If you’ve been in a car accident, your car is probably damaged and you may be injured. It’s important to make sure you receive compensation from the responsible parties so you can continue with your life as best you can. The best way to get the compensation you deserve is by contacting a Los Angeles car accident lawyer and telling them the details of your case.
Below, we expand on some of the damage we see in association with Los Angeles car accidents and why it’s important to hire an experienced car accident attorney.
Do You Need a Lawyer After Your Auto Accident?
There are many reasons why you may consider hiring a car accident lawyer, including claims involving minor to severe injuries, multiple involved parties, or complex negotiations. While it’s best to hire an attorney early in the process to avoid costly mistakes, a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at our firm can help at any point. If your auto accident involved a truck, a self-driving car, or a rideshare motor vehicle, please see our practice areas related specifically to those types of auto accidents.
Here Are a Few Signs You Need to Hire an Accident Attorney:
- Permanent Injuries – You may have suffered severe, long-term injuries in the car accident. These require physical and often mental care.
- Missing Major Life Events – While you heal from your injuries, you may be missing work, school, or other major life events.
- Insurance Companies – Unfortunately, it is often difficult to convince insurance companies to fully cooperate.
- A DUI is Involved – The at-fault driver is involved in a criminal investigation, including a DUI.
- Uninsured – The other driver involved in the accident was either uninsured or underinsured, so you have to use your own insurance policy.
- Manufacturer Defect – A manufacturer defect can sometimes be the cause of the accident or injury.
- Lawsuit – You may be considering filing a lawsuit
Hiring a car accident attorney allows the lawyer to take on the stress of going back and forth with the insurance company while you focus on your recovery. Your time is precious, and it shouldn’t be wasted fighting with your insurance company.
Our knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident lawyers use our tough negotiation skills and history of working in personal injury claims to get you the highest settlement possible. We also help in proving your innocence if the other insurance company refuses to pay.
If you were in an auto accident, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket due to another driver’s mistakes, nor should you suffer while the insurance company takes forever to make determinations on your case.
Car Accident Costs
Car accidents can be expensive and result in damaged property, high medical bills, loss of income, and other hidden expenses. Various factors may impact the overall cost of your accident, including;
- Severity – How serious was the accident?
- Location – Where did the accident happen?
- Number of Vehicles Involved – The more vehicles involved, the more complicated the case usually is.
- Number of Passengers Involved – How many passengers were in the cars involved, and how serious are their injuries?
- Value of Your Property – What type of vehicle do you have?
- Types of Injuries Sustained – Do you have severe, long-term injuries or more short-term injuries?
All of these factors affect the cost of your accident and the complexity of your case. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you sift through all the circumstances and damages to better understand your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Other Costs You Can Expect
After a car accident, it often feels like the damages keep piling up. On top of the damage to your vehicle and other property, you may be suffering from physical or mental injuries. Below is a list of costs and damages that are common after a car accident occurs:
The costs of a car accident start piling up on day one. The moment your vehicle is towed from the scene, it could start costing you time and money. Property damage costs may include:
- Towing Fees - If your vehicle is non-driveable, it will most likely get moved to a tow yard. Eventually, you may need to transfer your car to a body shop, your home, or even to a salvage yard - sometimes racking up three to four tow bills.
- Storage Fees - When your vehicle sits at a yard or body shop, especially while waiting for an inspection from the insurance company, it’s probably accruing daily storage costs. Yards may also tack on extra fees. Storage costs are especially high in Los Angeles, and an attorney can help negotiate some of these costs.
- Rental Car - You need compensation for a rental car after an auto accident when your vehicle is getting inspected, repaired, or replaced. An attorney can also help get you paid for loss of use, if you were unable to drive due to your injuries or if you were denied a rental vehicle while waiting for the other insurance company to accept responsibility.
- Repair Costs - You may get multiple estimates, shops may wait on parts, or the shop might find more damage after starting repairs. It’s critical for the insurance company to pay enough to repair your vehicle fully.
- Replacement Vehicle - If your vehicle is declared a total loss, a car accident attorney can look over the report and features of your car to ensure you’re getting an accurate value to replace your vehicle.
- Personal Property - Sometimes items inside your vehicle get damaged, from small, everyday items such as cell phones to expensive and necessary ones such as handicap vehicle lifts, it’s important to get compensated for your damaged property.
If you are the victim of a car crash, your expenses are likely quite high. This is why it is important to contact an accident attorney to help you win enough compensation to cover all of your bills.
