Being in a Los Angeles car accident can be a daunting experience. Some injury victims are fearful and confused about who they should call. Did settlement negotiations fail or never get off the ground with your insurance company after an auto accident? Are you interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit over an auto accident? While the experienced car accident attorneys at Ehline Law Firm are always available to speak with you, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about car accidents, and hopefully receive the advice you need in your best interests.
Most Common Los Angeles Car Accident FAQs
So What Is A Traffic Accident Anyways?
First, traffic accidents typically involve two or more wheeled vehicles striking each other or hitting another fixed or moving object. Sometimes, there are single-vehicle accidents where a poorly designed, maintained, or manufactured small car catches fire, the brakes fail, or in cases, for example, of sudden acceleration.
But most single-vehicle accidents happen when a passenger car’s tire falls into a pothole or runs over dangerous debris.
Q: How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Help With Car Accidents?
A: Car accident lawyers usually help traffic accident victims when they require money to pay for lost wages, lost contracts, and medical bills. An efficient and appropriately trained accident lawyer can also help customers recover intangibles. Intangibles are things like love, happiness, and even sexual relations.
Sometimes when a person is badly hurt, they lose these pleasurable things that bring us all happiness and joy in our lives; because of this, courts and politicians have crafted and shaped negligence laws. Before negligence laws, people would have feuds and duels and even fight long-term wars seeking a “pound of flesh” or “revenge” against the liable parties involved in a car crash.
But it got so bad that innocent people were dying. And all of this back and forth negatively strained the local economies and law enforcement capabilities of ancient England and early America. In time common law developed into this money for injuries type of situation. Luckily, there are mandatory auto insurance laws. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, proper insurance coverage is part of sharing California roads. (DMV).
People can also purchase extra insurance coverage from their insurance company if the person who hits their car lets their insurance lapse or never had any to begin with. The long and short is that Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC uses these laws to recover our client’s money for what rules call “damages.”
Q. What should I do right after a car accident?
In case of an accident, prioritize maintaining a composed demeanor. Begin by promptly contacting the appropriate authorities, such as the police, and dialing emergency services at 911 if there are any injuries sustained by you or others involved. Gather vital information from all individuals implicated in the incident, including their names and contact details. This should encompass both parties directly involved in the accident as well as any potential witnesses. If feasible, capture visual evidence by taking photographs of the vehicles involved, which can serve as documentation of the extent of the damage incurred. Also, photograph the accident site and any injuries sustained. Refrain from accepting responsibility or admitting fault, as it is crucial for your legal representative to conduct a comprehensive inquiry to establish culpability on the other driver’s part.
Q. Do I have to go to court to file a personal injury claim?
In the majority of instances, instances involving automobile accidents find resolution without necessitating a court appearance, as they are settled via a meticulous and complex negotiation process conducted with an insurance provider. Despite this, a substantial number of insurance companies endeavor to swiftly conclude claims, often aiming for a minimal settlement amount. Should the insurance company neglect to present an offer that adequately covers the complete value of your claim, we are fully equipped to proceed with legal proceedings and pursue the matter through litigation in a court of law.
Q. What Evidence Needed to Bring a Claim?
To ensure the efficacy of your auto accident claim, gathering pertinent evidence encompassing the contact particulars of the involved parties and potential observers is imperative. A comprehensive account elucidating the circumstances surrounding the accident, complemented by photographic documentation of the scene, emerges as essential. It is worth noting that the reports furnished by law enforcement authorities further stand as significant pieces of evidence, playing a pivotal role in substantiating your claim.
Q. Should Receive Medical Treatment After a Car Accident Despite Feeling ok?
Subsequent to an accident, it is possible to experience an initial sense of well-being, only to have injuries manifest days, weeks, or even months later. Bearing this in mind, it is prudent to contemplate seeking medical attention even if you are under the impression that you have not sustained injuries. A medical professional possesses the ability to identify injuries that might not be immediately discernible to you and can apprise you of potential indicators of latent injuries. Neglecting timely medical attention for your injuries may result in the forfeiture of your entitlement to recover damages for forthcoming medical expenses. In any circumstance, reaching a settlement in an auto accident claim is inadvisable before undergoing a medical evaluation conducted by a doctor who can elucidate the extent of your injuries.
Q. Should I Sign Over My Medical Records to Another Driver’s Insurance Company?
Putting your signature on a medical records release form should be an action taken with careful consideration, and it is advisable to do so only in specific situations, especially after seeking guidance from a seasoned personal injury lawyer. Giving an insurer access to your medical records could impact your claim’s trajectory. The insurer might potentially put forth contentions, such as downplaying the severity of your injuries or asserting a connection to a preexisting medical condition.
Q. Even if I think I Was at Least Partially At Fault, Should I Pursue a Claim?
Decline to accept any responsibility for an accident, as these incidents typically involve numerous contributing factors. In cases where an inquiry concludes that you share partial culpability, it is crucial to recognize that you could still be eligible for compensation. Noteworthy is the fact that California employs a system of pure comparative negligence when establishing liability within car accident lawsuits. This implies that each individual found responsible for a car accident bears liability commensurate with their portion of the blame. For instance, if it is determined that you hold 20% responsibility for the accident and are otherwise qualified for a settlement of $100,000, the settlement sum would be adjusted to $80,000 (equivalent to 80% of the initial settlement amount).
Q. Can I Obtain Money for Damages Even Though I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt During the Accident?
