Why Choose Our San Jose Car Collision Lawyers?
At Golden State Lawyers, we focus on getting results for our clients. We understand the effects that a serious car crash can have on your family, and we work with you to hold those responsible fully accountable. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience working with incident victims, and we have received recognition from the National Trial Lawyers and other prominent legal organizations for our outstanding professionalism and client service.
Our Injury and Death Attorneys in San Jose, California understand what justice is about. While we cannot undo what happened in your auto collision, we can fight for full and fair compensation for you and your loved ones. Your case deserves an attorney with the track record and experience to secure full compensation for your losses.
We combine compassion for our clients with committed representation against our opponents. When working with clients, respect and understanding for your individual needs combine with tailored representation to fit those needs. We are tireless and tenacious when dealing with the person or entity responsible for your injuries.
You want an attorney who is not afraid to fight for you against stiff competition. Over decades of practice, we have established a reputation as assertive advocates who will not rest until our clients get the justice and damages they deserve.
Our Car Accident Settlements And Verdicts
Every client we represent is important to us, no matter how much is at stake. We recognize that your car crash case is very important, whether the dollar value is large or more modest.
Here are just a few examples of settlements and verdicts we have obtained for clients in car crash cases:
- $6,000,000 for an automobile collision with brain injuries
- $2,400,000 for a collision with multiple injuries
- $1,300,000 for a head-on collision that resulted in the death of the driver
- $830,000 for a car collision with leg injuries
While we have many seven-figure verdicts and awards for our clients, each one of our cases has its own unique story. Though we routinely handle large cases, we dedicate ourselves to giving all of our clients the personal attention they deserve - no matter the size of their claim. We recognize that your situation deserves attention and dedicated representation to achieve the best result possible.
San Jose Auto Accident Statistics
Fatal car collisions in San Jose have recently increased. Over two recent years, the number of people who died in San Jose car crash grew from 46 to 60. The trend over the last decade has been an increasing (nearly doubled) number of fatal crashes. In one year, there were a total of 3,685 people who died or suffered injuries in San Jose. There were just over 2,000 motor vehicle incidents that caused injuries.
The Mercury News recently published a study of the most dangerous intersections in San Jose. By far, the most dangerous intersection was McLaughlin Avenue and Story Road, with 45 people injured over five years. After that, Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill Road, and Capitol Expressway and Ocala Avenue, came in the second and third spots.
In terms of the number of crashes, Alum Rock is the most dangerous area in the city, followed by South San Jose.
San Jose highways are not any safer than city streets. Many fatal collisions take place on:
- Highway 101
- Highway 87
- Lawrence Expressway
- Highway 880
The most frequent cause of San Jose car crash is speeding. It causes 20 to 25 percent of car crashes each year. In addition, an increase in rideshare cars also increased the number of car crashes.
Types of Car Accidents Our San Jose Lawyers Handle
Our San Jose car collision lawyers handle a wide range of cases, and each type of accident presents unique challenges and requires a tailored approach to secure the best possible outcome for the victim. Some of the common types of car incidents we help clients with here at Golden State Lawyers, APC, include:
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car incidents, often resulting from distracted driving, tailgating, or sudden stops. These collisions can lead to a variety of injuries, including whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Determining fault in a rear-end collision can be challenging, as it often depends on a variety of factors, such as the speed of the vehicles involved and the road conditions at the time of the accident.
A skilled car crash attorney can assist in evaluating the incident, establishing liability, and engaging with insurance companies to obtain compensation for the injured party. By gathering evidence, questioning witnesses, and analyzing the accident scene, an attorney can help build a strong case on your behalf and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Head-on crashes, also referred to as frontal collisions, are one of the most serious types of car collision. These car crashes often occur at high speeds and can result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the force of the impact. Potential causes of head-on collisions include distracted driving, impaired driving, exceeding the speed limit, and inadequate road conditions.
