Category Archives: Car Accidents

Should You Always Call the Police After a Car Accident?

It’s such a seemingly minor accident, it gets a cute nickname: fender bender. When it happens, you might not think there are any injuries or any damage to your vehicle. It can be tempting, especially if you’re on your way to an appointment or work, to skip calling the cops and just exchange information so you can be on your way. But should you call the cops after a fender bender in the Bay Area? Yes, you should. Let’s go over the reasons why so you’ll understand why the extra time to call the police is worth it.

Why do You Need to Call the Police After a Car Accident?

Because fender benders are such minor accidents, many people mistakenly believe they don’t need to call the police. There are five good reasons to make sure you call the cops to report even a minor accident:

  • California law requires that you report the accident to the local police department in the city it happened in or to the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours.
  • Injuries may not be immediately obvious. By calling the cops and getting a police report, you ensure a paper trail to try to get compensation for your injuries.
  • Damage to your vehicle may not be visible. Like injuries, calling the police allows you to file a claim if you discover later that your vehicle has hidden damage.
  • Many insurance companies require a police report to file a claim, so it’s always best to ensure you have that report just in case.
  • The involvement of police ensures that the other driver doesn’t try to avoid responsibility by giving you false information, such as a fake name, old address, or an insurance policy number that is canceled.

How Long do You Have to File a Claim?

Ideally, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible after an accident. Many factors could cause you to delay filing your claim, which is why California offers a statute of limitations.

The California Courts allow you to file a claim for personal injury up to two years from the date of the injury. If the injury isn’t discovered immediately, you have one year from the date the injury is discovered. You have three years from the date the damage occurred to file a property damage claim.

It is important to know that you must file a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) with the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident if any of the following occurred:

  • There is more than $1,000 in damage
  • There are any injuries (regardless of how minor)
  • Someone was killed

How Does California Determine Fault in a Vehicle Accident?

California law uses the theory of pure comparative fault. This means that more than one person can be held financially responsible for an accident. It also means that victims can be compensated even if they contributed to the accident. Financial responsibility is determined by the degree of fault and recovered compensation is reduced based on fault.

Let’s look at an example: Jane does a rolling stop at a stop sign and is hit by Joe, who is speeding. When the police investigate the accident, Joe is found to be 80% at fault because he was speeding and Jane is considered to be 20% at fault because she rolled through the stop sign. This means that Joe will be expected to compensate Jane for 80% of her damages and/or injuries and Jane will reimburse Joe for 20% of his damages or injuries.

What Happens if an Accident Isn’t Reported to the Cops?

If you are in an accident and do not report it to the cops, the best-case scenario is that you will struggle to be compensated for any property damage or injuries or may not be compensated at all. The worst-case scenario is that you could pay a fine, lose your license, or even go to jail.

Have You Been in a Fender Bender and Require Legal Assistance?

Whether you reported the accident or not, fender benders can get complicated. The apparent lack of severity can cause drivers and insurance companies to argue that your injuries or damage are not as significant as they are or that they weren’t caused by the accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident and need legal assistance to navigate your claim, our experienced San Francisco car accident attorneys may be able to help.

Examples of Reckless Driving in California

When a motorist engages in reckless driving, they willingly put others at risk of being injured or killed in a car accident. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that reckless driving played a role in more than 50 percent of car accidents in the United States in recent years. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently reported that reckless driving was on the rise, as indicated by a related spike in car accident deaths across the U.S.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s reckless driving, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your losses. Bay area car accident attorney, Daniel S. Rose, has over 26 years of experience in personal injury law and is committed to pursuing justice for those who have been injured through the fault of another person’s actions. Contact his office today by calling (415) 946-8900 for a free consultation.

What Is Reckless Driving in California?

California Vehicle Code 23103 VC states that a person is guilty of reckless driving when they drive a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, although a driver probably does not intend to cause injury, they are guilty of reckless driving if they knowingly drive dangerously.

