california car accident lawyer

Speak with an experienced California car accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to seek legal help right away.

Car accidents can change your life forever. The injuries you suffer can leave you unable to work, depressed, and with medical bills that will take years to pay off.

California car accident attorneyYou need an experienced attorney on your side who will fight for the compensation you deserve. The Ernst Law Group can help you get the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses so you can get back to living your life.

What to Do After a Car Crash

If you have been in a car crash, ensure that you receive all of the compensation to which you may be entitled. These steps will help you maintain your health and ensure you are not inaccurately found to be at fault.

  1. Ensure that you gather evidence from the car accident. This includes car damage photos, car repair estimates, and witness statements. It is important to keep all car damage information as this can be used in an investigation or car accident lawsuit.
  2. Call the police and collect the police report. The police report will not necessarily be proof that you are not at fault, but it can help you fight your car accident case if the other driver is trying to blame your car crash on you.
  3. Look for medical treatment right away. There is no time limit that your car insurance company has to pay for your medical expenses after a car crash, so go right away and do not delay treatment. You should do this ASAP, as car accidents can cause latent injuries that don’t present themselves immediately.
  4. Contact a California car accident attorney. You need a car accident lawyer with car insurance experience to represent you after a car crash.
  5. Contact your insurance company. Never admit fault for car crashes! Contact your car accident lawyer first. That way, they can advise you on what to say to your insurance company.

What Are Common Types Of Car Accidents?

There are several common types of car accidents:


A rear-end accident is when a vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. This can be caused by brake failure, distracted driving, or speeding.


A sideswipe accident occurs when one car has drifted into your lane and collides with you. This can be caused by distracted driving or poor weather.


A head-on accident occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle. This is usually caused by speeding, drunk driving, or reckless behavior.


A rollover accident is when a vehicle rolls onto its roof. High speeds, wet or icy roads, and unsafe lane changes can cause this.


A single-car accident occurs when you crash into an object like a tree, lamp post, or mailbox. This could be caused by drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, or tired driving. Rollover accidents can also be single-car accidents.

What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?

Car accidents can cause lifelong injuries. These injuries can be apparent immediately or worsen over weeks or months.

Common car accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) –  Car accidents where the car has rolled or flipped can cause TBI. If you suffer a TBI, it may take several months to notice all of the possible symptoms. Symptoms of a TBI include memory issues, emotional changes, and concentration problems. An example of a TBI is a concussion.
  • Whiplash – Whiplash occurs during rapid acceleration and deceleration. After the sudden change in speed, your neck and back will jerk forward and backward. The muscles, tissue, and ligaments in the neck can sprain or tear, causing severe pain.
  • Herniated Disk – When there is extreme pressure on the spine, it may cause a herniated disk. A herniated disk causes an uncomfortable numbness that could spread to your arms or legs.
  • Broken Bones – If the impact of a car accident is great enough, it can cause broken bones or fractures. These injuries can require surgery and long recovery times, depending on whether or not the fracture is complex.
  • Soft Tissue Damage – Soft tissue damage is very common in car accidents, but symptoms may take several days to appear. Symptoms include muscle spasms, decreased range of motion, and chronic pain that can take months or years to subside.
  • Paralysis –  Paralysis occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord, impacting the central nervous system. Paralysis could be partial or total, depending on the location and severity of the injury.
  • Death – Car accidents are a common cause of death. The most common causes of death in car accidents are head trauma, neck injuries, internal organ damage, and suffocation from smoke inhalation.

If you have been injured in a car accident in California, contact our firm for an evaluation of your case. We will provide the peace that comes with knowing that we have your best interests in mind while we work diligently to get you the compensation you need.

Maximum Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries

The car accident lawyers at the Ernst Law Group have been helping victims recover compensation from insurance companies for over 20 years.

We understand how car accidents can affect your life and we will make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

An experienced California car accident attorney knows all of the tricks and intimidation tactics that insurance companies use to swindle victims like you out of your deserved compensation. We won’t be intimidated by them.

What is the Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict?

A settlement is an agreement on the amount of compensation to be paid for your damages. This can happen before or after a car crash lawsuit reaches trial. 

