Looking for a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer?
Should you hire one?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the legal profession of Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer so you know all there is to know about it!
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Table of Contents
What Does A Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Do
A Los Angeles car accident lawyer is a legal professional generally trained in the area of traffic laws, personal injury, and litigation.
An experienced auto accident attorney in Los Angeles provides legal representation to victims of car crashes or individuals alleged to be at-fault in the context of a car accident injury lawsuit or claim.
Having a legal background and experience in legal matters involving car accidents in the state of California, Los Angeles car accident attorneys are generally hired by victims to seek financial compensation for damages suffered in a car accident.
Defendants or at-fault parties may also retain the services of Los Angeles car accident lawyers in an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them or have their legal liability reduced as much as possible.
Having a good understanding of auto accident laws, personal injury claims, legal procedures for filing a lawsuit, understanding the statute of limitations deadlines, and all other legal variables related to car accidents, a Los Angeles auto accident attorney could be a valuable ally in seeking compensation or defending against a claim.
Should You Hire A Car Accident Lawyer Los Angeles
Anyone involved in a car accident can choose to handle their own car accident injury claim or file their own lawsuit.
In fact, it is not mandatory to hire a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the United States.
There are situations that will not justify hiring a lawyer such as in very small accidents or when a person has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the California car accident laws and claim procedures.
Choosing not to hire a lawyer comes down to a personal decision where you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons.
Although it is not required to be legally represented by an attorney, it may be worth considering speaking to an auto accident lawyer (Los Angeles) to get a better understanding of your rights and obligations.
A car accident attorney in Los Angeles or law firm can provide valuable services such as:
- Investigating the facts of a car crash
- Reviewing medical reports and speaking to doctors
- Reviewing police reports and accident records
- Interviewing witnesses and collecting facts
- Speaking to the opposing counsel and dealing with the at-fault party
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Evaluating and quantifying the damages that can be claimed
- Drafting pleading documents and filing a lawsuit
- Dealing with the courts and understanding the court procedures
- Negotiating a fair settlement and getting the best possible compensation, award, or verdict
- Defending against a claim or fighting legal liability
Auto accident attorneys and car accident law firms are specifically trained and knowledgeable in car accidents, personal injuries, filing claims and lawsuits, and negotiating settlements, or litigating the matter.
It may be worth contacting an auto accident attorney for a consultation to get a sense of the specifics of your case and then evaluate whether it makes sense to hire a lawyer or not.
How To Choose The Right Car Accident Lawyer
Choosing a lawyer to represent you is an important decision and quite personal.
It’s important to deal with a lawyer or law firm qualified to represent, on the one hand, and who is affordable to work with.
Here is a list of what you should consider when hiring a LA car crash attorney:
- Does the lawyer have the proper knowledge to deal with your case?
- Does the lawyer work as part of a law firm or is he or she a sole practitioner?
- Has the attorney handled similar cases in the past?
- Can the lawyer explain to you the main legal variables affecting your case?
- Had the lawyer obtained a settlement in a similar case in the past?
- Does the lawyer or law firm have experience in litigating the matter before the courts?
- Does the lawyer have the resources to investigate the claim?
- How will the lawyer charge you?
- Do you feel the lawyer has great communication skills?
You may have your own questions and considerations when evaluating a lawyer’s profile.
In the end, it’s important that you can trust the lawyer, are convinced that he or she has the skills, knowledge, and competence to handle your case.
What To Do After A Car Accident In LA
Accidents happen fast and a person’s life can change very quickly.
However, it’s important to remain calm and try to follow the appropriate steps to protect your rights.
Here is a list of what you should consider doing if you get into a rollover:
- Get medical attention depending on the nature of the injuries
- Stay on the scene if the medical professionals consider it appropriate
- Contact the police to file a police report
- If the accident involves other drivers and cars, identify everyone, get their contact information, and insurance policy details
- Identify any witnesses and get their contact information
- Take a lot of pictures of the accident or videos
- Do not admit fault or liability to anyone
After you’ve received the right medical attention, you should consider:
- Ask for a copy of your medical file
- Make sure you get a copy of the police report and witness declarations
- Gather all your pictures and evidence related to the accident
- Contact an attorney or law firm dealing with car accidents
- File the necessary insurance claims
Although you don’t have any obligation to call or consult with an attorney, it may be important to minimally get a consultation so you can get a better understanding of the legal ramifications of your case.
If you have a case that is worth pursuing, you can not only get legal advice as to what you should do to set up the best possible file but you may also find that the lawyer may help you in ways that you would consider valuable.
Common Causes of Los Angeles Car Crashes
There are many reasons why motorists and drivers may get into an accident ranging from fender benders to potentially deadly ones.
Here is a list of common causes of car accidents and collisions in LA:
- Distracted driver
- Improper turning
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Driver fatigue
- Vehicle defects
- Automobile part defects
- Violation of traffic laws
- Poor road conditions
- Careless or reckless driving
- Bad weather conditions
- Poor car maintenance
- Text messaging behind the wheel
- Eating behind the wheel
Common Injuries In Car Crashes In California
There are millions of car accidents in the United States and unfortunately, many of them lead to injuries or even death.
