Archive for the ‘California Auto Accidents’ Category

How Can I Help Gather Evidence for My California Personal Injury Claim?

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

At Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc, our personal injury attorneys in Fresno understand that no one plans to be injured in a traffic collision in California, so creating a plan to gather evidence afterward seems to counter staying safe, or at the very least, like focusing on misfortune.

The reality is, it is always better to be proactive after a car, truck, or motorcycle collision in Fresno County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, or Tulare County to best prepare for a personal injury claim that will allow you to pursue the medical care and time away from work you need without paying for the expenses associated with the crash out of pocket.

Here are a few tips for identifying, collecting, and preserving physical evidence after being injured in a traffic collision in Fresno.

What is Considered Physical Evidence in a Fresno Personal Injury Claim?

Physical evidence is tangible items that will help build your case.

They may include:

  • Witness statements
  • Photographs
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Receipts, insurance documents, and/or medical bills from all physician visits
  • Written journal recounting your accident and day to day challenges

Never throw anything away after a vehicle collision, including the clothes you were wearing at the time of the crash, as the smallest piece of evidence may help build your case.

Why Are Witness Statements Important After a Traffic Collision in Fresno?

Gathering a list of witnesses and their contact information will allow your car accident attorney in Fresno to interview these individuals to get their account of the crash that will help support our case.

Take Photographs and Video of the Crash Scene and Your Injuries

If you are physically capable of staying behind after the crash and do not have to be transported immediately by ambulance to the closest medical facility, be sure to take pictures and/or video of the crash scene and your injuries.

Photo documentation of the accident scene and your injuries should be taken from different angles while also ensuring the date and time stamp is available for the printed versions.

If Possible, Do Not Leave the Scene of the Crash Without a Completed Police Report

Police reports are a crucial piece of evidence that can be helpful in settlement negotiations.

If your injuries will allow, stay behind until a law enforcement officer arrives to fill out a complete accident report that we can request a copy of later for our records.

Some police departments will not take a report unless one of the injured parties is transported by ambulance to a hospital. In those situations, make sure to get as much information about the other driver and care owner as possible. You then contact the local police department to make a “counter report” where you go to the police station and fill out a report. Some police departments allow accident victims to complete these reports on line. If you are not sure which police department handles the area of your accident, reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys at Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc and we can help you.

Receipts, Insurance Documentation, and Medical Bills from Physician Visits

Once you seek medical care, the financial requirements necessary to treat your complete injuries will become apparent and must be accounted for later to ensure we are pursuing the best outcome for your unique personal injury claim.

Be sure to keep all receipts from out-of-pocket expenses, including prescriptions, crutches, or other medical needs, insurance documentation for the care you pursued using your coverage, and any medical bills that resulted from your injuries.

Your Medical Records Will Help Tell Your Personal Injury Story

Medical records including diagnosis reports, lab results, or discharge instructions must be requested by you personally, or your representative. They will tell the story of how severe your injuries are, and how your physicians are outlining your care requirements.

Keep in mind, the insurance company will also request your medical records but will need your written permission to access them. Do not sign any paperwork submitted by the insurance company without having your personal injury attorney review them first.

Keep an Accident Notebook to Capture Each Detail of Your Injuries and Challenges from the Crash

Your personal narrative of the accident should be recorded right away, so all the details of the crash are fresh in your memory.

Write down anything you might remember from the collision, your ongoing medical conditions and treatment, and how the accident is impacting your day-to-day personal and professional life.

Be sure to date your entries and be honest.

What is the Best Way to Preserve All the Evidence from My Fresno Crash?

Gathering evidence is an important part of your claim, but so is preserving it, so it can be used during our negotiations with the insurance company.

Physical evidence can easily get lost, deteriorate, or be repaired after your accident.

For instance, if you are injured due to hazardous conditions on someone’s property, preserving the evidence in photos will ensure that we can capture the actual circumstances that caused your injuries before the owner has time to fix the hazard, as though it never existed.

Back up your images or videos on a separate device, or in the cloud, to ensure that even if you lose your phone, the evidence remains behind.

Do the same with witness statements, even if they are in print. Copy and preserve them in a secondary location, so you have access to them later.

Keep all receipts, documents, and medical information in the same file and in a safe place.

What Else Can I Do to Help Build My Fresno Personal Injury Claim for Success?

The most important thing you can do to help build your personal injury claim is to receive all the follow-up care necessary, including doctor’s appointments, surgeries, prescription and medical device use, and rehabilitation and therapy needs, and follow all your medical provider’s instructions in full.

Next, do not talk to anyone about your personal injury claim, and steer clear of social media until your case is resolved, so your statements are not taken out of context and used against you later.

Finally, do not speak to the insurance company without an attorney.

If you have been injured in an accident of any type, contact our experienced personal injury attorney in Fresno at Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc today by calling 559.436.0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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What are the Vehicle Insurance Requirements in California?