In the aftermath of a head-on crash, a skilled car crash attorney can help to collect evidence, engage in negotiations with insurance companies, and file a personal injury claim on your behalf. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses.
Pedestrian incident occur when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. These incidents can be particularly challenging for the victims, as they often face unique legal hurdles in establishing liability and securing compensation for their injuries. In a city like San Jose, where car accidents are all too common, it is crucial for pedestrians to have the support of an experienced car accident attorney.
San Jose car crash attorneys can offer legal assistance to pedestrians affected by car accidents, including establishing liability, negotiating with insurance companies, and obtaining maximum compensation. By working with a skilled attorney, pedestrians can ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they need to recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives.
What are the Common Causes of car crashes in san jose?
No two motor vehicle collisions are the same. Many different factors may play a role in building your case. However, one of the most crucial aspects of the car crash claims process is determining what caused your collision in the first place. Pinpointing the cause of the crash helps prove how the other driver was at fault.
So how do you determine what caused your crash? An investigation will help you figure out what caused the crash and who was to blame for it. If someone called the police, officers will investigate, but your lawyer often must put together the pieces.
Sometimes, the cause of a collision isn’t obvious at first. For instance, you might be 100 percent sure that the other driver caused the crash because they ran a red light and barreled into you. However, what if the reason they crashed into you was that their brakes went out?
There are many different reasons for a car crash, and investigation is the only way to determine the true cause. You must know the “what” before you can file a claim against the “who.”
Some of the most common causes of car crashes include the following:
- Texting and Driving –Technology plays a big role in our everyday lives, so it is no surprise that many motorists find themselves the victim of a texting and driving collision. If you believe the other driver was on their phone at the time of the crash, then let your car incident lawyer know. We can request a copy of the other driver’s phone records to help prove the negligence involved.
- Driving Under the Influence –There is never any reason for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of any drugs. If a drunk driver caused your car crash, then you have the right to seek compensation.
Speeding –Speed limits exist for a reason. These restrictions keep the roads safe, and they help prevent car crashes. If the other driver was speeding, you can hold them liable.
- Faulty Auto Parts –Manufacturing companies create the vehicles we drive and the parts that make our vehicles work. Consumers trust that the vehicle and its parts will function as they should. However, sometimes vehicles or parts don’t work properly, and you can suffer injuries.
- Drowsy Driving –Just like drunk driving, drowsy driving can be extremely dangerous for everyone on the road. When a person drives when they are too tired, they’re asking for an incident. When a fatigued driver caused your crash, you can pursue them for damages by filing an injury claim.
- Poor Road Conditions –Sometimes, you and the other involved driver aren’t to blame for the crash at all. Roadway issues cause many San Jose crashes. Some common road problems are potholes, faded or improper lane markings, confusing signs or no signs at all, inadequate guardrails, and too-steep shoulder embankments.
Other common examples of driver negligence that may cause a car crash include:
- Running a red light
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Not following traffic signs
Your San Jose car collision attorney will obtain a copy of the police report after the wreck to help determine the incident cause. These police reports are crucial for proving how the other driver was at fault.
What are common car Crash injuries in san jose?
Sadly, it is all too common for San Jose car collision to cause drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians serious, sometimes permanent injuries. How serious your injury is will determine how much compensation you ultimately stand to receive. That’s because serious injuries can change your life forever, financially and emotionally.
For example, if you suffer injuries in a crash and receive an ankle sprain, this injury might not be very serious, speaking in relative terms. You might have medical bills, a few days missed from work, and trauma, but you may go back to work in no time. This injury is certainly compensable, but you likely won’t need a lot of compensation.
However, if you are in a crash and you receive a paralyzing spinal injury, for example, your claim will be more complex. You should receive compensation for all the ways this serious injury will change your life, including future losses. You will need full compensation to provide financially for a future that now includes a spinal injury.
