Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Even if you practice careful driving, there is always a chance that you could be in a car accident due to the negligence of other motorists, faulty road conditions, and other negative factors. Over 30,000 individuals are involved in car accidents in the state of California each year. Whether you are in a minor fender bender or a high-impact collision, you can still suffer minor to serious injuries and costly property damage, which entitles you to significant compensation.
Mesriani Law Group is a top-notch legal service provider that consistently provides superior legal aid for over two decades to all victims of car accident cases throughout Los Angeles, California. Our highly skilled and experienced car accident lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and represent you throughout the entire process. We extend legal help to clients who have suffered varying degrees of auto accident injuries and are relentless in obtaining the maximum compensation they deserve.
William J. Kropach, Esq.
Why Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
Finding yourself involved in a car accident can be an overwhelming and traumatic experience. Regardless of the situation that led to the accident, you’ll need to safeguard your welfare and secure your legal rights, particularly your right to claim damages. By having a Mesriani Law Group’s car accident lawyer by your side, you know that we will take care of:
- Investigating every single aspect of your car accident by gathering all evidence (photos, CCTV footage, witness statements, accident reports, etc.) related to the accident.
- Acquiring medical records and ensure it is reviewed by an esteemed medical professional who can evaluate the full extent of your injuries.
- Determining all your costs and losses, such as lost income, medical bills, future treatments, and the like to determine your total losses.
- Filing your claim with insurance companies and handling all the communication and negotiation with the insurance carriers to guarantee a fair and prompt payment.
- Litigating a car accident lawsuit in the event that the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group
How Can a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Help?
Car accidents happen every day and at times you least expect it. In any car accident, the victims that suffer damages to their property and sustain minor to severe injuries must file a police report and pursue accident claims against the party at fault. This may be too much of a burden to handle alone and may result in an unfair amount of compensation or settlement being paid out due to the inexperience of the victim in fighting for their rights.
Let a certified Los Angeles car accident attorney from Mesriani Law Group help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Regardless of what type of motor vehicle accident your case covers, you can be sure to count on us to fight for your best interests. We will attend to your legal needs, so you can focus on your recovery and taking care of your family.
The following steps that we do to help you with your car accident case would be:
Step 1: Appraise the Case
For the car accident claim to take place, these three requirements must be met:
- The other party or defendant is negligent
- The plaintiff sustained injuries and damages
- The injuries and damages were a direct cause of the defendant’s negligence
Step 2: Acquire Evidence
Getting as much evidence as possible after an accident is vital for your claim but should only be done if you are physically able to. Evidence from a car accident can be but not limited to pictures, videos, witness statements, and the like.
Step 3: Determine Liability
For a car accident that involves multiple people, it is sometimes unclear who is at fault or liable for the damages and injuries sustained by the plaintiff. The car accident attorney can determine the liability of the other party by proving:
- Negligence: such as running a red light, speeding, swerving, etc.
- Recklessness: DUI, drag racing, counterflowing, etc.
- Intentional Misconduct: driver acts maliciously or intends to do harm to others.
- Strict Liability: the accident caused by a defective product or fault in the vehicle due to poor manufacturing.
Step 4: Prove Damages
In personal injury car accident claims, the damages sustained by the victim falls into two categories:
a.) Economic Damages: are to compensate for computable out-of-pocket costs which often include past and future medical expenses, personal property damage, and lost earnings.
b.) Non-economic Damages: are to compensate for injuries sustained from the accident that is more complicated to allocate monetary value such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental and emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, defamation of character and humiliation, and so on.
With the help of your car accident attorney, the following damages you sustained will be deliberated on and can be used to prove the total compensation you best deserve.
Step 5: Negotiate a Settlement
When the damages are deliberated, the attorney will then start to negotiate a settlement. The negotiation can either be quick and easy or slow-going and inconvenient which depends on the insurance company. The attorney will make sure that the insurance company does not use bad faith tactics while making sure the plaintiff can get the maximum compensation.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Los Angeles
There is an expansive range of circumstances when a car accident happens, but some situations occur in many instances than the rest. Below are the common types of car accidents that you may encounter:
Hit and Run Accidents
California Vehicle Code 20002 or commonly known as Hit-and-Run criminalizes a person from leaving the accident without identifying themselves to the others involved. This is considered an offense when there are damages to the other person’s property and has a maximum penalty of not more than 6 months in the county jail and a penalty of up to $1,000 or both.
