If you have been in a car accident in or around San Diego, particularly one that another driver caused, then it is important that you know how to find the right legal support for your situation. Filing an insurance claim and simply waiting for the insurance company to write you a check is simple enough, but you will never get the money that you actually need and deserve to recover from this accident if that is the route that you take. Insurance companies have spent decades honing their abilities to settle cases for far less than what the claimant deserves, and your situation will be no different. This is why hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to get the support that you need and to fight for the money that you are entitled to after suffering as a result of someone else’s reckless or negligent behaviors.
Contact the team at the Injury Trial Lawyers, APC now to schedule an initial consultation where we can discuss your accident in specific detail, answer any questions that you have about the support we can provide, and ultimately finish our consultation with the confidence you need to decide to work with our law firm. We understand that this time in your life is difficult and stressful, which is why we think that it is so important to build trust from our first conversation. When you are a client of the Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, you will know that you are in good hands as you file a claim.
Read more below about San Diego car accidents, and contact us as soon as possible to schedule your consultation to speak with our San Diego car accident attorneys.
Car Accident Statistics in San Diego, CA
When it comes to car accidents, San Diego had a total of 5,466 injurious or fatal crashes in 2017. Also in 2017, the entire state of California recorded a total of 3,884 fatal car accidents and 3,602 related deaths, a considerable number of fatalities for any state, and an alarming statistic for anyone driving on the California roads today. Of those 3,304 fatal accidents, 1,147 involved drugs or alcohol, meaning that nearly half of all fatal car accidents in the state of California were attributed to intoxicated driving.
In 2018, there was an 8.3% reduction in fatal car accidents for a total of 3,563, an encouraging but still high number. Motorcycle fatalities decreased by 15.57% from 578 in 2017 to 488 in 2018, which is another positive statistic, though there is, again, much room for improvement.
Driving safely and defensively is a good start, but the unfortunate reality is that no matter how responsible and experienced you may be as a driver, you will always be at the risk of an accident because of someone else’s behaviors. Instead of feeling like a statistic, working with the team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC will provide you with the support and the legal know-how you need to move forward with your life and get the money you deserve.
Contact us as soon as possible for an initial consultation so that we can begin building a comprehensive and aggressive case for you after your San Diego car accident.
Who Might Be At Fault for Your Losses?
When you work with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer, one of the first questions that you will need to answer before going to the insurance company (as well as after you file a claim) is that of fault. Who caused the accident? Auto accidents are typically caused by one party, and it is important to determine who caused it and how in order to figure out who is liable for the damages (addressed in the next section). The insurance company will work to try to pin some blame on you for the accident in order to reduce their own financial obligation in the case, so you and your car accident lawyer in San Diego will need to build a strong case to prove that you are the victim.
In order to find fault, there are a variety of different tools you can use, including things like eyewitness accounts, your own personal account, the police report from the officer at the scene, possible surveillance or traffic camera footage, and more. In a perfect world, the other driver would simply admit to having caused the accident, accept full liability, and the insurance company would make sure that you get the money you deserve; in reality, the process is much more complicated.
What About Multiple Car Pileups?
The matter can be further complicated if there are multiple vehicles in the car accident; San Diego has many multiple-car pileups each year, and you could be involved in one of them. When this is the case, your car accident attorney will need to work with a number of insurance companies to handle possible claims against you as well as file a claim with the representative insurance companies of the drivers who contributed to your part of the multiple auto accidents.
How About a Hit and Run?
After a hit and run accident, it can be complicated to figure out how to best move forward to get compensation. Fortunately, when you are working with a San Diego car accident attorney from the Injury Trial Lawyers, APC you can be certain that you have support from an experienced attorney who will help you make sense of your situation and work towards getting the money that you deserve. You may be able to contact the police after your San Diego car accident so that they can stay on the lookout for the vehicle, review any surveillance footage, or otherwise open up an investigation; otherwise, your San Diego car accident lawyer can help you file a claim with your own insurance company so that you can still get the money you deserve.
Who Is Liable For Your Damages?
Fault and liability go hand in hand, but in San Diego, car accident attorneys know all about the California law known as pure comparative fault that determines the amount of liability that the responsible party must accept based on the amount of fault that the victim contributed. For example, if you accept 10% of the fault, then the other driver will only take 90% liability, and therefore only pay 90% of the total damages that you have incurred.
