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After a car accident in Oakland, you may be in need of compensation to cover the costs of vehicle damage, medical bills from injuries, and more. To get this compensation, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.

LegalFinders can help you find a high-quality car accident lawyer in Oakland to get you started on your claim.

Auto accident involving two cars in Oakland

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a car accident, you are probably considering filing an insurance claim to cover the cost of the damages.

Usually, after you file a claim, it is accepted and processed. Your insurance or the other party’s insurance company will send you money to cover the cost of your medical bills and repair or replace your damaged property.

However, there are instances when an insurance company will either reject a valid claim or try to grossly underpay your claim. If this happens to you, an Oakland car accident lawyer or law office can help you through the insurance claims process.

LegalFinders is designed to connect you with the best Oakland law firms and attorneys near you. Reach out to us now to learn more.

Who Is At Fault For A Car Accident In Oakland?

The motorist who is responsible for the auto accident is considered to be “at fault.” A driver who was texting while driving, did not see a stop sign, and crashed into your car would be deemed at fault, for example.

It is important to note that there is a difference between fault and liability. A liable party is considered responsible for paying damages. Even though a driver may be at fault, they may not be considered liable.

Is The At-Fault Driver Always Liable In A California Car Accident?

In Oakland, the at-fault driver in an auto accident is not always the liable party. For instance, if a car has a faulty manufacturing design that causes you to crash into another vehicle, you would be responsible for the accident, but the company that created the vehicle is liable.

There are also times when the roads you are driving on are not kept in the condition required for safe driving, such as poor lighting.

If the poor lighting caused you to pull out in front of another car you could not see, you are still responsible for the accident. However, the city or county is liable because road conditions are their responsibility.

If you are unsure who should be held liable in your car accident case, you may need a Bay Area attorney to look over your case. They can offer legal advice on who should be held liable for your damages.

What Are Your Legal Options After A Car Crash In Oakland?

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Oakland, you may be seeking ways to recover compensation for your medical bills and property damage.

One option is to file a personal injury claim. This allows you to seek compensation from the person who is being held liable for the accident.

If the claim is accepted, it will be processed, and compensation will be sent to you to cover costs resulting from the accident, such as lost wages. If the claim is denied, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to try to recover needed compensation.

You are not required to have an attorney specializing in personal injury law. However, hiring one can help you build a rock-solid case and maximize your settlement.

LegalFinders can help you find award-winning attorneys in Oakland.

What To Do After A Car Accident In Oakland

You may feel stressed and overwhelmed if you have been involved in a car accident in Oakland. You may be unsure of the steps to take next, but if you follow these steps, you can increase the odds of getting a fair personal injury settlement.

1. Gather Evidence

While you are still at the accident scene, gather as much evidence as possible.

The following evidence should be gathered immediately after the accident:

  • Pictures and videos of the vehicles involved in the collision
  • Photographs or videos of the scene of the incident
  • Photographs or videos of injuries sustained in the accident
  • The police report when it is made available
  • The contact information of everyone involved — names, phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, and license place numbers
  • Eyewitness statements

If you must seek medical treatment for injuries due to the car accident, keep any medical bills and documentation you are given. This will be important information for your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

2. Contact An Oakland Car Accident Attorney

Next, contact an Oakland car accident attorney to immediately help you with your claim.

Reasons that hiring an Oakland car accident attorney can be beneficial include:

  • Your car accident attorney is skilled at finding all the damages you can claim from your accident.
  • Your insurance attorney will help you through the insurance claim process from start to finish.
  • A personal injury attorney can ensure you do not do or say something that could damage your chances at a fair settlement — such as claiming fault.
  • Personal injury lawyers are experienced in dealing with insurance companies.
  • An Oakland car accident attorney can handle all communications on your behalf, such as with the insurance adjuster, the other side’s legal representation, and more.

3. File A Car Accident Claim

The Judicial Branch of California has stated that car accident victims have two years from the date of the auto accident to file a personal injury claim.

Staying within important deadlines and statutes of limitations are only some reasons that hiring a personal injury attorney can benefit you and your car accident claim. You do not need an attorney to file your claim, but it can be beneficial in getting your settlement payout.

4. Negotiate A Fair Settlement Offer

Once you file your personal injury claim, your car accident attorney will wait for the opposing side’s council to respond. Once this happens, negotiations will begin.

Your Oakland car accident attorney will help you come up with a reasonable settlement offer, and both sides will go back and forth with their proposals until they can agree upon an amount.

5. File A Personal Injury Lawsuit If Necessary

While the majority of claims are settled, there are times when negotiations do not work. If this happens, you should consider beginning a personal injury lawsuit to get the most compensation possible.

What Damages Can You Claim For A Personal Injury Case In California?

You may be able to claim several types of economic and non-economic damages on your car accident claim. These can include medical expenses, car replacement costs, reimbursement for Uber rides when you were without a vehicle, and more.

