In Oakland, where freeways and interstates weave through urban landscapes, the unfortunate reality of car accidents is an ever-present concern. Navigating the intricate web of roads, including the notorious I-580, I-880, and the often congested I-980, can be a daunting task. As residents and commuters deal with the complexities of Bay Area traffic, they can become victims of car crashes. These accidents can have life-altering consequences. Having an experienced Oakland car accident lawyer is not just advisable — it’s a necessity.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an Oakland car accident, a trusted Oakland car accident lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm can help you seek justice against the driver who harmed you and recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Why Choose Wilshire Law Firm for Your Car Accident Claim?
Wilshire Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury law firm providing specialized legal assistance to clients in Oakland and across California. Our primary goal is to recover the maximum compensation for each and every one of our deserving clients. Through the years, our team of personal injury lawyers has successfully recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your car accident case, and see why our team of over 500 legal professionals sets a new standard in legal services.
How Common are Car Accidents in Oakland?
Car accidents happen every day here in Oakland and throughout the rest of the country. On average, there are 6 million car accidents in the U.S. every year, and more than 90 people die in auto accidents daily.
California Department of Motor Vehicles statistics show that almost 27 million people have driver’s licenses. There are over 1 million cars on the roads in Alameda County, and Oakland, the largest city in the county, has over 2,000 miles of roadways. Oakland is a bustling city, but unfortunately, it’s also a city where car accidents are quite common.
Some accidents are minor fender benders or other less serious collisions. But in the city of Oakland alone, on average, 29 people are killed in car accidents, and 105 more are severely injured every year. Car accidents appear to be on the rise throughout the state of California, increasing roughly 13 percent year over year.
What are the Common Types of Car Accidents in Oakland?
In California, among the top causes of car accidents are reckless or negligent driving. Alcohol use also contributes significantly to car accidents. Nationally, 29 percent of the overall auto accident fatalities in the United States involve alcohol-impaired driving. One in three traffic deaths includes a drunk driver, and in California, between 2003 and 2012, over 10,000 people lost their lives in accidents involving a drunk driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in Oakland, California:
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact crashes
- Head-on collisions
- Single vs. multi-vehicle car crashes
- T-bone crashes
- Low-speed contact car collisions
- Large truck accidents
- Collisions at intersections
The majority of accidents that do not involve alcohol or reckless driving are the result of speeding or distracted, drowsy, or reckless drivers. Across the country, speeding was involved in 9,717 accidents involving fatalities, and distracted driving accounted for 8.5 percent of fatalities in 2017, with drowsy drivers contributing to 2.1 percent of total fatalities, as illustrated by data from the United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Weather and poor road conditions also play a role in many accidents, as does driver error or a driver failing to adhere to the rules of the road. In serious accidents, speeding and the point of impact factor into the types of injuries drivers and passengers may sustain. To learn more about your rights following a car crash, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or another incident that resulted in serious injury, please contact our Oakland personal injury lawyer.
Do I Have a Car Accident Claim?
Negligence is a legal concept that forms the basis for many personal injury claims, including those related to car accidents. To establish a successful car accident claim based on negligence, the following four elements generally need to be proven:
- Duty of Care: The plaintiff (injured party) must demonstrate that the defendant (the other driver) owed them a duty of care. In the context of driving, this duty of care is usually established by demonstrating that all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to them. This involves proving that the defendant’s actions or omissions fell below the standard of care expected in the circumstances. For example, a breach could occur if the defendant was speeding, ran a red light, or engaged in other reckless behavior.
- Causation: There must be a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. The plaintiff needs to show that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the accident and resulting harm. This includes establishing that the injuries would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s negligent conduct.
- Damages: The plaintiff must have suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. This can include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other measurable losses. Without demonstrable damages, it is challenging to pursue a negligence claim.
What Damages May a Car Accident Victim Be Eligible For?
If you were involved in an automobile accident because another driver was inexperienced, negligent, or just plain reckless, you might be entitled to compensation for injuries, damage to your property, loss of income, and/or pain and suffering. Financial compensation — known as “damages” — depends on the circumstances related to your accident.
