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Automobile Accidents, Sacramento Car Accidents Lawyer, Auto Injury Attorney
An Automobile Accidents can change the lives of victims and their families forever by causing catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. If you have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a car crash, York Law Firm can help. Our auto and car crash accidents attorneys are lawyers who serve Sacramento, Fairfield, and other Northern California areas with an unwavering commitment to fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families. Our lawyers have resolved many auto accident cases on behalf of injured clients, either by taking a case to trial or by reaching an out-of-court settlement. Our law firm has the expertise to handle cases ranging from simple collisions to automotive product liability or flawed road design. When you enlist the help of our legal team, we will fight hard to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Auto Accidents and Car Crash Lawsuits
After a serious collision, it is important to understand your legal rights. What you do or don’t do following a collision can affect the outcome of your case, so it is critical to immediately contact an Auto Accidents attorney if you suspect that you may have a case.
The laws pertaining to auto accidents are intended to discourage reckless driving and compensate victims for injuries caused by the negligence of others. This purpose is accomplished by holding car designers, manufacturers, and distributors responsible for the safety of their products (product liability) and holding motorists responsible for driving safely. Laws also require that roadways be maintained properly. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, motorcycle accident, large truck accident, and wrongful death laws may also impact a victim’s claim.
Who is liable?
Car accident injuries are often the result of another party’s recklessness or carelessness. If you are hit from behind (rear-ended), you are likely not liable and can recover fully for your damage to your car as well as your resulting injury. However, California is what is known as a “comparative fault” state. Comparative fault assesses the percentage of fault attributed to each party and the plaintiff’s percentage of fault will reduce any recovery he or she obtains. This means that even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault, he or she will still be able to recover 1% of the total recovery amount.
Legal Considerations in a Car Accident Case
Statute of Limitations. As with any lawsuit, car accident injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time of the harmful wrongful conduct, a period known as the statute of limitations. Failure to bring suit within this period may bar your ability to bring suit completely. The statute of limitations, however, differs depending on the subject matter of the case. At York Law Firm, our attorneys can advise and protect your legal claim.
Eye witnesses. In car accident injury cases, it is extremely important to get eyewitness accounts of the incident. Eyewitnesses help verify your side of the story and increase your probability of obtaining a favorable verdict.
Recovering Damages in a Car Accident Case
The injured plaintiff can recover past and future medical expenses and non-economic damages (also referred to as pain and suffering – the harms, injuries and losses suffered). Punitive damages can also be awarded when the plaintiff can prove that the wrongdoer acted fraudulently, maliciously or recklessly.
York Law Firm cares about their clients and their well-being. We understand the expenses associated with a car accident injury can be considerable and know how important it is to be compensated for your medical care costs (past and future), physical injuries and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at York Law Firm are devoted to helping their clients obtain the compensation to which they were entitled.
Types of Damages
Compensatory Damages. Compensatory damages are damages meant to “right the wrong.” In other words, they are meant to reimburse/make up for the injuries, harms and losses sustained by the victim.
There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include quantifiable amounts such as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages or property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, physical injuries/harms, mental anguish and emotional distress. They also include “loss of consortium,” or damages for loss of society, comfort and care of the injured plaintiff. Because the human loss – physical pain and suffering – are immeasurable, an experienced lawyer can help you quantify your pain and suffering. Non-economic damages will often exceed the amount of economic damages awarded, which is why you need to contact one of our skilled attorneys at York Law Firm. We have extensive experience in advocating for recovery of damages.
Punitive Damages. Damages awarded to the victim in order to punish the wrongdoer for his or her gross negligence are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded where the conduct was malicious or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights, displaying an indifference to the rights and safety of others. Punitive damages may also be awarded when the defendant’s conduct is fraudulent or oppressive.
What to Do after an Automobile Accidents
If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile accidents or car crash, first seek medical treatment. Do not say anything at the scene of the accident – even if you believe you are at least partially at fault – since this may harm your potential case should you decide to seek damages. Obtain contact information from other parties involved in the accident and any witnesses, and take pictures of the accident scene. Finally, seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company, as the insurance companies try to minimize your injuries and will avoid or delay paying out on your claim. Contact York Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation with one of our automobile accidents attorneys based in Sacramento and Fairfield. You may also call us toll-free at 800-939-1832 or complete a short questionnaire for a free consultation. Let one of our experienced Sacramento car accident lawyers handle your case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Motor vehicle travel is the most convenient and common means of travel in the United States; however, it also frequently causes injuries and fatalities. Perhaps due to our proximity to the capitol or our fast-paced lifestyles, the 2008 Sacramento Police Department report of traffic accidents reported that Sacramento is the worst city among the ten worst cities over the population of 250,000 for vehicle accidents.
