Wrongful Death Attorney In San Bernardino County

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Dealing with the loss of a family member or loved one is hard enough; realizing that loss was caused by someone else’s negligence makes things even worse. While a wrongful death attorney can’t bring your loved one back, they can help give closure and the compensation you’ll need to protect your family after a loss. Learning more about wrongful death and what you can do about it in the San Bernardo County area can help you understand your options during this difficult time.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is when a person is killed because of the misconduct or negligence of a third party. When a family experiences a wrongful death, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one. Wrongful death takes many forms, including:

  • Car, truck and motorcycle accidents.
  • Faulty products: Products that break or don’t perform as expected could cause a fatal accident; the manufacturer would be held responsible for their defective products.
  • Medical malpractice: From surgical errors to misdiagnosis or emergency room negligence, medical malpractice can result in catastrophic and fatal errors
  • Dangerous conditions: From theme parks to hotels and even construction sites, if a business doesn’t take proper precautions, a fatal accident could be the result.

How are Victims Compensated?

The victim’s family can file a lawsuit; the amount of damages received will vary depending on the salary earned by the deceased, the people who depended on them financially and the loss of companionship. Other factors may come into play as well. While no one can replace your loved one, the financial security that comes from a settlement can bring peace of mind and security to the surviving family members. A wrongful death attorney can help you after a loss and ensure your remaining family is secure.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, we can help. Contact the San Bernardino County team at Harshbarger Law to talk about your case and discuss your options. We understand how difficult this troubling time is for you and stand ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.

 

Holiday Travel on San Bernardino Highways

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During the holiday season there is a significant increase in traffic across the country. People are taking a break from their busy lives to focus on what truly matters most: family. They’re traveling far and wide to see their loved ones and to enjoy their family traditions.

Unfortunately, due to the increase in traffic the holidays are amongst the most dangerous times of the year for drivers and pedestrians alike. According to a study conducted by AAA and reported on by USA Today, nearly 27,900 Americans are seriously injured in car accidents each year during the holiday season alone. If you’re planning on traveling on our San Bernardino highways this coming holiday season there are a few key tips you’ll want to keep in mind.

Take Your Time and Slow Down

According to the United States Census of 2010, San Bernardino alone has a population of over 209,000 people. That makes it the most populated city in the county and the 17th largest city in the state of California. You can naturally expect a larger than normal traffic flow on the roads during this coming holiday season, which is why you should always plan ahead and realize your trip will take longer than usual. Also, please slow down to stay as safe as possible. According to the Department of Transportation, speeding contributed to 30% of all fatal crashes in 2012. If you’re going to be late because of traffic, be late – don’t take someone else’s life into your own hands to try to make it to dinner on time.

Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

If you do find yourself in a holiday car accident, always make sure you’re enlisting the help of medical professionals as soon as possible. Normal car accident procedures don’t stop because it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas Day; make sure everyone is safe and call 911 to report any injuries that may have been experienced. Take care of you and your loved ones first whether you’re on the road or with your family in front of a nice warm fire.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we believe that the holidays should be a fun and exciting time for everyone. You should be focused on your loved ones and not the dangerous situations that holiday travels on San Bernardino highways can represent. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident please don’t delay – contact your San Bernardino car accident attorneys at Harshbarger Law today.

Personal Injury Truck Accident Lawsuit in San Bernardino County

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According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents are a lot more common than one might think. In 2015, there were 2,646 deaths of passenger vehicle occupants in crashes involving a large truck in the United States. 563 motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in similar conditions during the same year. If one of your top priorities is always to navigate the roads of San Bernardino County as safely and as securely as possible – as it should be – there are a few key things you need to know about personal injury truck accidents and the lawsuits that may follow.

