Fresno Car Accident Questions — Part One

When you are involved in a car accident, you may have many questions about what you should do and how to file an insurance claim. Our Fresno car accident attorneys meet with clients each week who have been injured in traffic accidents in California. Below are answers to several of the common questions about car accident cases in Fresno. What do I do immediately after a car accident? You should call 911 to report the crash and stay at the scene until help arrives. At the accident scene, be sure to ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Many times, a witness will leave before the officer arrives once the witness verifies no one is severely injured. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene while you wait on the officer. Never admit fault or say you are sorry at the accident scene.

Are Your Passengers Safe?

Your passengers have no control over their safety when they are riding in your vehicle. Your actions and the actions of other drivers can place your passengers in danger. Just as you owe others using the road a duty of care to act reasonably to avoid accidents, you also owe your passengers that same duty of care. If you cause an accident that results in an injury to your passenger, your passenger can sue you for the damages caused by the accident.

When Do I Need a Lawyer for My Accident Claim?

After being involved in a traffic accident, seeing a doctor is your first priority. You need to seek medical attention to protect your health and well-being. However, you should also make it a priority to seek legal counsel. A Fresno car accident attorney can help you in many ways. Your attorney can protect your legal rights and deal with your claim while you focus on your recovery.

Recovering from a Fresno Car Accident — A Potentially Long Road Ahead of You

Being injured in a Fresno car accident can have a substantial impact on your future. Your ability to earn a living, perform the same daily tasks, and even care for yourself or your family can be changed forever. The days, weeks, and months after a car accident can be filled with anxiety, stress, and pain. There are many decisions you need to make, including how to pay your medical costs and living expenses while you are out of work. You may also need to decide how you want to proceed with your medical treatment when given a choice between several options. Weighing the pros and cons of each treatment is important, just as it is important to weigh your options for deciding how to handle your accident claim.

Mistakes You Can Make That Hurt Your Car Accident Claim

It is easy to make a mistake when you are handling a car accident claim, especially if you have never been in an accident or dealt with an insurance adjuster. Below are five mistakes that can seriously harm your claim if you are not very careful. Mistake Number One: Not Calling the Police The other driver may try to convince you that you can handle the “matter” between the two of you. Unless you know you are not injured and the damage is minor, this is a mistake. Because you could have suffered whiplash or another injury that may not show signs until a few hours or days later, not calling the police can be a huge mistake. It is better to have an official record of the crash to prove the accident occurred. While you can pursue an accident claim without a police report, it can help to have the report if the other driver tries to claim he or she was not involved or did not cause the crash.

Who Do I Sue for a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

If you travel in and around Fresno County, you may have witnessed multi-vehicle accidents or chain reaction crashes. One vehicle slams on brakes on a busy highway causing two or more vehicles behind the lead car to rear-end each other. Another example is when a vehicle runs a red light or a stop sign causing a collision that results in other vehicles crashing as they try to avoid the initial collision. When a crash involves multiple vehicles, sorting out liability can be very difficult, especially when the drivers disagree as to who caused the initial collision. It is extremely important to identify the cause of the crash to determine who is liable for your damages. Because of California’s pure comparative fault law, more than one person may be responsible for your damages. However, you may also be held responsible for the crash under comparative negligence standards.

Is My Car Accident Settlement Taxable in California?

When you are injured in a traffic accident, you can hold the negligent driver or party responsible for the accident liable for your damages. In other words, if you did not cause the collision, you might be entitled to receive money from the party who did cause the crash. However, that money could be taxable as income in some cases. Compensation for Pain and Suffering The money you receive as compensation for the pain and suffering from your physical injury or illnesses is not considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service or the California Department of Revenue.  This also includes the amount you receive for the emotional distress or mental anguish you suffer because of the physical injuries or illnesses. However, if your claim is for emotional distress or mental anguish that did not result from a personal physical injury or illness, you may owe income tax on all or a portion of the settlement.

Life-Altering Injuries Caused by Other Drivers

Many people refer to these types of injuries as “catastrophic” injuries. Life-altering or catastrophic injuries can require multiple surgeries followed by months or even years of medical treatments, physical therapy, and special adaptive medical equipment. The negative consequences of a personal injury can last for the rest of your life. If a negligent or reckless driver caused the crash that resulted in your injuries, that driver should be held liable for your damages. You should not be required to bear the cost of expensive medical treatments, necessary medical equipment, and other expenses. Call Torem & Associates by telephone at 1-800-954-4444 to find out how you can recover money for your Fresno catastrophic injury claim.

Tuolumne Bridge Opens to Traffic in Fresno

ABC30 News reports that more than a year and a half after construction began, the Tuolumne Bridge is now open for traffic. The overpass extends from Broadway to F Street in Downtown Fresno and will allow for an additional route to West Fresno and Chinatown. The new structure also allows for a future High-Speed Rail. Easier access to the downtown area is expected with the new two-way street.

How to Know if You Were Injured in a Traffic Accident?

This sounds like an odd question because you would assume that anyone involved in a traffic accident would know if that person sustained an injury. However, this is not always the case. After an accident, you may believe that you are “okay” because you do not feel any immediate pain or have any visible signs of harm. However, this does not always mean that you escaped the crash without any injuries. Traffic accidents, including pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle crashes, can be violent and cause injuries that are not immediately known to the victim. Some injuries may have delayed symptoms. Therefore, you should always see a doctor after any accident, regardless of whether you feel fine or you believe the accident was “minor.” Even low-impact accidents can cause debilitating injuries.