Santa Cruz Personal Injury Attorneys
Injury & Accident Lawyers Fighting for the Rights of Victims in Santa Cruz
One minute you are driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying a day at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or shopping in Downtown Santa Cruz; the next, tragedy strikes and you are injured in an accident.
Besides the horrendous pain, you could incur enormous medical bills and be unable to work. Your quality of life and personal relationships suffer.
You do have rights after sustaining injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, but these claims can be complicated under California law.
Our personal injury lawyers at the Allen Law Firm have the skills and experience you need to assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve, as we have been serving accident victims in Santa Cruz, CA and throughout the Monterey Bay area for decades.
Negligence can ruin lives, and it is at the heart of all personal injury cases.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is defined as acting in a way that inevitably results in the injury of another person.
How Do You Determine Negligence?
When you hire one of our Santa Cruz auto accident lawyers, we examine and study the evidence provided and take accounts from witnesses and the victim. We will look at police reports, Santa Cruz traffic laws, photos, and basically anything that will help your case. In auto accidents, there are generally a number of factors that help determine whether the plaintiff is guilty of negligence. Courts and lawyers usually ask the following questions:
- Did the driver disobey traffic laws and signals?
- Did the driver exceed the posted speed limit?
- Did they take into account weather or other traffic conditions?
- Did they drive recklessly/aggressively/carelessly?
- Did they drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs?
If you’ve been in an auto accident, seek medical attention immediately. Our attorneys can’t stress this enough. When it comes to auto accidents, your well-being should be your primary concern regardless of whether or not you feel pain.
Insurance companies will also be studying your immediate steps following the auto accident and any lapse in seeking medical treatment will be used against you.
Common Personal Injury Claims in Santa Cruz, CA
Injury-causing accidents tend to have one factor in common: They are often the result of negligence, carelessness, or similar acts that violate the duty to exercise reasonable care with respect to others.
Our Santa Cruz personal injury lawyers at the Allen Law Firm provide knowledgeable advice and counsel to victims of the more common accident scenarios, including:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Even when you drive responsibly and comply with all traffic laws, there are others on the road that do not operate their vehicles safely. Statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol demonstrate that car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are far too common:
- On average, there were 170,660 injury-causing traffic accidents from 2005-2014.
- The highest number of victims was 292,798 victims in 2005, and the low was 223,128 in 2013.
- In 2015, there were 278 victims who were either killed or injured in Santa Cruz motor vehicle accidents.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: There are many more people who are hurt or killed in Santa Cruz traffic-related accidents every year, even though they were not in a vehicle at the time. In 2015, 35 pedestrians and 108 bicyclists were victims in such incidents.
- Slip and Fall Incidents: When hazardous conditions on property cause injuries, slip and fall victims can hold the owner, occupier, or manager responsible under the legal theory of premises liability. These individuals may be held accountable when they breach the duty to ensure the property is reasonably safe for those who enter upon it.
Our personal injury practice group at the Allen Law Firm also covers such claims as dog bites, catastrophic injuries, defective products, and similar negligence cases. In addition, our experienced attorneys can provide assistance with special education matters.
Compensation for Your Losses After an Injury-Causing Accident
If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligent conduct, California law allows you to obtain compensation for your injuries. Though every case is unique, you may be able to recover for such losses as:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Damages based upon your personal relationships and decreased quality of life; and,
- Other losses.
A Top-Rated Santa Cruz Car Accident Attorney Will Protect Your Rights
Following an auto accident, it is entirely normal to feel confused and overwhelmed.
The best thing that you can do to protect your rights is to speak to an experienced Santa Cruz, CA car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision. Your attorney will make sure that you are taking the appropriate steps to put yourself into the best possible position to recover full and fair financial compensation for your losses. Among other things, it is crucial that you:
- Get immediate medical attention. No matter how minor your injuries may seem at the time of the crash, all auto and motorcycle accident victims should seek a professional medical evaluation. You will not be able to pursue financial compensation unless you have seen a doctor.
