San Diego Auto Accident Attorneys

The San Diego auto accident attorneys with Casey Gerry have created this site especially for people who have suffered a serious injury in a car collision or crash, and for those who have lost a loved one in an automobile accident.

Automobiles are deeply ingrained in American life as contributors to our mobility, our prosperity, and our recreation. They are the primary mode of transportation for most people, especially in California. Americans pay a heavy price for their use of automobiles. Car accidents account for more deaths in this country than all natural disasters combined. In 2006, 42,642 people died in the United States as a result of car crashes and collisions, about one person every 12 minutes. Highway deaths are seasonal: the greatest number occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In any year, a person’s chances of being injured in an car accident are greater than one in a thousand.

Approximately 15% of those killed are pedestrians, bicyclists or others not in the vehicles. About 68% of people who die in automobile wrecks were not wearing safety restraints, or were using them improperly.

Drugs and alcohol are major contributors to motor vehicle fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2005, 16,885 people, 39% of all traffic-related deaths, died in car accidents in which alcohol was involved. Other drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine are involved in about 18% of driver deaths. These other drugs are generally used in combination with alcohol. In addition to injuries and deaths, alcohol-related car accidents cost the US economy about $51 billion per year.

The annual number of automobile fatalities has declined significantly since the 1960’s, a result of improved vehicle design, laws requiring safety belt use, and improved roadway design. These changes show that vehicle design, highway design and safe driving practices such as driving sober and alert, and not using cell phones can help to lower car accident and fatality rates.

On this site you can learn more about the causes of motor vehicle injuries and fatalities; automotive safety and collision prevention; what to do if you’re involved in a car crash; and if you or a loved one has been in a crash, whether you should consider legal action.

The plaintiff’s citizenship or immigration status is not an issue in cases involving unsafe vehicle design, failure of auto parts or tires, and negligent installation or maintenance. Casey Gerry's team of San Diego auto accident attorneys have represented Mexican citizens, Mexican nationals living in the US, and undocumented immigrants who have been harmed by unsafe vehicles or tires. Location of the car accident is also not a factor. Whether the collision occurred in the US or in Mexico, if the harm was due to unsafe or defective design, manufacture, or defective component parts on the part of a US manufacturer, of negligent installation or maintenance, Casey Gerry attorneys can pursue redress in US courts.

If you or a loved one have recently sustained a serious injury, or you have lost a loved one in an automobile collision you will want to learn more about your rights. On this site, After a serious auto accident injury offers useful information. Should you consider legal action? can help you think through the new realities you face, and your options for funding them.

Auto Accidents Lawyers

IF YOUR TOYOTA OR LEXUS WAS RECALLED YOU’VE BEEN INJURED

Every Toyota and Lexus owner has been injured by the recalls. They no longer trust their car, nor can they trust the company that designed and manufactured it. Many Toyota and Lexus owners no longer feel safe in their vehicle because of the risk of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration. Everyone who owns a Toyota or a Lexus now lives with the  terrifying possibility that their car or truck could unexpectedly accelerate, becoming a lethal threat to its driver, its passengers, and any vehicle or person in its path.

Toyota and Lexus owners have also incurred substantial financial damage. As reports of crashes continue, as TV news is filled with accounts of injuries and fatalities involving Toyotas, and as the recalls widen, owners have watched the value of their cars decline. Demand for both new and used Toyotas and Lexus vehicles has plunged, and owners attempting to sell their Toyota or Lexus vehicles have seen substantial declines in their resale value.

For most people a car or truck is a significant financial investment, and the loss in the value of that investment constitutes a very real financial injury. If you live in California and own a Lexus or Toyota, you will want to know how Casey Gerry’s Toyota class action lawsuit can help California Lexus and Toyota owners seek justice for their losses.

CASEY GERRY FILES A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT EXCLUSIVELY FOR CALIFORNIA TOYOTA AND LEXUS OWNERS

CaseyGerry, San Diego’s oldest consumer law firm, has filed a class action suit in California Superior court to represent all California Toyota and Lexus owners whose vehicles have lost value because of the recalls. Casey Gerry has joined forces with Tracee Lorens and Associates, and the Turley Law Firm, of San Diego, and the Law Offices of Marino and Sahhar of Escondido, to protect the rights of all California owners of Lexus and Toyota vehicles who have suffered financial injury as a consequence of the Toyota Motor Company’s significant and persistent continuing problems with sudden unintended acceleration.

