Have you been hurt in a Carlsbad car accident?
Are you still dealing with the physical symptoms of the accident? Are you wondering whether you can do anything to hold the negligent party who caused the accident accountable? You need an intelligent, respected advocate who can help effectively guide you through the process. You need an attorney—not a salesman.
We are The Levinson Law Group
We are a dedicated Carlsbad car accident law firm with extensive experience working with clients who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions.
Unlike other law firms, we only handle car accident claims, which gives us an unparalleled knowledge of what goes into these cases. We have more than 40 years of combined experience handling all types of car accident claims. Over this time, we have represented more than 3,500 California car accident victims.
To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.
Car Accidents in California
The California Highway Patrol maintains a car accident database called the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). According to the most recently available data, in 2017 3,904 people were killed in 3,582 fatal California car accidents, and 227,160 people were injured in 193,564 non-fatal California car accidents.
The 2017 data represents a slight increase in fatal accidents and a moderate decrease in non-fatal accidents. According to the 2016 SWITRS data, in 2016 3,854 people were killed in 3,552 fatal California car accidents, and 280,020 people were injured in 195,347 non-fatal California car accidents.
In California, fatal car accidents are increasing, with 2017 representing a 10-year high in the number of fatal car accidents.
Causes of California Car Accidents
According to the California Highway Patrol, distracted driving is among the leading causes of car accidents in the state. The most common types of distracted driving behavior include:
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Use of cell phones or other electronic devices
- Changing the radio
- Attending to children
- Eating and drinking
Drunk & Drugged Driving
A variety of factors can cause car accidents. However, most accidents result from another driver's poor decision or failure to pay attention to the road.
One such decision is the decision to drive while intoxicated. Drunk and drugged driving account for a significant percentage of both fatal and non-fatal California car accidents. The chart to the right shows the five-year trend of all California intoxicated driving accidents.
In San Diego County, specifically, drunk and drugged driving is a severe problem. In 2017, there were 75 fatal intoxicated driving accidents in San Diego County and another 1,653 intoxicated driving accidents causing injury to one or more people.
Causes of Carlsbad Car Accidents
A car accident can change your life. One moment, you are driving down the road as you do every other day, and the next, your world is turned upside down. You may not have even seen the other vehicle coming. While we use the term "accident" to describe a car crash, the reality is that these "accidents" do not typically occur absent another driver's negligence.
At The Levinson Law Group, we have more than 40 years of combined experience handling all types of car accident claims. Over this time, we have represented more than 3,500 California car accident victims. This has given us unique insight into the most common causes of Carlsbad car accidents. From our experience handling these cases, we have come to understand that most car accidents fall into four categories.
Inattentive or Distracted Driving
Due largely to the increasing prevalence of cell phones, the number of Carlsbad distracted driving accidents has dramatically increased. However, distracted driving encompasses much more than talking or texting while driving. Any behavior that removes a motorist's attention from the road is distracting. Common distractions include:
- Talking to passengers
- Attending to children
- Eating or drinking
- Changing the radio station
Many believe that distracted driving instances are underreported because proving a driver was distracted can be challenging. Absent cell phone records, an admission from the driver or eyewitness testimony, it is challenging to determine whether a driver was distracted in the moments leading up to a crash.
When motorists engage in aggressive driving behaviors, they put everyone on the road at risk. While speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving, several other dangerous driving habits also fall into this category, including:
- Frequently changing lanes
- Reckless driving
- Making a turn without signaling
- Cutting other drivers off
- Sudden braking
- Swerving in and out of traffic
Aggressive drivers may be issued a ticket in relation to an accident. However, that is not always the case. Regardless, anyone injured in a Carlsbad car accident involving an aggressive driver may still be able to bring a claim against the other motorist.
Drunk and drugged driving continues to be a leading cause of California car accidents, despite the government's focus on curbing drunk driving.
While state law defines per se intoxication as a blood-alcohol limit of .08 or more, even a single drink can affect a driver's reasoning, judgment and reaction time. Adding to the number of Carlsbad intoxicated driving accidents is the fact that recreational marijuana use is now legal in California.
Recent studies have shown that fatigued driving and drunk driving have similar effects on a motorist's ability to operate their vehicle safely. Most notably, drowsy drivers exhibit poor judgment and increased reaction time, which can significantly impact the risk of accidents.
All drivers must be safe when they get behind the wheel. However, not all drivers take this duty seriously. Those injured in an accident can hold negligent and reckless motorists accountable through a Carlsbad car accident lawsuit.
Should I Bring a Car Accident Claim Against an At-Fault Driver?
The first step in making this decision is to reach out to a reputable Carlsbad car accident attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney will go over your rights as they pertain to bringing a claim, explain what you will need to prove to be successful, and outline the type of compensation you may be able to recover.
The decision to bring a personal injury case against another driver is a personal one.
However, if you have been in a serious accident, it is important that you understand your rights and your potential remedies before making any decisions. Your attorney will:
Proving a Carlsbad Car Accident Claim
Under California law, anyone injured in a car accident has the right to bring a lawsuit against the party or parties they believe caused the accident. To succeed, an accident victim must prove:
The accident victim was injured
The other driver was negligent
The negligence caused the victim's injuries
Proving that another driver is legally negligent requires an accident victim to show that the other driver owed them a duty of care and that they violated, or breached, that duty. Typically, all motorists owe others a duty of care on the road—whether they are drivers, passengers, bicyclists or pedestrians. This element is rarely contested. Proving that another driver breached a duty they owed to the accident victim is often where most litigation occurs.
By working with a skilled attorney familiar with these defense tactics, you can reduce the chances they will be successful in making this claim.
Can I Still Bring a Carlsbad Car Accident Lawsuit if I Contributed to the Accident?
Even if you did play a minor role in causing an accident, that will not preclude you from bringing a claim against other at-fault motorists. Under California's pure comparative negligence statute, an accident victim will not be prevented from recovering from other at-fault parties, regardless of their percentage of fault.
However, if you are found to be partially at fault, your total damages award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Thus, if you sustained $200,000 in damages but are 10 percent at fault, you will recover $180,000 instead of $200,000. While California's pure comparative negligence law is among the most favorable in the country for accident victims, it does open the door for defense attorneys to claim you were at fault. This is a common occurrence because it allows an insurance company to decrease its liability.
Damages in a California Car Accident Lawsuit
Before you decide whether to bring a claim against another driver, it is important to know what you could recover by bringing the case. This gives you an idea of what you may be leaving on the table if you choose not to pursue a claim.
Generally, California law allows two broad types of damages in car accident claims: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages, compensate motorists for the injuries they suffered in the crash, both physical and psychological.
Punitive damages, which are relatively rare in California accident cases, focus on punishing an at-fault party for conduct that amounts to malice, oppression, or fraud.
Reach Out to a Knowledgeable and Experienced Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has recently suffered serious injuries in a Southern California car accident, give the dedicated personal injury lawyers a call at The Levinson Law Group. Our skilled Carlsbad injury lawyers focus their practice solely on auto accidents, giving us an edge over other firms representing clients in all types of injury claims.
We understand that you may be hesitant to file a claim. We are here to inform you of your rights so you can make the best decision for your family. If that means you decided to bring a case, great. If you decide it is not for you, we will respect your decision. When you decide to work with The Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that you will have someone in your corner throughout the entire process. We explain the recovery process in understandable terms and make ourselves available to answer your questions. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call at 760-840-2304. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee.