Walnut Creek Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been in a serious car accident, you may have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one due to another driver’s choice to drive dangerously. At Bowles & Verna LLP, we firmly believe negligent drivers should be held accountable. Our car accident lawyers are fully equipped to help you obtain the compensation needed to address the aftermath of your accident. Do not hesitate to seek justice.
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Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
More than 32,000 Americans were killed in fatal traffic accidents in 2014, and an additional 2.3 million were injured. California is second only to Texas with the highest number of traffic injuries and deaths in all 50 states. Drunk driving plays a significant part in these grim statistics, as does excessive speed, distracted driving (such as texting), and faulty automotive equipment.
Seat belts, air bags and motorcycle helmet laws protect many drivers and passengers from serious harm, but accidents continue to cause devastating injuries. In high-speed crashes, side-impact collisions, and rollovers, vehicle occupants remain vulnerable to catastrophic injury and fatalities. Accident victims and their families are often faced with a long, difficult road as they navigate life-altering injuries and losses. When a devastating event is caused by the careless act of another, it can be difficult to accept. Insurance adjusters may only add to the stress, as they attempt to deflect blame from their insured or offer low-ball settlements.
Put A Strong Legal Advocate In Your Corner
You can benefit greatly from the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney who is experienced with insurance defense tactics and can protect your rights under the law. California is a “pure comparative fault rule” state, which means injured victims can collect damages even if they bear the majority of fault for an accident. Still, it is very important to determine clear liability to ensure you receive your full, entitled compensation. Our lawyers represent victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents including:
Bowles & Verna is staffed with trial lawyers who have taken hundreds of cases to court, demonstrating a strong record of favorable jury awards. For severely injured victims, we negotiate a substantial settlement or argue your case in court to secure damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Wrongful death cases can include the family’s immediate and future losses, both economic and emotional. In some cases, there may be punitive damages added as well.
Just a few decades ago, there was little talk about the dangers of distracted driving, mainly because of the rarity of cellphone use. But today, countless numbers of drivers choose to multitask behind the wheel by using a cellphone or texting while driving. And study after study shows the risks of such behavior. The law firm of Bowles & Verna LLP in California represents individuals who have suffered bodily injury in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, and family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal vehicle accident. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced in representing distracted driving accidents, contact us today.
Representing Victims Of Distracted Driving Accidents
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
- Texting while driving
- Using a smartphone while driving
- Using another handheld device while driving, such as a GPS
- Adjusting the radio
- Picking up a dropped item
Our firm’s attorneys have been helping victims of distracted driving accidents for more than 25 years. We have secured several million-dollar and multimillion-dollar settlements on behalf of accident victims and their families in fatal accident cases. If a distracted driver has caused your accident, we will explain your legal options and help you pursue the maximum compensation possible for all damages.
Today’s safety advancements have cut down on traffic fatalities, but no one is entirely safe from the risks of motor vehicle travel. High-speed crashes and rollover accidents continue to cause a great number of catastrophic injuries and deaths in this country. In 2014 in California alone, 3,074 vehicle drivers and passengers were killed on the road.
The role of alcohol in traffic deaths is clear, with about one-third of road fatalities attributable to DUI driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving, including texting while driving, caused 10 percent of 2014 traffic deaths, and 28 percent were speed-related.
A catastrophic accident will almost always result in medical costs, wage and productivity loss, and significant pain and suffering. When injuries result in death, the family is left to cope with unpaid bills as well as countless long-term losses that are both emotional and financial.
In California, any heir of the deceased can file a wrongful death action, and awarded damages encompass losses that are both economic and noneconomic. In addition to compensation for medical care costs, damages can include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of anticipated future income
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of domestic services (such as child care, cooking, and household maintenance)
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Psychological treatment costs
To prove a wrongful death case, your attorney must substantiate evidence that the other party in an accident behaved in a negligent or reckless manner that caused a fatal injury. The California courts’ adherence to a “pure comparative negligence rule” means victims are entitled to compensation without regard to individual driver liability but awards are affected by degrees of fault.
Wrongful Death: Additional Considerations
If careless or drunk driving has claimed the life of your dear one, the senselessness of this loss is devastating. The team at Bowles & Verna understands, and we know the shock and grief are often followed by a great deal of anger. You are not alone in dealing with the effects of a wrongful death. Our firm has experienced this type of tragedy through the eyes of many devastated families.
