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San Diego Car Accident Attorney

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Before selecting a San Diego auto accident attorney to handle your claim, consider:

  • John Gomez (our managing partner) is considered by his peers to be among the premier trial lawyers in the U.S. Many lawyers claim to be trial attorneys, but John’s work speaks for itself. Lawyers USA named John the national trial lawyer of the year in 2010, and he was chosen as San Diego’s trial lawyer of the year on two occasions. Lawyers throughout southern California refer their biggest cases to John and his team to handle. Very few – if any – San Diego trial lawyers can claim to have a national reputation. We have been told time and again by referral lawyers that once the insurance carrier or their defense lawyers learn of our firm’s involvement in a case, the settlement offer can dramatically increase.
  • Gomez Trial Attorneys will assist you with obtaining medical treatment and negotiating your medical bills. While we live and breathe personal injury law daily, you are clearly outside your comfort zone. Our empathetic team of lawyers and support staff understands how difficult this process can be for injury victims. We have built our firm on referrals from fellow accident injury lawyers and word-of-mouth advertising from extremely satisfied former clients. We aim to be different from the large advertising law firms by providing personal attention.
  • Insurance carriers are well aware of our reputation. It is our earnest belief that the team of trial lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys is elite and among the very best in the nation, let alone California. We have multiple lawyers who have received statewide recognition. State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and other insurance giants keep detailed notes about the many law firms they deal with. Our verdicts speak for themselves. We are considered by many of our peers, along with insurance defense lawyers, to be the premier car accident law firm in San Diego.
  • At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our commitment is to our clients. Word-of-mouth referrals from former clients helped fuel the growth of our firm. A common complaint we hear from clients whose cases we have taken over after they fired their former firm is that they never spoke with – let alone met – a lawyer. In fact, they dealt with only legal support staff. We take time to get to know our clients and how the car accident truly impacted their life. As trial lawyers, we are storytellers. How can you tell your client’s personal story if you never met or spoke with such a person?
  • Do NOT pick an accident attorney in San Diego based only on an advertisement. Please research and learn what former clients state of their experience working with a specific attorney or law firm. Many law firms are little more than settlement mills that are more concerned with handling a heavy volume of claims than offering personal attention and aggressive litigation. Many consumers simply search “car accident San Diego” in Google and then mistakenly select the biggest advertiser. You only get one bite of the apple, and it is essential to thoroughly research which accident attorney in San Diego will best suit your needs.

If you suffered injuries in a crash in the San Diego area, first get the medical treatment you need. Then, call the San Diego car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys.

We work with clients who suffered many types of injuries in a variety of car accidents, and we can:

  • Assess what happened and inform you of your legal rights and options
  • Determine all parties that should be liable for your losses
  • Pursue the right insurance claims
  • Present evidence to support your claims of liability and damages
  • Calculate your total claim value and fight for the full amount your deserve
  • See your claim through to the most favorable outcome possible

Gomez Trial Attorneys: Helping San Diego Car Accident Victims Seek The Compensation They DeserveBest Lawyers of the Year John H Gomez San Diego 2021 Gomez Trial Attorneys

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have extensive experience helping car accident victims seek the compensation they deserve following severe accidents.

Our past results speak for themselves:

  • $13,500,000 for an auto accident involving brain injuries
  • $4,500,000 for a pedestrian who sustained a brain injury in an accident
  • $1,700,000 for a pedestrian who suffered serious back injuries
  • $1,698,750 awarded to the victim of a serious auto accident

While our past results cannot guarantee an outcome in your case, Gomez Trial Attorneys has the experience and know-how to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. This is true whether we aggressively secure a fair settlement with the liable driver’s insurance company or take the case to court and win an award of damages.

Common Dangers That Increase the Risk for San Diego Drivers

San Diego’s traffic usually keeps moving even during rush hour, and the city does not usually see the same high degree of traffic that you might find in, for example, Los Angeles. However, San Diego traffic does present some significant risks that can increase the odds of auto accidents.

#1. Tourist Traffic

Tourists make up much of San Diego’s traffic. Since tourists are typically unfamiliar with the area’s infrastructure, they often fail to identify hazards or predict risks, from curves on the road to areas frequented by cyclists and pedestrians. The attractions to see in San Diego extend from the coast to every corner of the county. Thus, tourists can significantly increase the risk of auto accidents on any number of our roadways.

#2. Busy Areas

San Diego roadways include many difficult spots, such as certain freeway entrances and exits, where traffic tends to jam up, and drivers may behave more aggressively as they try to get through traffic and reach their destination. As a result, accident risk may increase substantially in heavier traffic. While San Diego drivers do not tend to drive as aggressively as drivers in other big cities, the traffic can prove daunting, especially for visitors to the area.

#3. Terrain

San Diego has hills and valleys that can make drivers change speed as they navigate the roads. Not only that, but the mountainous or hilly terrain includes many curving roads, including blind curves that can prove difficult or impossible to see around. Drivers may struggle to navigate those areas, especially in poor weather conditions. Some drivers also forget to slow down on the curves and allow space for other drivers. This can easily result in serious accidents.

#4. Weather

Throughout most of the year, San Diego weather is sunny and dry, with periods from May through September when it may see zero days of rain. Through its rainiest times in December through March, San Diego typically sees just four days of rain per month. Those dry conditions and the generally balmy weather in the area make it the ideal climate for many visitors and residents.

However, that lack of rain means that when rain does come in, drivers may be unused to navigating on slick, wet roads. In addition, the streets may grow slicker during rain than they do in other parts of the country since oil will collect on the rain and rise to the top of the water when it does rain. On rainy days, San Diego residents can expect more overall delays and challenges.

Dangerous Locations for San Diego Drivers

Being aware of the most hazardous driving locations in San Diego can help locals and visitors to avoid accidents.

  • University Avenue’s many intersections, especially as a pedestrian. These intersections see a great deal of commercial traffic because of their location on a booming avenue. In these areas, many people constantly have their eyes on their phones instead of on the road, which can lead to a substantial increase in accident risk.
  • El Cajon Boulevard and 36th St. The poor design of this intersection can make it very difficult to navigate safely, especially at night, when its poor lighting poses an increased danger to San Diego residents and visitors alike.
  • Market Street and 6th Ave. At this dangerous intersection, inadequate traffic signals make it difficult for San Diego drivers to clearly see who has the right of way. It also lacks bold, bright striping for crosswalks, which can make it difficult for pedestrians to cross safely.
  • 4th Avenue and C Street. This is a place where increased traffic and high rates of speed have led to significantly increased accident risk over the last few years.
  • Interstate 5. This interstate has a reputation as one of the most dangerous highways for San Diego drivers.

On I-163 South, drivers may also struggle with long backups and heavy traffic, all of which can significantly raise the risk of an accident along this popular road, which may fill with traffic through the early hours of the day and during rush hour.

If you suffered serious injuries in an auto accident, or an auto/pedestrian accident, at any of these intersections, or any other in the city, contact the experienced attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Statistics for San Diego

With an estimated population of about 1.5 million people, San Diego is the second-largest city in California and the eighth-largest city in America. The California Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that as of December 2018, 2,992,754 cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles were registered in San Diego County. Traffic problems are a natural consequence of so many residents with so many vehicles.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, an estimated 20,270 victims suffered injury or died in car crashes in San Diego in just one year.

The total includes vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and any accidents involving bicycle riders.

  • Overall accidents resulting in death or injury: 20,270
  • Alcohol-involved accidents: 2,446
  • Motorcycle accidents: 1,731
  • Pedestrian accidents: 1,286
  • Bicycle accidents: 837

Nearly 24 percent of accidents in one recent year involved a speeding driver, while around 11 percent involved alcohol.

Accidents occur for many reasons, and risky driving behaviors caused or contributed to the serious crashes that injured or killed 9,476 people.

  • Drunk driving: Alcohol consumption was a contributing factor in 1,001 San Diego accidents where drivers or their passengers sustained injuries.
  • Speeding: Speed was a factor in 2,245 accidents with injuries or fatalities. NHTSA statistics show that, nationwide, speeding is a factor in 26 percent of all fatal accidents.
  • Drug-impaired driving: The OTS has no local data, but California Safety Quick Stats show that 15 percent of the drivers killed in accidents tested positive for drugs, both legal and illegal, which can also be considered reckless driving.
  • Seat belts: 586 people died in California accidents because they weren’t wearing safety restraints. Fatalities occurred in all seating positions in the involved vehicles. This is a 3 percent increase over the previous years.

