Car Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer Los Angeles: We Fight for Your Rights After a Crash

car accident lawyer in los angeles hero

Injured in a Los Angeles car accident? You’re reeling, we get it. The shock, the pain, the mountain of paperwork… it’s overwhelming. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to go through this alone.

We’re Compass Law Group, and we fight for you.

Our team of battle-tested auto accident attorneys knows the ins and outs of Los Angeles car accident law like the back of our hand. We’ve seen firsthand how insurance companies try to lowball you, how medical bills pile up, and how the stress of it all can feel like a second injury.

That’s where we come in.

We’re not just lawyers; we’re your advocates, your advisors, your champions in your corner. We’ll handle the legal battles so you can focus on healing. We’ll investigate the accident, negotiate with insurance companies (and their armies of lawyers), and fight tooth and nail to get you the compensation you deserve.

Don’t let the accident control your life. Take back the wheel. Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s get started on your road to recovery.

Table of Contents

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Los Angeles: Why Knowing Matters

Let’s face it, Los Angeles is a bustling metropolis. While it’s a city of dreams, it’s also a city of traffic – and with traffic comes motor vehicle accidents. Understanding the common causes isn’t just about pointing fingers; it’s about empowering yourself with knowledge.

Why does this matter to you?

  • Prevention: Knowing the risks helps you become a more defensive driver.

  • Liability: Determining fault is crucial for insurance claims and potential lawsuits.

  • Compensation: Understanding the cause can affect the compensation you’re entitled to.

Let’s break down the usual suspects:

  • Distracted Driving: We’re talking texting, phone calls, eating, adjusting the radio, even grooming! In the blink of an eye, your attention is diverted, and disaster strikes.

    • Texting and emailing: These are some of the most dangerous distractions, taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.

    • Talking on the phone (handheld or hands-free): Even hands-free devices can distract you from the road.

    • Eating and drinking: Take care of these tasks before you get behind the wheel.

    • Using GPS devices: Program your destination before you start driving.

    • Daydreaming or drowsy driving: If your mind is wandering, pull over and take a break.

  • Impaired Driving: Alcohol, drugs, and even some medications can impair your judgment, reaction time, and coordination – a recipe for disaster on the road.

    • Alcohol impairment: Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability.

    • Drug impairment: Illegal drugs and some prescription medications can slow your reaction time and impair your judgment.

    • Driving under the influence of marijuana: Marijuana can impair your coordination and reaction time.

  • Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit (or driving too fast for conditions) reduces your reaction time and increases the severity of an impact.

    • Speeding in bad weather: Rain, fog, and snow all require slower speeds.

    • Speeding in construction zones: Be aware of workers and reduced lanes.

  • Aggressive Driving: Tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, running red lights – these behaviors put everyone on the road at risk.

    • Tailgating: Give yourself plenty of following distance to react to sudden stops.

    • Reckless lane changes: Signal your intentions well in advance and check your blind spots.

    • Ignoring traffic signals: Red lights and stop signs are there for a reason.

    • Road rage: Don’t let anger cloud your judgment.

  • Drowsy Driving: Fatigue can be just as dangerous as alcohol. If you’re tired, pull over.

    • Signs of drowsy driving: Frequent yawning, difficulty keeping your eyes open, drifting out of your lane.

  • Weather Conditions: Rain, fog, snow, or even blinding sun can significantly reduce visibility and make roads slippery, leading to hydroplaning, spin-outs, and other hazards.

    • Driving in the rain: Reduce your speed, increase your following distance, and use your headlights.

    • Driving in fog: Slow down, use your low beams, and be prepared for sudden stops.

    • Driving in snow: Drive slowly, accelerate and decelerate gradually, and avoid sudden stops or turns.

  • Vehicle Malfunctions: A sudden tire blowout, brake failure, or steering problem can cause a driver to lose control.

    • Tire blowouts: Maintain proper tire pressure and inspect your tires regularly for wear and tear.

    • Brake failure: Have your brakes inspected regularly and be aware of the signs of brake problems, such as squealing or grinding noises.

    • Steering problems: If your vehicle pulls to one side or feels loose, have it checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

  • Road Hazards: Potholes, debris, uneven pavement, and poorly designed intersections can all contribute to accidents.

    • Potholes: Avoid them if possible, and if you can’t, slow down before you hit them.

