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Have You Been In A Car Accident? Your Road To Recovery Begins Here.

The most important thing you can do following a car accident is getting medical care, even if you think your injuries don’t warrant it. You want a medical record of your injuries to be created as soon as possible, and sometimes, injuries are difficult to detect on your own in the aftermath and shock of a car accident. The second most important thing you can do is reach out to a car accident attorney who can work with your insurance company and law enforcement to gather evidence that is critical to your case.

Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening experience. While many people think those car accidents are just that — “accidental” — in many cases, this isn’t true. Often, someone else’s negligence or carelessness is the cause of an accident. If you’ve been injured in a car crash through no fault of your own, whether your injuries were minor or severe, it’s important to get legal help as soon as possible.

California is notoriously known for its congested roadways. Drivers in the state spend at least 67 hours a year stuck in traffic — nearly double the nation’s average.

With so many people on the road for such long periods of time, there’s bound to be a high incidence of auto accidents.

Fresno is a busy transportation corridor with motorists traveling on large stretches of dangerous highway, most notably Interstate 5 and California Highway 99 (CA-99).

The frequency of serious accidents in the area can be attributed to:

  • large semi-trucks traveling at rapid speeds

  • dense tule fog

  • distracted drivers

Per 100,000 residents, Fresno ranks above the statewide average for:

  • total accidents

  • vehicles involved in fatal accidents

  • fatal accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol

  • pedestrians involved in fatal accidents

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, Fresno Personal Injury Lawyer Carl L. Brown can help you navigate the legal options available to you.

We want to be your advocate during this difficult time. Give us a call at (559) 431-4400 for a Free consultation.

Our Principal Attorney Carl Brown has over 35 years of experience in civil litigation. He has devoted the last 10 years of his practice to helping personal injury victims in the Fresno, CA area recover the maximum medical treatment and financial compensation they deserve. 

We work on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.

Helping Car Accident Victims Receive Compensation

If you have a winning claim, you may be awarded economic damages, known as compensatory damages, to compensate you for your monetary losses.

You may also be eligible to receive non-economic or non-financial damages.

Compensatory Damages

  • Current and future medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Loss of earning capacity

  • Property loss

  • Wrongful death: funeral and burial expenses; lost and future wages

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of an extremity

  • Loss of consortium, if the accident caused a strain on your relationship

  • Wrongful death: loss of love and companionship

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Most personal injury cases are the result of negligence.

Every driver in California has a duty to operate his/her vehicle with care. When this duty is breached and causes harm to another, the person has acted negligently.

Examples of negligent behavior include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Distracted driving

  • Driving while fatigued

  • Speeding

  • Failure to adhere to traffic laws

  • Manufacturer errors

Steps To Take After A Car Accident

The moments after a vehicle collision can be very emotional, but following a few crucial steps can help protect your rights and build a strong case for future reimbursement.

Call the police or highway patrol: 

  • Even if you believe your injuries are minor, call 911.

  • Everyone involved in the accident should be evaluated by a medical professional.

    • Pain from an accident can show up hours or even weeks later, so saying you’re not injured without a proper diagnosis and treatment plan could be held against you later in an insurance claim.

  • Get the names of the police officers who arrive at the scene and ask them for a copy of the police report.

Gather as much information as possible: 

  • Collect contact information from everyone involved in the crash, including witnesses.

  • Ask the driver(s) for their license, car registration and insurance ID card.

  • Get the make and model of the cars involved.

  • Take pictures of your injuries, damage to the vehicles, and surrounding traffic signs, if applicable.

Do not admit fault: 

  • When talking to others, keep to the facts. Do not verbally express blame to anyone — your passengers, the other driver, witnesses, or your car insurance company.

Report the accident to your insurance company: 

  • Notify your insurance agent of the accident as soon as possible.

  • Be prepared to receive a call from the insurance company of the person who hit you.

How To Handle The Insurance Adjuster

When speaking with either your insurance adjuster or the negligent parties adjuster, do NOT agree to have the conversation recorded or to sign any waivers or medical releases.  

You are not obligated to provide any information in a recorded statement or to sign anything in order to file your accident report. Statements and waivers can be used later as your verbatim account of the accident.

Politely state that you would like to speak with your attorney before making a statement or signing anything.

All you have to do at this point is report the accident.

Resist Immediate Settlement Offers

Beware of the friendly insurance adjuster! Most will try to offer you a quick settlement that is well below the actual value of your claim.

Insurance adjusters have one goal: to make a profit by collecting premiums and paying out the smallest amounts they can. 

Attorney Brown is uniquely qualified to negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.

For 17 years, he worked as a defense attorney in the insurance industry.

He knows how insurance companies operate and won’t let them get away with offering you an unfair settlement. Mr. Brown has extensive expertise in the claims process and can cut through the red tape to avoid a drawn-out process, so you can get on with your life.

The Question Of Liability

In many personal injury cases, the alleged negligent party will claim that you were partly to blame for the accident.

If you do share some level of liability, it can affect the amount of total compensation you receive.

California follows a system of pure comparative negligence to award damages to victims in auto accidents. In general terms, this means that your compensation would be reduced according to your percentage of blame.

For example, if the driver who hit you ran a red light, he/she may be 90 percent at fault. However, if you were speeding at the time, you may be 10 percent culpable. If your damages amount to $15,000, your compensation would be reduced to $14,000.

Were You Hit By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver?

There are a significant number of people driving without insurance in California. Even more are driving with just the minimum liability coverage requirement of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

This is usually not enough to pay for damages in an accident, which is why the state encourages drivers to also purchase uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.

If you were hit by someone who is uninsured, there are still ways to recover.  

  • For instance, if you have UM coverage under your own policy, you can make a claim against your insurance company and collect from them.

  • If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, but someone you live with does, that may cover you.

If the driver who hit you is underinsured — meaning he/she has liability insurance but its limits are not high enough to adequately compensate you for your losses — you can file a claim against your insurer to make them pay the remaining difference.

For example, if  the other driver has $15,000 and your damage adds up to $75,000, you would collect the $15,000 and your UIM would pay the difference of $60,000, or up to the limits of your policy coverage.

Common Injuries Suffered In Car Accidents

Attorney Brown has represented many clients with severe injuries, including:

  • Quadriplegia

  • Paraplegia

  • Arm and leg amputations

  • Burn injuries

  • Blindness

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Broken bones

  • Cuts and lacerations

  • Head, neck, and spinal injuries

  • Internal bleeding and organ damage

  • Paralysis and nerve damage

Contact a Fresno Car Accident Attorney Today

At the office of Fresno Personal Injury Lawyer Carl L. Brown, we have significant experience working with auto accident victims and their families in both minor and severe car crashes.

Contact us today for a consultation at (559) 431-4400 or stop by our office at:

2109 W Bullard Ave Ste 121

Fresno, CA 93711

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