Auto accidents can be caused by any number of things and are often the result of the guilty party’s recklessness or carelessness. Some of the most common causes of car accidents are:
Driver Fatigue. According to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration, drive fatigue accounts for nearly 100,000 accidents every year in the U.S. The risk is greatest at the time most people are used to sleeping, any time between 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Distracted Drivers. A driver who is distracted is a risk to himself and to others on the road. Distracted drivers seem to be the root of an overwhelming percentage of car accidents. Rubbernecking (looking at the side of the road), eating, fidgeting with the radio, looking at scenery and talking or texting on your cell phone while driving are common distractions. As of July 2008, it is illegal in California to talk on your cell phone while driving. California also bans texting while driving.
Reckless Drivers. Of course, a reckless driver is a threat to others on the road as well as his passengers and pedestrians. A driver is reckless if he or she speeds, runs red lights, drives without headlights, weaves in and out of traffic to pass slower cars, or drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Auto Accidents Settlements
York Law Firm’s recent successes include a $2.75 million settlement in a motor vehicle case involving a motorcyclist, $1.1 million verdict in a Tehama County motor vehicle case and a $1.3 million dollar settlement on behalf of a client who needed back surgery following a rear end collision. The firm also handles smaller auto accident cases in an efficient manner, thereby maximizing recoveries for the clients we represent. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers have a reliable and proven track record.
When we buy new or used vehicles, we make two assumptions: first, that it will run efficiently to fit our desired needs; and second, that it will keep us safe in the event of a car accident. Crashworthiness is the ability of vehicles to withstand collisions and prevent injuries to vehicle occupants. The goal of vehicle crashworthiness is to protect vehicle occupants by making sure all vehicles can withstand a car crash and keep the occupant and passengers safe. If the car is not crashworthy, the vehicle manufacturer is liable for any enhanced injuries sustained by the occupants.
Passenger’s Rights in an Accident
When you are driving and collide with another vehicle through no fault of your own, you can, of course, sue for property damage and any injury sustained as a result. But what if you’re a passenger? What are your legal rights?
In California, passengers who are injured as a result of a car accident can sue the negligent driver, even if they were the passenger of the negligent driver. Many passengers are reluctant to sue their driving companion if the negligent driver is their friend. However, keep in mind that your friend’s insurance company is the one who will pay for any damages you sustained.
Automotive Product Liability
If an automobile has a defect and you or someone you loved is injured as a result of the defect, automotive product liability may be established. In these cases, the manufacturer may be liable.
There are many different types of automotive product defects, but the most common types are listed below.
Defective Seatbelts. With the passage of the “Click It or Ticket” program in 2005, seatbelt usage is at an all time high. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, California’s seat belt use rate has increased to 95.3 percent in 2009. These statistics do us little good if the seatbelt is defective. Some of the most common seatbelt defects are inertial unlatching (when the seatbelt unlatches during a collision), false latching (when a seatbelt appears to be buckled, but is not), and excessive seatbelt slack.
Defective Airbags. Airbags are meant to protect passengers from head injuries during a car collision. The speed and force at which airbags deploy must be sufficient enough to offset the force of the passenger who’s propelled forward from the accident. Most airbags deploy at speeds in excess of 20 to 25 mph; however, some airbags deploy at the wrong time or fail to deploy altogether.
Defective Tires. According to the National Automotive Sampling System-Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), blowouts and flat tires account for thousands of serious crashes every year.
Defective Child Care Seats. Child care seats (including booster seats for older children) are used over 85% of the time for children of all ages and from all different ethnic backgrounds. Even though we’d like to think that we’re keeping our children safe by using a child care seat, if the seat is defective, they are exposed to the dangers of an injury from a car collision.
Defective Braking Systems. Defective car brakes are a serious concern – if the brakes are bad or don’t work, the risk of serious injuries resulting from an accident increases tremendously.
Defective Fuel Lines. Faulty fuel line connectors don’t cause accidents, but they can make accidents much worse. A defective fuel line can result in post-accident auto fires, causing severe burn injury to the victim or even death.
Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys
Sacramento, Fairfield and Bay Area
Driving drunk is against the law. Accidents where alcohol is involved often result in serious injury and even wrongful death, forever impacting the lives of the victim’s loved ones. At York Law Corporation, our drunk driving injury attorney are experienced lawyers who serve Sacramento, Fairfield and the Bay Area with an unyielding commitment to justice. If you enlist our legal services, you will receive superior legal representation that will utilize every resource to present the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Drunk Driving Laws
Driving drunk (with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater) is illegal in all 50 states. All states have also adopted the “zero tolerance” law which applies to drivers under 21 with 0.01% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For specific California laws pertaining to drunk driving, feel free to visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Overall, drunk driving statistics has lowered dramatically. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2007, there were only 2.2% of drivers with a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. This represents an impressive 71% decline in weekend night drunken driving incidents. Not surprisingly, the same study found that those who did drive drunk drove more frequently during early nighttime (10pm to midnight) and late nighttime (1am to 3am) than during the daytime.
