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Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in San Diego

You may have many questions when you are involved in a car wreck, we are here to help! We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by car accident victims in the city of San Diego.

How Much Is The Average Car Accident Settlement In California?

The settlement verdicts significantly differ depending on the individual facts of the case. Some of these include the extent of the injuries, the impact of the accident on daily life, and the time to and whether you’ll recover fully.

Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the settlement.

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

You need a trial attorney who specializes in car accidents and has a track record of settling claims. These lawyers are well-versed in the laws and statutes that govern personal injury claims and will offer you the help you need.

Can You Sue Someone For A Car Accident In California?

Yes, you can sue someone for an accident in case your injury claim isn’t settled out of court. Most cases usually settle out of court, though, and lawsuits are rare exceptions.

How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge In California?

Most accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This is a system whereby the lawyer only gets paid when the claim is settled, reducing the financial risk of the case.

Car accidents bring plenty of damage, both physically and mentally as well as financially.

Getting the compensation you need after a collision can be stressful, and you may benefit from working with a personal injury lawyer on your case. LegalFinders can help you connect with top lawyers in the San Diego area.

Upset adult driver after car crash

If you’ve been in a car or truck accident in San Diego, California, filing an insurance claim for personal injury and property damage is the best way to foot medical bills, vehicle damage costs, and other losses.

The problem is insurance companies won’t always offer you a fair settlement to cover all the injuries and other damages.

A San Diego car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Working with a well-established law firm grants you access to experienced attorneys with experience in this practice area who will help you fight for a fair settlement.

Keep reading to find out what to do after an accident and get connected to the best car accident lawyers in San Diego.


Who Is At Fault For A Car Accident In San Diego, CA?

Determining who is to blame for a car accident is a key question you’ll need to answer in an auto accident case.
Fault in car accident law refers to who is legally responsible for the crash, either by causing it or creating conditions that led to the accident.

There are numerous levels of fault in an accident, including:

  • Negligence, which is failure to take reasonable care
  • Reckless behavior, which points to irresponsible conduct on the road
  • Intentional misconduct — purposely behaving dangerously while driving

These varying degrees of the intention behind an accident are important markers in determining who is at fault and the amount of compensation.

You can still present a personal injury claim in San Diego even if you’re partly at fault. This is because fault for an accident doesn’t necessarily mean liability.


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

Liability in personal injury law involves the different persons or parties legally responsible for paying for the damages in an accident.

Typically, the at-fault driver is held liable for the accident. However, other parties can also be liable in a crash.

For example, negligent pedestrians or cyclists involved can be held liable. Car manufacturers can also find themselves in the mix if there’s a problem with the car, such as faulty brakes due to a design error.

Government bodies can also be liable for accidents. For instance, a poorly designed road or roadway maintenance roadblocks that cause an accident could transfer some liability.

Multiple parties are often liable in varying degrees for an accident. If all this is confusing, a top-rated trial lawyer can help you identify who is liable in your case.


What Are Your Legal Options After A Car Crash In San Diego, CA?

Just because you’re part of a car or truck collision doesn’t mean you’re helpless. There are legal options, the most common being filing a personal injury claim.

A personal injury claim lets you seek financial or other forms of compensation after the accident. It enables you to negotiate a settlement based on property damage, medical bills, and other losses brought about by the crash.

In most cases, personal injury cases are settled out of court, especially if you’ve got a competent lawyer working with you.

If you aren’t satisfied with the settlement from the claim, you can take additional legal action against the liable parties, such as filing a car accident injury lawsuit.

LegalFinders can connect you with top car accident lawyers to get the legal advice and guidance you need to obtain the compensation you deserve successfully.


What To Do After A Car Accident In San Diego, CA

If you file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit, follow these steps to build a strong case and make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Gather Evidence

Collect as much information related to the crash as possible when the facts of the accident are still fresh. Some basic information to have includes:

  • Photos from the accident scene, including the section of the road and any traffic signs nearby
  • Pictures of the cars involved from multiple angles
  • Contact information for all involved and witness testimonials, if you can
  • Driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers for all drivers involved
  • Insurance policy information and communications with your insurance provider
  • Medical records detailing doctor’s visits, the extent of the injuries, and resulting bills
  • The police report from the accident
  • Other bills and damage estimates related to your car

A lawyer can help you identify other documents that may be important to your case.

2. Contact A San Diego Car Accident Attorney

No matter the size of your accident, it is advisable to get legal help from a lawyer, though it is not a requirement.

You’ll get the peace of mind you need, in addition to other benefits such as:

  • A personal injury attorney can identify all damages to claim (not just obvious ones like medical bills and lost wages during recovery).
  • A lawyer will handle communications with the associated parties, such as the court, insurance adjusters, and the defendant’s legal team.

To have the best chances at recovering fair compensation, it is essential to contact a lawyer immediately before filing an insurance claim.

This is because a lawyer can handle all communications and help you not say anything that may harm your case, such as an admission of fault.

3. File A Car Accident Claim

Either you or the personal injury law firm can file the claim in the correct California court and within the statute of limitations.

The car accident claim has to be filed before the time allotted in the statute of limitations lapses, after which you cannot pursue it further.

4. Negotiate A Fair Settlement Offer

After you file the accident claim, the liable parties or the insurance company are notified and the negotiations begin. The law office usually handles this part of the process if you’ve got one.

At this time, your legal representation goes back and forth to get a favorable settlement for both parties. With a good lawyer, this is where your case will most likely end — you get reasonable compensation, and the matter doesn’t go to court.

5. File A Personal Injury Lawsuit If Necessary

Sometimes, both parties cannot agree on a settlement. In this case, you can file a lawsuit against the liable party for the claim to be determined by a judge or jury.

Having legal counsel at this stage is critical, as they know how to present evidence before the court and build a strong case for you.

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

A personal injury claim seeks to provide compensation for losses following the accident. The claim covers direct damages, such as medical bills, and indirect damages, such as the emotional impacts of the accident.

You can seek compensation to cover:

  • Lost wages: lost salary, wages, or benefits as a result of the accident
  • Medical bills: current and future expenses for injuries related to the accident
  • Lost earning capacity resulting from the long-term effects of injury
  • Pain and suffering caused by the accident, such as disfigurement, emotional distress, etc.
  • The emotional, physical, and other impacts of wrongfully losing a family member or other loved ones


What Injuries Can You List In Car Accident Cases?

Any injury resulting from an accident may be cited in a car accident claim. Despite many safety features fitted in modern cars, serious injuries may still occur.

Common car accident injuries that lead to claims include:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, and other head injuries
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Neck, chest, and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
  • Wrongful death


What Are The Top Causes Of Car Accidents?

Every motorist has the duty to operate their vehicle safely on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are usually a result of breaching this duty and thus engaging in some form of negligence.

Driver errors such as speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), and aggressive driving (weaving in and out of traffic, frequent lane changes, etc.) are arguably the most common sources of accidents.

Accidents may also occur due to other factors like bad road conditions or poor weather. Vehicle malfunctions, such as brake failures and blown tires, can also cause car crashes.


What Factors Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim In California?

Besides federal law, California also has laws and statutes that may influence your claim, the most significant of which are listed below.

At-Fault Insurance Laws

States can either adopt no-fault or at-fault laws when dealing with car accidents. In a no-fault state, you typically have a personal insurance policy that covers the damages of an accident, regardless of the liable party.

On the other hand, California is an at-fault state, meaning whoever is liable for the accident pays for the damages.

California Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a deadline by which you have to file a personal injury claim. According to the Judicial Council of California, the personal injury claim deadline is two years from the date of the accident.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Principle

Negligence is a critical component in every personal injury claim. In every case, all parties are assigned a ‘percentage’ of negligence based on their fault for the accident.

For example, if someone hits you from behind, they are at fault for the accident. However, if you weren’t wearing your seat belt, you’re also partly to blame and get a percentage of the liability.

California operates on the principle of pure comparative negligence. This means a person’s compensation depends on their level of negligence.

Pure comparative negligence implies that anyone can file a claim, but their payout reduces by the percentage. For instance, if a victim is 30% at fault, they will receive their payout less 30%.


Motor Vehicle Accident Rates In San Diego, California

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, San Diego county had 15,043 total accident victims from car crashes in 2020.

Other facts regarding motor vehicle crash rates in San Diego:

Cases involved the influence of alcohol


Died or were injured as a result of speeding



Connect With The Best Car Accident Attorneys Serving San Diego, CA

Although car accidents can be devastating, having the right lawyer is your best chance of getting what you need and deserve to get your life back on track.

LegalFinders helps people who have experienced accidents link up with the best attorneys in the area, whether you’re in San Diego or surrounding cities like Chula Vista, Escondido, Oceanside, El Cajon, or Carlsbad.

Schedule a free consultation today, and connect with the top lawyers near you.


Our staff are standing by to help you find the perfect attorney for your case.

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Published: 30 December 2022


California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) — Pedestrian & Bicycle Crash Data

The Judicial Council of California — Statute of limitations

Legal Information Institute — Pure Comparative Negligence Principle

Office of Traffic Safety — OTS Crash Rankings Results