A car accident can be a devastating experience. Falling victim to a traffic accident such as a rear-end collision, or an accident caused by distracted driving, can be highly traumatic and result in irreparable damage to your physical and mental state.
Our expert team is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. You don’t pay until you win.
A car accident can be a devastating experience. Falling victim to a traffic accident such as a rear-end collision, or an accident caused by distracted driving, can be highly traumatic and result in irreparable damage to your physical and mental state. It isn’t enough to recover from the accident; you must also survive it psychologically as a car-accident victim. A Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney can help you recover and also help you cope with the emotional roller-coaster that comes after a severe accident. The significance of a lawyer to represent you after an auto accident cannot be overstated in such cases. However, finding the right lawyer can be tricky.
Avian Law Group is one of the leading law firms in California. We have been providing legal services to our clients for a long time and have established ourselves as one of the best firms in the state. Our reputation is strong, and we are renowned for our excellence in law.Why do you need a car accident lawyer?
What NOT To Do Following a Car Accident
Car accidents can deeply impact one’s life. Ensuring fair compensation is crucial to address vehicle repairs, loss of earnings, and medical bills from injuries sustained. However, obtaining deserved compensation can be challenging. To ensure the best outcome, steer clear of these 13 common pitfalls after an accident.
Overlooking Safety: Your well-being is top priority. Before collecting details or evaluating the situation, be aware of your environment. Roadways are often bustling, so be cautious when exiting your vehicle.
Failing to Exchange Information: Always secure the other driver’s essential information. This includes their name, insurance details, license number, and more. This is fundamental for any claim.
Leaving the Accident Site: In California, you must remain at the accident scene until authorities arrive. Departing prematurely can lead to legal penalties and issues with insurance claims.
Declining Immediate Medical Care: Always seek medical attention post-accident. Even if you feel okay, some injuries manifest later. Immediate medical evaluation strengthens your claim.
Feeling Guilty About Legal Action: Understand that when filing a suit, you’re mainly challenging the insurance firm, not just the individual. Sometimes, pursuing a legal route is essential for rightful compensation.
Neglecting to Notify Police: Always report the accident to the police. Their report becomes a vital piece of evidence in your claim.
Admitting Fault Prematurely: While it’s natural to want to apologize, doing so can be misconstrued as accepting blame. Always be mindful of your words after an accident.
Covering Costs Out-of-Pocket: Refrain from paying for damages immediately. Such actions could be perceived as admitting responsibility.
Oversharing with Your Insurer: Though it’s essential to inform your insurance provider about the accident, be concise. Engage a seasoned car accident attorney to liaise with the insurance company on your behalf.
Proceeding Without Legal Counsel: Engaging a competent personal injury attorney is pivotal. They can navigate the complexities of the legal landscape and significantly influence the outcome.
Discussing the Incident Openly: Refrain from discussing the accident’s details with anyone except your legal counsel. Unintended consequences can arise from innocent conversations.
Withholding Information from Your Lawyer: Always provide all pertinent details and evidence to your attorney. The more they know, the better they can represent you.
Rushing into a Settlement: Early settlement offers may seem enticing, but they might undervalue your claim. Trust your attorney’s expertise in securing a just settlement.
California Accident Reporting Guidelines
In California, if you’re involved in an accident, specific guidelines dictate when and how you should report it:
When to Notify the DMV:
If there’s a fatality.
Any injuries, even minor ones.
Damages exceeding $1,000.
If you’re unsure, it’s better to report the accident, especially if you intend to process a claim via your California car insurance.
How to Report to the DMV:
Use the DMV Form SR1.
Details to include: Personal details: name, address, birthday, and driver’s license information for all drivers involved.
Insurance data: policy number, expiration, and company for all drivers.
Accident specifics: date, time, location, injuries, and damages.
For more on which collisions must be reported, consult our article on DMV reporting requirements.
Consequences of Non-reporting:
Failing to inform the DMV might lead to a driver’s license suspension for up to a year.
