Lucerne Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
At only 5 square miles, Lucerne is tiny; yet, almost 4,000 people call this community home. It’s easy to see why. Adjacent to Clear Lake, Lucerne offers residents and visitors alike access to the lake’s beautiful blue waters and stunning views. Residents enjoy swimming and boating during the wonderful spring and summer seasons.
Although relatively isolated, Lucerne is connected to the surrounding area by California Highway 20, which runs along the western edge of Lucerne, near Clear Lake. This makes the community an ideal place to live, even if you work an hour or so away.Lucerne Car Accidents
Despite its sparse population, car accidents happen in Lucerne frequently. In Lake County, there were 18 people killed and 423 people injured in 2015. Most were injured in car accidents, but others were injured while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. One pedestrian was also killed, with another five injured.
The reasons for these accidents vary, but the usual reasons probably explain it: carelessness, distracted driving, and alcohol intoxication.Why I Help Accident Victims
No one should have to suffer when they are injured by someone else’s careless or dangerous conduct. After a devastating accident, victims have outstanding expenses and often little ability to earn their income, especially if they need to recover from catastrophic injuries.
I saw a need for someone to stand up to the large California insurers who were shortchanging innocent victims, offering them pennies on the dollar for what their injuries were really worth. I soon learned all the tricks of the most lucrative insurers, especially their willingness to make lowball settlement offers as well as attempts to drag out negotiations with unfair delays.
As a Lucerne personal injury lawyer, we handle the hardest cases—those where someone has suffered severe injuries such as fractures, brain injuries, nerve damage, burns, and spinal cord damage among other injuries. Victims with these injuries need someone who can confidently calculate their full economic losses, including future medical care.
If you work with us, you will find a legal team that treats you like family. Many of us have been working together for over 20 years and hope to continue working with us for 20 more.Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an Attorney
Who you choose as a Lucerne auto accident attorney is critical. A great lawyer can get you the maximum compensation and also provide helpful advice for improving your quality of life. An inexperienced lawyer will be in over his head and could possibly end up costing you money.
Many of our clients have come to us after working with a different attorney and growing so frustrated they ended the attorney-client relationship. Some of the mistakes they have admitted include:
- Trusting the advice of their friends or family members. The fact is that one lawyer who works great for your cousin might not be the right lawyer for you. You need to do your own research.
- Using a divorce lawyer or criminal defense attorney to handle a personal injury case. These are different areas of law, and no lawyer can be at the top of each. My firm commits over 95% of our time to personal injury cases, so we know them inside out.
- Not researching the lawyer thoroughly and missing extremely negative online reviews which turn out to be accurate.
- Not staying involved in their case and hiring a lawyer who never returns phone calls.
If you want to avoid the headache of an inexperienced lawyer, call us. I’ve been practicing for over 30 years.
The video below provides more information on how to choose a Lucerne personal injury attorney for your case.FAQs about Car Accidents in Lucerne
I receive a lot of calls from the public and want to share some of the most common questions people ask. There is so much inaccurate information floating out on the internet, that I want to clear up the confusion and set the record straight.
Q: Is it better to settle a dispute without involving insurance companies?
A: Absolutely not! Often, people will exchange money at the scene of the accident and call it a day. Though this might be okay to repair minor scratches to a bumper, there are many problems with this approach. For one, you have no idea how much damage has truly been done to your vehicle. What looks like a small dent could be, on closer inspection, damage to the radiator or engine.
Also, you might feel fine now, but you don’t know the full extent of any physical injuries. I’ve seen clients come down with symptoms of a brain or back injury 1 or 2 days after a crash. If you don’t have the other driver’s insurance information, you’ll never be able to get compensation for what is often pricey medical care.
Q: Do I have to report my accident to the state?
A: You do if someone died or was physically injured in the crash (no matter how minor), or if the collision caused at least $1,000 in property damage. You must file a Traffic Accident Report with the DMV within ten days of the crash.
Q: Is it true I can’t receive compensation if I’m partially to blame for the accident?
A: Wrong! Actually, California law allows a victim to receive money even if their own negligence contributed to the accident. This is called comparative negligence or comparative fault. So long as someone else also contributed to your accident, you can sue them.
Q: Should I use my health insurance to pay my immediate medical bills?
A: That is one option. Also check whether you have medical payments coverage, which can pay for medical treatment and should have no deductible. Often, it is better to use med pay. Your health insurance company will probably want to be reimbursed for any amount it pays for accidents related to your injuries.
Q: I’m self-employed. Can I receive compensation for lost income?
A: Yes. If you can’t work because of your accident injuries, then you can receive compensation in a settlement or lawsuit. The key will be providing just how much income you lost out on, so collect contracts, gig offers, and tax returns, all of which can help show how much you likely would have made.
Q: A loved one died in a car crash, can I sue on their behalf?
A: Yes. California law lets certain family members bring a wrongful death suit when a loved one dies. You can receive compensation for:
- Lost financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills incurred to treat your loved one’s final stay in the hospital
- Loss of love and community
- The cash value of any household services your loved one provided
These wrongful death cases are complicated. Usually, a lot of money is on the line, and insurance companies will fight them aggressively.Lucerne Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Lucerne car accident lawyer. I’ve built my practice representing injured people just like you, and I have an unparalleled track record of success. If you’ve been involved in a Lucerne car accident, or if someone you care about has, then you need my help. You can call 707.564.1900 or 800.404.5400 to speak with me or fill out this online contact form.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 12.19.19]