A car accident can be a harrowing and life-altering event. It can leave you with physical impairments, emotional scars, and financial difficulties. If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident in Long Beach, CA, you may be entitled to compensation.
At JDW Personal Injury, our experienced Long Beach car accident lawyers are available to assist you in navigating the legal proceedings and advocating for the compensation you are entitled to.
Now, we will discuss how our car accident attorneys can assist you, key car accident statistics in Long Beach, local laws, and advice you should follow after a car crash in the local area.
How Our Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Our team at JDW Personal Injury has extensive experience representing car accident victims in Long Beach, CA. We understand the complexities of California car accident laws and have a successful track record of recovering compensation for our clients. Our Long Beach car accident attorneys can help you in a variety of ways:
- Investigate your accident: We will thoroughly investigate your case to determine the cause of the accident and who is responsible for your injuries.
- Collect evidence: Our team will gather crucial evidence, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements, to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: Our team will handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive just compensation for your injuries.
- Represent you in court: If necessary, our skilled litigators will represent you, fighting for the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Long Beach, CA Auto Accident Statistics
Based on the California Office of Traffic Safety data, Long Beach consistently ranks high in car accident-related injuries and fatalities. In 2020, there were a total of 2,874 accidents leading to fatalities and injuries. This statistic underscores the need for effective legal representation for accident victims in the area.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash in the local area, rely on our attorney to represent your rights and defend your interests.
Car Accident Laws in Long Beach, CA
California follows a fault-based system for car accident claims, meaning the driver responsible for the accident is also responsible for compensating the injured party. California also adheres to the comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be lowered by your percentage of fault.
Causes of Car Accidents in Long Beach
Numerous factors can contribute to a car accident in Long Beach, including:
- Distracted driving: Using mobile phones, eating, or adjusting the radio can all lead to distractions that cause accidents.
- Speeding: Excessive speed is a common cause of accidents, as it reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of collisions.
- Driving under the influence: Drugs and alcohol diminish a driver’s capability to operate a vehicle safely, leading to accidents.
- Aggressive driving: Tailgating, frequent lane changes, and other aggressive behaviors can result in accidents.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, debris, and inadequate signage can all contribute to car accidents.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, including:
- Whiplash: A neck injury caused by sudden head movement in a collision.
- Traumatic brain injury: A head injury that can result in cognitive impairment, memory loss, and other long-term effects.
- Broken bones: Arms, legs, ribs, and other bones can be fractured or broken in a car accident.
- Spinal cord damage: Injury to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or other life-altering conditions.
- Internal trauma: Car accidents can cause damage to internal organs, resulting in bleeding, organ failure, or other serious complications.
- Lacerations and abrasions: Cuts, scrapes, and bruises are common injuries in car accidents.
- Emotional trauma: Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be long-lasting effects of a car accident.
Who May Be Liable for a Car Accident
Determining liability in a car accident can be complex. Potentially liable parties may include:
- The at-fault driver: The driver who caused the accident is typically liable for damages.
- Vehicle manufacturers: If a defect in the vehicle is one of the causes of the accident, the manufacturer may be held liable.
- Government entities: If poor road conditions or inadequate signage contributed to the accident, the responsible government agency could be held accountable.
- Employers: If the at-fault driver acted within the scope of their employment, their employer may be held responsible.
Reasons to File a Car Accident Claim
There are several compelling reasons to file a car accident claim after an accident. Pursuing a claim can benefit you in the following ways:
- Recover indemnity for medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses: Filing a claim can help you obtain compensation for the financial burden resulting from the accident, including the cost of medical treatments, rehabilitation, and lost income due to time off work.
- Hold the responsible party answerable for their actions: By filing a claim, you are taking legal action to ensure the at-fault party is held responsible for the harm they have caused, which can offer a sense of closure and justice.
- Obtain justice for pain and suffering caused by accident: Besides financial losses, car accident victims often endure physical and emotional suffering. Filing a claim allows you to seek compensation for these non-economic damages.
- Ensure that the at-fault party’s insurance covers your expenses: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether. Filing a claim with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can increase the likelihood of obtaining a fair and just settlement from the insurance company.
Factors That Affect Car Accident Claims
Several factors can influence the outcome of a car accident claim. Understanding these factors can help you and your attorney build a strong case for compensation. Key factors include:
- The severity of your injuries: The extent and severity of your injuries can significantly impact the value of your claim. More severe injuries often require extensive medical treatment, resulting in higher compensation.
- The amount of available insurance coverage: The at-fault party’s insurance policy limits will affect the maximum compensation you can recover. If the policy limits are insufficient to cover your damages, you may need to explore alternative avenues for compensation.
- The degree of fault attributed to each party involved: California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means your compensation may be lowered if you are discovered to be partly at fault for the accident. The fault distribution among all parties can significantly impact your claim’s value.
- The soundness of the evidence supporting your claim: A successful car accident claim requires strong evidence proving the other party’s negligence and the extent of your damages. Collecting and preserving evidence, such as photographs, witness statements, and medical records, is crucial for building a solid case.
- The skill and experience of your personal injury lawyer: The quality of your legal representation can greatly influence the outcome of your claim. A seasoned car accident attorney can assist you in navigating the legal process, negotiating with insurance companies, and maximizing the compensation you receive.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Long Beach
Contact the Police
After an accident, it’s crucial to call the police and report the incident. A police report can serve as valuable evidence in your car accident claim.
Retain Evidence From the Scene
Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, including photos of the vehicles, skid marks, and other relevant details. Collect contact information from witnesses, as well.
Seek Medical Treatment
Pursuing medical treatment after a car accident is important even if you assessed your injuries to be minor. A medical professional can identify any underlying injuries and provide documentation of your injuries for your claim.
Maintain a Record of Damages and Injury
Keep records of all medical treatments, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident. This documentation will help support your claim for compensation.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a knowledgeable Long Beach car accident lawyer can considerably improve your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can help you through the legal process, negotiate a deal with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Proving Negligence in a Long Beach Car Accident
To recover compensation in a car accident claim, you must establish that the other driver was negligent. This typically involves demonstrating that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty by failing to exercise reasonable care.
- Their breach of duty caused the accident.
- You endured damages as a result of the accident.
Statute of Limitations in Long Beach, CA
California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim related to a car accident is two years from the accident date. You may lose your right to recover compensation if you cannot file a claim within this duration. While two years might sound like a long time, it can go by quickly, so schedule your case consultation with us as soon as possible.
Types of Damages Available for Car Accident Victims in Long Beach, CA
Car accident victims in Long Beach, CA, may be entitled to various types of damages, depending on the specifics of their case. These damages are typically classified into three main categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Understanding the differences between these types of damages is essential to ensure you seek appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses.
Economic damages are intended to compensate for the financial losses sustained due to the accident. These damages can be calculated and documented through bills, receipts, and wage statements. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: These include costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical treatments related to the accident.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work due to your injuries, you can claim compensation for your lost wages during your recovery period.
- Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries have reduced your ability to earn a living, you can claim compensation for the potential future income you have lost.
- Property damage: This covers repairing or replacing your vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and compensate for non-financial losses that may be more difficult to quantify. These damages can vary significantly depending on the severity of the accident and the impact it has had on the victim’s life. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: This compensation covers your injuries’ physical pain and discomfort.
- Emotional distress: Car accidents can cause severe emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Victims may be compensated for the psychological impact of the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries have caused a significant decrease in your ability to enjoy your daily activities, hobbies, or relationships, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
- Loss of consortium: Spouses or partners of car accident victims may be eligible for compensation if the accident has negatively affected their relationship or companionship.
Punitive damages may sometimes be granted on top of economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are not intended to indemnify the victim but to punish the at-fault party for egregious behavior and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
Examples of behavior that may justify punitive damages include:
- Driving under the influence: If the driver who caused the accident was inebriated at the time, they may be subject to punitive damages.
- Extreme recklessness: Punitive damages might be warranted if the at-fault driver exhibited a blatant disregard for the safety of others, such as excessive speeding or street racing.
It should be emphasized that punitive damages are not awarded in every case and are typically reserved for the most severe instances of misconduct. To pursue these types of damages, you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney who can effectively argue for their inclusion in your claim.
Contact Our Long Beach Car Accident Lawyers at JDW Personal Injury for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Long Beach, CA, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Long Beach car accident lawyers at JDW Personal Injury.
Our team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation.