Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyers
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Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyers
Carlsbad, California is a wonderful place to live that continues to attract new residents and visitors. With this growth comes more congested roadways, which inevitably leads to motor vehicle accidents.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident in the Carlsbad area, you may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The Carlsbad car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are ready to help victims of car accidents. We believe that those responsible for an accident should have to pay, not the victims.
Our firm routinely takes on the challenging cases that other lawyers cannot handle. We have won millions of dollars in car accident cases on behalf of our clients, including:
- $13.5 million jury verdict for a brain injury suffered in a car accident.
- $5.2 million settlement for a brain injury suffered in a car accident.
- $3.125 million settlement for a car accident involving back injuries.
- $2.65 million settlement for orthopedic injuries suffered in a car accident with the Border Patrol.
For more than 15 years, Gomez Trial Attorneys has obtained over $750 million for our clients. We publish our notable settlements and judgments, but these are just a few of the many cases where we have obtained financial compensation on behalf of our injured clients.
We cannot guarantee results and outcomes, which depend on the facts and law involved in a given case. To learn more about whether you have a case, its strength, and an estimate of its potential financial value, contact us at (619) 237-3490 or here to sign-up for a free evaluation of your Carlsbad car accident case.
COMMON TYPES OF CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENTS
There are many different types of car accidents. However, a few happen far more often than most. These include:
- Rear-end accidents. These are one of the most common types of two-vehicle accidents and occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle.
- Broadside accidents. Also known as T-bone accidents or side-angle collisions, broadside accidents occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. This type of accident generally occurs at an intersection when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way.
- Head-on collisions. These accidents account for a small percentage of the total overall number of accidents that occur in California and the nation each year. However, they also account for a large percentage of the fatalities caused by traffic-related crashes. Head-on collisions occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another vehicle. Head-on collisions often involve a vehicle that is traveling in the wrong direction on the roadway due to unfamiliarity with the road, alcohol impairment, or a previous accident that pushed the vehicle into an oncoming travel lane.
- Sideswipe accident. These accidents occur when the side of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. Sideswipe accidents are usually caused when a person drifts into another travel lane or fails to ensure a travel lane is clear before changing lanes.
- Rollover accidents involve the vehicle’s tires leaving the roadway and the vehicle rolling onto its side or roof. Rollovers are common in single-vehicle accidents where the vehicle leaves the roadway. They can also happen when a vehicle with a high center of gravity, such as an SUV, truck, or van, takes a curve in the road or a corner too sharply or too fast.
- Single-vehicle accidents. Single-vehicle accidents often happen when a vehicle either runs off the road or strikes an object in the roadway. Accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists are referred to as single-vehicle accidents since only one motor vehicle is involved.
- Chain reaction or pileup crashes. Chain-reaction accidents occur when three or more vehicles are involved in the accident. Most often, this occurs when two vehicles collide, and additional vehicles become involved when colliding with the initial accident scene. Sometimes there may be many vehicles involved, particularly when the accident occurs on an interstate. This is referred to as a pileup. These accidents are most likely to happen on a highway such as I-5.
- Hit-and-run accidents. In hit-and-run accidents, the driver of one vehicle flees the scene after an accident. Even though it can be difficult to locate the hit-and-run driver, it may still be possible to obtain compensation in a Carlsbad hit-and-run accident.
COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA
In Carlsbad, in one year’s time, more than 400 people were killed or injured in traffic-related crashes. Of those crashes, 85 were speed-related, 33 occurred between 9 p.m. and 2:59 a.m., and 22 were hit-and-runs. There were also 292 arrests as a result of Carlsbad car accidents.
Speeding and alcohol impairment is consistently among the major contributors to accidents across the U.S., including in Carlsbad. Other common causes of accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Driver distractions include anything that causes the driver to take one or both hands from the wheel, draw their eyes from the road, or take their attention away from the task of driving. Some things result in more than one of these types of distractions, and texting involves all three. Other examples of driver distractions include other cell phone use, eating or drinking, visiting with passengers, dealing with loose pets in the car, adjusting stereo or vehicle controls, or external distractions such as a previous accident, a billboard, or other people and cars.
- Failure to yield. Red lights and stop signs indicate that a driver should stop and wait for the light to change or a gap in the flow of traffic before proceeding. Failure to do so constitutes a failure to yield the right-of-way and is a common cause of broadside accidents.
- Teenage drivers. Teens lack the developmental ability to scan the roadway for hazards effectively. In addition, they lack the experience with driving that will help them to make sound driving decisions and are prone to fatigued driving due to additional sleep requirements for young adults as they grow and develop.
