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.

California Motorcycle Accidents

California Motorcycle Accident LawyerMore motorcycles are registered in the state of California than any other state in the country. With its gorgeous open roads offering both sea and mountain views, it should be no surprise that California’s roads are inundated with motorcyclists as the summer fades in.

Increased motorcycle traffic, however, is correlated with increased motorcycle traffic accidents. California riders who are injured in motorcycle crashes can sustain significant and life-altering injuries. It is important to understand the causes and consequences of a California motorcycle accident, what to do immediately after a motorcycle crash, and how a personal injury lawsuit may help to recoup the cost(s) of recovery.

Common California Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle riders have less protection that other drivers on the road. This makes riders more prone to severe injuries, and in some cases, death. Common California motorcycle crash injuries include scrapes and bruises, concussions, whiplash, road rash, spinal cord injuries, fractures and broken bones, loss of limbs, internal organ damage or bleeding, paralysis, and death.

The expenses associated with motorcycle accident injuries can be incredibly costly. Motorcycle accident victims are often dealt an unanticipated financial blow that drains any financial reserves he or she may have had. A personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from other parties involved in the crash can help to cover these, and other, costs.

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in California?

Motorcycle accidents can happen for a number of different reasons. Common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include speeding, distracted riding, failure to yield to other vehicles on the road, executing illegal turns, poor motorcycle visibility, improper lane changes, and lane splitting.

California is the only state in the country that does not have some sort of lane splitting regulations on the books. As a result, lane splitting is a common technique used by motorcyclists to navigate through traffic and congestion. As the motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic, he or she bypasses other vehicles stuck in traffic. This can be incredibly dangerous when the rider exceeds the speed of other vehicles on the road by more than 15 miles per hour. Careless or reckless lane splitting is a far-too-common cause of motorcycle crashes in California.

What Should I Do After a California Motorcycle Accident?

Get a medical evaluation. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured you should get a comprehensive medical evaluation. Some motorcycle accident injuries do not manifest until hours or days after the crash. Getting immediate medical attention can rule out internal damage and thwart complications from arising from undiagnosed injuries. The sooner an injury is diagnosed, the easier it will be to prove that it was a result of the motorcycle crash. As more time lapses, the easier it will be for any at-fault parties to claim that the accident was not responsible.

Call the police. Again, even if you think a police report is not necessary, it is always a good rule of thumb to have an accident documented by the police. The report will memorialize important details about the crash, capture eyewitness statements before memories fade, and provide a baseline of information from which an attorney can investigate.

Contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Attorneys can be powerful allies in the wake of a motorcycle crash. Injuries can be painful, and recovering should be the injured rider’s primary concern. An attorney will be able to handle the time-consuming and complex personal injury lawsuit while the rider gets better. Personal injury attorneys are trained professionals who understand how to investigate, what to research, which experts to contact, and who may be liable.

How Will a California Personal Injury Attorney Help Me After My Motorcycle Accident?

When you are injured in a California motorcycle accident you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to learn about the legal options that may be available to you. Here are a few ways in which an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you with a personal injury claim for damages.

  1. Investigating the accident. If you’ve filed a police report you’ve given your attorney a great starting point for an investigation. The report will allow your attorney to accurately assess the accident and determine which information will be most helpful – and harmful – to your claim.
  2. Enlisting experts. Attorneys have relations with industry experts who can help to mount a detailed and exhaustive investigation. Experts can help an attorney by recreating the crash, reviewing photographs of the scene, evaluating and analyzing medical information, and offering information about aspects of the accident that may be crucial to a successful case.
  3. Determining liability. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash you may believe that you can only recover compensation from the other driver who was involved. Attorneys understand, however, that many parties may be potentially liable after a crash. Employers, governmental entities, insurance agencies, and vehicle manufacturers are all examples of parties who may be (partly) liable after a crash. An attorney will investigate each possibility to broaden the scope for recovery.
  4. Fighting stubborn insurance companies. Insurance companies are often named as defendants in California motorcycle accidents. While recovering compensation from an at-fault party’s insurance company may seem straightforward, the chances of fully recovering the full amount of compensation to which you are legally entitled without an attorney are slim. Insurance companies do not make their money by paying on every claim that is submitted. Rather, insurers routinely deny claims and/or pay out pennies on the dollar for legitimate claims. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand how insurance companies operate. Using this knowledge and experience they can anticipate a move before it happens. This allows attorneys to stay one step ahead and help to maximize payouts to injured clients.
  5. Ensuring claims are filed on time. Did you know that if you are injured in California motorcycle accident you have a limited amount of time in which you are legally entitled to file a claim for damages? Failure to file a timely claim will bar you from recovering anything at all. An attorney will ensure that all claims are filed within the applicable statute of limitations.


