It’s one of the worst experiences any of us will ever have to go through.
There you are, driving down the freeway, or through the streets of Los Angeles and suddenly you see it…
Another driver, clearly not paying attention to what is about to happen.
Car accidents are a common problem in our country and the number of catastrophic accidents only seems to be increasing.
According to the Bureau of Automobile Statistics, there are roughly 6.75 million car accidents that take place in the U.S. every year.
That number works out to be a staggering 18,510 car accidents per day.
Not only that, but it is also estimated that out of those accidents, almost 4,000 die as a result of a motor vehicle accident each day as well.
That means that there are over 2 million cars in our county, making it the highest city for vehicle ownership in our nation.
And with that many vehicles on the road, it is no wonder that car accidents are more likely to occur throughout the city and suburbs of Los Angeles than in any other place in the United States.
All of that said, road accidents are almost always preventable. Because of this, if you find yourself having been in a car accident that was not your fault, you are going to want to consider hiring a personal injury law firm to help you with your case, particularly if you experienced severe injuries or if a death actually occurred.
What Types of Vehicle Accidents Would Constitute a Personal Injury Case?
There are few times that an accident can’t be avoided when someone is behind the wheel of a car.
In rare instances, road conditions may be so severe that all parties involved in a crash had no control over what happened.
Accidents like this are one of the rare types that don’t result in personal injury cases being filed.
That said, human error ends up being responsible for the majority of motor vehicle accidents that happen on our roadways.
And if you’ve experienced a personal injury because of that, you should know that you have every right to hire the best personal injury attorneys you can and who specializes in motor vehicle accidents and knows how to fight for your right to seek financial compensation for the pain and suffering that has resulted because of it.
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons that an accident occurs and why they would constitute a personal injury claim being filed on your behalf by a personal injury attorney.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States today.
What does “distracted driving” entail?
Anytime a driver is doing something in their car that doesn’t involve operating the vehicle can be considered a distraction as well as potentially be dangerous to the driver, their passengers, and those in other vehicles around them.
Using cell phones has rapidly become the leading type of distracted driving and accounts for a large number of personal injury cases that are filed each year.
A good personal injury attorney can work with you to research whether the accident you were involved in was a result of another person engaging in other activities that prevented them from keeping their full focus on the road – and other vehicles – while operating their own car or truck.
The second biggest cause of personal injury claims being filed after a car crash is thanks to the person at fault breaking the speed limit laws.
Speed limits are set for a reason, and road designers and engineers spend significant time studying how different road conditions will affect the speed at which a vehicle can safely travel on that specific roadway.
Though we all would like to get where we want to go more quickly, it is careless for a person to travel at a speed that is higher than what has been ruled safe for all persons involved.
Traveling at a speed that is higher than the speed limit makes it more difficult for a driver to react appropriately when a problem arises. Speeding forces a driver to overcorrect, to make dangerous decisions, and to have a significantly reduced stop time.
Personal injury lawyers know how to find the information necessary to conclude that your injuries would have never happened if it weren’t for the fact that the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident.
Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Another significant reason that road accidents occur is from a driver driving drunk or being under the influence of drugs.
We all have heard the gruesome statistics of how many lives are cut short, or a serious injury occurs because someone chose to get behind the wheel of a car after having consumed too much alcohol or used drugs before operating their truck or car.
And just like with distracted driving or speeding, using alcohol or drugs before driving is a behavior that is not only dangerous but is also seen as negligent.
Negligence is one of the main reasons that a personal injury attorney will file a personal injury case.
Not only is it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is also a behavior that can have dire consequences in many other areas of a person’s life, especially if their decision to drink or do drugs before driving ends up hurting another person.
Injury victims in drunk driving accidents will need to find the best personal injury attorneys possible who understand the California law around drinking while under the influence.
In a case like this, there is no question that you need to contact a personal injury attorney and start getting the support you need to start your case.
When a person is not abiding by the rules of the road or makes decisions that serve them and ignore what’s best for other drivers, this can result in reckless driving.
Reckless driving is another reason that many traffic accidents occur and why you may want to contact a personal injury law firm if you think reckless driving was the cause of your involvement in the accident, and your resulting injuries.
Some of the different types of reckless driving include doing things such as following too closely behind another vehicle, ignoring stop signs or stop lights at intersections, making an illegal turn, or not driving with headlights on, or not having other proper safety equipment in working order.
This is again a situation where it’s extremely important you contact the best personal injury lawyer you can who specializes in car accident personal injury claims and can reassure you that the insurance company is just trying to intimidate you, and that your personal injury lawsuit is a justifiable and valid one.
What Do I Do if I’ve Been the Victim of a Motor Vehicle Crash?
If you have been the victim of a car crash injury, it’s going to be wise for you to try and follow certain steps after the incident to make sure you look out for your own health, as well as gather the correct evidence to show that your injuries were sustained because of someone else’s negligence and carelessness.
