When you are injured through no fault of your own in San Diego, you have the right to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your losses. Personal injury lawyers handle a variety of different cases, including claims for injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice incidents.

With the help of a San Diego personal injury lawyer, you have a much better chance of receiving the compensation you need from your claim. The attorneys of OnderLaw have helped clients in San Diego and throughout the United States win more than $3 billion in fair compensation for their injuries. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your personal injury claim.

James Onder
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Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you’re considering a personal injury claim, chances are you’re recovering from substantial injuries. You may be experiencing so much pain or such limited mobility that it’s difficult for you to carry out your normal daily tasks, let alone devote your energy to a complex legal case. Personal injury claims typically require lots of time and research, especially if anyone raises any disputes or tries to deny your claim outright.

Personal injury lawyers know exactly how to handle these types of claims. They have the knowledge, training, and background required to handle all aspects of a personal injury claim, from filing initial demands for compensation to negotiating fair settlement agreements. A personal injury lawyer can deal with all of the paperwork, investigation, and lengthy settlement talks while you focus on your health.

While you may believe that you can settle your claim through insurance on your own, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are out to make a profit, not to help you recover. However, personal injury lawyers, including the attorneys of OnderLaw, only get paid a percentage of any money they win for their clients. This means that your attorney will have just as much incentive as you to fight for every dollar you deserve.

The San Diego personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw are familiar with many different practice areas involving personal injury claims, including:

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you were injured in a San Diego accident, you should consider taking the following steps to protect your legal rights, your health, and your ability to pursue compensation. Whether you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, a dog bite incident, or a slip and fall, it’s a good idea to:

  • Check yourself and others involved in the crash for injuries, then call 911 to report what happened and ask for assistance from emergency service providers.
  • Seek prompt medical attention, whether or not you “feel” like you were injured, to create a record of your condition and show you are taking your health seriously.
  • Follow through on any medications, treatments, or therapies recommended by your doctor to give yourself the best chance at a full recovery.
  • Collect contact information and statements from any witnesses available at the scene of the accident.
  • If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, ask for the other drivers’ insurance information.
  • If you were injured at another person’s property, a business location, or medical facility, report the incident to the staff or property owner and request their insurance details as well.
  • Take pictures of any visible injuries you sustained as a result of the accident, as well as any property damage that occurred.
  • Avoid apologizing for the incident or accepting blame for what happened, especially when you speak to insurance companies or lawyers.
  • Avoid posting on social media while your claim is still pending since anything you share online could be used as evidence against you.
  • Contact a knowledgeable San Diego personal injury attorney to discuss your case in a free, confidential case review.

What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?

Police officers, insurance investigators, and attorneys conduct investigations to find evidence of the causes and effects of an accident. In most cases, accident investigations involve the following elements:

  1. Gathering Statements

    Investigators typically interview anyone who was involved in the accident, any witnesses, and anyone who could be at fault to compare differing accounts and learn more about what caused the accident.

  2. Identifying Evidence

    Investigators preserve and document evidence using photos or video footage of the accident scene, making note of any hazardous conditions that were present, and obtaining driving records of anyone involved in the incident.

  3. Accident Reconstruction

    In some cases, investigators consult with accident reconstruction specialists to develop diagrams of the incident and learn more about the surrounding conditions and possible contributing factors.

  4. Identifying Unlawful Activity

    Investigators often examine local, state, and federal laws to determine whether anyone involved in the incident engaged in any unlawful activity or violated any rules.

  5. Determining Liability

    Investigators use all of the evidence and expertise they have available to determine whether one or several people may have been at fault for the accident.

What Compensation Is Available for Injuries?

A successful personal injury claim provides compensation to cover your damages, or accident-related losses. There may be different damages available depending on the nature of your accident, how serious your injuries were, and who was at fault. Compensation in personal injury claims is commonly available for:

  1. Medical Expenses

    This includes the costs of any medical treatment you needed for your accident-related injuries immediately after the incident, as well as any treatment you are likely to need in the future. You could also receive money for incidental expenses, such as the cost of travel to doctors’ appointments.

  2. Property Repair Costs

    If any of your personal property was damaged as a result of the accident, you could receive compensation to cover the costs of any repairs or replacements.

