633 W 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Date Modified: July 2, 2023
Central California has a lot of economic activity all year round, and navigating the state routes on your commute in Central California is often bumper-to-bumper.
What Top Rated Lawyers Say Is Most Important
Welcome to the Injury Lawyer’s Ultimate Guide to Winning a Central CA Auto Wreck Claim. This is constantly increasing the chances of rear-end collisions. Accidents can occur anywhere at any time. You may be driving safely and following all the traffic laws, but someone else may not be.
Another huge concern when it comes to driving on Californian roads is the fact that motorcyclists are free to lane split. It creates an additional danger for drivers on the road as it increases the risk of side sweep accidents or collisions when merging lanes. I am Central Valley, CA, car accident lawyer Michael Ehline. I have won millions on behalf of car accident victims with serious injuries and wrongful deaths in their families. Below, I will explain Central CA car accident claims based on my years of car accident lawyer experience. Let’s go!
Paying Attention Means Less Car Accident Victims
Besides looking out for motorcyclists, drivers must also pay strict attention to the road to avoid collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. Los Angeles has over 1,200 miles of bikeways, but most of them run along the busy thoroughfares occupied by cars and motorcycles, increasing the risk of an unfortunate incident.
California ranks fourth as the state with the worst roads in the country. A car accident lawyer who does not understand how to make a government claim against CalTrans for negligent maintenance is at an extreme disadvantage.
According to TRIP, 57% of all major roads in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area were in a poor state. Lack of road maintenance and poor road conditions are other hazards for motorists in Central California.
Look for Hazards
Jam-packed roads, poor road conditions, harsh weather, and a swarm of bicyclists are some of the hazards that motorists face while on the street in Central California. Factor in reckless or negligent driving, and it’s an accident waiting to happen.
Call Us When Accidents Become Unavoidable
Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys protect innocent drivers in the aftermath of these problematic situations. We understand the confusion you’re facing in your accident and have the answers to your questions.
Our law firm has recovered over $150 million in settlements for injured victims, helping navigate them through the complex California car accident lawsuits and fighting aggressively for compensation. Talk to our award-winning Central California car accident attorneys today to learn about your rights as an injured victim.
Central California and Motoring Accidents
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and parts of the San Joaquin Valley, Central Valley, Central Coast, California Coast Ranges, and the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada make up Central California.
With more than 28 state and interstate routes connecting Central California with the rest of the United States, it has become the primary source of sustenance for American citizens. The rich, fertile farmlands of the Central Valley provide more than half of the country’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts. However, the massive road network has also led to a high concentration of moving vehicles in the area, resulting in motor vehicle accidents.
Although accidents can occur anywhere in Central California, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are experiencing higher levels of motor vehicle accidents than any other part of the state.
According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System, in 2021, there were 40,669 motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles, and 11% of the accidents resulted in severe injuries or fatalities. 32% of the car crashes in Los Angeles County were rear-ended collisions, and 10% were when the driver hit an object rather than a person or another vehicle.
The different types of crashes recorded in Los Angeles include:
The leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles were overspeeding, improper turns, and failing to yield the right way. Unfortunately, car accidents in 2022 are rising, and the year will be more dangerous than in 2021.
San Francisco is no different. The Bay Area is one of the most dangerous places in the country for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, San Francisco has more car accident injuries per mile driven than any other city in the state.
Using UC Berkeley’s Transportation Injury Mapping System, you can see a drastic decrease in car accidents during the year 2020 compared to 2019. There were 6,185 car accidents in the six counties in the Bay Area. The significant drop from 9,881 crashes to 6,185 accidents was due to the lack of activity during COVID.
However, as the activity slowly increased, so did the number of fatal accidents. Although the end-of-year 2021 tally is unavailable, things look even direr. Since 2014, car accidents in San Francisco have caused more than 200 deaths and 20,000 injuries.
Recent Motoring Accidents in Central California
Possible Hit and Run
On July 9, 2022, law enforcement authorities received a call at 5 pm near the intersection of Virgil Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. It was already too late when Los Angeles police arrived at the accident scene.
A motorcyclist was lying on the roadway, unresponsive. The police pronounced the rider dead at the accident scene. He was further away from where his motorcycle was, suggesting a hit-and-run accident whereby another vehicle hit the motorcyclist, ejected him onto the road, and escaped the accident scene.
