Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Los Angeles traffic is intense, especially for tourists and newcomers, but it has its own logic. If you go with the flow, you’ll be just fine. If you’re too tentative or drive too slow in the left lane, however, you may just throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing and cause an accident. Since you have to drive to get anywhere in the city, L.A. drivers are generally quite skilled; but accidents do happen quite often due to the sheer volume of traffic throughout the day. It’s always wise to consult with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer after getting into a traffic collision, especially when there are injuries.
If you live in L.A. or plan on visiting (and driving), then you should be aware of how liability is determined after a car accident, the various types of damages you may claim for injuries when someone else is at fault, and other matters pertaining to Los Angeles car accidents. The following provides a general summary of these topics.Who’s Responsible for Your Los Angeles Car Accident?
When someone is responsible for a car accident that causes injuries to one or more other parties, they are considered liable. This means they’re financially responsible for compensating the injured party or parties for their injuries, which are claimed as damages. Liability for car accidents is established through one of the following claims:
- Negligence (the most common type of fault in car accidents)
- Recklessness (the person knew or should have known their actions could injure others)
- Intent (they intended to cause harm)
- Strict liability (a party is responsible for injuries regardless of mental state, such as automobile manufacturers)
The vast majority of automobile accidents involve negligence, which means the at-fault party owed you a duty of care (the responsibility of following the rules of traffic and driving defensively) and breached that duty (failed to drive in safe manner). For instance, rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents. They typically happen when a driver is following too close, is distracted, or fails to slow down properly.
Most claims are settled out of court and negotiated with insurance companies, but the injured party (the plaintiff) must be able to prove the following elements in order to prevail in a negligence claims:
- The at-fault driver (the defendant) owed a duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning the injuries would not have happened if not for the defendant’s negligence
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury
If the plaintiff is able to prove these elements, then they may claim damages for any injuries they’ve suffered as a result. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you both prove the defendant’s fault and help you obtain the best possible settlement for your injuries.Claiming Damages for Your L.A. Car Accident Injuries
The term damages refers to the monetary claims for any injuries you’ve suffered as a result of the at-fault party’s actions (or failure to act, depending on the situation). The cost of an ambulance, emergency and other medical care, and lost wages from missing work are some of the most commonly claimed damages. But if you lie awake each night, riddled with anxiety as you replay the accident in your mind, for example, that’s also considered an injury and you may claim emotional distress. If your injuries prevent you from doing the things you love, then you may claim loss of enjoyment of life.
Every situation is different, but bodily injuries can have ripple effects across other areas of your life. Additional damages included (but are not limited to) the following:
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
It’s difficult to put a price tag on certain damages, but you’re legally entitled to monetary compensation for the wrongs you’ve suffered as a result of someone else’s carelessness. And even though you likely won’t step foot in a courtroom, you want to put together a solid basis for your claims in order to get the best possible insurance settlement.Get Expert Help from a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve ever been in a serious car accident, you understand how every little detail matters when filing your claim. You also understand just how costly injuries can be. Don’t leave your claim up to chance; make sure you have the right legal representation. The seasoned experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation know how to get you the compensation you deserve.