Getting into a car accident in and around the Los Angeles area can be a confusing experience. If you or a loved one have been involved in a crash, you likely have many questions. We hope to answer as many of your questions as possible, but feel free to reach out to the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg for help with your case.
Step #1: Call 911 to treat the injured. Make sure that every party involved in the car crash – other car drivers, pedestrians, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, etc. – are safe, and, if necessary, receive proper medical attention
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 – 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: Exchange contact information with all witnesses at the scene of the car accident.
Step #5: 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 (you should never admit fault, make assumptions or make comments such as “I’m so sorry”, “I should’ve been more careful”, “I didn’t see what happened”, or “I was distracted”, that automatically make you look guilty – leave it up to car accident lawyers to determine fault).
Step #6: 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 on all damaged vehicles from different angles, and your injuries.
Step #7: If you’re injured, make sure your injuries are treated by doctors, who would document your injuries.
Step #8: 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 #9: Don’t call your insurance company to report the car crash just yet. Instead, get a free consultation from a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to find out your best course of action in your particular case.
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 are required to report the road accident to the DMV if you were the driver of the car or owner of any car involved in the collision with more than $;750.00 of damage, 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.
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.
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. You may be able to use your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to obtain compensation for your losses or you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver. If the other car is not insured, you must file an SR-1 with the DMV and 45 days later request form SR19 to prove the other driver was not insured.
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 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/more), delaying the investigation or payment with a lack of communication, or requiring you to provide an excessive amount of proof or demand an absurd amount of paperwork.
Under California negligence laws and 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) to sue for and collect compensation based on 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 negligently driving and you were speeding at the time of the collision, each of you may be assigned with a specified amount of negligence, potentially 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 the Law Offices of Howard C. Kornberg, 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. So if you can record the other party admitting fault or get them to sign a written statement admitting fault, or have a witness hear the other party admit fault, that is best.
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.
If you are wondering how much your car accident claim is worth, the answer is: it depends on all evidence. There are a variety of factors that are taken into account when assessing the full value of your claim. It is only possible to assess the range of values for your case after all of the evidence is collected and reviewed.
In terms of dollar value, compensation for motor vehicle accidents can range from tens of thousands of dollars to tens of millions of dollars. Here at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, we have helped numerous clients recover millions 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.
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 of 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.
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.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, contact the team at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg for help with your case today. We pledged to investigate every aspect of your claim so we can obtain full compensation for your losses. When you need a Los Angeles Carson attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 310-997-0904.