Pure comparative fault is an important tool in San Diego car accidents, but it is important that you and your attorney make sure that you do not accept any more fault than is accurate. Insurance companies will use this tool as a way to save themselves as much money as possible, and every percentage point that they can pin to you can save them a significant amount of money. Remember that an insurance company handles hundreds or thousands of claims against their clients each day, so every dollar that they can save will add up in the long run. However, your financial needs are far more important to your car accident attorney than the insurance company’s financial needs.
Auto Accident Injuries
The following are just a few of the most common car accident injuries. Remember that no two accident is alike, and no two injuries are alike, even if they are the same type of injury. Whether or not you see an injury below that resembles your own, contact our firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to discuss your injuries and how we can help you get the money that you deserve.
Whiplash is extremely common in car accidents, even ones that happen at very low speeds. This type of injury happens when the head is quickly jerked forward and is then snapped back once the seatbelt catches the body. This can cause serious injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, spine, shoulders, jaw, and other areas of the upper body, as well as spine and neck disks, ligaments, and more. Symptoms include things like stiff neck and limited mobility, headaches, blurred vision, jaw aches, backaches, and many other painful effects that often require medical intervention.
Many people believe that a fractured bone is different from a broken bone, but the reality is that they are the same. Fractures happen when the bone is bent or twisted from trauma or impact and causes it to break. These types of injuries always require medical treatment and can range from hairline fractures to serious compound fractures. Compound fractures can also puncture internal organs or cause internal bleeding, and are extremely dangerous.
Sprains are similar to whiplash in that they are caused by damage to the soft tissues in the joints, and they can cause serious and ongoing pain that may or may not require medical intervention, and in some cases even need surgery in order to facilitate a full recovery. Oftentimes, a sprain will need to be stabilized with an air cast or splint in order to allow the soft tissues to heal on their own and can mean that the area is immobilized for the duration of the recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are common in high-speed collisions or any accident when the head is subject to a high impact. Car accident attorneys San Diego know that these types of injuries can have long-term impacts on the victim’s life, and will work to calculate damages accordingly. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI, it is essential that you seek medical attention immediately. These injuries can cause permanent damage, and in some cases may be fatal without appropriate treatment.
Internal bleeding can be caused by any number of injuries, including compound fractures, trauma to the internal organs, and many other possible ways. Since internal bleeding may not be apparent externally, it is important that you see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, internal bleeding can cause serious or fatal injuries beyond the initial injury itself. Symptoms of internal bleeding include bloody urine or stool, sharp internal pain, bruising, and more.
When people think of spinal injuries, they often think of paralysis; while paralysis is a spinal injury, it is one type of many that you may suffer. In impact collisions, you are also at risk of suffering from compressed or herniated disks, damage to the soft tissues and ligaments that run along the spinal cord, or minor nerve damage that may have lesser effects than full paralyses, such as loss of sensation, tingling, pins and needles, and more.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen in many different ways, and no two accident is alike. The following are some of the most common causes of car accidents in San Diego, but whether or not you see your own situation mentioned below, simply contact us today to request a free consultation for your case so that we can begin fighting for the money you deserve today.
When people think of distracted driving now, they immediately think of texting while driving. This is a great example of distracted driving, and something that car accident lawyers’ San Diego clients often file claims about, but there are many other types of distracted driving that put you at risk on the roads as well. Eating at the wheel, applying makeup, talking on the phone, or simply letting your mind wander are all types of distracted driving that take a driver’s mind or eyes off the road, and in some cases takes their hands off the wheel, too. If you suspect that the other driver was distracted leading up to the accident, inform the officer at the scene of your suspicions so that they can investigate further.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
When someone makes the reckless decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much or consuming other mind-altering substances, they put everyone else on the road at risk because of their carelessness. Alcohol and other drugs slow reaction times, decrease awareness and can decrease a driver’s risk averseness, among other things, all of which lead to a significant risk to everyone driving around them. If you are in an accident with a drunk driver, you deserve to be compensated for the damages that they caused by their reckless behavior.
Speed limits are there for a reason, and although many drivers like to treat them as suggestions, it is the law to obey these limits. When road designers and planners set a speed limit, they take into account a variety of factors including visibility, obstacles, road shape, whether or not there are any curves coming up, as well as standard passenger vehicles’ abilities to handle roadways at speed. The speed limit in an area is there to avoid issues such as loss of control or collisions with cross-traffic, blind driveways, and other obstacles that the city anticipates when they set the speed limit on a given road.