Some injuries that may result from a San Jose collision include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Always see a doctor as soon as you can following your incident—even if you feel fine initially. The adrenaline and shock can mask even serious injuries, like brain trauma. Additionally, some injuries may take time to develop.
To help you get the most compensation possible, we will likely advise you to get a copy of any medical records from the incident. This may include medical bills, a medical analysis from your doctor, and proof of any medications that doctors prescribed because of the incident.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover for My Car Collision Injuries?
The damages you can recover in a car crash claim typically fall into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. The specific types and amounts of damages you can recover depend on the circumstances of the crash, the extent of your injuries, and California's laws regarding compensation. Here are some common damages you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses: This includes all medical costs related to the incident, such as hospitalization, doctor visits, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical bills required for ongoing treatment or therapy.
- Property Damage: The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other property damaged in the incident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for the income you lost due to your injuries and inability to work during your recovery period. This can include both past and future lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages meant to compensate you for physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall impact the chrash has had on your quality of life.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for the psychological impact of the incident, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
- Loss of Consortium: If your injuries have affected your relationship with your spouse or partner, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship and support.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, where the at-fault driver's actions were particularly reckless or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
- Wrongful Death Damages: If the car crash killed a close family member, you may recover damages for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship by having your attorney file a wrongful death claim for you.
The process of recovering damages can be complex, so you need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process, assess your case, and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Car Crash in San Jose
Two major issues that accident victims often have in the days after a crash involve health and legal questions. You should address both of them as soon as possible after the incident. In terms of your legal situation, you should take action immediately.
It is always good to get medical treatment for your injuries right away. Untreated car crash injuries can grow worse over time from a medical standpoint. In addition, you want to make sure you do all you can to begin the healing process. From a legal perspective, prompt treatment is also highly important.
To achieve the best result in your case, documented treatment shortly after the crash is one of the keys to increased compensation. Without seeing the necessary doctors and getting a complete diagnosis, you will not know the full extent of your injuries. Not all injuries are the same. Your injury can cause you problems for a lifetime. However, doctors must document and describe them in your medical records to recover compensation.
Equally important, you need a lawyer to protect your legal rights.
To strengthen your claim, a lawyer might:
- Gather evidence that can help support your claim
- Protect you from an overaggressive insurance company that is trying to ignore your legal rights
- Counsel you on your legal options going forward and educate you about the process
- Begin work on your claim for compensation
- Recommend specialists needed to diagnose injuries
This means that you need to pick up the phone or go online to reach out to an attorney. Four decades of combined experience mean that we are ready and willing to start helping.
You can usually expect the responsible driver’s insurance company to take action to limit your ability to recover full compensation. They may contest liability, contact you repeatedly, or use various tricks to convince you to do things that do not help your case. Being unrepresented after an wreck carries legal risks to the success of your claim.
We understand it is difficult to take action right after a car collision because you have injuries and might be under pressure. However, your situation benefits the most by being proactive right after the wreck. Hiring an attorney can help you because they can give you the advice that you need to deal with your circumstances. Then, they can handle the hard work and details of your claim.
Understanding California's Car Accident Compensation Laws
In California, car accident compensation laws are based on a “fault” system, which means that individuals can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, the state also follows a comparative negligence rule, which allows both the plaintiff and the defendant to be held partially liable for damages.
In the following sections, we will delve deeper into these laws and explain their impact on car accident compensation in California.
Under California’s comparative negligence law, both the plaintiff and the defendant can be held partially liable for damages in a car accident. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to pursue compensation for your injuries, although your damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
A skilled car accident attorney can help you establish your degree of responsibility by collecting evidence, questioning witnesses, and discussing your case with the other party’s insurance provider. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve, regardless of your level of fault.
Statute of Limitations
Another important aspect of California’s car accident compensation laws is the statute of limitations. Under California law, claimants have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for property damage, and two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is crucial to be aware of these deadlines, as failing to file a claim within the specified time fThe teame can result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation.
