Merced lies in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley where poultry farms, dairy farms, and crop production keep the area constantly on the go. The industrious region keeps local routes packed with trucks and cars. Drivers on local thoroughfares like Highway 99 often hit backed-up lanes as they venture out to work, school, and run errands.
A trip down Highway 59 and across Highway 140 leaves motorists facing just about every hazard you could imagine. Unfocused and reckless car and SUV drivers, fast-moving big rigs carrying produce and livestock, and even some wandering cattle spilling out on the road.
All of these dangers and more can leave drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists in Merced County at risk of a devastating collision. When a terrible accident occurs, it’s critical that victims hold at-fault drivers accountable for every recovery cost they face.
Merced Car Accident Claims Process
Contact a Merced Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Car accident injury insurance claims quickly turn into frustrating experiences, especially when victims are also trying to focus on healing. You may find yourself in the middle of a weeks or months-long recovery process while watching your medical expenses pile up.
Don’t take your mounting desperation lying down. Take advantage of a free case consultation from a skilled Merced Personal Injury Attorney like Martin Gasparian. Mr. Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, is happy to present every option available to you and help you decide on your next move. It’s a no-risk way to find out what your injury is worth and how to secure what’s fair from unhelpful insurance companies.
Car Accident Dangers in Merced
Drivers in and around Merced face traffic dangers at all hours of the day. The rush hours can place distracted drivers at busy intersections like M Street and Olive Avenue. Their carelessness puts everyone at risk with their lack of attention to traffic lights and crossing pedestrians.
Traffic also surges twice a day around schools like Sequoia High School and Merced College. The surrounding streets can present hazards to young drivers and students walking to class.
On rural highways leading out of Merced, motorists can find wide produce trucks, edging people out of the narrow lanes. With little space between traffic flowing in opposite directions, drowsy drivers may also drift into the path of oncoming cars to cause a devastating head-on collision.
Preliminary numbers from California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) for 2021 accidents show the true cost of dangerous driving. Researchers recorded 1,671 crashes involving an injury or death for the year. Those accidents left over 2,000 victims injured and claimed at least 62 lives in 2021.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Merced
Suffering through an impact caused by an out-of-control vehicle can leave you dazed and suffering from a severe injury. However, if you are physically strong enough, and it’s safe to leave your vehicle, you’ll want to gather as much evidence from the scene as possible.
- Call 911. Give a full report to Merced Police or the California Highway Patrol. If you saw the at-fault driver on the phone or behaving recklessly, alert investigators to that fact so it will be included in a collision report. Get checked out by paramedics and take an ambulance to the emergency room if necessary.
- Get information from any witnesses. Find out how your Merced Car Accident Attorney can reach them later for important testimony.
- Take plenty of pictures. Show damage to the vehicles involved and any of your visible injuries. Also, capture evidence of the traffic signs and lights that were ignored if it’s relevant. Get photos of any signage that identifies who the at-fault driver may be working for such as a trucking company, farm, or delivery business.
- Trade information with the drivers involved, but don’t make any statements about the fault in the accident or the severity of your injuries. Insurance adjusters can twist your words later to hurt your case.
- Make an appointment with your doctor. Have any new pain checked out. The shock of an accident can conceal injuries until you wake up the next morning and find yourself in extreme pain. Follow your doctor’s orders and see any specialists who are recommended to you.
- Hang on to evidence. If you were hit while on a bicycle, keep your damaged bike. If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident, save any damaged personal property, including clothing.
- Consult with a qualified Merced Personal Injury Lawyer. You’ll likely have no frame of reference for the support you should receive from an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider. A skilled lawyer can tell you what your injury is truly worth and the best course of action to seek support for you and your family.
What Determines the Amount I’ll Receive in an Injury Settlement?
It’s impossible to put a value on your car accident injury claim without knowing the full details of your accident and injury diagnosis. Each injury case is very different. An experienced Merced car accident lawyer would only be able to provide an estimate for you after hearing about what happened and investigating your case.
There are reliable factors that figure into what you might see on an insurance settlement check. These are just a few of the details that will determine your injury compensation award:
- All medical expenses including physical therapy and any care expected to be necessary in the future.
- Costs associated with a permanent physical disability. Estimates on a lifetime of medical care and equipment.
- Physical pain. The pain you’ve endured and may endure for years to come.
- Emotional Distress. Mental trauma experienced during an accident and recovery.
- Damage or destruction of property.
- Earnings you’ve lost while missing work.
- Lost earning capacity if you can never return to your previous career.
Common Injuries Treated After a Merced Traffic Accident
Earning injury compensation after a Merced car accident is not only beneficial, but it might also be absolutely critical in preventing a financial crisis for you and your family.
A serious injury can quickly drain your savings account of thousands of dollars. If you allow insurance companies to deny their responsibility, you may end up paying towards massive medical debt instead of providing basic necessities for your family.
These are difficult outcomes to consider, but the potential long-term effects of any injury you or a family member make them worth considering.
This is a list of some of the most commonly seen injuries in emergency rooms after car accidents:
- Traumatic Brain injuries: Brain injuries can remain hidden in the moments after an accident. The symptoms may not appear until a day later. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can be on the mild side and include concussions. The more serious cases may involve the patient experiencing seizures, constant headaches, and a loss of control of body parts. Victims may also experience an unstable emotional state.
- Back injuries: The stretching of ligaments and tendons can leave tears in back tissue. Back injuries are known to create pain and affect mobility over a lifetime.
- Thoracic Spine Injury: Also known as a vertebral compression fracture. They occur when the force of a crash causes bones in the spine to collapse. Expensive bracing may be necessary during healing.
- Whiplash: The damage done when someone’s neck is whipped back and forth quickly. This injury makes things like coughing and sneezing very painful.
- Broken bones: Fractures in arms and legs are common in car accidents. Feet, ankles, hands, and wrists may be in casts and rendered unusable. A return to your job may not be possible until the bone has fully healed.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim After a Merced Car Accident?
California extends a statute of limitations of two years to those hurt in car accidents. If you wait longer than two years, your case will get rejected.
Two years may give you the impression that you can afford to wait to file an injury claim. Actually, it’s best if you start on your Merced car collision insurance claim as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney will have an easier time collecting fresh evidence and documents related to your case in the early going.
If you wait, witnesses can move away, and become hard to reach for testimony. The sooner your Merced car accident lawyer is allowed to begin building your case, the sooner you can hope to receive the compensation you’ll need to pay for your recovery.
What Our Clients Say
Frequently Asked Questions...
Yes. Wrongful death insurance benefits are available to families to help pay for burial and medical costs. It’s also meant to help replace the income the victim can no longer provide for a spouse and children.
Your Merced car accident attorney will investigate your case to build a strong injury claim so an insurance provider can’t reject it. Then, your attorney will negotiate the maximum compensation possible for you in a settlement.
No. Insurance adjusters will call you asking for a recorded statement about the accident. Decline. Any statement you make can be used to hurt your claim. Only offer basic information and refer them to your attorney.
Contact a Merced Car Accident Lawyer Today
After a traffic accident, please rely on an experienced Merced personal injury attorney to handle your case and protect what’s important to you. Insurance companies aren’t required to tell you about every benefit available to you. When you aren’t informed of your rights, you can lose out on valuable resources and end up paying for a large chunk of your recovery costs out-of-pocket.
That should never be the case when you are put through such a traumatic accident through no fault of your own. Take advantage of a free case consultation that comes with no obligation to you or your family. Make sure you are treated fairly and receive the support you need to fully recover and get back to your normal life.