Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents can be life-changing experiences, and every state has different rules for resolving these incidents and helping injured drivers recover. In Los Angeles, California, the fault system applies, so it is vital for an injured driver to prove fault for their accident before they can recover any compensation for their damages. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a car accident, someone else caused or if a family member has recently been injured in an accident, it is important to know the steps you must take to recover as fully as the law allows.

Experienced Legal Representation for Car Accident Victims in Los Angeles, CA

An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney is a crucial asset for anyone in this situation. The attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen have successfully handled many personal injury claims in Los Angeles, including those arising from car accidents. We know the challenges you are likely to face as you seek accountability and compensation for the losses you suffered, and we know how to maximize the results from each step in your recovery process.

Understanding the Importance of Legal Counsel for Your Car Accident Case

It’s technically possible for you to manage your recovery efforts on your own. You have every right to pursue compensation for a recent car accident without hiring an attorney but do not make the mistake of assuming this is a simple way to save money on legal fees. Even if the fault for your accident seems perfectly clear and you believe you have a firm grasp on the scope of your damages, you could face a wide array of unexpected complications that you may not know how to address on your own. You could also make unintentional errors that jeopardize your case award or mistakenly settle for far less than you rightfully deserve.

Managing a car accident claim while recovering from injuries can be overwhelming. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers take on the burden of legal proceedings, offering peace of mind and allowing clients to focus on healing. This support is akin to the assistance provided by our motorcycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles.

If you were seriously injured in your recent accident, or if you are caring for a loved one who suffered serious injuries in an accident, managing your legal affairs and your medical issues all at once without any help would be incredibly challenging. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney to represent you allows you to recover with peace of mind while your legal team handles your recovery efforts on your behalf. Not only will managing your recovery efforts be much easier with their help, but you will also be more likely to maximize the total compensation you win from the at-fault driver.

Navigating the fault system in California is crucial for car accident victims. Our lawyers are skilled in identifying responsible parties and proving fault, an approach similar to our handling of truck accident cases in Los Angeles.

The attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen develop individualized legal strategies for each client we represent. We know that no two car accidents are exactly alike, so no two victims will face the exact same issues in their recovery efforts. Our goal for every client is maximum compensation in the most efficient manner possible. You can rely on our firm to guide you through the insurance claim process, and if this does not yield full compensation for your losses, we are ready to build a comprehensive personal injury claim on your behalf to hold the defendant fully accountable for the damage they’ve done.

How to Prove Fault for Your Recent Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA

The first legal challenge you will face in the aftermath of a car accident is proving the exact cause of the accident and identifying the driver who injured you. Determining fault in a car accident involves collecting robust evidence and eyewitness accounts, similar to strategies used by our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers in their cases.

A few of the most common causes of car accidents that lead to civil suits in Los Angeles include:

  • Moving violations. Drivers are expected to understand and follow posted traffic signs and signals to maintain a safe flow of traffic. Performing illegal turns or lane changes, failing to stop for red lights or stop signs, or failure to yield the right-of-way where appropriate are common moving violations that result in accidents throughout the Los Angeles area on a regular basis.
  • Distracted driving. Whenever a driver isn’t paying full attention to the safe operation of their vehicle, they are significantly more likely to cause a serious accident. Cell phone use behind the wheel continues to be a problem despite the state’s ban on cell phone use while driving without the use of a hands-free device.
  • Posted speed limits intend to maintain a safe flow of traffic. When drivers speed, they increase their risk of causing accidents, and the damages from a high-speed accident can easily include catastrophic or fatal injuries. Speeding may also lead to a reckless driving charge for the at-fault driver if they cause a serious accident.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal in every state to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, but DUI continues to be a pervasive problem throughout Los Angeles and a common cause of serious accidents. A driver who causes a DUI accident faces penalties such as fines, jail time, and suspension of their driver’s license. Penalties can increase significantly if they have harmed others with their actions.
  • Vehicle defects. It’s possible for a defective vehicle or vehicle part to experience a critical failure while the vehicle is in motion. If any defective product caused your recent accident, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

These are just a few possible causes of serious accidents in Los Angeles. No matter how your recent car accident occurred, you must identify the driver responsible for causing it before you can receive recompense for your damages. Under California law, the driver who caused your accident is responsible for any damages you suffered, and your recovery is likely to entail both a car insurance claim and a personal injury suit.

