Do you live in San Luis Obispo? Then it’s important you know what to do if you’re hurt in an accident. In this article, our attorneys explain the most common types of personal injury claims in San Luis Obispo. We’ll talk you through what makes a personal injury claim successful and how our lawyers can help.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better able to protect your rights and claim the justice you deserve.

Welcome to San Luis Obispo

Known for its relaxed vibes and sunny climate, San Luis Obispo (SLO) is home to over 282,000 people. Whether you’re into museums, art, or hiking trails, SLO has a little something for everyone. Unsurprisingly, San Luis Obispo is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also a charming and tranquil place to call home.

The best part? SLO is a safe place to live.

Crime rates are relatively low compared to elsewhere in CA, and it’s a place where everyone should feel comfortable. However, like anywhere, SLO has its fair share of accidents and injuries. What is a “personal” injury, though, and are some accidents more common than others? Let’s take a look.

What Are Personal Injuries?

A personal injury is any harm (i.e. injury) to a person’s body, mind, or emotions. Here are some examples.

  • Physical injuries: Broken bones, head trauma, lacerations.
  • Mental injuries: PTSD, amnesia, brain damage. 
  • Emotional injuries: Stress, anxiety, phobias.

If an injury involves physical or mental pain and suffering, it’s a personal injury. You can sue for personal injuries if they’re caused by someone else’s negligence.

For example, say you fall at work. You break your leg. You fell because your employer didn’t give you the right footwear to perform the job. This could mean you have a workplace accident claim against your employer.

Common Types of Personal Injuries in San Luis Obispo

Accidents happen every day. However, some types of accidents – and injuries – are more common than others. Here are the seven most common types of injuries and accidents in San Luis Obispo.

Car Accidents

From fender benders to multi-car pile-ups, car accidents are a huge problem in San Luis Obispo. 

  • Fatalities are on the rise across SLO.
  • Distracted driving and speeding are leading causes of SLO car accidents. 
  • Every car accident, even seemingly minor collisions, can cause injury.

Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries. Although some harms are fairly minor, such as bruising, others are more severe. Serious crashes can cause internal bleeding, paralysis, and even limb loss. In the most serious cases, victims die from their injuries.

Do you need a car accident lawyer in San Luis Obispo? Contact the May Firm for representation by experienced San Luis Obispo car accident attorneys.

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can be especially serious, especially if a cyclist is hit at high speed. Bicycle accidents can cause injuries such as:

  • Back injuries
  • Bruising
  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Muscle sprains 
  • Nerve damage

Cyclists can be paralyzed or killed if they’re involved in a crash in SLO. Our wrongful death attorneys can help if your loved one dies after a bicycle accident.

Slips and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls are a common occurrence in San Luis Obispo. Whether you trip on a busy sidewalk or slip in a restaurant, these accidents can cause various injuries.

You may have a claim if the slip or fall is due to someone else’s negligence. For example, say a restaurant manager knew about a spillage and didn’t clean it up. If you fell and hurt your ankle, you might have a compensation claim.

Slip and fall accidents can be serious, especially if you fall from a height or slip on a hard surface. Our San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyers can explain if you have a case and how much it may be worth.

Dog Bites

In CA, owners are expected to keep their dogs under control. However, dog bites are very common in SLO and California, with postal workers and delivery drivers being especially vulnerable.

Dog bites can cause a range of injuries, including:

  • Bruising
  • Disfigurement
  • Facial injuries
  • Infections
  • Puncture wounds

They may also cause mental or emotional injuries such as stress, anxiety, and PTSD. In some cases, they can even transmit serious diseases such as rabies.

If you have a dog bite, clean the wound if you can. Then seek medical attention immediately.

Animal Attacks

Animal attacks are also, unfortunately, common in SLO. Aside from bite injuries, animal attacks can cause:

  • Limb loss
  • Lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Scratches
  • Severe skin damage

If you’re attacked by an animal due to an owner’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim.