Examples of Reckless Driving

“Reckless driving” is a broad term under California law that applies to any driving behavior that puts others at risk of harm. Speeding is one of the most common forms of reckless driving. However, it is not always classified as reckless driving. The circumstances and road conditions under which speeding occurs are used to determine whether this behavior qualifies as reckless driving. For example, a driver going 25 mph over the speed limit on an empty road or highway is likely to be charged with a traffic violation and not reckless driving. If, on the other hand, a driver is going 25 mph over the speed limit under dangerous road conditions while also weaving in and out of traffic, they are likely to be charged with reckless driving since they are knowingly disregarding the safety of others.

Some other examples of reckless driving that commonly occur on California roads include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Road rage or aggressive driving
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Illegal or unsafe passing, such as crossing a double yellow line or passing on a curved roadway
  • Failing to yield right of way
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road or outside of traffic lanes
  • Street racing
  • Knowingly driving an unsafe vehicle

Penalties for Reckless Driving in California

Reckless driving is treated more seriously than a basic traffic violation. It is classified as a misdemeanor offense and may involve penalties such as:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Two points on a driver’s license
  • Up to a six-month driver’s license suspension

A reckless driver who causes an accident involving injuries is given even harsher penalties. If the accident caused serious injuries, the driver might be charged with a felony, which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to three years in jail. “Serious” injuries, as defined under California law, include:

  • Brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Paralysis
  • Loss or impairment of the function of a body part or organ
  • Fractured bone
  • Wound requiring significant suturing

How a Bay Area Car Accident Attorney Can Assist

If you have been injured in a car accident in which you believe the other driver was acting recklessly, you deserve to be adequately compensated for your losses. The compensation you receive should cover the cost of past and future medical bills, as well as lost income and loss of quality of life due to the injuries you have suffered.

The first step in pursuing compensation is to file an insurance claim with the reckless driver’s auto insurance company. A San Francisco auto injury lawyer can assist you with this complicated process to help maximize your payout. They can also help you assess whether your payout adequately compensates for your losses. If it does not, they can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the reckless driver, which involves gathering evidence to prove the reckless driving behavior and calculating your losses. A reckless driving lawsuit may also involve criminal proceedings heard in a California court in which you, as the victim, would need to participate as a witness.

Bay area car accident attorney Daniel S. Rose understands the trauma and shock you may be facing in the aftermath of a car accident. He has dedicated his career to pursuing justice for accident victims to help them rebuild their lives after injury. He has handled more than 1,000 cases to date and has recovered several hundred million dollars for his clients. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel S. Rose at (415) 946-8900 today to discuss your case and find out how he can help you.

Who’s at Fault in a Rear-end Collision?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car crash in the United States. They make up 29 percent of all traffic accidents across the country and are responsible for causing thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Although it is commonly assumed that the trailing driver is always at fault in a rear-end collision, there are some circumstances in which the front driver may be partially responsible as well. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, it is essential that you consult with an experienced San Francisco car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand who is liable and what compensation you may be entitled to. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel S. Rose today by calling (415) 946-8900 for a free consultation.

What Is a Rear-End Collision?

A rear-end collision is a crash in which a car is hit from behind by another car. Most rear-end collisions involve two vehicles, but some involve three or more vehicles, often referred to as a “pile-up.” This occurs when one vehicle rear-ends another, pushing that vehicle forward into the one in front.

The most common causes of rear-end collisions are:

  • Speeding or tailgating – Driving over the speed limit or too close behind another vehicle may mean a driver does not have adequate time or stopping distance when they need to stop or slow down. Speeding and tailgating are even more dangerous under hazardous road conditions.
  • Distracted driving – When a driver is not paying full attention to the task of driving, such as texting while driving, they may fail to slow down or stop in time to avoid a crash.
  • Driving under the influence – Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol suffer impaired judgment increasing their chances of causing a crash.

