Personal Injury Attorney San Bernardino

(909) 380-7200

Call for a complimentary consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about what to expect and what you can do to better protect yourself by checking out the FAQs below:

How Quickly Should You File Your Claim?

There is a statute of limitations to keep in mind when it comes to personal injury claims. The good news is that you are given ample amount of time to act if you are a resident of California.

The law gives you up to two years to file your claim from the date of the incident. Take the time to recover properly from any injuries you may have sustained before moving to the next step.

Can You Still File a Personal Injury Claim if the Accident Was Partially Your Fault?

You can indeed still pursue a personal injury claim even if the investigators have determined that you were partially to blame for the accident. The only caveat is that the amount of compensation you receive may be affected by how much blame is thrust on to you.

Compensation will decrease as the amount of blame you have to shoulder increases.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Receive Fair Compensation?

Technically speaking, hiring a lawyer is not necessary in order to receive compensation. However, the odds of you being rewarded with the right amount will plummet without the help of a lawyer.

Insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid giving out a large payment. They may even trick you into accepting a settlement that compensates you unfairly.

Protect yourself from the nefarious practices employed by many insurance companies by hiring an experienced lawyer.

Shouldn’t I Just Handle The Insurance Claim On My Own?

You might think that your car accident claim is relatively straightforward and that it should be simple to recover the compensation you deserve. Maybe you are concerned that hiring a car accident attorney in California would be too expensive and you would prefer to minimize costs by handling the case on your own.

The truth of the matter is that people who hire legal representation for an injury claim will nearly always end up recovering more compensation than those who don’t. The lawyers at Krasney Law know how to prepare your case with compelling evidence to support your claim and we have experience engaging in aggressive negotiations. If the insurance company refuses to pay you the amount you deserve, our attorneys will not hesitate to take your case to trial and help you. We even offer free consultations to asses your case to see if it is worth fighting for.

How Much Compensation Should You Expect to Receive?

Compensation will change depending on how badly you were affected by the accident. You may stand to receive compensation for damage done to your vehicle, your medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.

Furthermore, the person at fault for the accident may be ordered to pay more if they were intoxicated at the time it took place.

What Damages Can You Receive Following an Accident?

As noted previously, the compensation you get may account for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, but that’s not all. The court may also ask the offending party to pay more as a way to teach them to be more responsible the next time around. These so-called punitive damages can increase the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.

What Should You Do If Someone Hits Your Car?

Those who have been victims of car accidents before will already know what they need to do if they get into a car accident.

You can start by checking yourself and others in the car with you for injuries before exiting your vehicle and seeing if the people in the other car are okay. Next, you can call 911 to ask for paramedics or request the police to go to the scene of the accident.

During the wait for the paramedics and/or police, you can exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also warn other motorists that an accident has taken place by turning on hazard lights.

After the police officers show up, talk to them and share what you know. Write down the names, badge numbers, and contact details of the police officers.

Gather evidence yourself by identifying the car, figuring out your location, and recording any other relevant details. Take pictures of the accident and record videos too.

Finding witnesses who saw what happened and capturing their testimony on video or audio will be helpful. Before heading home, make sure that you complete the accident report.

Schedule a doctor’s appointment next for them to examine you and wait for the results. 

Once you do all that, contact your lawyer and start the process of filing your insurance claim. 

To recap, here’s what you should do as the driver of a car in California:

  • Check the condition of yourself and others in the car
  • Call 911 to ask for paramedics/and or police
  • Obtain the driver’s insurance information and contact details
  • Warn other motorists of the accident scene
  • Talk to the police
  • Write down the names, badge numbers, and contact details of the police officers
  • Gather evidence
  • Accomplish the accident report
  • Schedule a check-up with your doctor
  • Contact your lawyer before filing your insurance claim

When Should You Reach Out to a Lawyer?

Contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible is ideal in the wake of an accident. Do not interact with the offending party’s insurance provider before speaking to your lawyer because they may just try to get you to agree to a settlement that favors only them.

You will likely need to go to the doctor soon after your accident, but once that’s done, call your lawyer right away.

What Recoverable Damages Can You Receive?

Should you decide not to agree to a settlement and push through with your claim, they could compensate you fairly. You could receive compensation for loss of opportunity to work, lost wages, lost time, medical expenses, pain, and suffering, as well as property damage.

That’s a lot of potential compensation that you could surrender if you agree to a settlement crafted by Uber and their insurance provider.

What is the first thing I should do after a car accident?

