Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Los Angeles is a beautiful city that attracts millions of people, and with this comes an increased probability of being in an accident. A car accident can be devastating which is why you are entitled to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver or insurance company. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer that understands the complexity of the legal system, is instrumental.

According to L.A. Times reporter Laura J. Nelson, drivers in Los Angeles spend on average 81 hours in traffic making it the most traffic-prone city in the United States.  With millions of drivers and multiple distractions in traffic.

Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Car culture is a part of Los Angeles culture. People love their cars here and spend a lot of time driving. According to L.A. Times reporter Laura J. Nelson, drivers in L.A. spend an average of 81 hours in traffic regularly. When millions of drivers are spending that much time in traffic there’s going to be accidents. If you were in a car accident in Los Angeles you need a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.

A car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA can help you file a claim and fight for money for damages, medical bills, and other expenses caused by the accident. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer knows California and Los Angeles traffic laws and can help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Traffic Accidents In Los Angeles Are Common

Did you know that the city of Los Angeles has some of the most crowded freeways in the entire world? It’s true. Los Angeles was ranked in the top 10 worst cities for traffic. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety there are more than 300,000 deaths every year in Los Angeles caused by auto accidents. And another 200,000 people are injured in car accidents in L.A. every year.

The Most Common Types Of Car Accidents In Los Angeles

If someone can drive it, it’s probably on the roads in L.A. That’s why there are so many different types of car accidents that happen in Los Angeles. The most common car accidents in Los Angeles are:

  1. Head On Collisions

Head on collisions, or frontal collisions, occur when two cars are traveling in opposite directions and one crosses the center line, hitting the front of the other car. Head on collisions usually cause a car’s airbags to deploy. Airbags save lives, but they can also cause injuries. Head and neck injuries are very common in head on collisions. So are broken bones that can take months to heal.

  1. Side Impact Collisions

Side impact collisions occur when one car hits either the passenger side or driver side of a car. Usually, these types of accidents happen at intersections, like when a car is trying to turn left but another car comes through the intersection at the same time. Side impact collisions cause the full force of the car to hit either the driver or the passenger, potentially causing serious injuries.

  1. Rear End Collisions

Anyone who has ever driven on the 405 knows how common rear end collisions are. Chances are you’ve probably had a read end collision trying to merge during rush hour or trying to drive in downtown L.A. Read end collisions happen when one car runs into the back of the car in front of it. Slippery roads can cause read end collisions. So can traffic slowdowns. But most often they occur when a driver brake-checks another driver. That’s why it’s important to always stay at least a car’s length away from other drivers.

The Most Common Causes Of Car Accidents

The Most Common Causes Of Car Accidents In Los Angeles, CA

Anyone can have an accident while they are driving. Even people who are normally careful drivers can have a bad day and get into an accident. But the most common causes of car accidents in Los Angeles are:

Weather

Even though most of the time it’s sunny in L.A., when it does rain it always causes a lot of accidents. Driving in the rain safely means that people need to slow down, pay more attention to their driving, and start stopping early because it takes extra time for a car to stop on wet asphalt. Anyone that is driving in the rain or just after a rain should be very careful on the roads.

Mechanical Failure

When drivers don’t take care of their vehicles it can lead to mechanical failures that cause accidents. A dead battery can mean a car gets stuck in the middle of the road and becomes a hazard for other drivers. Old brake pads and rotors can make it impossible for a driver to stop in time to avoid hitting another car.

There are all kinds of mechanical problems that can happen to drivers. Drivers who have a problem with their cars should always pull over to the side of road or push their cars to the side of the road to lower the risk of an accident.

Speeding

Speeding is one the leading causes of accidents in Los Angeles, and it is one of the leading causes of driving fatalities every year. Los Angeles drivers shouldn’t speed if they want avoid a potentially lethal accident.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can be caused by many things. Being on the phone, even with a hands-free device, is a major distraction for drivers. Listening to loud music, eating and drinking, putting on makeup, brushing hair, being fatigued, and driving with too many passengers are all distractions that can lead to accidents. Drivers should try to minimize distractions when they drive and pay close attention to what the cars around them are doing at all times.