If police aren’t present at the accident site, you have 24 hours to report to local police or California Highway Patrol if there’s an injury or fatality.
It’s a myth that reporting an accident will always raise your rates in California. The state prohibits insurance rate hikes if the policyholder isn’t at fault, similar to Oklahoma.
Immediate reporting aids in solidifying insurance claims. Neglecting to report might jeopardize your coverage and license, especially if the other party reports the incident.
Insurance in California mandates:
Minimum $15,000 for individual bodily injury.
$30,000 for total bodily injury per accident.
$5,000 for property damage (known as 15/30/5 coverage).
Claims typically go to the insurer of the at-fault driver due to California’s fault-based car insurance system.
When Not to Report:
If you’re the only party involved and the damage is minor.
For instance, if you hit a wall and either:
Don’t have collision coverage.
The repair cost is near or below your deductible or is manageable out-of-pocket.
In these scenarios, you might opt not to repair or pay for damages personally.
CVC § 20008: The primary requirement mandates that any accident leading to injury or death must have a written report filed to the local police or CHP within 24 hours. If a police officer is on the scene, they’ll handle the report.
CVC § 20010: If the driver is incapacitated or unable to file the report, the obligation is transferred to any of the car’s passengers at the time of the accident.
CVC § 16000: Accidents causing injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 should be reported to the DMV within a 10-day window.
CVC § 16002: Incidents involving company vehicles require the affected employee to report the accident within five days.
How to Ensure Maximum Compensation After a Car Accident
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Engaging a personal injury attorney is, hands down, the best approach to safeguarding your interests and maximizing your compensation.
Why You Need an Attorney Experienced personal injury attorneys are adept at managing the intricate dynamics of accident settlements. Their daily tasks revolve around negotiations with insurance companies, challenging defense attorneys, and probing the nuances of car accidents. Their commitment is to ensure clients receive reparation for the physical, emotional, and monetary distress caused due to a reckless driver.
Worried about attorney fees? Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis. You pay nothing upfront. They earn their fees as a percentage of the settlement, aligning their incentives with yours.
Evidence Collection is Key Proof is crucial to substantiate your claim. Gathering initial evidence right after the accident can be immensely helpful:
Obtain details: Other driver’s name, contact, vehicle details, insurance details, and policy number. Document visually: Photograph damage to all vehicles, the road, and surroundings. Witnesses: Get names and contact details. Police officers: Note their names and badge numbers. Maintaining a record of all related documents post-accident, such as medical bills, repair costs, and police reports, will reinforce your claim.
Prioritize Your Health
Always prioritize a medical check-up post-accident. Although you might feel unhurt, certain injuries, especially internal ones, might only manifest later. Immediate medical attention not only safeguards your health but also establishes a link between the accident and your injuries, crucial for your claim.
Stay Informed About Legal Obligations
Adhering to state regulations, like staying at the accident scene and reporting it, is essential. Inform your insurance company about the accident within their stipulated time frame. However, be cautious and succinct in your discussions to prevent potential claim jeopardies.
Tread Carefully on Social Media
It’s tempting to share your accident experiences online. However, insurers and defense attorneys may use your posts against you. To safeguard your claim, maintain discretion about the incident on social platforms.
Never Settle Prematurely
Avoid accepting settlements without consulting your attorney. Insurers might offer quick settlements, hoping you’ll accept a lower amount. Direct negotiations with the guilty driver can also be tricky. Trust your attorney to represent your interests effectively.
The Value of Patience
While most car accident cases are settled outside the court, arriving at a fair settlement can take time. A lawyer’s diligent groundwork ensures the clarity of your needs and rightful claim. High-value settlements often emerge after extensive negotiations and preparedness for trial.
In conclusion, navigating a car accident claim might be challenging, but with patience, the right evidence, and expert legal guidance, you can ensure a fair outcome. Your claim is ultimately in your control; your attorney is there to provide expert advice, but the final decision is always yours.
Car Accident Statistics in California
Given its size and massive population, California naturally sees a high volume of vehicles on the road. Being the third-largest state in the country by area and having the highest population, California accounts for approximately 12% of the US population. With bustling cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco, the state unsurprisingly has the highest number of registered vehicles, exceeding 30 million. More vehicles often translate to more accidents, placing California at the top when it comes to fatal car accidents. In this article, the Avian Law Group compiles recent statistics related to vehicular collisions in the Golden State.
A Glimpse into California’s Vehicle Accident Data
Here’s a snapshot of recent car accident statistics in California:
In 2021, California witnessed 57,466 police-reported car crashes.
There were 3,786 fatalities from car crashes in 2021.
Distraction-induced accidents in 2021 led to 139 fatalities, marking a 31.1% rise from the previous year.
In 2020, Los Angeles and San Diego reported the highest number of distracted driving fatalities.
A 25.3% drop in reported car accidents was observed from 2019 to 2020, attributed to reduced commuting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accident Distribution Across California Counties
2021 statistics show that Los Angeles County led in car crashes that resulted in fatalities and serious injuries, with a total of 4,651 cases. San Bernardino and San Diego followed, with 1,373 and 1,343 cases, respectively.
Important Safety Findings
A 2022 survey by the California Traffic Safety Survey highlighted the primary concerns for drivers:
75% of respondents were alarmed by “speeding/aggressive driving”. 71.5% cited “distracted driving” as a major concern.
Concerning Large Truck Accidents
Accidents involving large trucks or semi-trucks are a significant concern in California. Reports indicate that in 2020, California ranked second in fatalities from large truck crashes, with Texas leading.
Motorcycle Accidents in Perspective
With the highest number of registered motorcycles in the US, California also experiences a fair share of motorcycle accidents. The state recorded 539 motorcyclist fatalities in 2020, with unsafe speeds and improper turning being the leading causes.
A Word of Caution
The sheer volume of drivers on California’s roads, highways, and interstates makes car accidents an unfortunate commonality. To mitigate the risk, the Avian Law Group urges drivers to be cautious and attentive.
If an accident does occur, the Avian Law Group is equipped to assist you. Whether it’s a car, large truck, or motorcycle accident, our seasoned attorneys are committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for you. For more insights or assistance, reach out to our dedicated team at (818) 282-8400.
California’s roads and highways witness numerous vehicular accidents, some of which lead to severe, life-altering consequences. If you find yourself as a victim of such an incident, you might be eligible for financial compensation. However, the state’s car accident regulations will influence any potential legal proceedings. It’s crucial to comprehend your responsibilities, the criteria for establishing fault, and factors influencing compensation.
To better navigate these legal complexities, it’s recommended to engage with a skilled personal injury attorney. The Avian Law Group offers expert legal guidance tailored to California’s intricate vehicular regulations. Reach out to us for an obligation-free consultation.
Insurance Obligations in California
To legally drive in California, your vehicle must be backed by a valid financial responsibility record. Acquiring car insurance is the most straightforward way to fulfill this mandate.
The state mandates specific minimum insurance coverage to ensure accident-related expenses, be it personal injury or property damage, are covered. Drivers need to maintain a 15/30/5 coverage, which implies:
$15,000 for single-person injury or fatality.
$30,000 for multiple persons’ injury or fatality.
$5,000 for property damages.
Ensure you always carry valid insurance proof, as you may need to produce it during vehicle registration renewal, accidents, or upon law enforcement’s request. Non-compliance can lead to penalties or license suspension.
Coverage for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
California insurance providers must offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage options. These policies safeguard you when the other party lacks valid insurance or has inadequate coverage. While these policies aren’t mandatory, any refusal should be in writing.
Considering Additional Coverage
Although California enforces the 15/30/5 coverage, it might be prudent to explore other insurance options. The state’s minimum may not always suffice in severe accidents. Additional policies, such as medical payments, comprehensive, collision, and theft coverage, can provide broader protection.
Alternate Ways to Showcase Financial Responsibility
Apart from car insurance, you can showcase financial responsibility by:
Depositing $35,000 with the DMV.
Securing a self-insurance certificate from the DMV.
Procuring a surety bond of a minimum $35,000 from a state-licensed entity.
Reporting Vehicular Incidents
California law necessitates the reporting of accidents leading to more than $1,000 in property damage or any personal injury. The report should be submitted within ten days to the DMV.
Driver Duties During Highway Entry
California mandates that drivers yield to oncoming traffic when entering highways, ensuring safe merging without disrupting the flow.
Timeline for Legal Proceedings Post Accident
California legal norms dictate specific time frames for victims to lodge claims. Property damage claims have a three-year window, while bodily injuries have a two-year limit. Certain circumstances can extend these time frames.
Deciphering Liability in California Accidents
California follows the pure comparative fault principle, meaning:
Multiple parties can be held liable.
Even if victims are partially at fault, they can claim damages. This approach ensures that victims can claim some portion of the damage.
Compensation Aspects for Accident Victims
California law allows accident victims to claim both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover tangible monetary losses, whereas non-economic damages address subjective, non-tangible losses like pain and suffering.
Seek Expert Legal Assistance
To ensure you receive fair compensation post an accident, it’s essential to have a seasoned attorney by your side. Avian Law Group, with its profound understanding of California’s vehicular regulations and vast experience, can offer unparalleled legal support. Don’t wait; connect with us to learn how we can aid you in securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Understanding Car Accident-Related Harm
In addition to physical damage, car accidents can inflict subtle and often overlooked impacts on an individual’s overall well-being. The legal team at our firm is adept at identifying these nuances and ensuring victims receive appropriate compensation for all types of suffering and missed opportunities.
Major lacerations, scarring, mobility issues, spinal injuries, or traumatic brain damages can gravely diminish an individual’s life quality. With expert legal guidance in California, victims can potentially reclaim compensation for medical bills and other related damages, thereby finding a sense of resolution.
Loss of income, decreased work efficiency, and potential career setbacks are frequent aftermaths of significant injuries. By properly lodging a claim in California, one can hold the responsible parties accountable for these economic setbacks, as well as immediate medical costs.
While not as visibly evident as physical injuries, psychological setbacks like trauma and heightened anxiety can profoundly impact one’s life. Undertaking detailed investigations and procuring expert opinions are crucial to gauge the depth of emotional injuries. Our firm possesses the means to collaborate with top professionals in California to validate emotional distress, whether in court or through private negotiations.
Diminished Joy in Life
Accidents can strain personal bonds, lead to reduced intimacy with partners, or result in a decreased ability to enjoy life’s moments. By leveraging an expert attorney specialized in accident and injury cases, one can explore the intricacies of California’s legal landscape and claim compensation for these hidden damages. Our approach includes securing expert testimonials, meticulous evidence gathering, and insightful interviews.
Delving Into Car Accident Causes
What are the primary triggers for vehicular incidents in the U.S.? Here’s an overview of the key culprits behind such unfortunate events:
Driving Under Influence – Alcohol consumption before driving remains a constant global issue leading to accidents.
Negligent Driving – Ignoring traffic rules and road signs often results in devastating consequences.
Inattentive Driving – Activities such as texting, phone discussions, or internal distractions while at the wheel rank as the top reason for collisions in the U.S.
Exhaustion Behind the Wheel – Such accidents, often caused by sleep-deprived drivers, typically occur at night.
Influence of Drugs – Apart from alcohol, various drugs, both legal and illicit, can hamper a driver’s ability, causing mishaps.
Car Malfunctions – Technical issues like brake failures can unexpectedly lead to accidents.
Overlooking Traffic Lights – Disregarding red signals, although glamorized in media, can result in grave real-world consequences.
Steps to Take During a Car Accident
In the unfortunate event of a vehicular mishap, several measures should be adopted to ensure safety and legality. Avian Law Group recommends the following:
Halt: Post-accident, it’s imperative to stop. Leaving the scene, especially if injuries are involved, can lead to dire legal repercussions in California.