Given the importance of meeting these deadlines, it is essential to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. An experienced attorney can help you understand the statute of limitations and ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed in a timely manner, protecting your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Should I Handle the Insurance Companies After a San Jose Auto Wreck?
After a San Jose automobile crash, you will likely have to contend with one or more insurance companies. First, always inform your own insurer of any incidents, even when you are not at fault. Then, you will need to submit a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, though they may try to avoid blame or minimize your damages.
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can draw on it if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured. To ensure your rights are protected, you should always contact an experienced San Jose car wreck attorney before speaking with any insurance adjusters.
Below, our attorneys provide information and tips about dealing with insurance companies after a crash.
Dealing With Your San Jose Insurance Provider
If the other driver does not have insurance (or their coverage does not fully compensate you for your losses), you may file a claim with your own auto insurer for compensation. This is possible if your auto policy has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
It might still surprise you to learn that dealing with your own insurance company after a crash is not an easy feat. Although most insurance providers market themselves as advocates for their customers, this is usually far from the truth.
Your insurance company is still a business. So, while it may not be morally sound, the representatives you deal with have a job to do, and that job is to do everything they can to minimize the amount your insurance company pays out on your claim.
This is true even though you are a customer who pays for their protection. As such, you may find that your insurance provider tries to propose a lowball settlement offer.
More often than not, insurance companies will make it seem as though their offers are non-negotiable and that the only option their customers have is to either accept the first offer or receive nothing. This is not true, and this is where your San Jose car wreck lawyer can help.
Having a qualified attorney means that you will not have to handle the negotiation process with your insurance company on your own. Our law firm will assess the true value of your claim, and we will fight to get your claim approved for the full amount you deserve. This allows you to focus on moving forward after your incident.
Dealing With the Other Driver’s Insurance Provider
Many drivers are understandably apprehensive when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. Even when you are not at fault for the incident, it should come as no surprise when the other motorist’s provider tries to mitigate their financial liability by blaming you for the wreck.
You might find that the other insurance company tries to contact you shortly after the wreck to get a statement. They may present this as an unintimidating, routine conversation that will simply help them move forward with the claims process.
On the other hand, they may try to bully you into giving a statement. Insurance adjusters often claim that you are legally responsible for telling them what happened so they can get a statement.
However, do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company without your lawyer. The insurance representative can use anything you say to them against you later—even out of context.
If the other driver’s insurance company approaches you, let them know that you will not speak with them. Tell them that you have sought legal representation and that if they want any information, they should get in touch with your attorney. We can handle all further communication with the adjusters on your behalf.
San Jose Car Crash FAQs
Should I accept an initial settlement offer from the insurance company?
When evaluating potential settlement offers from insurance companies, it is important to consider the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical bills accrued, and any wages lost as a result of the accident. It is also important to bear in mind that insurance companies often try to minimize or deny claims, so it may be necessary to negotiate a counteroffer or even take your case to court to secure a fair settlement.
A skilled car accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance during this process, helping you to evaluate potential settlement offers and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Will I have to go to court to win money for a car crash claim in San Jose?
In some cases, it may be necessary to take your car accident case to court in order to secure the compensation you deserve. This might be the case if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if the at-fault party disputes their liability for the accident. When deciding whether to pursue legal action, it is important to consider the specifics of your case and weigh the potential benefits against the risks and costs involved.
An experienced San Jose car accident lawyer can help you make this decision by providing insight into the legal process and advising you on the most suitable course of action. If you choose to pursue legal action, your attorney can represent you in court and ensure that your case is presented in the strongest possible manner, maximizing your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
If someone rear-ended me, is that driver at fault?
Rear drivers usually, but not always, cause rear-end collisions. Distracted and drowsy driving are often involved when the rear driver is responsible. However, a brake malfunction might implicate the manufacturer. Alternatively, a third driver might have forced the rear driver into a position where hitting you was unavoidable. Therefore, you should always have a qualified car accident lawyer investigate your case.
