How Common Are Car Crashes in California? Here's What To Do When You're in One
Find A Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney of Damages
Many drivers live in fear of being involved in a severe accident, but fender benders and other minor collisions may also result in personal injury. You can become irritated, disoriented, and injured as a result of a collision. You are more likely to make bad decisions in this state, and you might not be able to provide full details right away. A Personal Injury Lawyer will assist you in overcoming these difficulties.
The vast number of automobile and motor vehicle incidents in Los Angeles can be attributed to various factors. None, however, is as large as the sheer number of motorists who use the thousands of miles of roads and highways. According to the California Department of Transportation, Los Angeles has over 20,771 miles of total roadways, 527 miles of interstate, and 382 miles of standard highway. In addition, Los Angeles County has over 5.8 million registered cars and well over 7.5 million overall motor vehicles. Only 5 States across the US have more registered vehicles than Los Angeles County, and that number is growing as 600,000 cars are sold each year in the region. Daily, motorists in Los Angeles County travel more than 92 million miles.
When and where are the most likely times for car accidents to occur?
The majority of automobile accidents happen within a 25-mile radius of the driver's house. In places where you feel safe, you are more likely to let your guard down or make risky decisions.
One of the most popular locations for car accidents is at a stoplight. Rear-end crashes and accidental damage can be caused by faulty brakes, distracted driving, and incorrect turns.
Intersections, including stoplights, have a higher rate of automobile collisions. Drivers often make mistakes in determining who has the right of way, resulting in side-impact collisions.
Every year, many car accidents occur in garages and parking lots. Drivers may be distracted or confused by groups of pedestrians and other cars searching for open spaces. Fortunately, the majority of parking lot collisions are minor.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are more likely to occur when there are many people on the road, such as between 3 and 6 p.m. during rush hour.
About a fifth of all drunk driving accidents occurs between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends. Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to travel, according to statistics.
Car Accidents: The Most Common Types
The type of car accident that happened determines whether or not the accident is fatal. But, regardless of the type of accident, one thing is certain: the vehicle will be damaged in some way.
The following are the most common forms of car accidents that we see in California (and pretty much everywhere else in the United States):
Collisions with the back of the vehicle
This type of collision happens when Driver A slams into Driver B from behind, as the name suggests. This normally happens when Driver A is trailing Driver B too closely. One of the best ways to prevent an accident like this is to maintain a reasonable distance between yourself and other vehicles.
Accidents involving T-Bones or Cross-Traffic
This type of collision normally happens at a crosswalk and is triggered by a driver who has run a red light (or any stop sign) or who has made a right or left turn without properly yielding to oncoming traffic. The easiest way you can do to avoid an accident like this is to be extra cautious at intersections.
When changing lanes, avoid slamming into other vehicles.
Another sort of car accident with which you must be very familiar. This normally happens when a driver tries to change lanes without checking any of his or her blind spots first. Always make sure you are fully clear before changing lanes to prevent these types of collisions.
These forms of collisions often occur in suburban neighborhoods, parking lots, and other public places. In most cases, a low-speed collision occurs when a driver is attempting to park a vehicle or backing up to exit. This is the sort of accident that is most likely to result in a pedestrian being injured. The easiest way to avoid this is to always exercise extreme caution when reversing a car.
Accidents involving commercial utility or delivery vehicles can happen anywhere, from highways to parking lots. Determining whether an accident was caused by human or mechanical error, and therefore who is to blame, is a difficult task that should be left to professional accident investigators.
Allow a Personal Injury Attorney to assist you if you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a commercial vehicle accident. They will assess your case and make sure you get the money you deserve for your injury and pain.
Who's to Blame in Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be caused by several causes, including driver inattention and recklessness. A qualified Personal Injury Attorney may assess and decide liability concerns, but car manufacturers, dealers, suppliers, regulatory bodies, and drivers can all be held responsible for commercial vehicle accidents. Commercial vehicle accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
Defective electrical devices, wheels and tires, braking systems, maintenance, and upkeep negligence, and more are examples of mechanical defects.
