California Car Accidents Overview

Car accidents in California are more common than ever. There were more than 3,500 deadly car accidents last year. The number of deadly accidents in 2017 will probably be even higher. There are many theories about why serious car accidents are happening more frequently. Some suggestions include an increase in distracted driving and driving under the influence of marijuana. Others suggest that traffic conditions are getting worse as the economy gets better. California’s roads are becoming more congested as more people go back to work.

If you have been injured in a California car accident you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to speak with an experienced California car accident attorney as soon as you can. Car accident lawsuits must be filed within a specific period of time. Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations will prevent you from getting the money you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Car accidents are stressful. If you suffer serious injuries you may become overwhelmed. It is important to keep the following suggestions in mind. These will help you to stay safe and maximize the money you get.

  • Call the Police. A police report is a valuable tool in a car accident lawsuit. The police report itself is not admissible as evidence. The information it contains, however, can be very helpful in designing your case. Information that may be included in a police report includes:
  • The names and addresses of anyone involved in the accident;
  • Descriptions, photographs, and/or diagrams of the accident and damage;
  • Witness statements;
  • Preliminary determinations of fault; and
  • Descriptions of weather, road, and traffic conditions.
  • See a Doctor. Your health and safety should be your number one priority after a California car accident. It is important to see a doctor for a full medical evaluation, even if you do not think you have been injured. Internal injuries can be hard to diagnose. These injuries can cause serious issues if they linger. The medical report will also be very valuable to your attorney. The report will help to prove that your injuries were caused by your accident. The less time between your medical evaluation and your accident, the better.
  • Call an Attorney. You should only speak to three people after a car accident: police, your doctor, and your attorney. Do not speak with other parties or insurance companies. Insurance companies will try to limit the amount of money you receive. They will try to take advantage of your emotions and the stressful situation. Consult an attorney before discussing compensation. Your attorney will understand how insurance companies operate. They will use this knowledge and experience to get the best possible settlement for you.

Why Should I File A Car Accident Lawsuit?

Car accidents are expensive. Your car and other property may be severely damaged. The cost of repairing or replacing that property can be expensive. If you suffer serious bodily injuries you will probably be faced with extraordinary medical bills. According to the CDC, California car accidents generated more than $38 million in medical costs in 2013. IF you are like most Americans, you probably do not have enough saved away to cover all of these costs. Fortunately, California car accident victims can recover accident-related damages by filing a personal injury claim. Filing a car accident lawsuit could help you recover damages to compensate for:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Nursing care
  • Salary/wages lost while you recover from your injury
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Embarrassment
  • Emotional distress, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

What If I Was Partially At Fault For the Car Accident?

In California, car accident victims can recover compensation as long as they are not entirely at fault. This means that you could potentially recover compensation through a car accident lawsuit if you were 99% responsible for causing an accident. This is because California law follows the theory of comparative fault. Your ability to recover compensation is tied to your own degree of fault. The greater your role in causing the accident, the less you will be able to recover in damages.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you were involved in an accident. The other driver was speeding and texting at the time of the accident. If you did not contribute to the cause of the accident you would be entitled to recover 100% of your car accident-related damages. If, however, you were also talking on the phone, texting, or scrolling through social media you could also be at fault for the accident. Let’s say that it is determined that you were 40% responsible for the accident. This means that your ability to recover damages would be reduced by 40%. So, if you suffered $100,000 in damages you would only be permitted to recover $60,000. The other driver, then, would be able to recover 40% of his or her damages from you.

Hiring an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer

Have you been injured in a California car accident? You may be entitled to compensation. The best way to maximize the amount of money you get is by hiring an experienced California car accident lawyer to handle your case. Attorneys understand the complex California personal injury laws and procedures. An attorney will use their knowledge and experience to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Remember, there is a limited amount of time to file a claim after an accident. In most cases, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of an accident. It is important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can. Contact our office today for more information.

West Hollywood Crash Sends Five Victims to the Hospital

At least five people were hospitalized with moderate-to-critical injuries after a recent Los Angeles car accident. The crash, which happened shortly before 2 AM in West Hollywood, reportedly involved three different cars. While police continue to investigate the crash, the victims are likely investigating the legal options available to them. If the victims decide to file a personal injury claim for damages they may be able to recover much-needed compensation.

