Whenever you set out on the road, the risk of a car crash looms. It is an unfortunate reality that every California driver must face, but your standard commute can become a catastrophe in the blink of an eye. When these car accidents happen, the damage can be significant, and how you choose to respond can greatly impact your financial future. When another driver’s negligence results in an injury to you or a loved one, you have the option to seek compensation.
At Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation, our San Jose car accident lawyer works with San Jose, CA motorists as they take measures to put their lives back on track after an accident.
For a free evaluation of your motor vehicle accident claim in San Jose, call us today at (408) 292-2434.
Types of Vehicle Accidents in San Jose, CA
Single Car Accident: These accidents involve only one vehicle, usually run-off-road collisions, rollovers, and collisions with fallen debris. In these instances, factors like road conditions, vehicle malfunctions, and driver error can play significant roles.
Distractions like texting, changing the radio, or fatigue can lead to single-car accidents. Sometimes environmental factors like fog, rain, or unexpected obstacles can be the cause. It’s always crucial to maintain your car and stay alert while driving.
Rear-End Car Collision: This kind of car collision is common, especially during rush hour and traffic jams. Driver inattention and tailgating are the usual culprits, and while damages are usually minor, personal injury can still happen.
Sudden braking, distracted driving, or even poor weather conditions can also lead to these collisions. While the rear car is typically at fault, it’s crucial for drivers to maintain a safe following distance and stay attentive. Even minor injuries like whiplash can have long-lasting effects on victims.
Head-On Collision: These are usually fatal car accidents and shouldn’t be disregarded. To avoid these accidents, follow traffic laws—stay in your lane, don’t overspeed, and be mindful of others on the road. Avoid drunk driving; driving under the influence is never a good thing either.
These accidents often result from impaired judgment, distractions, or drifting into the opposite lane. Proper signage and median barriers can help prevent these incidents. Vigilance and defensive driving are key to avoiding such traumatic events.
Side-Impact Collision: These accidents usually occur in parking lots and intersections, involving either or both sides of the vehicle. Injuries can be grave depending on what area of the vehicle is hit. They’re often referred to as “T-bone” collisions.
Failure to yield, running red lights or stop signs, or not checking blind spots can cause these collisions. It’s vital to be cautious when entering intersections, even if you have the right of way. Side airbags have become essential in modern vehicles to mitigate potential injuries in these situations.
Vehicle Rollover: These car accidents usually seen in action movies happen every so often and usually involve overspeeding or drunk drivers. High centers of gravity in vehicles like SUVs can increase the risk. Rollovers can also result from sudden swerving, hitting a curb, or getting struck by another vehicle.
Rollovers can be especially dangerous due to the potential for roof collapse and ejection from the vehicle. It’s essential to wear seatbelts and avoid erratic driving behaviors.
Hit-and-Run Accident: These unfortunate incidents occur when a vehicle collides with another, a person, or property and then leaves the scene without offering aid or providing identification. Often driven by panic or guilt, hit-and-run drivers evade responsibility, leaving victims feeling helpless and stranded. Such actions are not only morally reprehensible but also illegal in many jurisdictions.
Victims are urged to gather as much information as possible, such as witness accounts or any part of the fleeing vehicle’s license plate, to aid in subsequent investigations.
Left-Hand Turn Accident: These accidents often transpire at intersections when a vehicle making a left-hand turn collides with an oncoming car. Due to the vulnerability of both vehicles’ sides in such scenarios, these accidents can result in significant damages and injuries.
Often, the vehicle making the turn is at fault for failing to yield to oncoming traffic. However, scenarios like speeding by the opposing vehicle or running a red light can complicate liability. It’s essential to approach intersections with caution, ensuring a clear path before executing a left turn.
Backing-Up Accident: Typically occurring in parking lots, driveways, or narrow streets, these accidents involve a vehicle moving in reverse and colliding with another car, pedestrian, or object. The limited visibility and potential blind spots of drivers while backing up often contribute to these mishaps.
Modern vehicles now often include backup cameras and sensors to mitigate such risks. However, drivers are still advised to be extra vigilant, checking all mirrors and blind spots and proceeding slowly when reversing to prevent such collisions.
