Car Accident Attorneys in Santa Clara County
Being injured in a California car accident can be a life-altering experience that may result in serious physical, emotional, or financial burdens for the victim. At the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, we understand the lasting impacts of a car accident and are ready to help you hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. For over 40 years, our firm has proudly represented clients across Santa Clara County who have been hurt in a car accident by the negligence of others. While you focus on recovering from your accident, we will focus on recovering the compensation you deserve. For quality legal representation when you need it most, contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today.
How are car accidents caused?
Drivers in California are expected to follow the rules of the road when they obtain their license. Unfortunately, sometimes, drivers act negligently and cause serious accidents with other vehicles. Victims can suffer broken bones, head or neck injuries, internal bleeding, nerve damage, and more. The term driver negligence covers a wide range of actions, some of which may include:
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Making illegal turns
- Driving while fatigued
- Dangerous lane changes
- Ignoring traffic lights or signs
- Reckless driving
Car Accident Liability in California
When it comes to car accident liability, California is a “fault” state. This means that when a driver causes an accident, they are financially responsible for any damages that they cause. In states that are “no-fault,” a driver can usually have their medical expenses and lost wages covered by their insurance company even if they played a role in causing the accident. The state of California requires that drivers must carry the minimum following amounts of liability insurance:
- $15,000 for the injury or death of one person, whether it is a passenger or another driver, etc., if you caused the accident
- $30,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in an accident you cause
- $5,000 for any property damage that you cause
California also offers insurance called Personal Injury Protection or MedPay that can be used to pay for your own expenses after an accident. This coverage is not mandatory, but it can provide a number of benefits, including that you will be able to have expenses covered even if you were at fault in the accident.
What should I do if I’ve been in an accident?
If you were involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is call the police. They will document the incident and determine who is at fault. While you wait for the police to arrive, calmly and respectfully take pictures of the accident and collect the other party’s insurance information. If an ambulance takes you to a hospital, your doctor will treat your injuries and provide you with medical documentation regarding their origin and severity. Finally, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who will tenaciously fight for the compensation you need.
What if the accident was partially my fault?
When someone is injured in an accident that was mainly the other driver’s fault, though perhaps they were also to blame in some way, they often wonder, can I still sue the other driver? In California, the answer to this question is yes. California observes what is known as “comparative negligence,” which means that even if you are partially to blame for an accident, you may still sue the other party. So, say, for example, you are involved in an accident that was 60% the other motorist’s fault and 40% your fault. In this case, you should be able to sue for 60% of the damages. That being said, you must do so with the assistance of an experienced California personal injury attorney at your side, as you need an attorney who can help recover every dime of which you are entitled.
What if the other driver is uninsured/underinsured?
When someone is injured in an accident, they will generally sue the other motorist’s insurance company for the compensation they need to heal. However, when people are involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists, they are often left feeling as though they do not know how to proceed, as they cannot sue someone’s insurance company if they simply do not have one. Fortunately, if you were injured by an uninsured motorist, you need not fear about recovering compensation. Motorists in California are required, by law, to carry UMC or UIM, otherwise known as uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage. Simply put, in this scenario, since you cannot sue the other driver, you will instead sue your own insurance company. While many are hesitant to do so, we can assure you that this is not only standard procedure, but it is what your insurance company is there for. Our firm can help you file your UMC or UIM claim today.
Recovering Compensation After an Accident
In a successful personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover a number of damages for the physical, emotional, and financial burdens caused by the accident. These can include significant medical bills, any lost current or future wages, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, pain or suffering, and more.
How long do I have to file my accident claim?
If you were seriously injured in a car accident and can believe you can prove that the other party is liable, you should not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney. The state of California requires that all personal injury claims are filed within 2 years of the date of the accident, in accordance with the state’s statute of limitations. If you wait any longer than 2 years to sue the party responsible, you will most likely be barred from suing. Do not let this happen. The Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady can help you get started on your claim. Give us a call today.
What should I bring to my initial consultation?
When someone is injured in a car accident, they will most likely face a wide array of complications, ranging from physical to financial. That is why, to win the full extent of the compensation you deserve, we will have to provide a wide array of evidence that truly depicts the full scope of your case. For this very reason, as long as you have this information, you should bring the following to your initial consultation with our firm:
- Any pictures or videos of the accident that you may have, including pictures of any damage to your car, to the other motorist’s car, and to any property that may have been damaged in the accident as well. Of course, security camera footage of the accident occurring is the best form of evidence, however, this is not always available. That being said, if you know there is footage out there, though it is being withheld, our firm may be able to subpoena it on your behalf.
- A copy of the police report that was recorded at the scene of your accident.
- Medical documentation detailing the origin and extent of your injuries, including doctor’s notes regarding how exactly your injuries will affect your day-to-day life.
- A copy of/receipt for any medical bills or other expenses you may have incurred due to the accident, such as damage to your car.
- A chronologically-written statement of everything you can remember from the accident.
- If you can, ask anyone who witnessed your accident for their name, email, and phone number, as they may verify your claim at a later date. If possible, ask them for a written statement, or even a recorded statement at the scene of the accident.
- Your insurance information, and any information regarding whether you have ever been involved in an accident in the past.
- Documentation of any correspondence you may have had with the other party or their insurance company. This correspondence can be an email, a text, a phone call, or any other means of communication.
We understand that this may seem overwhelming. However, you should understand that if you do not have all of this information, you need not worry. Our firm is here to uncover all the evidence needed to satisfy the burden of proof on your behalf. The bottom line is that if you have been injured, we are ready to help.
Contact a Santa Clara County Car Accident Attorney
If you have been seriously injured in a California car accident, it is essential that you have strong legal representation on your side. The Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady has over 40 years of experience proudly representing clients across Santa Clara County when they are hurt by the negligence of another party. With so much to consider, you should feel confident knowing that you will have a skilled legal team to help you navigate every step of the way. To discuss your accident claim with an attorney you can trust, contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today.