    • Debris: Be aware of objects in the road, such as fallen branches, rocks, or litter.

    • Uneven pavement: Be cautious when driving on rough or uneven roads.

    • Poorly designed intersections: Be extra careful when approaching intersections with limited visibility or confusing traffic patterns.

  • Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Drivers who disregard traffic signals are a major cause of accidents, especially T-bone collisions at intersections.

    • The dangers of running red lights: Red light runners often cause serious accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

    • The importance of stopping at stop signs: Stop signs help regulate traffic flow and prevent accidents.

    • The consequences of running traffic signals: You could face fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

Remember, accidents aren’t always black and white. Multiple factors can contribute, and sometimes, the fault isn’t clear. That’s where we come in.

We recently represented a client who was rear-ended by a distracted driver. The other driver’s insurance company tried to blame our client for “stopping suddenly.” We investigated, gathered evidence, and proved the other driver was at fault. Result? Our client received the compensation they deserved.

If you’re involved in an accident, even a minor one, gather as much information as possible at the scene. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, take photos of the damage, and get contact information for any witnesses.

 

car crash statistics

Car Crash Statistics: A Sobering Reality

Now that we’ve covered the common causes, let’s dive into the numbers. These statistics might be alarming, but they’re crucial to understand the magnitude of the problem we face on our roads:

The Toll of Car Accidents

  • Staggering Numbers: Over 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. each year. That’s more than 16,000 every single day.

  • Fatal Crashes: In 2022 alone, 42,795 lives were lost in car accidents, a number that sends chills down our spines.

  • Los Angeles’ Role: California, unfortunately, leads the nation in traffic fatalities, and Los Angeles is a major contributor.

Vulnerable Road Users

  • Pedestrians and Cyclists at Risk: In 2022, fatalities for pedestrians increased by 2% and a staggering 8% for cyclists. This alarming trend is largely attributed to distracted driving.

  • A Growing Problem: The increase in distracted driving means that everyone, not just those behind the wheel, is at greater risk.

Age, Gender, and Risk

  • Young Drivers: Drivers aged 16-20 have the highest rate of fatal crashes, a stark reminder of the importance of driver education and experience.

  • Men vs. Women: Men are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than women.

  • Underage Fatalities: A heartbreaking 11% of all car accident fatalities involve minors under the age of 20.

When and Where Accidents Happen

  • Rush Hour Danger: The period between 4 pm and 8 pm sees the most crashes, both fatal and non-fatal.

  • Weekend Woes: Saturdays are the peak day for fatal crashes, while Fridays see the most non-fatal accidents.

  • Late Night Risks: The majority of fatal accidents occur between 6 pm and midnight.

The Impact of Alcohol and Speed

  • Intoxicated Driving: A shocking 35% of fatal accidents involve impaired drivers. Don’t drink and drive, folks. It’s just not worth it.

  • Speeding: 29% of fatal crashes are caused by speeding. Remember, the faster you go, the less time you have to react.

These statistics paint a grim picture, but they underscore the importance of safe driving practices, awareness of common accident causes, and knowing your rights if you’re involved in a crash.

physical and emotional toll car accident

The Physical and Emotional Toll: Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents aren’t just fender benders; they can leave lasting scars, both physically and emotionally. The forces involved in a collision can wreak havoc on the human body, resulting in a wide range of injuries, from minor scrapes to life-altering conditions.

Common Car Accident Injuries

  • Whiplash: This neck injury is incredibly common, especially in rear-end collisions. Symptoms can range from neck pain and stiffness to headaches and dizziness.

  • Head Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, and skull fractures can have devastating consequences, affecting cognitive function, memory, and personality.

  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can result in chronic pain, limited mobility, and even paralysis.

  • Broken Bones: Fractures to the arms, legs, ribs, and even the pelvis are common in car accidents, often requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation.

  • Internal Injuries: Damage to organs like the liver, spleen, or lungs can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, and contusions (bruises) might not seem as serious as broken bones, but they can cause significant pain and limit your daily activities.

Psychological Trauma

Beyond the physical injuries, car accidents can also leave emotional scars. Many people experience:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety are all too common after a traumatic event like a car accident.

  • Depression: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities can develop after an accident.

  • Anxiety: Worry, fear, and panic attacks can make it difficult to return to normal life after a crash.

Important Note: Even if you feel fine after an accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention. Some injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, may not show symptoms immediately.