The National Institutes of Health reports that alcohol-related traffic deaths has declined by over 60% since the mid 1970s. Today, alcohol is involved in 40% of traffic deaths. Among individuals between the ages of 16 to 20, the percentage is 36%.
Drunk Driving Penalties
The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are strict. In California, a first time DUI offender can be punished by jail time from a minimum of 4 days to a maximum of 6 months. In addition, the individual will be fined, will lose her license for 6 months, will have to attend DUI school, and will be on probation for 3-5 years (where she cannot drink and drive at all during that period). Second DUI offenders have even more stringent penalties – the fines are greater, they lose their license for 2 years, in addition to all the penalties of a first time offender. The greater the offenses, the more severe the punishment. Once you have four DUI offenses, it may be considered a felony DUI. This can be punishable by up to 3 years in prison and permanent loss of driver’s license.
Dram Shop Liability
When a person is noticeably inebriated and a host or business continues to serve the intoxicated individual, can the person who continued to serve the drunk patron or guest be liable for any injury he or she causes? In California, the answer is “yes,” but only if the individual is a minor. The Dram Shop Act imposes liability on the part of the vendor or host who serves an obviously inebriated individual, as well as the business itself. California only finds the host or business strictly liable if he or she continues to serve a noticeably intoxicated minor and someone is injured by the drunken patron or guest.
Protecting the Injured
SUV Rollover Accidents Sacramento, Fairfield and Bay Area
York Law Firm is dedicated to helping victims of rollover accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a rollover accident due to a manufacture defect (link to “Manufacturer Liability”), contact York Law Firm immediately. Serving Sacramento, Fairfield and the Bay Area, we will fight for your rights.
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are very popular in the U.S., and sales continue to rise. Unfortunately, SUVs are more susceptible to rolling over because they have a higher center of gravity and are top heavy designs with narrow wheelbases. At high speeds, they are especially likely to rollover.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sport utility vehicles (SUVs) involved in rollover accidents are a growing problem in our society, especially among young people. The NHTSA reports that between the years 1992 to 2001, 986 SUV drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were fatally injured in a U.S. rollover crash. Further, the National Center for Statistical Analysis (NCSA) found that in 2004, 275,637 vehicles rolled over in a car accident. Between 1992 and 1996, the NHTSA reported over 227,000 rollover crashes occurred annually, resulting in approximately 9,000 fatalities.
Representing Injured Pedestrians
Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Sacramento, Fairfield and Bay Area
The consequences of a pedestrian or bicyclist being struck by a motor vehicle can be devastating. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2005, over 5,000 people were killed and more than 78,000 pedestrian and bicyclists were injured in motor-vehicle-related crashes. If you or your loved one suffered a pedestrian accident injury, you need the help of a skilled attorney to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering. York Law Firm offers unparalleled legal representation from a team of experienced pedestrian accident attorneys. Serving Sacramento, Fairfield and the Bay Area, we treat each of our clients as our most important client and fight to obtain justice.
Recovering for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If a pedestrian is struck and injured due to someone else’s negligence, recovery can be sought. A person is negligent if she fails to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar situation. Proving liability requires proof of negligence. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault and her actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If the defendant is found negligent, she may be 100% liable for the injuries the plaintiff sustained. However, if the pedestrian is found comparatively negligent, her recovery can be reduced by the percentage at which she is at fault. A plaintiff is comparatively negligent if her conduct falls below the standard of conduct which she should conform to for her own protection and which is a legally contributing cause that cooperates with the negligence of the defendant in bringing about the plaintiff’s harm.
Types of Damages Recoverable
As with any personal injury case, the injured party is entitled to certain damages if her injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. These damages include past and future medical care costs, pain and suffering, emotional trauma and loss of future earnings as a result of the injury.
If you or someone you love is seeking compensation for your pedestrian accident injury, York Law Firm can help. Our experienced attorneys have obtained millions for our clients’ personal injuries and have the experience and expertise to advise you on your legal claim.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents occur for a number of reasons. In some cases, the pedestrian can be comparatively negligent. In many cases, however, the defendant is negligent due to any of the following reasons:
- The driver is driving recklessly (speeding, not adhering to traffic signs, weaving in and out of traffic, etc.)
- The driver is not paying attention to the road
- The driver is driving drunk
Contact Our Sacramento Car Accidents Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, contact York Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation with one of our automobile and car crash accidents attorneys. Our lawyers, who serve Sacramento, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, Fairfield, and the Bay Area, will provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Sacramento Car Accident Attorneys Today! 800-939-1832