The firms’ goal in filing this suit is to not to put Toyota out of business, but to provide justice for California Lexus and Toyota owners who have been financially injured by the loss in value of their vehicles. In Casey Gerry’s view, the best outcome would be just and fair compensation for vehicle owners, and improvements in vehicle design, manufacturing quality, and vehicle safety to restore Toyota’s reputation of excellence.

Union Tribune story about filing the class action lawsuit
Fox5 video

This lawsuit covers all California-owned Toyota and Lexus vehicles

This class action suit, filed in state Superior Court, will include not only the models and years that have been recalled, but all Toyota and Lexus vehicles owned by California residents.

Of the 8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled, 18%, nearly 1.4 million vehicles, are owned by Californians. In addition to the 8 million already recalled, several other problematic Toyota vehicles are now being investigated by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA. These include reported brake failures in the 2007-2010 Prius, and steering malfunctions in the Corolla.

How a class action works and how it can help you

A class action is a lawsuit involving a large group of people who have suffered the same injury (for example, a steep drop in the value of their vehicles) bring a claim against the people or company responsible. The suit first establishes a class: it defines the group of people who have suffered the same type of damage, and who therefore may join the suit. Once the court certifies the class action, everyone in the class (in this suit, all California resident owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles) is eligible to join. There is no fee required to join this lawsuit.

A class action is an efficient and cost effective approach to a widespread problem, because instead of thousands of individual lawsuits, a single suit is filed. Because the same result, and the same remedy apply to everyone in the class, a class action is fair both to plaintiffs and defendants. Plaintiffs, the people who have been injured, can be especially helped by joining a class action, because there is strength in numbers. A large multinational corporation may have its own in-house legal staff, and very deep pockets to fund its defense. A lawsuit against such an adversary can become extremely expensive, and most individuals simply do not have the resources for this kind of fight.

In a class action, lawyers for the plaintiff generally do not charge individual participants up front. They file the suit, perform all the investigative work and the extensive pre-trial research and preparation, and seek out the expert witnesses. They commit to this ambitious effort with the understanding that they will be paid only if they win their case, either in negotiated settlement or in trial. Their fees will come out of the final settlement.

California Lawyers


CALIFORNIA SUPERIOR COURT SUIT HAS SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES OVER THE FEDERAL SUIT

A class action suit has also been filed against Toyota in federal court. The Casey Gerry class action suit filed in California Superior Court holds significant advantages over the federal suit.

  • It will be contested under California consumer protection law, which has some of the strongest pro-consumer provisions in the US. California consumer protection law is substantially stronger, and more pro-consumer than federal law. Prosecuting their case in state court, under California state law, Casey Gerry and its partner firms and their clients will get the benefit of California’s stronger consumer protections.
  • The federal suit will consolidate more than 100 cases from more than 15 states. Many of those states have different requirements, some conflicting with others. Conflicting state laws may create complications for the court. All the complications must be resolved, consuming precious time, before the case can go forward.
  • All members of Casey Gerry’s California Superior Court suit are governed by the same law. Its case will not bog down in the conflicting procedures and requirements of multiple states, and can move more smoothly toward resolution.
  • This suit is exclusively for Toyota and Lexus owners who are California residents. Casey Gerry and its partner firms are based in California, and their suit focuses exclusively on the needs of California residents.
  • The California Superior Court suit stands a good chance of being certified and moving to trial possibly as soon as spring of 2011.

THE CALIFORNIA SUIT HAS ALREADY STARTED

The California state court class action suit has now been filed. Casey Gerry attorneys are already working on the investigation and gathering of evidence. If you live in California and you own a  Toyota or Lexus, your experience with your vehicle or your dealings with Toyota or Lexus could make an important contribution to the success of this case. Casey Gerry and its partner firms urge all California residents who own a Toyota or Lexus to contact them for a free evaluation of their situation and the opportunity to join our case.

CASEY GERRY AND FREDERICK SCHENK

Founded in 1947, Casey Gerry is San Diego’s oldest plaintiffs and personal injury firms. It enjoys statewide and national recognition for its expertise and achievements in civil litigation and plaintiffs law. In automotive liability, Casey Gerry has been involved in a number of high profile cases, including Firestone tires and the Ford Explorer, and in many SUV rollover cases.

Frederick Schenk is Casey Gerry’s lead counsel for the Toyota class action. With other Casey Gerry partners he represented Governor Gray Davis in securing the historic settlement against the tobacco industry. The settlement of over $25 billion on behalf of Californians was the nation’s largest. Mr. Schenk has also represented individuals in many product liability, automobile collision, premises liability, and other serious personal injury cases.