Investigating Driver Negligence

A large percentage of Los Angeles car accidents are the result of driver negligence. When you get behind the wheel of a car in LA you assume a legal obligation to drive safely. This means only operating a vehicle with a valid license, obeying the rules of the road, and operating the vehicle in a way that minimizes the odds of harming others. Negligence occurs when a driver breaches his or her obligation. A victim who is injured because of another driver’s negligent conduct can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation from that negligent driver.

When police are investigating the crash they will be looking for any evidence that helps to explain why the accident happened. This includes searching for evidence that the driver(s) were negligent. Police may determine that drivers were negligent by:

  • Reviewing video footage from a dashcam, red light camera, or security camera;
  • Interviewing occupants of the vehicles, and
  • Speaking with eyewitnesses who watched the scene unfold.

If police determine that a particular driver was distracted, fatigued, speeding, or otherwise negligent, the driver will be assigned fault for the accident.

Comparative Fault

Sometimes there will be more than one person who is responsible for causing an accident. In these situations, victims are entitled to recover compensation from each responsible party. California law explains that liability will be allocated to the degree each party was at-fault. The more responsible you are for causing the accident, the greater your obligation to compensate the victims will be.

Three cars were involved in the West Hollywood crash. Let’s say that the drivers of Car A and Car B are both determined to be partly responsible for causing the accident. The accident victims will be entitled to recover damages from both drivers. If each driver is 50 percent responsible for the crash each driver will be 50 percent responsible for the victims’ injuries. So, if the five accident victims each suffered $20,000 in damages, each would be entitled to recover $10,000 from the driver of Car A and $10,000 from the driver of Car B.

What if the drivers of Car A and Car B also suffered injuries in the crash? In some states, the drivers would be automatically prohibited from recovering any compensation at all. Their own negligence would act as a bar on recovery. In California, however, the drivers will only be prevented from recovering compensation if the accident is determined to be entirely their fault. Since both drivers were determined to be partly at-fault, neither is barred from recovering damages. However, their ability to recover compensation will be limited by their own degree of fault. If both drivers are determined to be 50 percent at fault for the crash, each would be entitled to seek 50 percent of his own damages. The drivers would still also still be on the hook for the damages sustained by other victims.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve After a Los Angeles Car Accident

When you are injured in a Los Angeles car accident you may be entitled to recover compensation from the person (or people) responsible for your crash. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney will help to ensure that your claim is filed on time and that you are properly compensated for your injuries. If you have been injured in a crash and want to learn more about the benefits of a car accident lawsuit, do not hesitate to call the personal injury lawyers at Joshua W. Glotzer, APC.

What Damages Can a Car Accident Victim Recover?

A recent Los Angeles car accident has left at least one person dead and another four recovering from moderate-to-serious injuries. Reports indicate that a Santa Clarita woman stole a pickup truck and, in order to evade capture, sped the truck the wrong way down the 210 Freeway. While driving westbound on an eastbound road, the woman purposely attempted to hit oncoming cars and, at times, reached speeds in excess of 100 MPH.

Why the Victims Should Consider Filing a Personal Injury Claim

In California, accident victims who are injured because of the negligent and/or wrongful conduct of another person may be entitled to recover compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation can be incredibly helpful as they deal with unexpected financial burdens. A serious car accident injury can require extensive medical treatment and, in some cases, force a victim to miss time at work. Medical bills can be overwhelming enough on their own. When a victim loses their income because of an injury the financial burden can be crippling. Fortunately, the compensation that can be recovered from a personal injury lawsuit can help to compensate for these (and other) harms.

Car Accident Damages

Car accident victims in California are generally able to recover two different kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. Each of these types of damages helps to compensate the victim for different types of harms.

What are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are awarded to help compensate victims for the unexpected financial expenditures and loses they have suffered because of an accident. These damages will be limited to the amounts the victim can prove that they have lost or expect to lose. Examples of harms that economic damages can be awarded to compensate for include:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgical procedures
  • Medication
  • Medical consults
  • Lost wages, and
  • Reduced earning capacity.

What are Non-Economic Damages?

Car accident victims may suffer injuries and harms that do not necessarily cost them anything out of pocket. This does not mean that these injuries are any less serious or damaging to their lives. Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate car accident victims for these hard-to-value injuries. Examples of harms that non-economic damages can be awarded for include:

  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium, and
  • Disfigurement or scarring.

