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San Jose car accident lawyerThere are nearly 29 million automobiles registered throughout the state of California but despite the mandates of California Vehicle Code (CVC §16058), California currently ranks in the top five of states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists. This is not welcome news for those traveling the coastal roadways and falling victim to experiencing a car accident with the nearly 25 percent who do not carry auto insurance. Not only can this lead to possible legal and insurance complications, but it is against California law to drive without at least the mandated minimum state insurance requirements.

In addition, an estimated one in three California drivers are either uninsured or underinsured drivers, even though California offers additional coverage to protect all drivers against damage or personal injury due to an at-fault driver with no or less than adequate insurance coverage. While, in this instance, a non-fault driver can submit his or her claim to their personal insurance carrier, often the compensation does not fully cover all liabilities.

Although it seems unfair that you as the victim would need to make a claim against your own insurance, the uninsured at-fault driver will be the one facing heavy fines, vehicle impoundment and license suspension. Most often, in these circumstances, a civil lawsuit for damages and personal injuries will be in their immediate future. As a result, this could lead to the loss of all viable assets and, sometimes, personal bankruptcy.

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San Jose Auto Accident LawyerThe moment you are involved in a car accident, your to-do list instantly begins to grow. After you have assessed the situation, addressed any injuries, notified authorities, and exchanged insurance information with the other drivers, it is time to handle the collision report and account for any citations and fines you might have received due to the crash.

The Purpose of the Report

The collision report process begins at the scene of the accident. Its purpose is to accurately document all of the details that led up to and caused the crash. These details help assist Highway Patrol and the other drivers and their insurance companies with the case. Everything from the traffic and weather conditions to the time of day, as well as witness accounts, are important details and should be noted for the report. It is also important to make note of any events that led up to the crash, as these details give everyone involved a clearer picture of how the collision actually unfolded and why.

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commercial trucks, big rigs, San Jose truck crash lawyerThere is an epidemic going on in the United States that to this day remains a serious problem. Everyday, on average 11 accidents involving commercial trucks result in fatalities. Additionally, over 100,000 people are injured in the same type of accidents per year. If you apply the same numbers to a different industry, it would be like a commuter jet crashing every week. With the potential for these accidents being so high, the need for legal counsel is also rising. What should you expect from truck accidents with regards to legal action?

Reasons for Concern 

Commercial trucks are seen on almost every road and every highway, and, every day, truck driving schools have a new graduating class full of fresh, newly-trained drivers that will be on the road shortly. Commercial trucks are responsible for transporting a large portion the goods that we purchase, from gas and oil all the way to moving homes. These vehicles have deadlines and agendas that they have to follow, as well as regulations that mandate everything they do. In most cases, they are highly-trained and skilled professionals, but accidents are not planned and can happen to anyone. There are number of factors that contribute to these accidents being so much more devastating and potentially dangerous, including:

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dog bite, Santa Clara County law, San Jose dog bite lawyerWhether you are a dog owner yourself, have been a victim of a dog bite, or know someone who has had a close call with a dog aggression-related injury, familiarizing yourself with Santa Clara County’s stance on dog safety laws can help you protect your best interests and help keep your neighbors safe.

Existing Dog Safety Laws and Modifications

For years now, Santa Clara County has been investigating ways to further enhance its laws on dangerous dog bites in an effort to place stricter responsibility on owners of potentially dangerous dogs. Back in 2011, the County announced a Board action aimed at expanding the existing policies that are in place to protect residents from harmful injuries. The following new laws were announced:

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motorcycle, lane-splitting, Santa Clara County motorcycle accident lawyerLane-splitting has long been a heated debate when it comes to the subject of motorcycle accidents. The topic has been so controversial, in fact, that just last year The Wall Street Journal reported that the state of California has been the only state in the U.S. to legalize the action thus far, setting a new precedent for the rest of the country. Other states have been following in California’s footsteps to push legislation that will allow motorcyclists to drive between lanes on the open road—an agenda not likely to disappear any time soon. Oregon, Texas, and Tennessee are just a few states aiming to make lane-splitting legal, and many others are close behind.

A Dangerous or Efficient Trend?

The idea behind the practice of lane-splitting is that it allows motorcyclists to reach their destinations faster while contributing to a smoother, less congested commute on the highway. This is considered especially helpful during rush-hour commute times. The drawbacks, of course, have been the largest source of opposition for those against the legislation. Lane-splitting can be dangerous for both the motorcyclist and nearby automobile drivers, as visibility is further limited and the space in which the motorcyclist must navigate is narrow, restricted, and at times obstructed.

