For over 60 years, Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy has represented victims of serious personal injury and the families of those who have lost a loved one as a result of an automobile accident. Auto accidents are the most common cause of personal injury claims arising in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of injuries and an estimated 33,808 fatalities occurring in the year 2009 alone. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 3 and 34.
At Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy, we begin each case with a detailed investigation to determine what might have caused or contributed to an accident. Our staff includes a licensed investigator who will gather evidence and interview witnesses to determine who was at fault, and a licensed nurse who will examine hospital records and medical information to assess the nature and extent of our client’s injuries. We work with an extensive network of established experts to analyze all aspects of a case, thereby ensuring maximum recovery for the client from allculpable sources. Our accident reconstruction and engineering experts analyze road designs, auto parts, and accident scenes, while our medical experts determine the probable extent, duration, and cost of all injuries and treatment.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Driver negligence is a frequent cause of auto accidents. Other common causes of auto accidents include defective auto parts, hazardous weather conditions, unsafe road design, or poor highway maintenance. Driver negligence includes:
- Driving too fast (or too slow) for traffic or road conditions;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals;
- Failure to signal when turning or changing lanes;
- Tailgating/following a vehicle too closely;
- Talking or texting on a cell phone; and
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Accidents may also be caused by defects in a vehicle, or defects in a component of a vehicle. Automobile manufacturers, and manufacturers of tires and other car parts, have a duty to ensure that their products are reasonably safe for use by consumers. If a defective or unsafe product causes an accident and injuries to a person, or a defect exacerbates injuries that should have been minor, a manufacturer may be held strictly liable for the harm caused, whether or not the manufacturer was negligent.
A vehicle may be defective in its design, such as an SUV with a high center of gravity and narrow wheel base, which would make the vehicle inherently unstable and prone to rolling over if the driver made a sudden turn or evasive maneuver. When an automobile’s design is found to be unsafe for use by consumers, then every other automobile made according to those design specifications will also be defective. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains a database of automobile crashworthiness and rates vehicles as good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on their performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, as well as rollover tests. The database also provides evaluations of seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries in the event of a rear impact.
Some examples of automobile defects that may result in injuries include:
- Failed seatbelts or safety restraints
- Defective air bags
- Defective car seats
- Defective tires
- Brake failure
- Defective accelerators
- Defective door latches
- Unsafe fuel tank placement
- Failed suspension
- Roof crushes and poor crashworthiness
- Defective passenger compartment design
- Passenger ejection
- SUV rollovers
- Battery explosions
The Harm an Automobile Accident Can Cause
The attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy have particular expertise in representing those who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries in an auto accident, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, and severe burns. Serious injuries sustained in an auto accident can lead to permanent disabilities, a lifetime of added medical expenses, and the financial and emotional challenges of simply living day to day. Victims of these injuries and their families deserve to be fully compensated for the damages they have suffered and the comprehensive costs of treatment, rehabilitation, and, in many instances, lifelong care. Cases involving serious injuries are often challenging to try. Establishing and proving the full extent of the damages suffered by the victim, both physical and psychological, can be a difficult task, requiring attorneys and experts who understand the complex financial toll taken over the course of a lifetime by this type of injury.
A Thorough Understanding of the Details of a Case
At Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy, our attorneys begin each accident case with a thorough investigation of all the potential causes and contributing factors. While you focus on the most important aspect of your case — recovery — our firm will focus on the preservation and compilation of evidence, deposition of witnesses, and thorough legal analysis of all aspects of your case. The attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy have experience with both the medical issues which may arise in an automobile case, as well as the engineering issues that have legal significance. Because our attorneys are able to see each individual piece of the puzzle that forms the complete picture of an automobile accident, they are able to reconstruct the accident in such a way as to thoroughly understand both the causes and the repercussions. With this extent of understanding, our attorneys are able to prepare a compelling case for negotiation or trial.
The firm’s decades of experience have allowed us to develop a close affiliation with a substantial number of professional consultants, including both medical and engineering experts. The firm’s extensive history of obtaining substantial recovery on behalf of clients – combined with our financial strength – allows us to retain the best experts in any given area of specialty to assist our attorneys in preparing a case for trial.
Finding Solutions & Answers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and sustained serious injuries, the attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy are available to address any questions you may have. Initial consultations and inquiries are offered without charge. To learn how the firm can obtain results in your specific case, call 310-553-6630 or e-mail Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy.