Automobile / Car Injury Accidents


Auto Accidents

California has more vehicles and drivers than any other state. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are over 25 million registered vehicles and over 27 million licensed drivers in the state. Not surprisingly, California also has the country's busiest highways – a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) noted that people drove more than 84.7 billion miles on California highways in 2011 – more than 900 times the distance from Earth to the Sun – making the Golden State's highways the nation's busiest. The report also notes that the I-5 in California was the nation's busiest interstate, followed by neighboring highways I-10 and I-110. The report also noted that the Los Angeles section of the I-405 serves an estimated 379,000 vehicles per day, making it the busiest section of any highway in any American city.  

Unfortunately, according to a 2017 report, California also has the second highest number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the country with a reported 3,304 fatal crashes resulting in 3,602 deaths (Texas barely edged out California with a reported 3,343 fatal accidents).  Many of these accidents are caused by careless or negligent drivers. In some cases accidents are the result of defective, unsafe or improperly constructed or maintained roadways. Vehicle accidents or vehicle-related injuries may also be caused by a design or manufacturing defect in the vehicle.


California is home to 3 of the 10 most dangerous highways in the United States. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA), in 2020 there were 1.37 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which is the highest fatality rate since 2007. Driving is inherently dangerous. But the likelihood of a crash can increase depending on the road you travel. A recent study reviewed data released by the NHTSA, identifying which roads have the highest rates of fatal accidents. Three of the 10 most dangerous highways, according to the data, run through California.

The researchers analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a database of all reported fatal car accidents maintained by the NHTSA. The study identifies the most dangerous highways based upon the rate of fatalities per 100/miles traveled and the total number of fatalities on a given road.

Although Interstate 95, which runs from Maine to Florida, is considered the most dangerous highway in the country, California shows up on this list more times than any other state. Interstate 5 is the third most dangerous road in the United States and the most dangerous in California. I-5 can be particularly dangerous due to the high volume of traffic, as it runs through many major cities, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Rush hour evening traffic in these three cities alone — and especially in L.A. — raise the risk level for drivers. I-5 is also one of the most popular routes for big-rig drivers, a fact that makes the highway more dangerous for drivers and motorcycle riders. Danger also comes in the form of old, worn infrastructure. I-5 is showing its age, as repair crews can't keep up with the more than 58 million miles of wear and tear suffered on a daily basis. The resulting poor road conditions are often cause for traffic slowdowns, and increasingly frequent lane closures as work crews attempt to apply temporary fixes.

In California, roads all over the state are failing. 68% of California highways are in "Mediocre" or "Poor" condition and need repair according to a dated survey, and those numbers only appear to be getting worse. Similar issues plague Interstate 40 and Interstate 80, the other two California highways which rank on the top 10 most dangerous list.  (Source: Hey SoCal)

Do I have a personal injury auto accident claim?

When a car accident results in injury or death there may be grounds for a personal injury car accident lawsuit. Vehicle accident personal injury claims may arise from the following:

  • Intentional or negligent (careless/reckless) driver conduct such as:
    • Speeding or racing;
    • Failing to follow the rules of the road (e.g. making an unsafe or illegal turn, making an unsafe lane change, failing to stop or yield when required, etc.);
    • Driving while impaired (such as when sleep deprived) or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal);
    • Driving while distracted (e.g. using a cell phone, not paying attention to the road, etc.);
    • Failing to warn oncoming cars of a stalled or stopped vehicle;
    • In some cases, accidents may be the result of older drivers with impaired reflexes
  • Roadway design and defects (usually the fault of the city, state, or municipality)
    • Poorly designed roads (e.g. dangerous intersections; roads prone to flooding; inadequate barriers, shoulders, dividers, etc.);
    • Inadequate or missing signage or lighting;
    • Damaged or poorly maintained road surfaces (e.g. potholes);
    • Failure to clear the road of debris or equipment
  • Vehicle design and manufacturing defects.  Design defects are inherent design flaws that make a particular vehicle make and model more susceptible to accidents or injury. Manufacturing defects are defects that typically occur as the results of an error that occurred during the actual manufacturing process and were not intended as part of the design. Examples of various design or manufacturing defects include: 
    • inadequate structural safety and crashworthiness; 
    • defective throttle or acceleration systems (resulting in unintended acceleration); 
    • defective braking systems;
    • defective or badly designed stability, traction, and anti-rollover features (increasing the chance of car of losing control or rolling over);  
    • defective seats (resulting in seat collapse);
    • defective or malfunctioning seatbelt and restraint systems;
    • malfunctioning airbags (e.g. airbags that fail to deploy when they are supposed to or which deploy in an dangerous manner);   
    • tire defects (e.g. tread separation, inadequate traction, etc.);
    • electrical malfunctions;
    • fuel system fires;
    • inadequate warnings or instructions concerning the operation or maintenance of the vehicle may also be considered defects

If you are involved in an automobile accident you should attempt to record and preserve, to the extent possible and safety permitting, as much evidence as possible. Such evidence and details may help your attorney settle or win your case, so it's a good idea to record every detail possible while the accident is still fresh in your memory. For example, a list of damages, photos, names of possible witnesses, and medical records are often very helpful in building a strong case.

Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can result in serious, life-changing injuries. Depending on the types of injuries you sustain, you may require expensive medical care such as reconstructive surgery, vocational rehabilitation, permanent medical equipment, and medications. You may also suffer lost income and a diminished quality of life. Injuries include:

  • head injury
  • traumatic brain injury
  • chest injury
  • back injury
  • whiplash
  • spinal cord injury and paralysis
  • amputation of limbs
  • fractures
  • soft tissue damage (muscles, tendons, ligaments) 
  • burns
  • deep cuts/lacerations

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of auto accidents across the United States, claiming 3,142 lives in 2019. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, there may be grounds for a personal injury car accident lawsuit. To read more about this, please click here.


One serious psychological consequence often associated with Auto accidents is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To read more about this, please click here.

How we can help

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you may have a personal injury case if you can prove that the collision was caused by the driver of the other vehicle, a problem with an unsafe roadway, or a defect with the vehicle. You may be entitled to loss of income, property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Auto accident claims, especially those involving multiple vehicles or roadway or vehicle defects, may be highly complex. They may involve pursuing cases against large powerful corporations, public entities, and insurance companies.  Therefore you need a law firm such as ours, with extensive experience and the resources to handle such cases and maximize your recovery.

We offer a free and confidential case evaluation with our experienced car accident attorneys and serve injury victims in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside County, San Francisco, and Long Beach. Contact Taschner Law today for a Free Consultation or and see how we can help!

The below are major Southern California freeways (published under GNU Wikipedia License): 

Major freeways leading into and out of Southern California

San Diego area

Controlled access routes not maintained by the state

Inland Empire Metropolitan Area

(Includes San Bernardino and Riverside Counties)

Greater Los Angeles Area

(includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura Counties)


I-80 (CA).svg Interstate 80
San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge
The western terminus of I-80 is located in San Francisco as James Lick Skyway (Bayshore Freeway), just west of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. The interstate continues to the east over the bridge, connecting to Oakland and the north coast of the East Bay as the Eastshore Freeway, and then on to SacramentoReno, and New Jersey.
I-580 (CA).svg Interstate 580
Richmond - San Rafael Bridge
This spur route's western terminus is in Marin County. The Interstate crosses the San Pablo Bay over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, goes through Richmond as the John T. Knox Freeway, passes through Oakland as the MacArthur Freeway, then continues to Livermore, through the Altamont Pass to Tracy, where it intersects with Interstate 5, thus providing a link with Southern California.
California 92.svg Route 92
San Mateo - Hayward Bridge
SR 92's western terminus is in Half Moon Bay. The two-lane highway crosses the Santa Cruz Mountains, connecting to Interstate 280 and U.S. Route 101 as the J. Arthur Younger Freeway, becoming a freeway as it passes through San Mateo before crossing the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge to Hayward as Jackson Street.
California 84.svg Route 84
Dumbarton Bridge
SR 84 begins at Route 1 (at the Pacific Coast) near San Gregorio State Beach, and crosses the Santa Cruz Mountains on a scenic route between La Honda and Woodside as Woodside Road. It then crosses the Bay over the Dumbarton Bridge from Redwood City to Newark. The route then passes through Fremont as Thornton Avenue and Peralta Boulevard, continuing as Niles Canyon Road to Sunol and Livermore as Vallecitos Road and Isabel Avenue, terminating at Interstate 580 as Airway Boulevard.