An automobile accident can lead to both physical injuries and property damage.
In some cases, the injuries are catastrophic and life-changing for the victims in LA, CA.
Here is a list of common car accident injuries in Los Angeles (California):
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Bone fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Wrongful death
- Chronic pain
- Internal organ damage
Damages For Auto Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered an injury in a car accident in Los Angeles CA, you may be entitled to get compensation.
Keep in mind that you must consult with a qualified Los Angeles auto accident lawyer to adequately determine the exact scope and amount of damages you may recover.
A person who suffered in a car collision or accident may claim economic damages or noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are damages that are directly provable, tangible, and linked to the car accident, such as:
- Medical expenses and debt
- Hospital bills
- Health care expenses
- Disability accommodations
- Future hospital bills
- Lost wages (past or future)
- Vehicle repair
- Vehicle replacement
- Rehabilitation services
- Medical equipment
- Lost earning capacity
In addition, the victim of an accident may also claim noneconomic damages representing emotional or psychological damages specific to the victim, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages
There’s a third category of damages that may also be claimed in exceptional cases called “punitive damages”.
Punitive damages are awarded by the court to punish the defendant’s wrongful conduct so it does not happen again.
The victim getting punitive damages will effectively receive compensation over and above what’s necessary to fully compensate him or her for the damages suffered in an accident.
Proving Liability In An Auto Accident
A victim of a motor vehicle accident looking to be compensated must be able to attribute liability to the at-fault party.
In order to successfully handle a car accident lawsuit filed for negligence, the plaintiff (or victim) must demonstrate and prove the following elements:
- The at-fault driver owed it a duty of care and should have operated the vehicle safely
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care
- The defendant’s wrongful conduct, act, or behavior caused the auto accident
- The plaintiff suffered damages
In addition to a negligence lawsuit brought against the at-fault driver, a plaintiff may also have legal recourse against third parties like automobile manufacturers or government agencies.
In fact, if the accident was caused by defective roads, inoperable streetlights, faulty traffic signals, or other road conditions, a lawsuit may be filed against the government, state, city, or county.
If the cause of the accident was defective automobile parts or a defective vehicle, then the car manufacturer or parts manufacturer can be sued for damages.
You must quickly consult with a lawyer to understand the procedures when filing a lawsuit for negligence, against the government, or manufacturers as there may be special procedures to observe and tight deadlines to respect.
For example, to sue the state or government agencies, you must send a notice of claim within six months of the injuries to preserve your claim.
Here are possible parties who may be held responsible to compensate for injuries caused by a car accident:
- Car insurance providers
- Company having leased a vehicle
- At-fault driver
- Car dealership
- Government agency
- Automobile manufacturer
- Automobile seller
- Commercial employers
- Truck drivers
- Commercial vehicle operators
- Car mechanics
- Auto shops
- Construction site managers
Every case is unique and liability should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Car Accident Laws In California
Understanding the car accident laws in California can make the difference in winning a car accident lawsuit or not.
Again, you should call a Los Angeles automobile accident lawyer or law firm to understand what laws apply to your case and how to specifically deal with your claim.
Here are certain notable elements you should remember:
- Statute of limitations for filing a claim or lawsuit
- California’s fault-based car insurance
- Liability laws in the state of California
The statute of limitations represents the legal timeline or “deadline” you have to file a lawsuit claiming damages.
If a lawsuit is filed within the statutory deadline, then the legal action is admissible and will eventually be heard by the court.
However, if the claim is filed after the statute of limitations timeline has expired, the case will be dismissed (even though the plaintiff had a valid case to present).
In California, the deadline for filing a claim for all crash victims is two years for injuries from the date of the car accident and three years for property damage.
The second element is the fault-based car insurance laws in California.
Drivers in the state of California are required to carry proper automobile insurance:
- Bodily injury coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability of $5,000
Typically, an injured party will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance to recover damages resulting from a car crash.
In certain instances, the victim may file a lawsuit before the courts to recover damages and that can be evaluated by a car crash lawyer.
The third aspect of the California laws to consider is with regards to the liability laws.
Based on the pure comparative negligence laws, victims of car and auto accidents can seek compensation even if they were partially responsible in the accident.
For example, if the victim was responsible for 50% of the accident, he or she may still claim 50% of the damages suffered.
Car Accident Statistics Los Angeles
In the City of Los Angeles alone, reports show that there were 44,207 car accidents leading to injuries and fatalities.
According to police records, there are over 20,000 hit and run accidents every year.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2015, there were a total of 39,708 people injured or who have died in traffic accidents just in Los Angeles County.
In 2016, there were 3,623 traffic deaths in California.
Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, 102 people died in car accidents every day between 2007 and 2016.
Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Takeaways
So, do you need a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer?
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
Can you sue after a car accident in California?
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
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