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

It is illegal to drive without motor vehicle insurance in all fifty states — including California.

Companies that provide insurance coverage to our residents allow drivers to choose their policy details, including the amount of coverage and the deductible at different price points for different types of vehicles.

However, there is a minimum amount of insurance coverage all California drivers must carry. Anything above and beyond is by choice, but the minimum is required.

Here, our personal injury attorney in Fresno County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, and Tulare County at Nunes Law explains the insurance coverage requirements, the consequences for driving without insurance, and what you can do if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Let’s get started.

What Are the Minimum California Car Insurance Coverage Requirements?

At Law Offices Of Frank M. Nunes, our Fresno personal injury attorneys know all California drivers must carry the minimum car insurance coverage, or obtain proof of financial responsibility from a licensed business in the state for a surety bond of $35,000.

The minimum insurance requirements in California are:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage
  • $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage
  • $5,000 property damage liability coverage

When drivers are caught operating their vehicles without insurance, they can face serious consequences.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance in California?

As an at-fault accident state, California requires the person who is found liable for the accident to cover the damages suffered by those who were hurt in the crash.

When drivers have insurance, the liability for the damages that occurred during the crash is covered by their provider. When they do not have insurance, they may become personally liable for the crash and its complete costs.

When drivers are not involved in a crash but have been stopped for another reason, like a traffic violation, they can face fines and other penalties for driving without insurance.

Those penalties may include:

  • First offense: $100 fine plus administrative fees
  • Second offense: Fines up to $500 for second offenses and additional fees if the offense occurs within three years of the initial penalty
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle impoundment

The cost of potentially paying for an accident out of pocket is too big of a risk to take, which is why vehicle insurance is mandatory throughout California. Yet, some still drive without it. If you have been hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact our experienced car accident attorneys in Fresno today to learn about your legal options in holding them accountable for your damages.

What Can I Do If an Uninsured Driver Caused My California Car Accident Injuries?

If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, he or she may potentially be liable for the damages that result, including medical costs, property damage, and other expenses out of pocket.

The problem is, what if they do not have the money?

Our car accident lawyers in Fresno will pursue the uninsured driver for your complete financial compensation or explore your insurance policy for its uninsured motorist coverage, so you are not the one who is left paying for your expenses out of pocket.

The same is true if the negligent driver is an underinsured motorist, meaning he or she had the minimum amount of coverage at the time of your collision, but the total costs of your injuries outweigh their policy limits.

If you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact our experienced personal injury attorney in Fresno at Nunes Law today by calling 559.436.0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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You Should Talk to an Attorney Before Signing a Release from an Insurance Adjuster

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Insurance companies know that it is common for a person who was in a collision to feel fine immediately afterward, only to notice within a few days that their neck or back hurts, or that they are much sorer than anticipated. The insurance company is likely to present you with a release, but the check that would result from signing that release may not cover all of your harms and losses.

You can’t adequately assess all of your harms and losses immediately after the collision. You may have unknown medical bills that will result from treatment of injuries you have not yet identified.

It is best to first talk to an attorney to discuss the full range of your harms and losses resulting from the accident and to determine whether the release from the insurance adjuster is appropriate. This is especially true when many attorneys offer free consultations. Watch the video to learn more.

If you have questions about dealing with insurance companies or would like to discuss another legal matter, I want you to call me at 559-436-0850. I welcome your call. Or, visit our website at the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes to reference our educational library.

Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes

6073 N. Fresno Street

Suite 101

Fresno, CA 93710

559-436-0802

info@nuneslaw.com

Why are you getting sued when the other driver was at fault?

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Sometimes the parties involved in an accident will dispute the cause or who was at fault, and this can lead to a situation in which you are being sued while you believe the other party to be responsible for the collision. In California, your insurance company is required to hire an attorney at their expense, as included in your insurance policy. It is important that you convey all of the information and your perspective on the matter to your insurance company as soon as possible.

In the case that you have additional losses, such as requiring a visit to the hospital, resulting medical bills, or missed work that resulted from the accident, you need to take inventory of these items and also provide this information to your attorney at the insurance company right away. One reason for this is that while your insurance company’s attorney cannot represent you in your pursuit of compensation for these losses, it is important to coordinate with the attorney that will represent you in these matters.

Both attorneys will then simultaneously submit your insurance company’s response to the lawsuit and what is called a cross complaint for your harms and losses that you suffered. Be sure to note if you have any such harms and losses if you find yourself being sued in such a situation. Watch the video to learn more.

If you have questions about a personal injury case or would like to discuss another legal matter, I want you to call me at 559-436-0850. I welcome your call. Or, visit our website at http://www.NunesLaw.com to reference our educational library.

Can a child file a lawsuit on their own?

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

In California, minor children cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf. The court instead appoints a Guardian Ad Litem, which is a representative for that child’s interest in the case. This is in large part because a minor’s perspective is assumed to not fully appreciate the complexities and implications of litigation.

The Guardian Ad Litem will typically be a parent or adult who is close to the child. In some cases, a child may wait until he reaches the age of eighteen years in order to pursue the case himself, but this option is not typically chosen because memories, evidence, and witnesses become less reliable and accessible over time. Most instead choose to pursue the case while it remains fresh.

The court will review the settlement with the guardian and the other side to ensure a fair agreement is reached, accounting for the harms and losses suffered by the child. Watch the video to learn more.

If you have questions about filing a lawsuit in California or would like to discuss another legal matter, I want you to call me at 559-436-0850. I welcome your call. Or, visit our website at http://www.NunesLaw.com to reference our educational library.

What An Attorney Looks For When Deciding To Take Your Case

Friday, July 28th, 2017

You were involved in a car accident in California, and you are thinking about bringing a claim or a lawsuit, and you want to know what an attorney looks for in deciding to take your case. Well, I can tell you the things that an attorney looks for because as an attorney practicing here, there are three main things. Here’s what I look for when deciding to take a case: liability, causation, and damages. Liability – who was legally responsible for the injuries? Causation – were the injuries that you suffered caused by that person’s legal responsibility and damages? What is the extent of your damages? Not just wage loss and past medical expenses, but the inconvenience, the pain, the humiliation, and the suffering.

If you have additional questions regarding your case, contact the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes at 559-436-0850.

Hiring a Lawyer on Contingency Basis

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

You’ve been involved in a car accident, you can’t work because of your injuries, your car was ruined, you can’t get to work. The last thing you need to do is pay for hiring a lawyer. How can you afford to hire a lawyer in that situation? The good news is that California allows people to hire lawyers on a contingency – or a work now, we’ll pay you later when the case settles – basis, and that’s what most of these lawyers do, including myself. With all of the medical bills, all of the property damage, all the time off from work, the last thing somebody can afford is to hire an attorney, and California recognizes that. And the best part about it is that the attorney only gets paid if he or she recovers something for you.

If you have questions about hiring an attorney contact the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes at 559-436-0850.

Can You Claim Lost Income as a Stay at Home Parent?

Monday, July 24th, 2017

You are injured in a car crash in California, and you are a stay-at-home parent. Can you still bring a claim for your lost income? Well, the answer to that question is: If you have no income lost, you can’t make a claim for income lost, but what you can claim is the value of your domestic services for the things done around the home. This would include preparing meals, taking care of children, taking children to and from places… just making the house a home, especially if you have to hire someone to fill in and help with those services around the house. So, just because you don’t have a job outside the home doesn’t mean your time doesn’t have value. I’ve handled several cases like this with people who have jobs in a home that don’t get a paycheck but they still contribute a value to their household.

If you have questions about what you can claim as a stay-at-home parent following a crash, contact the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes at 559-436-0850.

How Do You Know if a Settlement Offer is Good?

Friday, July 21st, 2017

You were injured in an accident, and you decided you were going to skip on the attorney’s fee and handle the case yourself. Many times, clients think that they can go at it alone, but they eventually wind up in my office, saying, “I received an offer. How do I know if it is a good offer?”

Well, you can handle it on your own. Do you know if the offer is sufficient for all of the harms and losses you’ve suffered? Does it cover your need for future medical care, should something go wrong with your injuries? Does it compensate you for your wage loss for the time you’ve maybe taken off work to attend to other matters that were caused by the accident? Are you finished with medical care? Are you aware of the value of other cases like yours, and what they’ve settled for? If you’re in that top one percent of non-lawyers who understand this, congratulations You have the ability to handle this case on your own. But, if you are like the rest of the people, you need someone who has the knowledge, experience, and know-how to get the job done.

If you have additional questions regarding a settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes at 559-436-0850.

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Can You File a Claim Against the Owner of the Dog that Caused Your Motorcycle Crash?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

You’re driving your beautiful motorcycle down the road here in sunny California, and out of nowhere a dog comes and chases you, and you crash. Can you bring a claim against the owner of the dog? In California, the owners of animals, including dogs, are strictly responsible for the injuries that their dogs or animals cause. In this situation, if the dog ran out and chased you and caused you to crash, you would have the opportunity to bring a viable claim against that person who owned the dog.

What would that person be responsible for? Well, all the harms and losses that are reasonably caused by the collision. First of all, you have the damage to your beautiful motorcycle, perhaps the repair or replacement costs of that motorcycle, your past medical bills if you were injured, your future medical bills, and any time off from work that you’ve already missed or that you will miss as a result of the collision. Not to mention the pain and suffering, inconvenience, and humiliation of the crash.

If you have additional questions regarding claims against a dog owner, call the Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes at 559-436-0850.

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