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1307 State Street, Second Floor, Santa Barbara, California 93101

Auto Accident Attorneys in Santa Barbara

California lawyers pursue fair compensation for victims of car crashes

From its beaches to the Santa Ynez mountains, California’s Central Coast boasts stunning views and vibrant communities. However, whether you’re on a pleasure trip, driving for business or taking the kids to school, there is always the possibility that a careless driver will trigger an accident that inflicts serious harm on yourself or a family member. The attorneys at Pulverman & Pulverman, LLP in Santa Barbara represent people who have been seriously injured in automobile accidents throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. For more than 40 years, our firm has secured substantial compensation for plaintiffs in vehicle collision cases so that they can concentrate on healing rather than worrying about the financial losses caused by the crash.

Why should you hire a personal injury lawyer after a Santa Barbara car accident?

When you’ve been hurt in a vehicle crash that was the other driver’s fault, you might hear quickly from their lawyer or insurance company. With medical bills and the cost of repairing or replacing your car looming, a quick payout might seem like the right move. However, insurance companies are committed to limiting the amount they give to accident victims, so the amount they offer you likely will not truly reflect the value of your case. You should call the Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys at Pulverman & Pulverman for the following reasons:

  • We will give you an honest evaluation of what your claim is worth rather than the lowball figure that defendants and insurers often use for a first settlement offer.
  • Our firm will handle the negotiations and legal details so you can focus on your medical treatment and recovery.
  • You can rely on us to counter any efforts by defense lawyers to shift blame for the collision to you.
  • If experts are needed to determine exactly how the accident occurred, we have relationships with accident reconstruction specialists and other professionals who can support your claim.
  • For more than 40 years, our attorneys have secured compensation for car crash victims that far exceeds the amount they were originally offered. This includes substantial verdicts and settlements in cases arising from truck, bicycle, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents.

For these reasons and others, Central Coast residents trust us to pursue justice on their behalf when they are hurt in a car or truck accident.

Getting compensation after a Santa Barbara car accident

Unlike some other states, California has a fault-based auto insurance system, so you can bring a lawsuit directly against the motorist who caused your accident or file a third-party claim with their insurer. You can also seek payment from your own carrier, which might be necessary in a hit-and-run case or a collision involving an uninsured motorist. Acting quickly can speed up your financial recovery and allow for sufficient time to pursue a worthy settlement from an insurer before going to court.

From the start of your case, will gather the supporting evidence necessary to build a formidable case against the defendant motorist. Everyone who gets behind the wheel has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner and we can demonstrate a breach of that duty in a wide variety of ways. Cell phone records, video footage, eyewitness accounts, brake marks, expert reports and other forms of evidence are used to prove who caused a collision. From there, our lawyers assemble the necessary medical records to show what type of damages resulted from the crash. Though many cases never go to court, by formulating a complete case strategy from the outset, we can often persuade adversaries to make a fair settlement offer.

Where do car accidents happen most in Santa Barbara County?

Santa Barbara County roads are crowded with residents, commuters, tourists and delivery trucks. No matter where you go, there is a risk of a serious crash. The deadliest road in the county is traditionally Highway 101, particularly where it crosses North Milpas Street, but numerous Santa Barbara County locations have also been cited for a high incidence of collisions, such as:

  • Intersection of Calle Real and Las Positas Road
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Intersection of East De La Guerra and Santa Barbara streets
  • Highway 154
  • Intersection of West Carrillo and Chapala streets
  • Intersection of De La Vina and Figueroa street
  • The roundabout at Milpas St. and Coast Village Road
  • The intersection of Storke Road and Hollister Ave.

Regardless of where you’re driving, many of the most serious accidents can be contributed to alcohol, drug use, distractions or speeding. If you find yourself injured in a car accident near Santa Barbara City College, a truck crash on Highway 101 or a vehicle collision occurring anywhere else, call us to discuss your case. We have the experience and determination to find the truth about what caused the accident.

Uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists in California

California law requires every driver to carry liability insurance with the following minimum coverage amounts:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for injuries to multiple people arising out of a single automobile accident

These amounts are nearly always inadequate in any type of serious injury, and many Southern California drivers are not carrying any insurance at all. In these cases, if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, then your own insurance company may be liable to compensate you. Similarly, if your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limits, your Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage may apply. Legal representation is highly recommended even when dealing with your own insurance company, because your interests may not necessarily be in line with the interests of your insurance company.

Recovering damages after a California car accident

Among the verdicts and settlements we have delivered for our clients in car accidents are:

  • $1,000,000 mediated settlement with a driver carrying minimum limits of coverage ($15,000). An additional $985,000 in underinsured motorist benefits was also recovered (policy limits).
  • $1,100,000 settlement for a man who was rear-ended by an underinsured motorist with a $25,000 liability policy. An additional $1,075,000 was recovered under the underinsured motorist policy.
  • $815,000 settlement for a man who suffered a herniated disc with an underinsured drunk driver who paid $15,000. An additional $800,000 was recovered under an underinsured motorist policy.

Specific types of personal injury damages available under California law include the following:

  • Current and future medical expenses — MedPay and health insurance often do not fully address medical bills and other healthcare expenses. This is especially true in cases of catastrophic injuries where treatment could last for years, or even permanently. In addition to fees charged by doctors and hospitals, we also strive to collect payment for travel expenses and other costs associated with serious injuries.
  • Current and future lost wages — Recuperating at the hospital means that you cannot do your job. Even if the urgent medical crisis passes, the effects of a severe injury could limit your ability to handle workplace duties or limit your opportunities for a promotion. Our firm works with experts to pinpoint how much income clients have lost due to the defendant’s negligence.
  • Rehabilitation costs and home accommodations — Getting back to normal following a car crash could require extensive rehabilitation. Sometimes, the physical damage cannot be undone and victims require wheelchair ramps, handrails and/or long-term care to make their home livable.
  • Payment for noneconomic losses — A vehicle accident harms people in ways that are not attached to a specific price tag. Based on the circumstances and the severity of your particular injuries, we will pursue appropriate compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced, as well as the loss of enjoyment in your life caused by a permanent disfigurement or another lasting effect of your crash.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in auto accident cases, but if your injury was the result of reckless or intentional conduct, our lawyers can advise if you can obtain this type of remedy. We also handle wrongful death claims arising out of vehicle collisions so that surviving loved ones can collect compensation for final expenses, income the decedent would have been expected to earn and other aspects of their tragic loss.

Contact an aggressive Santa Barbara auto accident lawyer for a free consultation

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident in Santa Barbara or the surrounding areas, call Pulverman & Pulverman, LLP at 805.259.3581 or contact the firm online to schedule a free consultation.