Sometimes, settlements are a way for the insurance company to avoid paying you the full amount that you would be awarded at trial.

While the money is awarded immediately in a lump sum, it is not necessarily smarter to take a settlement than to wait for a verdict.

A verdict is what a judge or a jury decides to award you after trial. It is the maximum amount of compensation that the car insurance company will be required to pay for your injuries.

We specialize in getting victims the maximum compensation from verdicts and settlements. So no matter which way you choose to finalize your claim, we will help you get as much money as possible.

When should I get a lawyer for my car accident?

It is never too early to contact a California car accident lawyer. The insurance company will start trying to minimize your accident case right away or even try to switch fault to you.

If you wait too long, you could end up losing important evidence or accepting a low settlement offer that does not cover all of your car crash expenses. The insurance company won’t wait, so neither should you.

Additionally, in most cases, car accident cases in California must be filed within two years. Make sure to get in touch with car accident lawyers right away for the best chance at compensation.

A California car accident attorney at The Ernst Law  Group has been representing victims and their families for more than four decades. We will help you recover the maximum compensation possible. Book your free consultation as soon as you can.

What types of damages can I recover from my car accident?

Many car accident injuries can be recovered from your car insurance company. The primary three types are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

These are funds that you have lost on account of the car accident. This includes missed work, medical bills, car repair expenses, etc.

You can use economic damages to determine how much the at-fault driver should be held accountable for reimbursing you for any damages or injuries. This is the lowest amount you will likely claim, as economic damages are meant to cover receipts for treatment costs exactly.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages is a generic term that car accident attorneys in California use to refer to damages for loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, disability, etc.

These non-economic damages award victims larger sums. Since these types of injuries cannot be easily quantified and will likely have ongoing effects (whether financial or emotional), they come with a higher price tag for the at-fault driver.

In many cases, the non-economic damages will be at least 2x the economic damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded in cases where criminal negligence was present. A judge can award punitive damages if they believe that the at-fault driver was so negligent that they need additional punishments.

The judge determines this amount and may be limited by the state.

How much can I expect to recover from my car accident?

Victims can recover anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars from a car accident claims case. The specific amount is determined based on the details of your car accident.

Some factors that will affect your damages are:

  • The value of your vehicle
  • The severity of the damages that you suffered
  • Cost of your medical treatment
  • The insurance that the at-fault driver has
  • The amount of missed work
  • If anyone died or suffered permanent disabilities

If the car accident case goes to trial, several factors determine how much compensation you will receive including if the car accident was minimal or serious. However, ultimately, the judge will determine how much your case is worth.

In the case of a settlement, your lawyers will show evidence of the costs you have suffered, but the at-fault driver’s team will be responsible for offering sums.

The Ernst Law Group California car accident attorneys have helped thousands of car crash victims with their car insurance claims throughout California. With decades of experience in car accident cases, we will help you, too.

What is “comparative fault” in California? 

Comparative fault, also known as comparative negligence, is a statute that states that an individual can recover damages even if they are partially responsible for their car accident.

It is a defense that car insurance companies will use when they don’t want to award you the full amount for your car accident. They will try to claim that you are partially at fault for the accident as a way to diminish the amount that they will have to pay out.

An example of comparative negligence is two people involved in a rear-end car accident. The rear driver hit the front driver because they were speeding and didn’t slow down in time. However, the front driver may also have had a tail light out.

The insurance company will try to argue that this burnt-out tail light played a role in the accident. This can reduce the amount of damages that you are awarded.

In cases of comparative fault, the victim is only paid a percentage of the compensation awarded. So if a judge rules that you deserve $100,000 in damages, but you were found to be 30% liable for the accident, then you would only receive $70,000.

Insurance companies will try to increase your liability to reduce the amount they have to spend.

If an insurance company tries to shift blame onto you, contact the Ernst Law Group.

How We Can Help You

Ernst Law Group is dedicated to helping you get compensation for all of your medical expenses, vehicle damage, and more. You may also be entitled to punitive damages from the car accident if the other party was egregiously negligent or intentionally malicious.

Not only can we help you get compensation, but we will also support you through this trying time. We understand how car accidents can affect lives, and we will make sure you get the emotional support you need, too.

Call a California Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a California car accident attorney with the resources and experience to take your case to trial if need be.

The car accident lawyers at The Ernst Law Group can help you fight for compensation so you don’t have to stress about paying medical bills or losing wages because of the car accident. We will also fight for your emotional well-being by helping you receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a car accident.

For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer, contact us today.

Car Accident Questions and Answers 

The main reason to hire a California car accident attorney is to get assistance handling the complicated process of filing a legal claim for damages. If you are healing from injuries related to a car accident, the last thing you need is the stress of paperwork and fighting insurance companies.

Working with a car accident lawyer has proven results. We can get you a larger claim for damages because we don’t give up. We know your rights and work to protect them.

The Ernst Law Group is a law firm with years of experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We know what to do to get the best results for your case.


Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll assess your case and tell you if you need a lawyer for your claim.

When your car accident involves an uninsured driver, it can make the claims process more complicated.

Because this type of accident has a higher risk of financial uncertainty, it’s important to hire a California car accident attorney with experience handling claims from uninsured drivers.

Since most payouts for car accidents come from insurance companies, you are now left wondering where you’ll collect compensation from.

There are some solutions. First, you can see if the individual can be sued out of pocket.

If they cannot afford your compensation, you can see if there are other entities involved in the car accident who could be found at fault. For example, if a pothole caused them to swerve and hit you, you could sue the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads.

Another solution is to file through your insurance company. Many insurance policies provide some level of uninsured driver coverage that can help you pay off property damage and medical bills. However, it likely isn’t nearly as much as you deserve.

Ernst Law Group can help you find solutions. Contact us today.

If you’re involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is call the police and wait for them to arrive.

When they arrive, it is their job to compile a police report, which involves asking everyone who witnessed or was involved in the accident for a statement. They are trying to determine if any illegal activities occurred for which they need to make an arrest. However, they will also use this information to make a determination of fault in their report.

You need to be careful what you say to the police, as they are not on your side. They are professionals doing their own jobs. As a neutral party, they could misunderstand something that you say.

Tell the police only the basic facts. They don’t need any embellishment or guessing. If you don’t know something, say that.


And never tell the people that you have no injuries. A medical professional needs to make this diagnosis. You are not qualified to do it, but by saying you are okay, the police report could be used to dismiss your later claim for personal injury damages.

After a car accident, you may not feel injured. But you could be suffering a life-threatening injury.

The adrenaline of car accidents can mask pain. If you are in a car accident, it is critical that you seek medical attention soon after to make sure nothing serious has happened.

Not only could these injuries be life-threatening if left untreated, but failing to treat them can waive your right to damage claims.

By treating your injuries and getting the proper medical attention, you ensure that you remain healthy and that you do not lose your claim for damages.


Remember that serious injuries such as internal bleeding and muscle strains may not be immediately obvious. By the time you notice them, there could be permanent damage done to your body.

If your car accident involves another car, the other car’s insurance company is going to contact you.

It is important to be wary of what you say if this happens. They will likely try to trick you into saying something that will negate your claim or limit the amount that they have to pay out.

Instead of risking your rightful claim for compensation, do not speak with them directly. Tell them that you will pass on their information to your California car accident lawyer, who will be speaking on your behalf.

If you have a lawyer already, call them and pass on the information. If you do not have a lawyer, contact one immediately.

In California, you have two years from the car accident to file a car accident lawsuit. This is not two years from the date of your medical treatment but from the date when the accident occurred.

You need to be aware of this deadline. Otherwise, you could lose your opportunity to file a claim for damages.

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How Can Ernst Law Group Help?

Ernst Law Group custom tailors our representation to you. Our San Luis Obispo personal injury attorneys have been named Super Lawyers and Top Trial Attorneys by numerous organizations, including the highest possible rating for ethics and skill. We have developed our negotiation and litigation expertise by successfully taking on tough cases and fighting against the biggest corporations and insurance companies. We will put our decades of collective expertise to work when representing you in court if you’ve been harmed or a loved one lost his life due to negligence.

Schedule your free consultation by calling 805-541-0300 or contact us online to learn about the legal services we can offer you.

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