Though it may be too late to follow some of these steps, the more you can adhere to these, the better chance your personal injury attorney will have at getting you full compensation for your injuries.
Make sure to call law enforcement and have a report made.
It is important to alert the authorities to an accident as soon as it has occurred.
Even if the other party tries to convince you that law enforcement isn’t necessary, you must do this for a few different reasons.
First, law enforcement will do a preliminary investigation, interview all the parties involved, interview any third-party witnesses (if there were any on the scene) and examine the scene of the accident.
Law enforcement is also adept at knowing what to look for when they are inspecting the vehicles and can then usually come up with a pretty clear determination as to who was at fault in the accident.
This will be extremely helpful if an insurance company later tries to argue otherwise.
Law enforcement can also determine if any alcohol or drug use was responsible for the accident and make legal decisions if so.
Obtain the Phone Number of Any Witnesses Present
If you are able, try to determine if there are other drivers, passengers or people passing by that saw what happened at the time of your accident.
Even if the police take a report from these individuals, it’s never a bad idea for you to try and obtain their contact information yourself.
(Of course, if your injuries are such that you can’t physically do this, then it’s best to not try.)
They may even leave their information for you with someone who is not injured, or ask for your information so they can follow up with you later.
Third-party witnesses can be key in personal injury lawsuits and your personal injury attorney will want to know if anyone saw what happened and is willing to speak up on your behalf.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
As soon as you are able to, you should receive medical treatment for any injuries you or anyone else in your car may have sustained as a result of the crash.
If you or someone in your vehicle have what you think may be a serious injury, it’s best to wait until medical help arrives before you leave the scene of the accident and try to seek medical treatment on your own.
Remember, this is not the time to worry about medical bills and/or assume that the pain will go away or that your injury is not that severe.
It’s really just the opposite, and the longer you wait to receive medical attention, the more significant your injuries could prove to be later.
Insurance companies are notorious for raising this type of defense.
It is in your best interest – financially, physically, and emotionally – that you make sure your injuries are addressed and that you get the medical treatment you need and deserve.
It is also important that you make sure that – while you are getting medical care – you fully explain to your doctor or healthcare provider what happened and that you ask them to run any necessary tests while you are there for your initial treatment.
Again, an insurance company will have no problem suggesting that any injury you present with during a personal injury case was not caused by the accident if you don’t have ways to prove otherwise.
Even if you feel it’s unnecessary, try to do your due diligence in seeking any and all medical care you can as soon as the accident happens.
It will go a long way in helping your personal injury lawyer do his or her job as effectively as they can to get you the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Don’t Give Any Information to Any Insurance Company Until You Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Speaking again about insurance companies, it’s also important that you don’t give them any information about your accident or make any statements until after you’ve had the chance to talk to a personal injury lawyer about your situation.
And…not only should you not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company following an accident…you shouldn’t even give any information to your own.
Agents of the insurance companies will try to contact you after an accident has been reported, especially when damage and/or injuries have been caused.
Even if you feel your own insurance agent is looking out for your best interest, it’s not always clear what their motivation is.
You may want to believe that your insurance company is on your side and that the other side’s insurance adjusters are the only ones you need to take caution with. However, this is not always the case, especially if the other party is trying to claim that you played a role in the accident happening in the first place.
Again, you are not obligated to talk to anyone until you’ve had a chance to find the right personal injury lawyer to represent you. Once you do, that personal injury law firm will deal with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to.
How Do I Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyers for My Car Accident Case?
Being a victim in a car accident can be nothing less than completely overwhelming.
From doctor bills and doctor visits, to car repairs and even lost time at work, a car accident can leave anyone feeling physically harmed and full of emotional distress.
But you don’t have to go it alone.
Here in Los Angeles, CA, the law firm of John J. Perlstein has been helping victims of car and truck accidents for over 25 years, and we are one of the best personal injury law firms in Southern California.
We understand the Los Angeles and Southern California road rules and have been able to successfully secure financial compensation for many of our clients after they’ve been hurt in a car accident.
Our personal injury lawyers are also highly skilled when it comes to wrongful death cases that may be a result of an injury claim that resulted after someone was killed.
In many of those cases, we were up against some of the toughest insurance companies in the nation. And still, we got the justice and successful settlement for our clients that they had hoped for.
When you contact our personal injury law firm, you will quickly be set up with a free consultation with an accident lawyer who has the skill and experience to work with you on your personal injury case.
During that free consultation, your accident lawyer will collect any details you have about the crash and will know what other questions to ask you in order to start putting together your case.
You’ll also have ample opportunity to ask the questions that are on your mind and start finding the relief you need to know that you’ve finally found someone who is going to walk with you through the rest of this ordeal and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Reach out to the law offices of John J. Perlstein today and begin your road to recovery and financial peace with a Los Angeles personal injury law firm that is ready to fight for your rights.