Most Common Injuries from San Jose Car Accidents
Personal injuries from car accidents range from minor to fatal and severely life-changing. Medical bills are just the tip of the iceberg. You will also have to consider rehabilitation, returning to work, not to mention the emotional trauma to you and your loved ones. These are the long-term effects of car accidents.
Back Injuries: The lower back is most commonly injured during car accidents. Herniated discs, fractures, and strains are the usual injuries. Because the lower back is central to mobility, it is important that treatment is started right away.
Such injuries can lead to chronic pain and reduced quality of life. Early diagnosis and appropriate medical interventions can prevent long-term complications. Rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and regular medical check-ups can significantly aid recovery. Remember, even minor symptoms can escalate if left untreated.
Head and Neck Injuries: Rear-end accidents usually cause this kind of injury. This may involve whiplash injuries, which can potentially be fatal. Whiplash happens when the neck is suddenly jerked back and forth during an accident. Other severe injuries are cervical dislocations or damaged discs in the neck.
These can cause excruciating pain but sometimes can be asymptomatic at first, which is why some don’t even bother seeking medical assistance. Don’t be one of them.
Broken Bones: Dislocations and fractures can occur with car accidents, with some requiring open surgery and, unfortunately, amputation. Unlike whiplash injuries, fractures are readily apparent after the accident and are treated right away.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Symptoms may not be apparent right away and can range from something as simple as headaches, dizziness, and blurring of vision, to more serious symptoms of changes in behavior and increased sleeping time.
Spinal Injuries: Car accidents can exert immense force on the human body, and the spine, a central pillar of our skeletal system, is particularly vulnerable. Such incidents can lead to a range of spinal injuries from minor strains to severe conditions like spinal cord damage. The sudden jolt from a collision can cause discs to herniate, vertebrae to fracture, or even spinal cord injuries that can lead to paralysis.
Given the spine’s role in overall movement and bodily function, any injury to it can have profound impacts on a person’s quality of life. After a car accident, it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately, even if symptoms are not immediately present, as spinal injuries can have delayed manifestations. Proper diagnosis and early intervention can prevent long-term complications and aid in a better recovery.
What To Do If You Get Into a Car Accident in California
- Don’t drive away. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even minor ones. That could incriminate you, even if you were innocent to begin with.
- Protect yourself and others. To prevent another San Jose car accident, make sure the area around you is well-lit. Keep your flashers on or set up flares, and make sure you have a flashlight in your car. Do not remove anything from the scene as well.
- Call the police. It’s always a good idea to call the police, even if no one sustained a personal injury. A police report is necessary for filing claims from insurance companies. Involved vehicles should remain where they are unless they are causing traffic. In this case, make sure to take photos before moving.
- Give the police an accurate statement. Make sure to report the facts thoroughly. If there are things you don’t know or can’t remember, make sure to tell the officer, too. Speculations, guesses, and theories are not allowed—you’re basically giving the police a free case to file against you.
- Exchange information. While this is the job of the police officer, make sure to obtain the name, telephone number, and address of all those involved in the car accident. Get insurance information of all the vehicles involved in the accident, and if there are witnesses, get their information since your injury attorney might contact them. If the police respond to the accident, they will give a police report number to everyone involved in the San Jose car accident.
- Inform your insurance company as soon as possible. Find out if medical bills are also covered by your insurance company.
- Seek medical attention. No matter how fine you feel, make sure to pay the doctor a visit. Remember that personal injury from a car collision is not always immediately apparent. If you feel dizzy or lose consciousness after a collision, you may have suffered from a concussion and should see a doctor right away.
- Keep your files together. Make sure all your accident-related documents are kept together. This includes receipts, contact information, and your insurance claim number.
- Consult your personal injury lawyer in San Jose. One of the most important things to do after an accident is to contact your personal injury attorney. Insurance companies would usually take your statement right after an accident, and it’s imperative that you’ve already had some legal advice prior. At Shea & Shea, our team of personal injury attorneys can give you advice on how to get adequate compensation for your injuries.
