Throughout the United States, car accidents happen every day. They happen on small rural roadways and wide, congested interstate highways. Sometimes, a collision’s only victims are the involved vehicles’ paint jobs. In others, drivers and their passengers suffer severe injuries and even death. In California, there were 3,623 recorded traffic fatalities in 2016. There were far more traffic injuries, and beyond that, far more traffic accidents.

When you are injured in a car accident, you can be put into a very difficult financial decision. Your high medical bills, compounded by your lack of earnings as you spend time out of work to recover, can create a financial hardship for you and your family. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you can potentially recover compensation for these expenses through a personal injury claim.

What Causes Car Accidents?

Car accidents have a variety of causes. What caused your car accident will impact your personal injury claim, potentially to the point of rendering the claim invalid. Your car accident could be attributed entirely to the poor maintenance of the roadway where it occurred or the confusing, dangerous layout of a parking lot or garage. In a case like this, the owner of the parking lot or garage or the government agency charged with maintaining the road may be the negligent party, which means they are liable for your damages.

Negligence” is a critical concept in personal injury law. When a party fails to act within their duty of care, which means their duty to prevent injury to others by operating a vehicle safely, maintaining a safe premises on their property, or ensuring that their product is safe for the consumer, that party is negligent and thus, liable for any damages that arise from accidents caused by their negligence. Damages are the expenses the victims face because of their accidents.

A driver can be negligent in the following ways:

  • Driving drunk or under the influence of another drug;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving aggressively, such as tailgating;
  • Disregarding posted speed limits and other traffic rules;
  • Failing to maintain his or her vehicle properly, creating a safety hazard; and
  • Driving when he or she is too tired to do so safely.

Pedestrians and bicyclists can also be negligent for similar reasons, as well as failing to observe proper road protocol.

A vehicle’s manufacturer or seller can also be negligent by failing to ensure that the vehicle is safe for the consumer. A faulty or defective part that was not properly announced or recalled can render a manufacturer liable for victims’ damages, and when a car dealer sells a vehicle despite knowing that it poses a potential safety hazard to the buyer, the seller may be at fault.

auto accident handbook

How Can I be Injured in a Car Accident?

How you are injured in a car accident depends on a few factors, like whether you were wearing a seat belt, the angle of the accident, and the nature of the accident. A few examples of injuries that can result from a car accident include:

  • Broken bones;
  • Soft tissue injuries;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Burns; and
  • Cuts.

Seeking Compensation for your Car Accident Damages through a Personal Injury Claim

Through your personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Your medical bills;
  • Your lost wages due to leaving work to recover, which can include missed advancement opportunities and if you are permanently disabled, your lost future earning capacity; and
  • Pain and suffering expenses, the intangible losses like your emotional trauma following the accident.

In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident in most cases. This means that if you need to go to court to resolve your case, you have to do so before two years pass. When the claim is against a government agency, the statute of limitations is only six months.

Although you can file a personal injury claim on your own, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced lawyer who can help you craft an effective claim using evidence to support it. The evidence you use can come from the scene of the accident, like photographs of the collision and your injury and the official police report, and from later interactions like testimony from your doctor detailing the treatment you need and your prognosis. Other useful evidence can include testimonies from witnesses and a digital reconstruction of the accident. You will also need to provide evidence that shows your financial damages, such as copies of your medical bills and documentation showing your typical pay rate and the time you spent out of work.

Car Accident Case and Claim Types

Not all car accidents look the same. The different types of car accident include:

  • Rollovers;
  • Rear end collisions;
  • Head-on collisions;
  • Side impact collisions; and
  • Wrong way collisions.

Your case could deviate from the standard fault claim, too. If the other driver involved in your claim did not have insurance or had less insurance coverage than you need to cover your damages, you can file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance provider. If you purchased personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you can also seek compensation for your damages through this coverage. In some states, PIP coverage is required. In California, it is not. Our team can help you pursue compensation in any type of car accident case, even a case where you were partially at fault.