- Tailgating is the act of one vehicle following another so closely that its driver has little time to react or come to a stop when the vehicle in the lead suddenly brakes. This is the main cause of rear-end accidents.
- Driver fatigue. Often experienced by night shift workers and long-haul truck drivers, drowsy driving happens when a driver has failed to get adequate sleep before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Sometimes, even after getting the right amount of sleep, a driver may suffer a sleep condition such as sleep apnea, which causes temporary pauses in their breathing throughout the night and leaves them drowsy during the day.
- Aggressive driving and road rage. Aggressive driving is usually a result of impatience or a desire to push through traffic congestion by tailgating, red light running, or improper lane changes. Road rage, on the other hand, is an attempt to assault another driver or punish them for perceived driving infractions through behaviors such as deliberately tailgating, refusing to let the vehicle pass, honking, yelling, rude gestures, exiting the vehicle at a stoplight to confront another driver, or even attempting to bump or ram a vehicle off of the roadway.
SERIOUS INJURIES FROM CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT
Any part of a person’s body can be injured in a car accident. Due to the force of the collision and the presence of sharp metal, glass, and other materials, injuries are often serious and sometimes fatal. Some of the serious injuries that can result from car accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries occur due to a violent jolt or blow to the head. Severe brain injuries can lead to devastating lifelong effects, including the inability to speak or understand language, difficulty controlling emotions or behavior, difficulty remembering past events, the inability to perform coordinated movements or to walk, and damage to the five primary senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
- Spinal cord injuries. Like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries create damage that is often permanent. This type of injury can result in paralysis, which is the loss of sensation and function in part of the body. Spinal cord injuries occurring higher up in the neck area can result in paralysis of a person’s limbs, torso, and pelvis. This is known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Spinal cord injuries in the mid-back can result in paraplegia, which is paralysis in the legs, feet, and pelvis. This type of injury is categorized as complete, meaning that the victim has lost all sensation and function below the site of the injury, or incomplete, meaning that the individual retains some sensation and function below the injury site.
- Broken bones. Broken bones are also a common injury suffered in car accidents as the violence of the accident can result in body parts being crushed or twisted. Broken bones that protrude through the skin are particularly concerning as they can lead to infections in the blood, tissues surrounding the bone, or even in the bone itself.
- Internal injuries. Car accidents can also result in internal injuries, which can lead to serious blood loss. A common type of internal injury suffered in a car accident is a pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung. This generally happens when an individual’s ribs are broken, and a bone fragment punctures the lung.
Those injured in a car accident through the fault of someone else, such as another driver, can pursue compensation for their physical injuries, such as those discussed above, as well as other damages caused by the accident.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT?
Liability means legal responsibility. Put differently, the liable party is the one legally responsible for paying for the damages – including personal injuries as well as property damage – that they caused.
Legal liability must be proven in court based on a recognized legal claim. The most common legal basis for holding a person liable for a Carlsbad car accident is negligence. To prove negligence in California and establish someone is liable for your injuries, you must show that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care depends on the at-fault party’s role in the accident and is based on what a reasonable person would do in similar circumstances. For example, if your accident was caused by another motorist, the duty of care that the motorist owed to you was to operate their motor vehicle safely and legally.
- The at-fault party breached its duty of care. The breach refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that were out of line with the duty of care they owed you. In the case of a car accident, this may have been done by speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, driving distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise driving unsafely.
- The breach resulted in an accident that caused you to suffer injuries that created expenses and impacts on your life.
Carlsbad car accident attorneys, such as those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, can help you prove the elements of negligence and counter any defenses the other parties may bring up.
COMPENSATION FOR CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES
If you were injured in a Carlsbad car accident that you can prove was the fault of someone else, you may be entitled to recover compensatory damages in an amount proven at trial. Compensatory damages are economic and non-economic damages in the amount needed to compensate you for your loss.
For example, if you had to pay $50,000 in medical bills out of pocket, you may be entitled to $50,000 in compensation for past medical expenses. As another example, if you suffered from emotional distress due to a traumatic car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for that pain and suffering, in an amount to be determined at trial by a jury.
In limited cases, punitive damages might be available. They are compensation above and beyond compensatory damages that are designed to punish the liable party. In California, punitive damages are only available if the liable party acted with malice, fraud, or oppression. It is a very difficult standard to meet. For example, a drunk driver that has already had a DUI and is playing chicken with another car would likely meet the threshold for punitive damages.
CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY – FAQS
DO I REALLY NEED TO HIRE A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
The lawyers at our personal injury law firm often get asked by prospective clients (as well as social acquaintances) whether it is really necessary to hire an attorney after a car accident in Carlsbad. The answer is yes.