The Peninsula to the South Bay

I-280 (CA).svgUS 101 (CA).svg Interstate 280
Southern, Junipero Serra, & Sinclair Freeways
Highway 101
Bayshore & South Valley Freeways
Eight-lane and, in some parts, 10-lane freeways connecting San Francisco to San Jose through the Peninsula. Highway 101 continues south to Gilroy and Salinas, California, before continuing to Los Angeles. For most of its route I-280 runs along the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and is very scenic, while 101 is highly urban.
California 1.svgCalifornia 35.svg Route 1
Cabrillo Highway
Route 35
Skyline Boulevard
Two-lane highways also traveling down the Peninsula, SR 1 along the Pacific coast, and SR 35 near the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. SR 1 as Cabrillo Highway connects to Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, before continuing to Los Angeles.
California 9.svgCalifornia 17.svg Route 9
Route 17
Highways through the Santa Cruz Mountains, connecting the South Bay to Santa Cruz. Part of SR 17 in San Jose is a 6 to 8 lane freeway.
California 85.svgCalifornia 237.svg Route 85
West Valley Freeway
Route 237
Southbay Freeway
Six-lane and, in some parts, seven to eight-lane freeways connecting the west Santa Clara Valley to the east Santa Clara Valley, bypassing Downtown San Jose.
California 87.svg Route 87
Guadalupe Freeway
North-south six-lane freeway entirely in San Jose, connecting San Jose International Airport, Downtown to the Almaden Valley. (formerly the Guadalupe Parkway)
California 152.svg Route 152 Two-lane highway from Watsonville, crosses the Santa Cruz Mountains to Gilroy, then crosses the Diablo Range through Pacheco Pass to I-5 near Los Banos.
California 156.svg Route 156 Two-lane highway connecting the Monterey Peninsula from Castroville to northern San Benito County and Route 152.
California 82.svg Route 82
El Camino Real
Highway running from San Jose to Interstate 280 in San Francisco. It is designated a State Route, although it is more similar to an inner-city boulevard, and contains either 2, 4, or 6 lanes. It runs from Daly City in the north through the Peninsula and beyond.

The freeway system in Santa Clara county is augmented by the Santa Clara County expressway system.

North Bay

US 101 (CA).svgCalifornia 1.svg Highway 101
Redwood Highway
Route 1
Shoreline Highway
Continue north of San Francisco, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and connecting San Francisco to Marin and Sonoma counties, and eventually to Oregon. They are concurrent between the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin City
I-505 (CA).svg Interstate 505 This interstate highway provides a direct link from Interstate 80 in Vacaville in Solano County to I-5, bypassing Sacramento.
California 29.svg Route 29 Four-lane expressway connecting Interstate 80 in Vallejo in Solano County as Sonoma Boulevard to the towns of American Canyon and Napa. North of Napa, SR 29 is a two-lane rural highway through the towns of the Napa Valley, California's Wine Country, to Clear Lake.
California 37.svg Route 37 Four- and two-lane expressway connecting US 101 in Novato with Interstate 80 in Vallejo, along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay.
California 12.svg Route 12
Sonoma Highway
A highway connecting Santa Rosa with suburbs to the west and Interstate 80 through Sonoma and Napa to the east.

East Bay

I-680 (CA).svgI-880 (CA).svg Interstates 680
Sinclair Freeway
Interstate 880
Nimitz Freeway
Two interstate highways that travel up the East Bay from San Jose, 880 close to the bay to Oakland and 680 inland from San Jose north through Fremont, Pleasanton and Concord; then crosses the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and ends at Interstate 80 in Fairfield.
I-980 (CA).svgCalifornia 24.svg Interstate 980
Grove Shafter Freeway
Route 24
Grover Shafter Freeway
A freeway entirely in Downtown Oakland and begins at Interstate 880 and travels north to become Route 24 at Interstate 580. The freeway continues north as SR 24, which is a state highway that begins at Interstate 580 in Oakland and travels east through the Caldecott Tunnel to Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek.
I-205 (CA).svg Interstate 205 This interstate highway's western terminus is at Interstate 580 in Alameda County just west of the San Joaquin County line. I-205 heads east through Tracy to I-5, providing access from the Bay Area to Stockton and the northern San Joaquin Valley.
California 13.svg Route 13
Warren Freeway
A highway entirely in the Oakland Hills and travels north from Interstate 580 to Route 24, where the freeway portion ends. Beyond SR 24, SR 13 is Berkeley's Ashby Avenue.
I-238 (CA).svgCalifornia 238.svg Interstate 238
Route 238
Mission Boulevard
An arterial from Fremont to Hayward, along the base of the hills, then becomes a freeway near Oakland.
California 4.svg Route 4
John Muir Parkway
California Delta Highway
Western terminus at Interstate 80 in Hercules, travels east through Martinez, Pittsburg, and Antioch, where the freeway portion ends. The highway continues to Brentwood and east to Stockton.


Rated #1 US News & World Report

"Lawyer of the Year Award...Through your outstanding leadership and advocacy, you have provided the voice of justice in protecting the basic human rights of your clients." Governor of California


Nationwide Litigation & International Arbitration