Not Obeying Traffic Signs

Even though some drivers treat traffic signs as if they are options, they are not. Drivers should always pay attention to posted traffic signs and traffic lights to be safe on the road. Running red lights, or even yellow lights, can be deadly. Failing to yield, failing to merge, not understanding the rules of a rotary, making illegal turns, going the wrong way down a one-way street, and ignoring other traffic rules are all things drivers do that can cause accidents.

DUI

Driving under the influence of any substance, even legal substances, is illegal and can result in serious consequences. Unfortunately, too many drivers have a few drinks or indulge in other substances and then get behind the wheel. Drivers who are under the influence cause serious injuries to other drivers and pedestrian. In 2018 there were more than 4,500 arrests in Los Angeles for driving under the influence.

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries in Los Angeles, CA

Injuries caused by a car accident can range from simple bruises to loss of limbs, burns, and other serious injuries. Often the extent of the injuries depends on factors like the speed the vehicle was going and where it was hit, along with what hits it. Some of the common injuries caused by car accidents in Los Angeles are:

Amputation
Arm and leg injuries
Back injury
Bone fracture
Bruises and road rash
Burns
Chest injuries
Concussion
Crush injuries
Disfiguring facial injuries and scars
Foot and ankle injuries
Fractures and broken bones
Internal bleeding
Internal injuries
Knee injuries
Lacerations
Limb loss and amputation
Lower extremity injury
Merging accidents
Neck injuries
Neck injuries and whiplash
PTSD
Paralysis (quadriplegia/tetraplegia and paraplegia)
Rollover accidents
Shoulder injuries
Soft tissue injuries
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis (quadriplegia/tetraplegia and paraplegia)
Sprains, strains, bruising, and other damage to muscles, tendons, and
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Upper extremity injury
Whiplash
Wrist and hand injuries

The Costs Of Recovery

It can take a long time to recover physically after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’re your injuries are very serious. Very often someone who has just been in a car accident won’t feel the full impact of their injuries right away because they are experiencing a rush of adrenalin. When the adrenalin wears off, the pain and severity of the injuries become apparent.

Some injuries get more severe with time. Even minor injuries can mean that you need to take time off from work to heal, or to attend physical therapy or medical appointments. While insurance typically covers a lot of the costs associated with medical injuries caused by a car injury you could still have to pay out of pocket for costs like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Co-pays for medical appointments
  • Insurance deductible
  • Lost wages for time off work
  • Medical equipment like canes, walkers, or crutches
  • Plastic surgery for burns or disfiguring injuries
  • Medication co-pays or costs of medications not covered by insurance
  • Over-the-counter medical supplies
  • Your monthly rent or mortgage and other expenses if you’re not able to work

Getting medical attention right away after an accident will establish a timeline of your injuries and document that you were injured in the accident. Get treatment for all of your injuries, and continue to follow up on treatment if necessary.

What You Should Do Immediately After A Car Accident

After a car accident you are probably going to be shaky, a little confused, and stunned. But you do need to take action right after the accident to make sure that you have everything you need to file a claim. The steps to take after a car accident in Los Angeles are:

Get Medical Help

Call for medical help. Even if you don’t think that you are seriously injured. You will need documentation of your injuries and you will need to show that you sought medical help in a timely fashion to prove your claim. Always call emergency services for medical help after an accident.

Call the Police

While you’re waiting for EMS to show up call the police. You will need to file a police report as a record of the accident. The police will investigate to find out who is at fault for the accident. If you are found to be not liable for the accident, you will likely be able to recover monetary damages from the other party.

If you are found responsible or partially responsible for the accident, you still may be eligible to receive damages depending on the nature of the accident. You need to call the police so they can start their investigation of the accident.

