Common Questions on Car Accidents

Answers from Our San Jose Car Accident Attorneys

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), nearly 40,000 people every year die in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The carelessness, negligence, or errors of drivers cause many serious and life-altering accidents. Other key factors include:

  • Defective vehicle parts
  • Poor road signage
  • Inclement weather

Our San Jose personal injury lawyers explore common car accident FAQs and connect you with a proven legal resource, so you can receive help collecting compensation for your injuries, property damage, time off of work, and pain and suffering.

After a car crash, what info should you get from the scene?
Assuming that you're not so injured that you have to go to the hospital, collect as much info as possible. Get the names and addresses of pedestrians, passengers, and drivers of all vehicles involved in the collision. If the driver who hit you (or anyone else on the scene) appears to be on drugs or DUI, tell the emergency responders and / or law enforcement. The more documentation you collect, the better. If witnesses offer statements, write down their comments. Take photographs – not just of the accident scene, but also of the damage to your vehicle and of any injuries.

What else should I write down about the accident and its aftermath?

  • Note if anyone involved made any admission of fault ("I should have watched where I was going." "I'm sorry, I was late, fatigued, had too much to drink," etc.).
  • Write down how the accident happened.
  • Write down what happened after the accident - e.g. did you call law enforcement; and if so, what did they say?
  • If you're too injured to jot down information, deputize a passenger or other trustworthy witness to get information for you.

Should you connect with law enforcement?
In almost all cases, the answer is a resounding "yes." Even in minor "fender benders," it can be helpful to have law enforcement write out a report - particularly if vehicle damage occurred. After all, problems may manifest days or even weeks after the accident. For instance, say someone slams into your car at a stoplight. You examine the bumper and see that there's not much damage, so you tell the driver "forget about it." But you don't realize that you've suffered whiplash. Later on, you discover that this serious whiplash injury requires thousands of dollars of treatment.

Who might be liable for your injuries and damages?
Your instinct about who was "at fault" and who should pay for your medical bills, body work, and lost wages might be surprisingly off base. Indeed, multiple parties may simultaneously be liable. For instance, let's take a case of a speeding driver who blasts through a red light and slams into the side of a station wagon, causing body damage and injury to the passengers. The reckless driver may be at fault. but he may not be the only liable party. Maybe the driver's brakes failed - that's why he sped through the intersection. In this case, the company responsible for designing and manufacturing or installing the defective brakes could be held accountable, too.

How can I get quality legal help with my car accident case?
Connect with our skilled and experienced San Jose car accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP for help with your car accident case. Call us at (800) 900-0863 now.

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