San Diego Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers at (619) 777-5555. You may be entitled to compensation, and our experienced San Diego car accident lawyers can help you maximize your financial recovery.

Money won’t guarantee that life gets back to normal, but it can make a world of difference while you try to get back on your feet.

Contact us to discuss your legal options. Your consultation with our team is free. We’re always available to take your call – 24/7.

How a Car Accident Attorney at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident

Why You Should Call An Attorney After an Accident

If you want to recover compensation – and maximize your settlement or award – it’s smart to have an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer fighting for you. Getting the money you deserve after an accident isn’t as easy as it should be. Other parties will try to blame you. Insurance companies will be diligent in searching for a reason to deny or devalue your claim. 

Our law firm has a 99% success rate for the cases we handle. Since 2010, we’ve recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for accident victims just like you. We’re a family-run law firm with 43 years of combined experience.

We know how much is at stake, and we’re ready to fight for you by:

  • Carefully investigate the circumstances that led to and surrounded your traffic accident 
  • Consulting with leading specialists as we strategize, build, and value your case
  • Step in to protect you if insurance companies try to pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer
  • Limiting the effectiveness of any arguments that you share fault for the accident
  • Negotiating with adjusters so that you receive offers that reflect the full value of your injuries, and
  • Having our accomplished trial attorneys represent you in court if settlement negotiations don’t pan out.

If you were injured or a loved one member was killed in an accident, give us a call to learn more. Our attorneys are ready to help you get the best possible outcome after your unexpected incident.

San Diego Car Accident Statistics

How Common Are Auto Accidents?

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, San Diego has more reported motor vehicle accidents than most other cities in the Golden State.

Last year, more than 35 people died in DUI accidents, making 2021 the year with the most deaths for driving under the influence in San Diego County.

And according to data published by the SDPD, there were 8,055 traffic accidents in the city in 2020. That’s 22 accidents a day during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a result of those wrecks, at least 4,288 people were injured and another 59 lost their lives.

Between January 2021 and early October 2021, there have been more than 6,700 automobile wrecks. You can read more about the motor vehicle accident statistics here.

Car Accident Fatalities

From 2016 to 2019 people witnessed over 340 fatal car wrecks.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Protect yourself and preserve your ability to recover compensation by taking these steps:

  • Stay at the scene – but move to a safe position, if possible, to the side of the road
  • Exchange information about your insurance company, but don’t apologize – don’t admit fault on record, either
  • Call the police immediately – you’ll want an officer to conduct a preliminary investigation and create an accident report
  • Get medical attention – seek medical care as soon as you can to ensure that your physical injuries are treated and documented
  • Don’t provide a recorded statement – insurance adjusters often try to get you to say something to weaken your case
  • Direct all conversations to your lawyer – the best thing would be to have an attorney represent you and take care of every part of the claim on your behalf

If you have accident injuries because of someone else’s negligence, contact our law firm as you have the chance after your accident.

What Causes Most Car Accidents in San Diego?

Negligence is the leading cause of accidents. Negligence means that someone had a responsibility to act in a particular way, but failed to do so. And, in consequence, someone else got harmed. 

Some frequent causes are:

In order to prove negligence, you must show that another party owed you a duty of care, breached it, and caused you harm. 

Types of Car Accidents We Handle

Our team has experience handling all kinds of car accident cases, including:

Contact our car accident attorneys if you were recently involved in an accident. Our lawyers know what to do and will do our best to maximize your compensation.

What Compensation Is Available If I’m Hurt in a Car Accident in San Diego, CA?

What Compensation Is Available If I’m Injured in an Auto Accident?

Motor-vehicle accident victims are commonly entitled to seek compensatory damages. These are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.

In limited instances, punitive damages might be available, too.

Economic Damages:

Economic damages are paid to make you financially whole again after an unexpected accident. In other words, the money you’re awarded is intended to compensate for the verifiable costs, losses, and expenses that result from a wreck.

Examples include:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Loss of wages and income
  • Disability
  • Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses if an accident is fatal

This type is objective – meaning that there’s a way to establish what they’re worth and the amount you will recover. However, since damages can account for future losses, it is still important to have an attorney help you navigate the valuation process.

