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Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
The legendary traffic holdups in Los Angeles are just one source of the hundreds of car accidents the city sees each year. If you’ve been injured in a wreck that wasn’t your fault, a Los Angeles car crash lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A fender-bender brings hassle and frustration, but a more serious car accident can leave you with devastating injuries that change all areas of your life. As you watch your medical bills pile up and struggle to get your car fixed, you’ll likely wonder why you should have to deal with these hardships if the crash that injured you wasn’t your fault.
Fortunately, you don’t have to shoulder that burden. If you’ve been injured in a car crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to cover your losses.
If you’d like to find out whether you have grounds for this type of claim, your first step should be contacting a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Haffner Law. We’ll make sure you recover the full value of your claim. You shouldn’t be financially compromised or emotionally taxed if another person is at fault for the crash that left you physically injured.
Understanding Negligence as It Relates to Los Angeles Car Wreck Claims
What is negligence? Negligence is a legal concept that essentially means that all people are responsible for their actions (including careless or willful actions), and if they cause another person injury because of their actions, they can be held liable. It is this idea of negligence that allows you to file a personal injury claim to seek damages.
When you file a personal injury claim against a party that injured you, you’re accusing that party of harming you, and, in the case of car crashes, you’re asking his or her insurance company to compensate you for your losses. The law allows a settlement to be reached, or a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, and you can take your case to court if necessary.
How can you tell if negligence was involved in your accident? Almost all car wrecks are caused by someone’s negligence, even if the accident was unintentional. Here’s an example of negligence in an auto collision:
You have a green light and are driving through an intersection. A driver is approaching the intersection from a different direction and has a red light. The driver is looking down at a cell phone and fails to stop at the light, crashing into you. This is an example of distracted driving.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Soon after a wreck, many drivers find out just how challenging it can be to work with an insurance company. Helping you get treatment for your injuries and repair your vehicle is rarely a top priority for insurers.
Not wanting to risk you getting a lawyer involved, a reluctant insurer may attempt to settle your claim quickly and for the lowest dollar amount possible. While you’re at your most vulnerable, the insurance company may approach you with questions and may even ultimately turn your own words around on you, hoping to shift blame and save some money.
Avoid signing anything until you’ve spoken to your Los Angeles car accident injury lawyer. You don’t want to accept a lowball settlement offer that will leave you with seemingly endless out-of-pocket expenses down the road. You deserve to recover a fair settlement that will help get you back on your feet for good.
Working with us will free you up to concentrate on returning to good health. Let your lawyer worry about the insurance company. He or she will investigate your claim, collect all necessary police reports and witness testimony, and handle all negotiations and communications with the insurance company.
Investigating and Proving Your Los Angeles Auto Wreck Case
Before you can sue another party for damages, you must first figure out what caused your crash and who was responsible. In some cases, this might be easy to do. In most cases, though, determining fault is a challenging process.
Many factors might have played a role in your collision, and multiple parties can hold responsibility. Investigating and gathering the evidence needed to prove your Los Angeles vehicle crash claim is a huge undertaking. You probably can’t handle this kind of work on your own, especially in an injured state.
What types of evidence will help convince an insurer or judge of your claim’s legitimacy? Below are a few examples of proof that your attorney will need to collect in order to get you fair compensation:
- Video and photo evidence of the car crash scene and your injuries
- Medical documentation of your injuries and your medical history
- Witness statements
- Police reports and accident reports
- Expert testimony
- Accounts of how this crash has caused you to suffer
- Documentation of your accident-related expenses
Navigating Car Crash Cause and Fault
One of the first tasks after you team up with a Los Angeles car crash attorney will be to determine cause and fault in your accident. You and your lawyer will most likely discover that someone’s careless behavior caused your crash.
Recognizing each party that might have played a role in causing your accident can help you secure the largest possible compensation amount.
The following list describes the most common negligent behaviors and practices that cause car accidents in Los Angeles:
- Speeding – Driving faster than the speed limit may leave the driver responsible for any accidents caused by this reckless behavior.
- Distracted Driving – Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, such as a cell phone or even a conversation with a passenger, can cause an auto crash.
- Drunk Driving – If alcohol or drugs are involved in an accident, the driver is nearly always found at fault.
- Drowsy Driving – A driver may be tempted to drive late at night to get a jump on a long trip. Unfortunately, behaviors like that can lead to drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Dangerous Roads – In some cases, roads may not have not been taken care of properly, which means the driver may recover compensation from the government entity responsible for that highway’s maintenance.
