Car Accident Lawyer in West Los Angeles
Southern California is home to some of the most congested roadways in the United States with thousands of accidents occurring each year. Los Angeles is currently experiencing a hit-and-run epidemic with a hit-and-run crash happening once every 18 minutes in the city while pedestrian deaths account for 41% of all car accident fatalities, making LA the pedestrian death capital of the United States. Being involved in a car accident can leave you with serious and life-changing injuries as well as significant medical bills, lost wages, and pain. A car accident attorney can help you protect your rights and hold the responsible party accountable.
What Causes Car Accidents in LA?
There are many factors that can lead to a car accident, especially on busy Los Angeles roads and freeways. Most traffic accidents are the result of driver error or negligence, which may be the result of:
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Reckless driving
- Changing lanes too frequently or without watching for other drivers
Accidents can also be caused by defective car components, weather conditions, poor road conditions, and sometimes even a medical emergency.
Important Things to Do After an Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, but it’s important to take certain steps to protect yourself and other drivers. The following steps can better position you to recover compensation for your injuries while protecting your legal rights.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Check on everyone involved in the accident and call for emergency medical help if it’s needed. Be sure you give responders details about the accident and any symptoms you are experiencing. As soon as you are able, get medical care, even if you feel fine. Many injuries, including brain injuries, may not cause symptoms for the first few days and delaying medical treatment will hurt your case and may impact your health. Be sure you follow all advice and directions from your doctor.
2. Contact the Police
Call the police to the scene immediately and request an accident report that details the crash. Ask for a copy of the report and keep it for your records. Your car accident attorney will also use this report to help prepare your injury claim.
3. Collect Evidence
Collect as much evidence as possible as soon as you can after the accident. This includes writing down all details you can remember of the accident; gathering contact information for the other driver and any witnesses; getting insurance information from the other driver; and taking plenty of pictures of the scene that includes factors that may have contributed to the accident, the position of the vehicles; damage to the vehicles; close-up shots; and wide shots of the entire scene.
4. Do Not Admit Liability
Be careful about what you say to the insurance company and other parties involved in the accident. Admitting guilt or even saying you’re sorry can be used against you and may cause a claim to be brought against you.
5. Call an Injury Attorney
Contact an experienced car accident injury attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible to protect your rights and begin building your injury claim to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident
Establishing who was at fault in the car accident is important as it determines who is legally responsible for the damages. This will involve deciding who was behaving negligently or carelessly. Determining fault will involve using:
- State traffic laws. Showing the other driver failed to obey traffic laws may be used to establish fault. This is likely the case if there is evidence the other driver was speeding, distracted, or failed to yield right of way.
- Police report. If police responded to the accident, the written accident report will be a valuable piece of evidence in establishing liability. Sometimes the report will state the officer’s opinion that a driver violated a traffic law and this violation caused the accident. The other driver may also receive a citation.
- “No doubt” liability. Some types of accidents put the other driver at fault in the vast majority of cases. If someone hits you from behind, it’s almost never your fault as they were following too closely. A car making a left-hand turn is typically liable for a collision with a vehicle driving straight in the other direction.
Compensation in a Los Angeles Car Accident Case
Under California law, you are entitled to recover a variety of damages if you are the victim in a car accident. This includes:
- Medical expenses (present and future), including surgery, ambulance transportation, doctor’s appointments, hospital admittance, physical therapy, and medical devices)
- Lost earnings and reduced earning capacity
- Cost of repair or fair market value of property destroyed, including your vehicle and personal property in the accident
- Non-economic damages which includes current and future pain, mental suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress, inconvenience, physical impairment, and grief
Contact a West Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
If you have been hurt in a car accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. Insurance companies often offer low-ball settlements that may not even cover your medical expenses and insurance companies will use your statements against you. An injury attorney can help you build your case and establish the other driver was at fault for the accident to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact Soliman Law Group for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer in West LA to discuss your case.