 

first steps after a car accident

First Steps After a Car Accident: Your Action Plan

The moments after a car accident can be a blur, but your actions in those crucial minutes can make a world of difference. Here’s your step-by-step guide to navigating the chaos:

  1. Safety First:

    • Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately.

    • If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, away from traffic.

    • Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

  2. Call for Help:

    • Dial 911 to report the accident, even if it seems minor. A police report can be crucial for insurance claims.

    • Request medical assistance if needed.

  3. Gather Information:

    • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s).

    • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.

    • If safe, take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, traffic signs, and road conditions.

  4. Document Everything:

    • Write down everything you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind. Include the date, time, location, weather conditions, and a description of what happened.

    • Keep a record of any medical treatment you receive and any expenses related to the accident.

  5. Don’t Admit Fault:

    • Even if you think you might be partially responsible, don’t say anything that could be used against you later. Let the insurance companies and the police sort out fault.

  6. Notify Your Insurance Company:

    • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate information and cooperate with their investigation.

  7. Consult an Attorney:

    • If you’ve been injured, contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer in Los Angeles like Compass Law Group. We can help you understand your rights, protect your interests, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Pro Tip: Keep a disposable camera or a smartphone in your glove compartment for emergencies. You can use it to document the accident scene and any visible injuries.

You don’t have to navigate this alone. That’s where Compass Law Group comes in. We’re a team of experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers in Los Angeles who are passionate about fighting for the rights of those injured in crashes. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll accidents can take, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

From navigating the complexities of insurance claims to dealing with aggressive adjusters, we’ll be your advocate and guide throughout the legal process. We believe you shouldn’t have to add the stress of dealing with legal matters to your plate while you’re recovering from your injuries. Let us handle the legal side of things so you can focus on healing.

woman calling lawyer after accident

Filing a Claim for Compensation

Car accidents can turn your life upside down, but knowing when you have the right to seek compensation can be a beacon of hope amidst the chaos. Let’s break down the scenarios where you can fight back and get the financial support you deserve.

You’re Not at Fault (or Not Entirely)

  • The Other Driver Caused the Accident: If the accident was due to another driver’s negligence – think drunk driving, speeding, texting, or just plain recklessness – you’ve got a solid case.

  • Shared Fault: Even if you were partially at fault, you might still be eligible for compensation in Los Angeles. California follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule, meaning you can recover damages even if you were 99% at fault (though your compensation will be reduced accordingly).

Your Injuries Are Significant

  • Medical Expenses: If you’ve racked up medical bills due to the accident, you can seek compensation for those costs. This includes ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and even future medical treatment.

  • Lost Wages: Missed work due to your injuries? You can claim compensation for lost income, both past and future.

  • Pain and Suffering: The physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident aren’t just a minor inconvenience. They can be debilitating, and you deserve to be compensated for them.

  • Property Damage: Your car took a beating? You can claim compensation for repairs or the total value of your vehicle if it was totaled.

Other Factors at Play

  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist: If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance (or not enough), your own insurance policy might cover your damages under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

  • Product Liability: Was the accident caused by a defective vehicle part? You might have a claim against the manufacturer.

  • Government Liability: If a dangerous road condition contributed to the accident, you might be able to file a claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the road.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your case isn’t worth pursuing. Even seemingly minor accidents can have long-term consequences.

Pro Tip: Time is of the essence. There are strict deadlines (called statutes of limitations) for filing personal injury claims in California. Don’t delay – consult with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Ready to take the next step and explore your legal options? Contact Compass Law Group today for a free consultation. We’ll evaluate your case, explain your rights, and guide you through the process of seeking the compensation you deserve.

car accident compensation

Car Accident Compensation: What You Can Expect

The million-dollar question (sometimes literally) after a car accident is often, “What kind of compensation can I expect?” While every case is unique, understanding the different types of damages you can claim can help you set realistic expectations and fight for what you rightfully deserve.

Economic Damages: The Tangible Costs

These are the cold, hard numbers – the financial losses you’ve suffered due to the accident. They include:

  • Medical Expenses: From the ambulance ride and emergency room visit to ongoing treatments like surgeries, physical therapy, and medications – these bills add up fast.

  • Lost Wages: Whether you missed a few days of work or your injuries prevent you from returning to your job, lost income can put a serious strain on your finances.

