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How Can a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Offered by The Swanson Law Group

Learn how the injury claim process works in California after a car crash

San Jose, California has some of the busiest roads and highways in the country. Not surprisingly, car accidents often occur in San Jose and other parts of Santa Clara County. Whether it’s a rear-end accident on Monterey Road, a head-on collision on Willow Street or a high-speed accident on I-280 or I-680, all it takes is one small mistake by a reckless or negligent driver to cause a bad car accident.

Suddenly, you or a loved one might have whiplash, a concussion or another type of serious injury that requires medical attention at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Emergency Room or another nearby hospital. Medical bills can add up fast. So can other accident-related expenses.

Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. You need someone who knows how the legal system works when it comes to car accident claims in California and can demand the money you deserve so you don’t have to pay for your accident out of your own pocket.

How common are car accidents in San Jose?

According to NHTSA accident statistics, motor vehicle accidents resulted in 121 fatalities on average in Santa Clara County during the past five years. That figure includes 53 fatalities in San Jose each year.

The trend is similar statewide. In California during the same, recent five-year period, the average number of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries has gradually increased each year, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Each year, an average of 3,702 people are killed and 14,352 are injured in car accidents in California.

Where do accidents happen in San Jose?

Car accidents often occur on many roads and highways in San Jose.

One highway in particular –U.S. Route 101 in California – was recently rated the third-most dangerous road in the country, and the Santa Clara County stretch is the most dangerous part. According to the study conducted by Value Penguin, a total of 78 people died on this highway during the past five years.

Another recent study conducted by The Mercury News in San Jose identified the most dangerous intersections in San Jose based on accident data during a recent five-year period:

  • McLaughlin Avenue & Story Road
  • Almaden Expressway & Blossom Hill Road
  • Capitol Expressway & Ocala Avenue
  • Blossom Hill Road & Winfield Boulevard
  • Quimby Road & Tully Road
  • Highway 101 & Tully Road
  • Blossom Hill Road & Monterey Road
  • Capitol Expressway & Senter Road
  • Senter Road & Tully Road

Accidents are also common on these heavily traveled highways that pass through or near San Jose:

  • Interstate 5
  • Interstate 280
  • Interstate 580
  • Interstate 680
  • Interstate 880

Wherever your accident occurred, take your crash seriously right from the start. Contact the police and ask them to investigate your accident. When the California Highway Patrol, the San Jose Police or another police department investigates your accident, their investigation will create a California car accident report. Officially called the California Traffic Collision Report (CHP 555), this document can be a critical piece of evidence when seeking financial compensation for your car accident.

What are common causes of collisions?

Car accidents involving two or more vehicles or a single car and a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist happen for many different reasons in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Speeding drivers cause many collisions in San Jose, according to San Jose city officials and police who have studied the problem in recent years. For instance, speed was a factor in 50 percent of San Jose pedestrian fatalities, according to The Mercury News. During the most recent five-year period, speeding resulted in 36 fatalities on average each year countywide, according to statistics compiled by the NHTSA.

And close behind, car accidents caused by drunk drivers resulted in 30 deaths on average each year in Santa Clara County during the past five years, according to the NHTSA.

Another common cause of car accidents in San Jose and Santa Clara County is distracted driving, including texting while driving and talking on a cellphone. A recent study conducted by The Mercury News found that San Jose drivers were on their phones 8.2 percent of the time they were driving.

Reckless driving is another common contributing factor in many collisions. This includes running a red light, passing illegally, tailgating or taking other unnecessary risks on the road. Tired driving or falling asleep at the wheel is another common cause of car crashes.

Whatever the cause of your car accident, make sure you get the medical care you need right away. Then talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to learn more about the legal options available after your accident.

California is an ‘at-fault’ car insurance state – what does that mean?

Like most states, California has an “at-fault” car insurance system. This means the at-fault party is responsible for compensating injury victims for their accident-related expenses, including the cost of all medical treatment, vehicle repairs and replacement income while injury victims rest and recover from their crash.

But just because you are legally entitled to be compensated for your injury-related expenses does not mean you will automatically get the money you deserve. Often, the at-fault party’s insurance company will do everything it can to reduce or deny your accident claim.

Your lawyer can demand the money you deserve for your accident and take legal action if necessary to seek damages, a legal term used to describe the money you’re entitled to receive for your accident expenses.

How much is my accident worth?

After a car accident, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will often downplay how much money you should receive and may make a lowball settlement offer soon after your accident.

While it might seem tempting to accept the money, the reality is such settlement offers often don’t even come close to covering all your accident-related expenses. It’s a deliberate attempt by the insurance company to settle the case for as little possible.

Your settlement offer should take into account all past, present and future expenses. Even if you have accident-related expenses years after your crash, you should not have to pay those bills out of your own pocket. Such long-term expenses can include:

  • Follow-up doctor’s appointments to monitor your injury.
  • Physical therapy if you suffer from chronic pain or other long-term health issues.
  • Follow-up surgery, especially if your medical condition deteriorates over time.
  • Future replacement income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability.

Remember, once you accept a settlement offer for your accident, you cannot ask for more money, even if your expenses increase dramatically in the future. Your accident can easily be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. Make sure you demand maximum financial compensation. You should not have to suffer because of another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior.

 

Car accident verdicts and settlements

$8,870,000 for a Truck Accident San Jose, CA

The Swanson Law Group obtained the money in the form of a jury verdict for two women injured in a rear-end accident caused by a tractor-trailer.

$5,000,000 for an Auto Accident San Jose, CA

The Swanson Law Group negotiated a settlement for a man who sustained a brachial plexus injury in a car accident caused by another driver.

$4,400,000 for an Auto Accident San Jose, CA

The Swanson Law Group obtained the jury verdict for a client who sustained a neck injury in a car accident caused by another driver.

 

Why should I hire a San Jose car accident attorney?

Having an experienced lawyer on your side after your San Jose auto accident can make a big difference in the outcome of your legal case. Your attorney can deal directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf, whether it’s negotiating a fair settlement offer or filing a lawsuit and fighting for your rights in court. Your lawyer can be your voice for justice.

It’s important to carefully consider which lawyer to hire after a serious accident. Make sure your attorney knows the area and understands the state and federal laws that apply to car accidents in San Jose. The only way to gain this experience is by handling – and winning – cases in your jurisdiction.

There’s also no time to waste after your accident. The longer you wait, the harder it will likely be for your lawyer to find the evidence you need to build a strong legal case. Technically, you have two years from the date of your car accident in California to file a lawsuit or take other legal action. That deadline is known as the statute of limitations. But long before then, evidence can be lost or destroyed. Witnesses who saw your accident might forget what happened or move away. This is why it’s important to talk with an attorney as soon as possible.

You didn’t do anything wrong. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially, physically or emotionally just because another driver caused your crash. You are entitled to financial compensation for the full value of what you’ve lost.

Learn more about the legal options available in California. Talk to an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer. The consultation is free and there’s no obligation to file a lawsuit, only answers about your rights. Schedule an appointment today.

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The Swanson Law Group is committed to fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in the San Jose area and throughout California.