Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles Protecting the Rights of Injury Victims
Los Angeles has over 12 million residents and over 25,000 miles of roadways. Altogether, Los Angelinos drive approximately 270 million miles every day. As a result, someone will inevitably become involved in an automobile accident. It does not matter how safe you are; the risk is ever-present for anyone on the road. When a car accident happens, you need the experience, guidance, and legal knowledge that only a personal injury attorney can provide.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Accident victims may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, car repairs, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, the insurance company will often attempt to undervalue or deny your car accident claim. Insurance companies have teams of lawyers and insurance adjusters working to find any reason not to pay car accident victims for their insurance claims and deny them the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured in a car accident, do not leave your future to chance by choosing a personal injury lawyer who lacks the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain a resolution that is fully favorable to you and your specific needs. There are personal injury attorneys who may be able to promise you that they will recover financial compensation for you but do not have the skills necessary to stand up to the team of lawyers that insurance companies have working for them.
KRA Legal, PC, can provide you with the personal injury attorney you need to obtain a potential settlement. Our personal attorney has a great deal of experience in and out of the courtroom and knows how to negotiate with insurance companies.
We pride ourselves on being a valuable resource for our clients. Our team is ready to proceed with an investigation into your car accident case as soon as possible. Initial consultations are free. If we represent you, you will not owe attorney’s fees until you receive a payout through a settlement or verdict.
You need a car accident lawyer who is not afraid to stand up to the insurance company and its lawyers. Contact the law office of KRA Legal, PC of Torrance, CA, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident case.
What are the Facts About Auto Accidents In California?
Car accidents result in the death of over 700 Los Angelinos each year and more than 80,000 reported injuries. Two-car accidents are the most commonly reported type of crash in California. The No. 1 type of vehicle accident is the rear-end collision. Broadside crashes, such as T-bone accidents, are the second most common type of accident, followed by collisions that result from a driver making an improper left-hand turn. Improper turning may involve failure to look before turning across oncoming traffic, failure to signal a turn properly, and attempting to make a turn where it is illegal to do so.
Many other scenarios involve the following types of accidents in traffic which cause numerous injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles every year:
- Multiple-vehicle accidents
- Trucking accidents and other commercial vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents and other crashes involving small, motorized vehicles, such as golf carts and scooters
- Bus and train accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
It should also be mentioned that there are other factors that contribute to car accidents and the severe injuries that can result. The most common are the following:
- Speeding: in California, a majority of car crash cases are caused by the at-fault driver being impaired. Speeding significantly reduces a driver’s reaction time and can cause disastrous consequences for car accident victims.
- Distracted driving: is one of the leading causes of accidents in our state. Of course, the main component of distracted driving in California is often talking or texting while using a cell phone.
- Impaired driving: occurs when under the influence of drugs or alcohol and can have devastating consequences for all of the parties involved and potentially cause severe injury and even death.
What are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Most of us think nothing of getting in our vehicle and going about our daily routine of driving to and from work or running errands. We do not even contemplate the idea of potentially being involved in a devastating car crash. Unfortunately, however, car accident cases are responsible for a majority of injuries sustained by Californians each year.
Some of the most common injuries that citizens of our state experience are as follows:
- Head injuries: this can cause what is known as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries result when a significant impact occurs on the vehicle that the victim is traveling in. The brain slams against the skull wall, causing the potential for concussions or other forms of TBIs/ The effects of a traumatic brain injury can last anywhere from a few days, weeks, or a lifetime.
- Broken bones: car crash victims frequently suffer fractures to their arms, legs, ribs, joints, and other essential areas of the body, such as their knees and wrists. As adults grow older, broken bones take a longer period of time to heal. Depending on the extent of the injuries and their age, some car crash victims may never regain total function in the areas damaged by the auto accident.
- Injuries to the neck and spine: often associated with whiplash injuries, this type of trauma is usually caused by rear-end collisions. Even with low speeds, the neck and spine can sustain serious injuries if flung forward and backward in a quick motion. Whiplash injuries are extremely painful and difficult to treat. Another serious injury that can result when accident victims are rear-ended is herniated discs which are extremely painful and require costly surgeries to attempt to repair.