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after an accident, San Jose Car Crash LawyerIn the seconds after a car accident, your mind and body experience a state of shock, some confusion, and then, in many cases, panic settles in. How bad was the accident? Are you or your passengers hurt? What about the other drivers involved in the collision? Who will pay for your medical bills and the costs to fix your vehicle? What if your insurance policy does not cover all the damage?

While your mind is assaulted with a barrage of questions and concerns, the most important thing to do the moment after the accident takes place is to move to action. No matter how serious or minor the damage might be, your safety and communication during those first initial moments following the collision are crucial.

The Crash Happened. Now What?

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Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

catastrophic injuries, San Jose injury lawyerDepending on the severity, back and neck injuries can be considered catastrophic injuries in the medical sense, as well as the in the legal realm. Catastrophic injuries usually refer to severe, chronic injuries to the spine, spinal cord, or brain and directly affect the central nervous system. They can be caused by any number of events, with the most common being auto accidents. All too often, victims of these injuries are left with lifelong complications, long-term medical care, and the possibility of never being able to work again, not to mention waking up and going to sleep with pain every day. Catastrophic back and neck injuries are serious and, unfortunately, insurance companies tend to downplay how severe cases are.

Most Likely Causes

Anything can happen in a day, whether you leave the house or not. Accidents are named such because no one plans for such events to happen to them when they start their day. However, many victims of catastrophic injuries are enjoying very common everyday activities when their accidents occur. Catastrophic injuries may result from:

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dog bites, San Jose dog bite lawyerAll animals have a tendency to be unpredictable, no matter how well trained or gentle natured. This remains true for dogs, which of course are one of the top companions chosen to live in the homes of their human counterparts. Unfortunately, dogs do have it in their nature to bite for several different reasons. This leads to thousands of injury claims annually. How do we avoid such incidents from happening? If they do happen, how should dog bites be dealt with medically and legally?

Why Do Dogs Bite?

If you have seen a premium dog food commercial within the last couple of years, you may have likely heard that dogs are related to wolves. This is actually very true. Furthermore, although they have been domesticated, there is still the wild animal instinct inside, especially under extreme circumstances. Some reasons a canine may strike out are:

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pain and suffering, San Jose Auto Accident LawyerAfter you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to collect damages. While the amount of damages for your out-of-pocket medical expenses may be easy to calculate, how do you calculate the damages for your pain and suffering? What is pain and suffering under California law?

How the Law Views Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, as a principle of law, is also sometimes referred to as general damages or non-economic damages. California law allows for you to be compensated for the physical and emotional discomfort, inconvenience, and negative effects that a physical injury has on your life.

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San Jose auto accident lawyer, documenting your claimWhen making a personal injury claim based on a car accident, you will need to have thorough documentation if you want to be fully compensated for your injuries. While your primary duty after a car accident is to listen to your doctors and get better, you should also be documenting your injuries and losses.

Medical Records

Your medical records are among the most valuable types of information to your car injury claim. While you may be able to describe in great detail where you hurt and for how long, the rules of evidence will require more detailed proof of your injuries. The main reason, of course, that it is important to see a doctor and follow up on your injuries is to make sure you recover as fully as possible, but having medical records generated that substantiate your claim is another key benefit.

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motorcycle accident, San Jose Personal Injury AttorneyBuses, cars, bikes, and our own two feet: on a daily basis, we are on the move. Luckily, we get to decide what moves us in most occasions. For many, their chosen mode of transportation is by motorcycle. There is just something about the breeze in your hair and against your face and the rumble of a motorcycle rolling on the pavement that gets pulses racing for millions of riders every day. For some, it is a pastime, something that can be enjoyed for long cruises on the weekend. For many others, it is their daily transportation. Who can blame them with the gas mileage? One thing is for sure; motorcycles are everywhere, and it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent motorcycle accidents.

When You Are the Motorcyclist

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), among the many contributing factors for motorcycle accidents are breaking speed limits and not knowing how to appropriately operate a motorcycle. This is not to say that these are the only factors that lead to accidents; the list is extensive. However, a few tips that you can use to potentially prevent a fatal accident are:

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work-related car accidents, San Jose personal injury attorneyWhen are injured in a work-related accident, many people assume that a workers’ compensation claim is their only way to get compensated for their injuries. However, California law allows you to pursue a claim against someone other than your employer if the other party's negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.