  • Property Damage: Your vehicle might need repairs, or it might be totaled. Either way, you deserve compensation to get you back on the road.

  • Other Expenses: Think rental car fees, mileage to medical appointments, home modifications to accommodate your injuries – these often-overlooked expenses can add up significantly.

Non-Economic Damages: The Intangible Impact

Accidents don’t just hurt your wallet; they can also leave deep emotional and physical scars. Non-economic damages compensate you for these less tangible losses:

  • Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical pain and discomfort you’ve endured due to your injuries.

  • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, depression, PTSD – these mental health struggles can be just as debilitating as physical injuries.

  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Unable to participate in hobbies, activities, or social events you once loved? You can seek compensation for this loss.

  • Loss of Consortium: If your injuries have negatively impacted your relationship with your spouse or partner, you may be able to claim damages for loss of companionship, intimacy, and support.

Punitive Damages: Punishing Reckless Behavior

In rare cases where the at-fault driver’s actions were particularly egregious, the court may award punitive damages. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

While you can find online calculators that estimate potential settlement amounts, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney. They can assess the unique factors of your case and give you a realistic picture of what you might be entitled to.

car accident claims process

Car Accident Personal Injury Claims Process

We know the legal world can seem like a maze, especially when you’re dealing with the aftermath of an accident. But fear not, we’re here to guide you through the twists and turns of the claims process, making it as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Step 1: The Initial Consultation (It’s Free!)

Your first step is a no-obligation chat with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. Think of it as a friendly conversation, not a cross-examination.

  • Tell us your story: We want to hear everything, in your own words.

  • Ask us anything: We’re happy to answer all your questions, no matter how big or small.

  • Get an honest assessment: We’ll give you a straightforward evaluation of your case and your options.

  • No pressure, no strings attached: This is about you getting the information you need to make informed decisions.

Step 2: Investigation and Evidence Gathering

If we decide to move forward together, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work. This involves:

  • Collecting Evidence:

    • Police reports: We’ll obtain a copy of the official report and analyze it for details.

    • Medical records: We’ll review your medical records to document your injuries and treatment.

    • Witness statements: We’ll track down and interview anyone who saw the motor vehicle accident.

    • Photos and videos: We’ll collect visual evidence from the scene, if available.

    • Any other relevant documentation: We’ll leave no stone unturned in gathering evidence to support your claim.

  • Consulting Experts:

    • Accident reconstruction specialists: If needed, we’ll bring in experts to analyze the accident and determine fault.

    • Medical professionals: We’ll consult with doctors and specialists to understand the full extent of your injuries and their long-term impact.

    • Other experts as needed: Depending on your case, we may consult with economists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, or other professionals to assess your damages.

  • Building Your Case: We’ll meticulously organize all the evidence and craft a compelling legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.

Step 3: Demand Letter and Negotiation

This is where we go to bat for you. We’ll:

  • Draft a powerful demand letter: This formal document will outline your damages (economic and non-economic) and demand fair compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

  • Negotiate like pros: We have years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters, and we won’t back down until we get a settlement that reflects the true value of your claim.

  • Prepare for trial (if necessary): If the insurance company refuses to play fair, we’re not afraid to take them to court.

Step 4: Filing a Lawsuit (If Necessary)

Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to file a lawsuit. This is a complex process, but we’ll handle every detail:

  • Preparing legal documents: We’ll draft the necessary complaints, motions, and other filings.

  • Conducting discovery: This involves gathering additional evidence through depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents.

  • Going to trial (if needed): We’ll present your case to a judge or jury, advocating fiercely for your rights and interests.

Step 5: Resolution and Recovery

Whether your case is resolved through a settlement or a trial verdict, our ultimate goal is to get you the compensation you deserve. This allows you to:

  • Cover medical expenses: Pay for your past and future medical treatment.

  • Replace lost wages: Recover income you’ve lost due to your injuries.

  • Compensate for pain and suffering: Receive compensation for the physical and emotional toll the accident has taken on you.

  • Move forward with your life: Put the accident behind you and focus on your recovery.

Throughout the process, communication is key. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way, explaining your options and answering your questions. You’ll never be left in the dark.

statute of limitations car accidents

The Statute of Limitations and Your Car Accident Claim

Time is a crucial factor in any car accident case. In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. But don’t let this deadline lull you into complacency.

Why the Rush?