The Dangers of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also revealed that when a death is involved in a crash with a large truck, the majority of the time the deceased are usually the people who were traveling in smaller vehicles. The major issue is that trucks often weigh between 20 and 30 times more than a passenger car. They’re also taller and have a higher level of ground clearance, meaning that you don’t just have to worry about getting hit head-on – a smaller car under riding a truck in a crash is also a very real concern.

There are many factors that contribute to personal injury truck accidents in San Bernardino County, like how difficult it is for trucks to brake in general. A truck will always travel about 20 to 40 percent farther than a car will to come to a complete stop, something that is complicated by factors like slippery roads and other weather conditions.

Lawsuits involving truck accidents are inherently complicated as you’re not just dealing with another driver and their insurance company – you also have to take into consideration the company that the trucker was driving for, that company’s insurance company and any other entity that may have a stake in what they were hauling in the first place. It’s more difficult than just suing a single person, as essentially all of these parties may have played contributing roles depending on things like policy and jurisdiction. This is why it is always so important to contact a personal injury attorney specializing in truck accidents right away – they can help you untangle this admittedly complicated situation and get to the results you deserve as quickly as possible.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand just how stressful it can be to get into a car accident when the other vehicle happens to weigh several tons. Personal injury lawsuits in general are frustrating, stressful and dangerous – to say nothing of how issues compound themselves in truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle in San Bernardino County, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own personal situation in more detail, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

Halloween Safety and Pedestrian Accidents

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Many people don’t realize that one of the most important tips for “Halloween safety” is taking precaution before crossing the street. According to SafeKids.org, children in particular are TWICE as likely to get hit and killed by a car on Halloween than they are at any other time of the year. In 2013 alone, 47% of the people who died in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween were between the ages of 15 and 19 years old.

The number of pedestrians on the streets during the Halloween season increases exponentially, which is why it is important to learn what you’re facing and how to avoid costly mistakes and unfortunate accidents.

Build Halloween Safety Into Your Costume

Pedestrians are always at an increased risk while walking at night, but things get particularly dangerous when everyone is dressed in dark and spooky costumes. If you’re going to be sending your little ones trick-or-treating (or if you’re planning on heading out yourself), always make sure that you either wear reflective safety gear or take other measures such as carrying flashlights. This will help ensure drivers can actually see you at all times.

Keep an Eye on Young Kids in Particular

According to SafeKids.org, children under the age of 10 have a much harder time correctly identifying road dangers due to their maturity level. In other words, they may be walking into an incredibly dangerous situation without even realizing it. This significantly increases their risk of injury or death, so please be mindful of young kids in particular.

Don’t Walk Where You Normally Wouldn’t Just Because It’s Halloween

According to one recent study, more than 70% of the accidents that occurred on or around Halloween actually occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk. This data comes from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis from a study that was conducted between 1990 and 2010. You would never walk in the middle of a street, as it would be incredibly dangerous, so why would you on October 31st? Always make sure both you and your children are following the rules of the road, even on Halloween. You’ll definitely be glad you did.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we want Halloween to be a fun and spooky time for everyone. Nobody should ever have to suffer the devastating aftermath of a pedestrian accident or other motor vehicle incident, especially on a day most kids look forward to all year long. If you or a loved one has been injured in this type of situation, or if you’re looking for more information about personal injury law in general, please contact us today.

Harshbarger Law – Motorcycle Accidents

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According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were approximately 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in the United States in 2014. During that same year, approximately 4,586 people died in motorcycle accidents and another 92,000 were injured. This means that for every 100,000 registered motorcycles, there are approximately 72.34 crashes – making them one of the most common ways to get injured on the road.

When it comes to motorcycle safety, there are a few basic steps you should follow:

1) Wear protective gear. Wearing a helmet and other protective gear at all times is an absolute must.

2) Be careful when changing lanes. A motorcycle is not as large as other vehicles on the road and other drivers may not be able to see you. Don’t change lanes unless you are sure you can do so safely.

3) Don’t slam on your brakes. Although there may be times when you need to make a sudden stop, this increases the likelihood of being hit from behind.