Hit and Run Bicyclist Lawyer

Hit-And-Run Driver Kills Orange County Bicyclist

Authorities have apprehended a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that left a cyclist dead.

Hit and Run Bicyclist LawyerThe wreck happened at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Chapman Avenue. First responders released no information about the accident, other than the fact that the unnamed victim was alive when first responders arrived but was subsequently pronounced dead at a local hospital. Although the suspect initially fled the scene in a champagne-colored Nissan sedan that had sustained considerable front-end damage, authorities believe that they have the tortfeasor (negligent driver) in custody. Investigators spent several hours at the scene gathering evidence.

Bicycle-Auto Crashes

To improve their health, as a means of commuting, or just to enjoy the outdoors, more people are riding bicycles now than ever before, but that’s only one reason that these fatalities increased 12.2 percent last year to their highest level in over twenty years. Most city plans feature wide-laned streets in tic-tac-toe layouts that quickly move vehicles from one place to another but are not very safe for slower-moving bicycles, and partly due to “bikelash,” many motorists are unwilling to approve significant expenditures for designated bike lanes and other safety improvements. At the same time, there are more distracted drivers than ever before, and people who are only half watching the road as they drive usually do not keep a proper lookout.

In Southern California, bicycle safety is not much of a priority. The 53-page Shared Action Mobility Plan, which is supposed to encapsulate Los Angeles’ vision of transportation’s future, contains only a few paragraphs about bicycle safety.


Myopic street design is no excuse for negligent driving. Tortfeasors cannot blame wide lanes for bicycle-auto accidents any more than they can blame the rain for causing them to lose traction or the sun setting and therefore limiting their visibility. In fact, under the duty of reasonable care, drivers must slow down and otherwise adjust to these adverse conditions in order to safely operate their vehicles. Nearly a hundred years ago, an English judge wrote these words, which are still true today: “You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.”

Distraction is one of the most common breaches of the duty of reasonable care. Legally, distracted driving is any activity that causes drivers to take their minds off the road, their eyes off the road, or a hand off the wheel. Other common violations include driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, speeding, and fatigued driving.

The new three-foot law, which requires motorists to give bicyclists at least a three-foot cushion when they are forced to share a traffic lane, when turning, and in certain other situations, may not have done much to improve bicycle safety, but it does make damages easier to prove in court, because of the negligence per se (negligence “as such”) theory. Tortfeasors are liable as a matter of law if they violated a safety statute and caused injury, unless they had a legal excuse for their conduct or some other defense, such as contributory negligence or sudden emergency, applies. In other words, victim/plaintiffs do not have to prove duty or breach in negligence per se cases.


Some people believe that if a hit-and-run tortfeasor is not caught then they cannot recover damages. But in most cases, that’s simply not true. Instead, in these circumstances, most victims can demand compensation from their own insurance companies.

If the tortfeasor is identified, and that is the case in up to 90 percent of these situations, juries often award the victims additional punitive damages. Essentially, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the tortfeasor was dangerously reckless as opposed to merely negligent, the jury can award additional damages to punish the tortfeasor and deter future misconduct.

Since California is a tort state, all bicycle crash victims are entitled to money for their economic losses, such as lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. It is always advisable to contact and experienced personal injury attorney.