Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injuries in California.
According to the most recent data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more than 250,000 people are injured in traffic collisions in the state each year.
Following a major accident, injured victims need to know how to protect their legal rights.
Being involved in a car accident can be devastating, and the recovery process can be long, daunting, and expensive.
Injured victims may be eligible to obtain financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain,
Injury in a Car Wreck? Download Our [FREE] Guide.
At Starpoint, LC Attorneys at Law, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have extensive experience fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of injured victims.
If you or your family member, in a motor vehicle accident in California, you need skilled legal representation. For a free, no-obligation consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles law office today.
What to Do After a Car Accident in California
Seek Medical Attention
If you were injured in an auto accident in Los Angeles, it is crucial that you seek medical evaluation. Many common car accident injuries — from concussions and back injuries to whiplash and other forms of soft tissue damage— come with a delayed onset.
Even if you believe that you can deal with the pain on your own, you may be far more injured than you realize. Beyond your health, you should also know that car accident victims cannot pursue a personal injury claim unless they have valid medical documentation to support their damages.
Report the Accident
Under California law, all traffic accidents that result in any physical injury or at least $1,000 in total property damage should be reported to state or local law enforcement officials. It is in your best interests to ensure that a police officer gets to the scene of your crash to draft an official accident report.
Secure and Record Relevant Evidence
All successful legal claims are built on a strong foundation of reliable evidence. To protect your legal rights, you should try to secure and record as much relevant information related to your accident as is possible.
Among other things, this includes taking pictures of the accident, getting the contact information for any witnesses, and obtaining the name and insurance information for all drivers involved in the wreck.
Consult with a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Your lawyer will be able to conduct an in-depth investigation of your claim — taking whatever action is necessary to help you get access to the full and fair financial compensation you deserve.
The California Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Under California law, car accident victims generally have two years from the date of the collision to file a personal injury claim. If you were hurt in an accident, and you fail to file your claim on time, then your case will likely be dismissed.
There is no reason to wait to take action: you should contact a car accident attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible after a major traffic collision.
Proving Liability in a Car Accident Case
California is a fault-based car accident jurisdiction. To hold another driver — or any other entity — legally liable for your auto accident injuries, you must be able to prove that their negligence played a role in contributing to your accident.
Negligence is reckless or careless conduct that falls short of the standards that a reasonably prudent person would live up to in a similar situation. Some common examples of negligence include:
- Failure to yield;
- Running a stop sign;
- Unsafe merging;
- Inattentive driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Drunk driving;
- Drugged driving; and
- Failure to conduct proper vehicle maintenance
To prove negligence, you will need compelling supporting evidence. In some cases, an at-fault driver may own up to their own culpability for the wreck.
However, this certainly does not always happen. Injured victims should be ready to contact an experienced auto accident attorney in Los Angeles who can help them put together a strong, persuasive legal claim.
Notably, California is a comparative fault state. Multiple parties can share liability for the same accident. In these complex legal cases, each party’s liability will be directly proportional to their level of fault.
If a driver was 80 percent responsible for an accident, they should be held legally liable for 80 percent of the resulting damages. An injured victim can be held partially liable for their own accident.
While partial fault will not prevent you from recovering compensation entirely, it will reduce the overall value of your financial recovery.
Financial Compensation Available to Injured Victims
Establishing liability for your injuries is only one aspect of bringing a successful car accident injury claim. Even when liability is clear, insurance companies will still fight these cases — attempting to settle the claim for the lowest amount possible.
To recover the full financial compensation that you are entitled to under California law, you must be able to present a well-documented accounting of your damages. At Star Point Law, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers know how to help plaintiffs maximize their financial recovery. You may be entitled to money damages for:
- Emergency medical care;
- All other medical bills;
- Rehabilitative expenses;
- Lost current and futures income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Permanent impairment;
- Reduced quality of life; and
- Wrongful death damages.
Contact Our Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyers Today
At Starpoint, LC Attorneys at Law, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers are committed advocates for injured victims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a traffic collision in Southern California, we are here to help. For a free, fully confidential review of your car accident injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today.
Starpoint, LC Attorneys at Law Annual Scholarship
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