Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyer
As any driver in the Los Angeles area knows, car accidents happen every day. Most drivers will be involved in at least one car accident sometime in their lives. Many of these accidents are minor (“fender-benders”) and do not cause any injury. However, car accidents can also result in permanent orthopedic injury, paralysis, burns, and even death. The number one cause of traumatic back injury is car accidents. They are also the number one cause of death for teenage drivers. Even a case of “whiplash” can cause a lifetime of discomfort.
There is really no such thing as a typical car accident. Sometimes lower speed accidents can result in serious neck injures, and sometimes people walk away from high speed collisions without an ache or pain. Each case is unique. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always see it that way. The insurance companies argue if there is not a great deal of property damage to the car, then there won’t be any injuries. Sometimes that is true, but since each case is unique, the cookie cutter approach taken by the insurance companies results in unfair offers to compensate victims of car accidents. It is the job of your attorney to make the insurance company see you as an individual, not a list of symptoms.
In every car accident case, the two main questions are 1) Who caused the accident and 2) What are the injuries? Sometime the first question is easy to answer, such as in rear-end accidents. But in other situations, like multi-car collisions, red light disputes, or right of way disputes, the cause of the accident itself is in dispute. In order to determine who caused the accident, your attorney must analyze the police report, scene pictures, witness statements, and any other piece of available evidence. Although investigating police officers do their best to determine the cause of an accident, police reports are often inaccurate. Also, the opinion of the police officer is just that, an opinion of who caused the accident. It is not the final word on the subject.
After determining who is at fault, the next question relates to the injuries. Insurance companies always fight on this point because it is the insurance adjusters’ job to save the company money, not to help the victims of negligence. This is why you need an experienced attorney in your corner. Your attorney should help coordinate your medical treatment, assist you with payment options, such as medical liens, obtain all of your medical records, and present them to the insurance company with an explanation of how the injury effected your life. This is the only way to maximize the value of your case. The insurance company has to see you as a person, not a set of symptoms. At the Law Offices of Mann & Elias, we are experts at maximizing the value of your case.
Should I Talk with Insurance Adjusters?
No. First contact the firm of Mann & Elias for prompt and knowledgeable representation if you become part of a fender bender accident. There is no reason why you should pay for repairs caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence, but only your personal injury attorney will be interested in proving that for you. The insurance adjuster only wants to get their client out cheaply or for nothing, and the other party in an accident most likely has no financial resources to pay for your damages.
Fender Bender Accidents
Drivers in Los Angeles, like those in other large cities, are very likely to become involved in fender bender accidents while driving around the metropolitan area. These little “oops” moments can cause a lot of grief, however, and they should not be taken lightly or dismissed without a thought about compensation for damages.
Is a Fender Bender Accident Serious?
Never underestimate liability and consequences. You are not alone when a fender bender occurs, even if the other driver decides to deny fault or responsibility for the damages.
- Your Mann & Elias auto accident attorney will stand up for your rights in the arguments to help you achieve fair and reasonable compensation, even for minor damages.
- Another thing to consider is a police record that might be affected if you are wrongfully charged with liability.
- Insurance rates can skyrocket due to minor fender benders and so can the resultant costs for repairs to a vehicle, and you know insurance companies do not want to pay out claims at all.
Of the many vehicle accidents that occur daily, rear end accidents are the ones that frequently cause life-changing physical damage. In just a quick action-reaction whiplash instant, the delicate spinal cord can be squeezed, smashed or snapped. The result from any whiplash to the neck injury could be permanent paralysis or lifelong impairment. Injuries that occur during rear end accidents may not be immediately apparent, but evolve much later in time. For this reason, any person who is involved in a rear end auto accident should obtain legal representation immediately, to protect their rights to compensation for any and all injuries attributed to that accident.
What Causes Rear End Accidents?
Most often, the causation factor of rear end accidents is placed upon the driver of the car that hits another vehicle from behind. Here’s why:
- Road rules demand that drivers maintain a sufficient distance apart from vehicles in front to allow them to safely stop without a collision.
- With in-town driving in crowded metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, drivers may be unable to maintain safe distances from each other, and this leads to rear end collisions.
Fatal Car Accidents
Los Angeles County ranked #1 of all California counties in the year 2010 for the number of fatal car accidents, with 561 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The heavily populated county maintained this statistical lead over many past years, in part due to the large Los Angeles metropolitan area filled with highways and millions of drivers.
- Of 2,715 California fatal car accidents in 2010, 1,556 occurred in urban locations.
- In 2010, there were 561 fatalities from car accidents in Los Angeles County.
