LA County Auto Accident Attorney
While some auto crashes may be considered minor, the effects may not be. Potential injuries may not present themselves right away, leading a person to believe they are fine when they are not. Even if you feel like you were not hurt, sometimes it takes a few days for your body to feel the full extent of the accident—time which can potentially be critical to your chances of successfully seeking damages from the party responsible for the crash.
If you were involved in a car accident, it may be important for you to contact a professional injury attorney as soon as possible. A car accident lawyer serving the Los Angeles region can help you deal with expensive medical costs as a result of your incident. If someone else was responsible for your accident, they can be held liable and may have to compensate you for your expenses.
California Auto Accident Statistics
The following statistics are sobering in that they highlight the severity of car accidents within California and the rest of the United States:
- Each year there are over 5 million crashes in the United States
- Traffic accidents injure over 2 million individuals each year
- California traffic accidents injure over 200,000 drivers every year
Unfortunately, insurance companies are in business to maximize their shareholder’s value, not the amount of compensation a plaintiff wishes to recover after a serious injury. They are not focused on identifying all of one’s potential injuries and damages, which is why it is important to consult with a Claremont and Pasadena auto accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Claremont
Compared to the rest of California, Claremont is a particularly dangerous place when it comes to deadly car crashes. In 2014, Claremont saw nearly double the number of fatal accidents and more than twice the number of fatalities per 100,000 residents as the rest of the state, as well as nearly three and a half times the number of fatal accidents involving people under the influence of alcohol. Some of the most common causes of these accidents besides alcohol or drug intoxication include:
- Negligent or careless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
Getting into a car accident can cause serious, long-term injuries. Anyone who is injured in a car accident and believes it was due to someone else’s negligence may want to contact a Claremont and Pasadena car accident lawyer today, as an experienced attorney can help guide them through their legal options.
How to Prove Liability for a Car Crash in California
In order to receive compensation, the injured party in a California car accident case must prove that the defendant acted negligently. Under California state civil law, negligence consists of four basic requirements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Duty of Care and Breach of Duty
When a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, they assume a duty of care towards everyone around them to avoid foreseeable risks of injury. This element is typically fairly easy to establish in a personal injury case. The injured party must also prove that the defendant acted carelessly or broke some sort of law while driving and, in doing so, failed to fulfill their duty of care. This is often a question of fact that the injured party can help prove by calling on witnesses who saw the accident.
Causation and Damages
To meet this element, the injured party must prove that the driver’s negligence directly caused the car accident that injured them. Two types of causation—actual and proximate—must be proven. Finally, the injured party must show that they suffered damages as a direct result of the car accident. Damages can include physical, emotional, and economic injuries, such as medical wages, pain, and suffering, and lost income. Individuals can get in touch with a Claremont and Pasadena car accident lawyer today for help with proving any of these elements.
Legal Rights After a Collision
Most auto accident claims are based on the negligence of the driver that caused the accident. The job of a skilled California car accident lawyer is to prove a plaintiff’s case. This requires demonstrating all the elements of the driver’s negligence. A dedicated California car accident lawyer must understand every aspect of an individual’s accident: how it occurred, why it occurred, the parties at fault, the extent of their injuries, and one’s recovery options. This knowledge allows a weathered car accident lawyer serving the Los Angeles region to determine a plaintiff’s best option.
Wrongful Death Cases
In a fatal car accident where the individual killed was a family member, spouse, or other loved one, certain surviving parties have a right to seek justice through the assistance of a California car accident lawyer. Spouses, relatives, and dependents of the decedent have a right to sue. Even if the individual who caused the accident is charged with a criminal penalty, they have a right to sue in civil court and be compensated for their loss.
Pursuing Compensation for Losses
In fatal car accidents, there are damages that the estate can recover and damages that surviving family members can recover. Losses typically attributed to the estate include funeral expenses, hospital and medical bills for the deceased individual’s final illness or injury, and lost income. This includes the potential income the deceased party would reasonably have been expected to earn in the future, had he or she survived. Losses typically attributed to the surviving family members can include the value of household services, loss of anticipated financial support, and loss of love, community, attention, affection, moral support, and guidance.
Potential Recoverable Damages
In auto accidents, the legal system generally classifies damages into two categories: property and personal. Damages to one’s property include costs related to the vehicle, towing, vehicle storage, appraisals, property damaged by the accident, repairs, as well as damage to personal belongings and replacement costs. Damages classified as personal could include one’s loss of wages, hospital costs, ambulance services, emergency room supplies, physical aids and appliances, physical therapy, medical staff, transportation, pain and suffering, and permanent disability.
What to Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident
With so many drivers and vehicles out on the roads in California, it is hardly unheard of to get into an accident. However, Californians also like to travel, and sometimes that travel takes them and their vehicles out of state, where accidents can and do still happen. So what should a California driver do when they get into an accident out of state?
The Role of Insurance
When it comes to insurance, the matter will proceed in a very similar way as it would if the accident had happened in California. Most states are tort or fault states, meaning that the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay for any damages. This applies to both the driver that is insured and any other parties or vehicles that were damaged.
Before fault can be fully determined by the insurance company, the company will send an adjuster to determine the extent of injuries and damages. Many insurance companies have adjusters throughout the entire country, but some do not, so the amount of time this process takes could vary wildly. If that is the case, those involved in the accident may have to remain in the state where the accident occurred, even if they are unhurt or their car is not damaged enough to prevent them from going home.
Filing a Claim
Furthermore, if the California driver was injured and wants to file a personal injury claim for compensation, the case will need to be heard in the state the accident happened in. This can be challenging not just because of the distance the plaintiff may have to travel, but also because California attorneys are often only licensed to work in California.
This means the plaintiff will likely not be able to use them. Instead, an attorney will need to be hired that is licensed to work in the state where the accident happened. While many attorneys will be able to work long-distance through emails and phone calls with a driver, the case can become complicated if the California driver has to appear in court to provide testimony.
None of this means that a California driver should not make an out-of-state claim if another driver was at fault and they were seriously injured. It may, however, mean trips out of state will be required to file the claim and see it through.
Talking to a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can be the cause of severe, life-altering injuries. Fortunately, though, a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you if you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. Contact an experienced attorney today to start pursuing the compensation you deserve.