Alert and Safeguard the Surrounding: Position warning indicators or employ your vehicle’s hazard lights to avert further incidents. At night, use flashlights to enhance visibility.
Document the Scene: Take pictures of all damages and injuries to serve as proof and assist in insurance claims.
Alert the Authorities: Regardless of the severity, it’s essential to inform the police. Their official documentation is pivotal for insurance procedures.
Provide Precise Details: When detailing the incident to the authorities, ensure accuracy. Speculation or inaccuracies can lead to potential legal or insurance complications.
Diverse Car Accident Scenarios & Recommended Legal Steps
Accidents can manifest in various forms. Here’s a strategy for potential responses:
If Your Stationary Car is Damaged: Finding your parked car struck can be alarming. Contact 911 and collect evidence, particularly if the accountable party is nearby. This encompasses their vehicle details, license plate, and insurance information. Gathering details from eyewitnesses can also prove beneficial. Subsequently, report the incident to your insurer and consider raising a claim against the offender’s insurance.
On-Road Collision: In case of an in-transit collision, relocate to a safe location and contact 911. If injuries are sustained, consider consulting a personal injury attorney to secure rightful compensation.
Hit-and-Run Incidents: These are especially challenging. Nevertheless, collating as much data as feasible and notifying law enforcement remains crucial.
For residents of Los Angeles facing such predicaments, consider reaching out to Avian Law Group for assistance in ensuring proper compensation.
Establishing Fault in CaliforniaCar Accident Cases
To prevail in a car accident claim in California, it’s crucial to demonstrate the following aspects of negligence:
The opposing driver had a responsibility to drive their vehicle responsibly.
The said driver failed to uphold this responsibility.
This failure directly led to the mishap.
The mishap resulted in your injuries and financial setbacks.
Moreover, if the car accidents stem from road imperfections, malfunctioning traffic signals, or issues like broken streetlights, it might be feasible to initiate a personal injury claim against the city, county, or state agency responsible. However, prior to seeking legal recourse with an attorney, it’s mandatory to submit a claim notice to the relevant government entity within six months from the injury date. Furthermore, when these mishaps arise due to vehicle defects, you might have grounds to initiate a product liability case against the car manufacturer or distributor.
Entrust your car accident concerns with Avian Law Group. With a collective experience spanning over half a century, we have successfully secured substantial compensation for countless clients. Most claims culminate in detailed negotiations with insurance firms. Our seasoned team recognizes the undue advantage these companies often exercise, attempting to resolve claims with minimal payouts.
Harnessing our profound legal expertise and negotiation acumen, we aim to secure the most favorable settlement for you. Our dedicated lawyers will meticulously ensure that any compensation covers all your losses, encompassing lost income, medical expenses, emotional trauma, and any forthcoming medical or financial needs. Should insurance entities prove uncooperative, we stand ready to litigate. Our track record reflects our prowess in securing positive outcomes in legal battles.
Government Negligence in California Car Accidents: What You Need to Know
Were you involved in a car accident in California where a government employee’s negligence seems evident? For instance, if a city bus rear-ends you, there’s a distinct protocol to follow. When pursuing a claim:
Timely Notification: You must alert the relevant government entity of your claim within a six-month window.
Await Response: The state or local government should be given an opportunity to address your claims.
California Tort Claims Act: It’s essential to understand the specifics of filing under this Act when dealing with accidents caused by government negligence.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure your claim is processed correctly.
5 Phases of Engaging with a Car Accident Attorney
Here’s a breakdown of the sequential phases clients typically experience during their car accident case in California:
Phase 1: Data Collection
We amass essential documents, images, and information vital to kick-start your case.
Phase 2: Healthcare and Guidance
Our dedicated Case Managers will help you in setting up medical visits, confronting insurance agencies, and, when relevant, overseeing repairs to your vehicle post-accident.