  3. Lost Income

    If you were hurt badly enough that you were unable to return to work after your accident, you could be entitled to compensation for the income you lost as a result. It’s also possible to receive compensation for lost future earning potential if your injuries cause you to suffer long-term disability.

  4. Pain and Suffering

    You could recover compensation for the subjective feelings of physical pain and psychological suffering you experience as a result of your injuries and the effects they have on your daily life.

  5. Punitive Damages

    In rare cases, you could be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended as a financial punishment for at-fault parties who were extremely reckless or acted maliciously.

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Common Causes of San Diego Accidents

No two accidents are alike, but many accident-related injuries are the result of one or more of the following common causes.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents are often caused by:

  • Intoxicated driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Inexperienced driving
  • Speeding and tailgating
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Driving errors
  • Faulty vehicle components
Premises Liability

Dangerous premises accidents are often the result of:

  • Broken stairs or missing handrails
  • Uneven or loose flooring materials
  • Inadequate security
  • Slippery, wet, or icy floors
  • Hazardous liquids or gases
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Unattended or unleashed dogs
Workers' Compensation

Workers’ comp incidents are often caused by:

  • Repetitive motion strain
  • Overexertion and improper lifting motions
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Cluttered or obstructed walkways
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Inadequate training
  • Exposure to industrial substances
  • Violent incidents
Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse often results from:

  • Nursing home staff shortages
  • Inadequate staff training
  • Underpaid staff members
  • Burned-out staff members
  • Negligent administration
  • Negligent hiring practices

Common Types of Accidents in San Diego

Negligent motorists, property owners, business managers, nursing home staff members, and others can cause the following types of common San Diego accidents:

Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Sideswipe and T-bone accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Rideshare accidents
  • Commercial vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Single-vehicle crashes
  • Multi-car collisions
Dangerous Premises Incidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • School-related accidents
  • Sporting accidents
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Inadequate security incidents
  • Stair collapse incidents
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Dog bite incidents
  • Fires or chemical spills
Workers' Compensation
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Struck by object accidents
  • Machinery accidents
  • Electrocution incidents
  • Toxic fume inhalation
  • Workplace violence
Nursing Home Abuse Incidents
  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
  • Untreated illnesses or infections
  • Inadequate hygiene or nutrition
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Physical or psychological abuse
  • Emotional or sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Abandonment and neglect
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be an affordable option for anyone, no matter your ability to pay.

Common Injuries Suffered in San Diego Accidents

Many different types of accidents can leave victims with severe or even life-threatening injuries. San Diego accidents commonly cause injuries such as:

Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Fire and “road rash” burns
  • Amputations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
Dangerous Premises Incidents
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Bone fractures
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Burns and toxic exposure injuries
  • Trauma from violent incidents
  • Drowning
  • Electrocutions
  • Dog bites
Workers’ Compensation Accidents
  • Concussions
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Repetitive motion strain injuries
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Amputations
  • Burns and electrical shocks
  • Toxic exposure injuries
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bedrail injuries
  • Bedsores and bruises
  • Bone fractures
  • Infections
  • Asphyxiation
  • Dehydration and malnourishment
  • Medication overdoses
  • Psychological injury
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What Is the Cost of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you are too hurt to work and already struggling to keep up with the costs of living and unexpected medical bills, it’s understandable to be concerned about the cost of a personal injury lawyer. The good news is that hiring a personal injury lawyer can be an affordable option for anyone, no matter your ability to pay.

At OnderLaw, we offer contingency-fee agreements for our legal services. If you hire us on a contingency-fee-basis, you will not pay us anything unless and until we win compensation for you. This means there are no up-front costs for us to start on your case, and you never owe anything out-of-pocket.

California Accident Statistics

Office of Traffic Safety

Reports from California’s Office of Traffic Safety show:

  • In 2018 alone, there were 3,563 traffic fatalities in California.
  • Motorcycle riders accounted for 488 fatalities, or 13.7 percent.
  • Bicycle riders and pedestrians accounted for 1,048 fatalities, or 29.4 percent.
  • Among those who died in 2018 car accidents, 30 percent were killed in accidents involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit.
  • Among all drivers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 and later on tested for drugs, 42 percent tested positive for legal or illegal drugs.

