Attorneys Tackling Tough Hayward Car Accident Cases
California roads are among the busiest in the world, and the statistics on traffic-related collisions demonstrate the dangers to drivers. Data collected by the California Office of Traffic Safety shows that there are approximately 230,000 victims injured in car accidents every year statewide. Many of these incidents are preventable, but are due to a motorist’s negligence. If you are injured in a crash, the implications are profound. You will incur expensive medical bills, endure pain and suffering, and may be unable to work. Even if you know your rights to obtain compensation from the responsible driver, filing a claim and following it through to recovery can be intimidating.
The car accident attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm are the experienced, knowledgeable advocates you need on your side after suffering injuries in an auto collision. We put your interests first when discussing settlement options with an insurance company, and we are dedicated litigators in court. Our lawyers have been representing clients in Hayward, San Francisco, Marin County, CA and throughout the Bay Area for decades, so we know what it takes to get the compensation you deserve.
Negligence is Behind Most Auto Accidents
To succeed on a car accident claim, you must prove that the at-fault motorist breached the duty to exercise reasonable care in driving, and that this breach caused damages for which you should be compensation. The critical factor is how the driver’s conduct amounts to a failure to comply with standards of reasonable care. Often, breach of duty is a violation of California’s Rules of the Road, such as:
- Failure to stop at a red light or sign;
- Failure to yield to motorists with right of way;
- Illegal lane changes;
- Wrong way driving;
- Unlawful turns or U-turns;
- Failure to use turn signals;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and,
- Many more.
One of the most unfortunate, yet preventable, causes of California car accidents is distracted driving. State law prohibits operating a smart phone or similar portable electronic device while behind the wheel, though the regulations vary by age and type of device. Studies suggest that it takes approximately five seconds to access and read a text message, during which time the motorist’s eyes are not on the road. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
Regardless, some motorists disregard the laws and many more engage in other forms of distracted driving that are not illegal. Any type of activity that takes a driver’s attention from the road creates a hazard, including:
- Sending, reviewing, or drafting a text message;
- Surfing the internet;
- Posting on social media;
- Capturing or viewing videos and pictures;
- Applying makeup and grooming;
- Eating or drinking;
- Using the radio or a GPS device; and,
- Many more.
Injured Victims May Recover Compensation
If you are successful in establishing the elements of a case based upon negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries. This legal concept refers to the losses you sustain after being hurt, which fall into three categories.
- Economic Damages: Losses that are out-of-pocket or ascertainable from receipts are economic damages. They include:
- The costs you incur from the medical providers that treat your injuries, including first responders, urgent care teams, surgeons, specialists, physical therapy practitioners, and other healthcare professionals; and,
- Lost wages, if you are not earning your normal income because you are unable to work.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that cannot be measured by a dollar value, but which are still devastating and impact your quality of life. Pain and suffering, and losses that affect your personal relationships are non-economic losses that you can prove with:
- Medical records;
- Notes from treating providers;
- Prescriptions for pain;
- X-rays and body scans;
- Images of property damage and bodily injuries;
- Fitness trackers that showing your activity levels before and after the crash;
- Expert testimony of medical experts; and,
- Any other evidence that shows how your injuries affect your quality of life and overall well-being.
- Punitive Damages: In some car accident cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages intended to punish the responsible motorist for conduct that goes above and beyond negligence. The bar is extremely high, as it requires you to show that the driver acted with willful and conscious disregard for the rights and/or safety of others. Drunk or drugged driving may rise to this level under certain circumstances. If successful in proving your right to punitive damages, you may be able to recover an additional award.
Limitations on Your Right to Compensation
Even when you can establish the essential elements of a car accident case, there are some laws that impact your compensation.
- California’s Statute of Limitations: Please be advised that your potential case is governed by a statute of limitations (a limited time period in which you must begin a lawsuit). Statutes of limitations differ depending on the type of case involved. Some of these time periods may be as short as six months, while others can be as long as two years. We do not have enough information to identify which statute of limitations applies in your case. You should consult with a lawyer, the California Code of Civil Procedure, internet resources, and/or visit your law library to identify the applicable statute of limitations for your matter.
- Comparative Negligence: When your own conduct is a factor in the accident that caused your injuries, California law acts to reduce your compensation by the percentage of fault attributable to you. A responsible driver and insurance company will do all they can to take advantage of the concept of comparative negligence, and prove that you were also at fault.
Schedule a Consultation with a Skilled Hayward Car Accident Lawyer Today
At the Dolan Law Firm, our legal team is dedicated to assisting victims of auto collisions who suffer tremendously due to their injuries. We have the necessary knowledge and experience to ensure you get the highest compensation available under California law. Please call us toll free at 1-888-452-4752 or check us out online to schedule a free, no-obligations consultation with one of our skilled car accident lawyers.