Understanding Fault in a Rear-end Collision

In most cases of rear-end collisions, the trailing driver is assumed responsible for causing the accident. However, there are some instances where the leading driver may be partially or fully to blame. Examples of rear-end collision scenarios in which the leading driver may be liable include:

  • Unsafe lane change or U-turn – A driver making a lane change or U-turn must yield to oncoming traffic. If they fail to do so, they may unexpectedly enter oncoming traffic without giving other drivers enough time to slow down to avoid a crash.
  • Sudden change in speed – If a leading driver is speeding and suddenly slams on their brakes, they could be held partially responsible if they are hit from behind.
  • Malfunctioning brake lights – Brake lights serve the purpose of notifying other drivers that a vehicle is slowing down or stopping. A driver who fails to replace a broken brake light can be held partially liable if a rear-end collision occurs.
  • Pile-up collision – Depending on the specific circumstances of a pile-up, fault may be shared between two or more drivers. For example, if a driver is speeding and rear-ends the car in front, they would be liable for the accident. If the front car driver followed behind another vehicle too closely and rear-ended that car, they would also be responsible for the accident.

Determining fault in a rear-end collision can be a complicated task involving investigating the accident’s details and gathering evidence to support a claim. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in which you believe the leading driver may be partially or fully to blame, consider speaking with a San Francisco auto accident injury lawyer who can assist you in understanding your options.

Options for Recovering Damages from a Rear-end Collision 

California is an “at-fault” state, meaning that the driver responsible for causing a rear-end collision must pay for injuries and property damage caused to other parties. California law requires all drivers to carry liability coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. Therefore, if you have been injured in a rear-end collision that another driver caused, you have the right to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. An alternative option is to file an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, which will then make a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. In some cases, insurance payouts do not adequately cover the losses caused by an accident, particularly in the event of severe injury. In this case, a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver may be required to recover fair compensation.

The Law Offices of Daniel S. Rose are Here to Assist

Determining fault in a rear-end collision is not always a simple task. While a trailing driver is most commonly assumed to be responsible, the specific circumstances which led to the crash may provide evidence that the leading driver was either partially or fully to blame. San Francisco auto accident injury lawyer, Daniel S. Rose, has extensive experience in handling car accident cases. He can help you to determine who was at fault in a rear-end collision and gather evidence to support your claim. He can also help you calculate the true value of your damages and will work tirelessly to pursue fair compensation for you, whether through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel S. Rose today by calling (415) 946-8900 for a free consultation.



The Most Dangerous Intersections in San Francisco

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) reports that around 30 people are killed each year in traffic accidents on San Francisco roads, and more than 500 are severely injured. Pedestrians and cyclists are the most at risk. The most dangerous intersections in San Francisco are where many of these accidents happen.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a traffic accident in San Francisco, you need to speak with an experienced San Francisco injury lawyer immediately. At the Law Offices of Daniel S. Rose, we are committed to pursuing justice for traffic accident victims who are being treated unfairly. Allow us to handle your case while you focus on your recovery. Contact us today by calling 888-575-7144 for a free consultation.

The Dangers of Intersections

The Federal Highway Administration reports that 50 percent of all traffic accidents occur at or near an intersection, making them the second most common type of car accident in the U.S. after rear-end collisions. Several factors can contribute to making an intersection dangerous, including:

  • Multiple points of entry to an intersection – The greater number of driveways leading into an intersection, the greater the chance of an accident. The entry and exit driveways for many businesses in San Francisco feed into intersections, thereby creating greater risks not just for motorists but for pedestrians and cyclists as well.
  • Drivers making illegal or unsafe turns – Drivers put other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists at risk if they fail to yield right of way when making a turn or if they make an illegal turn at a red light.
  • Distracted driving and distracted pedestrians – Drivers and pedestrians alike put themselves and others at risk when they do not pay full attention to the road and the traffic around them. Drivers or pedestrians who are looking at a cell phone may fail to yield right of way at an intersection or may not notice another car or pedestrian on the road when they enter an intersection.

Most Dangerous Intersections in San Francisco

The most dangerous intersections in San Francisco are those that have experienced the most traffic collisions over recent years. Motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists should, therefore, be extra cautious when traveling through these intersections. Data from the City of San Francisco indicates that these are the intersections in San Francisco with the highest number of collisions occurring between 2005 and 2022:

  1. 5th and Market
  2. Market and Octavia
  3. 6th and Market
  4. Mission and Van Ness
  5. 16th and Potrero
  6. Duboce and Mission
  7. Market and 8th
  8. 13th and Van Ness
  9. Market and 7th
  10. 19th and Sloat

Specifically, 5th and Market, 6th and Market, and Market and 7th are the most dangerous intersections in San Francisco for pedestrians, as indicated by the number of vehicle and pedestrian collisions recorded by the City of San Francisco.

What is Being Done to Make San Francisco Intersections Safer?

The SFMTA is working to improve the safety of various intersections around the city with measures such as:

  • Lowering speed limits
  • Adding poles and speed bumps to roads to encourage slower turns
  • Adding more pedestrian signals and crosswalks
  • Widening sidewalks

Improvements to street design and regulation are also being made over the long term through the Vision Zero SF plan.

What to do if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident in San Francisco

If you have been injured in a car accident in San Francisco, you are likely dealing with both physical and emotional stress related to the incident. Your losses may include medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Under California law, you have the right to receive compensation for these losses if another person was at least partially to blame for the accident.

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your legal rights is to contact an experienced San Francisco injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. At the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose, we can help you identify and prove your losses to an insurance company or a judge, so you can recover fair and adequate compensation for your injuries.

Bay Area car accident attorney, Daniel S. Rose, has dedicated his career to pursuing justice on behalf of those who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. He has over 26 years of experience in successfully handling all kinds of complex personal injury cases. Contact his office to discuss your case today.

Hit by a Distracted Driver: What Happens Next?

In California, the number of licensed drivers has increased by 14.7% since 2010. While there has been a decrease in car accidents, the numbers are still high. According to the 2019 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions, there were 187,211 injury crashes and 3,438 fatalities. To put things in perspective, 2019 did not have a single day without a car accident. For Golden State drivers, car accidents are inevitable, and a significant cause is distracted driving. 

Distracted driving causes a driver to take their eyes off the road. Driving and dialing, talking, or texting on a cell phone are dangerous and increase the risk of a crash by three times. In this article, you will gain an understanding of the nuances of distracted driving and receive valuable tips. If you have a specific question, please contact our experienced attorneys at Dan Rose to assess the particular circumstances of your case.

What is Distracted Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) leads national campaigns against distracted driving. The way they define “distracted driving” for Americans is, “anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the task of safe driving.”

In California, distracted driving means, “anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road, or hands off the steering wheel – especially when texting or using your phone.” Under this definition, much of a driver’s conduct can fall under this distracted driving definition.

Distracted driving activities fall under three categories

Visual Distractions

These occur when a driver looks at anything other than the road. Visual distractions include:

  • Glancing at the GPS device (either phone or car screen) for directions
  • Looking at children or pets in the vehicle
  • Reading text messages
  • Looking at videos playing on car televisions

Manual distractions

A manual distraction happens when a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel. Some examples include:

  • Drafting or sending a text message
  • Adjusting the car radio or adjusting the heat or air conditioning controls
  • Reaching for a snack or drink
  • Brushing your hair or other personal grooming
  • Rummaging for an item in a bag or the car

Cognitive distractions

These occur when a driver takes their mind off the road. Examples of mental distractions include:

  • Talking on your phone, even if you are using a hands-free device
  • Daydreaming
  • Actively listening to a podcast or singing along to music
  • Speaking with passengers in your car

California’s distracted driving law doesn’t make everything illegal. It’s unlikely to be pulled over if a driver reaches over to grab a French fry from a bag sitting next to them, even though it could be considered a “manual distraction.” The real problem is when reaching over to get something causes the driver to drive erratically or speed, creating a dangerous or “reckless” situation.