To be convicted of Hit and Run, the following must be proved:
- The defendant who is driving was involved in a motor vehicle accident
- The accident caused damages to someone else’s property
- The defendant knew that he/she had been involved in an accident that caused the property damage but chooses to disregard it
- The defendant intentionally failed to carry out one or more of the following duties:
- To stop immediately at the scene of the accident
- To provide the plaintiff with his/her name and current residence
Rear-end collisions are considered the most common type of car accident which makes up to 30% of all traffic accidents in a year, as reported by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Predominantly the driver who rear-ends the other vehicle is almost always going to be found negligent and at fault for the car accident. The frequent causes for rear-end collisions are:
- Distracted Driving
- Hazardous Conditions
This is considered a side-impact crash which arises when one vehicle is moving towards another vehicle that strikes from the side forming a “T” at the point of impact. This type of accident may result in mild to severe injuries for those involved, some of the injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Pelvic & abdominal injuries
- Chest injuries
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Los Angeles
As one of the most populated cities in California, Los Angeles is home to more than 4 million residents which results in terrible traffic and a high chance of motor vehicle accidents. The common causes of car accidents in Los Angeles are:
- Reckless driving: pertains to speeding which is the careless disregard for the posted and required speed limits.
- Using mobile devices: while driving can cause accidents since the driver’s attention is split from the road to its phone, either by texting, calling, etc.
- Distracted driving: is any activity that takes away the driver’s focus on the road such as eating, drinking, conversing with the passengers, etc.
- Driver exhaustion: is usually due to long-haul driving which may make the drivers sleepy and exhausted.
- DUI- Driving Under the Influence: all motorists are criminalized for driving while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
- “Rubber-Necking”: is a type of distracted driving wherein the drivers pay attention to car accidents or other attention-grabbing scenes rather than the road ahead.
- Malfunctioning vehicle: refers to the car parts of your vehicle such as tires, airbags, seatbelt, motor/engine, etc. that became defective due to wear and tear or flawed production.
- Road hazards: are usually due to poor construction or repair that may be unnoticed and cause minor to devastating accidents.
- Weather conditions: can pose a dangerous threat to drivers as they experience difficulty controlling their vehicle through a frozen and snow-filled slippery road or through a thick fog causing zero visibility.
- Construction zones: can be hazardous especially if without any proper warning signs and safety measures such as placing an early warning device.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Regardless of the severity of the car accident, there would always be damages and injuries sustained by either or both the plaintiff and defendant. These injuries can be classified as either:
a.) Impact Injuries: results from the victim’s body striking a part of the vehicle
b.) Penetrating Injuries: results from an object entering the victim’s body.
Several injuries sustained from a car accident may heal naturally or after a course of treatment, but other injuries that are severe may require costly medical treatments for an additional period of time or throughout your life span.
The common types of car accident injuries are:
- Head Injuries: the head striking the steering wheel, windshield, or side window resulting in cuts and bruises to the face and even internal damage to the brain or brain bleeding.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: is the bruising and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels caused by a severe concussion or being pierced by sharp debris from a high-speed collision crash.
- Chest Injuries: the chest or upper body striking the steering wheel, dashboard, or another internal area of the vehicle which results in bruised or fractured ribs, muscle strain, bruised sternum, and internal organ injuries.
- Lower extremities and Limb Injuries: due to a limited space of legroom in a car, a sudden impact from a collision may result in cuts, bruises, punctures, and perforations of skin, fractured legs, ankle dislocations, foot fractures, etc.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Whiplash is the most common soft tissue injury in car accidents, it involves the forced stretching of the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back caused by a sudden impact or a high-speed collision. Other soft tissue injuries are contusions, sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, stress injuries, and strains.
- Spinal Cord Injury: is considered to be a life-threatening and altering injury that resulted from trauma to the cervical spine, lumbar spine, or thoracic spine and potentially causes paralysis (quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and paraplegia).
- Broken Bones: comprises of fractures with the lower legs and femurs, arms and wrists, clavicles, hips, ribs, and facial or skull that classifies from a simple break with a cast to compound fractures that needs surgery.