Mr. Schenk was voted by his colleagues in the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego as an Outstanding Trial Lawyer, and he was ranked by the San Diego Daily Transcript as one of the Top 10 lawyers in San Diego. He is listed in Woodward and White's prestigious Best Lawyers in America and in Southern California Super Lawyers specifically for his work in class action and mass tort litigation.

He has been a consulting editor for Matthew Bender’s Legal Publication, "Pleading and Practice Vol. 8", on Automobiles, a recognition of his expertise in automobile collision litigation. He is also co-author of LexisNexis Publishing’s, "California Automobile Collision Handbook”.

The Consumer Attorneys of San Diego elected him as their president, and he has also served as president the Civil Justice Foundation, a national  non-profit organization which grants funds to consumer groups representing people around the US.

Casey Gerry’s team of automotive product liability attorneys and its partners at Lorens Associates APLC, the Turley Law Firm, and the Law offices of Marino and Sahhar are currently evaluating claims on behalf of California residents who own Toyotas and Lexuses and whose vehicles have lost significant value.

If you live in California and you own a Toyota or Lexus vehicle, you may be eligible to join this class action suit. Please contact us immediately for evaluation of your case by an experienced lost value class action attorney.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who can join Casey Gerry’s California Toyota/Lexus class action suit?

All owners of Toyota or Lexus vehicles who are California residents are eligible to join this suit.

How can joining a class action suit help me?

A lawsuit against a large multinational corporation like Toyota, which has enormous financial resources, can be an extremely costly undertaking. Most individuals do not have the resources to fund a lawsuit against a multinational.  A class action levels the playing field. By joining a class action you have the benefit of large numbers of people; and greater financial resources.

Do I have to pay to join this class action?

No. In a class action, lawyers for the plaintiffs generally do not charge individual participants up front. The class action attorneys make an agreement with the plaintiffs that their fees will come out of the final settlement. The attorneys file the suit, recruit expert witnesses and do all the research and investigative work required for the trial, with the understanding that they will be paid only if they reach a successful settlement.

How does CaseyGerry’s suit in California Superior Court have an advantage?

By filing in state court, Casey Gerry and its partner firms offer California Toyota and Lexus owners the benefit of California’s very strong consumer protection laws. California law has some of the country’s strongest pro-consumer provisions, substantially stronger than those in many other states

What to do if you’re involved in an auto accident

An auto accident can be terrifying, and the consequences may affect you and your loved ones for the rest of your lives. Both at the time of the crash and later on, there are some basic actions that Casey Gerry’s auto accident attorneys in San Diego recommend as legal first aid to protect your rights:

AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH

After a crash you may be in a state of shock, or too seriously injured to do anything on your own behalf. If you are able to move about safely, it is important to obtain names of witnesses who observed what occurred and to exchange driver’s license and insurance information with all other drivers involved in the crash. This is essential to do whether or not a police or highway patrol officer is called to the scene.

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTERWARDS

Be sure to notify your insurance carrier of the collision and to cooperate fully with your own insurance company.

BE AWARE OF STATUTES OF LIMITATION IN YOUR STATE

These laws limiting the time by when one must file a claim or a lawsuit. It is important to know which statutes apply to your particular circumstance. It is wise to contact a knowledgeable automobile accident lawyer very soon after the crash in order to make sure that your rights are not forfeited, and that you can pursue your civil remedies.

INVESTIGATION AND GATHERING EVIDENCE

It is vitally important for investigation to start before memories fade and before critical evidence at the collision scene has been removed, washed away, or otherwise altered. Casey Gerry auto accident lawyers employ three full-time motor vehicle accident investigators who can travel throughout San Diego County and Southern California, including Palm Desert, Coachella, Rancho Mirage, or wherever your auto accident occurred to help find vital evidence for our lawyers and secure it for your case.

While you are receiving medical care and recovering from your injuries, you many not feel ready to have your case resolved. Nonetheless, evidence collection needs to be under way. Our staff can obtain factual statements, scene photographs, accurate measurements, and collision photographs, leaving you to focus on your recovery and return to the quality of life you enjoyed before your injuries.

Should you consider legal action?

A person injured in a car crash as a result of another’s negligence has the right to compensation for damage to his or her health, earning power, and the loss of well being. Compensation can include reimbursement for medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and future earning power, pain, and other physical distress, and psychological suffering as a consequence of injuries and losses. In the case of serious injury such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), or spinal cord injury (SCI), the changes in lifestyle, the need for extensive modifications in the home, and diminished earning power are so extensive that a life planning consultant should be engaged to help calculate long-term medical and financial needs.