Human Error: Commercial drivers must run commercial vehicles to the best of their abilities at all times. Intoxication, sleep deprivation, and insufficient preparation are all factors that contribute to commercial vehicle accidents.
Environmental Issues: In a commercial vehicle accident, road maintenance, upkeep, and design can all play a role. If this is the case, the government will be held accountable as well.
A Personal Injury Lawyer may assist you in determining whether a self-insured defendant or company is responsible for improper servicing, failure to avoid the unlawful use of a commercial vehicle, insufficient driver supervision, and instruction, or any other contributing factor.
Every year, most Americans put thousands of miles on their tires as they commute, run errands, travel, and conduct business. While most drivers know the importance of replacing old and rusty tires that may pose a danger, many are unaware of the possible defects of apparently "good" looking tires. Tire defects, which are often not apparent to the untrained eye, can result in tire failure, which can cause or worsen the damage and injuries that occur in motor vehicle accidents.
A variety of tire defects, such as tread separation, tire blowout, tire or rim explosion, and other defects, can lead to tire failure. Tire producers and suppliers have been found liable in many instances of tire failure resulting in injuries because they produced a product that was not robust enough to maintain its integrity on the roads. To avoid tire failure, tire manufacturers must use sound tire design, ensure that overall vehicle design and control systems operate in tandem with tire systems, and employ rigorous manufacturing and inspection processes. Due to their failure to take such precautions, these companies can be held responsible for damage caused by faulty tires.
Furthermore, tire failure may occur as a result of skilled tire installation, repair, and maintenance negligence. The following examples of such parties' negligence can lead to tire failure:
Over and under inflation
putting old tires on
a lot of use
a defective fix
misalignment of tires
The victims of such incidents may be entitled to claim compensation from the liable parties in situations where such negligence resulted in serious injury due to tire failure.
Tire failure is particularly dangerous on the road because it can cause a driver's vehicle to lose control, which often results in collisions with other vehicles or objects. Tire failure also raises the risk of a rollover, which is more likely in SUVs due to their less stable nature.
Every year, six traffic collisions occur every minute in the United States, resulting in millions of serious or life-threatening injuries. The majority of these collisions and injuries, on the other hand, are avoidable. To avoid needless pain and discomfort, car manufacturers are legally responsible for ensuring that their cars are crashworthy.
If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, any or all of the injuries were likely caused by the vehicle's crashworthiness.
Crashworthiness in Automobiles: Factors to Consider
There are two effects in a car accident: the initial impact and the second impact. The real crash occurs after the initial impact. Several safety factors decide the crashworthiness of an automobile during the initial impact, including, but not limited to:
Defense from side impacts
Airbags are a form of safety device
Roofs that aren't prone to collapsing
Whiplash is reduced by interior paddings, like headrests
Windshield and side/rear windows laminated
A crashworthy vehicle should preserve space inside the vehicle for passengers to survive after the initial impact, provide sufficient fire protection and proper restraint and ejection safeguards.
Any blows or injuries sustained by passengers as a result of the initial impact are referred to as "the second impact." If a passenger's head or body collides with the dashboard or steering wheel, or if they are ejected from the car, a second impact occurs, normally resulting in the most severe injuries. The crashworthiness of automobiles is particularly important in minimizing second-impact injuries.
When there is negligence involved in a car accident, victims have the right to take the liable party or parties to court to seek compensation.
Financial compensation for personal injury, property loss, missed income, and pain and suffering may be available. The complainant (victim) must show fault in order to claim liability for a car accident. This is accomplished by illustrating the following:
The defendant was bound by statute to exercise fair caution. In the event of a traffic accident, a complainant may demonstrate this by demonstrating that the defendant was the one driving at the time of the collision. When a driver meets someone on the road in the United States, he or she owes a reasonable duty of care.
The defendant failed to uphold a fair standard of treatment. The act of negligence by the driver is referred to as a violation. A breach can take several forms, ranging from failing to maintain a vehicle's brakes to falling asleep at the wheel. Any conduct that falls short of what the law requires a fair person to do under similar situations is considered a violation.
The plaintiff suffered losses as a result of the violation. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant's negligence caused his or her injury or property harm directly. Police reports, security videos from the incident and eyewitness accounts are usually used to prove this.
As a consequence of the violation, the plaintiff was injured or suffered property harm. The complainant would not be able to recover an award if he or she cannot demonstrate any monetary damages or injuries as a result of the accident.
After an Auto Accident, Dealing with Insurance
Any driver in California is required to have personal auto insurance that covers them in the event of a crash. For insurance claims resulting from automobile collisions, California follows a fault-based law. An injured driver has the right to seek compensation for their injury by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy. In smaller collisions, an at-fault driver's policy can cover the entire cost of the injured driver's damages. Still, injured drivers must keep in mind that they must contend with the limitations of an at-fault driver's coverage and the fact that insurance providers seldom consent when it comes to paying out claims.
Before negotiating with insurance providers, an injured driver may consult with a Personal Injury Attorney. Through making a claim on behalf of a client, an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer will help get an insurance claim off to a good start. When an insurance claim adjuster notices that an applicant has legal counsel, he or she is far less likely to deny the claim. The right Personal Injury Lawyer will make a big difference in the results of your insurance carrier negotiations.
Another insurance question that might arise is whether the at-fault driver has sufficient auto insurance coverage to adequately cover the expense of the injured driver's damages or whether the at-fault driver has no auto insurance at all. In these cases, an injured driver can turn to their own personal auto insurance policy to see if it provides underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. California law gives an injured driver the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages if an insurance claim does not cover their losses.
How Photographs of Car Accidents Will Help Your Personal Injury Case
Certain pieces of vital evidence will still add value to a personal injury case involving a car accident and help reinforce it. Accident images taken shortly after the accident are one of those pieces of evidence. It is said that a photo is worth a thousand words, and this is certainly true in this case. These pictures can dramatically boost your reputation when it comes to your side of the story and can prove property damage or accidents without a doubt.
You should also consider taking photos of your injuries if you are able to do so, and it is appropriate for you to do so. Take pictures of everything, including skid marks, missing car parts, traffic signs or lights, weather conditions, chipped paint, broken glass, and an overall view of the accident scene. If there is photographic evidence to back up a victim's argument, insurance firms are less likely to call them untrustworthy.
Building a Strong Personal Injury Case with Witness Statements
Independent third-party witnesses, in addition to documentary evidence, may be crucial in arguing the case. These witnesses have no vested financial interest in your case. If they can corroborate your account of how the accident happened, it can be valuable evidence in your personal injury case. If you are physically willing, collect all witness contact details at the scene of the accident. If you are unable to do so, do not worry; the police report would almost certainly include a list of all witnesses to the accident.
Documentation Will Help Your Personal Injury Attorney Build a Strong Case for You
When you were younger, did you ever keep a journal or a diary? When you look back on the notes you made, you'll find that they evoke powerful memories that you had forgotten about. In a car accident scenario, the same is true. Everyone assumes they can recall every detail, but auto accidents are messy scenes, and with medical appointments, insurance providers, lost wages, and other factors, many people forget the specifics in the chaos of their lives after an accident.
Make a diary and write in it every day about your pain and suffering, doctor's appointments, things you were unable to do due to your injuries, your failure to return to work, and everything else related to your everyday life after a car accident.
Keep all of your auto maintenance expenses, towing costs, medical bills, forensic imaging scans, medical appointments, physical therapy appointments, proof of missed income, and all other paperwork related to your car accident in the same document file. Having all of this data or info in one place will assist your Personal Injury Lawyer in ensuring that the plaintiff is compensated for all of your losses and injuries.
What Would You Do to Stay Away From Risks?
Although you can never fully eliminate the possibility of a car accident, you can greatly minimize the chances of severe injury or death to yourself or your loved ones.
Wear your seatbelt – Studies show that wearing a seatbelt properly decreases the risk of serious injury in front-seat passenger cars by up to 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-severe injury by up to 50 percent. Seatbelt use in all US passenger vehicles is about to 86 percent, according to NOPUS observational data. Fasten the seatbelts.
