San Diego Car Accident Attorney – Auto Accident Lawyer
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California traffic accidents cause immeasurable harm to state residents, tourists, and business travelers. During 2015 (the most recent year in which statistics are available), more than 162,000 California collisions produced almost 231,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths.
In San Diego alone, more than 9,200 traffic accident victims were killed or injured in 2015. In that same year, more than 20,000 individuals were killed or injured in San Diego County traffic accidents.
Collision victims are entitled to compensation when another person’s carelessness contributed to the accident. The Law Office of Michael Rehm represents car accident victims throughout San Diego County, including El Cajon, Chula Vista, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Contact Attorney Rehm for advice about car crashes in San Diego and surrounding communities.
San Diego traffic accidents include collisions involving:
- Passenger cars
- Light trucks
- Heavy trucks
The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) ranks San Diego County as having the 18th highest collision rate among California counties after weighting accident statistics for population, miles traveled, and other relevant factors.
The OTS ranks San Diego County as the third worst California County for motorcycle accidents. We urge everyone to drive safely and to share the road with motorcyclists, but Michael Rehm is here to help when other drivers cause any kind of traffic accident.
Causes of San Diego Traffic Accidents
Injury victims can recover compensation when an accident was caused, at least in part, by another driver’s negligence. Negligence is another word for carelessness. Injured passengers may be entitled to compensation from every driver whose negligence contributed to the accident, including the driver of the car in which they were riding.
Common reasons for traffic accidents in San Diego County include:
- Distracted driving (driving while texting or using an electronic device)
- Impaired driving (DUI or driving under the influence of drugs)
- Fatigued driving
- Aggressive driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield at an intersection
- Turning left in front of an oncoming vehicle
- Unsafe lane changes or merges
Drivers who turn left in front of an oncoming motorcycle are a leading cause of motorcycle accident injuries. Drivers who fail to pay attention to the road are the usual cause of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Cars never appear from thin air, so a rear-end collision should never happen. Nevertheless, the most common car crashes in San Diego County are rear-end collisions. They are usually caused by inattention or distraction when a driver’s eyes or mind are not on the road.
Even low-speed rear-end collisions can produce serious whiplash injures. While the insurance industry has spent years belittling whiplash victims, the science of biomechanics has demonstrated that a collision of 7 or 8 mph can create forces that damage a car occupant’s neck, spine, and soft tissues.
It often takes 12 to 72 hours for whiplash symptoms to develop after a rear-end collision. Rear-end collision victims should see a doctor as soon as they feel neck or back pain. The failure to obtain prompt treatment can delay recovery, and can also jeopardize the ability to bring a successful injury claim.
T-bone collisions are also called side-impact collisions. They usually occur at intersections. Drivers who run a red light, ignore a stop sign, or fail to yield are responsible for most T-bone collisions.
Since most cars do not have side-impact airbags, T-bone collisions can cause serious injuries. A high-speed collision can cause a rollover, leading to catastrophic head injuries or crush injuries. Even a low-speed T-bone collision will often cause joint injuries, serious cuts or punctures, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.
Head-on collisions are not as common as other kinds of accidents, but when they occur, the results are devastating. Crumple zones, airbags, and safety harnesses have reduced the fatality rate in head-on collisions, but when two vehicles traveling at highway speeds hit each other head-on, serious injuries are usually unavoidable.
Head-on collisions usually occur when a driver crosses the centerline and enters an oncoming lane of traffic. Alcohol consumption, fatigue, and driver distraction are the most common causes of head-on collisions.
When the vehicle crossing the centerline is a heavy truck, head-on collisions at highway speeds are often fatal. Crumple zones and airbags simply can’t protect against the force of an 80,000 pound truck traveling at 60 mph. Survivors of serious head-on collisions typically have catastrophic injuries, including amputated limbs, brain injuries, and paralysis.
San Diego car accident lawyer Michael Rehm can help collision victims who sustained catastrophic or non-catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries include permanent, life-changing disabilities. Victims of catastrophic injuries often require long-term medical care. Victims may need a caregiver or may move to an assisted-living environment. Most victims of catastrophic injuries cannot return to their former employment and may be incapable of performing any gainful employment. Brain injury victims typically require specialized rehabilitative care.
Non-catastrophic injuries are the kind of injuries that allow victims to resume their lives, even if they may be troubled by a long-term or permanent impairment. Common examples include:
- Knee injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Facial scarring
- Dental injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
- Stretched or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments
Non-catastrophic injuries often heal over time, but they may cause weeks or months of pain while making it difficult to work, to perform household chores, or to lift children. Some injuries never fully heal. Back injuries may cause a lifetime of nagging or intermittent pain, while nerve damage can produce constant pain.
In California, compensation can be awarded whenever another driver’s carelessness contributed to the accident. Even if the injury victim was also at fault, the victim can recover compensation in proportion to the other driver’s responsibility for the accident. If the injury victim was 30% at fault for causing the accident and another driver was 70% at fault, the injury victim can recover 70% of full compensation.
Compensation for a car accident injury typically includes:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
Compensation for a long-term or permanent injury might also include:
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Future medical and surgical expenses
- Long-term physical or occupational therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- The cost of services (such as cleaning or yard work) that the injury victim can no longer perform
- Loss of sexual enjoyment (recoverable by the victim’s spouse)
In addition to the compensation described above, catastrophic injury compensation typically includes:
- The lifetime expense of medical appliances (such as wheelchairs)
- Caregiver and residential facility expenses
- The cost of coping with a disability (such as remodeling a home to accommodate a wheelchair or purchasing a wheelchair-accessible van)
Wrongful death compensation is also available to certain family members (including spouses and children) of car accident victims who died as a result of their injuries.
An honest, intelligent attorney can help accident victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve. Michael Rehm provides compassionate service to injury victims in all parts of San Diego County.
We deal with insurance adjusters to maximize settlements so that accident victims can concentrate on healing. Most cases settle, but when adjusters are unreasonable, we use our skills as aggressive trial advocates to pursue favorable verdicts for our clients. To learn how we can help you, call Accident Attorney Michael Rehm at (619) 787-3456.
The Law Office of Michael Rehm
402 W Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 787-3456