Data from DogsBite.org and the San Luis Obispo Tribune indicate:

  • California residents suffer from dog bite accidents more frequently than residents of any other state.
  • There were nine fatal dog bite incidents recorded in California in 2019, more than any other state has ever experienced in one year.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health released data revealing:

  • There were 376 fatal work-related accidents in the state in both 2016 and 2017.
  • From 2013 to 2016, men accounted for 92 percent of California’s occupational injury victims.
  • From 2013 to 2017, 37 percent of California’s occupational fatalities involved transportation accidents, while 20 percent involved violent acts and 19 percent involved slip and falls.
Office of the Attorney General

The California Office of the Attorney General published statistics showing:

  • As many as 150,000 California residents are estimated to live in assisted living facilities that are not licensed.
  • Among all complaints registered with California’s long-term care ombudsman in 2009, 13 percent involved allegations of “abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation,” more than twice the national average (5 percent).

California Personal Injury Laws

Many California laws closely mirror other state and federal laws, but there are also several personal injury laws in California that are unique, including:

California Traffic Laws
  • California drivers may not use mobile electronic devices while they are driving unless they use hands-free technologies.
  • All California motorcycle riders and passengers must wear approved safety helmets on the road at all times.
  • California drivers are required to carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in injury liability insurance coverage, and $5,000 per accident in property damage coverage.
California Dog Bite Laws
  • California dog owners are always considered liable for dog bites, whether or not their dogs have ever bitten anyone in the past or been labeled as “dangerous” or “vicious.”
California Comparative Negligence Rules
  • California follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine, which means that if an injured person is partially at fault for an accident, their compensation may be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
California Statutes of Limitations
  • Most personal injury claims in California must be filed within two years of the date on which the underlying injury occurred.
  • For claims involving medical malpractice, the time limit is one year from the date the malpractice is discovered.
  • For claims against a government entity, the time limit is six months.
California Personal Injury Damages Caps
  • Uninsured drivers are prohibited from receiving compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering unless their accident was caused by a driver convicted of DUI.
  • In medical malpractice claims, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000.

Accident Claims Process

Depending on the nature of your accident and the resulting injuries, the process of filing your personal injury claim may vary. However, the overall accident claims process in California follows this basic format:

  • Initiate a claim by submitting a demand letter to the insurance company outlining your case, describing your injuries, and describing the compensation you believe you are owed.
  • Deal with insurance adjusters throughout the accident investigation process and one or more rounds of settlement negotiations.
  • Review any settlement offers you receive from the insurance company with your attorney to determine whether they suit your needs and continue the negotiations process if they do not.
  • Receive the compensation from your settlement in either a lump-sum payment or a series of structured disbursements, after which your attorney will deduct their legal fees based on an agreed-upon percentage.
  • If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement amount for your claim, file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of your attorney.

Personal Injury Lawsuits in San Diego

If you must sue for the compensation you deserve, the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in San Diego is very similar to the insurance claims process:

  • First, you must determine where you will file the claim. If your injury occurred at work, you should file your claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If not, any claims of less than $10,000 can be filed in small claims court, and claims of more than $10,000 can be filed in civil court.
  • After you determine where to file, your lawyer can help you draft a summons, which is a legal document notifying the at-fault party that you plan to sue. You will also file an official complaint with the court outlining the facts of your case and the compensation you believe you are owed.
  • Once the paperwork is filed, the other party’s lawyer will have a chance to request evidence from your lawyer during discovery. In many cases, lawyers attempt out-of-court mediation at this point to settle without a trial.
  • If you are unable to reach an out-of-court settlement, you will then proceed to trial. Your lawyer will argue your case in front of a judge or jury, and then the judge or jury will deliver a verdict regarding who is liable and whether you should receive compensation.

No matter how complex your San Diego personal injury claim, OnderLaw is here to help. With nearly 20 years of legal experience, our team has the resources and the knowledge to reach a successful and fair outcome for your case. We offer free initial consultations at no obligation to you, so don’t hesitate to call us or contact us online now.