San Jose Car Accident Lawyers
When you suffer injuries in a San Jose traffic accident, you need to know how to keep the insurance companies honest so that you can get the most compensation possible. Find out how to handle your claim by consulting with a San Jose car accident attorney.
Being in a car crash can be both terrifying and financially devastating. If the collision resulted in personal injuries or significant property damage, then you may find yourself dealing with piles of bills for medical treatments and car repairs. Additionally, if your injuries keep you from returning to work, your lost income will only make it more difficult to meet your financial obligations.
Although the at-fault driver’s insurer should cover your accident-related expenses, you may find that the insurance company is unwilling to provide you with the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Working with a San Jose car accident lawyer will relieve the stress of filing a claim and help ensure that you receive full and fair compensation.
The attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher, LLP can help you take on the insurance company and fight for your rights. We have over forty years of experience advocating for car accident victims throughout Santa Clara County and the surrounding areas.
If you sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one in a wreck, then contact our San Jose auto accident attorneys for a free consultation today.
Table of Contents
- Why Choose Our San Jose Car Accident Lawyers?
- Our Car Accident Settlements And Verdicts
- San Jose Auto Accident Statistics
- What to Do After a Car Accident in San Jose
- San Jose Car Accident FAQs
- Hurt in a Car Wreck? Let Our San Jose Auto Accident Lawyers Help You
Why Choose Our San Jose Car Accident Lawyers?
At Bohn & Fletcher, we focus on getting results for our clients. We understand the effects that a serious car accident can have on your family, and we work with you to hold those responsible fully accountable. Our attorneys have combined experience working with accident victims of over four decades, and we never forget the personal aspect of our job.
Our lawyers understand what justice is about. While we cannot undo what happened in your accident, 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 accident 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 accident cases:
- $6,000,000 for an automobile accident 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 accident 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 accidents in San Jose have recently increased. Over two recent years, the number of people who died in San Jose car accidents 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 accidents 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 accidents 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.
What to Do After a Car Accident 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 accident. 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 accident 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 accident carries legal risks to the success of your claim.
We understand it is difficult to take action right after a car accident because you have injuries and might be under pressure. However, your situation benefits the most by being proactive right after the accident. 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.
How Should I Handle the Insurance Companies After a San Jose Auto Wreck?
After a San Jose automobile accident, you will likely have to contend with one or more insurance companies. First, always inform your own insurer of any accidents, 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 accident 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 accident.
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 accident, 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.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Crashes in San Jose?
No two car accidents are the same. Many different factors may play a role in building your case. However, one of the most crucial aspects of the car accident 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 accident, 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 accident 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 accidents. 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 accident. 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.
Your San Jose car accident attorney will obtain a copy of the police report after the wreck to help determine the accident cause. These police reports are crucial for proving how the other driver was at fault.
Other common examples of driver negligence that may cause a car accident include:
- Running a red light.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way.
- Not following traffic signs.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries in San Jose?
Sadly, it is all too common for San Jose car accidents 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 accident—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 accident. This may include medical bills, a medical analysis from your doctor, and proof of any medications that doctors prescribed because of the accident.
San Jose Car Accident FAQs
Having questions and serious concerns after suffering injuries in a wreck is completely understandable. With that in mind, our San Jose auto accident attorneys provide answers to a few common questions in the section below.
If you have additional questions about your specific situation, please contact our office to speak with us directly.
What can I seek compensation for after getting hurt in a car accident?
You should receive compensation for all of the financial expenses and non-economic damages caused by the wreck. This includes current and future medical bills, lost income, vehicle repair, and more. It also may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment of life due to ongoing physical or emotional limitations.
Am I automatically responsible if my car was the only vehicle involved in the crash?
No, an external party may bear at least partial liability for your single-vehicle accident.
For example, the manufacturer may be liable for a defective tire or auto part. A road construction crew might be negligent if it fails to put up detour signs or leaves debris in the road. It is even possible that the government entity responsible for road maintenance is to blame if a pothole or uneven lane played a role.
Will I have to go to court to win money for a car crash claim in San Jose?
You may not need to go to court, but it’s possible. With most auto crash claims, your San Jose vehicle crash attorney will negotiate fair compensation through settlement proceedings. If the insurance companies involved in your case won’t agree to a fair settlement, that’s when your attorney will recommend that you go to court.
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 Bohn & Fletcher, 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.
An Insurance Company (Not Mine) Offered Me a Settlement. Should I Take It?
Here’s a question we can give a definitive answer to – no, you should not accept a settlement offer from someone else’s insurance company, at least not without speaking with an experienced car accident attorney first. Here’s why.
When an insurance company has a policyholder with legal liability for damages resulting from a car accident, that company will do everything to minimize the amount of money it has to pay out. Now, sometimes the easiest thing for an insurance company to do in that situation is to sit tight and hope the car accident survivor never comes forward with a claim. But, when an insurance company knows it’s on the hook for potentially big dollars, it might instead reach out to the accident survivor with a quick settlement offer.
Why do this? Because the insurer knows that San Jose car accident victims often find themselves in dire financial straits and need quick money. The insurance company hopes the accident survivor will take the money and sign a release that gets the insurer and its policyholder off the hook, legally speaking, for bigger damages down the road.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that offers insurance companies make in those situations are pennies-on-the-dollar compared to what the claim is really “worth.” This is why we tell people NOT to take those offers without talking to a lawyer first. Often (almost always, actually), getting a lawyer involved at that point will send a signal to the insurance company that they’re not going to get away with a lowball offer.
Of course, we understand if our clients want to accept money quickly rather than wait for a bigger payday down the road. That’s their choice, and we just do our best to give them sound advice. But, we always hope they come to talk to us first because once you sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company, there’s usually no taking it back.
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, Bohn & Fletcher 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.
Hurt in a Car Wreck? Let Our San Jose Auto Accident Lawyers Help You
If you are ready to get the monetary compensation you deserve for the injuries, damages, and losses from your wreck, then let Bohn & Fletcher, LLP help you. When you invest in the services of an experienced attorney, you put yourself in the best position possible to bring your claim to a successful resolution.
“I cannot thank Bohn & Fletcher enough. I came to Bohn & Fletcher with a very difficult case. It was an injury from years ago that had continued to get worse and as the medical bills came in my stress level increased. They went above and beyond time and time again. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions but they did what everyone else said was impossible. I am so relieved that this chapter in my life is coming to end. Thank you!”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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