or customers can experience a slip and fall accident, causing injuries ranging from minor bruising to pelvic fractures. Commercial establishments have the highest duty of care, guarding against spills, melted ice, or fruit falling on the floor near storage bins. Landlords are required to maintain an apartment building in such a way as to ensure safety by clearing walkways of debris and making sure that steps and overhead lights are safe for tenants. If an accident happens, most landlords and homeowners carry liability insurance.
- Motorcycle accidents: Bikers face daunting odds if they are in an accident with a motor vehicle. Due to their lack of protection, the biker frequently faces serious injuries. Such injuries can prevent the rider from working and force them to be hospitalized for an extended period. To obtain financial compensation, the biker might rely on the best Fresno injury attorney to negotiate their claim with an insurance company or take the legal matter to court as they recover.
- Pedestrian accidents: Walkers are susceptible to catastrophic accidents with a motor vehicles. This is due to their lack of physical protection, similar to motorcycle riders, and serious injuries are common. In 2016 alone, California had the highest number of pedestrians killed by a motor vehicle in the country, accounting for almost 15 percent of all pedestrian deaths nationwide.
- Farm tractor accidents: Each year, severe injuries and deaths are caused by farm tractor accidents. The causes of such incidents range from lack of safety protocols and failure to operate equipment safely to defective manufacturing. Newer units are required by law to have rollover protection, and operators are also required to have training on how to operate the tractor. However, of the 4.5 million tractors used in this country, 50 percent lack seat belts or rollover protection. Claims can be filed against the manufacturer or the farm owner. Even if the injured party was partially at fault for the accident, a lawsuit could still be filed under California's comparative fault laws.
- Rollover accidents: Rollover accidents are often deadly. Nationwide, rollovers account for approximately 3 percent of all crashes yet are responsible for 35 percent of all deaths. The causes of rollovers range from reckless driving to poor or defective vehicle manufacturing. One of the most common vehicle defects involves the failure of the roof to withstand the pressure during a rollover, crushing the occupants within the vehicle. The government requires that the roof limit crush space to five inches or less and should withstand 1.5 times the vehicle's weight. Potholes and heaving pavement, as well as road debris, can also cause rollovers. If the road condition is poor and the reason a rollover occurred, a claim can be filed against the local or state government responsible for roadway upkeep. Since government entity claims must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is approximately 6 months or 180 days from the date of loss, retaining a top Fresno, CA personal injury attorney is essential for protecting the statute. Once the time limit has passed, the court will not hear the claim.
- Grain bin explosions: A grain bin explosion can cause serious injury and death. Such blasts occur when grain dust particles are exposed to a spark or friction, resulting in the ignition. Injuries include traumatic brain injury, blindness, internal bleeding, and death. Safety protocols mandated by the government, such as proper ventilation, are often ignored, and evidence of the failure to provide them can be found during an investigation after the explosion. An injury lawyer will be able to shed light on why the accident happened and file a claim on your behalf.
- Defective products: Manufacturers are responsible for making products that are safe for consumer use. When this does not happen, the manufacturer, supplier, or seller can be held financially responsible for injuries the consumer suffers.
The type and severity of an accident determine the specific injuries that may occur. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Traumatic brain injury: This type of injury can have moderate to severe repercussions. For instance, the effects of a concussion can be serious, lasting for years, or mild, with a return to normal activities within a few months. Others, such as bleeding within or on the brain's surface, can be life-threatening and require surgery. In this case, the injured individual may be unable to work or resume their usual way of life, leading to severe financial hardship. A personal injury attorney in Fresno, CA, can help obtain a full and fair recovery in a compensation claim.
- Abdominal trauma: Blunt trauma to the abdomen can result from a car accident or other incident where an impact on the abdominal area occurs. This can have a detrimental effect on the abdominal organs, causing bleeding and loss of function. In severe cases, surgery is needed to stop the bleeding. Perforation of organs can also cause leakage of their contents, such as fecal material, into the abdominal cavity. Both types of injury can lead to death without swift surgical intervention.
