Understanding San Francisco Car Accident Cases

Getting into a car wreck can continue to disturb many aspects of your life for years after the accident. The initial shock and moments following a motor vehicle accident can be difficult to handle without a knowledgeable attorney. If you need help understanding the San Francisco car accident case process, speak with a legal representative today.

Common Causes

One of the most common causes of car accidents in San Francisco is attributable to driver inattention. Motorists who are more focused on their GPS, radios, cellphones, or other passengers can cause serious car wrecks. Motor vehicle accidents also happen when motorists ignore traffic signs, stop lights, and other important signage. For example, if a driver does not obeythe right of way as specified on a traffic sign, a collision may occur.

Unfortunately, another common cause of devastating car accidents is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In these situations, the aftermath can be particularly gruesome.

Filing a Claim Against a Government Entity

If a car accident occurs on public property or involves a government agency, a plaintiff must first file a government claim form within six months of the incident.  In general, for a government claim, the public entity has 45 days to respond. If the public entity either fails to respond or rejects the claim, the plaintiff can then pursue a civil action in court against the entity.

An experienced San Francisco attorney who understands the complex nuances of filing a car accident case against a government entity could help you recover for your losses. Legal counsel can also help collect critical evidence for your case, such as security camera or red-light camera footage that could have captured your incident on film.

Comparative Negligence

When trying to understand liability in San Francisco car accident cases, a claimant should consider contacting an attorney. San Francisco is a “pure” comparative negligence jurisdiction, which allows a plaintiff to collect damages even if he/she is found to be mostly “at fault” for an accident. However, a court may then reduce a plaintiff’s damages by the percentage it finds the plaintiff was “at fault” in causing his/her injuries in the accident. For example, if the plaintiff was distracted or was not wearing their seatbelt, and as a result suffered more significant injuries, he/she may receive a smaller portion of his/her entire loss.

In a multi-defendant case, comparative negligence comes into play due to the multiple insurance coverage pockets providing coverage for each defendant. For example, the liability of each separate defendant will be limited only to that part of the noneconomic damages that is equal to each separate defendant’s allocated percentage of fault.

Retain a Dedicated Attorney

Once you hire an attorney and file your case, you can focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track. Legal counsel can handle the lien holders and work to ensure you do not make any improper admissions to the opposing side that could jeopardize your claim. Most importantly, an attorney can be your advocate and guide you through the claims process. For help understanding San Francisco car accident cases, schedule a consultation as soon as possible.