- Organ damage: the liver and the kidneys are the most frequently damaged internal organs affected in auto accidents. A ruptured spleen is also a common internal injury.
- Nerve damage: a pinched nerve can be caused after a car accident as your body’s soft tissues and muscles react to the severe trauma that it has experienced. A pinched nerve can lead to painful nerve damage if the effectiveness of the nerve is disrupted.
What If An Accident Involves A Ride-Share Vehicle?
With the invention of ridesharing companies, there are more vehicles on the road than ever before. However, because ride-share drivers are typically not professionally trained, it makes sense that there are also more motor vehicle accidents and serious injuries.
Steps To Take if You are a Passenger
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and involved in a vehicle accident, there are certain steps that you should take immediately after the collision occurs. They are as follows:
- Make sure that you and everyone else involved in the motor vehicle accident are safe and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Also, be certain to check yourself and others for potential injuries.
- Contact law enforcement authorities by calling 911 as soon as possible. When the authorities arrive, insist on being given a copy of the police report. This may prove to be invaluable at a later date.
- Seek medical treatment; even if you do not feel that you are seriously injured, you still need to be examined by a medical professional. Many accident victims do not realize the extent of their injuries right away.
- Gather evidence, if possible, while still at the accident scene. This includes the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any bystanders who witnessed the car accident. In addition, be certain to photograph any injuries that you and other passengers may have received, damage to the vehicles, and the location of the accident.
- Talk with an experienced auto accident lawyer. As an accident victim, you need to be able to understand your rights and legal options as you deal with the medical bills and other costs often associated with an accident.
If Your Car is Struck by an Uber or Lyft Vehicle
Another issue that is problematic occurs when your car may have been struck by an Uber or Lyft vehicle. You are probably wondering how this may affect your claim for compensation. The majority of Uber or Lyft drivers use their own personal vehicles to carry passengers to and from their destinations.
It often turns out that a driver only has a personal insurance policy, not a commercial policy. Insurance complications were a problem in quite many accidents involving ride-sharing drivers in the early days of these services. Fortunately, presently ride-share companies now provide insurance for their drivers designed to bridge the gap between the drivers’ own private insurance and the demands of injury claims against Lyft and Uber drivers. The amount of compensation available may vary, depending on where the driver was in the process of getting and providing rides at the time of a crash.
The following can help you understand which insurance company may be responsible for paying your claim if you have been involved in an accident with a ride-share operator:
- If at the time of the incident, the rideshare operator was not logged into their app, then the driver is considered to be just like any other motorist who has been in an accident. Therefore, your claim will be against the driver’s regular auto insurance policy.
- When the rideshare operator is logged into their app and is “available” to pick up passengers, and an accident occurs, then an insurance claim can be made against either Uber or Lyft’s insurance company, as the driver is considered to be “on duty” at the time of the incident. Under state provisions, rideshare companies must have insurance policies that carry the following minimum requirements for this type of situation. The driver is insured for $50,000 per person, $100,000 per collision in bodily injury liability insurance, and $25,000 per collision in property damage insurance.
- If a rideshare operator has “accepted” a ride and is on the way to pick up passengers when the accident occurs, Uber or Lyft is required to have $1 million dollars in insurance coverage per state law.
If you have been injured either as a passenger or were in another vehicle and struck by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, it may be confusing to know exactly whose insurance company is responsible for your claim. Frequently, there is often confusion amongst insurers themselves as to who is actually responsible for paying a claim when an Uber or Lyft driver is involved. For this reason, an accident victim may find themselves hitting a brick wall if the driver’s insurer refuses to pay a claim because the crash occurred when the driver was operating for Lyft or Uber.
For the best results in getting through the overly complicated claims processes after a ride-share-related accident in the Los Angeles area, work with attorney Kenechi R. Agu, who is highly skilled in the areas of technology and analysis. He has a proven track record of providing outstanding legal representation to his clients. Additionally, his in-depth knowledge of the most efficient and effective legal pathways for relief for the injured can be a valuable asset in your case.
You need the help of an experienced car accident attorney who can review your case and identify which insurer will be responsible for your claim.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover if I Have Been Injured in a Car Accident?