Use child safety seats in passenger cars – According to the NHTSA, using child safety seats in passenger cars can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
Follow the speed limit – According to the NHTSA, speed is involved in 26% of fatal incidents, resulting in over 9,378 deaths in 2018.
Keep track of your vehicle's safety recalls – 2014 was the "year of the car recall," with more than 550 recalls covering more than 52 million cars. Some of the recalls are for minor problems, but many of them are to address serious safety concerns. For example, Ford issued a recall for two ignition parts in many models that could cause the car to shut down, lose steering, and prevent the airbag from deploying. At safercar.gov, you can check for recalls by vehicle make and model or by entering your vehicle's VIN into the database.
Don't drink and drive – Drunk driving was responsible for over 17,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2018.
Keep an eye out for pedestrians – In the United States, 6,238 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in 2018, with the vast majority occurring outside of intersections.
Why Do You Need the Services of a Car Accident Attorney?
One of the most important reasons to hire an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer is that they are the ones who will look after your well-being. An experienced Personal Injury Attorney will assist you in gathering facts, preparing your case for filing a restitution claim, and discussing and negotiating with insurance providers, among other things.
Having a reliable Personal Injury Lawyer by your side is important and should not be ignored. More importantly, another thing a Personal Injury Lawyer can do for you is to assist you in determining whether or not you are entitled to compensation.
After a car accident, you must meet two conditions in order to file a compensation claim:
Someone else was to be held responsible for the crash, which was normally due to negligence.
You and your family (or dependents) suffered physical, physiological, and emotional distress as a result of the accident, which most likely resulted in financial loss.
A Personal Injury Lawyer will guide you through the complexities of dealing with a car accident case in California. Getting a good one by your side will make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
After a California Accident, What to Expect From the Legal Process
The length of a car accident case is determined by a number of factors, including the conditions that led to the accident, the facts available, and whether or not the at-fault party claims liability.
However, in most cases, a case will either be resolved easily or take a long time to resolve. This is why retaining the services of an experienced Personal Injury Attorney is a wise decision.
The following are the most important considerations that can influence the timetable of any accident case settlement:
Factual or legal questions that are specifically related to the case may affect the outcome.
The settlement, in this case, is for a substantial sum of money, which makes insurance companies squirm.
When the survivor (you or a loved one) has not yet recovered completely from the crash's injuries.
The court must carefully examine these considerations to ensure that something that may have a negative effect on the case has been resolved in a timely manner. Using the services of a Personal Injury Lawyer would ensure that everything runs smoothly.
What is the value of my case?
A competent Personal Injury Lawyer would be able to get you paid for both economic and non-economic costs, regardless of how bad the injuries were. There are many considerations to consider when determining the value of your scenario. These elements are discussed further below:
The crash circumstances, such as the speed at which it happened, whether any party violated any rules, and whether the police have any records.
Whether or not responding is clear. When it is clear that the at-fault driver is to blame, calculating compensation is normally easy.
The seriousness of the injury and the extent of the vehicle damage. You'll need your medical records to prove the severity of any injuries you've suffered.
Finally, this will include all costs related to care, car repairs, and lost revenue.
All of these elements would have an effect on the overall value of your event. The advantage of your settlement offer is that you can still negotiate a higher sum, but this could take longer. For a more detailed assessment, contact a Personal Injury Attorney now.
The payment of a monetary amount in the hopes of restoring you to your pre-injury status is known as personal injury compensation. In general, compensation can be divided into two types: tangible and intangible damages. Financial losses are covered by tangible losses, while intangible losses cover non-economic losses.
The following are examples of concrete damage compensation, although they are not exhaustive.
Hospitalizations, surgeries, and physical rehabilitation are examples of past and potential medical expenditures.
Benefit loss — past, current, and future: this occurs when you have been unable to function due to a personal injury.
All other costs incurred as a result of your personal injury.
