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Fresno Car Accident Lawyer

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Being involved in a motor vehicle collision can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. The injuries sustained from such an event can prevent you from working now and potentially in the future. Our experienced auto accident attorneys understand the challenges that can arise from a traffic collision. We will examine each aspect of your case to build a strong injury case for maximum compensation.

If you have been injured in a roadway crash caused by a negligent driver or entity, our skilled Fresno car accident attorneys are here to help. Call our law firm anytime to schedule a free and friendly consultation with one of our compassionate and experienced lawyers at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.

Our skilled auto accident attorneys will prepare a strong case for fair compensation and guide you through every step of the personal injury claims process from start to finish. We are here to support you and your family during this challenging time. Contact us today to learn more about how our law firm can help you move forward and recover what you are entitled to.

In this article:

Road Traffic Accidents and Fatal Car Crashes in Fresno

The streets of Fresno, California, are pretty unique. They are structured in a grid-like format leading to a compass formation. The streets are categorized by quadrants. There is State Highway 180 Sequoia Kings Canyon Freeway from east to west. From north to south, there is the 41 Yosemite Freeway. The accident statistics in Fresno are concerning. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), 2019, there were 4,382 fatal and injury crashes in Fresno County. These accidents resulted in the following:

  • 168 wrecks involving motorcycle riders
  • 131 traffic collisions involving pedestrians
  • 67 motor vehicle crashes involving bicyclists
Where Car Accidents Occur in Fresno, CA

Most automobile accidents occur in areas surrounding:

  • Highway 99
  • Shaw Avenue
  • State Route 41
  • Van Ness Boulevard
  • West Herndon Avenue
Common Types of Motor Vehicle Collisions

State data indicates that rear-end auto accidents were the most common type of collision, with 3,658 crashes. A close second was a vehicle being broadsided with 2,783 accidents. There were 638 head-on collisions. Another 875 collisions involved a car being sideswiped. Another 847 accidents involved a car colliding with a pedestrian.

California Car Accident Statistics

A deadly crash can happen anytime, especially when people drive drunk, drive distracted, speed, or break traffic rules on the road. Auto accidents are a severe safety issue across the state. In 2017, California drivers traveled 353,868,000,000 miles. There were 3,304 deadly motor vehicle collisions that year.

During the first six months of 2018, fatal traffic accidents increased by 3%. That’s 48 lives per 100,000 people in California. Car crashes are the top cause of injury deaths in the Golden State, leaving thousands with severe injuries and permanent complications. It is every driver’s responsibility to drive safely behind the wheel.

Alcohol is a Factor in Many Deadly Car Accidents

Some Fresno car accidents are just a product of fate. But many other serious collisions result from another driver’s poor decisions and reckless behavior. A prime example is drunk driving accidents. Nationally, approximately 72 percent of drivers killed in an auto accident in 2013 were legally intoxicated. That is a shockingly high percentage. In California, roughly 78 percent of drivers who died in an auto accident had a blood alcohol content that exceeded the legal limit.

These statistics should be viewed cautiously since blood tests are typically administered when police suspect a driver is drunk during the collision. When police have no reason to believe alcohol may have played a factor, they usually do not conduct a blood test. In addition, some states have protocols to test the blood of deceased drivers. 

The Department of Transportation harmonized the data from different states and determined that approximately 33 percent of all drivers who died in a car accident nationwide were legally intoxicated. In California, the percentage is even higher (35 percent, to be exact). 

Most Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Collisions

Some of the most common factors contributing to deadly accidents in Fresno include the following:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Making an improper turn
Severity of Injuries and Seat Belt Use

One of the easiest ways to dramatically reduce the risk of suffering a life-altering injury or death in a Fresno car wreck is to wear your seatbelt. In California, approximately 97 percent of drivers comply with seatbelt laws. However, roughly one-third of the car occupants who died in a 2013 collision did not wear their seatbelts.

Comparative Negligence Laws in California

If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt, you may still have a viable bodily injury claim against the other driver. This is because California adheres to a pure comparative negligence standard. You may be asking yourself, “what is comparative negligence?” Comparative negligence is a doctrine utilized to assess the liability of a defendant or defendant and damages that may be awarded to an accident victim. In a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction like California, each defendant is liable only for their percentage of fault. An injured party is still able to recover damages in a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. Still, the award of damages is reduced by their own percentage of fault, as determined by a judge or jury.

Most Common Types of Injuries from Motor Vehicle Collisions

Depending on the severity and type of collision, the injuries suffered by occupants of a vehicle can be debilitating and potentially permanent. Our car accident lawyers from Fresno have compiled a list of the most common injuries suffered in automobile collisions below:

  • Bone fractures
  • Facial lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Loss of limbs (Amputation Injuries)
  • Neck injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
What You Should Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Getting involved in a severe auto accident in Fresno can be a traumatic experience. If you are physically able, the first thing you should do is contact the police. You should also get the name and badge number of the police officer who arrived at the accident scene.

