Getting into a vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience, and we understand that you are looking for answers. We will be more than happy to talk to you or your family members on the phone about your case, but we also want to provide this area to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive. You can count on our Los Angeles car accident attorneys to help you get through this.
We do recommend that crash victims take photographs after an accident occurs, but only if it is safe to do so and only if they do not need to seek immediate medical care. Using a phone or another type of camera, victims can take photographs of vehicle damage, injuries, debris, skid marks, causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, and anything else that may be relevant to the incident. Photographic evidence is hard to refute when it comes to insurance claims or presenting the case to a personal injury jury.
You are under no obligation to work with an attorney to help secure compensation after a vehicle accident occurs. However, it is not uncommon for insurance carriers or at-fault parties to push back against these claims. When that happens, a skilled Los Angeles car accident attorney can handle every aspect of the claim on behalf of their client. This includes investigating the incident, determining liability, and handling all negotiations with other parties involved.
At JML Law, we take Los Angeles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to worry about paying any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. Our team will only collect legal fees after we obtain the compensation that our clients need to get through this.
Even if you think you may have played a role in causing the car accident, do not say so. Do not admit fault to anybody at the scene of the crash or anybody else in the days or weeks that follow. It is up to the police officers and insurance carriers to investigate the collision to determine what happened. In the immediate aftermath of a crash, you may not even realize that the actions of other parties played a role in causing the collision.
The good news is that California operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that even those at fault for collision (up to 99% at fault) can still recover compensation for their losses, though the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
The best answer we can give is that the sooner you hire an attorney after an accident occurs, the better. An attorney can get involved quickly and help ensure that all of the evidence is gathered and not destroyed.
If you have an attorney you have used in the past, you can talk to them about taking your case. However, please understand that not all attorneys are exactly the same. You need a skilled personal injury lawyer with experience handling vehicle accidents. Your estate planning attorney likely won’t be of much assistance here. You can ask for recommendations from friends or family members, and you can also use the Internet to conduct a search to find an attorney in your area. Make sure to read the reviews about the attorney you are thinking about working with. At JML Law, we encourage any prospective client to research our firm. We are proud of our track record of success in helping clients secure significant settlements and jury verdicts.
The first line of defense in securing compensation after a Los Angeles vehicle accident will be the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. California is a fault-based state when it comes to vehicle accidents, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is responsible for covering the medical bills, lost wages, and property damage of the other parties involved.
In the state of California, all drivers must carry and maintain the following types of insurance in order to remain legal on the roadway:
In the event an insurance carrier denies a claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. When a person files a civil personal injury lawsuit, it is entirely possible that they will be awarded much more compensation than they would otherwise receive if they solely relied on a settlement from the insurance carrier.
Car accident victims in Los Angeles need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in these cases. The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that crash victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver in their case. Failing to file a lawsuit in this time frame will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they need.
It is important to point out that insurance carriers have very strict reporting deadlines. In most cases, we will find that insurance carriers require that an accident be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to report the incident quickly could result in the claim being delayed or denied by the insurance carrier.
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Los Angeles, reach out to the team at JML Law as soon as possible. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to fully investigate your claim and help you secure the compensation you are entitled to.