I Suffered Harm in a San Jose Car Accident. Can I Sue Someone for Damages?
You’re going to hear this answer a lot from us and any respected lawyer: “It depends.”
Not everyone who gets hurt in a car accident has the right to take legal action for damages. But, many do. Here’s the basic idea: if the car accident was anything less than 100 percent your fault, then you probably have the right to seek damages from the other at-fault party or parties. The more at fault the other party, the more of the damages that party will owe you. So, just as an example, if you suffered $100,000 in injuries in a car accident for which you were 10 percent at fault and the other party was 90 percent at fault, the other party can owe you up to $90,000 in damages.
Also, you still might have a claim after a single-car accident. Another driver doesn’t always cause San Jose car accidents. Sometimes, someone who isn’t anywhere near the accident scene causes the accident, such as a car or car-part manufacturer that puts an unsafe vehicle on the road, a local government fails to keep the road safe for motorists, or even a medical professional who doesn’t warn you about the side effects of a medication that makes it dangerous to drive.
How Much Is My San Jose Car Accident Claim Worth?
This is also a difficult question to answer upfront, as no two car accidents are identical. Each crash will have different circumstances, physical damage, injuries, and more. For that reason, no two car accident claims are worth the same thing, necessarily. Two crashes that look similar from the outside might turn out to be worth vastly different amounts of money.
Plus, there’s a big difference between the damage someone suffers in an accident and how much money is available to pay for it. A car accident client can suffer $1 million in damages, but if there’s no insurance or other source of payment, then it’s hard to say it’s a $1 million claim.
Here are just a few of the factors that go into figuring out the size of a car accident claim and whether there are resources to pay it:
- The severity of the accident and its injuries;
- The age, pre-accident health, and income of the person injured;
- The probability of our client making a “full” recovery;
- The cost of achieving “full” recovery;
- The number of parties who have legal liability for our client’s injuries;
- Whether the parties with legal liability are people or corporations;
- The degree of recklessness involved in the accident; and
- The availability of insurance or assets to pay damages.
How Long Will It Take For Me to Receive Payment After a San Jose Car Accident?
Once again, it depends. Some of the duration of a car accident claim is out of your control, and some of it is 100 percent within your control. Here’s what we mean.
As a general proposition, three interrelated factors determine how long it takes for a car accident claim to conclude.
We call them the Three Cs:
- Complexity - the more legally and factually complicated a case is, the longer it takes, generally speaking. Complications arise in many ways, from the number of parties involved in an accident to how difficult it is to investigate.
- Controversy - the more the parties disagree about the facts or the law, or the more stubborn they are about reaching an agreement, the longer a case will usually take.
- Cost - the more money involved in a case, the more time it typically takes to resolve.
Our clients usually don’t control the complexity of a case. And they only have some control over how controversial it is—that is, they only can decide how hard they want to fight, but not how hard the other side wants to. Finally, our clients have some control over cost, in the sense that ultimately they’re the ones to decide how much money they are willing to accept to “settle.” But, of course, our clients usually don’t have any say in how serious their injuries were in the first place.
At Golden State Lawyers, we aim to give our clients the best possible advice on all Three Cs. Every client has different priorities and needs. Our job is to be as responsive as possible and find a resolution that best serves those needs.
How Much Is Hiring a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Going to Cost Me?
Here is another easy answer - in most cases, it costs zero. Like most lawyers who handle car accident cases, Golden State Lawyers represents clients on a contingent fee basis. In a nutshell, that means we don’t receive fees unless our client recovers money from our work. Sometimes, when a case calls for an investment in expert witnesses and other services, we will even agree to invest our own financial resources.
As car accident lawyers, we aim to ensure that people who suffered injuries get the legal services they need to recover the damages they deserve, no matter what their financial condition when they come to us.
We’re always clear with our clients about how we deal with fees and costs, and we offer every potential new client a free consultation with a member of our team.