- Spinal cord injury: Injuries to the spinal cord can cause paralysis, depending on the injury level and type. The area of the spinal cord that is injured partly determines the impairment the person suffers. For instance, damage to the cervical or neck area of the spinal cord can result in total paralysis with a concomitant loss of the ability to breathe unaided. An injury in the lower part of the spinal cord can result in the paralysis of the lower limbs while retaining the function of other body parts innervated by the upper spinal nerves. There are two types of spinal cord injuries. Complete severance of the spinal cord or part where the spinal cord is partly severed. Each type exhibits different functional loss.
- Loss of limbs: Amputation injuries vary according to the level at which the limb is lost. However, partial and total amputations can cause significant problems for the injured individual. Between caring for the amputated area to prevent subsequent infection and surgery to fitting and acquiring a prosthetic device, the cost of an amputation injury can approach $100,000. Besides the financial cost, there are emotional and psychological components. If this happened due to someone else's negligence, compensation for all losses could be recovered with the assistance of a personal injury law firm in Fresno.
- Fractures: Bones are often fractured during an accident. Some are simple breaks and require casting and rest, and others are more complex and often require surgical placement of pins and other appliances to hold the bone together. When surgery is performed on broken bones, there is a risk of infection.
- Lacerations: Lacerations can require medical intervention to repair. Certain areas, such as the face, carry the burden of disfigurement due to scarring, which may require further cosmetic surgery to correct this disabling outcome.
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon damage: Some injuries confine themselves to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that help an individual stand, turn and move. Such an injury can cause extended periods of disability. A study in 2016, presented by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, says that individuals with cervical strain and sprain had significant health issues related to neuropathic pain after five years. A Fresno injury lawyer can help by gathering information about the injury from medical experts and the person's treating physician. This data will help the attorney build a strong case for compensation.
What is considered a personal injury?
A personal injury is an injury to anyone caused by another person's actions, whether negligence or intentional. Most insurance companies refer to it as bodily injury.
What can I expect in a personal injury lawsuit?
After you file your case and serve the other party, you wait for them to respond. After that, your Fresno County personal injury lawyer will build your case by gathering evidence and contacting witnesses. Your lawyer may approach the other party to settle the case. If the case is resolved, you will get your payment, closing the case. However, if the other party refuses to settle, your lawsuit will go to trial, where your attorney will present your case and ask the jury for fair compensation.
Will my personal injury case go to trial?
It's not likely that your personal injury lawsuit will go to trial. Most bodily injury claims are usually settled with the at-fault's insurance company before they ever reach the courtroom.
Watch the following video to learn how to choose the best personal injury lawyer for your case.Importance of Retaining an Attorney for a Personal Injury Case
Whether an accident is minor or major, it is difficult to determine the long-term effect on the injured individual. For this reason, it is necessary to investigate the accident thoroughly and determine who was at fault. Once a fault is established, it is possible to incorporate the cost of both economic and non-economic damages to arrive at the amount of compensation the person deserves.
Sometimes, this can be done through negotiation with the insurer, and at other times, taking the case to civil court may be necessary. That is why it is required to find a Fresno personal injury lawyer who is equally at home at the negotiation table or before a jury. It is also essential that the final resolution is not accepted until the person has reached the maximal treatment of all injuries.
This means that further treatment will not achieve any improvement. If the case is concluded before this happens, any treatment for injuries caused by the accident will not be paid, and the case is closed once compensation is accepted.Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Fresno, CA
If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, a Fresno personal injury lawyer could help you recover fair compensation for your losses. Call our legal team today at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice on how to bring a claim.
See a list of our past cases on our verdicts and settlements page.
Editor's Note: updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.12.23]
Photograph Attribution: "Pixabay" via Pexels
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