Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States that can result in severe injuries, extensive property damage, and even death. If you’ve been affected by a car accident in Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer at Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Our car accident lawyers are committed to getting the justice and compensation you deserve.

Why You Need a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are complicated. You not only have to deal with the trauma of sustaining injuries, but you also have to deal with more practical matters—like filing an insurance claim and gathering medical documentation. With a full-time job and a family already on your plate, you don’t have time to deal with the aftermath of a car accident someone else caused.

When you hire a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, they’ll take care of these things for you so you can focus on recovering and returning to life as normal. Our lawyers handle everything from investigating the accident and gathering evidence to filing your claim and negotiating a settlement with insurers. We also know local laws and the legal landscape surrounding California car accidents, increasing your chances of securing maximum compensation. You can count on us to have your back when you need it most.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Los Angeles

Car accidents happen all too easily, especially on the many congested roads of Los Angeles. While we can’t predict when and why accidents will occur, we do know what factors increase the likelihood of one happening. Let’s take a look at the leading causes of car accidents in Los Angeles.

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Improper turning
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Vehicle defects
  • Driver fatigue
  • Disobeying traffic signals
  • Reckless driving
  • Road construction
  • Teenagers driving
  • Poor weather conditions

What to Do After a Car Accident in Los Angeles

Taking the right steps after a car accident can safeguard you against any legal problems and protect your chances of securing compensation. Here’s what you should do immediately after an accident.

  1. Seek emergency medical attention: If you sustained major injuries, call 911. First responders will arrive to administer emergency medical care.
  2. Contact the police: Officers will arrive to gather witness statements and complete a police report. If officers don’t arrive because the accident was relatively minor, file an accident report through your local DMV. Obtain a copy of either report for future reference.
  3. Exchange information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes your phone number, license plate number, insurance policy number, and vehicle year, make, and model.
  4. Gather evidence: Take plenty of photos and videos of the scene. Your lawyer will use this documentation to assess the damages, determine liability, and calculate compensation.
  5. Seek medical care: Even if you think you’re fine, we urge you to visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic on the day of the accident. Medical professionals will look for any minor or internal injuries you may have sustained.
  6. Contact a car accident attorney: Contact a car accident lawyer at Steinger, Greene & Feiner to discuss the accident, address any questions and concerns you have, and create an action plan.
  7. Notify your insurance company: Let your insurance provider know about the accident. This step will initiate the claims process. Be prepared to answer questions about the accident over the phone with an adjuster.

California Car Accident Laws

California’s car accident laws can be confusing, especially if you have no experience with them. That’s why we’re here to help. Our attorneys are experts in California law and know how to navigate the complexities of it thanks to years of experience. We’ll go over the three main laws you should know.

1. Statute of Limitations

California’s statute of limitations for car accidents and other personal injury cases is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your injuries and property damage.

2. Fault-Based Car Insurance

California has fault-based car insurance laws in place to ensure drivers will be covered financially when they get into an accident. These are the requirements:

  • $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident of bodily injury coverage
  • $5,000 of property damage liability coverage

If someone else caused the accident, you will likely file a claim with their insurer, who will cover the cost of your losses up to their client’s policy limit. If you caused the accident, you will likely file a claim with your insurer, who will cover the cost of your losses up to your policy limit.

3. Liability Laws

California is one of 12 states that practice pure comparative negligence—a legal principle that allows partially at-fault plaintiffs to seek damages from partially at-fault defendants. The plaintiff’s compensation is simply reduced by their percentage of fault, which can reach up to 99%.

Here’s an example. Let’s say $100,000 in damages is awarded in a car accident case in which the plaintiff is 75% at fault and the defendant is 25% at fault. The plaintiff would receive $25,000, while the defendant would receive $75,000. Even though the plaintiff was primarily responsible for the accident, they still received some compensation for their losses.

Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can result in various physical and psychological injuries, which can range from mild to severe. These include:

Physical Injuries

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and head wounds
  • Internal organ damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
  • Amputations and severed limbs
  • Hemorrhage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia

Psychological Injuries

  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • PTSD

Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, some accidents are so severe that a life is lost. In these tragic situations, surviving family members can recover compensation for expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Los Angeles

Even though our team will take care of filing your car accident claim, it’s still good to know what steps are involved.

  1. File a complaint: We will file a complaint with the court handling your case, explaining what happened, the amount of compensation you’re seeking, and your grounds for filing a lawsuit. Remember, this complaint must be filed within the two-year statute of limitations to be considered.
  1. Serve the defendant with the complaint: We will inform the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against them. This process is called serving the complaint. We abide by the court’s strict guidelines to make sure the complaint is served properly.
  1. The defendant files an answer to your complaint: The defendant, usually through their attorney, will either admit to or deny the allegations made against them in the lawsuit.
  1. Discovery: During this stage, both parties will exchange information, such as documentation, and answer questions regarding the case.
  1. Trial: If the case can’t be settled outside of court, each party’s legal representative will present evidence and argue their case before a judge and jury. Witnesses will likely be called to the stand to provide their testimonies and be cross-examined by the opposing party’s legal counsel. Once all arguments have been made, the judge and jury will deliberate to produce a verdict. The verdict determines who gets compensation and how much.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Before we take your case to court, we’ll try to negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company, the defendant’s insurance company, or both. This process involves a series of offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached—if one can be reached. Thankfully, most plaintiffs and defendants would rather settle than take the case to court, which means a settlement is typically achieved.