If you or somebody else has been injured, the very first thing you need to do is stay calm and call the police. Gather the names and contact details of all other individuals involved in the accident and any witnesses. Take photos of the vehicles, if possible, to record the accident scene, any damages, and any injuries sustained. Finally, avoid admitting fault because your lawyer will have to carry out a thorough investigation to determine the other driver’s fault.

Do I need to seek medical treatment post the accident?

You may feel fine after the accident, only to discover injuries days, weeks, or maybe even months later. As a result, even if you don’t believe you’ve been injured, you should see a physician. They can detect injuries that may not be immediately evident to you and can warn you about potential injuries. 

Seeing a doctor as soon as possible can also help you secure your legal rights. An insurance provider can argue that your injuries occurred after the accident if you wait too long. They could also claim that because you waited so long to seek treatment, you are partly responsible for your hospital bills.

Does filing a personal injury claim mean I have to go to court?

Car accident claims are usually settled outside court through a complex and detailed negotiating process with an insurance provider. Even so, many insurers strive to settle claims as quickly as possible and for the least amount of money possible. We are ready to go to court if the insurance provider refuses to make a fair proposal for the full amount of your claim.

What all will I need for filing a claim?

It is necessary to gather evidence, like the contact details of the involved parties as well as any witnesses. You must also give a comprehensive account of how the accident happened, as well as photos of the accident scene, in order to ensure a successful car accident claim. In this respect, police reports will also be valuable evidence in your lawsuit.

Should I talk to insurance adjusters?

An insurance adjuster’s job is to represent the insurance provider, not you. Any details you provide to a claims adjuster can be used to reduce or reject your claim. You must contact your insurance provider directly to report the incident. However, you should not respond to questions from any insurance adjuster, lawyer, or any other insurance company representative after that initial conversation. Instead, hire one of our car accident lawyers to represent you, and tell anyone who wants to comment to contact your lawyer.

Should I sign over my medical records to the other driver’s insurance company?

A release of medical records should only be signed under very specific circumstances and only if your lawyer advises you to. If your medical information is obtained by an insurer, it may have an impact on your claim. For example, the insurer could claim that your injuries were minor or that they were caused by a pre-existing condition.

What if the accident was partially my fault?

Accept no responsibility for an accident and often there are several factors at play. Even if an investigation reveals that you are partially to blame, you may be entitled to claim for damages. It’s worth noting that California utilizes a pure comparative negligence system to determine fault in car accidents. It means that every individual proven to be at fault in a car accident is responsible for their share of the blame. If you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident and are otherwise qualified for a $100,000 compensation, for instance, the settlement will be reduced to $80,000.

How can I settle my medical bills after the accident?

California is a fault-based or tort-based state. In this case, those injured in an accident are responsible for their own health care expenses till the at-fault party’s insurer offers a settlement or the case is decided by a court. However, you can use your personal health insurance or look into your motor insurance policy to see if you have Med Pay coverage.

Alternatively, some hospitals may even settle for Medical Lien. It means that they will agree to complete procedures in exchange for a certain portion of your final settlement. Your car accident lawyer can help you work this out and negotiate fair terms for your claim settlement.

What happens if the other driver does not have insurance?

Underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) is required in California. It is developed to cover the expenses of personal injuries in case of a car accident with a motorist without sufficient insurance or if they do not have insurance. Benefits are restricted to the extent of personal liability insurance you have and do not cover damage to property.

How can a car accident lawyer help me prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault?

Accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, and each one leaves a trail. We’ll meticulously investigate the scene of the accident and relevant documentation to discover that evidence after listening to your description of what happened. A lack of tire tracks, for example, could indicate that the other driver was sleeping behind the wheel and failed to stop. To help us stand up for you, our team of lawyers will interview any witnesses, pore over incident reports, and pursue any other leads.

Motorcycle Accident FAQs

How much compensation can I claim in my California motorcycle accident case?

The amount you can claim totally depends upon the nature of your accident, the extent of injuries, and how much financial and emotional toll the accident has taken on your life. For example, how much work have you missed, the pain and suffering the accident has caused, and more. There can never be one figure for all.  Our expert attorney carefully evaluates every aspect of the accident and can help you get the maximum compensation for your damage, pain, and suffering.

What is the deadline to file a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident in California?  

In California, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. Currently, the limit is two years from the date of the accident. Above and beyond this time, you lose the opportunity to seek compensation for the accident.

The accident happened due to my fault. What are my options?