Role of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims

The workers’ compensation system was designed to help make sure workers were compensated for injuries sustained in the course of their employment and to protect employers from litigation. Under the workers’ compensation system you cannot usually sue your employer. The type of compensation you are able to collect is also limited.

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drunk driving accident, San Jose personal injury attorneyDrunk drivers continue to cause thousands of accidents every year, in spite of harsh consequences and aggressive law enforcement practices. Often a drunk driving accident results in catastrophic injuries that last a lifetime. Tragically, some victims will not even survive the accident. Because drunk driving is caused by an illegal act, victims of drunk driving accidents may be able to seek punitive damages from the drunk drivers.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a special kind of damages that are not available in every personal injury case. Punitive damages are designed to punish actions that go beyond simple negligence. These damages are supposed to help deter people from making the same kinds of dangerous choices in the future. In order to be awarded punitive damages, you will need to show that the driver acted with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

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San Jose auto accident attorneyWhen money is tight, it can be tempting to look for any way possible to lower your expenses. But, when it comes to your car insurance if you try and lower your premiums by eliminating some of your coverage, you may end up costing yourself money if you get into a car accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP coverage, as it is often called, is not required in California. If you have PIP, when you, or one of your passengers, is hurt in a car accident, your medical bills will be paid by your car insurance. PIP coverage may also pay a portion of any missed wages. It does not matter who is at fault for the accident. The PIP benefits, however, are not open ended. PIP will only pay out for a set period of time and up to a set amount of money. But, if you do not have PIP coverage it can be harder to get the medical treatment you need for your injuries.

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fault, San Jose personal injury attorneyThe cause of injuries in a car accident is not always clear. Often people focus on who was at fault for the car accident, but the sometimes the real legal question is who is at fault for the injuries. It is possible for the insurance company to blame you for at least partially causing your own injuries.

Comparative Negligence

California law recognizes the principle of comparative negligence. This means that if your negligence was a partial cause of your injuries, your award for damages can be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

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defective part, San Jose auto accident attorneyEvery year thousands of people are severely injured, or even killed in car accidents. Sometimes, the cause of the injuries seems obvious. However, in some instances, a defect or malfunction in your car may have made your injuries worse than they otherwise would have been.

Discovering Automobile Defects

While some vehicles become notorious for their defects, other more routine defects pass through unknown to most people. While some SUVs are well known to have a higher risk of rollover rates or of roof crush injuries, for example, there are thousands of components in a car that may not be working properly that could make injuries in a car accident much worse.

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truck accident, liability, San Jose truck accident lawyerTruck accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injury and harm. Of course, most trucks are operated safely, but due to their size and cargo, when a truck is in an accident, occupants of other vehicles are more likely to be permanently injured, or even killed. The true cause of a truck accident, however, is not always immediately apparent.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Common causes of truck accidents include:

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brain injury, San Jose personal injury attorneyNot so long ago, a concussion was considered just a bump to the head. With new advances in medical science, it has become clear that even with few, or even no, immediate symptoms, a blow to the head may cause a traumatic brain injury that can impact the rest of the victim’s life.

Proving Personal Injury Claims

When you are injured because of someone else’s negligence you have a legal right to be compensated for your damages. But, no matter if you are reaching a settlement with an insurance company or arguing a case before a jury, you have to be able to prove your damages. Proving your damages includes submitting documents such as medical bills and doctor’s reports. It often also requires more subjective proof such as statements about how your injuries have affected your life.

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mass transit, San Jose train accident lawyerMass transit is designed to help reduce congestion on our roadways and safely transport people to work and around the Bay Area. However, sometimes because of negligence a form of mass transportation like a bus, light rail or BART, is involved in an accident that leaves many people hurt.

Causes of Mass Transit Accidents

Just because there has been an accident, does not mean the company or agency operating the mass transit was negligent. Before you will be able to successfully get compensated for your injuries, you will need to prove that the negligence of someone connected with the mass transit agency caused your injury.

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personal injury claim, San Jose personal injury attorneyIf you have been in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you may have a personal injury claim. Under California law, there are some very specific steps you have to take to protect your rights and to pursue a claim for compensation for your damages. A personal injury claim is a process, not a single event.

Understanding Negligence

Before you can successfully bring a claim for personal injury, you will need to show that the other driver acted negligently and that that their negligence caused your injuries. All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care. Negligence is when this duty to drive with reasonable care is breached.

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While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.

 
John J. Garvey, III
10 Almaden Blvd, #1250
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