Skip to main content

California Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash in California, The Advocates’ experienced car accident attorneys are here to help.

A Car Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case

A car crash can change your life in an instant. In what feels like the blink of an eye, you may suddenly find yourself facing serious injuries, steep medical bills, a damaged vehicle, and emotional distress.

After your automobile accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, angry, stressed, or unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this challenge alone.
If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in the state of California, you need a competent, caring attorney for your personal injury claim. The Advocates can help.
Our experienced California personal injury attorneys are here to take on your car accident claim and fight to get you a fair settlement offer for your damages. Our law firm has represented thousands of car accident victims since 1993 and we are ready to help you.

The Next Steps in Your California Car Accident Case


Immediately after your accident, check for injuries

Hire Attorney

Contact The Advocates as soon as possible to begin the road to recovery


Seek medical treatment as soon as you can

Property Damage

Get the damage on your car assessed and fixed

Completed Treatment

Once you’ve completed treatment, your attorney will compile your medical records


Your Advocate will send a demand letter to the other party

Frequently Asked Questions

You will pay nothing out-of-pocket when you hire an Advocate.
Your initial consultation with us is always 100% free. There are never any upfront costs or hidden fees.
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney fees are calculated as a percentage of your settlement. We don’t get paid unless we win your case and you receive a settlement.
For more information on how settlements and payment work, please see our contingency fee information page.

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if the accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, which can be lengthy and complex.
Your attorney will build your case, keep track of your medical records, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than if they settled on their own.

The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney. The Advocates offer free consultations—you can speak with a qualified legal team to understand what your case is worth without paying a dime. Once you have decided to hire an Advocate, we will investigate your accident to firmly establish liability.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accident claims. The length of the claims process will depend on the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the other party to settle, the court’s caseload, and more.
In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your case started. Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, after which you will lose your right of action.

When you hire The Advocates, we will begin investigating your accident immediately while you finish medical treatment. Once all evidence and medical records have been compiled, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company. At this point, negotiations will begin.
In many cases, a settlement can be reached during negotiations. If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, you may choose to file a suit. In the litigation phase, your attorney will represent you in court in front of a judge, jury, and/or arbitrator.

A Team of Car Accident Professionals Assigned to Your Case

For nearly 30 years, The Advocates have helped thousands of personal injury victims receive the compensation and care they deserve after their accidents, and we are prepared to do the same for you. 
We can help you:

  • Understand the claims process
  • Investigate your accident
  • Build your case
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters

We only get paid if we win your case!

Talking to a Professional

Talk to a professional

California Car Accident Statistics

Where and when are car accidents most likely to occur?

  • Due to their high populations, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties have the highest number of accident fatalities each year.
  • The months of August-November see the highest number of fatal crashes.
  • Tuesdays-Fridays have the highest number of accidents.
  • Afternoons and evenings see more accidents than mornings.

California car accident statistics  

  • From 2017-2021, an average of 3,933 people were killed on California roads annually.
  • More than 15,000 people are seriously injured in car accidents in California each year.
  • In 2021, unrestrained vehicle occupants accounted for 38% of California car accident fatalities, despite only accounting for around 4% of all vehicle occupants on the road.
  • Urban areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco see around 70% of motor vehicle accident deaths in the state.
  • Around 55% of fatal crashes involve only one vehicle.
Driver hold and eat hamburger in car, dangerous and risk of accident.

Common types of car accidents

  • Distracted driving: When a motorist is using their cell phone, eating, or fiddling with the radio, they may fail to notice hazards or drift off the roadway. This can lead to rollovers or rear-end collisions.
  • Driving under the influence: Alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs can all impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely.
  • Running red lights and stop signs: The desire to “beat the light” can lead to T-bone accidents or collisions with pedestrians.
  • Improper passing: Illegal passing on two-lane highways can lead to head-on collisions.

Common car accident injuries 

Motor vehicle accidents can lead to many types of injuries, varying in severity from very minor to life-threatening. Some of the most common injuries after a car accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
  •  Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Whiplash
  • Lacerations and bruising

California Traffic Laws

What are California’s hit-and-run laws?

If you are involved in a car crash, always remain at the accident scene until you are cleared to go. Failure to do so could constitute a hit-and-run.
Hit-and-runs that cause property damage are misdemeanors in California and can carry penalties of up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
To avoid a hit-and-run charge, you must stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver. You must provide the other party with your name and address, regardless of who was at fault.
If you hit and damage a car that was parked, you must either notify the vehicle owner in person or leave a note with your contact information.
A hit-and-run may be considered a felony if another person was injured or killed. A felony hit-and-run can come with penalties of up to four years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

What are California’s seatbelt laws?

California first enacted seatbelt laws in 1986. It is a primary enforcement state, which means that you can be pulled over and cited for not wearing a seatbelt.
Under California law, all vehicle occupants must wear a seatbelt, regardless of age or where they are sitting in the vehicle.
If an unbuckled passenger is over the age of 16, both the driver and the passenger can be ticketed.
An adult seatbelt violation can result in a $162 fine. A seatbelt violation for a child under the age of 16 can result in a $490 fine.
Seatbelt use in California is around 96%.

Driver's license suspended

What penalties do drunk drivers face in California?

The penalties for driving under the influence in California vary depending on whether it was the driver’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or subsequent offense. It may also depend on if the driver caused an accident that resulted in an injury or fatality.
If charged as a misdemeanor, the at-fault driver may face the following penalties:

  • Probation for up to five years
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of $390-$5,000
  • License suspension
  • Required participation in DUI school or a drug/alcohol education program

If the at-fault party is charged with a felony DUI, the penalties are even harsher. Potential felony DUI penalties include:

  • 2-4 years in prison, with possible additional years depending on the severity of the victims’ injuries
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • License revocation
  • 18-30 months in a drug/alcohol education program

DUI convictions remain on a California driver’s record for 10 years.

What should I do after an accident?

Even if you are not the at-fault party in an accident, it’s important to protect yourself and your right to an insurance claim. What you say and do after the crash can impact your potential settlement.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, take the following actions:

  • Move your car to safety, preferably to the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot if possible.
  • Check for injuries—if anyone is seriously injured, dial 911.
  • If there are no serious injuries, call the local non-emergency line and ask for an officer to be dispatched to the scene to file a police report.
  • Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other party.
  • After leaving the scene, seek medical attention if you did not already. You may have hidden injuries.
  • Notify your own car insurance company of the accident, even if you are not at fault.
  • Consider contacting an auto accident attorney to explore your legal options.
Man and woman exchange insurance information after accident
Business people discussion advisor concept

What is California’s statute of limitations for car accident claims?

Virtually all legal cases, both criminal and civil, are subject to a statute of limitations. This statute sets forth a time limit for filing charges. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff loses their right to a claim.
The statute of limitations for car accidents in California is generally two years. This may seem like a long time, but personal injury cases can move slowly, depending on the other party’s willingness to settle and the court’s caseload. 
To avoid missing deadlines, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as you believe you have a claim.

What damages can I seek in a personal injury lawsuit?

Every personal injury case is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating a potential settlement. Depending on the factual circumstances of your case, you may be able to seek financial compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering and emotional distress
  • Property damage
  • Future medical care, such as physical therapy
  • Funeral and burial expenses (in the case of wrongful death)

Contact The Advocates for a free consultation—we can help determine the potential value of your case.

Medical bill from the hospital, concept of rising medical cost.

When Should I Hire a California Car Accident Attorney?

Not every case requires a personal injury lawyer. However, if you are facing medical expenses due to injuries from your crash, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you do choose to file a car accident lawsuit, fighting it on your own can be a challenge. Insurance providers often do their best to avoid offering accident victims a fair settlement. An auto accident lawyer can take on these multi-million dollar corporations for you.
The Advocates injury attorneys have decades of experience negotiating on behalf of clients. We will help you gather evidence, keep track of medical records, and fight for maximum compensation.

In addition to experienced legal representation, we offer personalized care and attention based on your individual needs. We can help you find medical care or repair shops in your area. Your Advocate will be there for you and your family throughout the entirety of your case.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. You deserve a legal team that will put you and your loved ones first. You deserve an Advocate.


By clicking the button below, I consent to giving my information to The Advocates Injury Attorneys and agree to all privacy policies that are included on this page. I agree to receive SMS/text messages. Message and data rates may apply. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time.