If you do get into a car accident of any kind, the experienced attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you learn more about your rights with a free case consultation.

Car Accident Injuries

Statistics indicate that the average driver will be involved in three or four auto accidents during their lifetime. Nearly 30 percent of all crashes nationwide result in at least one injury or fatality. As such, the odds suggest that every motorist will eventually be involved in a collision. A motorist may sustain injuries in such an incident. Most people do not plan for such a circumstance and need to hire a competent San Diego auto accident attorney to help them navigate the process.

As such, the best way to protect yourself – aside from driving responsibly and maintaining proper insurance coverage – is to contact an accident lawyer near you immediately after a crash. Gomez Trial Attorneys is a team of lawyers that has been fighting for injured clients successfully for more than a decade.

Below is an overview of the issues relating to San Diego car accidents. If an at-fault driver harmed you, contact an attorney from Gomez Trial Attorneys for your free consultation as soon as possible.

San Diego Accident Data

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, more than 19,000 San Diego traffic accidents occurred in 2014 that resulted in at least one injury or fatality. This total includes car wrecks involving all types of vehicles, including pedestrians.

Specifically, the following number of injuries and fatal crashes occurred across the county during that calendar year:

  • Overall: 19,236
  • Alcohol-involved accidents: 2,233
  • Motorcycle accidents: 1,470
  • Pedestrian accidents: 1,223
  • Bicycle accidents: 1,059

More than 22 percent of these crashes were speed-related. More than 11 percent of these accidents involved alcohol. Every year, thousands of people suffer wrongful injuries in San Diego car accidents. These people all need help in some way, whether it’s paying medical bills or recovering lost wages due to being absent from work due to the accident. The accident injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys can help and have done so over the years for countless injured clients by getting them the compensation they deserve.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Every part of the body is vulnerable in an auto accident. While lives are saved, and injuries are minimized when people wear seatbelts, our accident injury attorneys have represented clients with many different injuries. However, some car accident injuries tend to be more common than others.

Examples of these common injuries include:

Other auto accident injuries can have long-term effects on car accident victims. These injuries are emotional/psychological. Any pursuit of financial recovery should include every injury inflicted on a person by a negligent or reckless driver. Our car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys will fully understand how to quantify your pain and suffering from a crash.

Should You Call the Police Following an Accident?

Yes. California Vehicle Codes require that you report all accidents with injuries or fatalities. Contact the local police department if you’re in an accident in San Diego. If your accident occurs on the highway, you must report it to the California Highway Patrol.

If an SDPD or CHP officer does not come to the scene to take your report, you must still comply with these reporting responsibilities:

  • You must report any accident that involves injuries or fatalities.
  • When a police officer comes to an accident scene, you and your passengers must produce identification.
  • If the vehicle you’re driving belongs to someone else, you must provide the owner’s information.
  • If you’re in an accident involving an injury or a fatality and a police officer doesn’t come to the scene, you must make a counter-report as soon as possible. You can file a counter-report with a local police department or a highway patrol location.
  • The vehicle owner must make a report for you if you cannot do so.
  • The California Highway Patrol has the authority to follow up with witnesses, drivers, and passengers to request additional information.

What to Do Immediately Following an Auto Accident?

If you suffered injuries in a car accident, move into a safe position, preferably to the side of the road. As you wait for the police to arrive, you should avoid discussing the specifics of the accident with the other party. Doing so could harm your position later as you attempt to recover damages. If you feel it’s appropriate, simply exchange contact and insurance information with the other motorist.

When the police arrive, provide your identification, insurance information, and registration to the officer. Provide a factual description of how you saw the accident unfold. The police officer may record the names of witnesses, but once again, you should not assume that this is occurring. Take names down yourself as you may need them later. Finally, get the name of the police officer who has reported to the scene.

The first place you should go after your automobile accident is to the nearest medical facility to obtain a full evaluation. Even if you do not feel as though you are seriously injured, you should always take this step because many serious injuries do not immediately present themselves. You will also need a record of your injuries later in the recovery process.