- Burns: exposure to heat, hot steam, toxic chemicals, or electricity from an enflamed vehicle may cause minor to severe burns that either requires first aid treatment or surgery and skin grafting.
- Wrongful Death: can be from a fatal crash caused by the following:
- DUI or drunk driving
- Distracted driving such as driving while using mobile devices
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Other negligent actions of the driver
California Car Accident Laws
Knowing and being aware of the laws that pertain to car accident cases in California is essential and an advantage in avoiding mistakes that could lead to low compensation for your damages or no compensation at all. Some of the California car accident laws are:
Statute of Limitations
Pertains to the deadline of filing a claim. All the car accident victims in California, have two years from the date of their accident to file injury claims and three years for property damage claims.
Fault-based car insurance
In California, a fault-based car insurance law is being followed. This is where all drivers must have adequate vehicle insurance:
- Bodily injury coverage ($15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident)
- Property damage liability ($5,000)
- Comparative Fault
More than one person can be held liable for the harm caused by an accident and the victims are not barred from recovering compensation if they contribute to an accident.
- Apportionment Fault
More than one person is held liable for causing an accident, and each will be held financially liable to the degree of their own fault.
What to do After a Car Accident?
The trauma and shock from being in a car accident can be dreadful and troublesome for the victims. However, taking the necessary actions will help protect your legal rights and guarantee fair compensation with the help of a car accident lawyer. Below are tips on what to do after a car accident:
1. Ask for Medical Aid
Depending on the severity of the accident, asking for medical aid for your sustained injuries is a must. Always assess your physical state and any passenger you have involved in the car crash and call for help. If you are physically and mentally cable, provide the medical responders a piece of detailed information on the crash as much as you can and symptoms that you are feeling. Make sure to get a complete medical examination and follow-up with a doctor to ensure a faster recovery.
2. Call the Police
Having the police at the scene after the accident is vital to write up a police report detailing the car crash. Make sure to get a copy from the police officer and keep this for your records. Your car accident attorney will use this in preparing your claim.
3. Obtain Evidence
Every bit of information that you could collect right after the accident is crucial and valuable for your claim. Make sure to take note of the contact information of the people involved in the accident, gather pictures and videos related to the crash, and possible witnesses for a statement.
4. Do Not Admit Liability
The sudden impact of the accident can be shocking and might cause you not to think wisely leading to an admission that the accident is your fault. It is very important to watch what you say and the information that you give to the other parties involved in the crash, to bystanders, and insurance agents. If you admit liability, it can limit your ability to bring a claim.
5. Consult with a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Our personal injury-car accident attorney has over two decades of experience in giving legal aid to victims of car accident cases throughout California. Consult and retain an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney to have a better guarantee of getting the maximum compensation you deserve for your claim.
Common Mistakes Made After a Car Accident
It is not uncommon for someone to be shaken up after an accident. In that frazzled state of mind, it is important to not make mistakes that could be damaging to your car accident case. Many mistakes made on the legal side can be easily prevented to avoid any chance of limiting or not getting a claim. Below are the most common mistakes that people make after a car accident:
- Withholding information from your lawyer
- Not getting medical treatment from a doctor right after the accident
- Not following the doctor’s prescription
- Retaining an inexperienced lawyer
- Not being honest about past injuries and lawsuits from your lawyer
- Undervaluing your injuries
- Disclosing your case with others
- Posting details of your case and injuries online
- Conversing with the insurance company of the other party
Understanding Your Police Report
One of the most vital steps in moving forward with your claim is completing and obtaining a copy of your car accident police report. A police report can be a piece of helpful evidence during a car accident lawsuit and can be considered as the most authoritative documents in a car accident case. The police report includes, but is not limited to, the information about the accident and the individuals involved such as:
- The location and timestamp of the car accident
- A description of the accident which includes injuries and damages sustained
- Contact information: names, addresses, birth dates, and license numbers of all drivers involved in the accident
- Personal information: name and addresses of the owner of the vehicles involved in the accident
- The insurance companies and policy numbers of both parties
- The insurance policy holder’s contact information
You can get a copy of the investigated collision report from the California Highway Patrol. You simply go to the CHP office or mail in a CHP 190, the Application for Release of Information, and a copy of your driver’s license. A CHP report can cost from $10 up to $40 depending on how many pages it may contain.