Why Hire a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer?
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be an overwhelming experience. The emotional distress, coupled with mounting medical bills and the intricacies of insurance claims, can quickly become daunting. In such critical moments, having a specialized San Jose car accident lawyer by your side is not just advisable but paramount.
San Jose, with its bustling streets and ever-evolving traffic patterns, presents unique challenges and nuances in car accident cases. A lawyer deeply rooted in San Jose understands these intricacies, ensuring that every aspect specific to the locale is considered when building your case. Local familiarity also means they’re abreast with the regional courts, judges, and defense attorneys, which can offer a distinct advantage in proceedings.
Another pivotal reason is the complexity of car accident claims. While you might be focused on recovery, insurance companies are often looking out for their bottom line. They employ teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating your injury claim right away. Facing them alone might inadvertently reduce the compensation you’re entitled to. A dedicated San Jose car accident lawyer will have the expertise to handle negotiations, ensuring you receive a settlement that genuinely reflects your injuries, pain, suffering, and any lost wages.
Personal injuries resulting from car accidents can have long-term implications, some of which might not be immediately apparent. A seasoned attorney will have the foresight to consider future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and any adjustments to lifestyle or earning capacity when negotiating your claim. Their comprehensive approach ensures that you’re not just compensated for the present, but also safeguarded for the future.
Legal processes require meticulous attention to detail. From gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, reviewing medical records, to filing necessary paperwork—there’s a vast array of tasks. An oversight in any of these can jeopardize your claim. By hiring a San Jose car accident lawyer, you are essentially entrusting an expert to handle these complexities, ensuring every step is correctly and timely executed.
While you focus on healing and regaining normalcy, a San Jose car accident lawyer focuses on ensuring justice is served and your rights are protected. Their local expertise, combined with a deep understanding of personal injury law, makes them an invaluable ally in your road to recovery and justice. Entrusting a professional guarantees peace of mind, knowing that your case is in the most capable hands.
Our Car Accident Attorneys in San Jose Can Navigate an Array of Accident Claims
The aftermath of a car accident—even a simple fender bender—is rarely simple. Filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company can be a complex process, and if you are ill-prepared, you may not reach the settlement that you deserve.
Car Accident Claim Compensation
Understanding the nuances of car accident claim compensation is crucial not only for the victims but also for their families who might be bearing the brunt of unforeseen expenses and emotional turmoil. Securing rightful compensation can aid the recovery process and offset many of the challenges that arise post-accident. Here, we break down key aspects to consider.
The settlement amount following a car accident varies based on numerous factors, including the severity of the injuries, property damage, the clarity of fault, and the specific circumstances of the accident.
On average, minor to moderate accident cases might see settlements ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. Severe accidents involving extensive injuries or fatalities can result in compensation that stretches into hundreds of thousands or even millions.
It’s essential to note that these are averages, and each case is unique. Shea & Shea ensures that every individual case is meticulously evaluated to determine its accurate worth.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Once involved in a car accident, one of the first steps is filing an insurance claim. This involves notifying your insurance company about the accident and providing them with details about the incident, your injuries, and any property damage.
While this might seem straightforward, the process can become intricate, especially when determining fault or dealing with reluctant insurance companies. Shea & Shea’s extensive experience with such claims ensures that your rights are upheld, and every detail is taken into account to guarantee a fair process.
How to Review a Settlement Offer
Once a settlement offer is made by the insurance company, it’s pivotal to review it judiciously. Initial offers can sometimes be lower than the actual value of the claim as insurance companies aim to minimize their payouts. Factors to consider when reviewing include the total of medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, future earning potential, pain and suffering, and any other costs related to the accident.
Engaging Shea & Shea at this juncture ensures that you’re equipped with expert guidance. Our seasoned perspective will help determine if the offer is fair and representative of your losses or if further negotiation or litigation is necessary.
Understanding these components of car accident claim compensation can make the difference between a smooth recovery and a prolonged, stressful ordeal. Shea & Shea, as your San Jose car accident lawyer, is committed to guiding you every step of the way, ensuring that justice and fair compensation are invariably achieved.