- Statewide, 34% of all fatal accidents involved passenger cars.
What Accidents Cause Fatalities?
Many car accidents are caused by drug or alcohol use, inattention, inexperience or excessive speed. Most fatalities occur when parts of the head, neck, chest or spine are tossed with force against objects or pierced by wreckage. There is force applied to the body, skeleton and brain when the car stops suddenly due to a collision but the occupants inside the vehicle continue to move forward at a rapid speed until they also are stopped by hitting the vehicle interior or when they are ejected from the vehicle and collide with objects like trees, bridges or other vehicles.
What Injuries Likely to Occur in an Accident Result in Fatalities?
With a collision, the human body is apt to experience trauma great enough to result in death.
- There may be severe bruising, amputation and broken bones.
- If there is fire, jagged metal or glass, or if the body is thrown along the pavement, there could be additional cuts, tears, scrapes and other skin and facial damage harmful enough to cause death.
- When physical damage is severe, the person may die at the scene.
- Decapitation is another occurrence in fatal car accidents.
The head-on collision attorneys at Mann & Elias understand the deep and traumatic aftermath that these serious vehicle accidents can have on survivors or the families of those killed in such tragic crashes. Los Angeles and other large cities that have fast traffic on city freeways, toll roads and country highways are prime locations for fatal head-on collision accidents.
Why Are Head-on Collisions So Dangerous?
Head-on collisions are especially dangerous because speeds can be cumulative between the two colliding vehicles, resulting in damage far above that of a rear end accident or side-swipe incident.
- Major damage to a vehicle front end can easily become declared a total loss
- Medical expenses for vehicle occupants can be enormous
- Fatalities are often the result of highway head on accidents
- Passengers are subjected to rapid deceleration and its impact upon the body, including traumatic brain injuries
What Causes Head-on collisions?
Most often, the cause of head-on collisions is loss of control. This may occur for a number of possible reasons:
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Poor road conditions or weather effects
- Inexperience handling a vehicle at high speeds
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inattention
- Vehicle parts failures or defects
Why Seek Medical Attention?
When a person is injured in a head-on collision, they should immediately seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be evident at the scene or time of a head-on collision. Being confused, dizzy or emotional may be due to unknown physical or mental injuries that only a physician can detect.
Highways, by the very nature of their purpose to make travel direct and fast, can become tragic for anyone unfortunate enough to become involved in Los Angeles highway accidents. High speed travel is convenient and welcome, but when something goes wrong and an accident occurs, the results can be both costly and tragic.
What Happens in Highway Accidents?
Rollovers, head-on collisions, multi-vehicle crashes and collisions with barriers can easily damage vehicles and harm occupants of those vehicles. Auto accident attorneys at Mann & Elias Law Firm have decades of experience winning awards and settlements for their clients who have been injured or had loved ones killed in high speed highway accidents.
Why Are Highway Accidents So Costly?
Vehicle accidents that occur at high speeds will cause extreme damage to the vehicles and potentially to vehicle drivers and passengers. In a flash of negligence or distraction, a driver can lose control of their vehicle or collide with another vehicle or structure along the way. Several inherent problems can contribute to accident costs when you travel on highways:
- Obstacles next to the road – bridges, signs
- Animals crossing the road
- Sudden stops in high speed regions
- Heavy truck and automobile traffic travelling at high speeds
- Driver fatigue and inattention or boredom
Highways are frequently used by large trucks. These giants are apt to be rear-ended by careless or distracted motorists. Road conditions and dangerously slippery highways may cause big rigs to jack-knife into accidents if fatigued drivers overcompensate for sudden loss of control in hazardous weather. Mann & Elias attorneys know how to gain maximum compensation for clients injured on California and Los Angeles highways.
What Consequences Can Be Expected?
Highway accidents can be particularly dreadful, with twisted metal causing extensive physical injuries to vehicle occupants and drivers. Medical expenses, long-term treatment, physical therapy and special equipment for those who are temporarily or permanently disabled by their injuries can run into unmanageable financial pressures. Insurance companies resist big payouts and adjusters try to get victims to accept low compensation. Los Angeles highway accident attorneys fight for clients until a fair compensation award or settlement is reached.
Excessive speeding accidents are a major cause of fatalities in Los Angeles and on the nation’s highways, according to a recent study by the national Governor’s Traffic Safety Association. Of 32,885 people killed in traffic accidents, about a third died in crashes that involved speeding. The GTSA statistics also indicate that despite improvements in vehicles and safety equipment, those numbers have not improved over the past three decades
Are Excessive Speeding Accidents Common?
