You may have a few different recovery options as the victim of a car accident in California. Dealing with an auto insurance company on your own, however, may make it seem like you don’t. Insurance companies are good at taking advantage of clients and getting them to settle for as little compensation as possible. The best way to fight back is by hiring an attorney.
The Moreno Valley car accident attorneys at Hanson & Mouri are committed to helping victims and surviving family members handle the insurance claims process. We know how to force aggressive defendants to offer fair awards. Discuss your car accident case in detail with an attorney today. Call (951) 419-3199 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Choose the Aggressive Attorneys at Hanson & Mouri
- Our Moreno Valley car accident lawyers have devoted themselves to helping injured clients achieve justice since 1999. We are a dedicated team of attorneys who offer quality legal representation.
- Our attorneys promise to personally work on your case – not pass it off to a paralegal or associate. We provide one-on-one care to each client we accept.
- Our Moreno Valley car accident attorneys do not charge legal services unless they win their cases.
When Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
The car accident claims process is not always easy to navigate as a victim. Insurance companies do not want to optimize claimants’ payouts. This can mean encountering issues such as insurance bad faith, lowball settlement offers and unfairly denied claims. If you or someone you love has injuries from a car crash in Moreno Valley, you can protect yourself from an insurance adjuster by hiring a Jurupa car accident attorney. Working with a lawyer can be especially important if your injuries are serious or catastrophic. A car accident attorney in Moreno Valley can force an insurance company to offer a fair settlement amount.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Moreno Valley
Most car accidents in Moreno Valley are avoidable. They occur because someone is negligent, careless or reckless. This is especially true in heavily trafficked cities and freeways, such as State Route 60. At Hanson & Mouri, we are passionate about holding irresponsible drivers and other parties accountable for their actions. We represent clients and families throughout California who have injuries from the negligence or misconduct of others.
- Distracted driving
- Heavy traffic
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding or racing
- Reckless driving
- Red-light running
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to yield
- Failing to maintain a safe vehicle
No matter what caused your car crash in Moreno Valley, our lawyers can help you recover fair compensation from the at-fault party using proven and aggressive legal tactics. We can accurately evaluate your damages, collect proof of your losses, and go up against any driver or defendant on your behalf.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Moreno Valley
Whether or not you have been in a car accident before, it can help to know what you are supposed to do from a legal standpoint. You can take certain actions that will ultimately help your car accident claim in California. When in doubt, contact a lawyer from Hanson & Mouri for immediate assistance with your case. We will walk you through the steps to take for optimal claim results.
- Do not flee the scene of the car accident.
- Do not admit fault to the other driver.
- Call the police immediately.
- See if anyone has injuries, including yourself.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver.
- Take photographs of the crash site.
- Go to the hospital.
- Submit an insurance claim.
- Gather records of your accident and injuries.
- Hire a Moreno Valley car accident attorney.
Before you get too far in the insurance process, call our local law firm for a free consultation. We will work closely with you to help you understand your rights. We can investigate your car accident, collect evidence and deal with insurance adjusters for you. We know how California’s insurance system works and how to navigate it for the best results for our clients.
The Evidence You Need in a Moreno Valley Car Accident Case
To hold a negligent party responsible for a car accident, an attorney will help you collect critical evidence to support your claim. That will typically involve conducting an independent investigation to document the scene of the crash and surrounding area, which will help in determining liability. They may also obtain:
- The clothing you were wearing at the time.
- A copy of the police report.
- Witness statements.
- Available traffic camera or surveillance footage.
- Copies of accident-related medical records and bills.
- Pay stubs and tax returns to establish your lost income.
- Repair receipts for your vehicle or an appraisal if it is a total loss.
- A copy of your insurance policy and the at-fault party’s.
- Subpoenaing cell phone records.
- Collecting black box data. Depending on the type of vehicle involved, it may be equipped with a black box that can provide valuable information such as the vehicle’s speed, braking, and steering at the time of the accident.
