SACRAMENTO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers

Sacramento, California, has major freeways, broad suburban streets, and congested urban cores. Unfortunately, it is not known for traffic safety. In fact, car crash injuries are a serious, region-wide concern in Sacramento.

If you or a loved one was involved in a Sacramento car accident, our attorneys are here to help. With over 26 years of law experience, we know how to fight for your rights, and we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Sacramento Car Accidents

Unfortunately, car accident injuries and fatalities are common throughout California. Car accident injuries that led to fatalities increased approximately 7.6% between 2020 and 2021, with fatalities rising from 3,980 to 4,285 deaths. Our Sacramento car injury accident attorneys are very alarmed, and we are concerned that fatalities involving drunk driving rose by approximately 16% during the same period of time.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, there were 12,148 car crashes with injuries or deaths in 2021 in Sacramento County, California. Here at Sette Law Office, our personal injury attorneys report that the organization ranks our region as the third-worst county for car accident injuries and deaths out of 58.

This trend calls for increased vigilance by drivers and pedestrians and greater attention to traffic safety by public officials in Sacramento, California.

If you have been injured in a car accident, let Sette Law fight for you.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Sacramento

While there are plenty of different causes of car accidents in the Sacramento area, some of the most common causes of car accidents in this part of California include: 

Distracted Driving

Unfortunately, distracted driving has become increasingly common as technology advances and more “distractions” become readily available to drivers. This common cause of car accidents typically includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using navigation systems while driving.

Impaired Driving

Unsurprisingly, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can greatly impair a person’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making driving while impaired significantly dangerous for the impaired driver as well as any unsuspecting victims whose paths the driver may cross. 

Speeding

While it may seem like a no-brainer to abide by the posted speed limits, unfortunately, driving above the speed limit can be quite common in Sacramento. Speeding while driving is a major factor in many accidents and reduces the driver’s ability to react quickly to unexpected situations, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death. 

Reckless Driving

Reckless or aggressive driving demeanor, such as tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to yield right-of-way, or disregarding traffic signals, increases the risk of car accidents and creates a dangerous atmosphere for anyone within the reckless driver’s vicinity.

Inexperienced Drivers

Teenagers are often the most inexperienced drivers on the road, and they are often more susceptible to car accidents due to their lack of knowledge about driving and their likelihood of driving riskier than their experienced counterparts.

Road and Weather Conditions

Rain, snow, ice, fog, potholes, debris, or inadequate signage often contribute to accidents if drivers are not prepared or attentive, as these hazards can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle in a split second. 

Fatigue 

Unfortunately, driving while fatigued or drowsy is quite common. This is due to commuting home after long work hours and plenty of other reasons in today’s busy world. Driving while you may be too tired can impair decision-making abilities and decrease attention on the road, making a driver more susceptible to being involved in an accident.

Traffic Violations

Failing to abide by simple traffic laws and making unsafe decisions, such as running red lights or stop signs, illegal turns, or not yielding at crosswalks, increases accident risks. There is a reason these laws are in place, and it’s essential to follow them to ensure a safe roadway for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Vehicle Malfunctions 

Unfortunately, vehicle malfunctions are one of the most common types of accidents that are out of many drivers’ control. When mechanical failures arise, whether brake failure or tire blowouts, it is common for these issues to lead to loss of control and accidents, as they are often completely unexpected by the driver.

Most Common Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents

While there are plenty of different types of injuries a person can sustain following a car accident, some of the most common injuries stemming from car accidents in the Sacramento area include:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder

Contact our personal attorneys today if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident. We are here to help guide you through the legal process so you can focus on healing.

California Law and Negligence in Auto Accidents

Like any personal injury case, it is essential to establish negligence to be successful in your claims against the defendant and prove they are liable for your injuries. In order to collect damages after a car accident, you will need to prove the following four elements of negligence:

  • The driver had a duty of care
  • Their actions (or lack of actions) were a breach of their duty of reasonable care
  • The cause of the crash was the other driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care
  • Damages were sustained as a result of the crash

Having an experienced California personal injury attorney guide you through this process will help ensure you properly establish all four elements of negligence. Failing to develop these elements will likely be detrimental to your case. As such, our car accident attorneys at Sette Law are experts in recognizing these elements and implementing the strongest strategies to help build your negligence case.

California’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

As with any lawsuit in the United States, it’s essential to abide by the statute of limitations in a car accident case. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you may file your case with the court. Failing to file within the time period set forth within the designated statute of limitations will bar you from ever bringing the case, thus resulting in your inability to be compensated for any damages you may have incurred. 

If you are looking to file a car accident claim in Sacramento, you must be aware that the statute of limitations in California establishes that a car accident claim must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. 

This statute has some exceptions, given that every case is different, so be sure to discuss your case with us as soon as possible. Our seasoned attorneys have the experience and knowledge to know what will apply to your case and ensure you file within the appropriate amount of time.

