A car crash can happen to anyone – and these days it seems that only a car accident attorney Los Angeles is on your side to help you pursue the compensation that you deserve without cheating you out of your hard-earned money (unlike your insurance company, motor vehicle lawyers are getting paid for helping you out – not the other way around).
Your auto insurance company, other parties involved in a road accident, their insurers, even corrupt police officers… All seem to have rallied against you to minimize your car accident and personal injury claim.
Luckily for you, there’s still an option to obtain the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages and lost capacity, pain and suffering, and a variety of other car accident damages available in your particular case. And that option is: seek the legal advice of a Los Angeles car accident attorney.
Fact: there are over 7.75 million motor vehicles registered in Los Angeles alone (and over 26 million licensed drivers across California!). That means the number of registered motor vehicles in LA exceeds the county’s population! That also means that the risk of getting into a car accident in Los Angeles is ridiculously high.
Our best auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles – Howard Craig Kornberg, an AV-rated auto collision attorney (the highest rating given to attorneys for their legal trial skills and ethical standards) – has provided you with this handy guide to understand California car accident laws and maximize your insurance claim if you ever get into a motor vehicle accident in LA.
Car accident statistics in Los Angeles and the U.S.: FACTS and STATS
If you regularly drive your car in Los Angeles – while commuting to and from work or traveling – be warned that the risk of becoming a victim of a motor vehicle accident is extremely high.
If you don’t take our word for it, check out this rather disturbing and shocking car accident statistics in Los Angeles and the U.S. overall.
Fact #1: between 35,000 and 40,000 Americans die in road accidents every year.
Fact #2: an additional over 2.3 million U.S. citizens are injured or disabled in motor vehicle accidents annually (the injuries that require expensive medical treatment and can negatively affect an individual’s earning potential).
Fact #3: car accident deaths per year among children under 15 total over 1,600, while nearly 8,000 teenagers and young adults ages 16-20 get killed in road collisions every year.
Fact #4: about 10 million motor vehicle accidents of all kinds, including minor collisions and fender benders, occur in the U.S. every year.
Fact #5: road accident statistics show that of every 1,000 car crashes, three involve fatalities.
Fact #6: auto insurance companies estimate that an average American will file a car accident claim about once every 18 years in a lifetime.
Fact #7: motor vehicle accidents cost the U.S. over $230 billion per year or an average of over $800 per every U.S. citizen.
Fact #8: every year, more than 1.1 million motorists are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), and more than 10,000 Americans die in DUI road collisions involving an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver.
Fact #9: texting and driving (and using a cell phone while operating a vehicle) lead to over 1.6 million car accidents annually. Distracted driving results in more than 390,000 Americans suffering injuries and damages.
Fact #10: aggressive and reckless driving may be responsible for the vast majority of all car accident deaths in the U.S.
Fact #11: head-on collisions are the deadliest type of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., accounting for over 4,000 auto accident fatalities per year, or over 10% of all fatal traffic collisions in our country.
Fact #12: motor vehicle fatalities in Los Angeles have been steadily rising in recent years, with the number of traffic deaths in 2017 exceeding 2016 car accident deaths by over 20%.
Fact #13: over 50,000 Los Angeles residents sustain injuries in car crashes every year.
Fact #14: hit-and-run road accidents account for nearly 10% of all fatal traffic collisions in California. In fact, the state has more hit-and-run car accidents than any other state in the nation.
Sure, looking at the above-mentioned car accident statistics in Los Angeles and the U.S. can make your hair stand on end, but believing in these common car accident myths can be just as scary (and even deadly).
Our best car accident attorney Los Angeles – Howard C. Kornberg at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg – is going to debunk some of the most common and most dangerous myths about motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
No, they won’t. Contrary to the popular belief, the police arrive at the scene of a car accident not to determine who is at fault. They are there to write a police report, which will later be used by either a judge or insurance companies to determine liability and evaluate damages.
In car crashes where the police believe one of the parties was driving under the influence or committed a crime, the suspect may be taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving or other felonies, misdemeanors or crimes for further investigation.
Our car accident attorney Los Angeles Howard C. Kornberg, who has helped victims of car accidents recover more than $70 million in verdicts and settlements the past three decades, says that while police reports are great, writing down your own notes, taking photos and even recording videos at the scene of the traffic collision is critical to improve your chances at collecting maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
Settling a car accident without the help of an auto accident attorney is a serious mistake. Many people, who wonder “should I get an attorney after a car accident?” but choose not to, risk getting their personal injury claim denied or reduced significantly.
Only an experienced attorney, in cooperation with a savvy team of independent investigators and medical professionals, can determine liability in a car crash, evaluate the full cost of your injuries and damages, and craft a personalized strategy to help you win the compensation that you truly deserve.
Never should you ever communicate with the other driver for reasons other than taking down his contact and insurance information. Many victims of road collisions tend to admit fault willingly or unintentionally right after a car accident due to shock, which, in turn, can nullify their chances of obtaining compensation. That’s why it’s highly advised to consult an attorney before you say anything to the other driver or even your insurance company.
Any insurance company is anything but your friend. And it’s definitely not here to HELP (if insurers truly cared about their policyholders and pursued their interests, they wouldn’t profit, and, therefore, wouldn’t be able to exist).
You have to understand this once and for all: your insurance company will do whatever it takes to minimize the cost of your car accident claim. Never go straight to your insurer for evaluation of your injuries and damages. Chances are your insurance company will conduct an unfair and biased investigation to reduce the payment of your claim.
Instead, get a free consultation from a Los Angeles car accident lawyers, who would work day and night to assess your damages and injuries fairly and thoroughly, and handle the claim on your behalf having your best interest in mind.
Some car crash injuries don’t manifest themselves until days or weeks have passed after a road accident. That doesn’t mean, however, that just because you didn’t file a car accident claim immediately after the collision, you won’t be able to sue the other driver for your injuries and damages later.
As long as your claim meets criteria under California’s statute of limitations and as long as your injuries have been well-documented by a doctor, you are able to start legal action against the other party and seek compensation for your injuries and damages days, weeks or even months after the auto accident in Los Angeles.
On the contrary, by NOT hiring a car accident lawyer you risk getting into legal and financial trouble if the other driver or his/her insurance company has proof that you were at fault for the collision (and you have no viable evidence to dispute their verdict and settlement).
Sure, you don’t necessarily need a motor vehicle accident lawyer to handle paperwork relating to a minor car crash. But in serious car accidents, especially those involving injuries or fatalities, being legally represented by a reputable and results-driven law firm such as Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg is the key to success.
It’s not like we’re being prepared for motor vehicle accidents from our childhood. We don’t exactly have classes in school teaching us how to behave in certain stressful and life-threatening situations such as surviving a car accident.
But with the disturbingly high number of car crash injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles, we definitely should be getting some type of educational classes on what to do during and after motor vehicle accidents.
Fear not, Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg has got you covered with the following Los Angeles car accident attorney advice: here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about road accidents in the U.S.
A: Make sure that every party involved in the car crash – other car drivers, pedestrians, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclist, etc. – are safe, and, if necessary, receive proper medical attention (step #1: call 911 to treat the injured).
Step #2: get away from your car and other vehicles involved in the auto accident and stay at a safe distance to avoid further injuries and damages – there can be leaked fuel, flames and combustibles, which means the vehicles could burst into flames or explode (advise all the other parties involved to do the same).
Step #3: Ensure that all the motorists have turned off the ignition to reduce the risk of fire in case of a fuel leak.
Step #4: call the police, who will arrive at the scene of the car accident to write a police report. Be polite with the police officers, stay calm, and do your best at describing what has happened (never should you ever admit fault, make assumptions or make comments such as “I’m so sorry” or “I should’ve been more careful” that automatically make you look guilty – leave it up to car accident lawyers to determine fault).
Step #5: take your own notes about the car crash, take photographs and videos at the scene of the collision, especially the skid marks (if any), car damage from different angles and your injuries.
Step #6: if you’re injured, make sure your injuries are treated by doctors, who would document your injuries.
Step #7: write down the license plate number and all the information related to the other driver(s) and the vehicles involved in the auto accident (insurance information, names, telephone numbers, policyholder’s address,the vehicle’s plate number, model, color etc.).
