With a population of almost 40 million people, California is the most populated state in the country. The state has had tremendous growth over the last few years, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. Unfortunately, because of its large population, the state records the most traffic accidents, fatalities, and injuries each year.
However, auto accidents do not just happen; they are usually the product of careless or incompetent drivers. Irrespective of the reason, these collisions frequently end in catastrophic injuries or death. It pays to have a skilled lawyer to depend on when you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident.
Overett Group Attorneys is the premier personal injury practice in Long Beach, California, serving car accident victims. We have the legal expertise and the negotiation skills you need to assist you in receiving proper compensation for your damages.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
When you have to give evidence to substantiate your lawsuit, you should be conversant with the usual practices that result in car accidents. Your attorney can show how driver negligence occurred when you demonstrate what happened with the accused, giving the court sufficient evidence to grant you, the litigant, the compensation you seek. The majority of the elements that result in car accidents are caused by the usual distractions that deplete a motorist's optimum attention and visual capacity. Common causes of car accidents are as follows:
Although drunk driving receives a lot more attention from the authorities as well as the public, distracted driving is among the main causes of car accidents. Drivers can quickly get distracted while driving if they are eating, drinking, or conversing with other occupants of the vehicle.
However, many drivers are distracted while driving when they start using their phones to send messages or when they get distracted by other onboard equipment like GPS systems. Even though California has multiple laws prohibiting the use of mobile phones to text, as well as other wireless gadgets, distracted motorists are responsible for countless accidents every year.
If you caught a peek at the accused using his or her phone just before the vehicle accident, you might include that in your statement as additional proof of his or her negligence.
Operating cars at extreme speeds is risky because motorists have much less time to respond to any traffic events. Furthermore, speeding can result in high-impact crashes, which can in turn result in serious injuries or sometimes death. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable, contributing to approximately half of all traffic deaths in California despite only being implicated in 14% of all crashes. It is critical to inform your lawyer if you're certain that a defendant was driving at excessive speeds in places where speed limits should have been applied. Notifying your attorney about the occurrence motivates additional investigations into the matter.
Accidents can be avoided when drivers adhere to stop lights, specific turning lanes and turn signals. However, drivers routinely disobey traffic rules and make dangerous turns, often resulting in fatalities. Examples of incorrect turns include acts such as turning without warning, turning at a stoplight when there's a "no turning during red sign," turning at a red light or a stop sign without entirely stopping, and failing to yield the “right of way” to other vehicles or pedestrians.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Reckless driving is a traffic offense in California that can result in penalties, jail time, and/or the revocation or suspension of a driver's license. However, violating traffic laws puts both negligent drivers and others at an increased risk of being injured or even dying. Examples of negligent or aggressive driving include drunk driving, speeding, disobeying stop signs, or stopping abruptly, among others.
Young drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents because of their lack of expertise. Teenagers sometimes underestimate or fail to detect potentially risky situations. They are also more prone to using drugs or alcohol while driving, using their phones while driving, speeding, and tailgating. Car crashes are, unfortunately, the greatest cause of fatalities for young people in the United States.
Makers and distributors of automobiles should make sure that the cars they sell are safe. Furthermore, there are national safety regulations in effect, and all automobiles must pass rigorous testing before being released to the public. Despite this, car flaws are responsible for a large number of accidents every year, leading to injuries and deaths.
Recently, faulty airbags were a major cause, especially those that did not deploy or burst during the accident, throwing deadly metallic fragments into the vehicle. Other common vehicle flaws that cause car accidents or injuries include malfunctioning braking systems, tires, or steering systems.
Whenever there are bad weather conditions, motorists have to exercise extreme caution. Rain can make roads slippery and unsafe, leading vehicles to skid, lose traction, or even spin out of control when braking. Snow and ice, on the other hand, present problems that might be made worse by drivers who do not know how to operate in such conditions.