Intangible loss compensation can include, but is not limited to, the following:
Emotional and emotional anguish
Chronic and/or permanent injuries or disfigurement, as well as pain and suffering
Punitive damages are awarded when the complainant must be pushed beyond their original location.
The loss of companionship as a result of the injury is known as loss of consortium.
Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident
The statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury lawsuit after a traffic accident in California is two (2) years, after which the claim will be forever barred from being taken to court.
However, the statute of limitations on property damage caused by a car accident is three (3) years from the date of the accident.
Finally, a car accident involving you and a government official (state, local, or federal) has a six-month statute of limitations from the date of the accident. If the government agency rejects your allegation, you have another six months to file a personal injury case against the responsible government entity.
When it Leads to Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases brought by the family of those who died as a result of someone else's negligence or misconduct. In these situations, the statute requires the decedent's relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit claiming punitive damages. The purpose of the wrongful death case is to compensate relatives who relied on the deceased for financial and/or emotional support.
You can often find this civil aspect in conjunction with a criminal case, but it can also exist independently of a criminal action. In all cases, however, the family must be able to show that the death was caused in part by the defendant's actions and that the death resulted in emotional and/or monetary harm to the affected family members.
Personal injury and wrongful death cases are daunting and complicated. If a major accident or death happens, insurance providers seek to restrict their exposure or liability. Insurance firms employ lawyers whose sole purpose is to disprove any part of the plaintiff's lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed by or on behalf of the decedent's spouse, children, or relatives or by the decedent's estate. Negligence must be proven, and a Personal Injury Attorney will be adept at assisting wrongful death victims in proving the four elements of negligence:
The defendant owed the deceased duty of care.
The defendant broke that duty of care.
The defendant's neglect of duty resulted in the death of the victim.
As a result of the death, the survivors have suffered losses.
In addition to proving negligence, a Personal Injury Attorney should establish the deceased's potential life expectancy in order to prove a lack of future earnings. An equal harm award requires an effective display of non-economic or emotional injury.
A wrongful death case does not add to the burden that still exists after a loved one passes away. Instead, the family should look for a caring and competent wrongful death solicitor to take over the case and advocate on their behalf as they grieve. Obviously, no amount of money will ever compensate a family for the physical loss of a loved one, but damages can help compensate a family for losing a loved one.
The Difference Between a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death and a Lawsuit for Survival
The complainant may file a lawsuit under California's loss of consortium civil statute if the defendant's negligent actions result in serious injury but not death. This means that, as a result of the defendant's neglect or behavior, the domestic partner or spouse suffered a loss of affection and/or companionship with their injured partner or spouse.
Furthermore, the decedent's estate will file a survival cause of action under California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.30. The survival suit is similar to a wrongful death suit (they are normally filed together), but it compensates the decedent's estate rather than their family members. In essence, family members file a wrongful death lawsuit, while the decedent files a survival cause of action. A survival case is so named because the decedent's right to sue for damages "survives" their death.
A survival cause of action, unlike a traditional wrongful death claim, results in punitive damages being imposed on the defendant. This is why most wrongful death cases include and are pursued alongside a survival cause of action.
How long would it take to get a settlement for a personal injury case?
This question does not have a clear response. There is no such thing as a correct or incorrect answer. Depending on the parties involved, the businesses involved, and the type of damages you're seeking, you and your Personal Injury Attorney could resolve the case in a matter of days or years.
You could settle quickly if you're suing a large and well-known corporation for failing to conduct a proper employment search on a drunk driver who caused you serious injuries.
If the driver has a long history of DUI arrests and the company is unaware of it, the company does not want the negative publicity that a long-running case will bring. This means they will offer to resolve the case quietly outside of court.
If you sue anyone for your injury, they may not have the financial means to compensate you, or their insurance provider may refuse to pay you more than they originally provided. If they refuse to settle, this could go on for years, which can be aggravating.
There is no right or wrong response, and it's impossible to predict what will happen to you if you plan to pursue a lawsuit. You should expect to wait a long time for your check to arrive, but it's always good when it arrives a little sooner.
Find A Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
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