Bay Area Car Accident Attorney
As one of the largest states in the nation, California is a place where owning a car to get from point A to point B often becomes a necessity. California is well known for its famous car culture. In fact, Southern California is known world-wide for its vast number of nice cars, as well as the heavy traffic that comes along with that. In the northern part of the state, the San Francisco metro area is one of the most populous areas in the nation with San Jose being touted as the 10th largest city nationwide and the City of San Francisco proper ranked 14th largest. As a result, the San Francisco area is host to millions of drivers in cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles flowing through its streets every day. Unfortunately, wherever there are drivers in motor vehicles, there tends to be automobile accidents. Car accidents can be terrifying in the moment, then overwhelming, infuriating and, again, terrifying in the aftermath. If you have been involved in a car accident in San Francisco, having an experienced attorney to help you navigate the avalanche of legal issues, insurance problems, possible incident investigations, and potential compensation can be a great help in an otherwise difficult time.
If you were a pedestrian involved in an automobile accident, you are not alone. According to data compiled by the City and County of San Francisco, 29 pedestrians died from being struck by cars or other motor vehicles in 2019. This number was unacceptably high, so in November of 2019, local government officials declared a state of emergency to attempt to find ways to curb traffic-related deaths for pedestrians. So far, no local laws have been enacted, nor have any other programs been put in place to protect pedestrians from being hit by cars. Normally heavy traffic, especially around rush hours, was estimated to have increased by as much as 40% once Uber and Lyft became ubiquitous in the area, only making traffic worse. Drivers speeding down more open roads may or may not see pedestrians stepping off the sidewalk to cross the street. A lack of police or traffic controlling personnel means that drivers routinely park in bicycle lanes and edge into crosswalks flooded with pedestrians with few, if any consequences. But for a pedestrian with no protective gear, getting hit by even a slow-moving car can cause serious harm and even death. It is important for victims of these types of car accidents to know that they have legal options to seek compensation for medical bills and the likely ensuing loss of income they may suffer as a result of these accidents.
Car accidents can, and frequently do, occur without another person or vehicle involved. In crowded metro areas, (such as San Francisco) construction, street maintenance and improvements are a part of everyday life. Cones blocking off lanes, fencing, construction signs and equipment of all shapes and sizes can obstruct a driver’s view while on the road and lead to confusion, which, in turn, can cause traffic accidents. Potholes in the road can cause drivers to swerve suddenly into nearby lanes. Bad weather can also cause unsafe driving conditions, such as low visibility and slippery roads. Distracted driving is also an increasingly common cause of car accidents. Examples of this include drivers failing to keep their eyes and attention on the road as a result of looking at text messages, trying to adjust GPS in their vehicles, picking up their phones for a call. Another common example is drivers being preoccupied by food when eating while on the road. It may seem like just a few seconds that a driver looks down to wipe up a drip of coffee, or a few stray pieces of a burrito, but those few seconds are really all that is needed to take a person’s attention away from their surroundings. As a result, they might not notice a car pulling into traffic in front of them or changing lanes just behind them. According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC), cell phones cause more than one million car accidents every year nationwide, with about 14% of these accidents proving fatal for at least one person involved. In fact, cell phone usage and texting while driving are so dangerous that 47 states have laws making texting while driving illegal, and several states have taken the additional step of requiring hands-free devices for making cell phone calls while driving.
Drinking while driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol is exceptionally dangerous. Despite most being aware of this, alcohol-related accidents still happen with alarming frequency. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 30 people all around the country die in alcohol-related car accidents every day, or roughly one person every 50 minutes. While these numbers are shocking, they have actually gone down by about one-third in the last 30 years or so. It is shocking to think of the number of people who perished in drunk-driving accidents every year before legislators around the country finally enacted laws prohibiting driving under the influence and severely punishing people who disobey these rules.
Being the victim of a car accident, however it happens, can change a person’s life. Even if the victim does not die, nor end ups being permanently injured as a result, dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is not something anyone should go through alone. Our experienced San Francisco car accident attorneys can advise you on important matters, such as whether you have legal standing to sue someone after an accident. They can also help with the avalanche of paperwork and health or car insurance claims that will inevitably follow.
At Mary Alexander & Associates, we know how to successfully fight for our clients. Our attorneys have dealt with countless car accident cases, and as a result, have extensive knowledge of the applicable laws and navigating the judicial system. If you are recuperating from severe injuries after a car accident, having a good attorney can make dealing with insurance paperwork, police reports, and medical bills easier so you can focus on getting well and healthy again, while we focus on getting you the compensation you deserve.