Car accidents occur in the most unexpected ways, often because of a slight moment of distraction from driving or from a vehicle defect. The consequences of a car accident vary based on the circumstances of the incident, like the speed and brakes applied moments before the accident. As a result, you may face a lucky escape and suffer minor injuries and damages to your car or could conversely become a victim of a very horrible car accident. With the gradual rise in car accident cases reported in Los Angeles, it is always beneficial to stay focused when on the road for your safety, because it helps you detect any lurking danger and negligent motorists on the road.
However, if you do succumb to a car accident, there is a need to seek the services of a qualified car accident attorney who will help you through your compensation claims in court. With the numerous varying factors that may arise from the set of facts presented, you need a lawyer who can detect the defendant's fault in causing the accident. He/she will successfully prove the defendant's negligence in the accident, and help you receive full or significant awards of costs associated with the accident. At the Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we specialize in cases involving aggrieved drivers who are victims of a crash in a vehicle accident. Our years of practice have helped perfect our craft, and you can be sure of distinctive legal services from our team.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
When you need to provide a set of facts that will strengthen your case in court, you need to be well aware of the standard practices that lead to a car accident. In establishing what transpired with the defendant, your lawyer can demonstrate how negligence occurred, and give the judge enough reason to award you, the claimant, the compensatory sum you seek. Most of the factors related to causing car accidents arise from common distractions on the road that rob a driver of maximum concentration and visual ability. They are:
Driving While Drunk
When the defendant operates his/her vehicle when drunk, a car accident will inevitably occur with you as the victim. Despite stringent California laws that prohibit driving under the influence, numerous DUI car accidents still occur annually, with most of them causing severe injuries to the victims. The National Transport Health and Safety Authority provides several rules that every driver should observe. Among them is DUI prohibition that seeks to reduce accidents and overall mishaps on the highways and roads.
Using High Speed
Most highways in Los Angeles have speed limits that regulate the kind of speed expected of any motorist. Surpassing the speed limit is a gross violation of the provisions in the California Vehicle Code, which puts the defendant at a disadvantaged position by imposing negligence per se accusations. If you are sure of a defendant's use of extreme speed in areas where such a restriction should govern motorists, it is essential to mention it to your attorney. Informing your lawyer about the incident promotes further investigations that can establish that there was a violation of speed limits by the defendant in your case.
Texting While Driving
The use of mobile phones is among the leading causes of distractions on the road because your visual and mental focus shifts from road use to phone applications. Additionally, picking phone calls while driving has resulted in uncountable car accident incidents that cause irreversible damage and harm to the victims involved. If you managed to catch a glimpse of the defendant using his/her phone moments before the car accident, you could include it in your report for added evidence of negligent actions on his/her part.
Running Red Lights
Sometimes, the defendant responsible for your car accident may be an aggressive driver who ignores traffic light regulations and signs regularly. Proceeding when a red traffic light is on display poses a risk to any oncoming vehicle that is supposed to continue in place of the defendant's. With such aggressive driving, a car accident may cause a domino effect and involve several other vehicles, especially when the motorists are unable to brake on time.
An unavoidable collision may occur from car defects that derail the proper functioning of the machine. For example, when the defendant's car fails to engage the brake fluid efficiently, he/she may ram into your vehicle and cause significant damage. Other times, a broken engine system may result in sudden stops on the highway that may cause drivers behind you to hit the rear-end of your car. While establishing the negligent party, in this case, further analysis of facts beyond those directly linked to the incident qualifies you to make a compensatory claim. A valid argument on your side should demonstrate that the defendant could reasonably foresee the impending danger from your sudden stop, but failed to take appropriate steps to avoid hitting your vehicle.
All these causes are valid to your narration of events. However, you require additional evidence to prove that they occurred, as mere statements may not be convincing enough in a hearing.
Types of Car Accidents
A vehicular collision occurs in several ways that differ depending on the events that led to the accident. Each type of incident has a unique set of facts that has a direct link to the discussed causes of car accidents. Additionally, a kind of car accident may lead to the occurrence of another, especially when the force of the impact was massive. Classifying the car accident you were involved in helps your lawyer to develop an argument that connects the defendant's negligent acts to the result. Some of the types of disasters you could be involved in are:
You may be susceptible to a rear-end accident if you are parked in a reserved section beside the road, as most cases involve a defendant reversing the car with an obstructed view. Consequently, he/she may fail to check the proximity between his/her vehicle and yours before hitting the gas pedal to reverse further. In such a case, you will be at no fault if you had parked your car symmetrically and caused no blatant obstruction to other motorists. Thus, any wrongful action that impacts the rear end of your vehicle will place liability on the defendant.
Moreover, rear-end accidents also commonly arise from car defects. In the example of brake failure, the motorist behind you on the highway may fail to engage the brakes fully and end up hitting your vehicle. Depending on the evidence available, the presiding judge will determine whether or not you have any blame to carry partly with the defendant, depending on your conduct on the road.
Side-Impact Car Accidents
Commonly referred to as T-bone accidents, these collisions often occur at road intersections because of the numerous proceeding vehicles that move in different directions at the same time. Also, T-bone accidents almost always arise from the failure to adhere to traffic rules, either by speeding or refusing to yield to oncoming vehicles at junctions where two highways link. With you as the probable victim, the defendant who speeds past red traffic lights may fail to notice your car proceeding into the intersection box and cause a horrible side-impact accident. Numerous fatalities arise from such cases, and it is always advisable to proceed with a compensatory suit. Making a claim ensures that you receive compensation for the significant damage you suffer.
The prevalent cause of head-on collision car accidents is the use of high speeds in unauthorized road sections. Most cases arise from uncalculated moves to overtake a car ahead, without confirmation of a clear lane on the opposite side of the road. Additionally, most head-on collisions occur in busy two-way highways where obstruction by slower vehicles may warrant drivers to overtake negligently. However, several head-on collisions also arise from drunk driving, where the motorist who causes the impact lacks a clear vision and shifts his/her vehicle to the opposite lane.
The results of head-on collisions are often fatal, with the fortunes victims sustaining severe personal injuries. Nevertheless, you may escape unharmed or with little damage in rare cases.
Loose Tire Accidents
As the name indicates, defects in fixing a car tire may result in an accident on the road if it happens to dislodge. The consequent occurrences lead to a motorist losing control over the vehicle, which ends in an accident. A majority of the tire defect accidents manifest as side-impact collision or head-on collisions to your car, giving rise to unforeseen damages.
When your vehicle rolls over on the highway or at a sharp cornered road, several factors play a significant role in the car accident. In most cases, the defendant party in your case could be responsible for an unauthorized stop or faulty vehicle control that caused you to swerve the car. If you happen to be at top speed, the significant force applied on the brakes may lead to an involuntary car roll. Often, most victims land their vehicles on the side, resulting in severe property damages as well as sustaining high-risk injuries. Moreover, if your car fell off a cliff and rolled over several times, you will face more adverse effects that require a higher compensation amount from the defendant.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
When you fall victim to vehicular impact on the road, you should ensure that you carry out some actions that will be beneficial to your lawsuit afterwards. We recommend that you:
Call an Ambulance Service Immediately
Whether or not you believe you have suffered a severe injury, you should not hesitate to request for emergency medical attention for you and any other victims in your car at the time of the collision. In doing so, you eradicate all possible complications that arise from a failure to conduct medical tests that validate your existing conditions. On top of that, requesting medical services goes into the record as you taking responsible choices that reduce the risks you may otherwise face. This way, you will have clear medical records starting right from the day of the car accident. Taking such a step also enhances your credibility in court, in case the defendant's lawyers try to challenge proof of medical responsibility on your side.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
Notifying us of the car accident as soon as it happens allows us to begin with the follow-up actions that we have to engage in for a success compensation suit. Moreover, once you inform your lawyer of the accident, he/she will arrive at the scene of the accident with a team of experts to analyze the damage caused for record-keeping. Afterward, the information collected plays a significant role in providing sources of evidence when the trial begins.
Collect the Other Driver's Contact Details
The most effective way of reaching the party involved in your accident is by recording his/her contact information for future reference. As a result, you will have a chance to engage in further discussion and communicate the official hearing date. Ensure that you have the following contact information before leaving the accident scene:
The driver's phone number
The vehicle number plate
The driver's official name and ID number if possible
The driver's home address
Some parties involved in the accident may be uncooperative by refusing to disclose their information to you in fear of the necessary actions you are bound to take. In such cases, if you do not have your lawyer close, taking a photo of the vehicle registration number should be enough information to track the driver later.
These guidelines are available on the assumption that you are strong enough to take part in them after the incident. Therefore, when you fall unconscious immediately after the car accident, your lawyer will do his/her best to ensure that all the necessary information is at hand.
Also, you do not have to worry about taking these follow up actions when you have a casualty in your vehicle that requires emergency medical attention before the ambulance arrives. Calling your lawyer will set the ball in motion and warrant him/her to assist you in sourcing these critical details.
Determining Who is at Fault After a Car Accident
Once you decide to bring a suit forward, the most crucial factor in your case is presenting persuasive evidence that proves the defendant's fault. Your lawyer will help you establish a clear argument that shows a direct link between the other motorist's actions and unlawful, negligent choices. After making a successful presentation, you stand higher chances of receiving full compensation for the harm caused in the car accident.