4) Think twice before making a left turn. Making a left turn in front of a quickly approaching vehicle is a sure way to get into an accident.

In addition to general motorcycle safety practices above, it’s important to understand what to do should you ever find yourself in an accident.

Seek Medical Attention

If you’re the victim of a motorcycle accident, the first thing you should do is call the authorities and seek medical attention as quickly as possible. One of the reasons why there are so many fatalities in these situations is because the driver is less protected than they would be in a car. As a result, injuries can also be more severe – even if they aren’t immediately noticeable at the time.

Seek the Help of a Legal Professional

Motorcycle laws can be very complicated. As a result, you may have a hard time getting compensated for either your medical bills or the damage to your motorcycle (and often both) on your own. In these situations it is always important to contact a legal professional as they can interview witnesses, collect evidence and take other steps necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve.

At Harshbarger Law, we’re proud of the fact that our clients are and will always be our number one priority. Above all else, we will always treat each and every person with the highest level of respect and will always communicate openly and honestly, holding the highest ethical standards at all times. If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

Do YOU Know What to Do If You’re in a Bicycle Accident?

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One would think that it should be easy for motorists to both see and avoid cyclists on the road, unfortunately that is not the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cyclists are actually at a higher risk of crash-related injuries than drivers themselves are. People between the ages of 15 and 29 and over the age of 45 have the highest risk of death-rates in these types of situations, while people between 5 and 14 have the highest rates of non-fatal injuries.

If you’re unfortunately in a situation where you are a cyclist who has been hit by a car, there are a number of important steps to take.

Call the Police

Immediately following an accident, the first step should always involve calling the proper authorities to get any injured parties the medical help they need. Even if you’re the cyclist and you don’t feel like you’ve been injured in an accident, remember that pain can manifest itself slowly for days or even weeks after the initial event has occurred.

Determining Fault

One common misconception is that any driver who hits a cyclist is automatically “at fault” for an accident. Depending on the area that the accident took place, this is not necessarily a guarantee. Many areas (especially urban city centers) have laws that required cyclists to follow similar driver protocol. This pertains to things like stopping at intersections, right of way procedures and more. Getting an official police report of the events can definitely help determine if either party violated any laws.

Preserve Evidence as Much as Possible

After a bike accident, it’s natural for your instinct to involve fixing your bike as quickly as possible – especially if it’s your primary mode of transportation. However, this shouldn’t be your first concern because that damaged property is officially evidence that will need to be preserved for an eventual court case. Don’t wash your clothes, your safety equipment or other items and take photos of everything (including the scene of the accident) to preserve all the evidence and assist your legal representative.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, our focus is and will always be on our clients first and foremost. We strive to not only maintain the closest and most respectful communication with clients at all times, but also operate with only the highest ethical standards. If you or a loved one has been in a bicycle accident in Southern California or the surrounding areas, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Semi-Truck Accidents: 10 Tips to Avoid