Aggressive driving can take many forms, and it is an extremely intimidating behavior to have to share the road with. Oftentimes aggressive driving involves speeding, but speeding is not always considered aggressive driving; for determining whether or not a speeding driver was being aggressive, you and the law firm will need to examine your case further. Other types of aggressive driving are more clear, including things like tailgating, “brake checking,” swerving to intimidate other drivers, passing in dangerous areas, and road rage, to name a few. Getting into an accident with an aggressive driver can be scary, and if you suspect that the other driver is dangerous or looking for a confrontation, remain in your vehicle and call 911 immediately to inform them of the situation.
Driving while tired can sometimes be as dangerous as drunk driving, but may not be done as intentionally as someone who drinks too much and gets behind the wheel. After a long day of work, a long drive, or many other possible factors, Americans drive while overtired all the time and put everyone around them at risk of an accident. Trying to prove that fatigue played a role in your accident may be tricky, but when you are working with a San Diego car accident attorney they will be able to help you work through the details and build a compelling case in your favor. If fatigue played a role in your vehicle accident, you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
Inexperience can play a significant role in a car accident, and insurance companies are aware of this fact – this is why new drivers pay higher premiums than more experienced drivers, and why you and your San Diego car accident lawyer will need to fight to get fairly compensated if you are in an accident with a driver who caused the crash due to a beginner mistake, bravado, recklessness, or other issues that can be tied to inexperience. New drivers may not know the limitations of their vehicle or might act in dangerous ways to impress their friends – all of which leads to a dangerous situation for you and other drivers on the road.
Failure to Signal
Some people seem to forget that blinkers are there for a reason, and using them is the law. Blinkers let other motorists know that you are planning to make a lane change or take a turn, and gives them the ability to anticipate this maneuver ahead of time. When drivers fail to use a turn signal, they put everyone else at risk of an accident. This is true for lane changes, right turns across other vehicle lanes, bike lanes, or crosswalks, left turns across oncoming traffic, and many other situations – all of which lead to car accidents that could have been avoided by a simple turn signal.
Damages You Can Recover
Seeking compensation after a car accident in San Diego is the central goal of your case, but the process can be more complicated than you may first assume. The insurance company that you open a case with has spent years, even decades, honing their ability to handle claims in a way that saves themselves as much money as possible, often to the detriment of the claimant who is suffering injuries as a result of the client fo the insurance company and their actions. Working with an attorney is the best way to fight for fair compensation in your case. The following are just a few of the many damages that you may be entitled to as a victim.
Economic damages make up the basis of all personal injury claims and seek compensation for the damages in an accident that come with measurable dollar values. They include things like medical bills, lost wages, additional services that the victim needed to hire following their accident, and more. These damages are the ones that the insurance company is more likely to focus on during their investigation of your claim, but they only tell half of the story.
There are many other economic damages that you and your lawyer will be able to identify, including things that you may not have even considered as medical bills such as the cost of over the counter painkillers, assistive devices for your home, and more. At the same time that there is a claims adjuster investigating your case from the insurance company’s side, your attorney will be performing their own rigorous investigation to reveal the true cost of your accident.
Non-economic damages make up the other half of your case, and because they are more abstract and difficult to calculate, the insurance company happily overlooks these damages as often as possible. In fact, your attorney will need to aggressively negotiate towards a final settlement in your case, and the reality is that the majority of the negotiations will be centered on these damages.
Non-economic damages include things like the pain and suffering of your injuries, as well as the emotional and psychological damage that you almost certainly endure following an experience as traumatic as a car accident. There are a variety of ways to calculate these damages which we will be happy to discuss with you during your free consultation.
San Diego Car Accident FAQ
The following are just a few of the common questions that we often get during a free consultation with a persona injury victim. Keep in mind that each question and answer is meant to provide you a general idea of how your own case may go, but the specific answers for your case will change based on a range of factors that we will work together to identify.
How much is my car accident case worth?
In order to determine the amount of money that we will seek in a settlement, we will need to go through a range of factors that are unique to your case, including things like the medical bills that you have incurred, the losses to your income, and the many non-economic damages that you are likely to have suffered.
Will I need to go to court to get a fair settlement?
Roughly 50% of personal injury claims ever need to go to court in order to move a case along, and even fewer actually ever see trial. We will work aggressively to negotiate a fair settlement for your automobile accident that will help us avoid costly and time-consuming court dates, legal fees, and trial, but although the statistics indicate that you may get to settle, there is no guarantee.
Should I accept the offer from the insurance company?
Under no circumstances should you ever accept the initial offer that an insurance company makes, especially not without consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you make sense of your situation. Insurance companies rely on the stress and anxiety that a victim is experiencing after an accident to get them to accept a low offer. We will review your offer, gather as much information as possible, and begin negotiations to get you the money that you actually deserve.