When to Call the Authorities After a Car Accident- Riverside Police Department

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A car accident is incredibly stressful, and injuries simply make things worse. It can be difficult to determine what to do first and to collect yourself after a collision. Should you call for emergency help, head to an urgent care facility or call a tow truck? No matter how minor the accident, one thing you should always do is contact the authorities. If you have been involved in an accident in Riverside, then you need to call the Riverside Police Department to report the incident while you are still at the scene.

Reporting a Car Accident to Law Enforcement in Riverside

When you are in an accident with injuries in California, you are required to make a police report about the incident. If your accident was in Riverside, then you’ll need to make a report to the Riverside Police Department. According to California Vehicle Code Section 20008 as the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, you are required by law to make a report within 24 hours.

If you have already called the police and they arrive at the scene of your accident to make a report, then you do not need to head to the police department on your own. The officer will file the appropriate report and if needed, forward it to the correct department.

What Kind of Injuries are Included?

Any accident that has an injury or death needs to be reported by law. Injuries to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, vehicle passengers and other parties should trigger an immediate call to the authorities to report the incident so you can fully comply with the law. Any deaths at the scene should also be reported immediately; for most cases you need to call emergency medical assistance as well, to be sure any injuries are properly treated and that your case is fully documented. 

Do I Need to Report the Accident to the DMV?

The laws that apply to filing a police report also stipulate that you should report car accidents to the California DMV in certain conditions. If there were injuries, even mild ones, if someone was killed in the accident or there was property damage in excess of $750, then you also have to report the accident to the DMV within 10 days.

Who Else Needs to be Notified? 

Your car insurer will want to know that you have been in an accident; you are not required by law to inform them, but the terms of your car insurance likely stipulate that they be notified as soon as possible. You should also seek out the help of a car accident attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly by the other parties involved and to get the best possible outcome for your case. 

If you have been in an accident, you need to report it to the police, both to comply with the law and to document the accident in the event of a lawsuit or settlement. We understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be and stand ready to help you gain closure after you’ve been injured. Contact Harshbarger Law right away to talk about the specific details of your case and to discover what your next steps should be.

Who is Liable for a Dog Attack When the Dog is Loose or Off Leash?

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Even a well-behaved loose dog is a problem, he could be struck by a car or lost — but what happens when that loose dog harms someone? California has strict leash laws that are designed to protect the public from dangerous dogs; unlike some states, a dog does not have to have a previous history of aggression before the owner is considered liable for the animal’s actions. Since the burden is on the owner to properly secure his pet, that liability remains, even if the dog is off leash or escapes an enclosure.

Escaped Pets

A dog that digs out from under a fence, escapes a yard or slips outdoors is considered off leash or loose; the owner is liable for any injuries that animal causes to others. Those others need to be in a public space or in a private space with permission. If you are in someone’s yard for a party and his dog runs out the door and bites you, that owner is liable, since you were there with permission. If you are walking down the street and a loose dog bites you, the dog’s owner is still to blame, since you were in public and the dog was loose. The exception would be dogs that are defending their own homes and property from an uninvited intruder. Someone breaking into a home or trespassing in a yard who is then bitten would not likely be protected by California dog bite law in this case.

Who Owns the Dog?

In some cases, the person harboring the dog may be the one liable. While most dogs live with their owners, some escape while staying with relatives, visiting or even being dog-sat. In that case, the person caring for or harboring the dog may also have some liability. Since most dog attacks are local — meaning nearby residents and neighbors can generally identify the owner, even in the absence of tags, determining whom the dog belongs to or who is responsible for it is usually not difficult. Determining negligence and where blame lies can be more complicated; if you are not sure who the dog belongs to, or the person responsible for the dog claims not to be the owner, it is important to seek out legal help from a dog bite attorney right away; you’ll need to know who the animal belongs to so you can pursue a claim.

Non-Bite Injuries

While California’s dog bite law covers bites, other injuries are possible. If a dog knocks you down or causes injury to your child or otherwise harms you, you should get in touch with an attorney to talk about your case in detail. Not all injuries are bite related, and you can still have significant medical costs and pain after a fall or other injury caused by a loose pet.

If you have been harmed by a loose or off leash dog, you should seek medical attention right away. After your injuries are treated, get in touch with our office to learn about the next steps to ensure you are treated fairly by the other party. We’re ready to help when you need us most. Contact Harshbarger Law today. 

Being a Victim in a Drunk Driving Accident From a Legal Perspective

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Every two minutes a person is injured in an auto accident related to alcohol intoxication. These numbers increase significantly at night, on the weekends and especially during the holiday season when people are traveling back and forth to various holiday parties and events. It is a situation that absolutely nobody should have to go through, but one that is all too common just the same.
It is such a pressing issue that it is always important to look at the situation from the perspective of the person who matters most of all: the victims.