If the other driver doesn’t wait for the police and leaves the scene of the accident try to get the car’s license plate if you don’t have the driver’s name and information. The police can use the license plate information to find the driver.

Exchange Information

You and the other driver will need to exchange information. Never admit fault. That includes saying things like, “I didn’t see you.”, or “I didn’t mean to hit you.” Never say anything that could be used to indicate you were at fault for the accident. Just ask for the other driver’s name, phone number, address, and insurance information.

Gather Evidence

It’s also important that you gather whatever evidence you can at the time of the accident. Take photos and videos of the site of the accident from every angle. Getting multiple points of view and angles are important because that can help the police reconstruct how the accident happened.

If there were witnesses, you should get their contact information and ask them to give a statement. The best way to get their statements is to take a short video with your smartphone. Have them say their name and contact information then describe what they saw.

File an Accident Report

When the police come, they will take your statement and the other driver’s statement to create an accident report. You will need to file that report to document the accident.

Notify Your Insurance Company

You should also call your insurance company right away. They will send an adjuster out to see the damage to your car, look at the accident scene, and take down information that the insurance company can use to document the accident and investigate who was at fault.

Call an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in an accident in Los Angeles, call a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA immediately. An experienced car accident lawyer will guide you through the process of filing a claim. They can also help you negotiate a settlement or fight for you in court if necessary. Working with a skilled car accident attorney in L.A. is the best way to make sure that you get all of the damages you’re entitled to after a car accident.

Follow All Medical Recommendations

If the doctor prescribes additional therapy, medication, or future doctor visits it’s important to follow up on all the doctor’s recommendations. You will need to show that you followed up on all medical appointments and treatments that the doctor wanted you to have to show that you are making a good-faith effort to recover from your injuries.

What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Do?

The best way to make sure that you get any damages that you’re entitled to because of a car accident is to work with a qualified Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Most people don’t know the laws that apply to car accidents, and they don’t know how to negotiate with insurance companies.

That’s ok. They’re not supposed to know those things. However working with a car accident lawyer who has studied California law and has experience negotiating with insurance companies means that you can rely on their skill and expertise to help you get everything you should get after a car accident. Some of the things that a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA will do for you are:

Investigate

A car accident lawyer will look at the evidence you gathered, the police report that was filed, the insurance report, and other evidence to help determine what happened. Then, they will create a narrative showing the entire timeline of the accident. This will help you make your case by making the circumstances of the accident clear.

Prove Who Was At Fault

Through the evidence collected your car accident lawyer will craft a narrative that shows clearly what happened and who caused the accident. When it comes to determining damages who is at fault for the accident is very important. Having an attorney who specializes in personal injury law will make it easier for you to prove who caused the accident.

Build A Cohesive Case

Telling the story of what happened isn’t enough to guarantee that you will get all of the damages that you’re entitled to. You need to show that the accident directly caused your injuries. And then you need to show that the injuries directly caused you to lose money or the ability to work. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you create a cohesive case and present it to the insurance companies or the judge to help you get all of the money you should get.

Negotiate For You

Insurance companies don’t want to have to pay out money. So, they have teams of very skilled negotiators who try to negotiate down the cost of settlements for accidents. Chances are that you don’t have the kind of negotiation skills that can stand up to the insurance company’s team of negotiators. But a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA does. A car accident attorney that has argued hundreds of personal injury cases knows how to be a tough negotiator and get you a fair settlement.

Represent You In Court

If it’s necessary to go to court because of the accident a skilled attorney can represent you in court. They will fight for your interests to make sure that your story is heard.

Be There For You At Every Step

Going through the process of filing a claim and negotiating a settlement isn’t easy. It’s confusing, and it can be emotionally tough. An experienced car accident attorney will be there for you at every step of the process. They can explain each step to you, make sure you understand what your rights are, and fight for you when it matters most.