  • Evidence Fades: Witnesses forget details, surveillance footage gets deleted, and physical evidence can deteriorate. Acting quickly helps preserve the strongest possible case.

  • Statute of Limitations: If you miss the deadline, you forfeit your right to pursue compensation in court. That’s a door you don’t want to slam shut.

  • Insurance Company Tactics: Insurance companies know time is on their side. The longer you wait, the more likely they are to lowball you or deny your claim outright.

Exceptions to the Rule:

  • Discovery Rule: If your injury wasn’t immediately apparent (like a delayed-onset concussion), the clock may start ticking when you discover the injury, not the accident date.

  • Government Claims: If your accident involved a government entity (e.g., a city bus), you usually have a much shorter window to file a claim – often as little as six months.

  • Minors: For minors, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until they turn 18.

Don’t gamble with your rights. Even if you’re unsure whether you have a case, it’s always best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A free consultation with Compass Law Group can give you the clarity and confidence you need to move forward.

 

Ready to Fight for Your Rights? We’re Here to Help.

Don’t let the aftermath of a car accident overwhelm you. You’ve been through enough. Let Compass Law Group be your compass, guiding you through the legal complexities and fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve.

We’re more than just car accident attorneys – we’re your advocates.

From the moment you contact us, you become our priority. We’ll listen to your story with compassion, investigate your case with diligence, and negotiate with the tenacity of a junkyard dog. Our goal is simple: to get you the best possible outcome so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

Take the first step towards recovery:

  • Call us at (310) 289-7126 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. We’re available 24/7 to answer car accident victims’ questions and discuss your case.

  • Fill out our online contact form. We’ll get back to you promptly to schedule a time to talk.

  • Visit our office in Beverly Hills. We’re conveniently located and ready to welcome you.

Don’t wait another minute. Your future starts now.

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Call Compass Law Group Today for a Free Consultation

Have you been injured in a car accident and don’t know where to turn? You’re not alone. These situations can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face them alone.

 

Compass Law Group’s experienced car accident attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and the unique challenges accident victims face. We will:

  • Investigate your accident thoroughly to determine liability.

  • Fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.

  • Handle all the legal legwork so you can focus on healing.

 

Don’t wait – time is limited. California has strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims.

Call Compass Law Group today for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and discuss your legal options moving forward.

We understand the emotional and financial strain a car accident can cause. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Car Accident FAQs

 

How much do experienced car accident lawyers charge in California?

Most car accident lawyers in California work on a contingency fee basis. This means they don’t get paid unless they win your case. Typically, their fee is a percentage of the settlement or verdict you receive, usually around 33.3% to 40%. If they don’t win your case, you don’t owe them anything. This arrangement aligns their interests with yours, as they’re motivated to fight for the maximum compensation possible.

 

Should I get a personal injury attorney after a car accident in California?

While it’s not legally required to hire a lawyer, it’s highly recommended, especially if you’ve been injured. Car accident cases can be complex, involving insurance claims, medical records, and legal procedures. A lawyer can handle all of this for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, protecting your rights and maximizing your compensation.

 

How much can someone sue for a car accident in California?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount you can sue for depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. A skilled car accident lawyer can assess your case and estimate the potential value of your personal injury claim.

 

Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance in California?

Yes, even if you have insurance, someone can still sue you for damages exceeding your policy limits. California is an “at-fault” state, meaning the person responsible for the accident is liable for the damages they cause. If your insurance doesn’t cover all the damages, the injured party can sue you personally for the remaining amount.

 

Who determines fault in an auto accident in California?

In most cases, insurance companies determine fault based on police reports, witness statements, and other evidence. However, if the parties involved disagree on who’s at fault, the matter may be settled in court, where a judge or jury will make the final determination.

 

What to do if someone sues you for a car accident in California?

Don’t panic. Notify your insurance company immediately and contact a car accident attorney experienced in car accident litigation. They can help you understand the car accident lawsuit, gather evidence to defend your case, and represent you in court if necessary.

 

Can you sue for a car accident in California?

Yes, you can sue for a car accident in California if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence. You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or their insurance company to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

 

What happens if I’m at fault in a car accident in California?

If you’re at fault, your insurance company will typically cover the damages you caused to the other party, up to your policy limits. However, if the damages exceed your coverage, you could be personally liable for the remaining amount. You may also see an increase in your insurance premiums.