If the motorcycle accident has happened due to your fault, whether partially or entirely, you need to connect with your insurance company to seek compensation for the damage.  Apart from that, California is an “at-fault” state. This means you are responsible to cover the damage that occurred to the other driver as well. This includes:

  • Medical bills and recovery expenses
  • Lost wages or loss of earning potential
  • Compensation to cover vehicle damage
  • Pain and suffering 

However, most of the time, accidents happen due to the fault of both parties, and California follows a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that in California if the accident happened due to the fault of both the parties, the jury will decide the apportionment of fault and will accordingly reduce the plaintiff’s overall reward.

At Krasney Law, we can help you file a case of comparative negligence and seek appropriate compensation for the damage that occurred to you and your property during the accident.

What if my motorcycle accident happened outside California?

Whether you are rallying, touring, or exploring the country on your two wheels, accidents are unpredictable and sometimes hard to prevent. If you are involved in a collision out-of-state, the claim settlement rules prevailing in that state will apply. They will also depend on whether the state is a no-fault state or an at-fault state.

So collect all possible evidence and refer to a qualified attorney to take legal action. While we at Krasney Law operate mainly in California, we can seamlessly put you in touch with qualified lawyers in other states. Our attorneys can coordinate with them on your case to help you get maximum compensation for your damage and injuries. Connect with our team for a free evaluation of your case.    

What to do if the accident happened due to a defect or malfunction in the motorcycle’s part or machinery?

Your motorcycle is a machine, and it is not uncommon for its part to break down or malfunction during operation. But if the defect has led to an accident, you can file a lawsuit under California’s “product liability” laws. The business that designed, manufactured, or sold that particular part will be liable to pay for injuries caused due to the accident. Talk to our expert motorcycle accident attorneys to know your rights and how can you file a fool-proof personal injury case against the manufacturer. 

Can I file a claim if my loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident?

Of course! If you have unfortunately lost your spouse, partner, child, or a loved one in a motorcycle accident, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit under California’s laws. Our attorneys can help you seek compensation for various costs associated with the deceased family member, including:

  • Medical expenses incurred on the treatment before the victim passed away
  • Burial expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial earnings
  • Compensation for the loss of companionship and support 

In California, you can file a wrongful death claim for a motorcycle accident if you are: 

  • The surviving spouse or surviving partner of the victim
  • The children of the victim
  • The grandchildren, if the parents are not alive
  • The sibling
  • Relative who’s entitled to the property of the decedent

I have delayed pain after my motorcycle accident. Am I eligible for compensation now?

Some symptoms of an accident injury take days and even weeks to manifest. When it happens, it is important to consult your medical team to ascertain if these newly developed symptoms are due to injuries incurred during the accident.

You can seek compensation for your delayed injuries if your claim has not been settled, and you have not signed the release of liability form with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Connect with our expert attorney to explore your options.

How long does it take for motorcycle accident cases to settle in California?

The time frame of your California motorcycle accident case depends on several factors like:

  • The nature of the accident
  • The scope of your injuries
  • If the accident has led to the death of the victim
  • Who was at fault during the accident and how clear is the liability
  • Is the case settling or going on trial

At Krasney Law, we can help you expertly evaluate your case so that you can recover the most compensation for your losses. With absolute knowledge of the process and the current laws prevailing in the state, we can help you present your case in the best possible way.  

Should I make a settlement out of court?

While most insurance companies persuade victims to go for an out-of-court settlement. There are many reasons why you should not accept their offer. The most important of them is that when you settle your case out of court, you would never be able to get the true compensation for your accident. Your delayed injury costs, if any, will not be covered because you have already settled your dues with the at-fault insurance company. And you’ll never be able to charge them for the emotional damage that the accident has caused you.

It is always advised to go the legal route and hire an experienced attorney to help you get the maximum compensation for your loss. 

Wrongful Death FAQs

Dealing with the death of a loved one is a painful experience and it’s not easy to deal with financial matters at such times. These wrongful death FAQs can help answer some of the most pressing questions you may have about wrongful death claims and settlements.

What is the difference between a survival action lawsuit and a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action to claim the direct losses you have suffered as a bereaved family member. A suit filed to recoup your loved one’s losses before death is known as a “survival action.” Family members who qualify will frequently be able to obtain compensation through both kinds of claims.

What does the “one action” rule in California mean? 

All eligible relatives or family members need to take part in a single wrongful death lawsuit, according to California’s “one action” rule. At Krasney Law, we can ensure that all legitimate claims are included in your family’s lawsuit.

Why should you file a wrongful death claim?