The Victim’s Perspective of Drunk Driving Accidents: What You Need to Know

For a victim, the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving accident is of critical importance. Victims should call the police to make sure the accident is properly documented, and they should seek fast medical attention if it is necessary. If other parties – including the offending driver – have been injured, you need to call 911 right away.
Calling the police is particularly important in the event of an accident involving drunk driving, as the incident needs to be documented in a way you can prove you were not at fault for the accident. Likewise, you will need proof the driver who hit you was intoxicated when it comes time to file your insurance claim.

Next, victims should collect as much evidence as possible about all of the damages they have sustained – both in terms of physical damage to their car as well as emotional stress, injuries and more. If you can, take photographs of the area and make sure everything is documented. Keep a record of any financial losses you are forced to deal with, including lost wages.
But above all else, never forget that in a drunk driving accident, the driver is going to be subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Any and all evidence you collect will go a long way towards making sure you are fairly compensated. It will be necessary to enlist the help of an attorney who will fight for the fair compensation and ideal outcome you deserve.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that getting hit by a drunk driver is an incredibly unfortunate and harrowing experience. We believe it is something nobody should have to go through, which is a large part of why we have dedicated ourselves to offering the best and most efficient representation possible to victims all across San Bernardino and the surrounding areas.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver and are in need of information about what to do next, please do not hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law today.

3 Common Holiday Injuries and Accidents

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Santa, the dreidel, the nativity and more — while these may be the familiar things that make you think of Christmas, holiday accidents with injuries are also incredibly popular and commonplace at this time of year. Learning more about the most common types of holiday accidents can help prevent a nasty injury and allow you to seek out the right type of help if you have already been injured. Take a look at these common holiday injuries and be on the look out for negligence and hazardous conditions this year:

3 Common Holiday Accidents

Shopping Accidents: Black Friday brawls have become so commonplace that they are simply expected as a way to launch the holiday shopping season. While these skirmishes, fights and stampedes make headlines, the entire holiday shopping season poses a risk to those who venture out to the stores. Because the volume of shoppers is so high, stores inevitably become short-staffed, making the entire space more dangerous. Fewer employees means slower cleanup of spills, items on the floor and hazards; it also means that shoppers wait impatiently in line for longer periods, leading to shorter tempers. From parking lot crashes and disputes to fights over the hottest toys of the year, simply heading to the mall could result in an injury this year.

Post Party Driving: The festivities are over, but the alcohol consumed is still lingering. Partygoers hit the streets in record numbers in December, weaving their way home after indulging at a holiday party. Drunk and distracted drivers are a real risk any time of year, but the holidays brings more drivers (both sober and non) to the roadways. In some cases, conditions are also not good, leading to even more risk. When you head out, watch for distracted, drunk and raging drivers in higher numbers than usual and proceed with heightened caution.

Product Failure: A product can injure you any time of year, but since more of us are receiving and handling new items, these accidents peak in December. Failed products cause emergency room visits to soar during this festive season.

If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence in a store, on a road or even in your own home, we can help. We hope you can avoid these common injuries, but accidents happen to even the most observant of us. Contact us after an accident or injury and ensure you are treated fairly by the other party involved and their insurance company. We’re ready to help when you need us most. Contact Harshbarger Law today. 

Stay Safe this Thanksgiving — 4 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

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According to AAA, about 50 million Americans will travel this year for Thanksgiving; which means record numbers of drivers will be hitting the road at the same time. The increase in traffic adds up to heightened safety risks for travelers; more cars on the road means more chances of an accident and injury. We’re sharing some holiday travel safety tips below to help you make your journey safer.

Get a Tune Up: Traveling on a busy highway is already stressful; a flat tire or other issue could actually put you in danger. Getting the vehicle checked before you leave home can prevent many problems and ensure you’re not stuck standing in the cold beside a busy highway. According to AAA, over 300,000 travelers are delayed and endangered by flat tires and lockouts during this busy week each year.

Check your Route: Before you leave home, check your route and make sure you spot any potential problems. Some traffic issues simply can’t be avoided but knowing there is active construction on a particular highway can help you avoid the type of crashes associated with stop and go traffic.

Expect Delays and Poor Behavior: You have more to worry about than the bickering from the back seat. Delayed drivers are stressed out and likely to make poor decisions. From lack of awareness and care to actual road rage, bad driving behavior peaks during the busy holiday season.

Know what to do: If you are in an accident, you should know what to do. Once everyone has medical attention, you’ll need to document exactly what happened with video and photographs and take down contact information from all witnesses. With record numbers of travelers, chances are no one around you will actually be from the area of your accident; you’ll need to get their details and take pictures before these travelers resume their journeys.

We hope your holiday travel is safe and uneventful, but if you do encounter trouble, we’re here to help. Contact us after an accident or injury and ensure you are treated fairly by the other party and the insurance company. We’re ready to help when you need us most. Contact Harshbarger Law today. 

