San Diego Car Accident Lawyer
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Why Should You Hire a San Diego Accident Attorney?
Being involved in a car accident is frightening for anyone, especially when you or a loved one suffers injuries. Even a “fender bender” can lead to uncomfortable conditions such as whiplash. The car accident claims process is equally stressful, since insurance companies use loopholes to avoid paying you what you deserve for medical bills, damage, and ongoing expenses associated with your recovery. But a San Diego car accident lawyer can help ensure you aren’t stuck fighting them and paying hefty bill you don’t deserve.
California is a “fault” insurance state, meaning victims of car accidents usually file a claim with an insurance company to receive compensation for damages. Unfortunately, these companies have been known to take advantage of the system and avoid paying a fair value for the claim. You’ve been faithfully paying your premiums, so shouldn’t an insurance company respond in kind? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, so it’s essential to have a San Diego car accident attorney in your corner.
Victims of California car accidents are also free to pursue civil suits against the driver at fault under the state’s financial responsibility laws. If a car accident only involves property damage, you may be better off handling the claims process yourself. But if you or a loved one has been injured, consult with a San Diego injury attorney.
Fill out our quick case evaluation form below and we’ll contact you to schedule a free, face-to-face consultation with an attorney at the Liljegren Law Group.
Free Car Accident Case Evaluation
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How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
If you’re having trouble recovering money from the insurance company, we can help. We can also help pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. Our goal is to help you claim a settlement to help pay for:
- Your medical bills, including future rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages from missed work, including any loss in earning capacity
- Property damage expenses, including renting a car
- Other out-of-pocket expenses associated with the accident
- Intangible damages such as pain, suffering and mental anguish
How Much do Car Accident Lawyers Cost in San Diego?
Here at Liljegren Law Group, we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing at all for our services unless we can recover money for you! If we are successful, then we take a percentage of the recovery. This way, our interests are aligned as our goal is always to maximize your recovery amount. Additionally, our consultations are free so do not hesitate to call us and ask us any questions you would like!
Liljegren Law Group – We Will Fight to Maximize Your Settlement or Recovery After an Accident
At Liljegren Law Group, we focus our attention on one area of the law – personal injury. We can dedicate our wealth of experience and resources to your case, unlike other law firms who work in many areas of the law. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may feel you have limited options for paying your bills and keeping your family afloat. Our San Diego law firm is happy to guide you through the process and help you receive compensation for damages. We help our clients get settlements to pay for past and future medical bills, lost wages, losses in earning capacity, and general damages such as emotional anguish and pain.
Our firm brings years of experience to the table and offers convenience with its eight locations throughout southern California. Our commitment to our clients makes us one of the best personal injury law firms in San Diego. We offer our undivided and personalized attention to every client who walks through our doors. When payment is a concern, we offer services on a contingency-fee basis, which means you’ll only owe legal fees if we secure you a settlement.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us to set up a free initial consultation.
How Common Are Car Accidents?
Unfortunately, car accidents are common here in California. We contend with congested roadways, which can lead to reckless driver behavior. Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 30,000 die each year nationwide, and account for $44 billion in medical and lost work costs. Another 2 million are injured, accounting for an additional $200 billion in costs.
California accounts for its fair share of these numbers. In 2013, the last year for which data are available, the California Highway Patrol reported 3,104 killed and 223,128 injured on the state’s roadways. There were nearly 3,000 fatal crashes, and an additional 1,500 leading to injury.
California Car Accident Fatalities
Each year, California accounts for 3,000-5,000 fatalities and thousands of injury victims. San Diego, in particular, usually accounts for 100-300 annual deaths and 15,000-20,000 injuries. The most dangerous time to drive in San Diego is between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and men between the ages of 20 and 24 cause the majority of fatal accidents.
San Diego County Traffic Deaths, 2000 – 2014
What Causes Car Accidents?
