Central Coast Car Accident Attorney Serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey
The World Health Organization has designated the years from 2011 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety, aiming at preventing traffic deaths and injuries projected to take the lives of 1.9 million people around the world annually by 2020.
Highway accidents across the nation leave a trail of destroyed lives and grieving loved ones in their wake; California is among the most deadly of all states. In California, 2,632 fatal car crashes killed 2,857 people in 2012. Nationwide, 30,800 fatal crashes in 2012 resulted in 33,561 deaths and 2,263,000 injuries. Don’t face the repercussions of an accident alone. A good San Luis Obispo car accident attorney is experienced with all types of motor vehicle accidents and has worked with clients that have been faced with catastrophic injuries including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Serious fractures
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Psychological damage
The tragedy is that most of these accidents could have been prevented. Driver negligence is a common cause of preventable traffic accident deaths and injuries, along with defects in the manufacture or design of cars or their components and various road hazards.
In California, we depend on our cars to maintain our mobility, freedom, and lifestyle. Having a car is more than simply a convenience for many Californians; it is both a necessity and a pleasure as well. But driving on California’s highways can be risky, especially in the Central Coast cities like Santa Barbara or Monterey. You may be the most careful and focused driver in the state, but still be injured because of someone else’s bad driving. Motor vehicle accidents take an unwarranted toll on human life, and cause immeasurable human suffering, which can be both emotional and economic, to families who have lost someone they love or whose breadwinner has been injured or killed. They are frequently caused by driver negligence, when another driver loses focus due to a distraction, disregards traffic laws, or engages in some dangerous form of driving behavior. If driver negligence could be eliminated, countless injuries and fatalities might be prevented.
One way to deter negligent driving behavior and other forms of liability for injuries to others on California’s highways is to hold everyone who causes an injury or death on the road accountable to the victim and his or her family. If you or a member of your family suffered an injury or death in a highway accident because of another’s wrongdoing, consult with a San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer; you may be able to recover monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages and at the same time help to deter the kinds of behavior that caused your loss so it is less likely to happen to someone else in the future.
Causes of Highway Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents on California highways that can be attributed to negligence have multiple causes, but among the most frequent are distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, speeding, aggressive driving, defective vehicles and components, and unsafe road conditions.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Californians seem to always be on the run, and with so much to do and so little time to do it, many are in the habit of multitasking. While multitasking may work at the office, it can be deadly on the highways. A person driving a car should only be driving the car, with attention fully focused on the road and those sharing it. Performing other activities while behind the wheel is distracted driving, and a recipe for disaster on the road. Distracted driving is among the leading causes of car accidents in California and the nation.
Distracted driving includes various activities that cause the driver to look away from the road: at the top of the list of the most dangerous distractions is texting, followed by talking on a cell phone, rubbernecking, changing the station or volume on the radio, selecting or inserting a CD, eating or drinking, personal grooming, setting the GPS, reading, disciplining children, handling pets, retrieving fallen objects, and conversing with passengers are some of the ways drivers become distracted behind the wheel and cause accidents.
Using a hand-held electronic device increases the likelihood of getting into a car accident by four times. Texting increases the probability of a crash by a whopping 23 times. A driver who is distracted may drift out of the correct lane and into the path of a car coming from the opposite direction, may neglect to signal or check blind spots when changing lanes, turn the wrong way onto a one way street, enter a highway ramp going in the wrong direction, ignore a traffic signal, or fail to notice a bicyclist or pedestrian on the road or shoulder. Even a few seconds of diverting one’s attention from the road at a high speed can cause a serious collision.
Aggressive Driving and Speeding
Driving significantly above the posted speed limit increases the likelihood of losing control of the car, and it also increases the energy of the impact when the car crashes, making death or catastrophic injuries more likely. Speeding contributes to one of every three highway accidents. High speed driving is often aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers may weave in and out of traffic, cutting others off or zooming up on other vehicles from the rear and tailgating in their impatience. They may engage in angry and rude behavior, using obscene gestures and yelling profanities, failing to signal, and staying more focused on their road rage than road safety. Excessively fast driving, and aggressive driving is reckless, and when it causes an accident and someone is hurt or killed, the at-fault driver may be liable to the victim for damages sustained in the wreck.
Drunk or Drug Impaired Driving
According to figures from (NHTSA), alcohol and drug use—including recreational, prescription, and over-the-counter medications—are incompatible with driving and cause untold suffering to victims of the many serious accidents caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Drunk driving crashes killed 10,322 people across the nation in 2012, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That comes to about one person every 51 minutes on the average. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reports that the cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $132 billion per year.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Various dangerous conditions on the road can cause crashes to occur. These may be the fault of a construction company doing work on the road, the government agency responsible for road maintenance, a truck that has dropped cargo or has left tire treads on the pavement after a blowout.
- Objects on the road
- Absence of signs or confusing signs
- Poor road design
- Unsafe construction area
- Objects or debris on the road
- Detached treads (“road alligators”)
- Lack of a level shoulder
- Pooled water
- Ice and snow
- Black ice
- Winding roads without lane divisions or pavement markings
- Ruts, cracks, depressions, or uneven pavement
As an accident victim, you’re entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries against the person who caused the hazardous road condition or failed to either repair it or post warnings. But road hazard cases are especially difficult, because they often necessitate the sorting out of complex issues, including government immunity, causation, and civil engineering. You should discuss your case with a San Luis Obispo car accident attorney who has considerable experience in handling dangerous road condition cases.
What You Need to Do Following a California Car Accident
When you’ve just been in an accident, you may feel shaken and confused, so it may take a couple of minutes to get your bearings. If you’re able to stand and move around, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are able to recover compensation for any injuries or damages you may have incurred. But first, consider your safety and that of those around you.
- Check to see if anyone has been seriously injured and needs an ambulance. If so, call 911. Others should get as far off the road as possible, away from traffic.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene, showing the damage to your vehicle and the others involved.
- Make note of the plate numbers of all vehicles.
- Exchange insurance information and driver’s license numbers with all drivers.
- Do not apologize.
- Do not discuss your physical condition with anyone, including other drivers and police.
- Do not talk to anyone about who caused the accident.
- Get the name and badge number of the police officer who arrives at the scene. Ask for the police report number and instructions for obtaining a copy.
- Report the accident to your insurance company without providing details other than date, time, and location.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. You need to be checked out, even if you are not sure that you’re injured. Tell the doctor you were just in a car accident. Some injuries don’t become obvious right away, so you may need to return for follow-up treatment.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and keep all follow-up appointments.
- Call the law office of car accident attorney Jude Basile in San Luis Obispo and make an appointment.
- Do not engage with any insurance adjuster. Do not give a recorded statement. Do not sign anything. Refer the adjuster to your attorney.
Why Hire Jude Basile to Represent You?
Research has shown that accident victims who are represented by an experienced car accident attorney typically walk away with significantly more money in their pockets that those who attempt to negotiate their own settlement with the insurance company after a car accident. Jude Basile is an award-winning attorney who focuses his law practice exclusively on injury cases. He has been representing car accident injury victims since 1985 and is very good at what he does. He has recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara, and has additionally earned the highest ratings by his legal peers and clients.
To ensure that you get a recovery that is enough to compensate you for all of your economic and non-economic damages, call for an appointment today. There is never a charge for this consultation, and accident cases are signed on contingency. You don’t pay unless you win.