Every person injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence has the right to monetary compensation for the harm caused to that person’s health, ability to work and earn wages, and well-being.
Whether you have been involved in an automobile rollover or in a crash involving a bicycle, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian, we have the experience and legal understanding to help you. Each type of case has specific laws and issues involving liability, claims, and settlements. These are some areas we specialize in:
Don’t hesitate! The sooner you contact us the sooner you will be represented by one of our attorneys, which combined have more than 30 years of experience in handling claims and lawsuits that have secured its clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements.
We will guarantee you peace of mind while helping you navigate the treacherous waters of insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. Waiting could cause you to forever lose the legal right to pursue a claim should the statutes of limitations pass.
The days and months after a traumatizing vehicle accident are the most crucial as they decide how much the crash will affect your life financially for years to come.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents and Injuries
Car accidents are the number one cause of personal injury claims in the United States. A disaster that is not your fault can deal a significant blow to your finances, your savings, and your income. You may lose earnings if you are too injured or disabled to work. You may encounter property damage or suffer from long-term psychological or physical pain. You will also face the prospect of costly hospital stays, drugs, procedures, and other medical expenses.
A car accident can happen at any point that a driver is distracted from safely operating his or her vehicle. Adverse weather conditions, poor visibility, speeding, drugs, and alcohol can all contribute to a driver losing control of their vehicle. The combination of any of these factors increases the likelihood that a car accident with serious injuries to drivers and passengers will result.
San Diego Car Accident Statistics
The second-most-populous county in the state of California, San Diego County is home to more than 3 million Americans. Its county seat and largest city, San Diego, is the eighth-largest city in the United States. Due to their large populations and crowded roads, the city and county of San Diego are a hotbed for traffic collisions involving cars and other vehicles.
According to the 2009 California Highway Patrol’s Annual Report of Fatal Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions (car accidents), San Diego County had:
- 217 total traffic accidents that were fatal, of which nearly half (103) were alcohol-related
- 12,998 total traffic accidents that resulted in one or more injuries, of which 1,754 were alcohol-related
- 10,614 collisions that resulted in property damage
- 57 traffic collisions that resulted in the death of a pedestrian and 937 that injured a pedestrian
- 9 fatal car accidents involving a bicycle with 972 resulting in an injury
- 39 fatal traffic accidents involving a motorcycle with 989 accidents causing an injury.
In the city of San Diego alone, there occurred:
- 71 fatal car accidents and 5,819 collisions that injured one or more parties
- 2,626 car accidents that cause property damage
- 33 car accidents involving a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle that resulted in a death and 1,310 that resulted in an injury.
While the drivers and passengers of cars are most likely to be injured in a collision, injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are also prevalent.
In San Diego County in 2009, 18,230 people were injured in a car accident. A large majority – 11,403 – were drivers. Nearly 5,000 of the injured were passengers in a car while the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists injured were each about 1,000.
What to Do After You’re Involved in a Car Accident
Under California law, you are required to stop if you are involved in an accident; this is true whether the accident involves a parked car, two or more moving cars or a pedestrian. It is important to remember that you can be charged with a criminal hit-and-run offense for leaving the scene of an accident even if you were not at fault.
If there are any injuries as a result of the accident, you must call the police right away. You should not leave the scene until you have spoken with a police officer, filed a police report and have taken down the officer’s contact information.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, there are important pieces of information that you should collect, including:
- Names and driver’s license numbers of all persons involved
- Contact information of those involved in the accident, including addresses and phone numbers
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- License plate numbers of all cars
- Insurance information, including the insurance company name and policy number, of all persons involved
- Pictures of the accident
It is understandable to be upset and rattled after an accident has occurred – be sure to take a moment to regain composure before speaking with the other person involved in the accident, an insurance company or even an attorney. It is in your best interest to seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Having an attorney represent you early in the process is important because the other party may try to place blame on you or purposely confuse your account of what truly happened. With the guidance of a trusted San Diego car accident lawyer, you will be less likely to put any damaging information in the record or damage your chance of recovering the damages that are rightfully yours.
Visit Your Doctor to Properly Document All Injuries
If you are injured in an accident, it is vital that you pay close attention to the instructions of your doctor. You should retain copies of all documents and expenses related to your injuries so that you can be compensated for the amounts that you are forced to pay out of pocket.
What are the Rights of a Car Accident Victim?
As the victim of a car accident, you are entitled to be made whole again after your injuries. Auto liability coverage is mandatory in California – every driver on the road must be insured up to a certain amount. However, some drivers do not carry insurance, which means that you would have to attempt to recover your losses by suing an uninsured driver directly.
If the driver responsible for the accident is insured, the settlement of all auto accident claims will be processed by the other party’s insurance provider. The car insurance provider must first accept responsibility on behalf of the insured, which does not always happen right away in some cases. If there is a question as to which driver was at fault for the accident, this issue may end up being litigated in court.
Once the responsible driver’s auto insurance company admits fault, the next step is to send a demand letter to the insurance company that includes the amount you are requesting for compensation for your injuries. The advantage of having an attorney communicate on your behalf is that it tends to expedite the process of agreeing on a settlement amount and issuing payment.
Types of Damages and Compensation for Car Accident Victims
An accident can be debilitating and no amount of money could possibly reverse the pain and suffering you or a loved one have encountered. But financial compensation can lessen the weight of healthcare costs and lost wages. Our lawyers can assure you that your attention and your thoughts are fully with your loved one and not with banks, insurance companies, and debt collectors.
Don’t try to go it alone without a car accident lawyer when seeking financial compensation and dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies are motivated by profits and are interested in doling out settlements and payments that are usually low and unfavorable to you. As a San Diego car accident attorney we will help you better fight for your rights and maximize the amount of money you gain from your settlements and claims. In doing so, our lawyers insure that your family does not spiral into bankruptcy as a result of the tragedy.
In many cases, even when you or your family member is not the party at fault, the insurance company will not pay all costs of the disaster. You will need a lawyer to help you hold the insurance company and the other party in the car accident accountable. We will help you file claims for the costs of property damage, medical costs, lost wages, and psychological pain to the full extent of the law. On your behalf, a lawyer from our office will deal with insurance companies that stall or delay claims and settlements. We will help you fight insurance companies should they deny a claim or argue that the other party was not at fault or that you were partially negligent. We will also represent you when the negligent party does not have insurance.
The amount of settlement that you may receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the relative fault of the parties involved in the accident. California follows the pure comparative fault rule for recovering damages, which means that if you have a portion of the blame for the accident, another party who is also at fault may recover against you, but this recovery would be discounted by that party’s percentage of fault for the accident.
The categories of damages for which an accident victim may recover include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Loss of wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages
The driver seeking to recover damages in an accident must prove the liability of the driver at fault and provide evidence to support the damages demanded. This is why it is so important that you retain all documents related to any injuries that you sustain from a car accident.
If you are offered a settlement amount from another driver’s auto insurance company, you must consider the offer carefully before accepting. Payment of the settlement amount will require you to sign a release, which means that you cannot seek any additional recovery from the party involved down the line. Your attorney should review all documents before you sign anything because you could give up your right to recover the full amount entitled to if you sign a release too soon.
Hire a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Today
The team at San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys will get you the compensation you deserve. By hiring us, we will be sure to communicate appropriately with your insurance company, the other party’s insurance company, and even the other attorney if the other party has one. We will aggressively fight for you! Call the us today for a free consultation: (619) 752-2217.