Some of the common damages you can recover after an auto accident in California include:

  • Lost wages: You may recover damages for lost salary and benefits or lost wages due to the accident.
  • Lost earning capacity: For severe injuries like paralysis, you may be able to recover future lost wages.
  • Pain and Suffering or Loss of Consortium: Loss of Consortium damages can be recovered if the accident deprived you of a family relationship. Pain and suffering damages cover the mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident.
  • Medical expenses: Any medical bills related to the car accident, including current and future.
  • Wrongful Death: Wrongful death damages can be recovered due to the loss of financial support and companionship due to the loss of a partner, child, or other family member.

What Injuries Can You List In Car Accident Cases?

Any injury that resulted from the car or truck accident can be listed in your injury claim.

Some common injuries listed in Oakland, San Francisco, and Bay Area accidents include:

  • Bruises and contusions
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Fractured and broken bone
  • Sprains and dislocated joints
  • Burns, disfigurement, and scarring
  • Chest and back injuries
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Death

Common Causes Of Car Accidents

There are many different causes of car accidents in California, including:

  • The condition of the roads, like potholes, and bad weather, such as ice and rain
  • Driver error, including drunk driving, speeding, texting while operating a vehicle, and other types of negligent driving
  • If a vehicle has been made faultily, such as a manufacturing error

Legally, drivers have a duty to other motorists to drive safely and remain focused on the road. When drivers fail to do this, it is called driver negligence and is one of the leading causes of all roadway accidents.

What Factors Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim In California?

In California, your injury claim can be affected by many different factors. Some of these factors include the following:

At-Fault Insurance Laws

The state of California is considered an at-fault state. This means your injury or property damage claim will be filed with the liable party’s insurance carrier if a car accident occurs. In no-fault states, each party must file with their insurance provider.

California Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations

Anyone involved in an accident in California has two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim, according to the Judicial Branch of California.

While this may seem like a lot of time, insurance companies often try to drag out the claims process to avoid paying the claim.

If your insurance company is giving you the runaround, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Principle

California adheres to a pure comparative negligence principle stated in section 1714 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. This means that even if you were found to be 99% responsible for the auto accident, you can still file a personal injury claim.

The amount you will be compensated, however, depends on how responsible you were for the accident. For instance, if you were 80% responsible for the accident, you would only receive 20% of the compensation you filed for.

Motor Vehicle Accident Rates In Oakland

The California Office of Traffic Safety has reported that in 2020, the motor vehicle accident rates were at a new all-time high. The leading causes of most accidents in Alameda County are speeding and negligent driving.

Facts on car accidents in Oakland, CA, include:

  • There were a total of 2289 fatal and injury accidents reported in 2020.
  • 131 accidents were caused by alcohol.
  • A total of 143 motorcycle accidents were reported.
  • 255 pedestrians were involved in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Bicyclists were involved in 154 car accidents.
  • Speed was a factor in 251 collisions.
  • There were 496 reported hit-and-runs in 2020.

Oakland Car Accident Claim FAQs

The following are the most frequently asked questions regarding auto accidents in Oakland and the Bay Area.

How Much Is A Car Accident Settlement Worth In Oakland?

The settlement amount of a car accident varies from case to case and is dependent on multiple factors, including:

  • How bad your injuries were
  • How much did the accident and your injuries affect your daily life
  • Whether you were able to make a full recovery
  • The amount of pain and suffering you went through
  • If a death resulted from the accident

The more severe the injury, the more money you will likely receive in a settlement.

What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need For A Car Accident In Oakland?

If you have been in a car accident in Oakland, the type of lawyer you need specializes in car accidents, personal injury law, or other related practice areas. The attorneys have the experience and knowledge to build a strong case for your claim.

LegalFinders was designed to increase accessibility to personal injury lawyers in your area.

Can You Sue For A Car Accident In Oakland?

Yes, you can file a lawsuit for damages if your personal injury claim has not been settled out of court. This is a very rare circumstance due to most claims reaching a settlement before reaching trial.

How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Cost In Oakland?

Many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay any upfront fees when you hire an attorney. If they do not settle your claim or receive a favorable verdict in your case, you do not have to pay them.

Connect With The Best Car Accident Attorneys Serving Oakland

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, we at LegalFinders can help connect you with an accident attorney near you.

Our network consists of well-established and dedicated law firms and attorneys who will assist in getting you the justice you and your family need and deserve. For a free consultation and case evaluation regarding your legal issues, contact us today.

Article Sources

California Legislation Information, Civil Code — Section 1714

California Office of Traffic Safety — OTS Crash Rankings Results for Alameda county

Judicial Branch of California — Statute of Limitations

Los Angeles TimesWith deaths from car accidents soaring, what can government do?

Stanford Law School — Li v. Yellow Cab Co., 532 P.2d 1226 (1975)