While you are not legally required to hire an attorney, hiring a Carlsbad car accident attorney will increase the likelihood of obtaining the full amount of compensation you are entitled to and decrease the interference the case has on your life since your attorney will handle the day-to-day responsibilities in your car accident case.
WOULDN’T IT BE EASIER AND MORE AFFORDABLE TO FILE MY CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT ON MY OWN?
No. Car accident cases are often complex, particularly for those who do not have legal experience. An experienced car accident attorney can provide services that would be difficult to replicate on your own. A car accident attorney will determine what viable causes of action you might have, determine what parties to sue, anticipate defenses other parties might bring, and respond to defense filings such as motions to dismiss, oppositions, and motions for summary judgment.
Unless you have legal experience, doing these things for yourself can be challenging and lead to mistakes. For example, if you do not respond to statements of undisputed fact in a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court might deem certain facts against you as admitted.
Additionally, your attorney will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Being represented by a reputable personal injury law firm, especially one like Gomez Trial Attorneys, will help ensure that insurance companies play fair and bring their best settlement offers to the table. We have been told by more than one insurance adjuster that our firm has a strong reputation and that this forces the companies to bring strong settlement offers.
HOW MUCH DOES A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY COST?
If you work with Gomez Trial Attorneys, you pay nothing until we obtain compensation on your behalf through a settlement or trial verdict. Our Carlsbad car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no money out of pocket initially and the Carlsbad car accident attorney only gets paid if they obtain compensation for you through settlement or a trial. The attorney then takes a percentage of the amount recovered to pay for their services. Our firm also offers free case evaluations so it is at a minimum worth talking to an attorney to evaluate your options.
CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT CASE – FAQS
MY LOVED ONE DIED IN A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT. IS THERE COMPENSATION AVAILABLE FOR ME?
If you are the spouse or domestic partner, parent, or child of someone who died in a Carlsbad car accident that was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you may pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the costs you can seek to recover through a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses for the treatment of the deceased’s final injury.
- Funeral services and the costs of burial or cremation.
- Lost income, including the income the deceased would have earned if they had survived.
- The loss of services and support provided by the deceased to their family members.
- Loss of love, community, affection, and guidance provided to family members.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE AT-FAULT DRIVER IN MY CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT CASE IS UNINSURED?
The availability of insurance is one of the most important factors in a Carlsbad car accident case, as it pays most settlements or awards. If the at-fault party does not have insurance in your case, this will present extra complications. While it is possible to file a lawsuit against an uninsured person and even to obtain a judgment in your favor, it is generally more difficult to collect compensation from the at-fault party directly. This scenario will make it particularly important to hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent you in your case.
Your attorney will carefully review your case to identify other potentially liable parties who have insurance resources that can compensate you. Additionally, tapping into your own insurance resources might be necessary, including auto policies with uninsured/underinsured motorist protection or MedPay, as well as your personal health insurance policy.
IF I FILE A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT, DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
Most Carlsbad car accident cases resolve before they see the inside of a courtroom. This means that it is likely that your case will settle out of court. Seek the guidance of an attorney who is comfortable fighting for the compensation you deserve through litigation, as well as negotiating a settlement.
HOW MUCH IS THE AVERAGE CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT IN CARLSBAD?
Settlement offers are often confidential, so it is impossible to tell what the “average” settlement for a car accident case in Carlsbad is. Additionally, settlement amounts vary greatly depending on the facts of the case so looking at averages is not a good way to determine what your case is worth. Instead, the facts and evidence in your case must be evaluated. Factors that can influence the value of your case include:
- Whether the at-fault party has insurance.
- Your age and where you are in your career at the time of the accident, as this impacts economic damage categories such as lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.
- Your patience as you wait for your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement offer. Settlement offers can come at any time in the process, but generally, it takes time for your attorney to negotiate a settlement that comes close to covering all of your losses and is truly fair. Sometimes this requires filing a lawsuit and starting the litigation process, where the defendant’s insurance provider faces the choice to either pay out more than they wanted or pay for litigation and face the uncertainty of a trial.
NEED A CARLSBAD CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY? GET GOMEZ.
If you are looking for a car accident attorney in Carlsbad, California, Gomez Trial Attorneys is here for you. Let our experienced lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys answer the questions you have about your San Diego car accident case. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 866-TRIAL LAW (866-874-2552) today for your free case evaluation.
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“John helped me find doctors, he referred me to his neurologist, his physical therapist, I mean, anything I needed he was right there, every step of the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better result from all of this, I would absolutely recommend Gomez Trial Attorneys.”
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“They held my hand the whole time and kept me in the loop every aspect of my case which was very refreshing to me. They helped me get my settlement offer as fast as possible and I was able to keep my farm”
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