Car Accident Attorneys in San Luis Obispo
Millions of people are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S. While some are minor and cause minimal changes in the victim’s life, many more are seriously injured and feel the effects of physical, emotional and financial pain. If you’re one of those injured in a car crash, there are very important things you need to understand. One, if the crash is caused by another driver’s negligence, you could be eligible for significant financial compensation. Two, the compensation you’re due is likely coming from the insurance company of the negligent driver, and the insurer is probably going to put up a fight so they don’t have to pay you. Three, to get the money you’re owed, you’ll need to gather evidence and quantify your losses to convince the insurer or a court that you deserve just compensation.
Jones Law has represented thousands of San Luis Obispo car accident victims and recovered millions in compensation . Our team of attorneys and staff is professional, skilled and experienced enough to know the techniques necessary to get the most money from insurance companies. Our knowledge and resources allow us to efficiently and effectively pursue your claim, whether your accident involves minor damage or involves catastrophic injury and loss of life.
Why You May Be Eligible For Compensation
Drivers are supposed to care and safety when operating a vehicle, but with so many accidents in the state and nation every year, it’s clear that many drivers are not following that guideline. In San Luis Obispo, someone dies in a car crash every three days. Reasons for these many auto accidents are varied. The following is a partial list of potential reasons you could sue a negligent driver for financial compensation.
- Distracted driver who is talking or texting on the phone
- Drinking and driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Not paying attention while driving
Our legal team at Jones Law has many years of experience, and we work with experts to show how negligent drivers are responsible when our clients are injured in a car accident.
How Much Can You Recover?
Compensation after an auto crash varies because it depends on the circumstances of each situation. Unfortunately, many people have no idea how much money they’re entitled to recover because they don’t count all the costs, and they often settle too soon with an insurance company. Contact the insurer of a negligent driver, and they will very likely offer you much less money than you’re owed, and they may attempt to have you sign a waiver that stops you from getting proper compensation. Your own insurance company may also try to get you to sign such waivers. Instead, you should do two things: avoid signing anything, and contact Jones Law. We can ensure that you get appropriate medical attention for your injuries. Our team will investigate your accident thoroughly and work with you to find all the ways your injuries could affect your life. Working together, we can make sure you don’t miss out on compensation you deserve.
No Fee Guarantee
Legal services can be expensive, and after an accident, you don’t need to be worried about getting compensation and paying the attorneys who help you get compensation. You should put all your energy into recovering from your injuries. That’s why we offer a no fee guarantee. Why should we collect a fee from clients when we haven’t done the work to earn those fees? Rest assured that your best legal interests are a top priority for Jones Law. Because of that, not one legal fee will be charged to you until we get recovery for your injuries and you have the check in your hands.
The Clock is Ticking
As soon as your car collides with another motorist’s vehicle, the clock starts ticking. Insurance companies don’t wait to investigate. They start immediately and so should you. Call Jones Law right away to protect your rights. As an expert team of San Luis Obispo car accident lawyers, we act decisively and aggressively on behalf of our clients, and we make sure you are confident in our ability to handle your case from start to finish. When you call, we will explain why taking action right away is vital to getting maximum compensation and give you the details of how we can help you with that. Get a no-obligation, free consultation with Jones Law now.
Understanding Types of Traffic Accidents
Car accidents fall into the same basic pattern of two vehicles colliding, but not all car crashes are the same. Some vehicles are more prone to vehicle collisions over and over again.
California sees more than 4,000 motorcycle accidents annually, according to the state Department of Transportation. Motorcyclists involved in auto accidents die ten times more often than other motorists in vehicle crashes. Three factors influence the low accident survival rate of motorcyclists: the high horsepower of the vehicle, the lack of vehicle frame protection and low visibility. Many motorcycle accidents are the result of automobile drivers who don’t pay attention, which means the cyclist needs to take swift action to protect their right to compensation.
Big cities always have big trucks coming through for drop-off and pick up, but a city like San Luis Obispo, which has 11 interstate highways, often has a huge number of commercial trucks traveling locally. Imagine one of those drivers losing control. The momentum of the vehicle would give it the force of a missile, which could definitely lead to severe damage, catastrophic injuries and death. Jones Law understands how to proceed after a truck accident, which includes locating second defendants to pursue for our client’s complete compensation. This includes the big rig driver’s employer or the manufacturer of defective vehicle parts.
Bicyclists are especially vulnerable on roadways because they have low visibility and no frame protection. They also have limited ability to accelerate and avoid a much larger, faster and more powerful automobile. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, California is fifth in the nation for bicycle fatalities, and San Luis Obispo is where many of these accidents happen. Causes of many bicycle accidents are automobile drivers not paying attention to those riding bikes. Other common causes are driver’s failing to check their blind spots, failing to yield, being distracted and intoxication.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What if I’m partially at fault for the accident?
