Car Accident Lawyer Serving Riverside & San Bernardino

Surviving a car accident can be a life-changing experience. The human body is not meant to withstand the extreme forces a vehicle collision exerts. Victims often come away with serious to catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, brain damage, and spinal cord injuries. Many people do not survive serious traffic collisions, leaving behind devastated loved ones.

At DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC we believe those responsible for causing car accidents should be held accountable for their actions. Our car accident attorneys in Riverside and San Bernardino make it their mission to represent clients who deserve compensation for their physical injuries, psychological harms, and financial losses. After a car crash of any kind in Southern California, reach out to our team for legal assistance.

Car Accident Resources

Statewide and Local Car Accident Statistics

Taking a look at the most recent car accident statistics for California, Riverside, and San Bernardino can shed some light on just how often these events occur. This data is not meant to scare you but to show you that car crashes can be fairly common in The Golden State. The lawyers at DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC have helped car accident victims recover their economic and non-economic losses since the firm’s foundation in 1979. Here are some of the latest facts about vehicle collisions in the region:

  • In 2016, 3,623 Californians died in traffic accidents. This represents an increase from 3,387 traffic deaths in 2015.
  • In 2016, 1,056 traffic deaths in California were speed-related, while 1,059 involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
  • A total of 867 California pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2016. This number has steadily increased every year, with a 10-year low of 567 deaths in 2009 and a peak in 2016.
  • In 2015 (the most recent year data is available), there were 2,651 victims killed and injured in Riverside, California car accidents. At least 267 of these accidents involved alcohol, 159 involved motorcycles, and 103 involved pedestrians.
  • Riverside County recorded 13,318 victims killed and injured in traffic collisions in 2015. Of these accidents, 1,395 involved alcohol, 940 involved motorcycles, and 477 involved pedestrians.
  • The City of San Bernardino reported 1,868 people killed and injured in car crashes in 2015, with 201 accidents involving alcohol intoxication.
  • San Bernardino County had 14,801 crash victims in 2015, with 1,707 victims involved in alcohol-related accidents.

Human error is the driving force behind the vast majority of car accidents. Drunk, distracted, drowsy, incompetent, negligent, and reckless drivers put the rest of the driving population at risk every time they get behind the wheel. Luckily, the civil courts provide a potential means of recovery through personal injury claims. Working with a lawyer for your car accident case can help you maximize the compensation you receive for your crash-related losses. DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC wants to help you put your life back together after a harmful car accident.

What to Do After an Accident

Every time you get into your vehicle, you run the risk of getting into an accident. No matter how safely you drive, you simply can’t predict the actions and behaviors of other drivers on California’s roadways. You can, however, prepare ahead of time in the event that a crash does occur. Knowing what to do immediately after a car accident in Riverside or San Bernardino can make a difference in the outcome of your claim. The number one thing to remember is to contact our firm as soon as you can for a consultation about your crash. Besides that, follow these seven steps:

  1. Remain calm and dial 911. In California, drivers must call police and report an accident if it causes injuries, deaths, or property damage exceeding $1,000. When in doubt, we recommend reporting the crash. Calling 911 means an official record that the accident occurred. A police report protects you from the other driver making false allegations, such as saying the accident never happened.
  2. Check for injuries. Assess yourself for injuries before you look around to see if someone else has injuries. Request an ambulance if you or anyone else appears to be injured. If you’re not sure whether you’ve sustained injuries in the crash, tell the police you don’t know. If you discover harms later, it is more difficult to get compensation if you say you weren’t injured at the time of the crash.
  3. Exchange information. Get to a safe location and exchange information with the other driver. Get his or her full name, phone number, car insurance information, and license plate number. Stay on the scene until police arrive. Take photographs of other vehicles involved if you can, as well as any injuries and other pertinent details from the scene of the accident.
  4. Talk to police. Make sure to give your side of the story to the reporting police officer. Stick to the facts, such as what direction both vehicles were traveling, how fast you were going, and your version of how the crash occurred. Do not admit fault. Leave determining fault to the police officer and other authorities later.
  5. Get medical attention. Go to the hospital and explain that you were involved in a car accident. Describe any pains or injuries you have, and keep track of all of your medical records and treatment plans. Do not wait to go to the hospital. Prompt medical care can help your prognosis and your personal injury claim.
  6. Call your insurance company. As soon as you’re able, call the at-fault driver’s insurance company and report the accident. You may also need to report it to your own insurer. Again, stick to the facts. Do not agree to record a statement, and do not accept a settlement offer until you’ve talked to an attorney.
  7. Work with a car accident lawyer. If the other driver caused or contributed to your car accident, speak with a Riverside/San Bernardino attorney as soon as you can about your legal options. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company, or go to court in pursuit of compensation if necessary. At the very least, a free consultation can help you learn your rights and options after a crash.

If you skip one or more of the above-mentioned steps, do not worry. Our firm has helped accident victims through even the most complicated cases for almost 40 years. We know exactly how to help you, file your claim, negotiate with major insurance companies, handle bad faith claims, and go to trial if necessary to secure the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. One conversation with us can give you peace of mind after a frightening and harmful car accident. Keep our phone number handy in case of a crash:(855) 946-6464.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the main reasons car accidents occur. Every day, about nine people die and 1,000 suffer injuries in crashes involving distracted drivers. “Distracted driving” refers to any action or behavior that distracts the driver from the task at hand. The most common types of distracted driving are as follows:

  • Texting and driving
  • Operating a hand-held phone while driving
  • Fiddling with the GPS or radio
  • Eating or drinking behind the wheel
  • Chatting with passengers
  • Daydreaming/wandering thoughts
  • Personal grooming

Texting and driving is particularly dangerous as it combines all three forms of distraction. It removes the driver’s eyes from the road, hands from the wheel, and mind off the driving task. California has laws in place that prohibit all drivers from texting and talking on hand-held devices behind the wheel. If a distracted driver caused your crash, you have rights.

Drinking and Driving

It is never okay to drink alcohol and drive. Despite knowing the risks of drinking and driving, California’s alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate was 28.8% in 2015. In California, the maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%; however, drivers can still get into legal trouble with lesser BACs. If you suspect the driver who caused your accident had been drinking, report your suspicions to police. The reporting officer will test the driver’s BAC and use other methods to ascertain whether he or she is impaired. There are ways to prove the other driver’s intoxication and fight for full compensation for your losses.

California Car Accident Laws and Statutes

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim with the civil courts is two years from the date of the crash. You have three years if you’re only filing for property damage. The deadline shortens to just six months after the crash if you’re filing against a government agency. Any injured party can file a car accident claim. If you want to file for the wrongful death of a car accident victim, you must be the deceased person’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or other person entitled to the property of the decedent.

Pure comparative negligence rules apply to California car accident claims. These rules state that one is eligible for recovery regardless of his or her own percentage of fault in the crash. Even if the courts find the plaintiff 99% at fault, he or she can technically still recover 1% of a compensation award or verdict. The courts will reduce the compensation amount by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Our firm can help clients maximize compensation by hiring expert witnesses, gathering key evidence, and aggressively fighting for justice.

How an Attorney Can Help

Talking to an attorney is a great idea after virtually any car accident in Riverside or San Bernardino. DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC offers free initial case evaluations, so you have nothing to lose in making a phone call to discuss your recent crash. We will listen to what happened, tell you if we think your claim has merit, and give you advice as to what to do next.

If you decide to retain our firm, we can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company or take your claim to court if we think that’s what it will take to secure the compensation you deserve. Discover your rights and resources after a crash in Southern California. Call (855) 946-6464,  or reach out online to schedule your consultation.

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