A motor vehicle accident can turn involved individuals’ lives upside down. One minute you’re turning on Market Street and 6th Avenue, and the next, you’re flying through your windshield because a distracted driver rammed into you—only to wake up to horrifying injuries, debilitating pain, and endless worries for you and your family.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, you should not have to deal with the tragic repercussions of this crash on your own. Instead, you should pursue compensation for the losses and damages you’ve sustained and justice for the wrongful actions that have changed your life. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we are here for you—ready to take on your legal fight, provide you with the litigation assistance you require, and go pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
San Diego Motor Vehicle Accidents—The Grueling Stats
San Diego is one of the most congested cities in the nation. Motorists often log more than 12 million miles a day on San Diego’s busy roads and spend almost 56 hours sitting in traffic every year, oftentimes due to delays caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Consider these statistics:
- In just one year, over 21,500 motor vehicle accidents occurred in San Diego County alone.
- Studies show that car accidents in the area happen more frequently and result in more serious injuries, and fatal crashes also continue to increase.
- Annually, around 300 individuals die in motor vehicle accidents.
- Pedestrian deaths constitute one of the leading types of motor vehicle-related deaths in San Diego, at 33 percent of all accident fatalities.
- According to California Highway Patrol data, the top three cities in San Diego County for motor vehicle accidents are San Diego, Oceanside, and Chula Vista.
The Most Dangerous Places to Drive in San Diego
Although accidents can happen anywhere, in San Diego, certain areas are more prone to accidents than others. These areas include:
This highway is considered one of the most challenging highways in all of San Diego, as it stretches over 52 miles and consists of significant turns and sharp twists. This roadway has seen numerous deaths caused by disastrous collisions.
Interstate 5 is a major highway stretching from the Mexican border at the San Ysidro crossing to the Canadian border near Blaine, Washington. In San Diego, this highway connects San Diego to Los Angeles and often has up to six lanes going each way. However, on this road, no matter the time of the day, traffic can back up in an instant and result in numerous accidents that include everything from a fender bender to fatal pile-ups.
El Cajon Boulevard
El Cajon Boulevard is a major east-west road that travels through San Diego, La Mesa, and El Cajon. Unfortunately, this dimly lit street seems to inspire motorists to speed, and with three lanes going in each direction, drivers sometimes act as if on a freeway. However, because there are many stoplights on this road, and pedestrians frequently cross the street, major accidents can occur if drivers fail to maintain a safe speed or pay attention to their surroundings.
Common Causes of San Diego Motor Vehicle Accidents
Automobile crashes can occur for a variety of reasons. In San Diego, two of the primary reasons for the rise in accidents across the area include poor road conditions and a surge in dangerous driving behaviors. San Diego infrastructure needs significant repairs, and these inefficiencies result in many accidents every year. Some of the more traumatic car accidents result from dangerous driving practices that many motorists tend to exhibit on San Diego’s roadways, including:
Even though nobody likes sitting in traffic, in San Diego, traffic is often at a standstill. Consequently, drivers usually tend to make up for the lost time by hitting the gas and ignoring the speed limit when things start moving. As a result, speed constitutes one of the most significant contributing factors to the city’s motor vehicle accident rate.
Driving Under the Influence
Many car accidents in San Diego involve drunk drivers and those driving under the influence of drugs. If a motorist gets behind the wheel while under this influence, it can render them incapable of operating a vehicle safely. These individuals often have reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, reduced response time to emergency driving situations, and difficulty steering. Plus, these motorists can also suffer from short-term memory loss, may lose control of their vehicles, and can experience an impaired perception of their surroundings.
Driving While Fatigued
A lot of the accidents in San Diego result from fatigue. Sleep-deprivation driving refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while suffering from cognitive impairment caused by a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a significant cause of automobile crashes, not only in California but nationwide, and fatigue can impair the human brain as much as inebriation.
Typically, the effects of driver fatigue include:
- Making poor decisions
- Drifting from the lane
- Experiencing tunnel vision
- Nodding off behind the wheel
- Reacting more slowly to pedestrians, other motorists, or changing road conditions
- Forgetting the last few miles on the road
Distracted driving includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, including texting and driving, eating and driving, and even talking to other people in the car while driving. Unfortunately, many times, motorists believe they can do two things at once. However, you cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Consequently, any non-driving activity can cause a distraction and increase your chance of suffering a devastating accident.
Actions to Take Following a San Diego Motor Vehicle Accident
If you’ve suffered injuries in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, you need to realize that the actions you take following a horrifying crash are not only important to your health and safety, but your legal rights as well. If involved in a car accident, you should:
Following a San Diego car accident, you should contact 911 as quickly as possible. This is the fastest way to get the accident on record and notify emergency personnel that you or someone at the scene needs medical attention.
Once police officers arrive at the accident scene, they will begin investigating the crash and documenting their findings in the police report. If you decide to pursue legal action for the injuries and harm you’ve sustained, this police report can provide you with relevant evidence regarding what happened and who was at fault.
If the area appears safe and you do not require emergency medical assistance, you should try to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as you can. Include photos of the motor vehicles involved in the crash, the placement of these cars, your visible injuries, the weather conditions at the time of the incident, traffic signs near the location, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
Get Driver Information
Make sure to exchange information with all the other drivers involved in the crash, including everyone’s names, driver’s license number, contact information, and insurance information.
If individuals at the scene saw what happened, make sure to get their names and contact information. These witness statements can provide you with further details regarding the accident while also backing up your claims. However, if these individuals do not want to offer up their personal information, do not force them. Once you retain an experienced car accident lawyer, your attorney can try to obtain this information for you.
Get to a Doctor
Even if you believe that you sustained only minor injuries, you still should visit a doctor promptly and get examined. Quite often, serious injuries, such as brain trauma, can take days to weeks to manifest. The longer you wait to treat your injury, the more deadly it can become. For these reasons, it is important to have your doctor check you over and determine if you suffered one of these devastating hidden injuries.
In addition, getting this medical treatment shortly after your crash can legally help your claim. Insurance companies will look for any reason to deny your claim. By not getting medical attention after your collision, these insurers will try to argue that your injury is not that serious or stems from a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you see your doctor after your collision, these physicians can document your injuries in their medical reports and provide you with a direct link between the harm you sustained and your accident.
Be Careful What You Say
As you talk to the others at the scene, you need to be careful what you say. You want to avoid making any definitive statements, taking the blame for any part of the accident, or apologizing for anything that happened. These types of statements can hurt your claim down the road and affect the amount of money that you ultimately recover.
Contact an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Lawyer
Although no amount of money can erase the hurt and the damage your car accident has caused you and your family, obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses can help you start rebuilding your life after this horrific event. Better yet, with a car accident lawyer on your side, you will not have to go through this challenging ordeal on your own.
During this difficult time, you want to retain a San Diego car accident lawyer who can:
- Go over your case in detail, evaluate your potential legal claim, and explain your legal options.
- Answer your questions and provide you with the legal advice you need and the support you require.
- Investigate your car accident and secure the evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Hold all the liable parties accountable for your harm.
- Bring in the experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to substantiate your claims.
- Ensure that you file all required legal motions before time expires.
- Handle all the negotiations with the insurance company and pursue a just settlement amount.
- Take your case to trial, if required, and fight for maximum damages.
If a motor vehicle accident injury has disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Contact a car accident lawyer near you today for a free case evaluation. During your consultation, you can discuss the details of your injuries, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.