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They tower over commuter cars on the freeways and surface streets often moving along at 65 miles per hour. These hulking behemoths are the workhorses of our economy and transport goods between businesses and railway or shipping yards. A semi-truck is nothing to mess with and can cause extreme damage in any number of incidents including jack-knifes, roll overs, fires or fender benders that can instantly turn catastrophic.
The weight and speed of a semi-truck creates a potentially lethal amount of force. For this reason, drivers are regulated and specifically licensed. Here are 10 tips on how to avoid an accident with a semi-truck:
1. No zones – There are three areas where the driver has blind spots: Side no-zone, rear no-zone, and front no-zone areas. The right-side blind spot is doubly dangerous because trucks and buses make wide right turns!
2. Merging – Getting on and off the freeway is when most drivers interact with a semi-truck. Just give them space – Semi-trucks need time to turn and react.
3. Turning right – Semi-trucks and buses need extra space for wide turns.
4. Changing lanes – Don’t cut off a semi-truck to change lanes, the driver may not respond in time and their breaks are not as responsive with the weight they carry.
5. Blow-outs – Tires wear and can sometimes blow out. If you find you are next to a semi-truck for a long stretch consider speeding up or slowing down to not be directly next to the wheels for a prolonged time at high speeds.
6. Covered loads – Even the best-packed loads can sometimes come free. Be sure to give yourself enough space to avoid debris.
7. Winds – If high winds are present a semi-truck may roll over going 65 mph while carrying 12,000 to 80,000 pounds of cargo.
8. Road rage – Avoid being rude to semi-truck drivers, they are on the road for their living and want to have a smooth drive. Consider how much they have to deal with on a daily basis and give them the benefit of the doubt.
9. Driver error – This is the number one cause of all accidents and is no exception to semi-trucks. Stay off the phone, get sleep and do not drive under the influence.
10. Bottom line – Drive carefully and cautiously around semi-trucks. If an accident does occur, contact Harshbarger Law.
If you are a professional driver or a commuter that has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck it is important to have legal representation. Harshbarger Law understands the importance of recovering quickly from a semi-truck accident.

Harshbarger Law is not only on your team, we’re the team captains.
Many law firms claim to be on your side of the table. Some even go so far as to be transparent in their process. At Harshbarger law, we aren’t just on your side; we are the loudest and fiercest part of your team. Our top priority is fighting for your rights and your recovery.
By retaining the experienced personal injury attorneys at Harshbarger Law following your semi-truck accident, we immediately begin focusing on the logistics of your case while keeping you free to focus on your recovery.
We will be able to accurately assess any implications or consequences you may be dealing with for the rest of your life as a result of the event and will be able to get you the full compensation you are entitled to in accordance with the laws.
At Harshbarger Law, we handle all auto accidents and personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t take a fee unless you are compensated. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one in stressful times following a car accident, please call Harshbarger Law today.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Personal Injury Law: Important Factors to Know About

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If you had to make a list of some of the situations that are unfortunately common in the United States, drunk driving would undoubtedly be right at the top. According to a study conducted by the CDC, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015 alone. To put that into perspective, that amounts to roughly 29% of ALL traffic related deaths in the country.

Over 1,100 of those deaths involved children and 209 of them involved a driver that was under the influence of alcohol. If you’ve been in the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are a few key things that you’ll need to understand about the legal ramifications moving forward.

Drunk Driving and the Law: What You Need to Know

One of the first topics to know about when talking about drunk driving accidents involves something called punitive damages. These are designed ultimately to make society safer by punishing someone who does something reckless (either intentionally or unintentionally) without even considering what the potential consequences might be. Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated certainly falls under that umbrella. As your case proceeds to trial, you may hear punitive damages referred to as “exemplary damages.”

Because driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is a criminal offense, much of the legal focus will be on punishing the driver for their actions – NOT necessarily towards compensating you for your losses. This in turn is what punitive damages are intended to do – both act as a form of long-term punishment and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
It’s also important to note that sometimes opposing attorneys will attempt to hide the fact that the driver was impaired from a jury by getting them to admit fault for the accident right away. The argument is that because the driver admits that the accident was their fault, the fact that they were driving under the influence is irrelevant. This is why partnering with an esteemed legal team like those at Harshbarger Law is so essential – we help make sure that your jury knows ALL of the relevant facts to make the right decision, no exceptions.