What You Need to Know About Being a Victim in a Drunk Driving Accident From a Legal Perspective

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Every two minutes a person is injured in an auto accident related to alcohol intoxication.These numbers increase significantly at night, on the weekends and especially during the holiday season when people are traveling back and forth to various holiday parties and events. It is a situation that absolutely nobody should have to go through, but one that is all too common just the same.
It is such a pressing issue that it is always important to look at the situation from the perspective of the person who matters most of all: the victims.

The Victim Perspective of Drunk Driving Accidents: What You Need to Know

For a victim, the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving accident is of critical importance. Victims should call the police to make sure that the accident is properly documented, and they should seek fast medical attention if it is necessary. If other parties – including the offending driver – have been injured, you need to call 911 right away.

Calling the police is particularly important in the event of a situation involving drunk driving, as the incident needs to be documented in a way that you can prove you were not at fault for the accident. Likewise, you will need proof that the driver who hit you was intoxicated when it comes time to file your insurance claim.

Next, victims should collect as much evidence as possible about all of the damages they have sustained – both in terms of physical damage to their car as well as emotional stress, injury and more. If you can, take photographs of the area and make sure that everything is documented. Keep a record of any financial losses that you are forced to deal with, including lost wages.

But above all else, never forget that in a drunk driving accident, the driver is going to be subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Any and all evidence that you collect will go a long way towards making sure that you are fairly compensated. It will be necessary to enlist the help of an attorney who will fight for the fair compensation and ideal outcome that you deserve.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that getting hit by a drunk driver is an incredibly unfortunate and harrowing experience – one that was also in no way your fault. We believe that it is something nobody should have to go through, which is a large part of why we have dedicated ourselves to offering the best and more efficient representation possible to victims all across San Bernardino and the surrounding areas.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver and are in need of information about what to do next, or if you have any other questions that you’d like to find answers to, please do not hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law today.

Accidents at Amusement Parks

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Despite the fun characters, lively setting and whirling, twirling rides, theme parks and amusements do pose a hazard to the people who visit them. Each year, thousands of people are injured, and dozens are killed while visiting a theme park. According to CNN, the number of accidents on record could be even higher; some states do not collect this data at all; the parks themselves also work hard to limit publicity surrounding injuries and fatalities. A recent Disney case that made headlines was particularly devastating; a child was snatched by an alligator while visiting an onsite resort; Disney settled with the family and reacted with additional measures to separate the natural fauna of Florida from guests.

Not all Accidents Make Headlines

The incidents that are the result of a ride malfunction (with guest ejection, injury or evacuation) and those that cause significant injury or death are the most widely reported, but thousands of people are injured in more mundane ways each year. Slips and falls, food poisoning, collisions with employees or even injury from not properly maintained ride vehicles are common occurrences that impact visitors but do not make headlines.

Faulty Equipment and Negligent Employees

The most dangerous accidents occur as a result of faulty equipment and negligent employees. Rides that were poorly designed, operators that fail to take basic safety precautions or follow directions and equipment that is poorly maintained all increase risk. In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was thrown from a water slide and killed in a Kansas theme park. Park managers were later arrested due to their extreme negligence as well as a series of mis-steps and lack of caution that led to the child’s death.

Risky Behavior

Visitors can also put themselves into harm’s way by deliberately bypassing safety rules or tampering with equipment. Zoos are particularly prone to injuries that are caused in part by unruly behavior. Visitors that attempt to leave rides early, engage with wild animals, climb into cages or even go behind the scenes put themselves at risk; injuries in this case may be more difficult to pursue in court, since the victim had some role in the injury. The best thing to do in this scenario is to talk with a personal injury attorney about the experience and aftermath.

Theme parks and amusement parks are designed to be fun, but they are also businesses that need to be held responsible for injuries they cause. Since most operators have a vested interest in maintaining a safe image, accidents and injuries are often cleaned up and whisked away in minutes, making it crucial to take photos and document the event. If you have been injured, you should do your best to document the injury and the medical treatment required, since no evidence may remain after the fact.

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of an amusement park or their employees, a personal injury attorney can help. Contact Harshbarger Law to talk about your case and to ensure you are treated fairly by the park and the insurance company. We understand how swiftly a fun outing can turn into a nightmare and stand ready to help.

What You Need to Know About Prop 213

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One moment you’re driving along, minding your own business and you pass through an intersection. Another driver runs their red light and slams right into your car. “I don’t have insurance,” you think to yourself, “but that’s okay. This was in no way my fault so I have nothing to worry about.”
Sadly, you might want to think again.
If you live in the state of California, your situation just got a lot more complicated due to something called Prop 213 – a law that was passed several years ago by state voters. Not only does it have significant implications regarding these and other types of situations, but it’s a law a lot of people don’t realize exists.