There were no witnesses to retell what happened to the accident victims, and car accident investigations are underway.
An SUV Strike Leaves a Young Woman Dead
On July 12, 2022, near Sunset Boulevard and Hammond Street intersection, a 30-year-old woman was struck by an SUV, throwing her more than a block down. The blow from the accident was severe, resulting in the death of the pedestrian.
The accident occurred at night, around 12.30 am. According to witnesses, the woman crossed the marked crosswalk despite the red light and her friends warning her to stop. The oncoming traffic included an SUV that hit the woman before crashing into another vehicle and coming to a halt.
The SUV driver, shocked at the entire ordeal, stayed at the accident scene until the Los Angeles police arrived. Officers confirmed that the driver was not under alcohol or drugs in this car accident case.
The Sheriff noted the details of the accident as per witness counts and started an investigation into the cause of the collision. The SUV driver cooperated throughout the incident, and the Sheriff made no arrests that day. But a car accident lawyer will likely claim their car insurance.
Speeding Explorer Kills Three
On July 4, 2022, Los Angeles emergency services received a call from a frantic caller stating there was a multi-vehicle collision at W. Vanowen Street. The Los Angeles fire department was the first to arrive at the accident scene and immediately started a rescue operation after seeing three badly damaged vehicles.
The fire department immediately declared three people dead at the accident scene. Witness counts and home security camera footage revealed that a speeding Ford Explorer (65 to 70 mph) hit a speed dip, lost control, and crashed into two other vehicles.
The impact of the collision between the Ford Explorer and the other vehicles ejected three occupants of the Explorer onto the asphalt road, where they died at the accident scene after suffering severe injuries. The fire department carefully rescued the fourth occupant, wearing a seatbelt and still inside the SUV, and transported him to a nearby hospital.
The two vehicles hit by the SUV had six injured occupants: a pregnant woman and her husband in one car and four people in the other. All six wounded occupants were immediately transported to a medical center for treatment.
Common Injuries in California Traffic Collisions
Suffering injuries in an accident affects not only your immediate health or financial situation but also your mental state, as you will be fighting insurers for fair compensation. An accident can leave you with serious injuries requiring surgery or physical therapy to cope with your disabilities. You may have to find an alternate career if your disabilities hinder carrying out your roles and responsibilities in your current job. Receiving training to equip yourself with new skills and medical bills (including transportation costs to and from the hospital) can certainly add up. Injured victims must incorporate all these costs resulting from the accident when filing claims with the negligent party’s insurance company.
Settlements are crucial to personal injury as they can severely affect the victim’s life and their family’s, especially if the victim is the sole breadwinner. Your claim value will depend on the injury sustained in an accident. Here are some of Central California’s most common injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
Brain and Head Injuries
A motor vehicle accident can deliver a severe blow to the head, resulting in head injuries such as skull fractures, scalp wounds, concussion, and intracranial hematoma. There is a common misconception that the brain is okay without apparent head injuries. It is crucial to remember that regardless of whether your head injury is penetrative, brain injuries can still occur.
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the force from a motor vehicle accident shakes, moves, or twists the brain, resulting in severe trauma. Victims suffering from brain injuries might experience loss of consciousness, memory loss, vomiting, nausea, bad headache, speech problems, dizziness, mood changes, and other symptoms.
Spine, Neck, and Back Injuries
The immediate jerk from the accident can result in whiplash injuries, causing pain and discomfort whenever the victims move their heads.
The tug of a seatbelt can cause spinal and back injuries depending on the severity of the impact. Trauma to the spine can damage the spinal cord, causing partial or complete paralysis. 40% of all spinal cord injuries in the United States result from a car accident.
Back and spinal injuries are frightening to experience as they can leave a victim disabled and unable to carry out their daily activities. Some lose feeling in different parts of their body since the spinal cord has nerves that send signals from all body parts to the brain, registering sensations and pain.
Depending on the type of accident, an accident victim may suffer from broken bones. The accident’s impact could crush the vehicles, resulting in a broken fibula or femur. If the impact is severe, it could result in devastating injuries requiring immediate medical treatment.
An accident could also cause the victim to hit the steering wheel or the car’s side door, resulting in facial injuries such as bruising, a broken nose, and others.