- Road Construction – Driving patterns often change rapidly and sometimes without warning in Los Angeles construction zones. When a driver doesn’t pay careful attention while navigating these sites, wrecks can easily occur.
Compensation for Your Los Angeles Car Accident
After determining cause and fault in your accident, your Los Angeles car accident attorney will work with you to determine an amount that you feel represents the true value of your losses. A settlement offer from the insurance company should consider all of your financial losses, of course, but it should also allow for non-economic damages.
When calculating your financial losses, it is important to work with your doctor in addition to your lawyer to assess what your recovery will cost, how your quality of life will be affected as you go forward, and how long you can expect your injury to affect you.
The following are a few of the most common types of financial losses named in Los Angeles car crash injury claims:
- All current and future medical bills incurred as a result of your injury
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Loss of income or future earning potential
- Car repair or replacement
- Rental car and other transportation fees
- Costs associated with altering your home or car to accommodate your injury
When settling an insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit, you are also entitled to fight for compensation for intangible damages, such as the following:
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Loss of your career
- Disinterest in hobbies or activities you once loved
- Social isolation as a result of scarring or disfigurement
While no amount of money can bring back your zest for life or the relationships that might have been strained as a direct result of your accident, you will hopefully find some comfort in the financial justice the legal system can provide.
Do You Really Need a Vehicle Crash Attorney When Filing an Injury Claim?
Sometimes, auto accident victims believe they can file an injury claim on their own and do all the work of investigating the crash and negotiating with insurance companies, but this is not a good idea. Even if you do manage to obtain a settlement from an insurer on your own, it’s very unlikely that the settlement will be for the full amount you deserve.
The Los Angeles auto injury attorneys at our firm have years of experience handling these types of claims. We have the legal knowledge, the education, and the fight to get you the compensation you truly deserve. To get a big-picture idea of everything your car wreck attorney will do for you, see below:
- File all personal injury paperwork, ensuring it’s accurate and that your case won’t be thrown out because of paperwork errors or omissions.
- Fully investigate your case to determine fault and name all responsible parties.
- Assist you with collecting medical documentation.
- Gather all accident scene evidence and present a case to the insurance company.
- Negotiate with insurers to get you the full and fair compensation you need.
- Take your case to court if needed.
- Advise you on all legal matters that pertain to your claim.
Los Angeles Car Accident FAQ
Car accident injury claims make up a vast and complicated area of personal injury law. We know you’re going to have questions throughout your case, so we’ve answered a few of the most common questions below.
Your Los Angeles car crash attorney can answer any other questions you have.
How can comparative negligence affect my Los Angeles car accident claim?
In California, multiple parties can be found to share the blame for a car accident. This is part of a doctrine called comparative negligence.
If you’re found to hold some of the responsibility for your car accident injuries, your compensation award will be reduced by the percentage of the blame you hold.
For instance, if you were speeding when a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into you, you might be found to hold 20 percent of the responsibility. You would then receive only 80 percent of the compensation awarded to you.
What kinds of evidence will help prove my side of the story?
In general, the more evidence you have for your car accident injury claim, the higher your chance of getting the compensation you need. Your attorney will be able to gather evidence on your behalf, but, in general, you’ll want evidence like police reports, medical records, photos and videos of the car accident scene, witness statements, and expert testimony.
Do I have to go to court for my car accident claim?
Most car accident injury claims are settled outside of court, but if the insurance company or other party won’t make a fair settlement offer, you might need to appear in court as your attorney fights for what you’re owed.
How long does obtaining compensation via a vehicle crash claim take?
The time frames vary, depending on the complexity of each case, the amount of available evidence, and the insurance company. Some cases can be settled within a few weeks, and others will take a year or longer. The insurance companies are also known to drag out the process in the hope that you’ll be worn down and accept a lower settlement.
What can I do to improve my chances of a successful claim resolution?
There are several ways you can help your case reach a positive outcome: Work with a vehicle collision attorney from our firm, don’t speak with insurance companies on your own, collect as much evidence as you can, follow all your doctor’s advice, keep careful records of your injuries, and document how your crash has affected your life.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Crash Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re not equipped to fight back against predatory insurance companies and negligent parties who are doing everything they can to dodge the blame for your suffering.
Letting yourself be taken advantage of could cost you the compensation you need to recover from your car accident. Don’t let that happen; turn to Haffner Law for help.
To speak with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer about your case, give us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) or head to the bottom of this page to fill out our online contact form.