After an auto accident, medical bills can pile up. These include ambulance and emergency room bills, doctor visits and check-ups, chiropractic visits, physical therapy, ongoing treatment, and more. In some cases, they may be nothing more than minor scrapes and bruises, while some accidents result in life-long debilitating injuries.
Here are the most common types of car accident injuries.
- Neck injuries – Such as whiplash.
- Brain and head injuries – Such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
- Back injuries – Such as disc injuries.
- Facial injuries – Such as lacerations, bruises, and fractures.
- Psychological and emotional injuries – Such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Loss of Income
If you can't work due to an auto accident injury, there will be lost wages and productivity. A personal injury lawyer will determine how much money you are out and help you get compensated for missing work. Nobody plans on having a car accident, and if you are injured, you may not have the option to continue working.
You should not be responsible for the lost wages during your recovery, or while you are unable to work, even if your situation becomes permanent.
If you are involved in an auto accident that leaves you permanently disabled, it may affect your ability to work, earn income, and enjoy personal activities. A severe car accident resulting in permanent disability is not something to take lightly.
In order to get the care and equipment needed to help you live your fullest life, it’s important to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. An experienced car accident attorney can make sure you are fully compensated and relieve some of the stress by handling the details of your case.
Pain and Suffering
Physical injury isn't the only cost associated with an auto accident. Often along with a physical injury is the actual pain and emotional stress that can cause undue suffering for the auto accident victim. This pain and emotional stress can also impact your ability to work and your quality of life. Pain and suffering is another burden that may have hidden or unexpected costs.
Every death is unfortunate, but wrongful death is the legal term for when a person is killed due to the negligence of another individual, even in the event of an auto accident. When this happens, loved ones of the deceased can seek financial compensation. This compensation is viewed as a way to hold the liable party accountable and in a way, serve as punishment or a deterrent to the responsible party. If the other driver was intoxicated or driving recklessly, and resulted in the death of your loved one, they could be held accountable for causing a wrongful death.
Were You Recently in a Car Accident in Los Angeles? Here is What Factors Into Your Claim
Many factors impact your car accident claim, such as the type of insurance involved, as well as the severity and cause of the accident.
Not all car accidents are clear cut, and unfortunately, it's not uncommon for disputes to arise during the claim process. From determining who's at fault to calculating the value of your damages, hiring the right Los Angeles car accident lawyer can be the difference of receiving a full settlement payout versus paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.
We have seen it all and have represented clients in a wide range of car accidents, including:
- Drunk/Drugged Accidents
- Distracted/Drowsy Driving
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Self-Driving Car Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Scooter/Bike/Pedestrian Accidents
- Auto Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death
Each of the types of accidents listed above come with their own challenges and intricacies. That’s why you should consider having Steinberg Injury Lawyers represent your case- we have experience representing each of the accident cases listed above.
What Leads to a Los Angeles Car Accident?
When determining fault, it's often important to ask what happened leading up to the auto accident. From bad-driving behaviors to disobeying rules of the road to poorly designed intersections, here's what often causes car accidents:
- Aggressive Driving - This occurs when someone is driving in a hostile manner with little regard to other drivers on the road. This often leads to tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to yield or signal, speeding, and general disregard for traffic regulations.
- Complicated Roadways - These are roads with unusual features, such as unexpected curves, narrow lanes, missing or damaged road signs, and challenging to navigate roadways.
- Distracted Driving - Distracted driving happens when the driver is not paying attention or takes their eyes off the road, even if for a second. This can happen when the driver tries to change the radio, is eating, texting, or talking on the phone.
- Drowsy Driving - If you are driving while cognitively impaired due to being sleep deprived, you are considered to be driving while drowsy.
- Drugged Driving - Drugged driving happens when you are driving the influence of recent drug use. This can include both legal and illegal substances.
- Drunk Driving - Driving under the influence of alcohol can increase your chances of being in an accident. If you are driving while intoxicated, even if you are under the legal limits, your judgment and response time can be impaired.
- Elderly Drivers - Elderly drivers often have slower reactions times to situations, and it takes longer to break or look for oncoming traffic.
- Teen Drivers - Teen drivers are inexperienced behind the wheel as they are still often learning the laws and developing correct reflexes needed to stay safe on the road.
- Reckless Driving - Reckless driving occurs when the driver has little to no regard for traffic laws or others on the road.
Most Common Types of Car Accident Collisions
While there are many types of car accidents, there are kinds that we see most often. Below are general car accident categories—however, each car accident has its own unique circumstances and details to be considered:
- Rear-end collisions - This is when the car behind you crashes into the back bumper of your car.