Soft Tissue Injuries
An accident can also tear or bruise a victim’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing severe pain and discomfort.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
When you’re speaking with an insurance claims adjuster about your case, you might feel like they’re trying their best to look out for your interests. Not even your own insurance company will want to cover everything. Unfortunately, the reality is far from it. Insurance companies operate on a corporate goal of maximizing profits for their shareholders, and paying your claim affects their bottom line.
Insurers reject claims or settle for the lowest dollar amount possible to ensure maximum profits for their shareholders. Insurance adjusters typically prolong the claims process by either providing delayed responses to injured victims or asking them for unnecessary documents. In most cases, injured victims are vulnerable after an accident, and insurers feed on such vulnerability, forcing the victim to accept a lowball offer.
Claim adjusters are on the insurance company’s payroll, and so are the medical doctors they recommend for medical examinations. Claim adjusters will try to get as much information out of the injured victim and use it against them to minimize or even reject claims. The doctors they recommend will not always give the correct diagnosis, helping the insurers achieve their goals for their shareholders. The insurance company for the at-fault driver would love nothing more than to keep you from filing a personal injury lawsuit until after the statute of limitations to sue expires!
We at Ehline Law will hold the at-fault driver accountable. Our injury law firm is 100% committed to recovering the highest settlement to help you cover all your medical bills and other damages.
Do You Really Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Central California?
This is one of the most common questions our personal injury law firm asks after getting into a traffic accident by victims. If the accident was merely property damage, you shouldn’t face any problems with the insurance company, as they have a standardized process to repair or replace damaged cars or even go to small claims court. But Central California car accident victims do need an attorney if they suffered serious injuries in most cases.
Car accidents can cause emotional trauma, and the victim may be unable to compose themselves for a while. If the accident injured you or your loved ones, these car accidents would warrant the need for an experienced car accident lawyer. After a car crash like this, local attorneys with experience winning these cases will help prove the damages and swiftly recover compensation for your loss.
If you face these scenarios, you would need a personal injury attorney:
You suffered severe injuries in the accident.
The claim adjuster blamed you for the accident when you weren’t at fault.
There were multiple parties involved in chain car accidents.
Your accident occurred due to corporate negligence.
Complicated cases or those involving government agencies warrant the need for a skilled personal injury attorney. You don’t want to risk dealing with car crash claims against government agencies yourself, as they have a whole legal team ready to fight.
These are just a few scenarios to help determine whether you need an attorney. If you’re not sure you should hire a personal injury lawyer for legal representation, speak to us about the details of your case, and we will let you know your legal options.
How Much Is a Car Accident Injury Case Worth?
Many factors will affect the compensation you receive after suffering injuries in a car accident. Predicting the exact compensation amount is impossible, as every personal injury case is unique. There has been differing compensation for similar injuries because all wounds heal differently and therefore require medical treatment.
An attorney will understand how your injuries affect your lifestyle and for how long, as this is an essential factor in determining the value of your claim.
Here are some of the factors that can affect your compensation value.
The Severity of the Injury
The more severe an injury is, the higher the medical costs an injured victim will incur. For example, treating broken bones can cost tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatment, while treating a traumatic brain injury can save you millions.
Your attorney will factor in the changes in your lifestyle as a result of your injuries or disabilities. You may require a constant carer to attend to your daily needs, pushing costs further up.
Injuries from an accident can cause a victim to spend time away from their office, and depending on your injuries, you may not even return to work. Your attorney will factor in lost wages or missed paychecks, future potential earning capacity, and future lost income to help you recover more reimbursement for your injuries.
When you buy an insurance policy, they mention the policy limits in their agreement terms. If your medical expenses exceed the negligent driver’s insurance policy cap limits, you won’t be able to recover under that policy and will need to explore other options. Your attorneys can help explore ways to maximize the compensation you receive.
Physical and Emotional Trauma
When filing a claim, it is crucial to consider non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Physical and emotional trauma from an accident may take a toll on the victim, resulting in crippling depression and debilitating anxiety. The pain from the injuries can last for weeks or even months, affecting the victim’s ability to enjoy life and quality time with their friends and family.
Filing and pursuing claims alone without experienced legal assistance can significantly affect the amount of compensation you recover.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have represented over 3,000 clients, helping protect their rights and obtaining maximum compensation. Ehline Law has the resources to bring on medical experts for your car accident case to help accurately estimate the value of your claims.
Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit on My Own?
California law allows injured victims to legally file a lawsuit and represent themselves in court if they wish to do so.
However, certain restrictions prohibit individuals from filing a lawsuit in California, and these include:
Individuals may not file a lawsuit if they are representing a corporation.
Individuals may not file a class action lawsuit.
Individuals may not file a lawsuit on behalf of a child.
Although you may want to represent yourself, especially if you know the state laws and how the courts operate, it is best to approach a reputable law firm.
Filing a lawsuit yourself means you must know how to gather and present evidence to prove the fault of the negligent party, reach out to witnesses and know what to ask, and handle the constant pressure from insurance claims adjusters to settle for a meager amount.
Representing yourself in a lawsuit is challenging, even if you’re familiar with California’s complex legal system. Most cases do not make it to the courtroom, and it is important that you have a skilled attorney by your side to negotiate a fair settlement, or else you may end up at a disadvantage.
When starting medical treatment, predicting how much you’ll incur throughout the injury can be challenging. This can result in the insurance company lowballing a settlement offer, especially if they know you don’t have any legal professional assisting you with the claim. Settling with a lower amount for your injury can put a financial burden on you and your family, especially if the medical bills start to rise even further.
Ehline Law’s skilled Central California car accident lawyers have vast experience handling car accident cases, and we can help assess the worth of your case as accurately as possible. Our attorneys will hold out until the claim adjusters make a fair offer to you that would cover all the medical bills and other damages. Don’t lose thousands of dollars by making your own judgment and speaking to our attorney immediately after your accident.
Another critical thing to note is the deadlines under the California statute of limitations that you must be aware of at all times. For example, one such deadline requires injured victims to file a claim against a negligent party within two years following the date of the accident, and failure to do so within that period will automatically result in losing your rights to seek compensation.
After understanding the challenges of pursuing a lawsuit on your own, you may decide to still move forward with it. If you want to pursue a case independently, you can still benefit from talking to our Central California car accident lawyer. Ehline Law, personal injury attorneys, offer a free consultation to all injured victims of motor vehicle accidents. We can help you determine whether your lawsuit is worth pursuing compared to a standard insurance claim.
Most injured victims avoid speaking to an attorney, afraid that they would incur high legal costs on top of their already burgeoning medical bills. Remember that reputable law firms and trusted personal injury attorneys offer their legal services on a contingency basis, meaning their fee comes from the compensation they obtain for you. With this, you don’t have to worry about paying legal fees when hiring a personal injury attorney.
What to Look for in a Central California Car Accident Attorney?
According to the California State Bar, the state has 190,000 licensed active attorneys. With so many attorneys practicing in California, not all of them specialize in personal injury law. Without the right attorney by your side, you might find yourself more stressed than before filing a claim and handling insurance companies.
Here are some characteristics you should look for when hiring a Central California car accident attorney.
A divorce or planning attorney may convince you to hire them to represent you in your personal injury case legally. Although they may be licensed attorneys in California, they do not have experience in personal injury law, which can be detrimental to your case. Remember, you only get one shot at retrieving compensation for your injuries and damages and taking a risk by hiring an attorney with no experience in personal injury law can affect your case.
Even when hiring a personal injury attorney, you need to look for specific experience pertaining to car accidents. Every car accident is unique, and tackling them requires knowledge, resources, and experience handling car accident cases regularly.
Car accident cases require special legal arguments, substantial evidence, and negotiation skills to deal with the insurance company and tackle their dirty tactics. An experienced attorney who works on car accident cases daily is your best bet for securing compensation.
Another critical factor to consider is an attorney with trial experience. Attorneys who do not have trial experience may not be comfortable fighting for you in the courtroom and may encourage you to settle for a lower amount to avoid going to court. Although most personal injury cases settle outside of the courts, you need an attorney who is not afraid to take the case to trial if it comes to that.
When interviewing attorneys during the initial consultation, you must ask them about their success rate, the number of cases they have handled in the past, and what kind of settlements they have achieved. Although these questions do not guarantee that your case will turn out the same, previous results indicate an attorney’s ability and skills.
