Motor vehicle accidents claim the lives of about 37,000 people annually. Additionally, 2.4 million are injured in traffic accidents. In California, more than half of traffic fatalities occur involving single-car accidents.
Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. It is a normal occurrence to see California freeways and roadways congested. Due to the large population and city design, car accidents are a common reality in California.
Being involved in a serious car accident can be traumatic for anyone involved. It may be difficult to know what to do after an injury. However, the decisions you make in the moments, hours and days following a motor vehicle accident can have a lasting impact on both your health and your future financial stability.
L.A. Car Accident Attorney in California
Have you sustained a serious injury from a car accident in the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County area? If this applies to you, it is vital that you seek advice from a dedicated car accident lawyer. You may qualify for compensation due to your damages.
A negligent driver’s insurance company may do a multitude of things to avoid a settlement. You need an attorney who will aggressively fight for your case. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC represent clients who have been injured in any type of auto accident.
Yarian & Associates, APC is composed of a team of experienced collision attorneys. We have handled many car crash cases with settlements and verdicts in the millions. Our attorneys represent clients in Los Angeles and adjoining areas including Long Beach, Visalia, Irvine, Glendale, and Pasadena.
Are you unsure of what’s next? Let us guide you. Call (844) 291-1911 or schedule an appointment online today.
Overview of Car Accident Claims in California
First Steps after a Car Accident
Your first concern after a car accident should always be obtaining any necessary medical treatment. Some injuries are not immediately obvious. For instance, some feel the effects of whiplash days following the accident.
In addition to protecting your health, seeking medical assistance promptly can also help protect your claim. If you seek medical care immediately you will obtain medical records. Any kind of medical record can be proof and a progression record of your injury.
Depending on your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your motor vehicle accident, you should try to take additional steps to preserve your injury claim. For instance:
- If you are able, collect contact information from any witnesses
- Avoid making statements like, “I’m sorry! That was totally my fault!” at the scene of the accident—many people make this type of statement emotionally or to be reassuring, but it can come back to haunt you
- Do not sign any written statements done by law enforcement
- Take photos, videos, and other evidence of the accident
- When asked what happened by law enforcement, keep your story short and concise
- Be cautious in interactions with an insurance company—though the representative will likely be friendly and supportive, their job is to save the company money by weakening your claim
- Talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident
Car Accident Statute of Limitations in CA
In the Los Angeles-Long Beach metro area, an injured person typically has a statute of limitations of two years to file a lawsuit for damages. However, in some circumstances, shorter limitations periods apply.
For example, an injury claim against the city of Los Angeles must be filed within six months. This is because you are filing a claim against a government entity. If you pass the time limit for the statute of limitations, you are never able to recover compensation for your injuries.
The Advantages of Acting Quickly in a Car Accident Case
Though most car accident victims will have up to two years to file a lawsuit, there are good reasons to speak with a car accident lawyer right away. For example:
- The earlier in the process you secure representation, the less interaction you’ll have to have with insurance companies and other parties;
- Seeking advice soon after the accident will help protect you from innocent mistakes that may harm your case;
- With the passage of time, important evidence may be lost or destroyed; and
- Over time, witness memories fade and become confused, or witnesses may be difficult to locate.
Common Causes of California Car Accidents
Most car crashes are avoidable. Negligence is the reason for most injuries and fatalities suffered in California.Thousands of people are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured by distracted drivers every year. Texting and driving are huge distractions in Los Angeles. However, many other distractions can be equally dangerous. Some common examples include but are not limited to:
- Drinking coffee
- Talking on the phone
- Turning to talk to children or backseat passengers
- Using GPS navigation
- Playing games on a mobile device
- Lighting a cigarette
- Watching videos
- Putting on make-up
- Taking off a jacket
- Searching for something in a purse or a dropped object
Most drivers engage in one or more of these behaviors. All of these actions divert attention from the road for a few moments. However, an automobile travels a significant distance in just a few seconds. The briefest inattention can be dangerous.
A significant percentage of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. If it’s from work, children, or another issue, sleep-deprived drivers are operating at a degree of impairment. You may be surprised to learn just how dangerous that impairment is.
Los Angeles County residents have incredibly busy schedules with little sleep. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that a driver who has slept fewer four hours or fewer is 11 times as likely to crash. A driver who has slept less than seven hours is much more of a risk than the standard driver.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is an illegal offense. Yet, there are tens of thousands of DUI arrests in Los Angeles each year. These statistics do not include all the impaired drivers who are not arrested. Statistics show impaired drivers will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.