Partial fault is not total fault, which means you could still recover damages. Illinois has comparative fault principles which allows a driver to collect damages if their responsibility for the accident is 50 percent or less. Damages are reduced based on how responsible you are for the car accident. If you are 30 percent at fault, the court calculates your total damages in the accident, then 30 percent of the amount is deducted. For example, you and another motorist collide on the highway, and you are determined to be 30 percent at fault, while the other driver is 75 percent at fault. Because the second driver is more than 50 percent at fault, they are not entitled to recover damages. If your total damage amount from the car collision is $50,000, then 30 percent of that total, which is $15,000, is subtracted. You recover $35,000.
What if a DUI is part of the case?
A DUI alone does not determine the outcome of a car accident case because the principle of causation is applied. This means that a motorist’s misconduct will not affect liability unless that conduct caused the car accident. Let’s say one driver is intoxicated but still obeying the rules of the road. Then, another motorist, driving erratically, hits the intoxicated driver from behind. While the erratically-driving motorist might try to lay the blame for the accident on the drunk driver, it would be difficult to prove. In court, it could be shown that the second motorist’s erratic driving caused the accident, which would mean that driver pays for damages while the drunk driver faces a potential DUI charge. To understand better how the principle of causation applies to your case, discuss it with an experienced Jones Law car accident attorney.
How do I proceed if the defendant had a commercial license?
Drivers with commercial licenses are involved in many truck accidents. If yours is one of them, it can affect who you sue and your attempts to prove driver fault. For example, the rules of drinking and driving are more stringent for commercial drivers. While regular motorists must stay under the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.08 percent, commercial drivers must not go above 0.04 percent. If a commercial driver was drinking before your accident and it’s proven the driver had a BAC above the legal limit, and it caused the accident, you could get the person declared automatically negligent. Whether alcohol was involved or another factor led to the accident, if the commercial driver is at fault, you could pursue the company the driver works for in a liability suit.
Who do I sue if the accident is caused by vehicle malfunction?
Vehicle malfunction that causes a car accident could lead to a product liability case. Those liable could include the vehicle designer, manufacturer and others who played a part in distribution of malfunctioning car parts. Winning the case means you need to prove the car or vehicle component was defective and presented an unreasonable danger when you took or had possession of it, but you aren’t required to prove a particular person or entity was negligent.
Should I just settle my case?
While most cases are settled out of court, it may require filing a lawsuit to get the amount of financial compensation you deserve. Some fast settlement offers are inadequate, so don’t accept anything too quickly. The defendant’s team may attempt trickery to make you miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Even if you must file suit to force the other side to make a just financial offer, you can still settle the case any time before a court verdict is handed down.
What types of damages are recoverable with car accident claims?
Three types of damages are allowed for car accident cases in Illinois: economic, non-economic and punitive.
- Economic damages
Counting come expenses are easy to determine, such as lost wages, medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Non-economic damages
The psychological impact of a car accident, or those intangible ones, such as losing the ability to enjoy life because of permanent disability, are considered non-economic damages. These amounts vary greatly and are often much higher than economic damages.
- Punitive damages
Not every case sees punitive damage awards. Those that do involve defendants who acted willfully or intentionally as opposed to negligently. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant, but the money awarded is yours to keep.
How does Jones Law help me win my case?
Understanding the law and having experience in car accident cases is necessary to properly represent car accident victims. Jones Law has that and other attributes that enable us to put our skills, training and legal know-how to work for you.
- Evidence Collection
Admissible evidence is often the key to winning a case, but gathering it is frequently a challenge. For instance, having a witness testify about the potential lifetime medical costs of the victim could benefit the victim’s case, but finding a witness that is both an expert and credible in this area is harder for some than it might seem. Fortunately, the accident lawyers at Jones Law understand the Illinois Rules of Evidence, which makes it easier for us to find admissible evidence and witnesses that support our client’s claims.
- Information Processing Skills
A good car accident lawyer gathers as much information as possible about each case and always looks for subtleties that can benefit the outcome. Because the amount of information can be large, your attorney needs to be able to process it all and multitask when it comes to planning and executing an effective strategy for its usage.
Few car accident cases end up in court, which means the attorneys representing accident victims need excellent negotiating skills to resolve cases through settlement. A good San Luis Obispo car accident attorney, like those at Jones Law, knows how to go head-to-head with insurance company executives and fight for their client’s rights to compensation.
The legal team that wins car accident cases is the one that persuades judges, juries and insurance companies that they are right. At Jones Law, our persuasive skills come from years of experience fighting for our client’s rights. Not only do we know the law, we make sure we know every aspect of each case, including strengths and weaknesses, and we use that information to pursue just compensation.