Many serious injuries in auto collisions are caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, corporation or government entity. Issues of product design, product safety, and highway design may have contributed to the auto crash. Negligence is conduct which falls below the standard of care established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risks of harm. Negligence and misconduct can occur in public settings, in which public employees such as law enforcement personnel fail to take sufficient care. Misconduct is improper, or unlawful conduct motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose or by obstinate indifference to the consequences of one's acts.

If your auto accident injury occurred as the result of negligence or misconduct, an attorney experienced in dealing with auto accident injury cases may be able to achieve a settlement that will recover your medical and rehabilitation costs, both current and future. A settlement may also cover home modifications and future specialized care needs.

If you decide to pursue legal action, you should contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible for review of your situation. There are deadlines called statutes of limitation, set by laws which regulate the filing of lawsuits which vary state by state. If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury and feel that negligence or misconduct was involved, you should not delay in contacting an attorney. If the statute of limitations expires, your right to pursue a claim may be forever barred.

The usual arrangement for an automotive injury case is a contingent fee agreement. Casey Gerry’s attorney agrees to be paid a fee only if the client's case is ultimately successful, either by settlement out of court or by a judgment following a court proceeding. Casey Gerry then receives a percentage of the final amount recovered. This fee arrangement is helpful for most people who have suffered a serious injury in a car crash because it does not require the person bringing the case to pay any money up front.

St Louis Auto Accidents Lawyers

While each client and case is different, every personal injury victim shares pain, financial concerns, and a right to hold those responsible for the accident accountable. Not surprisingly, a substantial portion of our personal injury cases here at Brown & Crouppen are related to automobile accidents. 

Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. citizens aged 34 and younger.  Annually, auto accidents are responsible for over 40,000 deaths. At an average rate of 115 fatalities per day, auto accidents cost a staggering $150 billion yearly. Everyone is likely to be involved in at least one auto accident in his or her lifetime.

If you have been injured in a preventable automobile accident, or have lost someone to a fatal mishap, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages from those responsible. To succeed in a claim against another driver, it is necessary to show that he or she was negligent, that is, failed to act reasonably and in a manner which respects the safety of other drivers. Litigation is intended to restore the injured person to the position he or should would have been in had the accident never occurred. While money can never compensate adequately for serious personal injury or death, an innocent party is entitled to just and fair damages to compensate so far as is possible for their injury and losses. 

Legal cases are won or lost on the available evidence and the following information should be obtained and preserved for your attorney as soon as possible:

  • The other driver’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number.
  • The other driver’s license number and insurance company name and policy number.
  • The name and badge number of the attending police officer.
  • The names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
  • Attend a doctor or hospital to document any injury.
  • Make a detailed personal note about the accident as soon as possible.
  • A diagram of street layout, position of vehicles and location of witnesses.
  • Photograph the accident scene, damage to the vehicles and any visible injuries.

Common auto accident injuries include whiplash, head and brain injury, paralysis, and joint, bone, and muscle injuries. Auto accident victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they believe they are injured. Auto accident claims for damages resulting from injuries usually depend on medical records linking the auto accident to the injuries received. In general, auto accidents are handled through each party's insurance company, and settled fairly quickly. However, it is important to remember that insurance is first and foremost a business, so what is best for you is generally not in the insurance company’s best interest. Backed by a team of team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys, the insurance company’s objective is to minimize the amount of money that they pay out. At Brown & Crouppen, we advise our automobile injury clients on our “Golden Rules” of insurance companies:

  1. The insurance company is not your friend. As a business, insurance’s goal is profit. Their team works to eliminate payments or to pay as little as possible.
  2.  The insurance company is always represented by an experienced car accident lawyer. Should you choose not to be represented by a qualified attorney, you will face the considerable resources of a powerful company without help.
  3. Insurance companies pay almost three times more money in cases where the victim is represented by a lawyer. This fact comes straight out of an insurance company’s training manual.

 In some cases, accidents that result in personal injury or extensive property loss lead to lawsuits. Damages sought in those cases can include the cost of medical treatment, loss of property, and loss of wages. 

If you are an accident victim, you may be too overwhelmed by physical and emotional trauma to even think about your rights, responsibilities and the future. At Brown & Crouppen, we make your interests our priority. Do not settle for less than fair compensation. 

Hiring an attorney does not mean that your case will take years to be settled or require that you go to court. With Brown & Crouppen, your case will probably be settled favorably in months, not years. Few of our clients have ever appeared in court. 

1. THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident it’s important to understand the “real” agenda of the insurance company in your case. First, understand the insurance company is not your friend, they are not looking out for you, they are only looking out for their own interests. See, insurance companies exist for one purpose only, to make money. Insurance companies make money by selling insurance and receiving premium payments, they then invest this money and make even more money. Insurance companies lose money by paying out benefits (money) to people hurt in accidents caused by the people they insure. Since you are one of those people who want the insurance company to pay you money you represent a potential loss to the insurance company and insurance companies hate losses, cause that really sets back that whole “exist only to make money” thing. Never forget these simple facts, they are the basis for everything the insurance company does, they have only one goal, that is to close your case without paying you anything or if they have to pay you something, to pay you as little as possible. 

2. INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY ALMOST THREE TIMES MORE MONEY IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES WHEN THE INJURED PERSON IS REPRESENTED BY A LAWYER. 

This fact comes straight out of an insurance company’s training manual. While the manual was primarily talking about car accident cases, we believe it applies to most personal injury cases also. Paying three times more money to injured people who have retained legal counsel certainly explains why so much of an insurance adjuster’s time is spent trying to discourage accident victims from talking to lawyers. When you think about it, it makes sense, of course people without representation who have essentially no knowledge or experience about personal injury law, won’t be able to negotiate nearly as effectively as a trained, attorney. Since insurance company’s sole reason to exist is to make money, it’s clear that keeping injured people and lawyers apart makes good business sense for them but not for you. 

3. HIRING A LAWYER DOESN’T MEAN YOUR CASE WILL TAKE YEARS TO BE SETTLED OR MEAN YOU WILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT. 

A lot of people think that hiring a lawyer delays the legal process so that their case will take years to be completed. The truth is, this is usually not the case. At Brown & Crouppen most accident cases are finished in one year or less. We usually figure that a case will be all done within 60 to 120 days after we receive your final medical records. As far as your fear of having to go to court, don’t worry, it is rare that any Brown & Crouppen client will ever have to go to court or even sit for a deposition. Through a lot of hard work we have developed a reputation in the legal community that allows us to fairly settle most of our cases without the needing  to subject our clients to these unpleasant parts of our legal system. In short, don’t worry, your case will probably be settled favorably in months not years and very few Brown & Crouppen clients ever have to appear in court. 

4. YOU DON’T HAVE FOREVER TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR ACCIDENT CASE.

Unfortunately, this is the case. There are definite time limits in taking care of your case. These time limits are called statutes of limitations and if you wait past the time set out in the statute your case is over, forever, regardless if you have gotten any money or not. Don’t let this happen to you.  If you have an accident, don’t wait until it’s too late, call Brown and Crouppen now. 


5. IT DOES NOT COST YOU ANY MONEY IN ADVANCE TO GET A LAWYER IN AN ACCIDENT CASE. 

At Brown & Crouppen our policy in accident cases, as well as our other injury cases, is that we never charge you any “in advance” legal fee. The only way you ever pay any legal fees or expenses is at the conclusion of your case and then only out of the money we were able to recover. If we are unsuccessful and no money is collected then any costs we incurred is our expense and of course you owe us nothing for our time. We believe we should make money only after we make you money. That’s why it doesn’t cost you any money in advance to get a lawyer in an accident case.

Clients's History

Hello my name is Tommy J. Believe me the last thing I ever wanted to be was the client of a personal injury lawyer. Don’t get me wrong the people at Brown and Crouppen have been great but this car wreck has really been tough on me and my family. 

December 5, 2001 is a day I’ll never forget, I was riding with some friends after work when the driver of the car lost control and ran into the side of a building. The next few days were pretty difficult, I was in pain, I couldn’t work, and my conversations with the insurance company made me wonder if they were really on my side. They wouldn’t even talk about paying for my medical bills that were really piling up. I remember it so clearly, I had just gotten off the phone with the insurance adjuster when I remembered Terry Crouppen on the TV. I remembered him talking about helping people in car wrecks, I called that help number thinking what could it hurt to just call and talk to an accident lawyer. 

The next day I met with a car accident lawyer at Brown and Crouppen and decided that I wanted someone working for me, on my case, someone who was looking out for my interests. 

Well, my case was settled faster then I expected and I know I did the right thing by hiring a Missouri accident lawyer, especially a lawyer at Brown and Crouppen. They seemed to really care about me, they returned my phone calls promptly and I got to meet Terry Crouppen in person. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the driver had been paying more attention and I never would have needed an accident lawyer in the first place, but I didn’t have a choice. Brown and Crouppen made my situation as good as it could be and when you think about it I guess that’s the best anyone can do.

Tommy J. 

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