- T-bone or side-impact accidents - These accidents occur when either another car side-swipes or hits the side of your car head-on.
- Head-on collisions - A head-on collision happens when two cars smash into the front of each others’ cars
- Hit and run accidents - This accident occurs when the car at fault causes the accident, then immediately drives away before they can be held responsible for the damages.
Steps to Take After a Los Angeles Car Accident
Car accidents can be a confusing and scary experience that may leave injured victims unsure of the next steps. While these feelings are normal and understandable, mistakes that happen in the time following a car accident can harm the outcome of your case.
Your number one concern should of course be for the safety of you and the passengers involved in the car crash. Below we go over other steps you should take in order to ensure you receive compensation for any injuries or damages that result from the car crash.
Following these steps after an auto accident can help both you and the car accident lawyer strengthen your case.
- Don't leave the auto accident scene, no matter how minor injuries or damages seem.
- Make sure everyone is okay, and call for an ambulance or medics if needed.
- Report the accident to the local authorities or police. Based on where in California the accident occurred, this would be the police or CHP (California Highway Patrol). Once the police make the report, be sure to ask for a copy. You will need to provide a copy to your attorney, insurance company, and your own personal records.
- Take photos or videos of the auto accident. This documentation will showcase the conditions of the roads, the locations of the cars involved, and all visible injuries or property damage.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the driver(s) of the other vehicle(s). You should also get the contact information of witnesses and any passengers involved.
- Give your insurance company a call right away to notify them of the accident. If you don’t do this or fail to work with them during the investigation, it could result in a claim denial.
- Don’t state what you think caused the incident or give a recorded statement before speaking with an attorney. By accepting or placing blame, including levying accusations or by apologizing, you could be hurting your case.
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if the injuries don't seem to be bad. Injuries from an automobile accident are not always felt immediately, and if you delay seeking treatment, the attorney for the other driver may try to say that your injuries are unrelated to the crash. By being seen by a medical professional who is qualified, your injuries will be documented and treated, and your case can only be strengthened.
- Seek out an automobile attorney or personal injury lawyer to represent you.
Steinberg Injury Lawyers are experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys and can skillfully handle your case.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer's Settlements - How They Work
The process of settling an injury claim after a car accident can be complicated and lengthy, and most car accident victims greatly benefit from legal representation from an accident attorney who is familiar with the process of claims and California state laws.
Your settlement process starts at the scene of your auto accident, and the moment you begin to gather information. From taking photos of your motor vehicle damages and injuries, to keeping a personal injury journal to document your treatment process, all this evidence can be used to support a greater payout of your personal injury claim.
What Compensation Can I Seek Out With the Help of My Auto Accident Lawyer?
If you are the victim of a car accident, your damages ought to be covered by the insurance company of the person at fault. These damages include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical bills – You may be suffering from permanent, long-term, and/or short-term injuries.
- Pain and suffering – You or someone you care about may be suffering from physical and/or mental pain.
- Lost income – It takes time to fully heal from car accident injuries, and during this time you may not be able to work.
- Out-of-pocket costs – These could include damage to your vehicle, self, or anything else that suffered as a result of the crash
- Property Damage – Your vehicle and any belongings you had with you may be damaged or destroyed
After you are fully finished treating for your injuries, the next step of the settlement process is to have an attorney prepare a demand. This includes the way the accident has affected your life and the dollar amount you would accept to settle. This settlement demand gets sent to the insurance company who will evaluate and negotiate your claim. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will work to make sure you get a fair settlement and if necessary, take the case to trial.
Your settlement process does not end until you receive a check compensating you for your current and anticipated needs.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California
Don’t wait to file a lawsuit for your auto accident because time may not be on your side. California's statute of limitations restricts the amount of time the plaintiff has to file their lawsuit to just two years from the date of the accident. However, if you were not injured and only want to pursue compensation for the damage to your property, this time restriction extends to three years.
Allowing time to run out on your claim may forfeit your right to pursue a legal remedy.
Hire a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Hiring the right Los Angeles car accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer to provide legal representation after your accident can be a crucial decision. The car accident attorney you choose may determine the result of your case, so it is vital to select an attorney who is highly skilled, knowledgeable and someone who you can trust.
While car accidents can usually be filed into specific accident categories, each has its own unique details and circumstances. This is why an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to understand and handle these circumstances is important in order for you to be fully compensated for your injuries and property damage.
At Steinberg Injury Lawyers, our established attorneys have extensive experience handling a variety of car accident cases. Contact us for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your car accident case to discuss how we can help.