How can we help? We hold negligence and wrongdoing accountable through the civil court system. At Bowles & Verna, our wrongful death case experience is extensive, and we provide legal representation that can, and often does, bring substantial monetary compensation. Money cannot right any wrongs, but it can help your family to heal and rebuild.
What Should I Do After An Auto Accident?
Most people experience at most one major car accident in the course of a lifetime, but most people are not prepared when that accident comes. There are a few basic things you should know after a car accident:
- Seek medical help, including repeat doctor visits: Even if you do not feel like you have been seriously injured, there are many brain injuries and spinal cord injuries that stay latent for a length of time before a victim will feel any pain. You could lose your chance for higher recovery without overly mild diagnosis from a doctor.
- Do not say anything to the other driver or the insurance companies: Insurance companies are in a position where they will lose money by paying out on major claims, so they are always looking for a legitimate reason to avoid paying these claims. The more you say to the insurance company, especially right after an injury, the more likely you are to say the wrong thing and hinder your chances to collect the personal injury award that you truly deserve.
- Call a traffic accident attorney: Get the advice and counsel you need from an experienced personal injury attorney.
Can I Sue More Than One Party After An Auto Accident?
In many cases, the answer is yes. Sometimes accidents are caused by the negligence of several drivers (often the case in pileup accidents). Additionally, you might be able to sue an auto manufacturer if a vehicle defect (like faulty air bags) contributed to the accident or your injuries in the accident. Finally, if your accident was caused by a truck driver or other commercial driver, the at-fault driver’s employer would also be considered liable in many instances.
What If The Other Driver Denies That They Were Distracted?
It is very common for drivers to deny that they were distracted after causing an accident, which is why our attorneys work hard to find evidence to support our claims. We may gather witness statements, video recordings from traffic cameras and even subpoena the driver’s smartphone records to show that they were texting or otherwise using their phone in the moments before the crash.
Are Some Distractions Worse Than Others?
Each of us handles distractions somewhat differently. Adjusting the car stereo may be much harder for one driver than another. There are three types of distraction:
- Visual: Anything that takes your eyes off the road
- Manual: Anything that takes your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off the task of driving
The most dangerous distractions are generally those that involve all three elements. This is why cellphone use tends to be the most hazardous distraction behind the wheel.
What Are The Differences Between Personal Injury And Wrongful Death?
The biggest difference is the degree of harm. In the latter scenario, the victim suffers injuries that prove fatal. Nearly any act of negligence that would warrant a personal injury lawsuit would also warrant a wrongful death lawsuit if the victim died.
The other major difference is who acts as the plaintiff. In a personal injury suit, the injured person is the plaintiff. Since that is not possible in a wrongful death lawsuit, a representative for the victim must serve as the plaintiff. Often, but not always, the plaintiff is a surviving family member.
Can I Still Pursue Compensation If I Wasn’t Wearing A Seatbelt?
You can in California and other states with comparative negligence laws. You may not have been at fault for the crash, but you did contribute to your own injuries by failing to wear a seatbelt. That means you can pursue compensation, but your total settlement or jury award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
If I Was Uninjured Or Only Slightly Injured, Should I Still See A Doctor?
Getting into a car accident often results in a surge of adrenaline, and that can mask feelings of pain. Additionally, some injuries – even serious ones – may not be immediately apparent. Even if you aren’t sure you’ve been injured, it is a good idea to go to the hospital and have a doctor make that determination.
If you discover that you were injured, you’ll have the medical records to support that claim when seeking compensation.
Schedule A Free Personal Injury Consultation Today!
Contact us today at 925-478-5763 to see how we can help you with your car accident case.
The legal team at Bowles & Verna LLP includes top Bay-area attorneys with decades of courtroom experience. We offer a strong track record of results for personal injury and wrongful death clients. To schedule a free consultation about a catastrophic injury or the accidental passing of a loved one, please contact our office today.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a catastrophic accident, it is best to speak to an attorney before giving a formal statement to insurance representatives.
Related To This
- Wrongful Death from Auto Vehicle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving and DUI Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Aviation Accidents
- Maritime Personal Injuries and Boating Accidents