Los Banos Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Los Banos, located in Merced County's San Joaquin Valley, is a family-oriented community of more than 39,000 people. Residents often work locally in this fast-growing city and commute to some of the farms, wineries, and food processing plants surrounding it. All this driving can put people's lives at risk of severe accidents caused by distracted, drunk, or careless drivers.
At AutoAccident.com, we understand the anxiety, frustration, and struggles that come with an injury from an accident. We are here anytime to help you seek fair compensation and get your life back on track.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in Los Banos or elsewhere in Merced County, please call our experienced injury attorneys at (209) 227-1931 for a free case evaluation.What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Case?
When an injury is caused by the negligence of another party or entity, the injured person may file a claim for monetary damages. Personal injury law generally encompasses the following types of cases:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Construction Site Accidents
- Dog Bite Injuries
- Farming Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Products Liability
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Truck Accidents
After a car wreck, knowing what steps must be taken to protect yourself and your loved ones from legal and health issues is essential. If you ever find yourself involved in a car accident, follow these steps:
- Call 911 if anyone has suffered severe injuries.
- Call the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or other local law enforcement agencies to have a traffic incident report taken at the scene.
- Use your cell phone or camera to take pictures of the crash site, including any road signage or skid marks, visible injuries, and cars involved in the incident. Photos can help establish the validity of your personal injury claim later.
- Search for witnesses at the scene and ask for their contact information.
- Do not apologize or claim responsibility; insurance companies may interpret this as an admission of fault.
- Exchange driver's license numbers and insurance policy information with the other parties involved.
- Record the year, make, model, and license plate number of the cars involved.
- Seek medical treatment even if you believe your injuries are minor. Symptoms of specific injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may not present themselves immediately after a crash.
- Maintain consistent visits with your medical providers and do not allow gaps in treatment. Insurers may dispute the severity of your injuries and the value of your bodily injury claim if you do not keep up with your doctor visits.
- Retain a Los Banos personal injury attorney to negotiate with insurers on your behalf. This can allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries without the stress of handling a personal injury claim on your own.
Watch the video below to learn more about the factors that may affect the value of a personal injury case for an auto accident.Types of Car Insurance Coverage Explained
After an auto accident, our personal injury law firm will look at all potential recovery areas for your injuries and losses. You may be compensated through the following:
- At-Fault Driver's Liability Insurance: Under the California Insurance Code §11580.1b, all drivers must carry liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle. The minimum liability insurance required in California is $15,000 for the bodily injury of one party, $30,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people, and $5,000 for property damage.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: California imposes strict financial liability laws on drivers. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately 15.2 percent of California drivers are uninsured despite these laws. When a person has suffered injuries in a crash caused by a motorist with no liability insurance, that person may be covered by the uninsured motorist coverage of their insurance policy.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If a negligent driver carries the minimum liability coverage required by California law, $15,000 may not cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When that happens, you may be able to file a claim under your own underinsured motorist coverage to supplement any personal injury damages not covered by the other driver.
- Other Coverage: An experienced accident attorney will review your car insurance policy to determine whether different types of benefits are available to you, such as medical payments coverage (MedPay), collision, and comprehensive.
A car accident lawyer in Los Banos with years of experience handling injury cases like yours will work with medical providers and expert witnesses to determine the full extent of your losses.
- Past and future medical bills, including ambulance transportation, emergency room treatment, hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, imaging, and more.
- Lost wages will need to be verified through paycheck stubs and doctor letters.
- Loss of future earning capacity due to permanent disability suffered in a car accident.
- Pain and suffering entails the discomfort and agony caused by a severe injury.
- Emotional and mental trauma encompasses a catastrophic car wreck's embarrassment, grief, and anxiety.
- Loss of consortium for damage to a marital relationship as a result of a severe injury accident.
- Permanent scarring includes the costs of cosmetic surgery to revise the disfigurement.
- Punitive damages may be claimed in cases involving egregious acts like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) and excessive speeding.
Car accident cases such as a hit and run can present unique challenges for those injured, mainly if the at-fault party cannot be located. If a driver or passenger has uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) on their car insurance policy, their insurer will cover their injuries and damages only if the negligent driver is not found or has minimal policy limits. UM/UIM coverage may also extend to pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists injured in crashes.How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
California law restricts how long a person has to file a lawsuit. Injured people generally have two years from the date of an auto accident to file a bodily injury claim against a negligent driver. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. If a claim is not filed by this deadline, the court may dismiss the case, and the injured person may lose the right to recover compensation.Will Hiring an Experienced Accident Attorney Help My Case?
Insurance companies, including yours, are not on your side regarding a personal injury claim. Most insurance claims adjusters will find any detail to dispute your claim and reduce the compensation you receive in your case.
An experienced Los Banos personal injury lawyer understands insurers' defense tactics and how to overcome them. By doing so, an injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance carrier to obtain the fair compensation rightfully owed to you.Los Banos FAQ
Which intersections in Los Banos have a higher-than-usual rate of traffic collisions?
Below is a list of the Los Banos-area intersections that have experienced a higher-than-average rate of car accidents:
- F Street and 7th Street
- G Street and San Juan Street
- Overland Avenue and Stonewood Drive
- Pachecho Boulevard and Ward Road
- Santa Barbara Street and SR-165
- State Route 152 and Ward Road
- State Route 165 and Willmott Road
- Texas Avenue and West I Street
- Willmott Road and Stonewood Drive
- West I Street and SR-152
The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful. You may have questions about how your property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages will be covered. If your accident resulted from another driver's negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in the Los Banos area, please call us at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive our free, friendly advice. Since 1982, our law office has advocated for injured people and families of deceased loved ones. To see a selection of our past case results, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Editor's Note: updated 11.21.23 Picture Source: Vikor Garcia029 via Pixabay ds cha [cs 1390]