Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys
Helping Victims File Car Accident Claims in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the busiest and most bustling cities in America and has a reputation for having terrible traffic congestion; last year alone there were over 7 million registered vehicles on the road. This large quantity of vehicle leads to numerous accidents every day.
Just because accidents are common doesn't you mean you should settle for less than your case is worth. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that was undoubtedly caused by the negligence of another driver, you need to talk to the husband and wife team at McGee, Lerer & Associates to learn more about your rights.
Our team has recovered millions for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer from McGee, Lerer & Associates.
Car Accident Laws in California
The statute of limitations to file a car accident claim is the same as general personal injury suits, two years. This means you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. Additionally, California is a fault state, meaning someone must be determined to be at fault for an accident before an insurance company will pay damages.
Along with that rule, the state follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that even if an accident is partially your fault you are still able to pursue compensation for your injuries from the other at-fault party. Unlike other states, California allows an injury victim to file a claim no matter their degree of shared fault. In this scenario, the percentage you are found at fault to bear for an accident is the percentage that will be reduced from your compensation.
What Damages Are Available in a Car Accident Claim?
Generally speaking, there are three main categories of damages available in a car accident claim:
- Economic - Economic damages compensate for quantifiable losses such as missed days at work or medical bills. This type of compensation is also special damages.
- Non-economic - Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for more abstract losses such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are sometimes called general damages since they can be difficult to specify.
- Punitive - Unlike special and general damages who's purpose is to compensate an injury victim for the losses they suffer, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party. Since it typically must be proven that the negligent party was aware that their actions could cause harm and did so anyway, punitive damages are not awarded often.
What Damages Can a Car Accident Victim Claim?
- Property Damage
- Rental Reimbursement or Loss of Use
- Diminished Value of your Vehicle
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Reduced Earning Capacity
- Loss of Consortium: Your spouse is entitled to compensation for the loss of your assistance around the home, moral support, and physical intimacy.
- Punitive Damages
How Much Should I Ask for Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident?
One manner in which pain and suffering can be calculated is by using the "multiplier method." This method is commonly used by insurance companies to determine the value of a claim.
In order to calculate an estimate of your pain and suffering value, you would multiply the total cost of your actual damages by a number between 1 and 5. This number is determined based on how severe your injuries were and how much pain and suffering you experienced (usually based on documented evidence). 5 represents the most serious injuries.
This method can be difficult to use because it is merely an estimate, and requires clear evidence to back up your claims. By hiring a lawyer to help walk you through the process of determining what your injury is worth, you can ensure that you have a solid claim.
Should I Get An Attorney After A Car Accident?
Without an attorney protecting you, the insurance company will take advantage of you and pay you as little as possible. An attorney knows the real value of your claim and will make sure you collect all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Even after the attorney's fee is deducted, you will end up with more money in your pocket than if you didn't hire a lawyer.
What if both drivers blame each other for an accident? Who will pay for the damage to my car and my injuries?
Possible Scenario: I was driving on the freeway and the car on my left merged into the passenger side of my car. I lost control and hit the center divider. The other driver told the police that I was at fault, that I was the one who tried to merge into her lane. That’s not what happened. She merged into me. I was injured and my car is totaled. Should I hire a lawyer Will her insurance company pay?
This is a very common scenario. Both drivers contend that the other driver was at fault for merging into their car. If there were no witnesses and no dash cam video, then it’s basically a “he said - she said.” The CHP report will likely conclude: “Unable to determine fault based on conflicting statement and no independent witnesses.”
As to your property damage, go through your auto insurance If you have collision coverage. And go through your health insurance for medical treatment. Get the CHP report (it usually takes about 5 days until it’s ready) and see whether the officer put one of the parties at fault. The officer’s opinion about fault is not binding on the insurance company, but it can be helpful, especially if there is a basis for his finding.
The location of damage on both of the cars can also help establish fault. If the damage on your car is to the front right, and the damage on the other driver’s car is on the rear left, that would suggest that the other driver tried to merge left, into your lane, and just didn’t see you.
If you were involved in a car accident and the other driver blamed you at the scene, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. McGee, Lerer & Associates provides free consultations and is available 24/7 to hear your story and tell you what we think. Contact us and we’ll tell you whether we think you have a case.
The husband and wife team at McGee, Lerer & Associates are available 24/7 for a free consultation. Contact our car accident attorneys in Los Angeles today!
Medical Treatment on a Lien
If you don't have health insurance and don't have money to pay for medical treatment, our car accident lawyers in Los Angeles can refer you to a doctor who will treat you on a lien basis. A "lien" means that the doctor agrees to wait to be paid until your case settles. We can refer you to a doctor in your area, whether you need a chiropractor, an orthopedist, a neurologist, a psychologist, a plastic surgeon, or any type of doctor.
We can even refer you to a Spanish-speaking doctor near you. We are often able to get you a same-day appointment. Do not delay getting treatment. Any delay in getting medical treatment will be used against you by the insurance company, who will contend that if you were really injured, you would have sought treatment sooner.
Without an attorney, the insurance company will string you along, delaying payment to you. The longer they can delay cutting you a check, the more interest they earn for their shareholders.
We have 5 offices in Southern California - Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Long Beach & Valencia.
We can be available nights and weekends and come to you at the hospital or at home.
If we are unsuccessful in our efforts to recover your compensation, you owe nothing. Learn more here.
We take the time to understand all the unique factors of your case to achieve the best results.