Car Accident Lawsuit Process
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be as challenging as the incident itself. However, understanding the lawsuit process can provide clarity and ensure victims are well-equipped to seek justice. Engaging in this legal journey requires patience, persistence, and the right legal counsel.
Many victims often feel overwhelmed by the legal jargon, timelines, and procedural formalities. But with a comprehensive understanding of the steps involved, victims can better prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for the process ahead.
The initial aftermath is often consumed with immediate medical concerns and recovery, but it’s vital not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Legal action might seem daunting, but it’s a necessary avenue for securing rightful compensation.
Throughout the lawsuit, victims will be required to make critical decisions that could impact the outcome. Being informed and supported by expert legal counsel ensures these decisions align with their best interests. Below, we outline the essential stages of the car accident lawsuit process, shedding light on what one can expect at each juncture.
When to Start a Lawsuit
The decision to initiate a lawsuit following a car accident is contingent on several factors. Typically, if the injured party believes the compensation offered by the insurance company is insufficient or if there’s a dispute regarding the fault, legal action becomes necessary.
However, it’s also essential to consider the statute of limitations. This is a defined period within which a lawsuit must be filed. Engaging a knowledgeable lawyer at the earliest will ensure timely action and that all prerequisites for a successful lawsuit are in place.
The Discovery Phase
This is a crucial part of the lawsuit process where both parties gather evidence. It involves exchanging documents, taking depositions, and submitting written questions called interrogatories.
The discovery phase helps each side understand the other’s position and formulate their strategies accordingly. Proper execution during this phase, led by a seasoned attorney, can set the stage for a successful lawsuit outcome.
Motions for Summary Judgment
Before the case goes to trial, parties involved can file a motion for summary judgment. This is a request to the court to rule in favor of one party based on the evidence presented without going to trial. If the judge believes that there’s no genuine dispute about critical facts and the case can be decided based on legal arguments, they might grant the motion, effectively ending the lawsuit.
Mediation is an alternative to going to trial. In this stage, a neutral third party (mediator) assists the involved parties in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. Mediation can be beneficial because it’s typically faster, less adversarial, and less expensive than a trial. It’s a space where both parties can voice their concerns, and with the mediator’s guidance, work towards an acceptable compromise.
If mediation doesn’t result in a resolution, or even before it, parties can engage in settlement negotiations. Here, both sides, usually through their lawyers, negotiate terms to resolve the lawsuit without going to trial. Effective negotiations require a deep understanding of the case’s value and a strategic approach to secure the best possible outcome for the victim.
If all the above stages don’t result in a resolution, the case proceeds to trial. Here, both parties present their evidence and arguments before a judge or a jury, who then make a decision on the case’s outcome. Trials can be lengthy and complex, necessitating the expertise of a skilled lawyer to navigate the intricacies and present a compelling case.
Understanding the car accident lawsuit process ensures that victims are empowered and prepared at every step. With expert legal guidance, navigating this journey becomes more manageable, ensuring that the victim’s rights are upheld and justice is pursued diligently.
OUR CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER CAN ASSIST WITH SEVERAL TYPES OF ACCIDENTS, INCLUDING:
- Auto accidents
- Mass casualty incidents (MCI), including accidents involving buses, helicopters, airplanes and boats
- Collisions with commercial vehicles
- Accidents with large trucks
- Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles
- Accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles
After a car accident, the guidance of an experienced injury attorney can go a long way. Our law firm will work with car accident victims to ensure that your claim is complete and accurate with ample documentation to strengthen your case.
At Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation, our team is committed to obtaining maximum compensation for every client we assist, contact us for a free consultation.
Act Now in San Jose—Contact Our Firm Today!
Experiencing a car accident in San Jose can bring uncertainty to your life, but there is a way forward. In San Jose, don’t let mounting medical expenses and missed earnings overshadow your recovery journey. Our law firm, with expert personal injury lawyers, is here to help you seek justice.
Call us at (408) 292-2434 for a complimentary and detailed case assessment. Alternatively, reach out to our office in the San Francisco Bay Area through email or by accessing our Contact page for a free consultation.