How Much Does A Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Cost is a big concern for many people after a car accident in Los Angeles. There are a lot of expenses related to a car accident, and it’s common for people to struggle to get back on their feet. But you shouldn’t let cost prevent you from seeking out a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.

Car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, CA work on a contingency basis. That means that you never have to pay anything up front to talk with a car accident lawyer. Your car accident lawyer will only get paid if you are granted a settlement.

The attorney will receive a portion of the settlement cost at the end of the case. Sometimes the cost of the lawyer’s contingency can be built into the settlement, so it actually costs you nothing.

If you’ve been in a car accident in Los Angeles, call us today to speak with a skilled Los Angeles car accident. There’s no up-front cost to you, and our attorneys can work with you to get a fair settlement for your injuries.

Understanding Driver’s Negligence

Driver negligence can be described as any act or inaction that constitutes a failure to provide proper care in the circumstances. While driving, “proper care” may include obeying traffic laws, paying attention to the road, and being mindful of the safety of oneself and others.  Some forms of negligence include

  • Failing to signal before making a turn;
  • Composing or reading a text message while driving;
  • Applying make-up or using an electric razor while driving;
  • Running a red light or stop sign;
  • Driving above the posted speed limit;
  • Following too closely behind a vehicle;
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle that has its sirens on;
  • Speeding through a school zone;
  • Eating or drinking while driving;
  • Failing to properly maintain one’s vehicle, such as driving on worn brakes;
  • Driving with broken taillights;
  • Using a handheld phone while driving;
  • Taking one’s attention off the road to talk to a passenger;
  • Drinking and driving;
  • Weaving in and out of traffic;
  • Driving under the influence of prescription drugs; or
  • Falling asleep at the wheel.

The possibilities are endless, and all are potentially deadly. It takes only the smallest act of negligence to cause a serious accident that leaves one or more victims injured – or worse.

You may need a Los Angeles car accident lawyer to help you with your insurance claim, which if done correctly results in the compensation you deserve. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Los Angeles Car Accident Claims

Q1. Determining Fault in a Traffic Accident?

    An important aspect of handling a car accident claim is the determination of fault. A car accident may have one or several causes, or circumstances that have made the incident happen.

    Because California implements a fault-based system when it comes to traffic accidents, it will be necessary to discover and prove who or what caused the accident and therefore who should be held legally responsible. The driver or other party who caused the accident can be held accountable for the injuries, economic losses, and property damage that the accident caused.

    Q2. How Seat Belt Use Can Prevent Car Accident Injuries?

    Seat belts can prevent fatal auto accident injuries. According to a Traffic Safety Facts report from the NHTSA involving nationwide traffic accidents in 2011:

    Seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and light truck occupants by 60 percent.

    A seat belt works by holding a vehicle occupant in place to prevent the force of impact from throwing him or her into the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, door or side window. It also prevents an occupant from being ejected from a vehicle during a rollover or other catastrophic collision.

    While some people may sustain injuries caused by the seat belt itself as it holds the occupant in place during a collision, the benefits generally outweigh this risk. Wearing a seat belt is required by law, and it may also help you avoid fatal injuries in the event of a collision.

    Q3. What are Fault vs. No-Fault Insurance Laws?

    In some states, no-fault insurance laws apply to car accidents. This means that fault does not need to be proven and is not even taken into account when an auto insurance policy pays damages to a car accident victim.

    A victim’s own auto insurance policy will cover his or her injuries, with some exceptions. When a person is seriously injured or killed in a car accident, even states with no-fault insurance laws will allow victims or families of victims to seek additional compensation through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, depending on the case.

    In California, your right to sue is protected. Drivers and other negligent parties who cause car accidents are held accountable for their actions. This fault-based system makes determining the cause of an accident one of the most important parts of the legal representation provided by a Los Angeles car accident lawyer

    Q4. What is California’s Comparable Fault Doctrine?

    In a California car accident case, the fault may be shared under the doctrine of comparative fault. This doctrine recognizes the fact that more than one party may be responsible for causing a car accident and therefore may share the blame.