Establishing the party at fault requires your lawyer to demonstrate several vital elements of negligence that led to the accident. Therefore, you need evidence to prove that:
There Was an Existing Duty of Care Imposed on the Defendant
As a driver in the state of California, you must abide by the traffic rules enshrined in the California Vehicle Code to prevent avoidable accidents. The regulations in place provide several driving directions that require all motorists to practice essential road precautions. For instance, section 22350 of the vehicle code prohibits drivers from engaging in high speeds at unauthorized road sections. The rule set in place should be observed by any driver operating a car in Los Angeles and imposes a mandatory duty of care on each road user. Several other traffic provisions regulate drivers' behaviors while driving, to reduce the possibility of car accidents. For example, you should not drive under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, according to section 23152 of the vehicle code. All these regulations play a role in curbing the risks that motorists would face otherwise since nobody would owe a duty of care to other road users.
Therefore, citing relevant statutory provisions in court and showing their relation to the defendant's violation is sufficient to prove that there was an existing duty of care. With the information from the traffic rules, you can successfully indicate the specific sections that require the minimum exercise of responsibility on the defendant's part.
The Defendant Breached the Responsibility of Care
With the requirement to prove the exact way in which the defendant breached a duty of care, your lawyer must gather several sources of evidence that make a distinctive argument. Firstly, he/she will analyze the police report available to ensure that the record of events before and after the car accident matches your narration. This way, you can do away with any contradicting sources of evidence that would interfere with a valid line of argument in court. From the police report, you can identify facts that prove the defendant's breach of duty of care. For example, if a statement indicates the driver's speed moments before the collision, it will be useful in proving that he/she had exceeded a speed limit, be it the case.
Moreover, if your lawyer can obtain surveillance footage from street cameras, you will have a reliable source of evidence to display any statutory breaches that the defendant took part in. For example, video footage will show any case of running red lights or failing to yield to other motorists where expected. Once the presiding judge receives such evidence in support of your case, he/she will be persuaded to believe that the defendant driver carries significant blame for the car accident.
Witness statements also benefit your lawsuit as corroborative evidence to your case. With additional statements from sworn witnesses who saw the driver engage in risky actions like texting while driving, you can successfully establish his/her fault.
The Defendant's Breach Directly Caused the Car Accident
Before your lawyer makes a complete case presentation, he/she should further prove that the defendant's actions are the direct cause of any harm or damages that arise from the collision. Primarily, you must rely on the available sources of evidence to show the immediate result of the driver's breach caused the car accident. Typically, if your lawyer can prove that the party appearing as the defendant was responsible for the violation, it is easier to determine the direct cause of his/her breach of the accident.
Damages Arose From the Car Accident
Claimants suffer losses from different damages caused by car accidents, based on the circumstances in each case. For example, where you are a victim of a low-impact rear-end accident, your compensatory claims will be lower than another victim who suffers a high impact T-bone accident. Hence, your lawyer will use the help of a professional mechanical damage analyst, who can give an estimate of the damages you incur from the car accident.
Besides the property damage on your vehicle, you may also incur several personal injuries that may cause dramatic life changes. Most victims have to live with a complete lifestyle change because of the significant harm their bodies go through after the accident. The primary injuries sustained from car accidents are:
Traumatic brain injuries
Excessive blood loss
To have a legal backing that verifies the damages sustained, you should provide all documents, including medical records that show the extent of injuries suffered, and vehicle repair documents. Among these are receipts of payments you made and any future appointments you have set with your doctor and vehicle mechanics.
Damages to Seek Compensation for After a Car Accident
A proper case submission includes precise demands from the defendant in monetary compensation, to cater to all the losses you incur after falling victim to such an occurrence. You may seek compensation for:
Damage to Property
Your vehicle may be a mangled wreck after a high impact accident, causing severe damages to your investment. The case is even worse when you have purchased the car on a loan agreement because it leaves you with a debt to clear as well as repair costs. The defendant should provide his/her insurance company details to enable your lawyer to begin negotiations that deliver the payments you seek.
If a driver is uninsured, he/she can seek help from the underinsured or uninsured covers that all insurance companies must provide based on legal regulations.
Loss of Future Income
After suffering severe injuries that rid you of your ability to continue with work, you may lose your sole source of wages. You can claim all the monetary losses you incur, since you may not resume work for a long time or in extreme cases, ever again. The defendant's payments should be sufficient to cover a significant period when you cannot work, to prevent you from facing financial strain.
Doubtless, you will incur high costs from the medical services you receive after a car accident. In some cases, you may require surgical procedures or follow up physiotherapy sessions to get you back on your feet. Moreover, buying drugs to help you make a full recovery may be very expensive, especially if you do not have a comprehensive medical cover. Your claim will include the sums incurred in medical expenses in your submissions is beneficial to ensure you recover from all losses.
Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me
When you fall victim to a car accident, you require compensation for the losses and harm you face, regardless of how minor or significant your case is. At the Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we offer you the best legal services that include filing your lawsuit on time, negotiating with insurance adjusters, and representing you in court. We do our best to provide you with the best possible outcome for your case, as you work on getting back to your life. Call us today at 424-237-3600.