Car accidents happen every day in Los Angeles for many reasons. As one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously congested, and not all drivers uphold their duty of care to operate their vehicles responsibly. If you recently experienced a car accident due to the actions of another driver, you have the right to seek accountability and hold them responsible for the damages they caused. The fault rule for resolving car accidents might seem straightforward, but the reality is that any accident has the potential to generate highly complex legal entanglements for the drivers involved.
Helping Car Accident Victims Recover Their Damages in Los Angeles, CA
Easton & Easton has a team of attorneys with the professional resources and experience you need on your side to maximize the results of the recovery efforts you intend to pursue. Our team takes time to learn each client’s unique needs and concerns regarding their car accident claims. We know your accident has negatively influenced your life in many ways, and it can be incredibly frustrating when you know that another driver’s actions directly caused these problems. Our goal is to help you recover from your car accident as fully as possible and as swiftly as possible.
Benefits of Hiring a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Many people assume that they can resolve their car accidents through auto insurance alone or that they do not need to hire legal counsel to help them recover, as it would cost more to hire a lawyer than they could recover in compensation. Do not let these misconceptions sway you from seeking the legal representation you need after a serious car accident. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney will make every phase of your impending recovery efforts easier to manage and more likely to generate the results you hope to see.
Your attorney can help gather any evidence needed to prove fault for your accident, an essential first step you must complete before you can recover any recompense for your losses. They will help with the insurance claim process, ensuring the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier processes your claim in good faith and delivers a fair settlement offer. If your insurance claim is denied for any reason or if the insurer attempts to offer a lowball settlement, your attorney will know how to address these issues on your behalf.
After your attorney has helped you secure as much compensation as possible, they can guide you through the process of filing a personal injury case against the driver who caused your accident, seeking compensation for the losses insurance won’t cover. Success with your personal injury claim will require proving that the defendant’s negligence or misconduct directly caused your claimed damages and that they would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s actions. The attorneys at Easton & Easton will leverage our firm’s significant legal experience on your behalf through all the recovery efforts you must attempt to secure the compensation you legally deserve.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Los Angeles
California is one of many states that upholds the fault rule for car accident cases. This means that before an injured driver can recover compensation for losses suffered in a car accident, they need to prove exactly how the accident happened and identify the driver or drivers who caused their injuries. A few of the most common causes of car accidents in the Los Angeles area that may generate civil claims for damages include:
Moving violations. Whenever a driver negligently breaks the flow of traffic, they put themselves and others at risk. Traffic signals and road signs exist to help drivers anticipate the actions of other drivers nearby, and sudden moving violations may startle others and cause unexpected accidents. Running a red light or stop sign, performing an illegal turn or U-turn, or failing to yield the right of way are just a few examples of moving violations that may cause serious accidents, especially in areas of Los Angeles with high traffic congestion.
Distracted driving. All drivers must operate their vehicles attentively, paying close attention to the road ahead and their surroundings. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to uphold this duty of care and cause serious accidents when they become distracted. Despite the state’s strict ban on cell phone use behind the wheel, this continues to be a common form of distracted driving throughout the state each year.
Drunk driving. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the United States, and each state enforces different penalties when it comes to conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). A defendant’s penalties increase automatically if they cause an accident while intoxicated, potentially leading to a felony charge and punishments including long-term driver’s license suspension and jail time. They will also face a civil suit from the victim.
Speeding. This is common throughout the state and is one of the top contributing factors to the number of fatal accidents each year. Speeding increases not only the chance of the speeding driver causing an accident but also the severity of any resulting damages.
Reckless driving. While speeding and moving violations are often unintentionally negligent, some drivers, unfortunately, choose to engage in reckless driving willfully, putting themselves and others at severe risk. Similar to DUI, penalties for a reckless driving charge increase dramatically when the defendant has harmed another party with their actions.
Fatigued driving. Some drivers spend too much time behind the wheel or drive when they are too tired to do so safely. There is a plethora of evidence showing that fatigued driving is very similar to drunk driving. A fatigued driver could fall asleep at the wheel, and tiredness will reduce reaction time and impair judgment, similar to the effects of alcohol on the human body.
These are only a few examples of how one driver’s actions can cause tremendous harm to others. Your Los Angeles car accident attorney can help gather evidence to prove that another driver is directly responsible for your recent accident. This evidence may include digital records like vehicle computer data, the at-fault driver’s cell phone records, or recordings from nearby traffic cameras that captured the accident as it occurred.