Phase 3: Medical Record Assembly
After completing your medical care, a Healthcare Documentation Expert assists in obtaining and reviewing all pertinent medical invoices and records.
Phase 4: Settlement Discussion or Legal Action
We organize all your invoices, documents, and essential materials into a comprehensive claim package, which is then sent to the insurance provider. If their response is constructive, we engage in settlement talks; if not, we move forward to draft legal documents and commence legal proceedings.
Phase 5: Conclusion and Bill Discussion
Once a settlement is achieved or a positive legal verdict is reached, we discuss your medical bills in detail and then hand over your compensation check.
Questions to Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
Before collaborating with an attorney, it’s crucial to gather comprehensive details regarding the car mishap, any associated injuries, and financial repercussions. Essential documents to present to your attorney might encompass your insurance agreement, available police reports, data shared at the accident locale, medical documentation, and more.
Consider asking these questions when evaluating a car accident lawyer:
What portion of your legal work focuses on car accident cases?
Can you detail your experience with injuries similar to mine?
Is there a typical compensation range for cases like mine? (Note: It might be challenging to provide a precise figure until you’ve concluded your medical treatment and the full scope of injuries is understood.)
How actively will you be involved in managing my car accident case?
How do you structure your fees?
Are there any out-of-pocket costs for which I’ll be liable?
Understanding the Cost of Legal Representation
Most car mishap cases operate on a contingency basis, often termed as “no success, no fee.” This implies that unless the lawyer successfully negotiates a settlement or wins the case in court, you owe no fees. Conversely, if they secure a win, they receive a fraction of the personal injury compensation.
This fraction can differ but typically hovers around one-third of the total compensation. Be aware that maximum percentage limits might vary depending on regional regulations.
When grappling with rising expenses from injuries and treatments, you may be uncertain about procuring a personal injury attorney for your car accident claim. While navigating the process independently might seem daunting, the cost associated with hiring a car accident attorney can be a concern. So, what’s the expense for a car accident attorney in a California case in 2023? Briefly, it is 33.33% of the settlement the attorney secures for you. If your case progresses to trial or arbitration, the attorney’s fee might rise to 40% of the retrieved amount.
Evaluating the Financial Aspects of a Car Accident Claim
Victims of California car accidents are well aware that the repercussions can be both extensive and profound. These accidents can impact one’s physical health, emotional wellness, finances, and overall livelihood. A fair compensation is crucial for physical and financial recuperation.
When seeking compensation, you might be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, being tangible, are easier to determine, encompassing costs like medical expenses and car repairs. On the other hand, non-economic damages, like pain and suffering or emotional distress, are more intangible and challenging to quantify.
Understanding Attorney Fees
Though the idea of employing a car accident attorney might seem costly during a financially challenging period, understanding the fee structure can offer clarity. Common fee structures include flat rates, retainers, hourly charges, and contingency fees, with the exact amount varying across attorneys.
The majority of car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they charge a portion of the compensation they secure for you. This means you’re not liable for any fee unless the attorney retrieves money on your behalf. Contingency fees make legal aid more accessible to car accident victims, who might otherwise struggle to afford representation.
The Benefits of Representation
Evidence suggests that car accident victims represented by adept attorneys often secure significantly more compensation than those without representation. An insurance industry survey revealed that attorney-represented individuals typically receive settlements three times greater than those without legal representation. Thus, despite the attorney’s fee, the net compensation might still be higher with legal representation.
Avian Law Group: Your Trusted Partner in Car Accident Cases
The seasoned professionals at Avian Law Group are well-versed in car accident and personal injury law, boasting over 100 years of collective experience. We pride ourselves on challenging formidable insurance companies, and our track record speaks volumes about our dedication to our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, ensuring you risk nothing by enlisting our services.
Contact Avian Law Group today for a free consultation. We’re eager to answer your inquiries, and our team is committed to assisting you in securing your car accident injury claim. You can reach our firm at (818) 282-8400, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal guidance. Communication via phone, email, letter, or this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To establish such a relationship, a formal written agreement is required.