When you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries. However, most insurers do not have your best interests in mind when processing your claim. The insurance claims adjuster assigned to your case may look for every possible loophole to avoid paying what your claim is actually worth. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer who will have your future and well-being in mind.
You may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages depending on the circumstances of your particular case. Economic damages, also known as special damages in California, are meant to reimburse accident victims for the out-of-pocket expenses they experience due to their injuries. They also include financial losses that may have occurred or will potentially occur due to the victim not being able to work.
Some of the most common economic damages that California residents are typically compensated for include the following:
One of the most common types of economic damages that are recovered in car accident cases are expenses related to bills and other medical costs that an individual may have to pay due to the car wreck. Some examples of medical expenses include:
- Medical bills
- Hospitalization costs
- Consultations with specialists
- Ambulance fees
- Physical therapy
- Medical accessories or other physical aids
- In-home services
- Long-term care
Other economic damages may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature and are awarded to try and compensate a victim for pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Non-economic damages are usually decided by a jury in court. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose a personal injury law firm that has an experienced car accident lawyer who can provide you with the legal representation you need to be successful in winning your claim.
Some of the most common non-economic damages that California residents are able to recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Loved One Who Was Killed in an Auto Accident?
In California, family members do have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they believe that an auto accident caused the death of their loved one and that another person is liable for the accident. In order to successfully recover financial compensation for the loss of your loved one, your attorney must be able to prove the following:
- The deceased died as a direct result of the injuries they sustained in the accident
- The driver’s negligent actions or inaction caused the accident to occur and the subsequent death.
- Upon your loved one passing away, your family has incurred considerable costs and damages due to the injuries and death of the deceased.
- There is a clear executor or representative of the estate that filed the wrongful death lawsuit.
It should be understood that only certain members of the victim’s family are permitted under California state law to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one. This includes the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children. If none of these family relationships exist, then extended family members may be eligible to file a claim on behalf of their loved ones.
California also has a strict statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. The family has two years from the date of death in which they may file a claim.
If you would like more information about filing a wrongful death claim in the Torrance, CA, area, contact KRA Legal, PC, and ask to schedule a free consultation.
What is the Comparative Negligence Rule in California?
California is a comparative fault state. In easy-to-understand terms, this means that even the at-fault party can still recover some portion of damages that stem from a car accident. For example, a driver who is determined to be 25 percent at fault for causing the collision will only be legally obligated to pay 25% of the damages.
In cases that involve personal injury, a jury will make the final determination on how the driver’s negligence played a role in causing the accident. Based on their conclusions, they will assign a percentage of blame to the at-fault party. The award for damages will then be reduced by this amount.
How Can Your Law Firm Help Me After a Car Accident?
When you have been involved in a car accident, there are so many different things to think about. You most likely are concerned about the medical bills and other expenses that you have to deal with on a daily basis. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may also be fearful of your missed time at work and the potential loss of future wages. In many cases, the only option is to file a lawsuit in order to recoup lost wages and other damages.
Our car accident lawyer has a vast amount of experience in dealing with cases that involve motor vehicle crashes, including hit-and-run accidents. We also have enjoyed a high success rate in handling uninsured motorist cases.
After a car accident, you need time to heal from injuries and the distress you have experienced. At KRA Legal, PC of Torrance, CA, our main priority is the well-being of our clients and obtaining a car accident settlement that will not only pay the damages that you have suffered but also give you and your family future peace of mind.
After a car accident, you will often find yourself immediately receiving phone calls from an insurance adjuster who works for the other party’s insurer. Depending on the facts of your accident case, they may try to offer you a settlement that may seem tempting at first.
However, you should never accept an insurance settlement offer without consulting with legal counsel beforehand. At first glance, the offer may seem fair, but insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. They make payouts based on the good of their company. Always speak with a personal injury lawyer before you agree to any type of settlement to ensure that it is beneficial to you in the long run.
KRA Legal, PC of Torrance, CA, in the Los Angeles area, is ready to help you sort out your car accident personal injury case. Our attorney is highly skilled and focuses on automobile accident cases. We work hard to obtain compensation for our clients. When you need an experienced auto accident attorney, please contact us at 310-431-9875 or through our online intake form.