Drivers commonly encounter construction areas since regional and state administrations are responsible for maintaining the highways and roads. Even though highway construction safety standards are in place to safeguard motorists and employees, many accidents and fatalities occur every year in road construction zones. Drivers might quickly lose total control of their cars when signals, cones, barrels, or spotlights are misaligned. Debris and equipment on the roads can also contribute to collisions.
California as an At-Fault State
Because California has an at-fault insurance scheme, the person who caused the car accident will be responsible for the claimant's compensation demands. The sum of settlement is established by taking into account the magnitude of the damages, the severity of the at-fault party's negligence, as well as the level of the plaintiff's involvement in the car accident.
The damage will be paid by the at-fault motorist or their insurance company. If the plaintiff does not concur with the sum granted by the insurer, they can launch a claim for unpaid losses in a personal injury lawsuit.
California's auto insurance laws demand motorists possess a minimum sum of vehicle insurance coverage, which is $5,000 for any damage to property as well as $15,000 for physical injury per victim. Accidents involving more than one victim will result in a $30,000 fine.
What is a Driver’s Duty of Care?
As road users, all drivers owe a duty of care to other road users. This means drivers should not break any road safety laws, which can then expose them as well as other road users to unimaginable consequences. California laws require drivers to follow their duty of reasonable care and show "due care" in circumstances that are within their control.
Failure to comply with the "duty of care" is considered negligence, and the driver may be held responsible for the accident. Our personal injury attorneys will work hard to prove your driving fault so that they can't blame the accident on you and avoid paying penalties. You can count on us to fight tooth and nail until we secure a favorable settlement with the accused.
Also, all motorists are expected to halt and look to see whether anyone has been harmed once an accident happens. Drivers have to stop and share details when somebody is hurt or killed. Drivers also must offer their assistance to anyone who's been hurt.
Elements of Driver Negligence
A successful car accident lawsuit must generally show the following components of negligence:
The Other Driver Had a Legal Obligation to Drive Safely
To prevent unnecessary accidents as a motorist in the state, you need to follow the traffic laws established in the California Vehicle Code. The current rules include various driving directives that compel all drivers to follow necessary road safety procedures. Section 22350 of the motor code, for example, forbids drivers from driving at excessive speeds on unauthorized road segments.
Any motorist operating a vehicle is required to follow the regulations, which place a duty of reasonable care on all road users. Many other traffic laws restrict drivers' actions while they are on the road to lessen the risk of automobile accidents. As per article 23152 of the motor code, you must not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Each of these rules helps to reduce the associated risks that drivers might encounter; otherwise, no one would have a duty of care towards other road users.
As a result, stating relevant legislative clauses in court and demonstrating their connection to the accused's infringement is enough to establish that a duty of reasonable care existed. You may successfully specify the exact provisions of the road regulations that demand the accused to exert the bare minimum of duty using the details of the road rules.
The Defendant Infringed the Duty of Care
With the necessity to demonstrate the precise manner in which the accused infringed a duty of reasonable care, your counsel will need to compile a variety of sources of proof to establish a compelling case. To begin with, your attorney will review the police report to verify that the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the vehicle accident fit your account.
That way, any contradictory pieces of evidence that might conflict with a legitimate line of logic before the court can be avoided. In the police statement, you can find facts that establish the accused's violation of a duty of reasonable care. For instance, if a statement discloses the motorist's speed minutes before the crash, it'll help establish that he or she had violated road rules, whatever the situation may be.
Witness testimony might also help your case by providing more evidence. You could successfully show his or her negligence with further testimony from reliable eyewitnesses.
The Accused’s Infringement Directly Caused the Car Accident
Until your attorney can deliver a thorough case, he or she must show that the accused's acts are the major cause of any injury or loss that results from the incident. Essentially, you have to rely on evidence that demonstrates how the motorist's violation caused the vehicle accident.