Our Oakland car accident lawyers have the experience and resources to help your car accident claim and work with an insurance company, whether you suffered a brain injury, spinal cord injury, or any other personal injury or were involved in a fatal accident. You may be able to file a wrongful death claim, or otherwise hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
It’s important to note that there are different types of damages that may be available to car accident victims. These include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for the cost of medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical services.
- Property Damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of the damaged vehicle and any other property that was damaged in the accident.
- Lost Income Earnings: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery. This may include past and future lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages awarded for the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident and injuries. This category is less tangible and can encompass a variety of non-economic losses.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological harm, such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, resulting from the accident.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: Damages for long-term or permanent injuries that result in a disability or disfigurement, affecting the victim’s quality of life and earning capacity.
- Loss of Consortium: Damages awarded to compensate the spouse or family for the loss of companionship, support, and services of the injured party.
- Wrongful Death Damages: As the name suggests, these damages provide compensation for the expenses associated with the sudden wrongful death of a loved one due to an accident. These include funeral expenses, any medical bills the deceased incurred as a direct result of the accident, and the loss of the deceased’s financial contributions to their household.
The specific details of the case, such as the degree of fault, insurance coverage, and the nature of the injuries, can all impact the types and amounts of damages awarded. To navigate these complexities, seek the assistance of a car accident attorney who can help assess the damages and pursue a fair and appropriate settlement or court judgment.
Who May be Held Liable in a Car Accident Case?
Liability is one of the most complex aspects of any Oakland automobile accident injury claim. Proving fault in these types of personal injury cases can be hard, depending on the details of your car accident claim. Often, it is not clear who was at fault for an automobile accident, truck accident, or Uber accident.
California is considered an at-fault state and has a series of laws to help determine how to handle these claims, which means that car accident injury victims must prove that another party was liable in order to recover compensation.
The following parties may be held liable for an Oakland car accident:
- The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident
- The registered owner of the vehicle
- The car manufacturer
What Should I Do After a Car Accident to Help Support My Claim?
Car accidents happen; it’s what you do afterward that counts. Life comes at you fast. Sometimes, faster than you ever imagined. The decisions you make in the immediate aftermath of your auto accident and months after will have an everlasting effect on your daily life.
You need to:
- Seek medical attention
- Call the police and file a report
- Exchange information with the other driver(s)
- Insurance policy
- Name, address, phone number
- Information about the vehicle they were driving
- Talk to any witnesses
- Contact an Oakland car accident lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm
Learn More: What To Do After A Car Accident
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Car Accident Claim?
A car accident lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm can play a crucial role in helping you with your car accident claim. Here are several ways in which we can assist you:
A lawyer can provide you with a clear understanding of your legal rights and options following a car accident. They can explain the relevant laws and regulations that apply to your case and help you navigate the complex legal system.
Your lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photographs, and any available surveillance footage. They may also work with accident reconstruction experts to determine how the accident occurred.
Documentation and Filing
Your attorney can assist you in preparing and filing all necessary documents, including insurance claims, ensuring that everything is done correctly and on time.
Communication with Insurance Companies
Your lawyer can handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf. They know how to negotiate with insurers to maximize your compensation and protect your interests.
Assessment of Damages
Your lawyer can help you assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. They may consult with experts to estimate future costs if needed.
Negotiation and Settlement
Many car accident cases are settled out of court. Your lawyer can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement. They will strive to obtain the best possible compensation for you.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can represent you in court. They will file a lawsuit, gather evidence, present your case, and advocate for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
Legal Advice and Guidance
Throughout the process, your attorney can provide you with legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They can help you make informed decisions and guide you through the legal proceedings.
Statute of Limitations Compliance
Our lawyers are familiar with the applicable statutes of limitations, ensuring that your claim is filed within the legally specified timeframe.
Peace of Mind
Hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case. This can reduce stress and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Contact the Oakland Car Accident Lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm Today
When the roads of Oakland become a battleground for justice, the car accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm are your allies, committed to securing the compensation and peace of mind you rightfully deserve. Don’t delay. Contact the Wilshire Law Firm today at (415) 704-9912 or through our online form for your free consultation and to discuss your legal options.