Reputable attorneys can handle your case, so look for attorneys who have won awards in the past or received recognition. When attorneys take a client, they put their reputation on the line, and a reputable attorney will strive to ensure a positive result for the injured victim and to maintain their reputation.
An injured victim requires not only medical attention but also legal attention. The entire situation after an accident is highly stressful, from getting a medical examination to starting treatment, talking to the insurers, and hiring an attorney that is right for you.
During this stage, hiring an attorney who will be communicative, listen to your side of the story, and show concern for your needs is crucial. Watch out for how an attorney handles the initial consultation. Ideally, they should be patient in listening to your story and respond to your questions calmly and knowledgeably. They should walk you through the entire procedure and inform you of your legal options.
An attorney who cares about their clients can be a huge relief after an accident. Knowing that you’ll be in good hands can relieve some of the stress and help you focus on your recovery.
What to Do After an Accident in Central California
Experiencing an accident can be terrifying, leaving many car accident victims in shock and confusion. But what you do next will determine the outcome of your personal injury case. Maintaining composure and taking the proper steps to ensure a better chance of securing compensation is important.
Here are the steps you should take after an accident.
After an accident, the first thing to do is get help and call emergency services. Stay calm and assess the situation.
Moving your vehicle to the side of the road, if possible, during an accident is essential to avoid further collisions. If you can move and your vehicle is operating, move your car to the side of the road.
If you cannot move because of your injuries, waiting for first responders to arrive is best. In addition to the medical help, you are calling 911 and dispatching a police unit to the car accident scene to file a report. The police report is an important piece of evidence that mentions some accident details.
If you can move around, spend some time gathering personal injury claim evidence, as you will need to present it when filing claims against the negligent party. Take photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident. Make sure to take the pictures from all angles, as it will help later on to recreate the car accident and determine who is at fault. You should also take photos of the road if there are skid marks, traffic or road signs, and the surrounding area. If you have any injuries, take pictures of them for use later as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Another important thing you should remember is to exchange contact and insurance information with all the parties involved in the car crash. You will need these details to recover compensation when filing a car accident claim or lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention
One thing even the least experienced Central California car accident lawyer will agree on is the mitigation of damages. If you’re seriously injured, the emergency services arriving at the accident scene will immediately take you to a nearby hospital. You have a duty to stabilize yourself and not make things worse after a car accident.
In certain situations, injuries can manifest after some time, and you must go to a medical center for an examination after your accident. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can further lead to complications and devalue your car accident insurance claim in the eyes of an insurance adjuster.
Waiting too long to see a doctor is highly discouraged. The insurance companies will downplay your injuries because of the delay or even claim that the injuries were due to something else, not the accident.
Make sure you follow everything the doctor advises after a car crash. It would help if you didn’t give insurers any reason to reject, delay, or minimize your claims. Whoever you retain as your Central California car accident lawyer will thank you later.
Speak to an Attorney
The negligent party’s insurance company will try to reach out to you after an accident. Please don’t give them medical records or a recorded statement, as they can use those against you. Speak to a qualified and reputable Central California car accident attorney immediately after your accident. Your auto accident attorney will speak on your behalf with the insurance company and handle their requests, if any.
Multiple CA Locations
Ehline Law is a leading personal injury law firm with more than 15 law offices across California. We have decades of legal experience handling car accident cases and have helped more than 3,000 injured victims get their life back. Our reputation as aggressive litigators and our compassion for helping injured victims make us the right Central California car accident lawyer team for you.
Our legal representation works on a contingency basis, whereby our car accident lawyers only collect our legal fees from the compensation we win for your car accident claim. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling car accident cases across California, and we know how to deal with the insurers and their dirty tactics. Our superior results and positive track records make us a formidable force for insurance companies.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Central California Car Accident Attorneys
Contact our Central California car accident lawyers now for more information about car accident cases and your legal rights, or visit any of our legal offices across Central California. Let us handle the entire claims process while you take the time to recover from your injuries. We understand that returning to everyday life after an accident can be highly challenging and, in severe cases, impossible.
Still, we are determined to help you along the way and recover the compensation you deserve for your loss. Contact us if you or your loved ones suffered injuries in a car accident in Central California caused by a careless driver. Just dial (833) LETS-SUE for a free case review of your personal injury claim with our patient, talented, and attentive legal experts.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.