Oakland Car Accident Lawyers
Nobody expects to get hurt in a car accident. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes happen much more often than they should when drivers are careless. We all have a duty of care to others when we get behind the wheel, but even a brief distraction or poor decision can result in a severe and even deadly collision. If you were injured by a negligent driver, it is important to learn what your options are.
The Dolan Law Firm has years of experience successfully representing the injured. We know how difficult it can be to find yourself facing enormous hospital bills and the inability to work, all because of another driver’s carelessness. Our Oakland car accident attorneys have years of experience assisting clients with personal injury claims, and we are dedicated to helping you seek justice.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen in Oakland for many different reasons. Sometimes roadways are not in great shape, and drivers do not realize that they need to slow down because of potholes. In other situations, motor vehicle parts, such as brakes or air bags, might be defective. However, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) underscores, the cause of most auto accidents is driver error. Common driving errors that can lead to a successful personal injury lawsuit include but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving;
- Alcohol-impaired driving;
- Aggressive driving; and
- Drowsy driving.
Our car accident attorneys know how hard it can be to even think about filing a personal injury claim when you are dealing with the physical and psychological effects of a serious crash. We want to help, and we have the experience to assist you in building a strong case for compensation.
Getting the Facts About Car Accident Statistics in Oakland
You should not have to face the aftermath of a serious car crash caused by a negligent driver. Yet these collisions occur much more frequently than you might expect. The following are facts and figures about car accidents from the California Office of Traffic Safety:
- Alcohol-impaired driving results in more than 880 accidents each year in California;
- About 28 percent of all crashes involve at least one alcohol-impaired driver;
- Approximately 32 percent of drivers killed in crashes were drug-impaired at the time of the collision;
- More than 30 percent of passengers who sustain fatal injuries in California crashes are not wearing seat belts;
- Motorcycle accident deaths are on the rise in California;
- Teen car accident injuries and fatalities have increased drastically in California, with nearly 100 teen deaths in 2014;
- Males account for nearly 77 percent of all teen driver fatalities; and
- Pedestrian and bicyclist collisions and fatalities have decreased in recent years, but they still account for hundreds of deaths each year on California roads.
Things You Should Know After a Car Accident
We often speak with injury victims who are unsure about whether they are eligible to file a claim because they are concerned that they may have been partially at fault for the collision. While you should never admit fault for a crash—at the scene of the accident, to insurance investigators, or otherwise—it is important to recognize that California law still permits you to obtain compensation for your losses.
California operates on a system known as pure comparative fault. This means that the plaintiff’s own negligence will not prevent her from obtaining compensation, but it will offset the total damages amount that she receives. For example, if a jury determines that a plaintiff is 40 percent responsible for the accident and she was initially awarded $100,000 in damages, that award will be offset by 40 percent, or $40,000, and she will receive $60,000. Even if the plaintiff is more responsible than one or more of the defendants combined, she can still receive damages. For instance, if a jury says a plaintiff is 60 percent responsible and she was initially awarded $100,000, that award will be offset by 60 percent, or $60,000, and the plaintiff will receive an award of $40,000.
If you were injured recently in a car crash in Oakland, you need to be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Under California law, the statute of limitations is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident in which you sustained your injuries to file a claim for compensation. Failing to file a lawsuit within that two-year period typically means that you are barred from seeking compensation for your losses.
Even though two years might seem like a long time, it is important to get started on your car accident case as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to gather evidence in your case, including tracking down witnesses and building an accident reconstruction to prove your version of the events. An Oakland car accident attorney can get started on your case today.
If you file an Oakland car accident claim, what type of damages might you receive? California law allows an injury victim to seek both economic and noneconomic damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Both are compensatory damages that are aimed at compensating the victim for her losses, including objective losses (like medical bills) and subjective losses (like pain and suffering).
Contact an Oakland Car Accident Attorney Today
When you are injured in a serious car crash in Oakland, the weeks and months that follow can be devastating. You may need medical attention and subsequent surgeries, and you likely will not be able to work due to your disabling injuries. You should not have to pay the price of another driver’s careless behavior behind the wheel.
By working with an aggressive Oakland car accident lawyer at the Dolan Law Firm, you will have a dedicated advocate on your side with experience serving clients in a wide variety of accident claims. Contact us today for more information.