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San Diego is the second most populous California city, with just over 1.4 million people. It is also on the coast and has many attractions, which encourage tourists to visit. While many people fly in, they rent vehicles so they can get from place to place. This significantly increases the traffic on the streets, which also increases the risk of a car accident.
Not knowing where you are going because you are new to the area could cause accidents if you drive too slowly or make a sudden stop or turn. If you have a drunk or drugged driver on your tail, or someone that is driving while distracted, your risk of wrecking is significantly higher.
The San Diego area is full of attractions, including the beaches, parks, the San Diego Zoo, The Gaslamp Quarter, the Convention Center, museums, Seaport Village, Old Town State Historic Park, national monuments, cruises, and historic sites.
With year-round temperate weather and few days of rain, people travel to the area throughout the year to visit these places. Because San Diego sees tourists throughout the year, the risk of getting into a wreck is higher throughout the year, instead of just during “the tourist season.”
People get into car accidents for many reasons. It is a driver’s fault in many cases, but in some, no one is at fault. You can collect damages from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Since California is not a no-fault insurance state, you would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You could also sue the driver if his or her insurance is not enough to cover all of your damages.
Types of car accidents include:
In all of these cases, the driver’s actions are the cause of the accident. In some cases, the court could find a driver to be grossly negligent, such as in driving under the influence, distracted driving, or excessive speeding.
In some cases, the driver might not directly cause the accident, but he or she could bear fault.
These are usually road- or weather-related accidents and include:
In some cases, a driver that causes an accident might be doing everything correctly. You might still recover damages from the other driver’s insurance company. For example, if a tree falls for no reason and pushes the driver into you, it’s not the driver’s fault. He or she couldn’t have known that the tree would fall until it fell on him. In these cases, you could still recover damages from the driver’s insurance company.
In some cases, the other driver might not be at fault or may share liability for the wreck with a third party.
These types of accidents include:
Finally, many third-party wrecks involve commercial vehicles, such as big rigs, trash trucks, delivery vans, and other types of commercial vehicles. While the driver could be responsible for the wreck, others might also share in the liability.
Some examples of these types of accidents include:
These are just a few examples of when other parties could share responsibility for a wreck. This is why accidents are often complex, especially when commercial vehicles are involved. Others who might share in the responsibility for the wreck include the company the driver works for, a truck owner, lessor, lessee, or even the vehicle or parts manufacturer.
Your car accident lawyer will review your case and start an investigation. Part of the investigation is figuring out who the liable parties are that caused your injuries.
Overall, California traffic accidents caused 3,606 deaths in 2019. In the same year, drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration caused 1,066 fatalities. Fifty percent of all drivers tested in 2019 tested positive for some type of illegal or legal drug.
The injuries you might suffer in a car accident could be anything from minor cuts to catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries. Your injuries depend on several factors, including the size of your vehicle and the vehicle that hit you, the speed of both vehicles, the angle at which the vehicle hit you, the condition and type of road you are on, the number of vehicles near you, and what you are pushed into or off of, such as a rock wall or a drop off.
Injuries could include:
You could also suffer secondary injuries, such as infections, or your accident injuries could exacerbate underlying conditions. For example, if you have diabetes, any open wound could take much longer to heal, which would significantly increase the risk of infection. Also, if you have immunodeficiencies, open wounds could quickly become infected—within days of suffering the injury.
Because you would not have otherwise suffered infections or pain from exacerbated conditions if not for the accident, the defendant is also responsible for the medical expenses for secondary injuries.
You can recover two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. The court orders compensatory damages—economic damages and non-economic damages—in an attempt to make the accident victim financially whole again. The court only orders the defendant to pay punitive damages if his or her actions or inactions were grossly negligent.
You have just two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages. While that seems like a long time, it is actually quite short. It takes time to investigate the case, review all of your medical records, and attempt a settlement. If a settlement fails, the attorney must prepare for a trial so that you can recover the compensation you deserve. Part of trial preparation includes retaining expert witnesses and obtaining more evidence the defendant was liable for your injuries.
Special damages, or economic damages, have a monetary value and include:
General damages, or non-economic damages, do not have a monetary value. These are damages that are subjective and focus on how the injuries have affected your life.
A victim can recover punitive damages if the jury awards compensatory damages. Unlike compensatory damages, which the court orders to make you financially whole again, the court orders the defendant to pay punitive damages as a punishment for his or her grossly negligent actions or inactions.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a San Diego car accident, contact a San Diego car accident lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free case evaluation today.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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