Eyewitness testimony can also be pivotal to your recovery efforts after a car accident. If anyone saw your accident happen, it is important to secure their statements and contact information. Witness testimony is valuable to a future auto insurance claim and/or personal injury claim. In the event that liability for your accident is disputed, an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney may consult with experts to clarify the contested details of the incident. For example, an accident reconstructionist can potentially prove exactly how your accident happened to firmly establish liability.
Proving fault is essential for both an auto insurance claim and a personal injury claim after a car accident in Los Angeles. Easton & Easton can help gather any evidence needed to prove liability and then assist you in filing your auto insurance claim. Our firm has confronted all the major auto insurance carriers, so we are familiar with the tactics they often use to avoid financial responsibility for injured drivers’ claims.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim After an Accident in Los Angeles
California is a fault state, and every driver is required to carry auto insurance that provides liability coverage. This insurance comes into play when the covered driver causes an accident, paying for the injured driver’s damages. Once you have proven liability for the accident with the help of your attorney, you can proceed with filing your claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy.
At minimum, a personal auto insurance policy must include at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, expanded to $30,000 for bodily injuries to multiple persons in a single accident. The policy must also cover at least $5,000 in property damages, such as vehicle repair costs. While it is not strictly required by law, drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will come into play if another driver who does not have auto insurance causes an accident. The driver can claim against their own policy without incurring any penalties like increased premiums since they did not cause the accident.
You might assume that auto insurance alone could cover your damages, but it’s important to have an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney review the details of the at-fault driver’s policy and your damages. The other driver’s insurance carrier will be less likely to interfere with or unfairly deny your claim once they recognize that you are represented by counsel. If any disputes happen to arise during the insurance claim process, your attorney can address them on your behalf.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim for Your Car Accident in Los Angeles
Insurance may provide some important initial recompense for your damages, but insurance alone is unlikely to fully compensate the victim of a serious accident. After your Los Angeles car accident attorney has resolved your auto insurance claim on your behalf, any outstanding damages the at-fault driver caused can be recovered through a personal injury claim.
Success with any personal injury claim in Los Angeles requires proving that your claimed damages resulted from another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct. When it comes to proving negligence, the plaintiff must provide evidence showing that the defendant owed a duty of care they did not fulfill or breached in some way. The plaintiff must also show that this breached duty of care resulted in actual harm or tangible losses that did not arise from any other cause. In the event that a car accident happens because of DUI or other intentional misconduct, the at-fault driver faces criminal prosecution from the state along with the plaintiff’s civil suit.
Once your Los Angeles car accident attorney has helped you secure as much compensation as possible through your insurance claim, you can file a personal injury suit if you have outstanding damages the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot cover. Your attorney will help draft your complaint and submit it to the local court, and once the court receives it, it will issue the appropriate documents to the defendant or defendants named in your complaint. Then your case can go one of two ways. Either the defendant accepts liability and settlement negotiations, or they can deny liability, and a trial will ensue.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that a judge will automatically side with you if you take your case to court, or that you will obtain more compensation than you could secure through settlement negotiations. When a civil case proceeds to litigation, the judge handling the case has the final say on liability for the damages cited in the plaintiff’s complaint and the scope of compensation available to the defendant. It generally behooves everyone to seek a swift resolution to the case through private settlement negotiations.
During settlement, the plaintiff and the defendant meet privately with their respective attorneys and negotiate terms for resolving the claim. As long as both parties are willing to engage in constructive negotiation, it can save them both a significant amount of time and money they would otherwise spend in lengthy courtroom proceedings. Additionally, the parties involved in the case have more influence over the final outcome.
Claimable Damages in a Los Angeles Personal Injury Case
The purpose of your personal injury claim is to secure the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible from the damages the defendant inflicted on you. Under the state’s personal injury laws, you can claim compensation for economic and non-financial damages caused by the defendant’s negligence or intentional misconduct. Your claimable financial damages are likely to include the following:
Vehicle repair costs and other property damages. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance is only legally required to include $5,000 in property damage liability coverage, and this may not be enough to fully compensate you for the value of your vehicle and the other property losses you experienced from the accident. Any remainder can be included in a civil suit as economic damages.
Medical expenses. Car accidents are capable of causing traumatic physical injuries, such as bone fractures, head injuries, and more. The defendant is liable for the expense of all the medical care you require to reach maximum recovery from your injuries. This would include both immediate and long-term medical expenses if you suffer a severe injury that demands ongoing rehabilitative care.
Lost wages. if the injuries suffered in your accident prevent you from working during this time. Similar to medical expenses, the defendant is liable for both immediate and future lost wages. If you have experienced a permanently diminished earning capacity due to their actions, they are liable for the future income you are no longer able to earn.