Workplace Accidents

A workplace accident occurs when an employee is injured or harmed at work. Injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Facial injuries 
  • Neck and spine injuries  
  • Soft tissue damage

Workplace injuries can result in a significant amount of time off work. In serious cases, employees may be unable to return to their old duties – or return at all.

Such accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon in SLO. Our attorneys can help if you’re hurt or get sick due to a workplace incident.

Medical Malpractice

Medical negligence claims are relatively common in SLO. You may have a claim if a medical professional behaved negligently towards you. Examples of negligent treatment include:

  • Birth errors
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Prescribing the wrong medicine
  • Surgical errors
  • Wrong diagnosis

Individuals can be seriously – and sometimes permanently – harmed by medical malpractice. If you’re concerned about the standard of care you received, and you’ve been hurt, call us for help.

Product Liability

If a product is faulty and causes someone harm, there may be a product liability claim.

For example, if you’re in a car crash and the seatbelt malfunctions, you might be seriously hurt. You may be able to sue the manufacturer for at least some of your injuries. Or, say you take medicine which has not been prepared safely. If you get sick as a result, you might be able to sue the pharma company on product liability grounds.

Product liability claims are complex. Our SLO injury lawyers can explain how these claims work in more detail.

Making a Personal Injury Claim in San Luis Obispo

At the May Firm, our lawyers can help no matter what type of injury claim you have. No case is too simple or too complex – we’re here for you if you need attorneys in San Luis Obispo. If you do decide to make a personal injury claim, here’s a brief overview of what to expect. 

  • You schedule a free initial consultation. At the meeting, an experienced lawyer evaluates your case. 
  • If you have a claim, your lawyer files a lawsuit and gathers information to build your case. They’ll gather evidence such as accident reports, medical records, and receipts to prove your injuries and losses.
  • If the other side accepts liability, your lawyer will try to negotiate a fair settlement offer. 
  • Should the other side refuse to admit fault, or if the offer is too low, the case may go to trial. 
  • Your case settles or goes to court. If you’re unsuccessful, you don’t owe anything. If you win, you’ll pay a pre-agreed amount for legal fees and other costs.

Contact the May Firm to learn more about how we handle – and win – cases for our clients.

What Is My Case Worth?

Every personal injury case is unique.

For example, some injuries are worse than others. In other cases, there are substantial losses involved. And in some cases, we might even seek punitive damages to “punish” the defendant for wrongdoing e.g. in product liability claims.

Until a SLO personal injury lawyer values your claim, it’s hard to say how much it’s truly worth. Our experienced attorneys will carefully assess your case and explain what it may be worth based on the evidence available.

How SLO Injury Lawyers Can Help

If you’re hurt in a San Luis Obispo accident, here’s how an attorney can help. 

  • Attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This lets you focus on rest and recovery.
  • A lawyer knows who to sue (it’s not always just one defendant). Suing the right parties means you get the full compensation you deserve.
  • Insurance companies might pressure you to settle quickly. A lawyer can explain whether a settlement offer is fair or if you should push for more.
  • It’s not uncommon for evidence to get lost or destroyed. Your lawyer will gather evidence quickly and effectively to help you build the most compelling case. 
  • Every civil lawsuit has time limits and filing requirements. An attorney will ensure the right procedural steps are followed so you don’t lose your right to sue.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Luis Obispo

Do you need an attorney in San Luis Obispo? Look no further than the May Firm. Our experienced personal injury attorneys treat every client like family members. We’re here to support you and help you get the justice you deserve.

To our personal injury attorneys in San Luis Obispo, no case is too big – or small – for us to handle. If we evaluate your case and determine you have a claim, we’ll always work tirelessly on your behalf. Hire our SLO injury lawyers today and start moving on with your life. We offer every prospective client a free consultation.


The content in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and may not represent the current law in the recipient’s jurisdiction. The content and information should not be construed as professional legal advice from The May Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Any and all information included in, or accessible through, this article should not be used to act or refrain from acting without the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s appropriate jurisdiction. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.