Car Accident FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

Contact Our San Jose Car Accident Lawyers To Discuss Your Accident

At Needham Kepner & Fish LLP, our team of San Jose car accident lawyers has years of experience representing car accident victims in the Bay Area who have sustained severe injuries due to a reckless or negligent driver.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, an experienced car accident attorney can help you get organized, meet deadlines, and build your case for compensation.

Below, we have put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about car accidents. If your question is not answered, please call us at (408) 716-1668 to discuss your unique situation

Car Accident FAQs

  • Q:What should I do after being injured in a San Jose car accident?

    A:Following an injury in an automobile accident, you should immediately seek medical attention. If you are able to receive treatment on-scene, begin collecting important information for your case, such as names, addresses, phone numbers from witnesses, passengers, and other involved drivers. This information will help immensely when determining fault.

  • Q:What if I played a role in causing the car accident?

    A:The state of California operates under a pure comparative negligence standard. Put simply, this means — once fault is determined — any award you receive in a court of law will be reduced by the determined percentage of your own fault. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 and are found to be 40 percent at fault, you will receive $6,000.

  • Q:Can a passenger file a lawsuit for a car accident?

    A:Yes. A passenger has every right to file a lawsuit against a negligent or reckless driver who caused an accident in which he or she was injured.

  • Q:How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?

    A:In the state of California, victims in a car accident are typically allowed two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against a private individual or entity. If you wait beyond this date, you may nullify your ability to seek compensation. The rules are different if your accident involved a public entity, such as a City bus. You should consult an attorney to determine the applicable deadline for your situation.

  • Q:What types of compensation could I receive?

    A:If successful in your lawsuit, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills, future medical bills, loss of income, future loss of income, permanent disfigurement, pain and suffering, and numerous other categories.

  • Q:Do I need a San Jose car accident lawyer to handle insurance companies?

    A:Many insurance companies will attempt to sign a settlement as soon as possible following an accident in hopes that you will sign away your right to seek further compensation. You should consult an attorney before accepting any offers.

  • Q:What is a personal injury lawsuit?

    A:A personal injury lawsuit is designed to provide compensation to plaintiffs from defendants who were negligent or reckless — thus causing serious injury. These lawsuits ultimately serve as a transfer of wealth that holds defendants responsible without seeking criminal charges.

  • Q:How much can I expect to recover?

    A:In car accident lawsuits, the amount that is recoverable depends entirely on the circumstances of the case. You should consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.

  • Q:How long will the process take?

    A:The process could take anywhere from several months to several years. If you choose to settle, your case will inevitably end far sooner than if you choose to go to court. However, the choice to settle should not be solely based on this fact.

  • Q:What evidence should I collect?

    A:Throughout your recovery, keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. This will help determine how much, if anything, you should be awarded for pain and suffering. You should also keep copies of all medical records, receipts from prescriptions, and documentation of missed work and take photographs of your injuries.

  • Q:Are there alternatives to court?

    A:If you wish to keep your case out of the courtroom, you may choose to resolve it through negotiation, mediation or arbitration. All of these options require an experienced attorney to assist you with the dispute.

  • Q:What if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt?

    A:If you are injured in a car accident, you are still eligible to file a claim against the negligent driver, despite your seat belt-wearing status. California is a comparative fault state and has codified that not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident does not bar a claim for injury in the state.

  • Q:Why should I consult a San Jose car accident lawyer?

    A:An attorney can help you explore your options, meet deadlines, file paperwork, and build your case. Your ability to win your lawsuit is aided exponentially by having an experienced professional by your side.

  • Q:How much does an attorney cost?

    A:The cost of an attorney depends on your location and the details of your case. However, a number of personal injury lawyers are willing to take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay if you recover money from the defendant.

  • Q:What makes a good car accident attorney?

    A:A good attorney is typically native to your area, experienced in your case type, and prepared to answer any questions you might have — no matter how long it takes. You should feel comfortable with your attorney from the get-go.

Contact an Experienced San Jose Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver? The time has come to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer for assistance at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP by calling (408) 716-1668 or filling out an online form.

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