The Major Implications of Proposition 213

The most important thing to understand about this rather unique law is that it doesn’t allow for general damages – like pain and suffering, for example – for any uninsured motorists who are involved in an automobile accident within the state of California. This is true even when the accident was not the fault of the aforementioned uninsured driver.
Interestingly, it only applies to the driver of the car and not any of its passengers. So if you’re riding along in a car with someone who doesn’t have insurance and they get into an accident, you’re still allowed to explore all legal options.
Despite all this, the uninsured motorist is still allowed to collect fair and necessary compensation for medical bills and other issues as a result of injuries sustained during the accident. However, the potential recovery amount is significantly reduced.
The one exception to all of this occurs when the driver who causes the accident is either drunk or otherwise driving under the influence. This essentially negates Prop 213 altogether, allowing the uninsured motorist/victim to seek pain and suffering compensation by way of a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

If you’re located in or around San Bernardino County and have been the unfortunate victim of an auto accident, you don’t just need a personal injury attorney – you need an advocate who will stand up and protect your rights every step of the way. Backed by decades of experience in both the legal profession and in this area, the team at Harshbarger Law are honored for the opportunity to become that advocate you so richly deserve.

If you’d like to find out more information about California’s Prop 213, or if you have any additional questions you’d like to see answered, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

Study Finds Alarming Increase In U.S. Bicycle Accidents

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Bike accidents continue to rise, according to a new study published in the medical journal Injury Prevention. According to this research, both the cost of and the number of bicycle accidents have risen over the past decade. Learning more about biking accidents, how and where they occur, and the sometimes-devastating aftermath can help you avoid this increasingly widespread problem.

More Bikes on the Road

Biking is eco-friendly and an affordable way to get to work or school. The added health benefits of cycling also make it appealing to a growing number of fans. As more of us take to the roads, the number of accidents naturally climb.

Slow Infrastructure Adaption to Biking

While individuals have been finding that biking has many benefits and hitting the road in record numbers, towns and municipalities have been slower to catch on. Areas with aging infrastructure are more likely to have bicycle accidents, since they are simply not equipped to safely integrate cyclists into traffic.
When towns and cities try to improve safety, though, the number of injuries drop dramatically. A recent Harvard study reports that bike accidents in Boston (once one of the riskiest cities to bike in in the nation) actually fell after infrastructure and safety legislation was introduced.

Older Riders

The paper reveals that riders who are over the age of 45 account for slightly more than half of all of the costs associated with cycling accidents in 2013 – likely because the riders needed longer recovery time than their younger counterparts. As an active Baby Boomer population continues to retire from work and take up new hobbies, older cyclists are hitting the road in increasing numbers.

Accident Variety

The number of bicycle accidents involving vehicles also continues to rise, while accidents created by user error or collisions with pedestrians or other bikes remained at the same levels, year after year. The report advises that the increase in interest and the growing number of bikes on the road, coupled with distracted driving, could be to blame.
Understanding the risk of biking in or around traffic, learning what your area has done to make things safe for cyclists and being aware of the potential for danger can help you avoid becoming one of the thousands of people injured while cycling this year.

If you have been in a bicycle accident, we can help; our goal is to make sure you are treated fairly and that your case gets the attention it deserves. Contact Harshbarger Law without delay if you have been the victim of cycling accident.

The Most Common Reasons For Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

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Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common, both in San Bernardino and in the United States. But the key to remaining safe on the roads involves understanding as much as you possibly can about why these accidents occur in the first place.

Though every crash situation is different, there are still a number of common reasons for a large number of motorcycle accidents you would do well to avoid at all costs.

The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

According to experts, one of the top reasons motorcycle accidents occur has to do with unsafe lane changes on the part of other drivers. Essentially, drivers fail to check their blind spots or properly signal when changing lanes. As a result this puts other drivers and in particular motorcycle operators at a significant risk.

Another common reason motorcycle accidents occur has to do with the improper use of car doors. If a motorcycle operator is passing a parked vehicle and that vehicle operator opens their door without checking to make sure things are clear, a dangerous accident can easily occur. This is something that often happens with bicyclists as well.

Finally, a significant number of motorcycle accidents occur when the rider enters a corner too fast. You should only ride as fast as you can see and use any visual clues available to judge what may be around the corner you’re about to take. When in doubt, slow down.

As the owner and operator of a motorcycle, so many of these situations can be avoided by taking the exact same approach: never assume anyone but yourself is concerned for your own safety. Never assume other motorists on the road are aware of your presence or know what they’re supposed to do to safely navigate around a smaller, more compact method of transportation like yours. Stay as far away from other cars as you can, practice safe driving techniques and remain vigilant  – you’ll likely be glad you did.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident or if you’d like to learn more about your rights or the rights of your loved ones please don’t delay and contact Harshbarger Law today.