A car accident lawyer will work quickly to preserve these types of evidence before they are lost or destroyed. They will also advise you on what to say to the at-fault party’s insurer, as well as what not to say. Insurance adjusters will often look for inconsistencies in your story to minimize their liability, so an attorney can help you avoid making an unintentional mistake that can reduce your compensation.
Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, ranging from mild to severe, such as:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common types of car accident injuries. The sudden jolt from the impact can cause your body to move and bend in ways it is not designed to. When this happens, you can suffer strains or sprains, such as whiplash.
Bones can break due to force or when they move in an unnatural direction. Bone fractures can be painful, and in many cases, the injury may not completely heal. It is not unusual for a victim to experience pain months or years after. Injuries involving the bones being crushed may require extensive reconstructive surgery or amputation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A direct blow to the head or violent jolt can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), ranging from a minor concussion to a severe and life-threatening injury. Long-term effects of a TBI can include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensory issues
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) typically occur due to a hard hit or a penetrating wound. An SCI can have lifelong repercussions and may cause partial or complete paralysis.
Psychological conditions are often overlooked as an injury after a car accident. However, many people begin suffering from anxiety, PTSD, depression, and others. Signs of a psychological injury may be:
- Trouble sleeping
- Intense fear or worrying that interferes with your daily activities
- An overwhelming feeling of sadness
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
Immediately following an accident, it is imperative to seek medical treatment. Even injuries believed to be minor can have delayed symptoms and wind up being severe. If there is a gap in medical treatment, the at-fault party’s insurance company may argue you were not injured in the crash or not to the extent you claim. Seeking and continuing treatment, as well as speaking to an attorney, will ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable For a Car Accident in Moreno Valley?
Any party that contributes to a car accident can be liable under California’s fault system. That may be another driver, company, vehicle or part manufacturer, or a government agency. However, to hold a party liable and recover compensation requires demonstrating their negligence caused the crash. You will need to show:
Duty of Care
The at-fault party had a duty to exercise reasonable care (e.g., another driver must follow traffic laws, employers must train drivers, vehicle manufacturers must produce vehicles safe for use, government agencies must ensure roads are safe to drive on)
Breach of Duty
The at-fault party breached their duty by failing to use reasonable care, which led to the accident. (e.g., driver ran a red light, employer failed to train their driver, manufacturer designed a defective vehicle, government agency failed to install proper signage)
The at-fault party’s negligence caused the car accident, which led to your injuries.
You suffered damages (financial losses) due to the at-fault party’s negligence. (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property damage, etc.)
Proving fault will require clear and convincing evidence. Even if it seems obvious that another party is to blame, their insurance company will not hesitate to blame you in an attempt to limit their financial liability.
What Compensation Can I Receive After a Car Accident in Moreno Valley?
You have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for your injury and other losses resulting from a car accident. That may include:
- Medical costs and expenses for ongoing and future treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings and diminished earning capacity, if the accident affects your ability to work or make the same amount of income as before the accident
- Any out-of-pocket expenses for accident-related costs, such as a rental vehicle, medical supplies, etc.
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault party is determined to have acted extremely reckless or maliciously
If you did contribute to your car accident, the compensation you recover will be reduced under California’s pure comparative negligence law—for example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 20% at fault, you will recover 80% of your award or $80,000.
How Much is My Car Accident Injury Worth?
Since every car accident case is unique, there is no precise answer. However, an experienced attorney can evaluate your claim and estimate its value. They will consider the following factors:
- The severity of your injuries and length of your recovery.
- Your age and whether you will suffer any permanent disabilities.
- How your pain and suffering has and will affect all aspects of your life.
- How much income you have lost from being unable to work.
- How much money you will lose in the future due to your injury.
- The strength of evidence against the at-fault party.
- The at-fault party’s degree of negligence, for example, if they were driving while drunk.
The at-fault party’s insurance policy’s limits may also play a significant role in the amount of compensation you can recover. If your losses exceed the limits, the insurance company does not have to cover the difference. If that were to occur, your attorney can help you explore other options for further compensation.