- Report your accident to the Santa Cruz Police Department or the California Highway Patrol. Under state law, all auto accidents that result in injuries must be reported. The responding officer will draft an official accident report. This is an important form of evidence. Learn how to get your California Highway Patrol accident report or learn how to get your Santa Cruz Police Department accident report.
- Secure as much relevant evidence as you can at the crash scene. This includes photographs, contact information for witnesses, and the identifying information for all drivers/vehicles involved in the crash.
Soon after your wreck, you are likely to receive a phone call from an opposing insurance company.
You should refrain from giving a recorded statement to the insurer. While they can come across as friendly and disarming, insurance company representatives are trained to look for information that they can use against you. You are under no obligation to give a statement while you are recovering from your accident. Before you give a statement to an insurance adjuster, you should make sure that you consult with a top Santa Cruz auto accident lawyer.
ARE YOU INJURED?
You may have a personal injury case. Discuss your situation with us during a free consultation.
How a Santa Cruz Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Can Help
In California, businesses and other property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises in reasonably safe conditions for customers and all other invited guests.
When property owners fail to live up to this basic obligation, they are negligent and they can be held legally liable for any resulting injuries. That being said, proving liability for a slip and fall accident can sometimes be challenging.
As a general rule, slip and fall accident victims must be able to prove the following three things:
- The property owner either knew or should have known about the safety hazard/unsafe conditions on their premises;
- The victim’s accident was a reasonably foreseeable result of the unsafe conditions; and
- The property owner had an opportunity to take action to remove the safety hazard or to reduce the risk, but they failed to do so.
As an example, a Santa Cruz business that failed to clean up a spill after being warned about it by another customer would likely be held liable for any slip and fall accident that then occurs as a result of that spill. This is because the business knew about the spill, they could reasonably foresee that a fall accident might occur because of the wet floor, and they had an opportunity to take action but simply failed to do so.
In California slip and fall accident claims, one of the keys to success is putting together strong, well-presented evidence.
At the Allen Law Firm, our Santa Cruz slip and fall accident lawyers have the skills and experience needed to protect the legal rights and financial interests of injured victims. We can help you prove negligence so that you can hold a negligent business or property owner accountable for your injuries.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Santa Cruz, California
Pedestrians are inherently exposed to risk from oncoming motor vehicles. It is imperative that all drivers in California take the proper precautions to look out for the health and safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Unfortunately, in far too many cases, motorists put pedestrians at incredible risk — failing to pay appropriate attention to the road.
According to the most recent report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), approximately 13,000 pedestrians are injured in traffic accidents in the state each year.
After a collision, pedestrians need to know what steps to take to protect their health, safety, and legal rights. Injured pedestrians should be sure to do the following five things:
- Get medical attention, including emergency medical assistance if it is required.
- Report the pedestrian accident to state or local highway authorities.
- Get the name, driver’s license number, and vehicle identification of the motorist responsible for the collision.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information for any eyewitnesses; and
- Consult with an experienced Santa Cruz pedestrian accident lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster.
Negligent drivers must be held legally responsible for pedestrian accidents.
Unfortunately, the big insurance companies that typically defend these claims have a well-deserved reputation for making the legal claims process challenging on injured victims. In some cases, insurers will even attempt to blame the pedestrian for a portion of their own accident — claiming that the pedestrian also did something negligent or otherwise unsafe. If they succeed in doing so, it could take compensation directly out of the victim’s pocket.
In other cases, insurance companies will work aggressively to settle personal injury claims for a value far less than the victim’s true damages. At the Allen Law Firm, our Santa Cruz pedestrian accident attorneys fight tirelessly to help injured victims recover the maximum available financial compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Santa Cruz Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information on your rights as the victim of an accident, please contact the Allen Law Firm in Santa Cruz, CA. We can schedule a free, no-obligations consultation to discuss the details of your case.
- How to Get Your Santa Cruz Accident Report
- The Statute of Limitations for California Car Accident Claims
- Should I See a Doctor After an Accident Even if I Feel Fine?
- How Soon After an Accident Should I Call a Lawyer?
Source: City of Santa Cruz