San Jose Car Accident Lawyer
Injured in a car accident in San Jose? Here’s what you need to know:
- Do You Need a San Jose Auto Collision Attorney?
- Steps to Take After an Auto Collision in San Jose
- Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Collision in San Jose
- What to Expect from Your Auto Insurance Claim
- Can You Seek Compensation Outside of Auto Insurance?
- What to Expect from a San Jose Auto Collision Lawyer
- 10 Reasons You May Have a Claim for a Car Accident in San Jose
- 5 Types of Compensation a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Can Seek
- San Jose, CA Car Accident Statistics
- 5 Key Takeaways if You've Been Injured in a Car Crash in San Jose
- FAQs: How Do San Jose Car Accident Attorneys Help Their Clients?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need help. You need help recovering from your injuries, and you need help dealing with the financial costs of the crash. If your injuries are serious, you may also need help dealing with the long-term impacts of pain, suffering, physical limitations, and emotional trauma. The best way to handle your situation is to contact a San Jose car accident lawyer right away.
Were You Injured in a Car Accident in San Jose?
A San Jose car accident attorney can help with all aspects of your recovery. Your attorney can help you find a specialist in San Jose, and your attorney can handle your insurance claim for you. If you have a claim outside of auto insurance (as many accident victims do), your legal practitioner can help you seek additional compensation for your accident-related losses.
Whether you are a long-term resident of Northern California or you recently relocated to Silicon Valley, it will be important for you to protect your legal rights. You need legal representation, and local San Jose car accident lawyers are available to help you 24/7 through CarAccidentSource.com.
When recovering from a car accident, there are several steps you need to take in order to protect your legal rights. You can try to take these steps on your own, or you can hire a San Jose car accident lawyer to take them for you:
- Report the Accident to the Police – Under California law, any driver who is involved in a car accident is required to report the accident to the California Highway Patrol or the local police department. If you were injured (or if anyone else was injured) in the accident, you must also file a report with the California DMV.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company – You also probably need to report the accident to your insurance company. This is required under most standard auto insurance policies, and if you fail to report the accident you could lose your coverage.
- Collect Evidence of Liability – In order to seek just compensation for your car accident, you will need evidence that the other driver (or a third party) is liable for the crash. While you can collect some evidence (i.e. photos from the crash site) on your own, you will need to hire a San Jose car accident attorney to conduct a comprehensive investigation.
- Determine What Type(s) of Claim(s) to File – With evidence of liability, you can then determine what claim(s) you can file. While most cases involve claims under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, this isn’t necessarily the only option you will have available.
- Calculate Your Financial and Non-Financial Losses – When pursuing a claim (or claims) after a car accident, you need to know how much you can recover. Here too, while you can calculate some of your losses on your own, you will need a San Jose car accident attorney to fully calculate your financial and non-financial losses.
In addition to taking the steps listed above (among many others), you also need to be careful to avoid a variety of mistakes. San Jose car accident lawyers can help you avoid mistakes such as:
- Assuming You Were at Fault in the Crash – You should never assume that you were at fault in a car accident. There are simply too many potential factors, and it takes a thorough investigation to determine who (or what company) is liable.
- Giving Too Much Information to the Insurance Companies – When dealing with insurance companies, you need to be very careful to avoid providing too much information. Even if you think you are doing the right thing, you could end up saying something that the insurance companies can use against you.
- Going To a “Recommended” Repair Shop or Doctor – Your insurance company may try to steer you toward a “recommended” repair shop or doctor. In most cases, you are entitled to go anywhere you choose, and it is in your best interests to do so.
- Settling for Less Than You Deserve – Under no circumstances should you feel forced to settle for less than you deserve. Additionally, you should not make any decisions about the settlement until you know how much you are entitled to recover.
- Trusting the Insurance Companies – When you have an insurance claim, the insurance companies are not on your side. Their sole focus is on minimizing their liability—which means paying you as little as possible.
Given that you cannot expect the insurance companies to help you collect the compensation you deserve, what can you expect from your auto insurance claim?
Filing a successful auto insurance claim is not easy. Even if the other driver was clearly at fault, you still need to prove it in order to obtain coverage. You also need to prove how much you are entitled to recover. This includes not only your out-of-pocket costs to date, but also your future out-of-pocket costs and your non-financial losses. If you cannot prove your claim, the insurance companies aren’t going to pay.
San Jose car accident lawyers who are experienced in dealing with insurance companies can help you overcome these challenges. They can deal with the insurance companies for you, and they can help you make smart decisions about when – and if – to consider accepting a settlement.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance? Or, what if the other driver wasn’t at fault? In many cases, it will be possible to seek compensation from other sources.
From vehicle defects to road defects, and from hiring unqualified drivers to overserving drunk patrons, there are various issues that can give rise to “third party” claims. In addition to helping you seek insurance coverage, San Jose car accident lawyers can also pursue any available “third party” claims you may have available.
As discussed above, there are many reasons to hire a San Jose car accident attorney after being injured in a collision. Here is what you can expect from your San Jose car accident attorneys:
- Comprehensive Investigation – San Jose car accident attorneys conduct comprehensive investigations in order to prove liability and successfully pursue their clients’ claims.
- Focus on Your Best Interests – Unlike the insurance companies, your San Jose car accident attorney will exclusively have your best interests in mind.
- Personalized Legal Advice – Your attorney will provide personalized legal advice focused on calculating your losses and helping you recover just compensation.
- Strategic Settlement Negotiations – Your attorney will negotiate strategically on your behalf in order to try to quickly obtain a favorable settlement.
- Being Prepared for Trial if Necessary – If the insurance companies won’t settle for just compensation, you can expect your attorney to prepare your claim for court.
10 Reasons You May Have a Claim for a Car Accident in San Jose
Do you have a claim for your car accident? If you were involved in a collision that resulted from any of the following, a San Jose car accident attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation:
Speeding is among the leading causes of car accidents in San Jose. Not only is speeding illegal in California, but it is also considered a form of “negligence.” Since you need proof of negligence to file an auto insurance claim, collecting proof that the other driver was speeding is one way a car accident lawyer in San Jose can help you collect just compensation.
2. Changing Lanes or Merging Without Looking
When drivers change lanes without looking, they can (and often will) cause side-swipe accidents. Failure to look is a common cause of merging accidents as well. If you got hit by a negligent driver who changed lanes or merged without looking, it will be important for you to speak with a San Jose side-swipe accident lawyer about your legal rights.
3. Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
Running red lights and stop signs is dangerous for obvious reasons. But this doesn’t stop many people from doing it. If you got hit by a driver who ran a red light or stop sign in San Jose, a local intersection accident attorney can help you.
4. Failing to Yield
Failure to yield in merging areas, at roundabouts, and at yield signs is also a common form of driver negligence. Many car accidents in San Jose happen because one driver fails to observe another driver’s right of way. This is also a form of negligence for which financial compensation is available under California law.
5. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a major problem in San Jose. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics on distracted driving are alarming, and one local news outlet suggests San Jose has a “distracted driving epidemic.” Distracted driving is negligent driving, and distracted drivers deserve to be held accountable for their negligence.
6. Drunk Driving
Believe it or not, drunk driving is among the most common reasons why people file claims for car accidents in San Jose. As we discuss in our statistics section below, roughly 15% of car accidents in San Jose involve alcohol impairment. Even if the driver who hit you (or your loved one) got a DUI, you will still need to hire a local drunk driving accident lawyer to help you secure a financial recovery.
7. High Driving
With California’s legalization of recreational marijuana, high driving is a major concern in San Jose and throughout Silicon Valley. While using marijuana is legal in California, driving under the influence of marijuana is not. If you got hit by a high driver, you can – and should – hire a car accident attorney in San Jose to help you recover your accident-related losses.
8. Defective Tire
Tire defects can cause tires to explode, wear too quickly or unevenly, or come off of the wheel. Whether your tire was defective or you got hit by another driver who lost control due to a tire defect, you will need to hire an experienced California tire defect accident lawyer to handle your claim.
9. Defective Airbag
Regardless of why your accident happened, if you got injured by a defective airbag, you are entitled to just compensation. A defective airbag lawyer in San Jose can help you file a claim against your vehicle’s airbag manufacturer.
10. Defective Road
Along with vehicle defects, road defects are also common causes of car accidents in the San Jose area. This includes potholes, sinkholes, cracked pavement, low shoulders, and sharp corners. Hazardous road construction zones and poorly-timed traffic signals fall into this category as well. If your (or your loved one’s) accident was the result of a defective road condition, a San Jose car accident attorney may be able to help you file a claim against the government.
These are just 10 of the most-common examples of reasons why you may have a claim. From self-driving vehicle failures to negligent hiring (in accidents involving company vehicles), there are numerous other types of claims a San Jose car accident lawyer may be able to pursue for you. To find out what claim(s) you can file, you should talk to a local lawyer today.
5 Types of Compensation a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Can Seek
What are you entitled to in a car accident? How do you maximize your car accident settlement? If you have a claim, knowing the answer to both of these questions is extremely important. A San Jose car accident lawyer can explain your legal rights in detail and help you take the steps that are necessary to protect them.
Generally speaking, maximizing your car accident settlement involves working with a local attorney to accurately calculate your losses in five key areas. These areas are:
1. Property Damage (Repair or Replacement)
If the other driver was at fault in your car accident, his or her auto insurance policy should cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. But, you will need to fight to make sure you receive full coverage; and, if the other driver’s policy doesn’t provide enough coverage, you may need to deal with your own insurance company as well.
2. Medical Expenses (Current and Future)
Securing coverage for your medical expenses after a car accident is extremely important. Before you settle, you need to make sure you have a full understanding of your medical needs. You don’t get a second chance once you settle, so it is extremely important to work with an experienced San Jose car accident attorney who can accurately calculate just compensation for your current and future medical expenses.
3. Lost Income and Benefits (Current and Future)
If your injuries from the collision put you out of work, your accident attorney can also help you collect just compensation for your lost income and benefits. Similar to medical expenses, you can collect compensation for your current and future lost earnings. Also similar to medical expenses, you will need to work with an experienced attorney who can determine what constitutes a reasonable settlement.
4. Other Out-of-Pocket Costs (Current and Future)
Beyond the costs discussed above, San Jose car accident lawyers can also help their clients recover just compensation for other current and future out-of-pocket costs. This includes everything from rental cars and transportation expenses to the cost of hiring cleaners, landscapers, nannies, and other service providers.
5. Non-Financial Losses
California law entities car accident victims in San Jose to just compensation for their non-financial losses. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the ways they impact your life, your attorney may be able to help you file a claim for:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages cover the physical and psychological effects of living day-to-day life with traumatic injuries. In general, the more severe your injuries’ effects, the more a car accident attorney in San Jose will be able to help you recover.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Scarring and disfigurement damages provide compensation for the physical and emotional effects of suffering permanent injuries in a crash. Many people struggle to cope with seeing their bodies changed forever—especially when the changes are due to someone else’s negligence.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages cover, “[t]he loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support,” an accident victim experiences as a result of his or her (or his or her spouse’s) trauma. They also cover, “[t]he loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations [or the ability to have children].”
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
For many people, the effects of living through a traumatic car accident have a profound impact on their life. If your accident negatively affects your ability to enjoy life, this is a type of loss for which you can recover just compensation with the help of an experienced San Jose car accident attorney.
San Jose, CA Car Accident Statistics
Among California’s 15 largest cities, San Jose actually has a relatively low number of car accidents. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), San Jose ranks 11th (meaning 5th best) in terms of the total number of car accidents in the city each year. Here are some more notable statistics on car accidents in San Jose:
- Each year there are approximately 3,700 car accidents in San Jose that result in injury or death. This equates to more than 10 injury-involved or fatal car accidents every day.
- Alcohol is a factor in roughly 15 percent of all injury-involved and fatal car accidents in San Jose.
- Speed is a factor in roughly 20 percent of all injury-involved and fatal car accidents in San Jose.
- Slightly under 10 percent of all serious car accidents in San Jose are hit-and-runs. This is roughly average for California’s largest cities.
- On average, every day two pedestrians or cyclists suffer serious or fatal injuries in a collision involving a motor vehicle in San Jose.
Several roads and intersections in San Jose have been identified as particularly dangerous. According to the San Jose Spotlight and other sources, some of the area’s most-dangerous roads and intersections include:
- Drexel Way near McLaughlin Avenue
- Highways 17, 49 and 70
- I-5, I-8, I-10, I-15, I-40, I-80, and I-280
- Mineral King Road
- Monterey Road
- State Route 152 (including Pacheco Pass)
We know this is a lot of information, and we know that you may just want the highlights. With this in mind, here are five key takeaways if you’ve been injured in a car crash in San Jose:
Key Takeaway #1: The Costs of a San Jose Car Accident Can Add Up Quickly
If you were injured in a car crash in San Jose, your costs will add up quickly. You may quickly find that your medical bills become overwhelming; and, if you are unable to work, you may fall behind on your other bills as well. Car accident attorneys in San Jose can not only help you seek just compensation to cover your costs, but they can also help you explore your options for managing your bills while your case is pending.
Key Takeaway #2: There are Lots of Mistakes You Need to Avoid
When you have a claim for a car crash in San Jose, mistakes can be incredibly costly—and there are a lot of mistakes you need to avoid. From making assumptions to saying the wrong thing, even seemingly minor miscues can have drastic effects on your claim for just compensation. From the moment you are involved in a car accident, you need to be extremely careful to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your recovery.
Key Takeaway #3: There are Lots of Ways a San Jose Law Firm Can Help You
Just as there are a lot of mistakes you need to avoid, there are also a lot of ways a San Jose law firm can help you. When you engage a law firm, you will work with an attorney who can tell you what to do and what not to do, and your attorney will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. You could also have a claim outside of auto insurance; and, if you do, you will need a law firm to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Key Takeaway #4: Car Accident Lawyers in San Jose Provide Contingency-Fee Representation
Car accident lawyers in San Jose provide contingency-fee representation. This means you pay nothing out-of-pocket, and you pay nothing at all unless you win. Your law firm will cover the costs of pursuing your case as well, and your law firm will only recoup these costs if you receive a settlement or court verdict for your car accident in San Jose, CA.
Key Takeaway #5: You Can Get Started with a Free Consultation 24/7
You can contact a San Jose law firm about your car accident claim 24/7. With contingency-fee representation, your initial consultation is completely free and without obligation. You can get the advice you need to make informed decisions; and, if you decide that the law firm is right for you, you can hire the law firm to investigate your car accident and fight for just compensation on your behalf. If you would like to speak with a car accident lawyer in San Jose, click the button below to get started with a free consultation now.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident in San Jose?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in San Jose, you should contact a legal practitioner right away. There is no reason to wait, but there are several reasons to talk to a lawyer. Your initial consultation is free, and you can contact a lawyer 24/7 through CarAccidentSource.com.
Can a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Help Me if My Claim Has Been Denied?
Potentially—it depends on why the insurance company is refusing to pay. You should contact a lawyer, and your lawyer will be able to review your claim and determine what steps (if any) he or she may be able to take to help you recover your losses.
Can I Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident on Contingency?
Yes, San Diego car accident lawyers represent their clients on a contingency-fee basis. With contingency-fee representation, your initial consultation costs nothing, and you pay nothing unless you win.
How Do I Find a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Who Can Help Me?
You can find an attorney who can help you through CarAccidentSource.com. Local San Diego car accident attorneys are available 24/7, and you can request your free initial consultation online.