According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die every year in road traffic accidents. Although there were fewer people on the road in 2020, estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed 38,680 people died in the United States. This was the largest number of fatalities since 2007 and represents an increase of 7.2 percent over 2019.

Your typical commute from home to work can take a horrible turn in an instant if you’re struck by another driver. After a car accident, you may be faced with injuries and property damage. If you or someone you care about has experienced a serious car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have questions about what to do next. The San Bernardino personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw are a dedicated team who can help guide you every step of the way with an accident insurance claim or lawsuit.

Before speaking with an insurance company or making a recorded statement with an insurance adjuster, call our offices or use our website to schedule your free consultation. You may find that you are entitled to far more compensation than the insurance company is offering.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

Working with a lawyer who is experienced in car accident claims can significantly affect the outcome of your compensation. Your lawyer will investigate the accident to help support your claim or court case if you file a lawsuit.

The team at OnderLaw has the skills, resources, and knowledge needed to work with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster or take your case to court. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators. They are trained to maximize the insurance company’s profit. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid speaking with an adjuster unless you are with your attorney. This will help to protect you from inadvertently saying something that could jeopardize your insurance claim or lawsuit.

Your attorney will handle communication and negotiation on your behalf. When you are recovering after a serious car accident, leave the complicated process of achieving justice to the car accident lawyers at OnderLaw. We have the experience and skills to protect your rights and help fight for the fair compensation you deserve after being in an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Types of Car Accidents

There are several different types of common car accidents. They can result from a variety of causes and be the cause of common injuries. Let’s look at the types of car accidents that may occur.

Rear-end collisions

These car accidents happen when the car behind you is following too closely, and you must stop. This can result in the car behind you suddenly hitting the rear of your car. These crashes do not usually cause too much property damage when they happen at low speed. However, they can result in physical injury to your upper back and neck. Tailgating, even in slow traffic, increases the risk of a rear-end collision.

Single-car crash

This type of accident happens when the car may run off the road, spin out of control, slip on the ice, or hit a stationary object. Sometimes overcorrecting or braking too hard can be the root cause of a single-car accident. When you are trying to avoid an unexpected object on the road, or you lose control of your vehicle because of a mechanical error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Cross-traffic accidents

These accidents can happen in an intersection and may result in a T-bone collision. This can happen when a driver runs a red light or stop sign or takes a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic. The type of accident gets its name because the front end of one car hits the side of another, making the shape of a capital “T.” Many of these accidents are caused by negligence.

Sideswipe or clipping

When cars are merging onto the highway or changing lanes on the road, there’s a risk of being sideswiped. This happens when the merging driver fails to check their blind spot.

Parked or backing collisions

Backing out of a parking spot or a driveway can result in an accident when the driver does not take care to watch for vehicles in the surrounding area. These are usually low-speed impact crashes and happen in parking lots or neighborhoods. Backing out of a driveway or a parking spot can also result in a pedestrian accident that causes serious injury. Your parked car may also be hit by another car when the driver is not paying attention.

Causes of Car Accidents

There are several reasons that these types of car accidents can occur. They can be the result of:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or impaired drivers
  • Hit and run
  • Failure to yield
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Defective parts
  • Chain reaction from a multiple-vehicle pile-up
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Tailgating

After a car accident, it’s important to take several steps to help protect your rights. Report the car accident to the police so they can create a police report and take statements from those involved. If you’re able, take pictures of the accident, the location, and any potential witnesses.

Exchange information and insurance details with the other driver, but at no point admit any fault or try to place blame on the other person. Go to see a doctor and get a medical examination, even if you feel you have not been injured. Injuries can show up days later, and unless they are documented by your physician, they cannot be used to support your insurance claim or potential lawsuit.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Several types of injuries can happen during a car accident. These include:

  • Back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Burns
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Disfiguring facial injuries
  • Loss of limbs
  • Knee injuries
  • Lacerations and “road rash”
  • Wrist and hand injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Crush injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Who Is Responsible?

Sometimes it is difficult to determine who is responsible for an accident. Your attorney has resources that will allow them to discover the at-fault party. They can gather information from expert witnesses and use accident reconstruction to help support your claim.

California operates under comparative negligence laws for injuries suffered from car accidents. Under this law, both the plaintiff and the defendant are responsible for the damages that their actions caused. When there is evidence that both parties have some degree of negligence, the judge determines the percent of fault for each party. In a personal injury lawsuit, such as after a car accident, the court then subtracts the percent of fault that is attributed to the plaintiff from the compensation award.

For example, you suffer physical injury after being in a car accident in San Bernardino, California, and sue the negligent driver. The judge awards you $100,000 in damages. However, under comparative negligence, the driver can reduce the amount they have to pay by proving you were partially at fault. If the court finds you were 10 percent responsible, the driver only pays you 90 percent of the award.

Compensation for a Car Accident Claim

If you were seriously injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This is also known as damages. These damages can include:

Medical expenses

Typical expenses that may be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Visits to doctors, including specialists
  • Hospital
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Laboratory, imaging, and other diagnostic tests
  • Surgery
  • Pain management and prescription medication

Remember that medical expenses also include any future medical expenses that are expected based on your injury. For example, if you had a spinal cord injury, you may be able to include estimations of future physical therapy bills. To prove medical expenses, you need all current medical bills and medical records. The court may also want to speak to your treating physician for an expert opinion on what your future expenses might include.

Lost wages

You may not be able to work after a car accident because of the injuries you suffered. In this case, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Additionally, if your injuries are permanent and you are unable to return to work, you may also be entitled to money for the loss of future wages.

Pain and suffering

In a personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering are considered “non-economic damages.” This compensation is intended to help cover the cost of your physical and mental distress. It’s difficult to assign a dollar amount to these losses, yet they may be part of the final settlement verdict. An experienced San Bernardino car accident attorney can help assess how much you may be entitled to based on past verdicts.

Exemplary damages

The court does not often grant exemplary damages. The intent of this compensation is to punish the defendant and discourage this type of behavior in the defendant and others. When the actions that caused the crash are particularly malicious, the court may include exemplary damages in the final settlement.

Accident Statistics

The most recent statistics for San Bernardino from the California Office of Traffic Safety are from 2018. During that year, there were 1,353 total fatal and injury crashes. Of these, 154 involved alcohol, 98 involved pedestrians, and 48 involved motorcycles. The highest number of accidents were attributed to speed, followed by nighttime driving and hit and run.

The neighboring city of Fontana has 777 total fatal and injury-related accidents. However, in that city, 149 were related to speeding, while nighttime contributed to 92 and hit and run contributed to 79 accidents.

Involved in a Car Accident? Call OnderLaw Today

If you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault in San Bernardino, you may be entitled to compensation. It can be challenging to get through the complex insurance claim forms when you are recovering from injuries. OnderLaw is here to help protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

We understand that you have a unique story. Our skilled and experienced legal team seeks justice for those who have been injured through the negligent actions of others. You have no financial risk in hiring us. There are no up-front or out-of-pocket costs until we obtain compensation for you.

However, in California, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This means a lawsuit must be filed in court within two years of your injury. There is no reason to wait to contact our team. You will get a free consultation during which we’ll review your information and discuss your rights and possible compensation. Call OnderLaw today or contact us online.