Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are commonplace in Los Angeles and throughout California. No one expects to become involved in a serious crash, but they do happen, and when they do, people sustain some of the most serious injuries. The vast majority of car accidents are caused by the negligent, or careless, actions of other motorists.
If you have been hurt, you may have the right to file a claim against the driver who caused your crash. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping victims obtain the full damages that are justly theirs, and we will put our experience to work for you, too.
Before you file a Car accident insurance claim allow Personal Injury Legal Group to help you assess your losses and determine the amount of compensation to include in your initial demand letter. Stating the right amount for your insurance losses will improve the chances of getting the fair and reasonable settlement that you deserve.
When filing a car accident claim consider your past, current, and possible future medical care and expense needs, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Hospital and emergency services debt
- Loss of income or wages
- Disability equipment and other necessary accommodations
- Property damages including auto repairs or replacement
- Physical discomfort, pain, loss of mobility
- Psychological distress, trauma, and suffering
- Loss of “usual” life activities and joy
- Wrongdoer harm including wrongful death and punitive damages
Why Work With a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer?
Many people involved in car accidents do not think they need the help of an attorney. Sadly, it is these individuals who do not receive the fair compensation they receive.
In the moments after a crash, you may not understand the severity of your injuries. In fact, many injuries are considered hidden because they do not show symptoms right away. You may not understand the serious complications you are dealing with until several days, or even weeks later. In these instances, it is very helpful to have an attorney by your side who can advise on how to best proceed with your case.
It is also important to understand that insurance adjusters are not interested in protecting your safety and well-being after an accident. Regardless of how serious your injuries are, the insurance company will use many tactics to try and reduce, deny, and delay the fair compensation you deserve. The other driver may even try to argue that you were to blame for the accident, which will only make your case more complicated.
A lawyer will know the strategies insurers use and how to overcome them. Many times, insurance companies do not even try their deceptive tactics when communicating with an attorney because they understand that lawyers are well-versed in those strategies.
One of the biggest reasons people do not contact an attorney after an accident is that they mistakenly believe that they cannot afford one. At Personal Injury Legal Group, we offer free consultations so we can gain a full understanding of all the facts of your case at no charge to you. Additionally, you will never pay any legal fees unless you win your case, so you really have nothing to lose.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Many people think that a car crash will only result in catastrophic injuries if the accident was a severe one or involved a lot of property damage. Truthfully, it does not take much force for someone to suffer a very serious injury. Bones, joints, and the spine are all very delicate, and even the smallest accident can result in serious harm. Some of the most common injuries our attorneys have seen after a car accident include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including permanent, partial, and full paralysis
- Nerve injuries, such as whiplash
- Internal injuries, including lacerated organs and internal bleeding
- Crushing injuries
- Facial injuries, including scarring, dental injuries, and eye injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Broken bones
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Wrongful death
The above injuries are extremely painful and require long recovery times before you will feel like your old self again. It is critical to obtain the legal advice you need so you can obtain the full damages that will cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Any negligent behavior can result in a serious car accident. Still, there are certain acts of negligence that are more common than others. These include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Fatigued, or drowsy, driving
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Defective vehicles or defective vehicle parts
- Failure to comply with traffic law, road signage, and signals
- Defective road design or maintenance issues
- Construction zones
What If My Accident Was a Hit-and-Run?
If you experienced a hit-and-run, chances are you have no identifiable information about the runaway driver. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the fine points of “at-fault” insurance laws in California can make all of the difference in your securing a fair and just settlement.
The first important step following a hit-and-run accident is to immediately contact the police. A prompt investigation of the accident site is your best chance in identifying the at-fault driver, which will make it easier for you to file your car accident claim with the hit-and-run driver’s insurance carrier. As soon as possible, you should also contact your insurance agent.
If the police are unable to identify the at-fault driver, you will pursue your claim through your own auto insurance carrier. If another party was also involved in the accident, you may be able to submit a claim against that driver as well. A qualified personal injury attorney of our team can assess the details of your hit-and-run accident and advise you of your financial compensation options. If a third party contributed to your accident such as a commercial driver who is working for a business, the City or State who is liable for any dangerous road conditions, or the manufacturer of a defective automobile part they too may be named as liable parties.
The Car Accident Claim Process
The vast majority of car accident claims are settled out of court. When working with an attorney, they will speak to the insurance company that covers the negligent driver. Through skilled negotiation, your lawyer will help you pursue the full damages you need to cover your medical bills, lost income, and more.
Before filing a claim with the insurer, it is important to collect evidence that will support your claim. Important evidence after a car accident includes photos and video footage of the accident scene as well as your injuries, medical receipts and invoices, and eyewitness testimony. An attorney will know which evidence to use to prove your case.
When filing a claim, you will present the evidence to the insurance company. A lawyer can also send a demand letter to the insurer, which is your claim. Within the demand letter, your lawyer can outline how the accident occurred, the injuries you sustained, and the amount of damages you are pursuing. After receiving the demand letter, the insurer will investigate the claim to determine the next course of action.