    If an investigation into an auto accident reveals that one driver (driver A) was 20% to blame and the other driver (driver B) was 80% to blame for the accident, driver B may be considered at fault, for 80% of the damages. If driver A suffered $100,000 in economic and non-economic losses because of the accident, driver B may be held accountable for $80,000.

    Because the determination of fault is a complex and important issue under California law, make sure you work with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer who has the resources to fully investigate your case. 

    You have the Right to Complete Recovery- Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer will Fight Aggressively for Your Case

     

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      What To Do After A Car Accident

      Should I File a Lawsuit?

      If you were injured in a car accident and believe that someone else was at fault, then yes, it is always worth filing a lawsuit against them. Even if you have no health insurance or if your insurance provider refuses to pay your medical bills, you can still seek compensation through litigation. If another driver caused your injuries, they should be held responsible for them.

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      If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In fact, in some cases, you could even file a wrongful death claim. But it’s important to know what types of compensation are available for Los Angeles, CA car accident claims.

      • Medical expenses
      • Lost wages
      • Property damage
      • Non-economic damages
      • Insurance Recovery
      • Permanent Disability

      What is my claim worth? What types of expenses may I be able to recover compensation for? Will my insurance policy cover this? These are all common questions that a person involved in a car accident may have, and a lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group may be able to answer these and many others. Arranging a free case review with a Los Angeles car accident attorney at our firm is one of the first steps you should take after a collision – it may serve to protect your right to maximum compensation.

      Compensation may be defined as a sum of money paid to compensate, or make up for, losses or injuries that a person has experienced. In the realm of auto accidents, this is usually money paid by the insurance company of the driver that caused the collision to the victim or victims of the accident. The following types of compensation may be paid in a car accident claim or lawsuit:

      Medical Treatment

      Compensation paid for medical treatment may include any and all medical care that a victim has received in relation to the car accident. Hospitalization, doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, medical supplies and even mileage expenses to get to and from medical appointments may be covered. Future medical care may also be covered, if the victim will require ongoing treatment.

      Lost Income

      Money paid for lost income in a car accident claim may include any work that a victim has missed as a result of his or her injuries. It may also include loss of potential earnings, if a victim is unable to return to work in the same field or cannot return to work at all. Compensation for lost earnings can make all the difference as a car accident victim attempts to make ends meet even while unable to work.

      Property Damage

      This may include any and all damage to a vehicle and any personal property that was caused in the accident. Compensation for property damage can help a victim get his or her car repaired, may pay for an entirely new vehicle if the car was totaled, and can cover other damage to real property, clothing and more.

      Pain and Suffering

      Pain and suffering refers to compensation that usually falls under the category of non-economic damages, as these injuries cannot be easily quantified. Emotional and psychological trauma, physical pain and other suffering experienced by the victim may be compensable, depending on the case. These damages can be more difficult to obtain, but with the right approach it may be possible to recover fair compensation for non-economic injuries and losses.

      Why Should I Hire a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer?

      If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important that you hire a Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can protect your rights and recover compensation on your behalf.

      The necessity of Legal Representation

      The timeless truth is that in legal matters there is no substitute for the advice and advocacy of professional counsel. Should every car accident claimant retain a Los Angeles car accident attorney? The answer to this question is yes in all cases, no exceptions.

      In settlement negotiations with unrepresented claimants on their own, the insurer’s agent has every advantage. First, they do it every day while most if not all claimants representing themselves are in the process for the first time. Then there is the claimant’s emotional state, in turmoil from stress and hardly conducive to either steadfast focus or logical analysis. Finally, the agents are practiced in the arts of deception and delay and not unwilling to employ these stratagems to trick claimants into accepting painfully insufficient settlement offers or losing their cases entirely and forever if delayed beyond the deadlines of statute of limitations in force in all states.