Common Car Auto Accident Injuries

One of the many things that make California car accident claims challenging is that the resulting injuries can vary widely, both in their kind and their level of severity. It is not always easy to predict how serious the injuries will be just by looking at the resulting crash. There are cases in which people walk away from rollover accidents with little more than a scratch. Yet, there are also cases in which a seemingly minor fender-bender results in a devastating head or neck injury. If you were injured in a crash, you are entitled to full compensation for your specific damages. Our Glendale car accident lawyers can help. We have handled legal claims involving virtually every type of injury, including:

  • Broken and fractured bones;
  • Severe joint damage;
  • Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
  • Psychological trauma;
  • Deep cuts and lacerations;  
  • Soft tissue damage, including whiplash;
  • Internal injuries, including organ damage;
  • Spinal cord damage; and
  • Partial or total paralysis.

The California Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

For personal injury claims, California has a two-year statute of limitations. This basically means that you have two years from the time of your crash in Glendale, California to file a case. To be clear, your claim does not need to be fully resolved within that period. However, if you have not filed a claim by that time, you will likely lose out on your right to recover compensation. There are very limited exceptions to this rule. To protect your rights, you should speak to a Glendale auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision.

How Do You Prove Liability for a California Car Accident?

California car accident claims are governed by the state’s comparative fault rules. As fault is based on negligence, injured victims must prove that another party acted in an unsafe manner and that those unsafe actions were a causal factor in the accident. In the overwhelming majority of cases, auto accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, opposing drivers will refuse to admit their own culpability. In fact, they may even outright lie to responding police officers or to the insurance company. Injured car accident victims should work with a top-rated Glendale auto accident attorney who can investigate the crash and put together the evidence needed to prove fault. In car accident cases, negligence comes in a variety of different forms. Some of the most common examples include:

  • The running of a red light or stop sign;
  • Failure to yield to oncoming traffic;
  • Following another vehicle too closely;
  • Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions;
  • Making an unsafe lane change;
  • Failure to maintain lane interrigy;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Drugged driving;
  • Drunk driving; and
  • Manufacturer negligence.

You Deserve Fair Compensation

After you prove liability, your Glendale auto accident claim will move forward to the issue of damages. To get full compensation, it is imperative that you work with a lawyer who can properly document your losses. You will only be able to recover money for your injuries if you can prove the existence and value of your damages through strong supporting evidence. Insurance companies know full well that proving damages is a difficult task. Insurers work aggressively to try to reduce the value of car accident injury claims. Do not let them get away with it. Never accept of lowball settlement offer from the insurance company. You have a legal right to obtain money for the full value of your losses. This includes compensation for:

  • Repairs to your car;
  • Ambulance fees;
  • Emergency room fees;
  • Other medical bills;
  • Costs related to rehabilitation;
  • Lost current and future wages;
  • Long-term disability (LTD);
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Loss of a limb;
  • Loss of lifestyle enjoyment; and
  • Wrongful death.

You Can Afford a Car Accident Attorney in Glendale, CA

Many Glendale car accident victims worry that hiring a top-quality personal injury attorney is just too expensive. This is an understandable concern, but you do not have to worry: At Fisher & Talwar, we take on all car accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will advance any expenses required to pursue your legal claim. Further, we will only collect our attorney’s fees if we win or successfully settle your Glendale car accident case. Our legal team wants to put money back into your pocket, not take anything out of it.  

No Attorney’s Fee Unless We Get You Money

You pay nothing upfront when we take on your case. Since we work on contingency basis, you only pay if you get money. This allows you to focus on treatment and recovery from your accident, while we focus on what we do best.

If you are worried that the attorney fee might not be worth it, then consider the following:

In most situations, the settlement amount negotiated by your attorney is two to three times higher than any money received by an injured person who is not represented by an attorney.

If you are not sure whether or not your claim is worth hiring an attorney for, please give us a call and we will give you free consultation and assist you in evaluating your case.

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Work with an Experienced Lakewood Car Accident Attorney

If you are facing financial damages after being injured in a Lakewood car accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for those damages. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys in Lakewood, CA at Fisher & Talwar can help you determine all of your legal options and potential outcomes for each. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.