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If you or someone you love get into a car accident in San Diego, contact Shamon Law. You can contact us online or call us at +1 619 458-3539 to schedule your free consultation.
While you take rest from the auto accident, our experienced San Diego Car Accident Lawyer will fight for you without any worry. Like we always say, When We Win, We Pay You!
San Diego Car Accident Statistics
San Diego Police Department reports over 49,000 auto crashes annually? Most of these accidents are preventable. Careless driving and reckless road conduct send people to emergency rooms every day.
Many of these incidents result in hospitalizations, disabilities, and fatalities. California law provides those injured in a car accident with the right to full compensation for their injuries.
According to California law, personal injury compensation takes many forms, including compensatory (economic) and general (non-economic) damages. In a minority of car accident cases, punitive damages apply.
California also has the second highest drunk driving fatality rate in America. Despite police departments’ and the California Highway Patrol’s efforts, drugged and drunk drivers kill an average of nearly 1,200 people on California roads each ye.
Types Of Car Accidents
There are 13 common types of car accidents. These car accidents could be categorized as:
- Drunk Driving
- Texting & Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Improper Turn
- Reckless Driving
- SUV Rollover
- Head On Collisions
- Rear End Collision
- T-Boned Car Accident
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents
- Hit and Run Accident
- Rideshare Accident
- Brake Failure
You’ll need different guidance depending on the criticality and the accident types. To overcome that, our car accident lawyer will learn about your case and fight for you. While nobody can guarantee the outcome of the case but we will fight for you to get your deserved compensation.
Why Choose Shamon Law As Your Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers?
An injury can leave you with mounting medical expenses, lost income, and an inability to participate in your life fully. No accident victim should be left to fend for themselves.
Shamon law understands how important these cases are for our clients. Our experience includes going up against the big insurance companies and winning. We use our expertise to develop powerful cases, negotiate the best possible settlements, and win cases at trial.
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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim?
Yes, you might need a lawyer for a car accident claim. For that, you should look into 8 points below:
Serious injuries and negotiation: When sustaining serious car accident injuries, it is beneficial to have an attorney who can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.
Medical debt and unemployment: Car accident trauma can lead to significant medical debt and potential unemployment, making it crucial to have legal representation to prevent being physically and financially impaired.
Compensation for various losses: In addition to medical costs, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income and pain and suffering. Insurance companies typically do not disclose this information and aim to provide the lowest settlement possible.
Comparative negligence: In California, which is a pure comparative negligence state, insurance companies may reduce their payout if they can shift some of the blame onto the injured party.
Inadequate settlements: Insurance companies may offer inadequate settlements that do not cover medical reimbursement, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Building a strong case: A personal injury attorney will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and depose defense witnesses to establish a strong case, ensuring that the other party bears most or all of the liability.
Leveraging for a fair settlement: With the completion of discovery and strong evidence, your attorney can leverage a potential jury verdict to force the insurance company to offer a deserved settlement.
Preparedness for trial: Once the insurance company realizes that your attorney is prepared to take the case to trial and win, they are more likely to offer an excellent settlement.
Considering the above points, having a lawyer for a car accident claim is important to protect your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and secure a fair settlement.
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Common Auto Accident Injuries
Auto accident injuries range from superficial to life-threatening. Even relatively low-speed collisions can result in serious, chronic injuries. Here are some of the common 6 types of car accident injuries:
Scrapes and Cuts
Unsurprisingly, scrapes and cuts are the most prevalent. Minor wounds of this type usually cause no long-term problems, though some serious cuts result in scarring and disfigurement.
Whiplash results from the impact of a crash propelling your body at a velocity it was never meant to endure. The neck, ligaments, and tendons frequently suffer trauma from whiplash. The condition often results in chronic pain and requires treatment to mitigate symptoms.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Human skulls cannot fully protect the brain from high-speed impacts, and traumatic brain injuries often result. Some cases result in headaches and sleep difficulties, while the severe cases can permanently degrade cognition.
Seeking a medical exam after an accident is always important because some injuries show few or no symptoms until they become dangerous. Internal bleeding is a great example. A medical exam determines if accident victims have sustained interior trauma.
Trauma injuries and broken bones often go together, leading to pain, expensive medical treatment, and lost income.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord can only absorb so much shock, and the crushing trauma of auto accidents often results in major damage that can lead to neurological deficits, postural degradation, and paralysis. In addition, severe spinal cord injuries result in some of the highest jury verdicts.
Common Causes Of Auto Accident Injuries
Most auto accident injuries result from human error. Careless driving and reckless conduct on the roads send innocent people to emergency rooms daily. Speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving, and texting while driving are other bad behaviors that cost auto accident victims in financial and life quality terms.
No person should be left without just compensation when another’s negligence causes personal injury. San Diego car accident attorneys at Shamon Law have seen all the causes of auto accident injuries. We know how to determine negligence and prove it in court. Until robot drivers take over the roadways, human error will remain the number one cause of auto accident injuries. Shamon law gets our clients the compensation they are due for their economic losses and pain and suffering.
10 of the major causes of auto accidents consist of:
Drunk Driving refers to driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving in an intoxicated state is harmful as it directly affects vision, hand-mind coordination, consciousness, and memory. California has two DUI laws for drunk drivers; Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC, “It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol,” and Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC, “It is illegal to drive with Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.8% or more.”
SUV rollover is one of the causes of vehicle accidents where the vehicle (in this case, an SUV) falls on its roof or side. SUVs, aka Sports Utility Vehicles, are prone to rollover accidents compared to other models because of their design. They are narrower in build, and the top part is heavier, resulting in a higher center of gravity on the top. Therefore, when an external force is impacted, it is more likely to fall on the roof or side. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a 36% more chance of serious injuries from SUV rollover accidents.
Hit and Run
When the defendant of an accident has caused injury or damage to another individual or their vehicle and intentionally leaves the scene without acknowledging the accident, sharing their name and contact details, or calling the police, it is considered a hit-and-run case. The California Vehicle Code 20002 categorizes hit and run as a misdemeanor with a maximum six-month jail penalty and a $1000 fine. An individual is rightfully required to take the fault in case of an accident caused by them and compensate for the damages done.
Texting and Driving
Using one of your hands on the phone to text, call, or perform any activity while driving comes under the term Texting and Driving. The act requires you to take your hand away from the steering wheel. It diverts your attention from the road to the phone and can cause severe accidents. The California Vehicle Code Section 23123 deems text (including writing, sending, and reading a message or calling) illegal while driving.
Head-on collision refers to the cause of an accident where two vehicles crash against each other head-first. This happens when a vehicle is driving in the wrong lane or crossing the lane boundary to overtake another vehicle. Head-on collisions are also common at turning points. The California Vehicle Code Section 21651 addressed head-on collisions. Such accidents involve the direct fault of the car for driving in the wrong lane, intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, the defendant is subjected to felony charges in case of serious injury or damage.
Rear-end collisions occur when the vehicle at the back hits or crashes with the trunk of the vehicle in the front. Normally, it is caused when the vehicle at the back fails to hit the break on time, wrongly accelerates towards a parking car, or drives at a higher speed than the car in the front. In some cases, if the car in the front hits the brake suddenly it also causes rear-end collision. It falls under the California Vehicle Code Section 22350, referring to drivers maintaining proper speed to avoid such collisions.
The California Vehicle Code 22350 deems driving crossing the speed limit on the road, driving at an unreasonably high speed on the highway or freeway, and not controlling the speed based on the traffic, weather, and road visibility, to be illegal. Speeding is another common cause of road accidents where the driver loses control and fails to protect themselves from a sudden impact. Speeding puts other drivers and pedestrians at equal risk.
Aggressive Driving is an umbrella term for drivers who intentionally and aggressively disregard the safety of other vehicles and pedestrians on the street. It can include speeding, overtaking, unnecessary honking, and intentional crashing or pushing. Vehicle Code 13210 CVC allows authorities to suspend the driver’s license who engages in such activities. An aggressive driving accident case directly identifies the driver performing such activity as the defendant.
Improper Turn refers to when a driver fails to give a proper signal or observe the road surroundings while making a left, right, or U-turn. The driver must turn on the blinker at least 100ft before the turning and avoid making U-turns in risky areas. Improper turns can result in mild to severe accidents putting the safety of other vehicles and pedestrians at risk. The California Vehicle Code 22100 suggests that drivers making improper turns are deemed to pay a fine of $238.
A reckless driver is not mindful of and disregards road safety while driving. When an individual breaks traffic rules, is careless toward other drivers or pedestrians, drives under the influence, races on the road, cuts and switches lanes carelessly, runs a red light, and other similar circumstances, it is termed reckless driving. It is illegal to drive recklessly by putting other people and their property in danger, according to the Vehicle Code Section 23103(a). There is a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
No one has the right to place other people in danger because they choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Instead, we seek punitive damages when our clients sustain devastating injuries because of another’s blatant disregard for the safety of others.
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What Should I Do Immediately Following an Auto Accident?
A car accident can be a stressful experience. It’s essential to stay calm and focused on the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved, protect your rights, and facilitate the insurance and legal processes. Following a systematic approach can significantly affect how you handle the situation after an accident and the compensation you are entitled to. Here’s what to do after a car accident:
Check for injuries, and call emergency services (like 911 in the US) if needed. If you’re able, move your car to a safe location, out of the flow of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added visibility.
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the accident and start the claims process.
What Compensation Can I Receive After a Car Accident?
The compensation you can receive after a car accident will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, the severity of your injuries, and the laws in your jurisdiction.
Generally, there are 3 categories of compensation that car accident victims may be eligible for:
Compensatory damages consist of the direct financial losses incurred because of the accident. These are tangible losses upon which you can place a precise figure, such as by totaling the costs of medical treatment. They are also the easiest to prove.
Compensatory damages can relate to any economic loss from the incident. When a vehicle accident occurs, these are the most common compensatory damages awarded by California courts:
- Emergency room bills
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance charges
- Doctors’ visits
- Medication expenses
- Surgical costs
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Assistive devices
- Extra transportation costs
- Domestic help related to the injury
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Lost retirement account contributions and opportunity cost
- Other fringe benefits
- Lost self-employment income
- Business income reductions
- Business closure or forced sale
- Any adverse impact on incomes tied to the injury
General damages consist of non-pecuniary damages that result from an injury. When you suffer a serious injury, your damages go beyond what can be expressed on a ledger showing expenses and lost income. You also experience physical and emotional pain and reduced enjoyment of life.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
Because general damages are more difficult to quantify than compensatory damages, California law uses a multiplier approach. Juries deliberate on the extent of the general damages and then award between 1.5 and 5 times the compensatory damages.
For instance, if a plaintiff sustains $50,000 in compensatory damages because of an auto accident, a jury can award that individual 1.5 to 5 times that amount. Presuming the victim spent time in the hospital had to attend many therapy sessions, suffered physical pain, and missed many important life activities, the jury may decide to award (as general damages) 3 times the $50,000, resulting in a total verdict of $200,000.
California law stipulates punitive damages in cases where the defendant(s) acted recklessly, irresponsible, or unconscionable. Punitive damages serve as a deterrent to others. However, to be effective as a deterrent, punitive damages must apply to situations the defendant had control over rather than a run-of-the-mill auto accident that can happen even to careful drivers.
For instance, if a court finds an auto accident case defendant at fault due to an honest mistake, such as misjudging distance, it is unlikely to award punitive damages. However, even the most responsible vehicle operators are humans.
However, a court could find punitive damages if a defendant was driving twice the speed limit while texting and ran a red light, causing a major injury accident. This defendant acted with disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages warn others against driving with disregard for public safety in this type of case.
Contact A Top-Rated San Diego Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in an auto accident, contact Shamon Law for a free consultation.
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San Diego Car Accident FAQs
You must contact a San Diego car accident lawyer immediately or as soon as possible after your injuries have received medical attention. It is important to consult a lawyer before the defendant’s insurance company reaches out with their offers. You need enough time with your lawyer to gather evidence, negotiate for a settlement, and file a lawsuit. According to the Statute of Limitation, the deadline for filing a lawsuit for personal injury is only 2 years.
Before hiring a lawyer, a lawyer will review your case and suggest the best way to proceed, whether to pursue it independently under their guidance or hire a lawyer if it is more complex. Although you may not have to hire a lawyer if it is a minor car accident with direct evidence, you must keep them in the loop with every conversation with the defendant. Their counseling regarding your legal rights and calculation of the total compensation amount will help you understand the case and apply your strategies better.
Yes, California allows you to file a claim and receive a settlement from the defendant without a San Diego car accident lawyer.
But you should be made aware of your legal rights and policies associated with your case and the exact compensation you are granted. When you are on your own, the defendant’s insurance company has the upper hand and may lure you into agreeing to a much lesser settlement amount than you deserve. That is when the guidance or representation of a lawyer will help you attain a fair settlement.
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must fill out 3 forms as per the Superior court of California – County of Orange.
- Civil Coversheet
‘Summons’ form will notify the court about the lawsuit. ‘Complaint’ will mention the accident and injury details. At the same time, the ‘Civil Coversheet’ will specify the type of case being filed.
You must call a San Diego car accident lawyer immediately after your injuries have received medical care. They will talk to the defendant’s insurance company for you. The sooner you hire them, the faster they can gather evidence and investigate your case.
California is not a ‘No-fault Insurance’ state. That means an injured party has the right to identify and ask for the accident damage compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault party of the car accident rather than covering for it by their personal insurance.
You can receive the following damage compensation in a personal injury case related to a car accident:
- Medical and medication expenses
- Property/car repair costs
- Therapy/rehabilitation costs
- Lost work wages
- Compensation for your pain and suffering
Yes, the state of California has set a deadline to file injury lawsuits within 2 years of the accident per the Statute of Limitation. You must file your personal injury claim well before the deadline to ensure you have enough time to file a lawsuit if the settlement meeting fails to grant you what you deserve.
According to the California Statute of Limitation, the deadline to file a lawsuit for personal injury is 2 years, and property damage is 3 years from the date of the accident. However, if the injury was discovered late, the deadline is 1 year from the date of discovery.
The following evidence can help prove negligence in the car accident:
- CCTV footage of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Police report/ California Highway Patrol (CHP) report
- Past traffic conviction of the negligent driver
- Past criminal offense of the negligent driver
Yes, a San Diego car accident attorney can help you win compensation if you don’t have car insurance. However, since driving a car without insurance is also a traffic offense, you will only be eligible for compensation for economic damage, i.e., the medical expenses, property repair cost, and lost wages per the ‘No pay no play’ law. The non-economic damage compensation for your pain and suffering will be denied.
Yes, you are still eligible to claim compensation for all your losses, no matter the other driver’s insurance status. Your lawyer can help you in the situation to attain a fair settlement. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, it may be financially straining on their end to cover the losses, but it will not affect the price of what you deserve.
Hit-and-run cases can be complicated as you may not know the defendant in most cases. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you investigate the case and find ways to identify the driver, whether it is through CCTV footage or based on witness statements.
If the defendant driver is not found, you can claim your personal insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Based on the cases we have dealt with in the past, the average settlement for car accidents in San Diego is $15,000 to $30,000, based on the severity of the case.
The cost of a car accident attorney comes under our ‘When we win, we pay you’ policy. We abide by the contingency fees rule, where you do not have to pay any cost out of pocket. When you win the case, your lawyer will receive one-third or 30-40% of the settlement amount.