Even if you are extremely careful behind the wheel, there is always the chance that you will still be involved in a California car accident. Unexpected accidents can be devastating. Injuries can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, cause you to suffer from overwhelming emotional trauma, and impose extreme financial hardships.
If you have been injured in a California car accident you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim for damages. The money you recover from your legal claim can be instrumental in your recovery. Call the California car accident attorneys at Citywide Law Group today to find out how we can help you after an accident.
For the past 17 years, we have been dedicated to helping victims of California car accidents recover the compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. We understand how emotionally, physically, and financially draining a car accident injury can be, so we fight tirelessly to make sure that you are fairly compensated for the harms you have suffered. Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more.
California Car Accident Statistics
The number of fatal car accidents in the state of California has been on the rise over the past few years. In fact, between 2010 and 2016, the number of car accident deaths in the state spiked by nearly 35 percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), California has had more than 2,200 fatal accidents each year since 2010:
- 2010: 2,270
- 2011: 2,816
- 2012: 2,966
- 2013: 3,107
- 2014: 3,102
- 2015: 3,387
- 2016: 3,623.
Where Do Car Accidents Happen in California?
Across the country, the majority of fatal car accidents happen in rural areas. In California, however, 61 percent of fatal crashes happen in urban areas. According to the NHTSA, the following counties reported the greatest number of fatal car accidents in 2016:
- Los Angeles County: 794
- Riverside County: 262
- San Bernardino County: 256
- San Diego County: 239
- Orange County: 189
- Sacramento County: 164
- Kern County: 143
- San Joaquin: 118
- Fresno County: 110
- Santa Clara County: 109.
Causes of California Car Accidents
Why do so many car accidents happen in California? Statistics show that the leading causes of crashes in the state include:
Speeding: According to the National Safety Council, 64 percent of drivers are comfortable driving above the speed limit. It may not be a surprise, then, that speeding is often cited as a primary factor in California car accidents. When drivers speed, it becomes more difficult to navigate vehicles safely and with accuracy. In 2016, speed was the primary factor in 1,056 fatal car accidents.
Drug Use: Driving while under the influence of drugs is a rising cause of fatal crashes in the state of California. In 2009, a formal study found that 23 percent of drivers killed in California accidents tested positive for drugs. There are concerns that this number will spike as a result of the legalization of marijuana across the state.
Drunk Driving: According to the California DMV, drunk driving is the leading cause of fatal car accidents in the state. In 2016, 30 percent of all car accident deaths in California were the result of drunk drivers (those with a BAC registering above the legal limit of .08 percent).
Dangerous Road Conditions: Car accidents are generally the result of a driver’s negligence. However, accidents can happen even when all drivers are acting with due care. When government agencies fail to fix dangerous road conditions, accidents can happen. Dangerous road conditions may include uneven pavement, damaged or missing traffic signals, and signage with limited visibility.
Distracted Driving: The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This can include texting, talking on the phone, taking selfies, switching the radio, talking with passengers, and even eating. In 2015, approximately 10 percent of all car accident deaths were caused by distracted driving practices.
Common California Car Accident Injuries
Victims of car accidents in California can suffer from a wide range of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening spinal cord injuries. At Citywide Law Group, our California car accident attorneys are prepared to help you recover monetary damages for any injuries that you suffer in an accident. We have successfully helped clients recover millions in compensation for injuries including (but not limited to):
- Brain injury
- Degloving injury
- Eye injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Thoracic injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Amputation, and
- Wrongful death.
Call our California car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We will review your case, explain your legal options, and answer the questions you have.
Determining Liability for California Car Accidents
In California, most car accidents are the result of driver negligence. Negligence basically means that a driver had a responsibility to drive carefully, but failed to do so. When a driver’s negligence causes an accident, they can be held financially responsible for any injuries that occur.
What happens if you’re involved in an accident with a person who is on the clock? If that person is engaged in responsibilities of their employment you may be able to hold their employer responsible for damages. Employers have an obligation to make sure that their drivers are properly trained, obtain the necessary licenses, and adhere to local traffic laws.
When pedestrians share the road with motor vehicles, they have an obligation to act with caution. This means that they must use marked crosswalks, stick to sidewalks (where available), and be alert and aware of their surroundings. A rising number of pedestrian and traffic accidents are being caused by pedestrians who are distracted by their phones. Pedestrians can be held responsible for traffic accidents if they contribute to or cause a serious accident.
If you are injured because of a defect in your car, the company responsible for putting your car on the market can be held financially responsible for damages. For example, if your car is equipped with defective airbags, and you are injured because they did not deploy, the company that designed, manufactured, or sold the vehicle can be liable.
The government has a responsibility to provide safe roads and thoroughfares for drivers in the state. If a state, county, or local government knows (or should know) about a dangerous condition on a road, but fails to fix it, it can be held responsible for resulting injuries.
Why Should I Hire a California Car Accident Attorney?
Hiring an attorney to handle your California car accident case is the single best thing you can do after an accident.
1. You need to focus on getting better.
Personal injury lawsuits are time-consuming, stressful, and complicated. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you need to spend the days, weeks, and months after your accident focusing on your recovery. Your recovery will take longer than necessary if you are trying to navigate a legal claim at the same time.
2. Insurance companies are not on your side.
When you decide to pursue a legal claim you will likely be going up against a powerful insurance company. These companies will do everything in their power to deny or limit the amount of compensation you receive. The attorneys who represent these companies understand how to manipulate you during this difficult time in your life. They will try to approach you shortly after an accident before you have the opportunity to speak with an attorney. They know that their chances of getting you to accept an extremely low offer are greatest when you are not represented by a lawyer.
3. Claims are difficult to value.
“How much is my case worth?” This is a question we are frequently asked by accident victims during free consultations. The truth is, determining how much your case is worth will take a lot of research and analysis. We will have to review your medical records, consult with experts, project the impact of any disability on your day-to-day life, and try to place a monetary value on your very personal pain and suffering. If you do not hire an attorney you will be putting the value of your case in the insurance company’s hands. They will most definitely undervalue your claim, and you will not be fairly compensated for your injuries.
4. The statute of limitations will expire quickly.
When you are injured in California you have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. However, a clock begins to run the moment you are injured. In many cases, you will only have two years from the date of your accident to file a legal claim. However, the statute of limitations can be accelerated or extended in certain situations. If you do not file your claim before time runs out you will be prevented from recovering anything, at all. Hiring an attorney immediately after your accident will help to ensure that all claims are filed on time.
Experienced California Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a California car accident? Contact Citywide Law Group to learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim for damages. Our California car accident attorneys can help you maximize the amount of compensation you are awarded. We have over 17 years of experience handling complex car accident cases. During this time, we have helped injured clients just like you recover millions in life-changing damages. These damages can be instrumental in paying for medical bills, making up for lost wages, and compensating for the emotional stress an accident can cause. Call us today to request a free consultation and to learn more.