Can You Recover After a Hit-and-Run?
California Vehicle Code 20002 or commonly known as Hit-and-Run prohibits an individual from leaving the scene of an accident without identifying themselves to the others involved when someone else’s property is damaged. This is considered a misdemeanor and has a maximum penalty of not more than six months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
This type of accident may leave more shock and trauma to its victims since the party involved does not stick around to fulfill his or her legal duties. The first step to take once this type of accident happens to you would be to call the police. This is to properly investigate the crash site and may result in a possible chance of tracking down the at-fault driver, which may make it possible to bring up a claim with the defendant’s insurance. However, if the police cannot track down and identify the driver, the process of bringing up a claim would be different, and you may seek financial compensation through your auto insurance instead. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you through the legal process and analyze your hit-and-run accident, informing you of all available outlets for financial compensation.
How Do You Prove Negligence & Liability?
Car accidents’ root cause is usually leading to someone’s negligence. Predominantly, the person who was injured (plaintiff) must show that the party at fault (defendant) caused the accident through negligence. This demands proving four elements:
The victim who sustained injuries must show that the other party (defendant) owed a duty of care to them through operating their vehicles with care and consideration for those around them.
The defendant must have intentionally breached a duty of care to the victim in a way that another person put in the defendant’s situation would not have done, knowing that it would bring harm to other people.
The accident must show that the injuries and damages sustained by the victim were a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
The victim validates how financial compensation can cover the losses he or she suffered from the accident such as medical bills, unemployment, and the like.
Compensation for Car Accident Victims in California
Once you can file a claim for the damages and injuries you’ve sustained from the accident, your car accident attorney can help you understand what types and amounts to list in your initial demand letter against the defendant. Each and every car accident case is with different damages and losses suffered by its victims however, each shares a general list to include to the demand letter, these are:
- Existing medical debts/bills
- Future hospital bills and treatment expenses
- Temporary or permanent disability accommodations
- Current and future lost income
- Repairs or replacement of the vehicle
- Physical, mental, emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Severe and life-altering damages
No Win, No Fee
Absolutely No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
Mesriani Law Group has over two decades of experience in protecting victims of car accidents as well as employment and labor law violations in California.
Through our wealth of experience, we understand that the main reason why victims of accidents or of unjust treatment by employers are hesitant to file cases or claim damages against the parties at fault and is because of the high legal fees.
In order to resolve this matter and help more people get the best compensation they deserve against the people who caused their injuries, pain and suffering, and losses, we decided to offer a No Win No Fee guarantee to all our clients. This means that you don’t have to pay us anything for our top legal services, regardless of the complexities of your claims, if we are not able to provide you with the justice you deserve.
We offer this because we are confident that our experience, expertise, and dedication will always translate to getting the maximum compensation you deserve at the swiftest possible time. Call our top attorneys right away for any car accident-related concerns and we’ll assure you get nothing but the best legal service and personalized client care you deserve.
Free Consultation with A Mesriani Car Accident Lawyer
Mesriani Law Group is dedicated to helping victims and their loved ones who sustained injuries and damages and lost their lives in car accidents through the injury claim process in Los Angeles. We handle a majority of auto accident cases on a No Win, No Fee basis. We only charge a fee if we are successful in winning your case and getting you the maximum compensation you deserve. Give us a call now for a free consultation.
Who can file a car accident injury claim?
Anyone that is suffering as a result of being in a car accident when they were not or partially at fault is a qualified candidate to have a case heard. Call today to have a Mesriani car accident lawyer review your case.
When should you contact a car accident lawyer?
You should contact a car accident lawyer if any of the following situations apply:
- Involved in an accident that causes consequential injuries to you
- Involved in an accident when the fault is not clearly established
- Involved in any crash with another motorist (pedestrian accidents, other vehicles, or cyclist)
What kind of cases do car accident lawyers handle?
There is an expansive range of circumstances when a car accident happens, but some situations occur in many instances than the rest. Below are the common types of car accidents that you may encounter:
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
- Rear-Ended Collisions
- T-Bone Accidents
What is fair compensation for a car accident?
The amount of compensation to be received vary from case to case. In some states, they only allow a percentage of the victim’s losses based on the level of negligence of the defendant that caused the accident.