Non-Economic Damages:

Non-economic damages are intended to compensate for these hard-to-value injuries. 

Examples include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

This category is almost always subject to disagreement. Insurance companies will try to play down the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. You should have a group of experts in your corner, including medical professionals, vocational specialists, and others, supporting your claims that you’ve suffered. Taking the time to really document and verify your injuries will help you maximize your recovery.

Punitive Damages:

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant – the person responsible for your injuries – for what they’ve done. However, these awards are limited for situations where punishment is really warranted. California requires clear and convincing evidence of malice.

In the context of car accident claims, punitive damages most often apply when a driver was under the influence or knowingly left the scene of an accident after causing serious injuries or fatality. 

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

If you have sustained severe and catastrophic injuries after a car accident caused by a careless driver, you can seek compensation for:

When a pedestrian or a bicyclist is involved, the injuries are often catastrophic. When an accident is fatal, our wrongful death lawyers are here to help grieving family members, too.

What Are the Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in San Diego?

According to data, these are the intersections that are considered the most dangerous roads and intersections because of their high number of accidents:

  • Clairemont Mesa Blvd & Convoy St (6)
  • Convoy St & Engineer Rd (5)
  • 10th Avenue & E St (4)
  • 11th St & A St (3)
  • 15th St & F St (3)
  • 15 St & Market St (3)
  • 16th St & Commercial St (3)
  • 16th St & Logan Avenue (3)
  • 30th St & University Avenue (3)
  • 36th St & El Cajon Blvd (3)

Other notoriously high-risk stretches of a road include Market St and 6th Ave, Interstate 5, and Interstate 8.

California Accident Laws

Is California a No-Fault Insurance State?

No-Fault Insurance

No, California has fault-based rules when it comes to car insurance. This indicates that the insurance company that covers the party at-fault is on the hook for resulting damages. 

After an accident that’s not your fault, you’ll be filing an insurance claim with another driver’s provider. 

Uninsured Motorists in California

While California has strict requirements about what minimum car insurance coverage must be purchased to drive a vehicle, not everyone follows the rules. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every five drivers is uninsured or underinsured.

If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, it doesn’t mean you can’t recover damages. It just indicates that things get a bit more complicated. 

In these situations, you might be able to file a:

  • Claim with your own insurance company, especially if you opted to buy uninsured motorist coverage (UMC/UIM)
  • Lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver
  • Lawsuit against other negligent parties, such as a government agency, property owner, or vehicle manufacturer.

If you were injured in an accident on the job, you may even qualify to recover workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. 

California Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

California has a strict two-year statute of limitations that applies to most car accident lawsuits. So, there’s a good chance that you’ll have two years from the date of your accident to pursue a civil lawsuit against those responsible. 

You may have more time to act if your injuries aren’t evident right away. You’ll have less time to act if you suspect a government agency is accountable. 

One thing is certain: you will forfeit the opportunity to retrieve compensation if you miss the deadline that applies to your particular case.

That’s a great reason to get in touch with our team as soon as you can after you get hurt.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident?

If your accident resulted in injuries or fatality, you’re required to call 911 under the law

The SDPD typically only responds to accidents involving injuries. Accordingly, you should call the SDPD if the driver fled the accident scene or if anyone was injured or killed. If the accident occurred on a California freeway, you should communicate the accident to the CHP.

If a law enforcement officer isn’t dispatched to the scene of the accident, you may be directed to the nearest police station to submit a report. You must also report the accident to the DMV within ten days.

Even if your accident didn’t involve any type of harm, it’s always wise to call the police. In some circumstances, the dispatcher may send an officer anyway, and you’ll ensure that you’re meeting your legal reporting requirements. 

Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

Most car accident lawyers offer a free initial evaluations, so there’s no risk in scheduling an appointment to discuss your collision. Minor auto accidents can still cause injuries and property damage, and an attorney can advise you of your course of action if the other driver was at fault. There’s no obligation on having an attorney if you decide that legal action is unnecessary.

When Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

When to hire a car accident attorney is a frequent question. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your car accident. Insurance adjusters will try to make quick, inadequate offers to settle the claim as quickly as possible. Additionally, California’s statute of limitations is only two years. This may seem plenty of time, but if you need to submit a lawsuit, it takes time to gather evidence and build a case. 

How Much Will it Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.

This indicates:

  • There are no upfront costs associated with our legal representation.
  • We assume all monetary risks associated with litigating your case.
  • You only pay us if we win your case – meaning we negotiate a settlement or win a verdict at trial.

When your accident attorney wins your case, they will get a percentage of your net award. It’s that simple.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

Every car accident claim is different – with unique causes, victims, injuries, and defendants. Some claimants may receive a few thousand dollars, while others receive millions. 

The average settlement is around $20,000 to $30,000, but you could get more or less depending on the severity of your injuries and how they affect your quality of life. During your free evaluation, we’ll talk over your collision and give you a better idea of what you can foresee to recover for your claim.

How Do I File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

To start, you must first fill out a complaint outlining your legal arguments for why the other party is liable and the damages you are seeking. You must do this with the court, and then it will be presented to the opposing parties. 

You should ensure that you’re within the applicable statute of limitations (two years for most auto accident suits), or else you’ll be barred from filing. 

The defendant must answer to your complaint within 30 days, and then you’ll engage in pretrial discovery.

How To Find the Right Car Accident Attorney

When researching potential attorneys to represent you in your accident case, look at client testimonials, past case results, credentials, and how many years they have with motor vehicle cases. You want an attorney who can get optimal results while providing personalized attention and compassion for what you’re going through.

You can arrange a free evaluation with a few different attorneys to determine which one you think will work best for your needs. You should select someone you feel comfortable communicating with and who listens to you.

What’s My Car Accident Case Worth?

It really depends on how serious your injuries are. According to the National Safety Council, the average comprehensive value of a car accident in 2019 ranged anywhere from $155,000 to $11,148,000.

The more serious your injuries, the higher the value your case will probably be.

Of course, there are a lot of aspects that can affect the value of your case, including:

  • Whether your damages interferes with your ability to work – temporarily or permanently
  • How the accident and resulting damage affect you emotionally, and
  • The extent to which your property is damaged in the wreck.

You can increase the odds that you get a full financial recovery by having an experienced attorney to represent you.

Who’s Liable in an Auto Accident?

Potentially liable parties could include:

When you have an accident attorney, they will carefully investigate your accident to determine why it happened and who’s to blame. You can trust that we will be on your side during these difficult times and will work to secure maximum compensation from all responsible parties.

How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Case?

The length of time it will take to settle your case is highly fact-specific. However, a few factors could impact your case’s timeline.

Is the other party willing to negotiate a fair settlement agreement? Most cases settle before trial, but sometimes a trial is the best course of action for maximizing your compensation. Cases that reach trial will take much longer to resolve than cases that do not.

How much evidence is readily available? If there is sufficient, clear-cut evidence to prove your case, your case could resolve more quickly. This is because your bargaining power will be stronger with the other side, and we might not have to go through the discovery process. Keep in mind that some cases go to the courtroom but do not fully progress to the trial stage. For instance, the discovery could unearth sufficient evidence such that the other person decides to agree on a fair settlement.

Other factors include how many parties are involved in the case and whether an insurance company is involved.

How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Car Accident Report?

Here are a few different ways you can get your car accident report. You can click here to view the relevant webpage on the City’s website. From there, you’ll click on the “Traffic Collision or Accident Reports” heading.

Clicking this heading will expand the menu, which describes the four ways to retrieve your document. The first is an online method through LexisNexis eCrash. The second is to call the City at the appropriate phone number. You can also get it via a mail-in request.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Diego Car Accident Attorneys

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Team Near You

Have you been injured in an auto accident? Call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for immediate legal assistance. Our San Diego car accident attorneys are ready to help you fight for the money you need to cover the money spent on your medical bills, make up for lost income, and for non-economic losses. 

Our law firm has proven results with settlements for our clients and litigation cases. We have experience with all practice areas, so contact us today to get started. We are happy to respond to your legal questions.