Studies state that 29 percent of California traffic fatalities involve a driver whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. According to the NHTSA, an impaired driver has issues with concentration, speed control, processing capability, and perception.
Alongside this, driving under the influence includes the use of drugs such as marijuana. Marijuana users are increasing in California. 13 percent use marijuana at night and drive with cannabis in their system. A marijuana user is 25 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident.
More than a quarter of traffic fatalities occur in accidents in which at least one driver was speeding. That’s not a surprise, given that 60 percent of drivers were reported to admit speeding in a study. A person speeding may not have the reaction time to brake if an obstacle occurs.
While speed is often a factor in the accident, it is often combined with other risky behavior on the road. For example, 45 percent of speeding drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in 2015 were also under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
Other Car Accident Causes
There are many other possible causes of car accidents. Some other common causes include:
- Reckless driving
- Weather-related visual impairment
- Icy or wet roads and bridges
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper turns
- Vehicle defects or faulty maintenance
- Loose objects in the road
- Tire blowouts
- Medical conditions
Most of these causes involve factors beyond the driver’s control. However, weather conditions, debris in the road, and road maintenance negligence may still play a role. For example, a driver in a rainstorm may be driving too fast for conditions, even if he or she is not exceeding the speed limit.
Damages in a Car Accident Case
Damages in a car accident case will depend on a variety of factors. Some may be the degree of fault attributed to each party, the severity of the injury, the cost and duration of medical treatment, and other losses.
Injuries in a car accident may range from relatively minor, such as cuts and lacerations, to permanent injury or death. Some injuries commonly sustained in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Broken Bones
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Other Neck and Back Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Burn Injuries
In addition, a victim of a serious car accident may suffer psychological injuries. A victim may suffer from anxiety, depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Treatment of some of these injuries can be extremely expensive, and some require lifelong medical care. For example, a car accident victim suffering from a traumatic brain injury may have headaches, vision and hearing problems, and cognitive issues that require ongoing management and medication
Damages awarded in a settlement or by a jury are intended to “make the victim whole.” Money won’t truly compensate for the pain, trauma, and other suffering associated with a serious accident. Despite this, fair compensation can help the victim and his or her family rebuild.
For example, compensation received through a personal injury lawsuit can pay for costs that occurred after the accident. This includes medical care, make up for decreased earnings, provide for any necessary accommodations, and replace property that was destroyed in the accident.
Some of the most common types of damages awarded in car and truck accident cases include:
- Reimbursement for medical costs
- Provision for projected future or ongoing medical expenses
- Compensation for lost wages, both past and projected
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Costs of therapy or psychological counseling
- Property damage
An experienced car accident lawyer can be your best source of information about the type of damages you may be entitled to.
DUI Statistics – Visit Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) website for information regarding driving under the influence. Learn more about the average age of drunk drivers, how many fatalities happen from DUIs every year, and the consequences of driving under the influence.
Car Accident Statistics – Visit the California Office of Traffic Safety and read up on statistics regarding auto and motorcyclists accidents. Learn California safety quick states, fatality and injury statistics, information from the National Traffic research and analysis, and transportation statistics.
Traffic Collision Questions – Visit the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) website and see some frequently asked questions regarding auto collisions. Get answers for your frequently asked questions, and see how you can get a copy of a traffic report, and when to contact authorities.
Talk to a L.A. Car Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been seriously injured or lost a loved one, your attention is understandably focused on healing and rebuilding. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC represent those in any type of related auto accident. Let our collective two decades of experience handling car accidents and personal injury in your case.
You can rest assured that your claim is in good hands. Our accident attorneys will gather evidence, monitor timelines and build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Yarian & Associates, APC has won millions in settlement cases and represent clients throughout the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County including Long Beach, Irvine, Visalia, Glendale, Pasadena, San Bernadino, and Santa Monica.
Yarian & Associates, APC is familiar with state, transportation and law officials in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area including the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Glendale Police Department, the Office for Tulare County Sheriff, the Office for the Los Angeles County Sheriff, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the Pasadena Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
Getting started is easy. All you have to do is schedule a free consultation right now. Call (844) 291-1911 for a Los Angeles and Glendale accident attorney today.
This article was last updated on June 21st, 2018.