Finally, contact an experienced auto accident attorney to assist you with opening a personal injury claim with your insurance company. Remember, you should not speak to any insurance adjuster or sign any settlement offers from insurance companies, particularly those that represent the other driver. Instead, contact an experienced auto accident attorney who understands how to deal with insurance companies. Doing so will help you avoid making mistakes and focus on your medical treatment for a traumatic experience.

California Comparative Fault

Many auto accidents are not clear-cut in terms of who is at fault and who is not. With some crashes, both parties are partially at fault; however, you still need to protect your legal rights. You should hire a car accident lawyer to help you determine who caused the auto accident.

Uninsured Motorists in California

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 15 percent of motorists in California may not carry auto insurance. Further, some drivers carry minimum coverage that may not be sufficient to compensate you fully for your injuries. Therefore, someone who does not have coverage or insufficient insurance may injure you in a car accident.

This is why you should purchase uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy. If you suffer injuries in an auto accident and the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance coverage, you can pursue a personal injury claim against your own insurance company.

San Diego Car Accident FAQs

San Diego is the perfect place to live, work, and play. The weather is sunny and warm, and the coast is a beautiful backdrop for the city’s arts, entertainment, and outdoor fun. Even the freeways are scenic and a pleasure to navigate unless a morning rush-hour accident takes you by surprise.

Traffic jams, accidents, and injuries are everyday facts of life in San Diego. The California Office of Traffic Safety recorded 9,476 accident-related injuries and deaths in San Diego during 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that 231 fatalities took place in San Diego County during 2017.

If one of the city’s many recent auto accidents injured you or a family member, our car accident attorneys can help you understand your legal rights. In the meantime, we’ve prepared this FAQ to provide you with some important information.

Do I Have to Report My San Diego Auto Accident to My Insurance Company?

Yes. You should report your claim to your insurance agent or company for several reasons.

Personal auto policies usually have a clause that requires an insured to promptly report accidents. This is especially important if you, your passengers, or anyone in the other vehicle sustained an injury.

A delayed claim report sometimes jeopardizes your insurer’s right to conduct a timely investigation and settle pending claims. Even if you believe that you didn’t cause the accident, insurance companies must evaluate liability claims.

To comply with California’s financial responsibility laws, your insurance carrier or agent must verify to the Department of Motor Vehicles that you had liability coverage in force when the accident occurred.

If you’re injured, and the other driver doesn’t have insurance, a claim submission places your insurance company on notice of your potential for an uninsured motorist claim. A timely report allows the company to make relevant investigative decisions.

While most insurance companies may not deny your coverage or reject your claim because of a delayed report, the company may reserve its right to deny coverage at a later time. Insurers sometimes use a reservation of rights letter to motivate you to cooperate. They also use coverage issues as leverage when negotiating your property damage, underinsured motorists, underinsured motorists, and other first-party claims.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Work in San Diego?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pays your injury claim when the driver who caused your injury doesn’t have liability insurance. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pays when the other driver has liability coverage, but their coverage is less than the amount necessary to compensate you for your harm.

UM and UIM coverages are not mandatory in California, but an insurance company must offer them to you.

If you do not want UM or UIM coverage, you must sign a waiver.

  • Auto policies generally include a broad uninsured driver definition:
  • A driver who has no bodily injury liability insurance
  • A driver with a lower limit than required by the financial responsibility law
  • A person whose insurer denies coverage or is confirmed insolvent
  • A hit-and-run driver who leaves the scene unidentified

When you make a UM or UIM claim, your insurance carrier fills the liability insurer’s role. The claim department investigates the accident, analyzes the liability, evaluates your injuries, and settles your claim. Just as you might with the other driver’s liability carrier, you must provide documentation for your injuries and negotiate your injury claim. You must also cooperate with your insurer and provide whatever documentation it requests.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m in a San Diego Car Accident?Number1Award2019

Yes. Consult a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling car accident and taxi accident cases, especially:

  • If you suffered injuries in an accident: when you pursue a damage claim against another driver, you should have an attorney represent you from the initial investigation through settlement.
  • If a non-relative/non-resident passenger is injured
  • If the other driver and their passengers sustain injuries

What if the Other Driver Leaves the Scene?

