Call Local: 916.714.8200
Call for a FREE consultation 800.722.4176
Get a Free case evaluation
Call John O'Brien 800.722.4176
or Ask John O'Brien a question

If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and loss. John M. O'Brien & Associates, is a law firm dedicated to helping people affected by serious injuries.  We help you recover the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Mr. O'Brien has extensive experience handling serious car accident cases all across the state of California. He is a successful trial lawyer who has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured persons. Contact our law offices located in the Sacramento area to schedule a private meeting with Mr. O'Brien today.

Auto Accident Statistics

Each year about 10 million motor vehicle accidents occur in the U.S., 33,000 of them resulting in fatalities. Auto accidents can also cause severe personal injuries resulting in significant economic and emotional loss. In the majority of cases, auto accidents can be prevented by avoiding driver distraction, reckless driving and negligent behavior.

The consequences of an accident can vary considerably depending on the severity of the collision and the victim’s predisposition to injury.

The latest statistics from 2010 estimate the cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with traffic accidents at over  $99 billion per year. In addition to injuries, victims also have to deal with property damage issues and out-of-pocket expenses that may or may not be covered by their own insurance policies.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Leading causes of car accidents include the following:

  • Defective auto parts
  • Tire blowouts
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver distraction
  • Talking on a cell phone while driving
  • Running a red light or stop sign

The most often reported cause of a car accident is driver distraction. Drivers are distracted by several activities while driving: talking on the phone, texting, eating, talking to passengers, changing the radio or reading a map.

The second most common cause of traffic accidents is negligence. The legal term negligence defines different behaviors where the liable party failed to act reasonably in a given situation. Such behaviors include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Improper lane changes
  • Ignoring traffic signs
  • Ignoring  weather conditions
  • Tailgating

Fatigue often plays an important role in severe auto accidents, especially those involving commercial trucks. Drivers of such vehicles often work overtime and forego required breaks because of tight schedules. Considering the size and weight differential between commercial trucks and passenger cars, one small distraction or moment of inattention can be enough to cause a tragedy. Defective vehicles and design flaws can also be contributing factors to a car accident. Recent automobile recalls due to serious problems such as unintended acceleration are a serious safety concern on our nation’s roadways. Some of the problems that resulted in recalls are severe enough to cause an accident, while others such as defective airbags can worsen the outcome of a collision. Road defects and roadway design errors can result in auto accidents as well. Steep or improperly elevated embankments, poorly designed or improperly placed barriers, improperly placed or poorly illuminated signs, improperly functioning traffic lights can all create dangerous driving conditions.

Catastrophic Injuries Caused in Car Accidents

Car accidents can result in serious injuries that can affect a person's life forever. John M. O'Brien & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to helping people who have suffered catastrophic injuries recover the compensation they deserve to get adequate medical treatment and move forward with their lives. Serious or catastrophic injuries include:

Some of these injuries will require long term treatment, surgeries and physical therapy to recover. In other cases such as brain or spinal cord injuries victims can be left with permanent disabilities such as cognitive impairment or paralysis. Many victims incur a substantial wage loss, or permanent impairment of their earning capacity.  Debilitating injuries will require permanent assistance, long term medical care and changes to the person’s home environment. Victims can experience unrelenting  physical pain and  mental anguish.

From minor sprains and strains of the structures that support the spinal cord to herniated discs and injury to the spinal cord itself, virtually every automobile accident case that we handle involves some aspect of injuries to the anatomy of the spinal cord and surrounding tissue.

Liability in Auto Accident Cases

Often defendants in an automobile negligence lawsuit are careless drivers who caused severe personal injuries and property damage to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians. Auto manufacturers can also be held liable for certain accidents. If our  investigation elicits proof that there was a design or manufacturing auto defect, victims may pursue the responsible entities for Such defects often include:

  • Defective airbags
  • Faulty tires
  • Faulty brakes
  • Defective engine
  • Malfunctioning seat belts
  • Unsafe fuel system

Car manufacturers and companies designing, building or maintaining public roads are responsible for the quality and safety of their products and services and may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages after an Auto Accident

Before filing an auto accident claim you need to know what damages may be compensated. Compensatory damages are designed to reestablish the victim’s financial state prior to the accident. These damages cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss income during recovery
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Medical expenses cover all medical bills associated with the accident from emergency room treatment to surgeries, physical therapy, long term medical care and even reconstructive surgery. In addition to compensatory damages a judge or jury can award punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct is so despicable that it ought to be punished, or where necessary to prevent similar conduct from occurring in the future.

Filing Your Auto Accident Claim

If you have been in a car accident and are considering filing an auto accident claim, there are steps that need to be taken immediately following the accident:

  • Documenting the circumstances of the crash;
  • Taking photographs;
  • Gathering statement of possible witnesses;
  • Obtaining a copy of the police report.

If you are in an accident, contact John O'Brien, an experienced auto accident attorney immediately before evidence is lost or memories fade. Do not give any statements to the opposing insurance company or sign any agreements. Our staff of trained experts will analyze the circumstances of your case and provide you with peace of mind that all of the details are being handled and that you will be fully compensated for your injuries.

Auto Accident Q&A

Q: What should I do at the scene of the accident? See Answer


Q: What should I do after an accident? See Answer


Q: Does insurance cover auto accidents? See Answer


Q: What is the California statute of limitation for auto accidents? See Answer


Q: What determines who is at fault in an auto accident? See Answer

Experts Working with John M. O'Brien & Associates

At John M. O’Brien and Associates, we handle a wide variety of complex catastrophic injury cases. Often such cases will require the involvement of industry experts like biomechanical engineers, human factors and safety engineers, civil engineers, accident reconstructionists, economists, medical personnel and others. We use the latest technology and innovations to present our clients’ cases to a jury. Here is an example of a video that was put together for a settlement meeting in a tragic big rig wrongful death case. Some of the involved experts and a video animation of the crash dynamics were all used effectively in this video to obtain a substantial settlement for our clients’ surviving heirs.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer – John M. O’Brien

When another person's negligence results in a serious injury or death, you can and should be compensated for the physical and emotional pain you've incurred and the challenges you continue to face. At John M. O’Brien & Associates P.C., “we recognize the life-altering effects a car accident can have on a person and his or her entire family. As a result, we give our undivided attention to these cases and work tirelessly to resolve them fairly, either by settlement or trial.” If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious car accident, contact our law office located in Elk Grove, Sacramento area, for specialized legal help.

Call John O'Brien 800.722.4176
or Ask John O'Brien a question
  • John M. O'Brien and Associates Warns You: Criminals are Facebook Users Too (October 31, 2013) Read more
  • The Legal Side of Food Allergies Incidents (August 31, 2013) Read more
  • John M. O’Brien and Associates Welcomes Grant Zehnder to the Team (August 31, 2013) Read more
Verdict and Settlements
  • Automobile Accident

    Result: $750,000     Read more