Can Car Accident Victims Recover Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are separate from other damages and are awarded solely to punish a defendant. In most cases, car accident victims are not entitled to recover punitive damages. However, if a victim can prove that the at-fault party is guilty of “wanton and reckless misconduct” they may be entitled to punitive compensation. What is wanton and reckless conduct? Courts have explained that wanton and reckless misconduct is much more than negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness. Wanton and reckless misconduct occurs when a defendant intentionally performs an act that is so dangerous “that he must have known that harm would probably result.”

The victims who were injured in the accident discussed above may have a legitimate argument for recovering punitive damages. The woman (1) drove the car the wrong way on a busy Los Angeles freeway, (2) reportedly attempted to hit other cars head-on, and (3) exceeded 100 MPH at times. It could be argued that her conduct amounted to wanton and reckless conduct.

Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a Los Angeles car accident you may be entitled to monetary compensation. It is important to know that you have a limited amount of time to act after your accident. If you do not file your claim before the two-year statute of limitations expires you won’t be able to recover the money you need and deserve. The attorneys at Joshua W. Glotzer, APC can help to make sure that your claim is filed on time and that you are fairly compensated for your car accident injuries. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn about the benefits of filing a car accident lawsuit.

The Cost of California Car Accidents

More California drivers are getting into car accidents than ever before. In 2016, there were 3,680 fatal car accidents in California. Some blame the economy, arguing that as more jobs are created more drivers hit the roads to get to work. Others blame the rise in technology, arguing that drivers tend to multitask behind the wheel.

Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that car accidents are becoming more common in California. If you have been involved in a California car accident you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Speaking with an experienced California car accident attorney is the best way to learn about your options.

Costs of California Car Accident Injuries

Car accident victims can suffer from a wide range of injuries. It can be incredibly expensive to treat and recover from these injuries. In 2013, the CDC estimates that California car accidents resulted in nearly $38 million in medical costs. Those accidents also resulted in $4.44 billion in work loss costs. Together, that adds up to nearly $4.48 billion in car accident-related costs.

How do most California car accident victims pay for these incredibly high costs? A recent study found that more than half of Americans have $1,000 in savings. The same study found that about a third of Americans have no savings, at all. If the average American is injured in a car accident it is unlikely they will be able to cover the costs by themselves.

Fortunately, California allows car accident victims to file personal injury lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries. A personal injury claim for damages can help to cover costs including:

In the event of a car accident-related death, a wrongful death lawsuit can help to cover the costs associated with a victim’s funeral.

Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident in California it is important to keep the following suggestions in mind. These steps will help to make sure that you are safe, your rights are protected, and that you are able to maximize any future damages.

  1. Ask for Medical Attention: The most important thing after an accident is your health and safety. Go to a hospital or doctor for a medical evaluation after an accident, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. A full medical evaluation will serve two purposes. First, it will help to rule out whether you have suffered any internal injuries that could be very harmful. Second, the information recorded in the evaluation can be used as evidence in any future personal injury claims you file. The sooner your injuries are documented, the more likely it is that they will be associated with your accident.
  2. Ask for a Police Report: A police report may not be admissible in court as evidence, but it is a great starting point for an investigation. When an officer arrives at the scene of the accident ask them to file a police report. The report can include information that may later be lost or forgotten. This can include witness names and statements or details about road and weather conditions. This can be very helpful to your attorney if you decide to file a claim for damages.
  3. Contact an Attorney: Insurance companies will try to take advantage of the fact that you don’t specialize in personal injury law. They will try to get you to agree to a low-ball settlement that doesn’t fully compensate you for your damages. When you hire an attorney to handle your claim you will have an expert on your side who knows how to maximize compensation.

Recovering Compensation Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you file a personal injury claim for damages after a car accident it is generally based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when one person owes a duty of responsibility to another person but fails to fulfill that duty. When you get behind the wheel of a car in California you have a duty to follow the rules and regulations of the road. You also have a responsibility to drive safely and prevent foreseeable harm. Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving are all examples of ways in which a driver could be negligent. When you are injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

In California, you can even recover compensation if you were partly responsible for the accident. Your recovery will be reduced by the percent of the accident that is your fault. Imagine you were injured in a car accident and you suffered $100,000 in damages. It is determined that you were 20% at fault for the accident because you were speeding. You would then only be entitled to recover $80% ($80,000) of your total damages. You would also be liable for 20% of damages suffered by the other driver.

