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Things to Know if You've been Hurt in a San Jose Auto Accident

If you are one of the hundreds of people who suffer injuries from a San Jose auto accident each year, you may be entitled to compensation to cover certain accident- and injury-related expenses.

Contact a San Jose auto accident law firm. Whether you in Winchester, Alviso, Blossom Valley or another part of the city, a local San Jose auto accident attorney can help guide you through the personal injury process. An attorney can also inform you of your legal options and the consequences of each option.

This article will explain the basics of the San Jose personal injury process. It will also help you understand how to hire a San Jose auto accident attorney.

Hiring a San Jose Auto Accident Attorney

The first step in hiring a San Jose auto accident attorney is to investigate lawyers you are interested in hiring. To find names of lawyers to interview, ask friends and family members if they have used a San Jose auto accident lawyer in the past.

You can also rely on a site like Attorneys.com. Just fill out the form on this site, or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will put you in touch with at least one attorney ever worked on a case similar to yours?

  • What type of fee arrangement does the lawyer use? What is his specific fee?
  • If you have a question for the attorney, how can you get a hold of him? How long will it take for him to respond?
  • After your consultation, you should be able to make a hiring decision.

    Proving Fault in San Jose Auto Accident Cases

    The main thing you and your attorney will have to prove during your auto accident case is that the other driver's negligence caused the accident which resulted in your injuries. Negligence means that the driver did not use reasonable care when operating his vehicle.

    To prove negligence, you and your attorney will have to present evidence in court to convince the judge or jury that the other driver had a duty to use care and violated this duty. Furthermore, you will have to show that it was the violation of this duty that caused your injuries. To be compensated for your accident-related expenses, you will have to show proof of these expenses.

    You are entitled to monetary compensation for any damages suffered as a result of the accident. Damages are financial losses. Damages available to you in a San Jose auto accident case include:

    • Past, present and future medical expenses related to your injuries
    • Permanent disfigurement or disability
    • Lost wages due to time away from work due to your injuries
    • The cost of hiring someone to help out around the house while you recover
    • Emotional distress
    • The repair or replacement of your car and all other property damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident

    To help prove your case, you should provide your attorney with the following evidence:

    • A copy of the accident report
    • Photos of the accident scene, damage to your car, damage to your property and your injuries
    • Medical records describing your injuries
    • The names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident
    • Copies of bills and receipts from medical providers as well as auto repair shops

    Where to File Your San Jose Auto Accident Lawsuit

    What San Jose court you file your lawsuit in will depend on the amount of damages you are seeking.

    If the amount exceeds $7,500, you will file your lawsuit in Santa Clara Superior Court.

    If the amount is equal to or less than $7,500, you will file your lawsuit in Santa Clara Small Claims Court. Due to court rules, your attorney will not be able to join you in small claims court. However, he can provide you with legal advice before your trial.

    Also, make sure to file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. In California, the statute of limitations for auto injury lawsuits is two years. A statute of limitations is the amount of time your have to file a case in court before your claim expires.

    San Jose Insurance Requirements

    You may be able to avoid the lengthy trial process altogether. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the other driver or the other driver's insurance company for a favorable settlement.

    Under California law, all drivers must have liability auto insurance. This type of insurance compensates the non-policy holder in the event of an accident.

    Under the law, the minimum requirements for liability auto insurance are:

    • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
    • $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person
    • $5,000 for property damage
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