Jen Reyes
Jen Reyes
May 23, 2023.
This was my very first time retaining a Lawyer due to an accident. It was very traumatic and needed help. I am very thankful to the entire Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Team for handling my situation, for their thoroughness and their attention to myself and my accident. They are very friendly and patient. I am glad they were my first-time lawyers, and I will be recommending them to those who may need.
Thomas Pfeiffer
Thomas Pfeiffer
December 16, 2022.
I reached out to Mission after suffering severe injuries to both ankles after a high fall. They were extremely professional and supportive from the first call, and went above and beyond, working with me on my case for over 18 months till I recovered $500,000 (maximum insurance policy limit of the defendant) for medical expenses, and pain and suffering. I highly recommend Mission Legal, the whole Team, stuck with me never wavering, starting with David, Founding Partner, Cassandra, and all the office staff.
Melissa Jones
Melissa Jones
November 15, 2022.
I can’t thank David and the team at Mission for their dedication to my case. They couldn’t have been more compassionate and kind. Calls and emails were always returned promptly. And if David wasn’t available he had some of the best paralegal staff guiding me every step of the way. Thank you to everyone at Mission Personal Injury! And many many thanks to David Munoz you’re hard work will never be lost on me.
Kim Hernandez
Kim Hernandez
October 7, 2022.
I have had nothing but wonderful experiences when dealing with Mission Personal Injury. The attorneys keep me up to date on information regarding my case. They were very compassionate and professional. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of services. I did a lot of research on this firm prior to deciding on which practice I wanted to represent my situation. They are truly a top notch group of individuals. I am very grateful for the help they have provided to me.
Darrel Hicks
Darrel Hicks
August 19, 2022.
Hi I am Darrel Hicks Jr and I had a recent claim with Mr. Brock and Mission Legal Services after me and my dad were involved in a car accident. I was learning how to drive at the age of 17 and got into an accident that was clearly not my fault. This accident had an impact on my life that required physical therapy, missed my basketball season, and mental health therapy. I was having a hard time resuming to learn how to drive again. I was afraid that me and my dad were going to have the same fate as my friend and his dad in which his dad died and my friend injured his back. This was a frustrating time for me and my dad. Mr. Brock and Mission Legal started to represent us and our claim. They fully supported me participating in physical therapy and mental health therapy. As a young male teen, it was hard to talk to about what happened to the firm only bc i didnt want to seem like a baby that needed therapy because I couldnt get over wanting to drive again. However, Mr. Brock and the Mission Legal team listened to me when I provided them information, they didnt judge me, and they were super supportive of what I was going through as a teenager. They allowed me to take my time in therapy and they made me feel like my well being was very important to them. This allowed me to continue on with my therapy and not feel rushed to get better. Not only were they concerned about my physical health, me returning to my normal way of life of playing sports, and learning how to drive again without having any fear, they also wanted to make sure that I received a fair financial settlement for what had happened to me. This was very reassuring to me as a teenager. I was glad that my dad found Mission Legal Services as they believed in our claim on what we said actually happened. According to my dad, not many legal firms wanted to take our case. Mission Legal Services provided us with professional service that even a 17 yr old teenager could tell was on point. Thanks Mission Legal
Arturo Sanchez
Arturo Sanchez
July 11, 2022.
I had a great experience with Mission Valley injury Lawyers. Broc was my lawyer and he always followed up on the case until We won. I will always be grateful to the firm.
Marie M
Marie M
July 9, 2022.
Very pleased with the results from working with this law firm. Broc Newman is the specific lawyer I worked with for most of my case. He is kind, knowledgeable, capable, and communicative. He helped me to understand the process and make decisions from beginning to end. I definitely recommend them and him.
gashaw boy
gashaw boy
March 14, 2022.
Mission legal was there for me during the hard times while suffering from a bad truck accident Cassandra took care of me she is the best gets the job done and definitely 1 of the best lawyers in San Diego county

Areas We Serve in San Diego, CA

Mission Valley East, Normal Heights, University Heights, Mission Valley, Linda Vista, Birdland, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, North Park, Bankers Hill, Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Middletown, Midway District, Point Loma Heights, Ocean Beach, Encanto, Bay Terraces, Golden Hill, South Park, and more.

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*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website. These were some of the highest-rated auto repair shops on Yelp.

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