Step #8: exchange contact information with all witnesses at the scene of the car accident.
Step #9: don’t call your insurance company to report the car crash just yet. Instead, get a free consultation from a car accident attorney Los Angeles to find out your best course of action in your particular case.
Calling your insurer right away is going to significantly reduce the value of your personal injury and car damage claim, as many Los Angeles insurance companies employ dishonest and unfair practices when it comes to investigating and handling motor vehicle accident claims. Also, they often pressure their policyholders to agree to an unfair, low-pay initial settlement offer, which in over 97% cases proves to be MUCH lower than the real, full value of damages established by a skilled auto accident lawyer.
A: If your car crash involved more than $750 in property damage and if someone was injured, reporting a traffic accident to the DMV is required by law and is important for your legal success in litigating the auto accident or settling the claim in your best interest.
After consulting an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer, you and your attorney should create a report (Form SR 1) and send it over to the California DMV within 10 days of the traffic collision.
Note: you’re required to report the road accident to the DMV even if you were the victim of the car crash. By not reporting a car accident to the DMV, you risk getting your driver’s license suspended.
A: Even though California law requires all motorists with the state’s license plates carry a 15/30 liability insurance policy, an estimated over 3.7 million motorists in Los Angeles and all across California are currently uninsured.
Given the high number of uninsured motorists in California, the risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident with one is extremely gigantic.
Should you worry if your car accident involves an uninsured motorist who doesn’t have the law-required auto insurance liability policy with the minimum coverage of $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person; $30,000 per accident minimum and a minimum of $5,000 in property damage liability coverage?
While a road accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Los Angeles will most likely involve more paperwork and headache, it’s still possible to recover damages even though the other driver isn’t covered by a liability insurance policy.
In fact, California now requires uninsured motorist coverage in all auto insurance policies currently owned by law-abiding drivers in the state. This helps protect them from significant costs associated with property damage and injuries in the event of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
While it’s unlikely that you will be able to get a sizeable compensation for your injuries and damages from a driver who didn’t have enough money to buy an auto insurance liability policy in the first place, your Los Angeles car accident attorney can craft a personalized plan for your particular circumstances to maximize the compensation.
A: Never call your insurer to report a road accident right away. By reporting a car accident to your insurance company before assessing the full value of your damages can dramatically reduce the cost of your claim settlement.
After you make sure that all the injured parties, including yourself, involved in the traffic collision, receive proper medical care, contact an auto accident lawyer to get a free consultation.
Our car accident attorney in Los Angeles – Howard C. Kornberg, who has over 35 years of experience in litigating minor and major motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles and across California – will dispatch his professional team of vehicle damage estimators and investigators, who would determine liability and assess the full value of your damages.
Additionally, our motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you find a qualified physician who will not charge ANY fees until after you’ve recovered damages and injury compensation through a verdict or settlement.
Only with a clear plan in mind and a professional team acting on your behalf on board, you can report the accident and let your insurer conduct its own independent investigation of your car accident claim.
A: Going straight to your insurance company for damage assessment may have a negative impact on your claim, as most insurers in Los Angeles and all across California attempt to minimize their policyholders’ compensation by conducting a biased investigation.
But conducting an unfair investigation is not the only type of an insurance company’s dishonest handling of car accident claims. Other types of unfair insurance claim practices include misrepresenting facts or policy provisions, offering an unreasonably small settlement amount (even though you were initially promised/advertised more), delaying the investigation or payment with lack of communication or by requiring you to provide an inadequate amount proofs and file an absurd amount of paperwork, and many more.
A: Under California negligence laws, the legal doctrine of “comparative negligence” is being employed to determine liability and fault in car accidents in Los Angeles and other cities and counties in the state.
The standard of the so-called pure comparative negligence allows a plaintiff (the victim of a road accident) suefor and collect compensation basedon the percentage of damages assigned to the other motorist (defendant).
Our car accident attorneys at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg explain that each motorist, pedestrian, truck driver, bicyclist or motorcyclist involved in a road collision will have his or her compensation limited by the amount they were at fault for the accident.
