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San Jose Car Accident Attorney

Put 85+ Years of Personal Injury Experience on Your Side

Car accidents in San Jose have the high potential to result in serious personal injuries that can be costly and life-changing for the injured and their families. To pursue monetary compensation for your damages without the added stress of managing an injury claim, seek legal counsel from our San Jose car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Damages Available in a Car Accident Injury Claim

Our San Jose car accident lawyers pursue maximum compensation for our clients to cover damages including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Vehicle repair
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Lessened enjoyment of life

Injured in a car accident in San Jose? Call us today at (800) 900-0863. Our car accident lawyers offer completely free consultations to clients throughout the Bay area.

On This Page

What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in San Jose?

Every car accident case is time-sensitive and should be handled as soon as possible. In California, you only have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the ability to recover monetary compensation.

It is important to start your injury case right away so that our San Jose personal injury team can begin collecting evidence, such as police reports and eyewitness testimony, to prove the cause of your accident so that the liable party can be held responsible.

Ready to start your car accident claim with the personal injury lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP? Call today at (800) 900-0863. Proudly serving car accident victims in San Jose, Campbell, Santa Cruz, and throughout the Bay Area.

What to Do After an Accident in San Jose

After a car crash, many people are not prepared for what to do next. The stress and adrenaline from the accident understandably cause people to feel dazed, confused, and scared. That is why being prepared beforehand is so important. By following these steps, you can stay calm and focused in the aftermath of an auto wreck.

After a crash, you should:

  • Check for injuries. If you or your passengers are injured, it is important to stay where you are and call 911. You should wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive and provide the necessary treatment for your injuries.
  • Get to a safe location. If you are not injured, and the vehicle is able to move, you should try to pull over and get out of the flow of traffic. Whether you pull onto a shoulder or into a parking lot, this can help prevent another collision. However, you should never leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one, because you could be charged with fleeing the scene.
  • Exchange information with the other driver. After an accident, you should write down the name and policy number of the other driver's insurance and provide them with yours. The insurance company may want to conduct an investigation into the accident and notifying them will begin the process of pursuing a settlement.
  • Gather evidence. If possible, you should take pictures of all vehicle damage, visible injuries, and the surrounding scene. Furthermore, you should get the contact information of witnesses, write down the license plate numbers of all the cars involved, and request a copy of the police report.
  • Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine and do not receive treatment from emergency responders, it is still important to make an appointment to see your doctor. Soft tissue injuries may not present symptoms right away. Furthermore, if you wait to seek treatment, but you later file a claim for personal injuries that appeared after the accident, the insurance company may say that your personal injuries did not occur from the accident in San Jose. This can make it difficult to seek compensation. Thus, you should see a doctor and request a copy of your medical records.
  • Contact a San Jose personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for diminishing the true value of car accident claims or denying them altogether. By retaining an experienced San Jose personal injury attorney, you can have peace of mind that your best interests are protected.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in san jose?

Between the negligence of other motorists, defective vehicle parts, roadway hazards, and inclement weather, the average driver is faced with nearly constant danger on the road. In fact, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) calculates over 30,000 fatal car accidents in the United States each year.

Some of the most common causes of car crashes include:

  • Speeding: Drivers who disobey speed limits are an extreme hazard to themselves and everyone else on the road.
  • Intoxication: Driving under the influence (DUI) is a significant cause of fatal car accidents. Evidence gathered by the police, such as the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, can be used to empower your claim.
  • Distracted Driving: Whether it’s cell phone use or paying attention to passengers over the road, any sort of distraction can increase a driver’s reaction time and cause them to miss upcoming hazards. Our lawyers can help you search for evidence of driver distraction after a crash.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Car Accidents?

In most cases, car accidents occur due to negligent mistakes of drivers. However, vehicle manufacturers, road construction crews, and other parties can also be held liable for any personal injuries depending on the source of the negligence.

Defective Auto Parts

Auto parts can break or become defective without warning, taking control away from the driver or putting them in peril.

In recent years, numerous auto part defects have been in the news for causing severe injuries and death, including:

Road Conditions

Drivers cannot be safe unless the roads empower them to do so.

Car accidents can be caused by road hazards such as:

  • Construction zones
  • Dirt, debris, & foliage on the road
  • Inadequate street lighting
  • Uneven pavement & shoulder drops
  • Poor road design
  • Unsafe or missing guardrails
  • Poor or confusing road signs

Irresponsibly Designed SUVs

Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have a high rollover rate in single-vehicle accidents due to their narrow wheelbase and high center of gravity.

Emergency maneuvers conducted by the driver to swerve out of harm’s way can toss an SUV onto its side or roof when most other passenger vehicles would skid. To make matters worse, SUVs are often advertised as off-road vehicles but do not come with off-road vehicle protection features like roll cages.

Determining Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

Rear-end collisions are generally rather straightforward. The vehicle that hits the other from behind is considered to be at fault, regardless of how unexpectedly the car in front stopped. However, if you were recently involved in an accident that involved more than two vehicles, you might be wondering how fault is determined.

In pile-up cases, a single driver can still be at fault for the accident due to the fact that, by rear-ending the vehicle in front of him or her, a chain reaction was caused leading to a pile-up.

However, determining fault is usually a much more complex process since each driver has a duty of care to others on the road. If someone was speeding, following too closely, or distracted and using a cell phone, these factors might all play a role in determining liability for a multi-vehicle accident.

To determine fault for a multi-car crash, investigators will:

  • Look over police reports
  • Determine whether any of the drivers were ticketed for outstanding warrants, intoxication, possession of narcotics, speeding, lack of insurance, tailgating, reckless driving, etc.
  • Interview the drivers involved as well as passengers and witnesses at the scene
  • Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene
  • Review the records of the drivers involved, such as prior arrests and accidents

Fault will not necessarily be assigned to one driver. It can be spread amongst many drivers. In some cases, authorities might even recognize mitigating or eliminating circumstances, holding no one at fault for the accident. This is rare, but possible.