Harshbarger Law: We’re Here For You

At Harshbarger Law, we make all of our clients our number one priority – end of story. We don’t just want to assist you in your personal injury case. We want to leverage the full power of all of our experience to your advantage, helping you to get the financial compensation and other results that you so richly deserve. To find out more information about drunk driving accidents and personal injury law, or to speak to someone about your situation directly, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Car Accidents and Underlying Injuries: What You Need to Know

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At some point in your life, the following scenario is statistically likely to happen to you: you’re in your car, minding your own business and you’re unfortunately the victim of a car accident. In the immediate aftermath, you take care of what should always be your number one priority – yourself. You stand up, take a walk around and thankfully you’re okay. You have no significant injuries to report. In point of fact, you feel great. You dodged a bullet, right?
Not necessarily. Some injuries sustained as the result of a car accident can wait days or even weeks to manifest themselves by way of certain symptoms. When it comes to car accidents and these types of underlying injuries, there are a few key things you should know about.

Delayed Car Accident Injuries

Suddenly finding yourself with a bad headache a few days after a car accident is absolutely nothing new. However, it could also be a symptom of a potentially serious and even life-threatening problem. Sometimes a headache is just a headache, but other times it could be an advance warning of a clot on the brain or even a neck injury. If this describes your situation, you need to seek medical attention as quickly as you can.
Whiplash is another one of those underlying injuries that can wait weeks to rear its ugly head after an accident. Whiplash is most common if your vehicle is rear-ended, particularly at speeds of 14 miles per hour or less. The classic signs of whiplash include neck and shoulder pain and a general stiffness around your body.
Likewise, many people don’t realize just how fragile the muscles, ligaments and nerves in their body really are. This is another underlying injury that is usually found in rear impact collisions, though it’s unfortunately common in side impact crashes, too. If it’s been a few days since your accident and you suddenly find yourself with mild to severe back pain, head to a doctor right away. In addition to damage to your muscles and ligaments, this could even be a sign of significant damage to your vertebrae – all of which will need to be checked out.

Harshbarger Law: The Friend You Need When You Need It the Most

At Harshbarger Law, our number one priority is and will always be our clients – just the way it should be. If you have any additional questions about underlying injuries after a car accident, or if you’d like to sit down with a passionate expert and speak about your situation in a little more detail, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in San Bernardino?

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For most people, a wrongful death situation is a worst nightmare come true. Nobody wants to think about losing their life due to the actions of someone else, but this is something that is unfortunately common – regardless of where you live, where you work, how old you are and other factors. One of the keys to navigating this type of situation in the best possible way involves understanding what constitutes a wrongful death lawsuit in the first place.

What is a Wrongful Death Situation?

The legal definition of wrongful death is actually fairly straightforward. Any situation where someone unfortunately dies due to the actions or negligence of another falls into this category. According to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control, there are 28.1 million emergency room visits every year for unintentional or accidental injuries.
136,053 people die from these unintentional injuries per year, making it the number four cause of death in the United States. Many of these situations would absolutely fall under the realm of wrongful death lawsuits due to laws in places like San Bernardino.

Wrongful Death Examples

One of the most common types of wrongful death situations in San Bernardino has to do with motor vehicle fatalities, of which the CDC estimates that there were 45,343 in 2005 alone. Many of these involve trucking accidents, but other factors like DUI or DWI-related fatalities could also contribute to a wrongful death situation.
Medical malpractice is another unfortunately common type of wrongful death situation, not just in San Bernardino but in the United States as well. Medical malpractice includes not only substandard care, but also misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose serious illnesses or injuries. According to one study, as many as one in five medical errors are potentially very serious and often prove to be fatal.
These are not the only examples of wrongful death, however. An injury on an unsafe premises (like a slip-and-fall situation), workplace fatalities, traumatic brain injury fatalities and others could all potentially lead to a loss of life.

Harshbarger Law

If you’re looking for a passionate, experienced Redlands attorney that always puts the focus on the client and who guarantees a level of professional, excellent service that you won’t find anywhere else, you’ve come to the right place. We are singularly dedicated to producing only the highest quality work, guaranteeing that every client has the most efficient representation possible – whether you’re looking for a wrongful death attorney in San Bernardino or need assistance with another issue entirely.

To find out more information about how we can help your own personal legal situation, please contact Harshbarger Law today.