When negligence causes a personal injury, the plaintiff must ID the party who caused the injury, prove they held some duty of care in the situation, and that they violated that duty of care in a manner directly resulting in their damages. To succeed with a personal injury claim for a car accident, the plaintiff must not only prove fault and show the extent of their damages, but they must also prove a direct causal link between the negligence on the defendant’s part as well as the damages they suffered. In other words, they must prove the defendant is directly responsible for their claimed losses and they did not result from any other cause.

Filing Your Car Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA

State law requires every driver to have auto insurance that meets specific coverage requirements. At a minimum, a driver must have at least $15,000 in liability coverage for bodily injuries to a single person and at least $30,000 in total accident coverage for bodily injuries to more than one person. They must also have at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage to pay for vehicle repairs.

Once you prove another driver is responsible for causing your recent accident, you can proceed with filing a claim against their auto insurance policy. You have a very limited time in which to notify the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier of your accident, but you do not necessarily need to file your claim right away. Notify the insurance carrier of the accident and your intent to file a claim, but politely inform them that you must consult your legal representative before discussing a settlement.

An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can make dealing with insurance companies much easier. Remember that insurance company representatives are trained to look for any reasons they can find to deny a claim or justify the lowest possible settlement offer, but they are far less likely to try any bad-faith handling of a claim once they see that a claimant has legal representation.

Your attorney can help file your claim and resolve any disputes that arise with the insurance carrier. Once the insurance company processes your claim, it will issue a settlement offer, and your attorney can verify that it is suitable under the terms of the policy. At this point, if you have no other damages, your case will end there. However, if insurance alone cannot fully repay the losses you suffered, you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover the rest.

Claiming Compensation With a Los Angeles, CA Personal Injury Suit

A personal injury claim helps the plaintiff receive recompense for all damages the defendant inflicted. It’s possible for a personal injury claim to arise from negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation, but it is also possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to cause a personal injury. In this situation, the defendant faces not only civil liability for the plaintiff’s damages but also criminal prosecution from the state.

After firmly proving who is at fault for your accident and securing as much compensation as you can through the insurance claim process, any outstanding damages can be sought with a personal injury suit. Under state law, the plaintiff can seek repayment of all the economic damages they suffered because of the defendant’s behavior. These economic damages are likely to include:

  • Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s vehicle. If the defendant’s insurance does not include enough property damage liability coverage to fully cover these losses, the remainder can be included in the plaintiff’s personal injury claim.
  • Medical expenses. Many car accidents cause serious physical injuries. If this applies to your case, the defendant is liable for the cost of all medical care needed to fully recover. Their auto insurance may cover a portion of your medical bills, but they must file a personal injury action to recover any remainder. The defendant is responsible for all immediate and future medical costs resulting from the accident if you suffered serious injuries that will require ongoing rehabilitation.
  • Lost income. Whenever a personal injury means the victim cannot work during their recovery, the defendant is responsible for the income the plaintiff is unable to earn during this time. Your Los Angeles car accident attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for the money you cannot earn while recovering from your injuries.
  • Lost future income. Unfortunately, some car accident victims suffer permanently disabling injuries. If the driver who hit you inflicted a permanent injury that prevents you from returning to work in the future, you can seek compensation for the future income you are no longer able to earn. Your Los Angeles auto accident attorney can help accurately calculate the future economic impact of your lost earning capacity and add this to your claim.

Once you have an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney handling your case, you might discover that you can claim much more compensation for your economic damages than you expected initially. This is only one part of your total recovery, however. State law also lets the personal injury plaintiff seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering Compensation and Other Damages in a Los Angeles Personal Injury Case

The average person is likely to hear the term “pain and suffering’” and find it difficult to assign a monetary value to intangible losses like these. California law does not place a cap on pain and suffering damages in motor vehicle accident claims, so no limit applies to how much the plaintiff may seek from the defendant. The amount of pain and suffering compensation they include in their personal injury suit should reasonably reflect the overall severity of their injuries and the scope of long-term complications they may experience because of them.

