Auto Accident Injury in San Jose, CA
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in San Jose? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around San Jose, CA that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in San Jose, California
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that over 275,000 people suffered injuries in 2018, with more than 16,000 deemed serious. Sadly, over 3,500 individuals lost their lives. Of those fatalities, nearly 30% involved alcohol impairment (BAC ≥ .08).
While San Diego County’s injury crash rate has declined to one-third of the national average in recent years, traffic fatalities have increased by 37% from 2008-2018. Elected officials implemented the San Jose Vision Zero initiative in 2015, only the fourth of its kind in the nation, in order to reduce serious injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes. Speeding has consistently been identified as the most common factor contributing to fatalities and severe injuries.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
Police reports and records can be obtained from the San Jose Police Department Records Unit online, in person, or by U.S. mail. Due to a large volume of incidents, you may need to wait a minimum of 45 days from the date of the collision in order to locate your report. There is a $16 fee per record request.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
According to the most recent California Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes, the average cost of sustaining severe injuries is $275,000 per person, while costs for moderate injuries equate to $55,000 per person. Minor injuries are calculated to cost $29,000 per person. For incidents that involved only property damage, costs were $3,000 on average.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate the total cost of traffic crash deaths in 2018 at $5.83 billion. Of the total, $49 million is attributed to medical costs while $5.79 billion pertains to work loss costs. Young adults ages 20-34 are responsible for 48% of the expense. Unfortunately, 22% of traffic deaths were pedestrians, costing an estimated $1.3 billion.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in California
Liability Laws for San Jose
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
San Jose and the whole of California abide by a pure comparative fault system, meaning you are able to pursue an action only for the damages for which you are not responsible. For example, if you had $50,000 in damages and were 40% responsible for the crash, you would be able to make a claim regarding the $30,000 in damages that were not your fault.
Statute of Limitations in San Jose
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. You generally have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case in the state of California. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near San Jose, CA
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in California!