There are four reasons why filing a wrongful death is essential. The reasons are as follows:

  1. You lost your loved one due to someone else’s fault. It could be due to an accident on the road or even at work. Or it could be because of someone’s deliberate act (murder). Depending on the cause, you are eligible to file either a civil lawsuit (in the case of accidents) or a criminal lawsuit against the suspected party (in the case of murder). Your settlement or compensation will depend on the type of lawsuit you file.
  2. You are a surviving family member, especially the spouse, parent, or child of the deceased. The person who files such claims is typically an agent for the deceased’s estate. The claim can be submitted on behalf of the surviving family members by a wrongful death lawyer. Such claims may be made by spouses, and also by the parents of a deceased minor. If their parents have passed away, minors may also be eligible for compensation.
  3. The insurance company if the at-fault party is not taking action or offering you lowball settlements that don’t cover your damages. You can prove the defendant was careless and accountable for your loved one’s demise with the help of a wrongful death lawyer. It must be proven that the defendant owed the deceased a standard of care. Then, it must be proven that the standard was broken and this negligence was directly responsible for the death. If necessary, a lawyer can help you in settling the dispute out of court.
  4. You need monetary support. No monetary sum can ever substitute for your loved one. However, a wrongful death lawyer can support you in receiving the highest compensation possible by fervently advocating for your case throughout the legal process. You may be entitled to damages for your loved one’s pre-death distress and suffering, related medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earnings and inheritance, along with loss of companionship and love.

Which factors contribute most frequently to wrongful deaths?

The following are the most common causes of wrongful deaths:

  • Car accidents (including defects in the vehicle)
  • Medical negligence (including the use of wrong drugs or faulty devices)
  • Workplace deaths due to various reasons
  • Medical negligence or errors at nursing homes
  • Defective or incorrect warning labels leading to death
  • Construction site deaths due to various reasons
  • Deliberate acts of violence

Can heirs sue the at-fault driver for punitive damages?

It varies from case to case. Punitive damages are almost never covered by insurance policies, so the auto insurance provider won’t cover them. However, if a claim is made against the driver and is successful, the driver may be required to pay these expenses out of pocket. This is assuming that the driver has sufficient assets to cover a judgment.

Are wrongful death claims public?

Settlements for wrongful deaths are typically not made available to the public. The parties keep their negotiations private. Only the wrongdoer’s insurance company and the people who are entitled to compensation in a wrongful death case are privy to the settlement amount. If the case proceeds to trial, all documents, including the sum of the ruling that the jurors award the plaintiffs, are made public.

Is an autopsy required for a wrongful death lawsuit?

An autopsy is typically not required when the reason for death is obvious. A person killed in a car crash most likely died as a result of the accident. However, there are some circumstances where an autopsy may be necessary. Consider a scenario in which a 75-year-old man who had a severe heart condition was killed in an accident. The insurance company might try to argue that he suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away before the accident, rather than passing away due to the accident. In cases like these, autopsies are extremely helpful. Additionally, the cause of death almost always emerges as a key issue in medical malpractice lawsuits if a person dies. In these cases, an autopsy is nearly always necessary.

Is the payout from a wrongful death claim settlement taxable?

According to IRS Publication 4345, wrongful death losses are treated as compensation for physical injuries so they are exempt from income taxes for the surviving family members. However, keep in mind that if these damages push the estate’s total value over the statutory exemption, then the estate tax may apply. Additionally, in some cases, punitive damages that are granted as part of the ruling may be taxable. 

Never sign a nondisclosure agreement with a release unless the defendant also promises to defend you and indemnify you in the event that the IRS sues you for unpaid taxes. If not, the IRS might claim that it was “bargained for,” in which case the entire award—or a portion of it—would be taxable.

How do you receive the settlement payout from a wrongful death claim?

Settlements for Wrongful Death are typically awarded as a lump sum amount. Attorney fees and other costs associated with obtaining the settlement are subtracted before the sum is paid. The wrongful death successors receive the balance. A structured settlement is occasionally possible. A structured settlement functions similarly to an annuity. The money that would go to the beneficiaries (or whatever portion they specify) is invested with interest. It’s then paid at a yearly or monthly interval. Therefore, if the surviving spouse of the deceased decides she would prefer a monthly income rather than a lump sum, it can be arranged.

Truck Accident FAQs

Answers to Truck Accident FAQ that You need to know

Truck vs. car accidents don’t happen with warnings! But in case it does, some truck accident FAQ can come handy at that distressing moment. Possessing some knowledge about what steps to follow, immediate steps to take, truck accident laws, and whom to contact, can help you decide what to do next. 

What should I do with my car immediately after a truck accident, when do I need a truck accident attorney, are there different laws for truck accidents in California… The questions are endless.  