Your Los Angeles auto accident attorney is likely to use one of two methods to determine appropriate pain and suffering compensation to include with your personal injury suit. If a plaintiff has suffered injuries likely to cause permanent disabilities, their attorney can be more inclined to use the multiplier method, multiplying their total economic losses by a factor of one to five to reflect the serious nature of their condition. Alternatively, if the plaintiff is expected to fully recover in the near future, their attorney may use the per diem calculation instead. This focuses on the time it takes for the plaintiff to fully recover, awarding them a specific amount of compensation for each day they spend in recovery.

If your accident happened because of illegal misconduct, the defendant would face criminal charges, and the outcome of their criminal case may influence your recovery as well. Beyond economic damages and compensation for your pain and suffering, you could obtain punitive damages and/or restitution if the defendant caused the accident through any illegal misconduct. Your Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you understand how the defendant’s illegal behavior will impact the total compensation you could obtain.

Resolving Your Personal Injury Claim for an Auto Accident in Los Angeles, CA

It’s important for anyone who intends to file a personal injury suit in Los Angeles to understand California’s law of pure comparative negligence. Under this law, a plaintiff may still receive recompense for their damages if they are partially responsible for those damages, but they lose a portion of their compensation in proportion to their fault. If the defendant in your case asserts comparative fault and an investigation reveals that you contributed to causing your accident, the pure comparative negligence rule will apply to your case.

When a plaintiff is partly liable for their own damages, a judge will assign them a fault percentage based on their level of liability. This percentage will be how much of their award they lose as a penalty. For example, if you are determined to be 25% responsible for your accident, you lose the same percentage of the total compensation recovered. If your case amounted to $500,000 in damages, it would mean you lose $125,000 of your case award. Even slight comparative fault may result in losing a sizeable portion of your case award, so it’s vital to have an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney help with your case.

The majority of personal injury claims filed are privately settled. Instead of a protracted litigation process, the parties meet privately to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement for the claim. As long as both the plaintiff and the defendant are willing to compromise, both parties can save time, money, and stress they would otherwise face in a protracted civil trial. When you choose Belgum, Fry & Van Allen to handle your car accident claim in Los Angeles, our goal is to help settle the case as swiftly as possible. However, if litigation is unavoidable for any reason, we are prepared to represent you in court and assist you in securing the compensation you legally deserve.

FAQs About Los Angeles, CA Auto Accidents

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Los Angeles?

You have the right to try to manage recovery from a car accident on your own, and there is no strict requirement to hire legal counsel under state law. However, having an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney represent you will make every facet of your recovery efforts much easier to manage and more likely to generate the results you hope to see. Your attorney can answer questions and address concerns as they arise, and they can be invaluable for helping you maximize the compensation you secure from the at-fault driver.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident?

If you cannot recover all your damages through auto insurance, you will need to file a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver. The state enforces a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, so you must file your claim within two years of the date of your accident. Failure to meet this deadline could mean losing your chance to secure full compensation for your damages.

Will the At-Fault Driver Go to Jail for Causing My Accident?

If the driver at fault for your accident was negligent, they are liable for any damages they inflicted due to their failure to exercise reasonable care. However, if they caused the accident through any illegal activity, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they face criminal prosecution from the state along with their liability for your damages. If any illegal misconduct played a role in your recent accident, your Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you understand how this could impact your recovery efforts.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Car Accident in Los Angeles?

If you can prove that another driver is directly responsible for causing your recent accident, you have the right to seek full accountability for all damages they inflicted. Your recovery is likely to start with a claim against their auto insurance, and if their insurance cannot fully cover your losses, you can proceed with filing a personal injury claim. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can offer an estimate of your case’s total potential value.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney?

When you choose Belgum, Fry & Van Allen to handle your car accident claim in Los Angeles, there is no need to worry about expensive attorney’s fees on top of the economic losses you have already suffered. We take personal injury claims on a contingency basis, meaning you only owe an attorney’s fee after we win compensation for your damages. Additionally, your fee will be a percentage of the total amount we recover on your behalf, and you will keep the rest. This ensures you can have the legal counsel you need when you need it most without paying more than you win from your case.

Contact Our Attorneys

The attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen have years of professional experience handling all types of civil suits on behalf of Los Angeles clients, and this includes many successful car accident claims. Our team knows how to help a client prove liability for a recent accident, establish the extent of their damages, and maximize their recovery. Time is a crucial consideration for anyone in the aftermath of a car accident, so the sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your recovery. Contact Belgum, Fry & Van Allen today to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles car accident attorney and start working toward your recovery with confidence.

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