What it means is that if the other motorist was driving under the influence of alcohol and you were speeding at the time of the collision, each of you will be assigned with a specified amount of negligence, reducing your compensation by a certain percentage (%) of negligence.
While the doctrine of comparative negligence makes the process of determining liability fairer to all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident, dishonest motorists, their lawyers and insurers are more likely to attempt to shift the fault and put the blame on you to decrease the amount they were negligent in the accident.
That’s why it’s vital to be legally represented by a Los Angeles car accident attorney to be able to use every bit of evidence in a motor vehicle accident to prove the other party’s negligence and maximize the recovery of damages and injuries sustained in a car crash.
Note: be warned that even if the other driver seemingly admitted his/her fault at the scene of the car accident and you may have even agreed to bypass your insurance companies to work it out on your own, the motorist could have a change of heart, hire a motor vehicle accident lawyer and start refusing to accept responsibility. Furthermore, they may attempt to assign you 100% liability for causing the car crash.
That’s why it’s critical to have an attorney by your side to prevent the other parties from placing an unfair amount of blame on you.
A: If you wondering how much your car accident claim is worth, the answer is: it depends. There are a variety of factors that are taken into account when assessing the full value of your claim, which is why it’s possible to say how much money you can recover from a road accident only after reviewing your particular case.
In terms of dollar value, compensation for motor vehicle accidents can range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. Here at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, we have helped numerous of our clients recover $2.5 million, $1.5 million and more, which you can see in our testimonials.
Let our best car accident lawyers in Los Angeles determine the potential value of your motor vehicle accident claim, and get every dollar available in your case (and even more).
A: You have every right to question “should I get an attorney after a car accident or not,” but know this: by hiring an auto accident lawyer, you don’t have anything to lose.
In fact, since our Los Angeles car accident attorneys work day and night to maximize the value of your motor vehicle accident claim, you only win from being legally represented by a skilled lawyer who is the only one out there motivated to work hard in your best interest to collect compensation for your damages and injuries on your behalf.
A car crash lawyer will handle all the paperwork and exhaustive work associated with your accident with the help a team of investigators and medical professionals, allowing you to focus on your speedy recovery and return to work and enjoy your life as soon as possible.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to what our car accident attorney Los Angeles Firm has to offer to help you seek both economic and non-economic damages.
Investigating your claim:
Review your car accident
Establish all sources for recovery (insurance policies)
Help you find a physician (if necessary)
Document your injuries and review your medical records
Order a police report (if there is none)
Reach out to witnesses to build a strong case
Advance any upfront fees associated with establishing your property damage and personal injury claim.
Reporting the car accident to your insurance company:
Conduct all communication with your insurance company and the insurance companies of the other motorists involved
Prevent the insurers from trying to feed you with an unfair initial settlement offer, conducting a biased investigation or in any way attempting to minimize the real value of your claim
Identify possible pitfalls in your claim and try to address them
Create and submit a comprehensive settlement demand package with supportive evidence, paperwork, full value of your injuries and damages, legal arguments that determine negligence, and more.
Maximizing your settlement claim:
Negotiate a larger sum of money with the insurance companies
Consider putting pressure on insurers by threatening to file a lawsuit in order to collect compensation in a timely manner and ensure the amount of your settlement is adequate.
A: If you’re concerned about Los Angeles car accident attorney fees, don’t be. We only get paid if we win your case. Attorneys collect a pre-determined contingency fee of the settlement or verdict.
Our lawyers advance all costs and fees associated with pursuing legal action on your behalf, ensuring your recovery and spending as many hours as needed to handle your case and help you collect economic and non-economic damages.
Our motor vehicle accident attorneys will NEVER ask you to finance your own case or charge you by the hour when investigating your case, consulting you, negotiating with other parties on your behalf, filing a lawsuit and litigating your case in court.
Thanks to this fair and client-friendly strategy, Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg holds the reputation of one of the most reputable law firms in California with some of the best car accident attorney Los Angeles.
Howard C. Kornberg, an award winning lawyer with the AV Preeminent rating as a trial lawyer, has won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients in his over 35 years of experience.