  • Exchange Information – Get the other driver’s telephone number, home address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and auto insurance information. You should speak with a Fresno car accident attorney if you cannot obtain this information at the scene. The police report typically contains the driver’s contact information, which could be used to track down the other driver’s auto insurance information.
  • Get Witness Information – Eyewitness accounts are critical and can strengthen your personal injury case. This is because juries often weigh highly on eyewitness accounts since they are considered unbiased. 
  • Take Photos of the Accident Scene – With the proliferation of smartphones, many people can easily take a picture wherever they are, including at an accident scene. If your smartphone is available at the accident scene, take pictures of your vehicle and injuries.
  • Seek Medical Care – Even if the accident is minor and you think you are fine, we recommend getting checked out by a doctor. People can suffer “invisible” injuries from auto accidents, like concussions and other head trauma.

You may want to consult a Fresno car accident lawyer to discuss seeking compensation for your damages.

The following video explains what you need to do if you’re injured in a car accident.

What to Do When an Insurance Claims Adjuster Calls You

Do not be surprised if a representative from the other driver’s insurance company contacts you by phone. It is quite common for auto insurance carriers to try and make contact shortly after a traffic collision to try and offer a lowball settlement to get your claim resolved as quickly as possible.

The best strategy is to avoid speaking with the representative and only make contact after talking to an experienced Fresno car accident attorney. Why? Because innocuous comments can be manipulated and distorted to make it look like the collision was your fault or that your injuries were not really that serious. And, as mentioned, they may try to pressure you into agreeing to a below-average settlement.

Once you hire an attorney, the hassle of dealing with a claims adjuster will largely disappear. This is because your Fresno auto accident attorney will be your representative and handle all negotiations with the insurance claims adjuster. This allows you to focus on healing and getting your life in order after the wreck.

Personal Injury Compensation for a Car Accident

The harms associated with a severe motor vehicle accident can be severe and life-altering. Some car accident victims have to endure weeks or months of medical rehabilitation and time missed from work (which places a tremendous financial strain on them and their families). This is why you should file a personal injury claim to pursue compensation for your harms and losses.

The benefit you can seek includes reimbursement for:
  • Medical expenses, which include doctor’s visits, prescription medications, deductible costs, and so forth.
  • Lost wages as a result of missing time from work (including vacation days and sick days)
  • Anxiety
  • Diminution in the quality of your life
  • Inconvenience
  • Pain and suffering
Importance of Working with an Auto Accident Attorney

You should focus on your recovery, not haggling with an insurance adjuster. The ability to bring in a seasoned attorney to advocate on your behalf is a major benefit to hiring a Fresno car accident attorney. They also have the experience and knowledge to ensure your case is thoroughly investigated, all statutory deadlines are met, and that you will have a compelling case ready to present to a judge or jury, if necessary.

Most car accident lawyers in Fresno work on a contingency fee basis. This fee structure allows practically anyone, regardless of their income, to hire an experienced and skilled trial attorney. You do not have to pay a hefty retainer fee or some outrageous hourly fee under a contingency fee contract. Instead, you can hire the best Fresno auto accident attorney with no upfront fee.
Your injury attorney will only be paid if they obtain full and fair financial compensation on your behalf. This is typically through the form of a jury verdict or settlement. At that point, your injury lawyer receives a percentage of the personal injury settlement, which can be mutually agreed upon at the onset of your case under a contingency fee arrangement.

Fresno Car Accident FAQ

Should I still see a doctor after my car accident if I don’t feel injured?

Yes, you should still see a doctor even if you don’t feel any injuries. The doctor may see injuries that may not be apparent to you. Some injuries may not appear until a few days or weeks after the accident. Our Fresno car accident attorneys do not recommend settling your bodily injury claim until the doctor has advised you on the extent of your injuries.

What if the auto accident was partially my fault?

Even if you believe you were partly at fault for the accident, don’t accept blame or apologize to the other driver. You may not know how the accident really happened. Many factors can contribute to an accident, such as a defective part in your car, a malfunctioned traffic light, or the other driver’s intoxication. Let a judge or jury decide who was at fault.

How long should I wait to report my traffic collision to my auto insurance company?

You should report your car accident to your insurance within 24 hours. If you have been injured, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible, but no later than three days. The other driver may have already contacted his or her insurance.
You should not give any recorded statements to the other party’s insurance if they call you. You are not required to tell them anything and direct them to your Fresno auto accident attorney for all communications regarding your personal injury case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Fresno Auto Accident Attorney 

If you suffered a serious injury in a traffic collision, our experienced Fresno car accident lawyers could help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 to learn more and receive free, friendly advice.

See a list of our past cases on our verdicts and settlements page.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 6.12.23] Photos by consilior on pixabay, energepic.com from Pexels sb [cs 2143]