There are numerous reasons for car accidents – in fact, too many to fully detail. Each car accident is unique and fault depends on individual circumstances. However, there are several causes that often play a role in California auto accidents:
- Distracted driving. In recent years, distracted driving has played an increasingly prominent role in car accidents. Though we have laws banning mobile device use, people still use driving as an opportunity to text, talk, and scroll through social media. California law mandates that all cell phones must be mounted on the dashboard when using the navigation system. If a person involved in an accident is caught even holding their phone, they may be at fault. Other examples of distracted driving include eating, drinking, looking toward the backseat, or any action that takes a driver’s attention off the road.
- Failure to observe the rules of the road. We’re all guilty of breaking traffic laws from time to time – rolling stops, failing to signal, or failing to yield. If a driver doesn’t observe applicable traffic laws, they’ll likely be found at fault for an accident.
- Speeding. Failure to observe the speed limit is another example of a traffic violation, but it so commonly plays a role in car accidents that it merits its own discussion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in nearly a third of all serious auto accidents.
- Inclement weather. Bad weather like rain, storms, and wind often play a role in auto accidents, especially here in southern California (where we’re used to sunshine). Slick roadways and decreased visibility make driving especially hazardous.
- Drunk driving. Like distracted driving, driving while impaired plays a major role in car accidents. These types of accidents are often serious and cause permanently disabling injury, as they are more likely to occur at high speeds. Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accident fatality and injury.
- Driver fatigue. When we don’t get enough sleep, our judgment becomes impaired. Driver fatigue is especially dangerous when we consider truck drivers, who often travel cross-country and work under tight deadlines. Drowsy driving accidents are on the rise as a whole, as well, with CDC studies showing 16 to 19-year olds most at risk.
What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injury?
A car accident can lead to virtually any kind of injury, but some are more common than others. The severity of an injury will depend on a number of factors, for example, vehicle speed and the types of cars involved.
These are some of the most common reported injuries from car accidents:
- Head injuries. In serious car accidents, victims may suffer from open or closed head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). The side effects from these injuries can be permanently disabling and require a lifetime of care and assistance.
- Neck, back, and spinal injuries. High speed collisions involve a lot of force. As such, victims commonly report head and back injuries. Spinal injuries may include disc displacement, fractured vertebrae, or nerve damage. These injuries require immediate and ongoing medical attention.
- Injuries to the face. Drivers often report mild or severe injuries to the face as the result of impact with another vehicle. Examples include broken or bruised cheekbones, broken noses, burns from airbag impact, and concussions.
- Fractures. Broken bones are commonplace in both high and low impact collisions. Drivers and passengers may suffer broken bones in the wrists, collarbone, or extremities. Other injuries, such as dislocation and bone bruising may also occur.
- Internal bleeding. If left untreated, internal bleeding can be devastating, leading to organ failure, sepsis, or death.
- Mental injuries. Some injuries might not manifest until well after an accident. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression can seriously diminish quality of life.
I’ve Been in an Accident. Now What?
Being in a car accident is frightening, even if you consider yourself calm under pressure. If you’ve been involved in an accident, take a deep breath and take the following actions:
- Make sure everyone is okay. In the event of injury, call emergency services and the police. Note that the San Diego police will only report to the scene of an accident if there are injuries.
- If possible, move vehicles to the side of the road to let traffic pass.
- Take pictures of everything you can – the damage to your vehicle, the other driver’s car, landmarks, and injuries. These will aid in your insurance claim.
- When the police arrive, they will write up a report. Only sign a report from the on-site police officer – never from the other driver’s insurance company.
- Get insurance information from the other driver, and make a note of their license plate.
- Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. If you have sustained serious injury and believe the other driver was at fault, get in touch with a personal injury attorney. These two will work together to pay for your medical bills, missed work, and ongoing care.
Important Points To Remember
To successfully handle the aftermath of your car accident, remember these four “golden rules:”
- Never admit fault. It’s nice to say sorry when you’re late to an appointment, but in an auto accident this is the same as admitting fault. Ask the driver if they’re okay, but never say “I’m sorry.”
- State only the facts, and discuss these only with your insurance company and the on-site police officer.
- Only sign documentation from your insurance company or the police officer on scene.
- Seek medical attention promptly, and take care of yourself.
Did you witness a car accident and are unsure what to do or if you are now under any legal obligations? Our blog post should help answer any of these or similar questions: What to do After Witnessing a Car Accident.