      Our auto accident attorney in Los Angeles are aware of all the tricks of the insurance agent’s trade. When Pacific is on the case, settlement negotiations proceed with no unnecessary delay to fair, final offers in most cases. In exceptional cases where the insurers insist on unfair settlement offers or none at all because they believe they might prevail in trials, they find out to their disappointment and dismay that Pacific trial attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to persuade trial jurors to award damages that sometimes turn out to be much more than the plaintiff settlement proposals the insurers had rejected.

      What Should I do After a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA?

      After the initial shock of your car accident, it can be hard to know what to do next. You might be injured, your car may be damaged, and you may be worried that you are going to have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by the accident.

      The first thing you should do is contact the police. You can call 911 if the accident is serious or life-threatening. If you are injured and need medical attention, get checked out at the hospital. The police will assist with this process by calling an ambulance and taking you there.

      You also need to check on other drivers involved in the accident and make sure they are okay as well. If someone needs medical care, give them the information of a doctor that they can go see right away. Even if they say they do not need help, make sure that they are okay before leaving the scene of the accident.

      If there are no injuries and you were not at fault; you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will want to know about any injuries you suffered, what damage was done to your vehicle and any other details about the accident. You will probably also want to take pictures of the scene and the vehicles involved so that your insurance company can send them along with their report on the accident.

      After you’ve spoken with your insurance company or another representative from your insurance company has arrived on the scene, make sure that you fill out an accident report form with them or give them any other information they need from you regarding how this accident happened and why it happened.

      You should also contact any witnesses who might have seen what happened during this car crash and ask them if they would like to provide their contact information so that they can speak further with an investigator from your insurance company’s claims department or law firm if necessary.

      How Do I Prove the Other Driver was Liable?

      In order to prove liability, you must show that the other driver was negligent (careless). Negligence is often defined as failing to take reasonable care in a situation where a person has a duty to act reasonably. In order for you and your car accident lawyer to bring a lawsuit against someone else for damages caused by their negligence, there are several things that need to be proven:

      • The defendant had a duty of care toward you
      • The defendant breached this duty of care
      • As a result of this breach, you suffered an injury or property damage

      Types of Injuries from an Auto Accident

      A person who is involved in a car accident may experience various injuries, caused by the force of impact itself, by the airbag striking their face or hands, by the vehicle crumpling in on them, or by being ejected from the vehicle, and many other scenarios. The following are some of the types of injuries that a person may experience in a collision:

      • Whiplash
      • Head trauma
      • Brain injuries
      • Neck injuries
      • Back injuries
      • Spinal cord injuries
      • Lacerations (cuts)
      • Contusions (bruises)
      • Broken bones
      • Facial injuries
      • Dental injuries
      • Burns
      • Amputation/loss of limb

      How do I handle my car-related (property damage) issues after an accident?

      For minor fender benders, there’s not much to do. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident. The insurance company will send someone to inspect the damage and take photos if necessary. In most cases, the other driver’s liability insurance policy will cover any damages to your vehicle or injuries sustained by passengers in your vehicle.

      Who Pays for My Rental Car When I'm Involved in a Car Accident?

      If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, then you may be able to use your own insurance coverage to pay for the rental car. Your insurance company will reimburse you for any reasonable expenses related to the accident, including vehicle damage and medical bills. However, if your insurance policy does not cover these expenses or if you have no insurance at all, then it becomes more difficult to determine who will pay for your rental car.

      How is Fault Determined in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident?

      In a multi-vehicle car accident, the fault will be determined by the police officer who arrives on the scene. The officer will determine who is at fault based on a number of factors, including:

      • The position of the vehicles involved in the accident
      • How fast each vehicle was travelling when the crash occurred
      • Whether any drivers were intoxicated or distracted by cell phones or other devices at the time of the crash
      • Whether any other traffic violations occurred during the accident (i.e., driving too fast for conditions, failure to yield)

      You’ve been in an auto accident, and now you’re asking for information about it. This brief guide should help to explain what you can expect going forward, as well as some advice on how to handle the situation.