Fresno Car Accident Lawyer
In the blink of an eye, your life can change forever. Accidents happen every day, sometimes with devastating results. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39.5 million doctor’s office visits and 29.4 million ER visits are related to unintentional injuries, including those from motor vehicle accidents and slip and falls.
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover financial compensation for the losses that you have suffered. California law allows victims in personal injury cases to recover money for both the harms and losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from another’s carelessness. A skilled Fresno personal injury lawyer can help you through the process, working you to get the highest possible settlement or jury verdict.
At Nunes Law, we have substantial experience helping individuals who have been hurt in all types of accidents throughout Fresno and the Central Valley region. We offer free consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Our law firm is committed to advocating for Californians who have been hurt because of another person or entity’s negligence. We represent clients in a range of personal injury cases, including:
- Car accidents
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist claims (accidents?)
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial truck collisions
- Premises liability (slips, trips, and falls)
- Wrongful death
- Dog bites
- Product liability (dangerous and defective products)
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Burn injuries
Attorney Frank Nunes has extensive experience representing victims in Kings County, Kern County, Madera County, Fresno County, Tulare County, and Merced County. With a long history in the region, our law firm has the local knowledge and courtroom experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Filing a California Personal Injury Claim
California personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence, (carelessness) which is the failure to use the care or caution that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. To prove negligence, you must introduce evidence of four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
- The defendant (wrongdoer) owed the plaintiff (victim) a duty of care;
- The defendant breached or violated the duty of care through negligence;
- The defendant’s violation caused harm to the plaintiff (causation); and
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
In some cases, the duty of care is obvious — such as the duty for all California drivers to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles. If a person breaches that duty, such as by speeding or not looking before changing lanes, then they may be held legally responsible for any injuries that they cause through a car accident case.
The plaintiff also has the responsibility of showing that the defendant’s breach was the “but for” cause of their injuries. In other words, they would not have been hurt but for the defendant’s actions. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered losses from the accident, such as by introducing medical bills, wage statements, or other evidence.
In California, most personal injury cases must be filed within two years of the injury or accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a claim within that time period, then you may be barred from recovering.
The majority of California personal injury claims settle before trial, or sometimes without a lawsuit being filed at all. The likelihood of a favorable settlement depends in part on your attorney’s trial experience and negotiation skills. If the defendant’s insurance company knows that your lawyer is prepared to take the case to trial, they may be more willing to offer you a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses.
While going to trial can be stressful, it is sometimes necessary in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Your Fresno personal injury attorney can advise you on your options and help you determine if going to trial is worth the risks.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Fresno Personal Injury Case?
In a California personal injury claim, an injured person may be entitled to three different types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. The value of your case will depend on a number of factors, including evidence of fault, the defendant’s insurance policy limits, and the nature and severity of your injury.
Economic damages compensate you for the monetary losses that you have suffered as a result of an accident. They may include items such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and reduced earning capacity. Economic damages may be proved through bills, invoices, and other documentation, or through the testimony of expert witnesses.
In contrast, non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for intangible losses. Examples of non-economic damages include scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These items can be harder to prove, but a skilled attorney will use their knowledge of similar cases and the input of experts to help develop a claim for non-economic damages.
Finally, punitive damages may be available in situations where the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly. Punitive damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. They are rarely awarded in personal injury cases because most claims involve negligent — rather than intentional or reckless — conduct.
What To Do After an Accident
If you are hurt in any type of accident, including a car crash, the first and most important step to take is to seek medical care immediately. Doing so will protect both your health and any future legal claim. Otherwise, insurance companies may argue that your injuries aren’t related to the accident or that your condition is worse because you didn’t seek medical treatment right away.
After you see a doctor, you should contact a Fresno personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that you are not taken advantage of in a vulnerable moment by an insurance company. During a free initial consultation, you can learn more about your legal rights and what to do to preserve your claim.
It may be tempting to take a quick settlement offer from the insurance company. After an accident, you may be overwhelmed by pain, mounting medical bills, and your inability to work. Accepting a settlement offer may seem like the easiest and best way to move forward — but it may result in you losing important rights and getting far less compensation than you need.
Insurance companies are not invested in making sure that you get the most possible money for your injuries. Instead, their goal is to maximize their own profits. They do this by denying or minimizing legitimate claims.
Insurers typically have teams of lawyers and adjusters who handle personal injury cases. Having your own attorney levels the playing field, and gives you a fighting chance of getting the compensation that you deserve. Your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiate a favorable settlement, or take your case to trial to ensure that you get a fair result.
Reach Out to a Fresno Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the full amount of your losses. A seasoned Fresno personal injury lawyer can help.
At Nunes Law, we have years of experience handling all types of California personal injury claims. We offer free initial consultations and represent all personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis — which means that you pay nothing up-front, and only pay us a fee if we get money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at 559-436-0850 or email us at any time.