Types of Damages You Can Pursue After a Car Accident

There are two main types of damages that a plaintiff can pursue in a car accident case: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages include any damages that have been incurred that are of financial value, such as: 

  • Medical expenses and bills related to the car accident injuries
  • Emergency treatment
  • Recovery and therapy expenses
  • Lost wages 

Non-Economic Damages

As implied in the name, non-economic damages consist of any damages incurred that are not measurable in a financial manner, such as: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Future losses of wages

Documentation You Will Need to Provide to Your Car Accident Lawyer

While there are plenty of documents you will need to provide to our car accident attorneys, the most important pieces of information that you should provide as soon as possible include: 

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Your ongoing medical treatment plan
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Witness information
  • Police reports
  • Your testimony of the incident

By analyzing these documents as soon as they are available, our car accident attorneys can build an impenetrable legal argument on your behalf.

Do Most Car Accident Cases Settle or Go to Trial?

Despite what popular culture depicts of the legal world, it is exceedingly rare for the majority of cases to go to trial. Trial can be time-consuming and costly, making it rather inefficient in the long run. As such, the majority of car accident cases are likely to settle before reaching trial, as this is often the most favorable outcome for the parties and their attorneys.

However, in certain circumstances, trying the case in front of a judge and jury may be in the best interests of one party to the case. Our skilled car accident attorneys can discuss the specifics of your case with you and help you understand whether you’d benefit more from going to trial or settling your claims before reaching the courtroom.

Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident

As if being involved in a car accident isn’t already stressful enough, you’re going to also have to deal with your insurance company. First, you must report the accident to your insurance company and provide details. However, it’s important to ensure you do not provide the following information to the insurance companies: 

  • Do not admit or imply you are at fault
  • Do not sign anything or give a recorded statement

Insurance companies can seem like they’re on your side, but they are really self-serving and looking to settle the claims as quickly as possible. Some recognizable and common tactics insurance companies use to reduce the amount they pay include: 

  • Pretending they care about your best interests
  • Convincing you that you don’t need a car accident lawyer
  • Offering a quick settlement offer 
  • Delaying the claims process
  • Using your words against you, often out of context
  • Pressure to accept their offer

When you have our attorneys on your side, we will handle all of the negotiations, so you don’t have to talk to the insurance company. We will ensure you get the maximum compensation and protect you from settling for anything less than you deserve.

Insurance Plays a Role In Any Sacramento Car Crash

Our car accident attorneys emphasize that drivers must comply with state laws that mandate car insurance. Liability insurance must apply to the driver, no matter whose car they are driving, and cover others driving the insured’s vehicle.

In Sacramento, California, the minimum insurance is $15,000 for personal injury or death and $5,000 for property damage per accident. This requirement includes out-of-state drivers and drivers whose licenses are invalid.

Almost half of car crashes in California are caused by underinsured and uninsured drivers. Consequently, it’s critical that responsible drivers be sure of their insurance coverage. Car crash injuries have the potential to bankrupt victims who lack sufficient insurance, and our car accident lawyers know one-third of drivers have no vehicle insurance at all.

Adequate coverage can protect insured drivers from those who have none. Responsible motorists readily comply with the state insurance coverage mandate.

Is it Worth Hiring an Attorney for a Car Accident?

While everyone is different, the short and simple answer to this question is: “Yes!” Car accidents and their aftermath can be incredibly stressful for anyone, so having our experienced legal counsel represent you and your rights can be essential to your success.

How an Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident

Although there are many ways in which our car accident attorneys can be helpful following a car accident, some of the most common and helpful ways our lawyers can assist you include: 

  • Accurately calculate your damages
  • Gather evidence to prove fault and liability
  • Professionally negotiate a settlement with the insurance company
  • If a settlement can’t be reached, your car accident attorney will represent you in court

As if these reasons weren’t good enough, studies have shown that, on average, people who hire a car accident attorney receive higher settlements. Really, what more could you ask for?

FAQs

If you have been involved in a car accident, it’s essential to do the following immediately:

  • Check on all occupants, if it is safe
  • Call emergency services
  • If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location
  • Do not leave the scene of the accident
  • Obtain the contact information from witnesses
  • Exchange information with the other drivers involved
  • Remain civil and do not argue with other parties involved
  • Do not admit fault
  • Save your side of the story for the police and your insurance company 
  • Don’t sign any documents or give statements to the other driver’s insurance company
  • Contact our experienced car accident lawyers for a free case consultation

Like most states, California follows “at-fault” auto laws, which means that the driver who caused the accident will be responsible for any losses the other driver suffers. If a driver’s negligence caused an accident, their liability coverage will kick in to cover the losses the other driver has sustained. If you are partially at fault, our attorneys can help you understand how this may impact your settlement.

In these situations, the victim may be forced to seek compensation from their own insurance company. Sometimes, the victim may also sue the negligent driver personally. Be sure to discuss these options with one of our experienced car accident attorneys during a consultation.

There are no upfront fees, and you only pay if you win.

The settlement amount for car accidents can vary significantly, as there are many factors to consider, and every case is unique. Car accident settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to millions, depending on the severity of injuries and property damages.

Typically, once a settlement has been reached, you will receive compensation within four weeks.