Our Car Accident Settlements and Verdicts

We work hard to secure maximum compensation for our clients. Wondering how much we can get you? Take a look at how much we’ve gotten for previous clients to get an idea.

$1.5MOur client was in an accident with a car that illegally entered oncoming traffic.
$1MA commercial shelf at a convenience store fell, trapping our client underneath it.
$800KOur client was driving on the highway and was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler.
$1MOur client was hit by a driver who ran a red light.
$750KOur client was rear-ended while stopped in traffic.
$1.2MOur client was cut off while driving, causing them to hit a pole and drive into a body of water.
$467KWrongful Death after a semi-truck accident
$100KWrongful Death after a semi-truck accident
$1MOur client slipped and fell at an indoor trampoline park.
$507KOur client was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by a tow truck.

Factors That Influence the Settlement Amount

No two cases are the same, and no two cases receive the same amount of compensation. There are a few factors that impact how much a case is worth.

  • Liability: Each party’s percentage of fault will impact the damages they can recover.
  • The extent of the injuries: More severe injuries typically result in a bigger payout to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative treatments.
  • What insurance companies are willing and able to cover: Insurance companies can only cover the cost of damages up to your or the defendant’s policy limit. They also might try to offer a settlement that’s lower than what you deserve.
  • The quality of legal representation: The experience and expertise of your car accident attorney will have a significant impact on how much compensation you receive. That’s why it’s important to do your research before hiring a lawyer.

FAQs About Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

1. If I’m undocumented, can you still take my case?

Yes. Your immigration status cannot be used against you in a civil case. You have the same rights to justice and compensation as a documented US citizen.

2. Can I get compensation for a car accident if I am partly to blame for it?

Yes. Since California practices pure comparative negligence, you can be up to 99% at fault for a car accident and still recover damages. But expect your compensation to be reduced by the percentage of the fault you contributed.

3. What if I was working or on the clock at the time of my accident?

Depending on the details of your case, you might be able to file a claim against your employer or a third party for failing to address a hazard they knew or should have reasonably known about. We’ll help you navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation claims.

4. What types of compensation am I entitled to?

As the victim of a car accident, you’re entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic damages are tangible financial losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and physical therapy.
  • Non-economic damages are intangible, non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, psychiatric counseling, and reduced earning capacity.

If you have questions about what losses you have suffered and how much compensation you can get for them, give us a call.

5. What should I avoid doing after a car accident?

We’ve covered what you should do after getting in a car accident. Now, let’s go over what you should avoid doing.

  • Leaving the scene: We know car accidents are scary. You might be afraid of the consequences, whether or not you caused it. But resist the urge to leave the scene to avoid these consequences. Leaving the scene before exchanging information with the other driver(s) is illegal in most states and can result in a hefty fine or even jail time. You also might not be able to collect insurance money due to liability issues. At the end of the day, leaving the scene makes you look guilty—even if you aren’t. So don’t do it.
  • Admitting fault: Whatever you do, don’t admit fault for the accident. The other driver, their lawyer, and either of your insurance companies can and will use this admission against you to reduce your settlement or deny your claim altogether. Avoid saying things like “I didn’t see you,” “It was an accident,” or even “I’m sorry.” While these are natural reactions in a stressful situation, they can end up costing you your rightful compensation.
  • Not documenting everything: Gathering and documenting evidence is essential for a successful car accident claim. Everything from photos and videos of the accident to medical bills and vehicle repair estimates will help your lawyer accurately calculate your losses so you receive sufficient compensation. Plus, any judge or jury will need evidence to determine fault and assign damages.
  • Not seeking medical attention: The most important reason to seek medical attention after a car accident is to make sure your injuries are treated properly. Another reason to seek medical attention is to have documentation of your injuries and the cost of treatment received. This is another piece of evidence that will help your lawyer accurately calculate your losses.
  • Not hiring a personal injury lawyer: While not required, legal counsel will significantly increase your chances of securing maximum compensation. Our car accident lawyers have the knowledge and skills that make for a successful claim.

Get a Free Consultation with a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Steinger, Greene & Feiner is California’s trusted car accident law firm. Our attorneys have the credentials and experience required to achieve the outcome you want. But don’t just take our word for it; see what our satisfied clients have to say about working with us.

Start today with a free case evaluation to get one step closer to justice.