Car Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a car accident? You don’t have to face auto insurance companies alone. Our car accident attorneys can help you get the representation that you deserve.
Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury in America. It’s estimated that auto accidents claim a life every 12-15 minutes, but when the crash is the result of another driver’s negligence or careless actions, those injured in the accident have the right to hold the responsible individual(s) to their actions.
A car accident lawsuit may not be able to right the tragedy, but it may be able to at least help those who were negatively affected get compensation for things such as:
- Medical bills & Healthcare Costs
- Punitive Damages
- Damage of Property
- Wages lost & Impairment of Earning Capacity
- Physical and Emotional Suffering & Pain
Car Accident Claims
A successful personal injury claim involves piecing together the circumstances which caused the accident and showing how the other party’s actions directly contributed to its occurrence. For fender benders and rear-end collisions, this can be a straightforward process, but for t-bone collisions, head-on accidents, and mechanical deficiencies, determining fault can be more complicated.
Fault Laws in California
California is considered a fault state which means that another driver has to be found responsible for causing the accident for you to be able to seek damages with an insurance claim. According to California’s comparative negligence law, each driver can be responsible for a percentage of the fault. So if you’re 10% at fault for an accident that caused you to suffer $100,000 in damages, the amount you can be rewarded for damages is decreased to $90,000. This can have a significant impact on the compensation received from your claim.
To prove that negligence occurred, it must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The at-fault driver had a duty to operate their vehicle in an unharmful way.
- The at-fault driver infringed upon that duty.
- The at-fault driver took actions that caused directly or indirectly caused the accident.
- The accident resulted in injuries & monetary losses of other parties involved.
When an accident occurs because of a lack of proper maintenance of the road, it may be possible to file a case against the department, city, or state responsible for the negligence of the road conditions.
California Car Accident Statistics
Millions of drivers are injured in car crashes in America each year. California is a state with over 40 million residents, many of whom drive every day. With more than 500 miles of highways, 20,000 miles of road, and nearly 400 miles of highway in Los Angeles alone, California sees a large volume of car accidents daily. Here are some of the other statistics from the California Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about car crashes in the golden state:
- California sees between 3,500 and 4,000 car accident fatalities annually.
- Nearly 25% of the fatalities involved intoxicated drivers or vehicles traveling over the speed limit.
- Common causes of fatalities in California accidents are when occupants are not buckled in or when drivers hit the road drunk.
- Crashes in California are widely caused by distracted drivers, speeding, driving under the influence, bad weather, driver fatigue, vehicle malfunction, improper turning, dangerous road conditions, and reckless driving.
- Over 200,000 injuries occur in vehicle accidents across the state every year. A huge portion of the injured victims walks away from accidents with a life-changing disability such as paralysis or permanent brain damage.
- The Sierra Highway, the I-405, the I-5, Route 57, and Route 118 are the 5 most dangerous freeways around Los Angeles.
- California has less than 10 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents. This is much better than the worst states in the nation where over 20 fatalities occur per 100,00 residents.
Common Types of Car Accidents
These are the types of accidents that most commonly result in potentially serious injuries for the parties involved.
Rear-End Accidents. Fender benders are a type of common vehicle accident that occurs every day, but depending on the type of vehicles involved and the speed at which they collide, rear-end collisions can involve much more severe damage to life and property. In most cases, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ends the other is typically at fault, as these accidents commonly occur when a vehicle is following too closely or the driver is not paying attention. However, when the rear-ended vehicle is backing up when the collision occurs, they may be found to be at fault for causing the accident.
T-Bone Accidents. These collisions involve the front of a car hitting the side of another car. With the passenger section of the vehicle often receiving a brunt of the force, t-bone collisions can be deadly for all occupants involved.
Sideswipe Accidents. These types of accidents occur when vehicles collide in a side-to-side fashion. Sideswipes commonly occur in parking lots or on the freeway when a driver changes lanes without checking their blind spot. Depending on the speed of the vehicles involved at the time of the accident, injuries from side collisions can range from mild to life-threatening.
Head-On Accidents. When two vehicles collide with each other while heading in opposite directions, even at lower speeds, a tremendous amount of force is involved. Head-on collisions can result in severe injuries or death for all parties involved.
Single-Vehicle Accidents. When a vehicle crashes into fixed objects as a result of a driver losing control, severe injuries can occur with only one vehicle involved. Reckless driving, mechanical failure, driver fatigue or intoxication, and dangerous road conditions are common causes of single-car crashes. In Los Angeles, there are between 300-500 single-vehicle crashes each year.
Vehicle Rollovers. A flipped vehicle can create an extremely dangerous situation for occupants. A huge majority of the fatalities that occur from rollovers happen in single-vehicle crashes.
Common Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents
With millions of car accidents that have occurred in the last decade in the United States, there are a variety of injuries that commonly result from vehicle collisions. Even though vehicle manufacturers are constantly improving the safety technology of their cars, serious injuries from accidents still occur every day. Below are some of the most common types of injuries that result from auto collisions.
- Whiplash is an injury that is caused by a victim’s head being thrown in a direction from the force of the impact. This type of injury can cause severe spinal cord injuries & strain on parts of the neck and upper back which can be permanently disabling in some cases. While most cases of whiplash tend to be less severe and heal on their own, some may require physical therapy or surgery to treat.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are another form of injury that can commonly occur from car accidents because of the force involved. These injuries are caused by the soft tissue of the brain impacting the dense bone of the skull and may not always show symptoms immediately, but victims of TBI may experience bruising & swelling of the brain or even skull fracture.
- Broken Bone Injuries are one of the most common injuries resulting from vehicle collisions. The extremities can be thrown around with extreme force in severe car accidents, commonly resulting in multiple broken bones that can require emergency treatment. In some cases, extreme trauma to a limb can result in the total loss of the limb.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the first two things you should do are call the police and get medical treatment. These are critical pieces of evidence in most car accident cases and can help support your claim. The police report will help to reconstruct the conditions of the accident while the medical tests & procedures can validate and record the severity of the injuries received as a result of the accident. Ideally, you would also want to take pictures of the accident and collect the other driver’s insurance information as soon as possible after the crash occurs.
It is essential to follow all recommendations made by your doctor during the recovery process whether it’s in regard to medication, treatment, or therapy instructions. Failure to do so can leave you liable for a larger portion of the negative outcome(s) of the accident, which will also reduce the amount you are able to be rewarded in a settlement.
After receiving medical treatment, the most important thing to do in the wake of an accident is to speak to a lawyer before talking to insurance companies. It is important to avoid telling the insurance adjusters and insurance companies anything that they can use to deny your claim or reduce the amount they have to pay you. An experienced car accident attorney can help you avoid the common traps that insurance companies use to deny settlements in accident claims.
Get Help with Your Car Accident Claim
Negotiating a settlement with car insurance companies takes a lot of work, and it may not be something you’re interested in doing after you’ve been involved in a car accident. A car accident lawyer can help you maneuver the intricacies of an accident claim and get you the best possible results for your case. An attorney can help you: receive suitable medical treatment, collect evidence for your case, determine damages sustained as a result of the accident, and help you recover the most compensation.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Heidari Law Group to get compensation for the injustice you’ve suffered.