If the insurance company accepts your claim, they will offer you a settlement. The first settlement offer is rarely enough to fully cover the cost of your injuries, as the insurer is more focused on preserving the company’s bottom line rather than providing you with the justice you deserve. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.
There are times when insurance companies deny claims. Sometimes, it is because a case does not have merit, but more often than not, it is because the insurer is acting in bad faith. In these instances, it is often necessary to file a lawsuit against the insurer in court. Even when a case reaches this stage, it does not necessarily mean you will go to trial. A settlement can be reached at any time before a judge issues a verdict or a jury makes a decision.
Whether you are filing a claim with the insurance company or a lawsuit in court, you only have a limited time to do so. Under the law, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a case with the insurer or with the court. This is known as the statute of limitations, and if you do not file within this time, you will lose your legal right to claim any damages at all.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
The steps you take immediately following a car accident are of the utmost importance. Taking the right steps can greatly strengthen your case, while making one small mistake can significantly hurt it. The most important steps to take after a crash are as follows:
- If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to a secure area.
- Call 911 to report the accident. When the police arrive, provide them with as many details as you can remember.
- Seek medical attention at the scene, if possible. If it is not, visit an emergency room immediately after you leave the scene of the crash.
- Locate witnesses and ask them for their names and contact information.
- Take pictures of the entire accident scene, any damage done to vehicles, and your injuries.
- Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed with your case.
Just as there are important steps to take after any accident, there are also some things you should avoid doing. These include:
- Do not state that you were at fault or apologize that the accident occurred. This will be misconstrued by the negligent driver and the insurance company to indicate that you admitted fault.
- Do not guess about how the accident occurred when speaking to the police. If you do not know certain details, simply say so.
- Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company until you have legal representation.
- Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company before you have called a lawyer.
Available Compensation After an Accident
A personal injury claim is meant to restore you as wholly as possible to the condition you were in before the accident. As such, when filing a claim, you can pursue damages for any of the losses you sustained. The most common damages claimed in personal injury cases are as follows:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, physical therapy, and mental health counseling
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses, such as transportation to and from medical appointments
In rare cases, punitive damages are also available. As the name implies, these damages are not meant to compensate you for your losses. Instead, they are intended to punish defendants for gross negligence or recklessness.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS IS THE PERSONAL INJURY LEGAL GROUP’S #1 PRIORITY
Our trusted, experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to put our reputation and expertise on the line for you. Regardless of your legal issue, our team is dedicated to helping you secure a fair and favorable settlement and have the peace of mind that goes along with knowing you’re in qualified legal hands.
OUR FIRM ALWAYS PROVIDES FREE CONSULTATIONS with a qualified personal injury attorney and YOU DON’T PAY ANYTHING UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE.
Because our services are provided on contingency, you won’t pay upfront costs. You only pay us if we win. This enables you to focus on what matters most—recovering from your car accident. And, while you focus on getting well, we will focus on building your base for the best possible outcome.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Help You
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers approach every case with compassion and a focus on getting the results our clients deserve. We can put that experience to work for you, too. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the legal advice you need.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Car Accidents
What should I do if I’m in a car accident in California?
If you’re in a car accident in California, you should first make sure everyone is okay and call 911 if anyone is injured. Then, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved, and take photos of the scene if possible. Finally, report the accident to your insurance company.
Do I need to report a car accident in California?
Yes, you are required to report a car accident in California if anyone is injured or killed, or if there is more than $1,000 in damage to any vehicle or property.
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in California?
In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury or property damage claim.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance in California?
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance in California, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage. You may also be able to sue the other driver for damages, but recovery may depend on the individual’s assets and ability to pay.
Will my car insurance rates go up after a car accident in California?
It depends on the circumstances of the accident and your insurance policy. If you were at fault for the accident, your rates may go up. If you were not at fault, your rates may not be affected, or they may even go down if you qualify for certain discounts.
Can I still file a claim if the other driver denies fault in California?
Yes, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company, who may then pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. If the other driver denies fault and you disagree, you may also want to hire a personal injury attorney to help you navigate the claims process.
Can I recover damages for pain and suffering after a car accident in California?
Yes, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering after a car accident in California. However, the amount of damages will depend on the severity of your injuries and other factors.
What if the other driver was driving under the influence in California?
If the other driver was driving under the influence in California, they may face criminal charges in addition to civil liability for any damages or injuries they caused. You may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are meant to punish the other driver for their reckless behavior.
What if the other driver leaves the scene of the accident in California?
If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident in California, you should try to get their license plate number and any other identifying information if possible. Then, report the hit-and-run to the police and your insurance company. You may also want to hire a personal injury attorney to help you pursue compensation.
Can I still file a car accident claim if I was partially at fault in California?
Yes, you can still file a car accident claim in California even if you were partially at fault. However, your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you were found to be 25% at fault, your recovery may be reduced by 25%.
Personal Injury Legal Group
11601 Wilshire Blvd 5th Floor, West Los Angeles, CA 90025