Krasney Law’s expert lawyers in San Bernardino put together a list of truck accident FAQs to give you the basic answers. To get further help contact the experienced California truck accident lawyers who are experts in handling complicated California vehicle accident laws.

How is car vs truck accident different from car vs car accident?

Although both types of accidents involve automobiles, the size matters. Commercial trucks are huge and colliding with them can cause massive damage to cars, and increase the chances of injuries and loss of life. Typically cars weigh around 4000 pounds whereas commercial trucks may weigh anywhere between 35,000 to 80,000 pounds. 

The impact of a collision takes a greater toll on the smaller vehicle. The massive size of trucks makes them difficult to maneuver, and stop quickly. Truck accidents are more difficult to predict and avoid due to their size. Statistically, most truck accidents result in a higher rate of catastrophic injuries, and death.

What are the important things to do after being in a truck accident?

Passenger safety is the first thing to take care of. If possible give first aid to any injured passenger. If the situation requires, call 9-1-1 requesting immediate medical help. Report the matter to the police. 

Shoot videos and take pictures of the vehicles and the accident spot. 

Gather as much evidence as you can. Note down important information like the time of the accident, weather, condition of the roadway, any malfunction of traffic lights, or any piece of information that seems important. 

Talk to witnesses who saw what happened and gather their contact numbers if the situation permits. Words from the witnesses can help in determining whose fault it was. Visual evidence from photographs and videos can be helpful for building a strong case when you file a lawsuit and sue  for damages. 

Is it necessary to call the police after my truck accident?

Even if the truck accident did not damage your car severely (which is unlikely), you should always call the police. 

It is safer to let a police officer investigate and report the matter. Documenting the accident officially will help you get your insurance money and also work as a critical piece of evidence for any future issues related to the accident. Also, remember to contact a truck accident attorney who can take care of all the complicated legal hassles. 

Is it alright to remove my car from the spot after a truck accident?

No, even if your vehicle is in a driving condition, do not touch it if your safety is not at stake. Leave it exactly as it is, till the police arrive at the scene. Tell the truck driver also to do the same. Keeping the accident scene intact helps in police investigation. 

If your car or the truck is blocking the road and holding the traffic, there may be no other choice but to move the vehicles. In that case, take photographs of the accident vehicles from different angles. 

Evidence collected from and about the motor vehicle crash scene plays a vital role in accident investigation. The evidence you collect will help in determining the fault and severity of the damages.

What information should I collect from the truck driver?

A truck accident does not always happen due to human error. Trucks are often involved in accidents due to improper maintenance and improperly loaded cargo. In that case, you are dealing with more than only the truck driver. Depending on what caused the accident you may sue the driver, the company, maintenance mechanics, or even people responsible for loading the cargo. So, you will need to collect information beyond the driver’s name and phone number. 

Obtain information such as –

  • Driver’s name, phone number, and address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name and address of trucking company (If the truck is not privately owned by the driver)
  • Insurance company’s name
  • Insurance policy number

Who investigates truck accidents in California?

Different government agencies are involved in the investigation of road accidents in California. Depending on the location, situation, and complication, the accident can be investigated by several government agencies. Mostly it is done by the local police, but may also be handled by the California Highway Patrol, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), or other government agencies. 

Should I contact a lawyer to help me after a truck accident?

Truck accidents can lead to complicated situations. In most cases, there are severe damages and injuries involved. When you spend on repairs and treatment and suffer mental agony, you deserve to get back your share of the money. You can decide to take care of things on your own but a seasoned law firm that’s expert in handling truck accident claims can protect your rights and claims better. 

These kinds of legal battles may have several complexities. By missing out on important details, deadlines, and evidence, you may risk losing a lot. It’s not only about damage claims. You can get compensation for economic as well as non-economic damages. Your right to just compensation for medical bills, lost income, potential lost future earnings due to your injuries, mental trauma, emotional counseling, etc. can be best handled by a team of experienced attorneys. 

Do you want to get compensation for tangible as well as intangible damages from a truck accident? It is a good idea to contact an experienced attorney to fight for your compensation claims after a crash.

Can I sue the truck driver or the company if the accident was partially my fault?

If you think you are partly responsible for the crash, the “comparative fault” law of California still allows you to recover money for your injuries. Under this rule, a fault doctrine determines the percentage of fault of both parties involved in an accident. For example, if the plaintiff was 30% at fault and the defendant was 70% at fault, the defendant is liable for paying only 70% of the damages caused.

Need an experienced truck accident lawyer?

Have you been in a truck accident? Fight for what’s rightfully yours. Maximize your claims and compensations with expert legal help from Krasney Law, Accident Attorneys at San Bernardino, California.