The best way to learn about your legal rights following a California car accident is by speaking with an experienced attorney. They will review your case, determine potential liability, and answer the questions you have. Most car accident lawsuits in California must be filed within two years of the accident, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as you can.

Why Should I Hire a California Personal Injury Attorney?

California Personal Injury AttorneyOne California man is dead and another is reportedly fighting for his life after a car accident on June 8th in the Glen Valley area of Los Angeles. A waste management truck reportedly ran a red light and struck a pickup truck, killing its driver. The force of the collision sent it into a third car. Two passengers in the third vehicle were trapped in the “twisted wreck.”

The driver of the car is in critical condition and his passenger is reporting chest pains and other accident-related injuries. The family of the pickup truck driver and the occupants of the third car may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

How a Personal Injury Claim for Damages Can Help Car Accident Victims

Car accidents, especially those that cause significant injuries, can be incredibly expensive. One study found that the average cost of a bodily injury claim was over $15,000. Most Americans do not have savings sufficient to take care of one $500 emergency, let alone a $15,000 injury. If injuries sustained in an accident are serious and require extensive medical care, these costs can cost victims tens of thousands more.

Fortunately, car accident victims (and families of those who are killed in car accidents) may file a claim for damages from at-fault parties. Damages recovered through a personal injury lawsuit can help to pay for unexpected medical costs, rehabilitation, nursing care, property damage, and compensate for lost wages.

Why Should I Hire a California Personal Injury Attorney?

Immediately after an accident, you may be contacted by insurance companies who represent other drivers who were involved. It is important that you do not speak with them without consulting a personal injury lawyer. These insurance companies will try to take advantage of your confusion during this overwhelming and stressful time. They will take advantage of your lack of specialized legal knowledge and will likely try to convince you to agree to a small settlement. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out on each and every claim that is submitted. It is in their best interest – and not yours – to pay as little as possible.

An experienced California personal injury attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that you are able to recover the compensation you desperately need after your accident. Insurance companies will fight you each step of the way. Hiring an attorney can be incredibly important, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal processes and laws involved. In fighting to recover compensation on your behalf, an attorney may:

  • Conduct an independent investigation of the accident that caused your injuries;
  • Review the details provided in the police report;
  • Find and interview witnesses;
  • Contact and hire expert witnesses;
  • Determine potential liability;
  • Research accident statistics; and
  • Communicate and negotiate with other parties, including insurance companies.

Attorneys are experienced negotiators who understand the nuances of the law. Your chances of maximizing your recovery increase when you hire a California car accident attorney.

Many Car Accident Personal Injury Claims Based on Negligence

Many California car accident claims are based on the argument that (at least) one party was negligent, and that this negligence caused your injuries. Negligence occurs when you have a responsibility to act in a certain way and fail to fulfill that responsibility. The success of your claim will be based on your attorney’s ability to prove the negligence of another party. Negligence can be broken down into different elements. Your attorney must prove each element to be successful. A successful negligence claim for damages will show that:

  1. The defendant had a duty (responsibility);
  2. The defendant breached this duty;
  3. This breach caused your injuries; and
  4. You suffered damages as a result.

What is a ‘duty’ that a California driver may have? All drivers on California roads have a duty to “use reasonable care” when operating a vehicle. According to California law, basic standards of care that must be kept include “keep[ing] a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles” and “control[ling] the speed and movement of their vehicles.” In California, a failure to exercise reasonable care is considered negligence.

So, in the case of the accident we discussed above, let’s say that the driver of the third vehicle decided he wanted to pursue compensation from the driver of the garbage truck. A successful claim would require him to prove (1) the truck driver had a duty to follow traffic laws, including traffic signals; (2) the truck driver did not follow traffic laws and signals; (3) running the red light caused an accident involving your vehicle, in which you were injured; and (4) you suffered financial damage (medical bills, property damage) and/or other damages such as pain and suffering.

Claims based on the negligence of another person can become complicated. This is especially true when getting down to the nuances of actual and proximate causation. These theories of causation can be difficult to prove and are best handled by an experienced California car accident attorney.

Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know has been injured in a California car accident you may be entitled to recover compensation from an at-fault party. An experienced California car accident attorney can help to maximize the compensation you receive. Contact our Los Angeles office today to tell us about your accident and learn about your legal options.