When a driver leaves the accident scene without providing their personal and insurance information, it’s a crime under California Vehicle Codes. The court prosecutes hit-and-run drivers and penalizes them with fines and/or imprisonment. If the accident involves injuries, the penalties are harsher. When a hit-and-run driver injures you, you may file a liability claim against your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.

How Do I Verify the Other Driver’s Proof of Financial Responsibility?

Any driver involved in an accident must provide identification and insurance information when you request it. If you neglect to obtain the information at the accident scene, the Department of Motor Vehicles verifies when you send in a Financial Responsibility Request Form.

How Do You Obtain a Copy of Your San Diego Car Accident Report?

Your lawyer will usually do this for you, but:

  • If the San Diego Police Department investigated your accident, you can print a report online 24 hours a day at Lexis/Nexis Police eCrash. Online reports cost $10.
  • You can also obtain your SDPD report in person for a $12 fee at the Records Division, 1401 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101.
  • You may submit a mail request by sending a self-addressed envelope and a $12 fee to SDPD Records MS#726, P.O. Box 121431, San Diego, CA, 92112-1431.
  • To request a California Highway Patrol report, you must complete an Application for Release of Information. CHP report fees are $10 for up to 25 pages. Your request must include a copy of your driver’s license or identification card to prove you are a party of interest who is entitled to a copy of the report.

Of course, if you’re recovering from serious injuries, the last thing you need to do is deal with paperwork. These are things your car accident lawyer can do for you.

Should You Call the Police Following an Accident?

Yes. California Vehicle Codes require that you report all accidents with injuries or fatalities. Contact the local police department if you’re in an accident in San Diego. If your accident occurs on the highway, you must report it to the California Highway Patrol.

If an SDPD or CHP officer doesn’t come to the scene to take your report, you must still comply with these reporting responsibilities:

  • You must report any accident that involves injuries or fatalities.
  • When a police officer comes to an accident scene, you and your passengers must produce identification.
  • If the vehicle you’re driving belongs to someone else, you must provide the owner’s information.
  • If you’re in an accident involving an injury or a fatality and a police officer doesn’t come to the scene, you must make a counter-report as soon as possible. You can file a counter-report with a local police department or a highway patrol location.
  • The vehicle owner must make a report for you if you cannot do so.
  • The California Highway Patrol has the authority to follow up with witnesses, drivers, and passengers to request additional information.

For property damage-only accidents:

  • You must comply with requests from involved drivers or passengers for identification and registration information.
  • If you strike an unoccupied vehicle, you must make an effort to locate the owner and exchange information. If you can’t locate the owner, you must leave a note containing your contact information and an explanation of the accident. You must also file a counter-report with a local police department or the Highway Patrol.

Why Should You Contact the San Diego Car Accident Lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys?

San Diego car accident lawyers

John Gomez, San Diego Car Accident Lawyer

Gomez Trial Attorneys were voted the #1 personal injury attorneys in San Diego. We examine every case before we take it on, and we work to quantify the damages you should recover. Once we have determined the range of damages you deserve, our attorneys derive a plan to aggressively recover those damages.

If we can recover by way of a settlement that’s in the best interest of our client, we will do so. However, if we need to proceed to trial to protect the rights of our clients, we will not hesitate to do so. Contact the car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation if a crash injured you.

Injured in an accident?

We also serve all of San Diego County: Del Mar, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, and Vista.

Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.


655 W Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101

Client Testimonial

Review: 5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“This is the best law firm in San Diego for a reason. I was lucky to have my case picked up by the Gomez Trial Attorneys after I was struck by a car while crossing the street. This was an unexplainably painful time in my life, and, as a 22 year old college student, I did not know what to do. I met Max Halpern, who is the lawyer that represented my case, a week later. Even though I did not know at the time, I could not have been in better hands.

I kept on with my studies, daily life, and physical and mental recovery as Max silently worked hard at my case. All though out my experience, Max kept in constant contact, updating and informing me of everything I needed to know. then one day it was over and Max had won big.

I do not know if it is appropriate to share details of a settlement but I will say that this team took the ugliest, hardest, most painful experience of my life and turned it into something boundlessly positive.

I believe my life is better now for having been represented by Gomez Trial Attorneys and I will walk away from this chapter of my life forever grateful. These people are the living definition of excellence.”

Review by: Bubba E.

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