While any distracting behavior has the potential to create a dangerous driving condition, the use of cell phones or similar electronic devices has the highest correlation to accident rates. A study showed that dialing, talking, and texting increase the risk of a car accident by three times.

Distracted Driving Accidents and Injuries

Injuries sustained in car accidents caused by distracted drivers vary. Many factors can contribute to the severity of injuries. These include the location of the accident, circumstances surrounding the crash, the speed of the vehicles, the force of the impact, and the driver’s conduct at the time of the crash.  

Common accidents caused by distracted driving can include:

  • A rear-end crash occurs when a driver is distracted and following the car in front of them too closely; they can fail to break in time and collide with the rear of the other vehicle. 
  • T-bone accidents happen at an intersection where one car crashes into another, creating a “T” formation upon impact.
  • Multiple car pileup is when a distracted driver follows another car too closely and fails to stop. This can set off a chain of events and result in numerous vehicles crashing into one another.  
  • Sideswipes —Distracted drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings are more likely to jump into a lane without seeing the car next to them, causing a sideswipe.
  • Head-on collisions are when a distracted driver veers into oncoming traffic.

After any car accident, it’s critical to seek medical attention immediately. Even when the crash seemed inconsequential, adrenaline and other factors may mask the extent of the actual injuries. Documenting the extent of injuries is essential, even for those with health insurance and in no-fault states. While no-fault benefits may cover a certain amount of your lost wages and medical expenses, these benefits can quickly be exhausted when serious injuries occur. When this happens, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages.

What to do After a Distracted Driving Accident

Once you are involved in a car crash with a distracted driver, your first step should be to call the police when it’s safe to do so. Request an ambulance, even if you think you’re okay. You should be evaluated by a medical professional and receive timely medical care if needed. If you were the driver and had passengers in the car, it’s crucial for everyone in the vehicle to get checked for injuries. Some injuries may not show up immediately. A medical report can serve as evidence if you file a lawsuit.

If you feel fine, taking pictures of the vehicles would be helpful. Photographing your injuries, the location of the accident, and any damages will show the extent of the car accident. Perhaps there were damaged signs, guardrails, skid marks, or other evidence showing how bad the accident was.

You should also document what you recall about the accident on your phone or in a notepad. Perhaps you noticed the driver talking on their cell phone right before the collision. Maybe you saw the car swerving or speeding and tried to avoid it. Writing this information down can help you later if you file a lawsuit.

This is all information that you should give the police, too. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you can collect information from the other parties involved or any bystanders while you wait for the police and ambulance to arrive. Helpful information to obtain includes:

  • Names
  • Contact information
  • Insurance information
  • Any identifying information about the car, such as make, model, license plate number, and driver’s license details

All this information will be collected in a police report once they arrive. Obtaining the police report is important, especially if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. A police report will be produced at the end of the investigation and you will be entitled to a copy.

Do not talk to other people about the accident. You want to avoid making any statement that can be used against you. Examples that may show blame include apologizing or explaining what happened at the accident. 

You might also want to contact the insurance company to report the accident. Avoid speaking to your insurer about who was at fault.

However, if your injuries are severe, it’s best to seek medical attention first. Even if you can’t piece together information at the time of the crash, having an experienced personal injury attorney can help you present your best case. An attorney can help collect evidence and details about the car accident.

Injured by a Distracted Driver in California? Our Injury Lawyer Team Can Help

In California, if you were hit by a distracted driver, our experienced attorneys can help.

Car accidents that are caused by distracted driving can be stressful and overwhelming. A San Francisco personal injury lawyer with experience navigating car accident lawsuits can help you understand your legal options and provide support to help you.