Possible Injuries From Car Accidents
Plaintiffs suffer damages as a result of various losses that were caused by the car accidents, depending on the conditions. For instance, if you are involved in a low-impact rear-end collision, your compensation damages will be less than if you are involved in a high-impact T-bone collision. As a result, your attorney will enlist a skilled mechanical damage inspector, who'll provide an assessment of the losses you may suffer as a result of the automobile accident.
Aside from the damage to your car, you could sustain several physical injuries that could drastically alter your life. Because of the considerable injuries, you might be forced to modify your whole lifestyle. The following are the most common injuries suffered in car accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which are common after a high impact automobile accident.
- Face and neck injuries.
- Injuries to the spine.
- Amputations. This could happen when the limbs are damaged badly and the doctors have to remove the limb to save the victim’s life.
- Deep cuts.
- Extreme loss of blood.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. This happens when someone experiences a traumatic event like a car crash.
- Ribs and torso injuries when objects poke at your chest cavity during an accident.
- Internal injuries. These kinds of injuries often go unnoticed but could lead to serious health complications.
- Dental injuries that could happen when a driver slams his or her head on the steering wheel.
You need to provide all the documentation, including hospital records that illustrate the severity of injuries incurred and car repair records, to provide a legal backup that proves the losses suffered. You should keep receipts for any payments you've made, as well as any future consultations you've had with your physician and car mechanic.
Demonstrating that another motorist was at fault is significantly more difficult than most accident victims assume. Your personal injury attorney will use their legal expertise to recognize at-fault motorists who have committed negligent actions.
Your lawyer will conduct extensive investigations, gather vital evidence, and locate and interrogate witnesses. They will work with reputable accident reconstruction experts to substantiate the claim, depending on the complexity of the accident.
Damages to Pursue After a Car Accident
A thorough case filing contains specific monetary compensation requests from the plaintiff to cover all damages that they suffered as a result of an accident. You may demand remuneration for the following:
Damage to Property
Following a high-impact collision, your car could end up a crumpled wreck, a significant loss to your purchase. When you buy a car on credit, the situation could be much worse since you'll be left with loans to pay off and also repair costs. To allow your attorney to commence discussions that result in the compensation you want, the offender should disclose the details of his or her insurance carrier. When a driver is not insured, he or she can request assistance from the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that all insurance carriers are required by law to provide.
Loss of Future Income
You could lose your only source of income if you incur significant injuries that prevent you from continuing to work. Because you might not be able to put in extra hours or, in severe situations, ever again, you could claim all of your monetary losses. The accused's payments ought to be enough to sustain you for some time if you are unable to work.
Expenses for Medical Care
Without a doubt, the medical treatments you get following a car accident can cost you a lot of money. In some situations, surgical operations or more physiotherapy appointments may be required to get you back up and running. Furthermore, purchasing drugs to support you in your entire recovery might be costly, particularly when you do not have complete medical coverage. It is important to incorporate the amounts incurred in hospital costs into your lawsuit filings to ensure you recover the losses you incurred.
Each year in California, thousands of people are killed in car accidents. Unfortunately, when they pass away, they can not sue the negligent motorist. However, surviving members of the deceased's family can initiate claims to make the negligent motorists accountable for their actions and receive compensation.
When submitting a case on behalf of a person who has died, you should be:
- Domestic partner.
- Someone entitled to the deceased's property.
If you're not a member of the aforementioned list, you will be unable to submit a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. Several of the compensatory damages you'll be seeking as a result of the death of a beloved one in a car accident are listed below.
- Funeral costs.
- Burial costs.
- Income that the decedent could have managed to earn if he/she was still alive.
- Loss of consortium.
Find an Expert Car Accident Attorney Near Me
When you are involved in a car accident, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages and injuries, irrespective of how mild or serious your claim is. At the Overett Group Attorneys, we provide the best legal services, including timely submission of your case, dealing with insurance companies, and court representation. We pride ourselves on achieving the most favorable outcomes for our clients. Call us today at 562-986-9864. We serve clients all across Long Beach, California.