Your claimable economic losses could amount to much more than you initially expected with the right attorney handling your case. However, your recovery does not end there. You also have the right to seek accountability for the pain and suffering you experienced. This may sound difficult to translate into monetary terms, but your Los Angeles car accident attorney will know how to make a compelling case for the pain and suffering compensation you legally deserve.
If you suffered injuries that should fully heal within a relatively short time, your attorney might seek pain and suffering compensation that awards a set amount for each day you spend in recovery. On the other hand, if your accident resulted in catastrophic injuries that have permanently diminished your quality of life and ability to work and live independently, you would be more likely to see a big lump sum payment. Your attorney could come up with this figure by multiplying your economic losses by one to five.
There is no limit to the amount of pain and suffering compensation you are legally entitled to claim for a car accident in Los Angeles, and the right attorney will aim to maximize this aspect of your recovery. With Easton & Easton representing you, our goal is to help recover as much compensation as possible for the damages you suffered, including the physical pain and emotional distress the defendant caused. Whatever your case entails, you will have a legal advocate available to address concerns and answer questions as they arise, helping you understand the complex variables of your case as clearly as possible and approach the recovery process with confidence.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: Should I get a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles after an Accident?
A: You are under no obligation to hire legal counsel to help you recover from a car accident, but doing so will significantly improve the quality of your final recovery and make all the legal issues you face much easier. Your attorney can handle all your legal affairs so you can focus on your recovery. They are also likely to uncover avenues of compensation you may not have realized were available to you, enhancing the final compensation you obtain for your damages.
Q: How Much Time Is There to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident?
A: Insurance alone may not fully compensate your losses from a serious accident, and you will need to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused it. California law places a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims, so your case must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Failure to file your claim within this time limit means losing your ability to claim compensation from the driver who caused your accident.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Recover for Car Accident Damages in Los Angeles?
A: Under the state’s fault rule, the driver who caused your recent accident is liable for any and all damages resulting from their actions. You have the right to claim repayment of your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages, and this includes long-term damages like ongoing rehabilitation costs and lost earning capacity. Additionally, you can also seek recompense for your pain and suffering. Your Los Angeles car accident attorney can provide an estimate of your case’s total potential value.
Q: What Can I Do if I Lost a Family Member in a Fatal Crash?
A: If another driver caused a fatal accident that took the life of your loved one, you have the right to seek accountability with an auto insurance claim followed by a wrongful death claim. The at-fault driver’s insurance is unlikely to cover the full scope of damages you can seek in a wrongful death action but can provide some valuable initial recovery for your family. Once you recover as much as you can through insurance, an experienced attorney can help file a wrongful death suit against the at-fault driver.
Q: How Much Will a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Charge Their Client?
A: It’s natural to worry about legal expenses when struggling with economic losses and injuries from a car accident. Easton & Easton provides accessible and affordable legal counsel with contingency fee billing. With this billing arrangement, the client does not pay anything upfront for legal counsel, nor are they required to pay ongoing fees. Our firm takes a portion of the client’s final case award as our fee, but only if we win their case. If, for any reason, we are unable to secure recompense for your damages, you pay nothing, so there is no risk to you by hiring our firm to represent you.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of professional experience in personal injury law, and we have helped many past clients secure substantial case awards for all types of motor vehicle accidents. The aftermath of your recent car accident can be difficult to navigate, involving several complex legal issues and significant damages. We are ready to provide the legal guidance you need. If you are ready to learn how a seasoned Los Angeles car accident attorney can empower your recovery efforts, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.
Your Story Is Important To Us. CALL US SO WE CAN HEAR IT.
“We look for the human story behind every injury or wrongful death. We prepare our cases for trial; reaching out to the jury with the most compelling evidence possible for the best verdict possible. Insurance companies know this and come to the table prepared to negotiate in good faith. Call us to see how we can turn your story into fair compensation.”
Partner W. Douglas Easton
What Our Clients Say
Coming out of my first auto accident as an adult, a very difficult and scary time to navigate and understand, I was so incredibly thankful to have been put in contact with Easton & Easton. I honestly was lost with how to handle paperwork, doctors, medical costs and what next steps were, and from the moment I spoke with Travis Easton and my case manager Katie, my mind was put at ease. They have made the entire process stress free for me as I recovered, and I am so grateful for them and their genuine care for my case. Communication from the start has been fantastic, especially making clear what my expectations for the entire process would look like, and I truly believe they have my best interest at heart. 100% I would recommend their firm for anyone that is needing representation! Read more…
My experience with Easton & Easton has been amazing! Gabriel Mendoza and my case manager Katie have been so helpful and taken so much stress off my plate. They’ve been super informative and honest and given me very clear expectations. They’ve taken such a terrible experience (my accident) and eased my mind about the outcome. I can’t thank them enough!! Read more…
Ive used them twice and never been disappointed. Read more…
The Easton & Easton Law Firm is amazing! The entire team is very helpful and caring. They were always there to answer all my questions. They directed me through the entire process and stayed with me every step of the way. This team is outstanding and were wonderful to work with. Because of the tremendous effort they put on my case they were able to win my difficult personal injury case. I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm to handle my case. They are the Best! Thank you for your patience, professionalism, & guidance! I definitely recommend this firm to handle your case. They go out of their way to fight for your rights. THANK YOU… Read more…
I could not be more pleased with the services provided by the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton. The senior partner Mr. Easton took the time to meet with me and my wife while I was still in the hospital, where he gave my family hope that there was light at the end of a very long, and very dark tunnel. Matt Easton then worked my case, and because of his dedication, experience and expertise I received a settlement that was larger than I EVER thought possible. It was truly astounding! Matt and the entire team at Easton & Easton looked out for me throughout my recovery, and in the end they gave me my life back. Five stars is not enough. Thanks Matt! Thanks Easton & Easton! Read more…
Brian and everyone at Easton and Easton are simply the BEST at what they do. Brian is thorough, easy to talk to, and truly cares about his clients. If you want a family of attorneys with perseverance and determination to fight for you, give Easton and Easton a call. I am glad I did. Read more…
What an amazing law firm, talk about going above and beyond to make such a painful experience go so well. I have referred a co-worker and a family member to them as well and everyone had such a great experience as I had. Read more…
I can’t say enough amazing things about my experience with Travis Easton at Easton & Easton. Travis and his entire team (Katie, Amy, Dee, Michelle, & Araceli) are phenomenal. It provided me a lot of comfort to know I was being so well taken care of. I was especially impressed that every document for the case was perfectly written and specific to me. Nothing was generic, which shows the level of care and attention they put into each individual case. I had such a great experience and would highly recommend Travis Easton and his firm to anyone going through a personal injury. Travis took a bad situation and made the best of it for me. Thank you again, I’m forever grateful!!
Retaining Easton and Easton was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From the initial consultation to our final meeting, they were nothing short of exceptional. I was forced to retain their services after firing my previous attorney for not handling the case properly. I dealt with Gabriel and Brian (partner) exclusively throughout the case. They did as promised and were great communicators throughout the entire process. I will recommend them to anyone I know going through a personal injury case. They were ultimately able to untangle the mess caused by my previous lawyer and get a result that I was extremely happy with. Their staff is exceptional as well and provided top notch customer service. Amera was also extremely helpful and easy to deal with as well.
I was in a pretty bad car accident and decided to have Easton & Easton represent me, Travis Easton to be specific. Travis Easton and his paralegal made the whole process effortless. They were so understanding and helpful! The entire thing was a gigantic mess, yet Travis managed to make it run like clockwork. I would HIGHLY recommend Easton & Easton! If you are ever in need of a personal defense attorney Easton & Easton is the firm to represent you!
They are the best law firm in Orange County period. Choosing them to represent me was the best decision of my life.
My life changed in a matter of seconds after a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left me disabled. Brian Easton and his team worked on my case non stop for 3 years and provided me the justice I deserved. I couldn’t have been more content.
I was treated with utmost respect and I felt like I was being represented by a close family member. The responses to my questions were quick and clear. What E & E has done for me is phenomenal.
My sincere thanks to Brian, Matt, Travis, Doug, Gabriel and Amera. They are what they are because of their dedication to provide high quality and professional service to their clients.
Brian Easton and his team, Gabe Mendoza and Amera Hajali, helped me during a very difficult time in my life. I had a significant injury from a car accident, and wound up seeking out Easton & Easton when I was having difficulties getting help from my doctors. The Easton team took a lot of stress off of me while acting as my advocates to help me get the care I needed, and saw my case all the way through to a healthy settlement.
They are the BEST!
I have nothing but good things to say about Easton and Easton. Brian handled my case professionally and communicated with me effectively throughout the process. He made sure that the process was effortless and as hands free as possible. This was super important for my busy schedule. I highly recommend Easton and Easton if you are ever found in a situation that you need an attorney.
I would highly recommend Easton & Easton.
I was rear ended on my home and pushed into a semi-truck. I was not sure how to go about even using an attorney.
Brian, Gab and Amera were so good about helping me thru the process and representing me.
I was able to concentrate on getting myself better knowing they had my back, taking care of the details and keeping me informed along the way
The best Law firm by far. I would highly recommend Easton & Easton, LLP and ask for Gabriel Mendoza and staff. He and his colleagues did and exceptional service. Thank you for everything. Job well done!