The moments directly after a car crash can seem to pass in a blur. Yet, the weeks and months after a car crash can seem to drag on and on. You may be unable to work due to your injuries, and waiting for a fair evaluation from the insurance company can feel like it takes forever. In the meantime, you have mounting medical bills and responsibilities to yourself and your family. How can you get the compensation you need?

The San Jose personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw are experienced attorneys ready to help you tackle the trials and tribulations involved in filing a successful car accident claim. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team can investigate your accident and negotiate with the insurance company so that you can focus on what matters: your health. Want to talk about how we may be able to help you get full and fair compensation for your accident? Contact us today and let’s schedule a free consultation.

Why Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

A car accident can be a life-altering event. While your focus should be on the recovery process, you are typically thrown into a situation where you are also struggling to pay bills and fielding numerous phone calls from the insurance company. The stress and anxiety of the claims process can significantly hinder your ability to heal both mentally and physically from the devastating effects of the accident. That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side to take the reins and work on your behalf for fair compensation.

At OnderLaw, we understand just how complicated car accident cases can get. It may take an investigation and intensive evidence-gathering to build a compelling case that gives you the best chance possible at a positive outcome. Insurance companies are looking out for their own best interests. You need someone looking out for yours. Getting fair compensation for your injuries isn’t always easy, but at OnderLaw, our mission is to work tirelessly to get you the full and fair compensation that you are owed.

Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or accept their offer, talk to an experienced San Jose car accident attorney about your situation. We have a successful track record of helping car accident victims just like you go after the compensation they deserve. Call us today to set up a free consultation about your case.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Operating a car is a responsibility. That means that everyone who chooses to get behind the wheel must take appropriate measures to ensure that they are following the rules of the road and operating their vehicle in a safe manner. When drivers neglect this responsibility or choose to drive recklessly, accidents can happen. For the most part, car accidents are the result of driver error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 94 percent of all crashes are the result of some type of driver error. Some of the most common causes of car accidents today include:

  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving happens when something takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can be a phone call, a text, eating, grooming, or using a GPS. Local news reports suggest that cell phone use by drivers in San Jose is on the rise and a major factor in road safety concerns.
  • Drunk driving. No question, driving while intoxicated is supremely dangerous. Unfortunately, San Jose ranks poorly when it comes to DUI statistics. San Jose has a DUI rate up to 55 percent higher than the national average, and almost 2.5 percent of all San Jose drivers have a DUI on their record. There are also estimates that show 30% of  Santa Clara County’s traffic deaths involve alcohol impairment.
  • Drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Sleep deprivation mimics the effects of alcohol use and can cause serious traffic accidents.
  • Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving contributes to several unsafe driving behaviors such as dangerous lane changes, tailgating, or “brake checking.” These behaviors are both reckless and risky.
  • Failure to obey traffic signs and regulations. Rules are in place for a reason. Failing to follow a yield sign, speeding through a red light, or not stopping at a stop sign are all negligent behaviors that can cause accidents.
  • Speeding. Speeding is also considered an aggressive driving behavior. Speeding can be dangerous as it makes a car harder to maneuver, and stopping takes significantly longer to achieve, especially in an emergency.
  • Road defects. Potholes are one of the most common road defects. Poor road or sign maintenance can make for dangerous driving situations and result in traumatic car accidents.
  • Road construction. It can feel like there is road construction everywhere. While frustrating, it is always important to obey all construction signs and exercise caution in these areas.
  • Mechanical defects or defective car parts. Car and part manufacturers have a duty to produce safe products for consumers. When they fail in this duty, and faulty or defective parts make it to the marketplace, accidents can happen.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

When two cars collide, the results can be traumatic. The force of an impact sends metal and fiberglass crunching together, and anything in the path of the destruction can be crushed right along with them, including flesh and bone. While there have been great strides made in producing safer cars, even airbags may not be enough to keep a person from suffering devastating injuries.

Some of the most common injuries that result from car accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Facial injuries
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Crushing injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

These injuries may impact a person for the rest of their life, reducing their quality of life and making work and even play significantly more difficult. The medical bills alone can bury a person under a mountain of debt, which can cause even more strife and instability. The entire experience can become overwhelming and leave a person struggling for answers.

At OnderLaw, we understand how serious car accidents can impact individuals both today and tomorrow. You deserve legal representation from lawyers who will work tirelessly to get you the compensation that covers your needs and will help you move forward with your life.

Available Compensation for a Car Accident Claim

The amount of compensation available to a victim following a car accident in San Jose can vary. Calculating this number is more than just tabulating the resulting economic and non-economic damages of an accident. Establishing fault for the collision is also required because California is a state that follows a “pure comparative negligence” model for liability in accidents.

What does this mean for the victim of a car accident? This law means that a victim, no matter how much liability they bear for causing the accident, will be able to recover a portion of compensation from the at-fault party. Pure comparative negligence decreases a person’s share of compensation in proportion to the amount of responsibility they bear for contributing to the collision.

So, if an individual is involved in a car accident and the at-fault driver ran a red light, a jury may find that person 90 percent responsible for causing the crash. However, if the victim was speeding at the time, a jury could say the victim is ten percent responsible for the crash. That would mean that the victim could recover the total amount of compensation minus ten percent. If the total value of their claim is $100,000, that means they could only obtain $90,000.

When assessing the total value of a claim, both economic and non-economic damages can be considered. Economic damages include measurable losses such as medical bills and property damage, while non-economic damages are losses incurred for intangibles, such as pain and suffering. Overall, compensation for an accident may include money for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

California Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims

In some situations, a lawsuit may be the most viable way to recover compensation following a serious car accident. However, the state of California puts a strict time limit on how long a victim has to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in California is two years, and the clock begins ticking from the date of the accident.

Waiting to file a lawsuit can be detrimental in a variety of different ways. First, the longer you wait to get a lawyer involved, the higher the chances that valuable evidence that could strengthen your case is either lost or destroyed. Second, once the statute of limitation expires, California courts will almost always refuse to consider the case. That means a victim could be left without any legal recourse for recovering valuable compensation for their losses.

It is also worth noting that if a victim simply intends to seek compensation for vehicle damage, California will give you three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Again, this is only for the recovery of money related to vehicle damage and not for medical bills or other damages.

Contact an Experienced San Jose Car Accident Attorney Today

If you want to go after the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve, it’s time you make an appointment to talk to an experienced San Jose car accident attorney with OnderLaw. We want to protect your rights and seek justice on your behalf.

To talk about the unique details of your car accident case, call us today. We offer a free consultation to help get you started on the path towards justice.