Yes, they happen daily, frequently. Many involve younger drivers who lack on-the-road experience or knowledge of how to handle their vehicle or stop safely. They are prone to make mistakes that result in speeding due to the following problems:
- Inexperience or panic
- Immaturity or poor judgment skills
- Drug or alcohol use
- Inattention or distracted driving
What Causes Excessive Speeding Accidents?
Most often, the cause behind excessive speeding accidents is inexperience. Younger persons are more likely to drive aggressively and with excessive speed. This can result in serious crashes with harmful results. Drunk drivers lose awareness of their speed and their ability to handle a vehicle is greatly diminished. Crashes caused by excessive speeding can leave victims with serious physical injuries, bodily trauma or death. The monetary impact of excessive speeding accidents is very expensive, especially when you consider that this is a preventable problem. A driver who ignores speed limits is negligent and can cause tremendous pain, suffering and expense to others they crash into.
Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents are not an exception; they happen often and can cause minor or extreme damage and sometimes physical injury. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Los Angeles. It is part of the privilege of driving responsibly for a driver to stop when they collide with another vehicle or person to determine injuries and provide identification papers.
Any person who is involved in a Los Angeles hit and run auto accident should obtain legal representation immediately by calling the accident lawyers of the Mann & Elias Law Firm. This is the best way to protect your rights to seek compensation for any and all property damage or physical/mental injuries from that accident. If you are the driver who hit another vehicle and did not stop, you also will require immediate legal representation.
What Causes Hit and Run Accidents?
Most often, the cause behind hit and run accidents is fear. There can be contributing factors that cause a driver to run away from the scene of an accident they have caused. These may include:
- Fear of the authorities can be a factor for many persons
- Being an unlicensed or otherwise illegal driver
- Fear of losing driving privileges
- Ignorance of the law (but this is never an excuse)
- Drug or alcohol use
- Inexperience or panic
- Speed and loss of control of a vehicle
What to do after an accident:
- File a police report.
- Obtain contact information for everyone involved in the accident. Include their name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number and driver’s license number.
- Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and any vehicles involved in the accident before you leave the accident scene. Also, photograph any injuries such as bruises, cuts and bleeding.
- Do not talk to an insurance adjuster. Talk only to your doctor or lawyer.
- Consult your lawyer before signing anything. Anything you sign or say to be helpful can easily be misinterpreted and turned against you.
- Go to the hospital if you are injured and explain exactly how you received your injuries.
- Report memory problems, confusion or disorientation, however minor these things may seem at the time.
Car Accident Checklist
Drivers involved in Los Angeles car accidents should create a detailed car accident checklist in order to fully recover any and all due compensation for medical expense and repair costs related to the accident.
What Items Should be Included on a Car Accident Checklist?
Never underestimate costs incurred due to a car accident. Injury attorneys at Mann & Elias Law Firm can help you create a list that includes all items they want to investigate. Here is a beginning list of important items to put on your checklist:
- Historical Statement of Events, as you recall them. Put in chronological order according to memories you have or that witnesses supply to you.
- Statistical Data – month, day, year, time of day, weather conditions, traffic conditions, road condition, any hazards in the area of the accident, type of vehicles – models, years, colors, condition.
- Personal Data – your name, address, telephone, age, weight, height, years you have been driving, accident history.
- Related Events to time of accident – local events in progress at that area, unusual road conditions such as construction work, malfunctioning traffic control signals, missing or misleading signage, detours, etc.
- Vehicle Facts – vehicle information, VIN, license numbers age, condition, last maintenance, where you have it serviced.
- Witness Information – names, address, telephone numbers of any witnesses.
- Relevant Materials or Evidence – photographs taken at the scene, police reports, medical reports, repair estimates, driver license numbers of all drivers.
Contact an Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
There are many additional factors to analyze in a car accident such as insurance limits, comparative negligence, pre-existing medical conditions, etc. Even knowing how the different insurance companies handle claims is an important piece of the puzzle. This is why you need an experienced attorney. After an accident, it is vital that you have an attorney to walk you through the process. The insurance company has professional adjusters to save them money. Who will you have in your corner?
When you have been injured in a Los Angeles car accident and everyone you are dealing with is looking out for themselves, it is important to have an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney looking out for you. The law office of Mann & Elias has represented clients in hundreds of personal injury claims. Our most recent results include a number of excellent verdict awards and insurance settlements for automobile accident claims.
Contact the Los Angeles auto accident lawyers at the law offices of Mann & Elias at 323-857-9500 for the straightforward legal advice and serious representation you need.
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