For example, if it is a snowy day and each motorist is driving with caution when one encounters an ice patch and slams into another vehicle, causing a pile-up, he or she might not be held liable. If a driver suffered a heart attack and lost consciousness, causing a multi-vehicle accident in San Jose, he or she might not be held liable either.

Our Car Accident Verdicts & Settlements

At Caputo & Van Der Walde, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for auto accident victims in San Jose, CA. Some of our most notable results include:

  • School bus vs. pedestrian accident resulting in traumatic brain injury.

  • Injury onboard a SCTVA bus resulting in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

  • Transit rider in wheelchair that tipped over due to a failure to properly secure the wheelchair. Plaintiff was paraplegic and sustained a rotator cuff injury resulting in loss of ability to self ambulate. This verdict resulted in a Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

  • Auto accident resulting in wrongful death due to defective highway design.

  • Auto vs. bicycle accident. Plaintiff sustained injuries that resulted in paraplegia. The settlement was limited at $2 million due to insurance coverage.

  • Single car rollover accident resulting in internal and orthopedic injuries to the passenger, including a 4 level spinal fusion requiring multiple surgeries and multiple colon surgeries.

  • Auto vs. Big Rig Accident. Crush injuries to the plaintiff’s leg occurred as a result of the accident.

  • Auto vs. pedestrian accident involving leg crush injury.

Handling Car Accident Wrongful Death Claims with Compassion

Although no amount of money can ever address your loss, our firm in San Jose can hold the responsible driver liable and help you and your family recover the resources needed to start rebuilding your life through a wrongful death claim. Knowing that your bills will be paid and your financial future will be stabilized can lead to peace of mind.

In a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills of the decedent related to final care
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Wages the decedent would have earned in their lifetime

Understanding the exact cause of your loved one’s fatal accident is a key step to strengthening your claim and increasing your chances of a successful outcome.

Call Caputo & Van Der Walde at (800) 900-0863 to schedule your free case evaluation today. Our lawyers serve the Greater San Jose area.

Frequently Asked questions

  • After a car crash, what information should I get from the scene?

    You should try to collect as much information and evidence as possible without jeopardizing your health. Get the names and addresses of pedestrians, passengers, and drivers of all vehicles involved in the collision. If the driver or a passenger appears to be intoxicated, tell the emergency responders and law enforcement. If witnesses offer statements, write down their comments and contact information. Also, take plenty of photographs, not just of the accident scene, but also of the damage to your vehicle and of any injuries.

  • Should I listen for any particular statements from other parties in the crash?

    Yes, you should keep an ear open for the other driver saying anything that could be an admission of guilt. Apologies are usually taken by insurance companies as a driver’s admission they caused the crash. Write down anything you hear that could help your case. In the same vein, do not apologize or mention you were not paying attention.

  • Do I need to call law enforcement after a car accident?

    California requires at least one person to call the police after a serious car accident. Even in minor "fender benders," it can be helpful to have law enforcement show up to write out a report, check to see if anyone is intoxicated, and redirect traffic away from the crash site. Sometimes the best evidence you have for your claim is the word of a police officer.

  • Who is liable for my damages and injuries?

    While it is easy to blame the other driver for all your damages, the reality is that multiple parties, many of whom were not even there for the crash, could be held liable. For instance, imagine a case in which a driver’s brakes fail and he plows into another vehicle in an intersection. The driver in this example would probably be partially liable for not steering his vehicle away from others, but the auto part manufacturer that made the brakes could be mostly liable. You must know all liable parties if you want your claim to be successful and your recovery to be maximized.

  • Do I need to see my doctor after a crash?

    You need to know the true extent of your injuries after being in a car accident if you want to seek compensation for the correct amount. Schedule an appointment with a trusted physician as soon as possible to make certain there are no underlying issues you do not feel yet. Not only will this help you heal and stay healthy, but it also reduces your liability for any injuries that become noticeable later.

  • If an insurance company contacts me, what should I say?

    After a car accident, the insurance company of the other party will want to talk to you. They might seem friendly, but they are really trying to get you to admit guilt. Rather than talking to them yourself, you can retain a personal injury lawyer and direct all calls to them. This will greatly reduce your chances of inadvertently saying the wrong thing to the insurance caller.

  • How can I get quality legal help with my car accident case?

    Connect with our skilled and experienced car accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP for a free consultation. We are happy to explain your rights and help you get started with your claim.

Client Testimonials

Highly Rated & Reviewed
  • “Our lawyer and his entire staff were extremely approachable and effective in getting a very good settlement from my own insurance company's under-insured motorist coverage. Our lawyer guided my husband and me through the process.”

    - Chris G.
  • “Paul has a great understanding of people's rights and drives to obtain all that is due to you. He listens and answers questions that anyone could understand without legalize. I contacted him through the recommendation of a friend.”

    - Gary G.
  • “We are so grateful we found Paul Van Der Walde! From the very beginning, it was clear Paul and his team would do whatever it took to help us. We're thrilled with the case result, but more importantly, we're thankful they believed in us.”

    - Catherine W.

WHAT SETS US APART?

  • A Supportive Team on Your Side
  • Included in Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Perfect 10/10 Superb Rating on Avvo
  • You Do Not Pay Unless We Win Your Case
  • All Initial Case Reviews Are Free of Charge
  • Legal Services Available in Spanish
  • Tens of Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients
  • Over 85 Years of Combined Legal Experience

GET STARTED TODAY

No Fees Unless We Win
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