California’s seat belt law mandates that drivers and passengers must wear seat belts while a vehicle is in motion. In the event that you neglect to fasten your seat belt and sustain injuries during an accident, there’s still a possibility of receiving compensation from the party responsible for the incident. It’s important to note, though, that due to California’s comparative fault principle, the compensation you receive will be diminished based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. Additionally, law enforcement at the accident scene might issue you a citation for failing to adhere to the seat belt requirement.
Q. Should I Settle With the At-Fault Driver’s Car Accident Insurance Company?
Before engaging with another insurance company or agreeing to a settlement proposal, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a seasoned car accident lawyer. Accepting a settlement offer prematurely could result in not obtaining the complete worth of your claim. An attorney possesses the knowledge to assess your claim’s accuracy and negotiate a settlement that covers potential upcoming injuries and medical costs.
Q. What if the At-Fault Party Lacks Sufficient Insurance Coverage For My Injuries?
In California, it’s mandatory for insurance companies to make available underinsured motorist insurance (UIM), a type of coverage intended to address the expenses related to bodily injury resulting from an accident, with a driver whose insurance coverage falls short in covering the damages. However, the benefits offered by UIM are capped at the value of your personal liability coverage and do not encompass property damage.
Q. What if the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
In an accident involving an uninsured driver that results in your injury, you can initiate a claim with your insurance provider, assuming you possess uninsured motorist coverage. In compliance with California law, auto insurance companies are obligated to present uninsured coverage to every motorist. However, if you choose not to acquire this coverage, you will need to provide a written waiver.
There are two uninsured motorist coverages:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): Crafted with the intention of providing protection in scenarios where you and individuals inside your vehicle sustain injuries due to an accident caused by an uninsured driver who is deemed at fault. However, the benefits of this coverage cannot surpass the value of your personal liability coverage.
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): This coverage addresses expenses related to the damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident caused by an uninsured driver who is deemed responsible. It’s worth noting that this coverage has a cap of $3,500, and it comes into effect solely when the uninsured driver’s identity is established.
According to the California Insurance Code, an uninsured motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle lacking coverage under a liability insurance policy. This includes situations where coverage is denied, like cases involving excluded drivers or stolen vehicles. Furthermore, if you’re in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver and the vehicle’s owner can’t be identified, that vehicle is also categorized as uninsured. Another scenario arises when the insurance company goes out of business while your claim is being processed, rendering the vehicle uninsured.
To initiate an uninsured motorist claim, you need to establish two key points: first, that the other driver was at fault, and second, that the driver lacked insurance coverage. Additionally, it’s important to note that numerous car insurance policies impose strict deadlines for policyholders to provide notice of a potential uninsured claim.
Q: What are the Types of Damages?
A: There are three types of damages for which a car accident victim may seek compensation from the other driver or some other liable party:
- General Damages: Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, grief, etc.
- Special Damages: These economic damages include medical expenses for medical treatment, costs of copies of medical records, public and private property repair costs, including vehicle damage
- Punitive Damages: An at-fault private person or a company sometimes pays exemplary damages for egregious behavior. The insurance company is barred under the insurance code from paying these damages. Be careful when seeking financial compensation to punish the other party for the maximum amount if there is no money.
Our lead personal injury attorney will make our best efforts to get you indemnified for your injury claims from an automobile insurance policy first. The goal is to protect and maximize your legal rights to compensation with a settlement offer. This means placing you in a position as good as or better than the one you were in before your newfound discomfort and disability with the drivers of the other vehicle involved.
Statute of Limitations Restrictions
Sometimes we have to make claims with a public entity and have time restrictions, typically within two years. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to get your most frequently asked questions answered by a Los Angeles car accident lawyer before giving a recorded statement to the insurance company as well. If you want to file a claim in Los Angeles or another city and are injured, we can assist you in forcing the other driver to pay the cost of their negligence and any additional damages they owe you.
Q: What Vehicles and Objects are Involved in Most Wrecks?
A: The moving conveyances in most Los Angeles wrecks include:
A: The objects struck in most Los Angeles car accidents include:
- Utility boxes
- Power poles
- Bus stops
- Center medians and dividers
- Warning cones
- Asphalt Ruts
- Nails and screws (such as those found on job sites or roadside maintenance and construction crews.)
Contact us so we can help you determine the best course of action in a claim against most people who have caused a car accident. We can take your case to a trial court and even help you if your last competent or inattentive attorney is fired. Our services are intended to place you in the best position for emotional, economic, and physical recovery in Los Angeles, CA, or anywhere else in the State of California.
We do it all on a percentage, called a contingency fee basis retainer agreement. We get our share from the negligent person or the insurance responsible for covering and dealing with the risk. We prove accident cases. The plaintiff is who our Los Angeles car accident attorneys represent. We also represent people when a negligent business kills a family member in a car accident injury. Their concerns are our task. We are ready to review your car accident report and provide you with our two cents on the matter, at no charge to you!
What Are Some Common Injuries In a Los Angeles Car Accident Claim?
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
Do you have any more personal injury-related questions? A local accident personal injury lawyer from our law office is standing by in a city, county, or state near you to answer any questions you may have. We can even help you file a lawsuit in Los Angeles, CA courts.
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in CA to Learn More
Do you live or work in San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Riverside County, or San Francisco County, California? Suppose you have another case involving a non-car accident injury. In that case, another section of our site is dedicated to answering other frequently asked personal injury questions about dog bites, slips and falls, burns, explosions, and even aircraft accidents. Reach out, and we will take the time necessary to hear you and give you a degree of compassion and certainty that the California Highway Patrol, general practitioners, or the car accident insurance company could never provide.
Our superior, highly trained, and dedicated legal staff are ready to take your essential telephone call at (213) 596-9642. Do or die. The highly regarded Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, makes it happen in even the most challenging instance of crusades.