Tens of thousands of people are injured in Los Angeles car accidents every year. In many of these cases, victims are entitled to compensation under California law. These accidents can occur for a number of reasons, and some of the most common scenarios are discussed below. To learn more or to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles, call our office at (213) 568-4000 today.
Common causes of accidents in Los Angeles
Traffic laws exist to keep us all safe, and—without them—getting from one place to another would be chaotic (and some would argue that L.A. traffic is chaotic, anyhow). Unfortunately, as every driver knows, traffic laws are regularly violated, putting everyone on the road at risk. Some of the common traffic violations that have the potential to lead to serious accidents include:
- Following too closely
- Improper turns
- Failing to stop at stop signs or red lights
- Driving the wrong side of the road
- Unsafe lane changes
- Passing in no-passing zones
Distracted driving is a serious problem throughout the United States, resulting in thousands of accidents every year. While smartphones and other electronic devices are certainly a major part of the problem, there is a far more diverse array of distractions that can result in severe, injury-causing accidents. Some of the more common distractions affecting drivers in the Los Angeles area include:
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking on the phone
- Personal grooming
- Talking to passengers
Importantly, California has a distracted driving law in place that prohibits drivers from using electronic communication devices while holding them in their hands. If you suspect the driver who hit you was using his or her phone manually at the time of the crash, it’s important that you mention that fact to the police officers who respond to the scene.
Drunk or drugged driving
Drunk and drugged driving is against the law, and it’s dangers are well-known. Unfortunately, it continues to occur on a regular basis, often injuring innocent victims in the process. In fact, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 6,164 DUI arrests in Los Angeles in 2016 alone, and these arrests likely account for a small fraction of the actual number of drunk drivers on the road. Fortunately, with the assistance of a personal injury attorney, victims of drunk or drugged drivers are typically able to recover compensation for their accident-related losses.
Poor road design & road defects
Poor road design and road defects are another common cause of serious accidents in the Los Angeles area. Some examples of these issues include:
- Blind curves
- Faded lane markings
- Inadequate signage
- Overgrown vegetation
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
Importantly, if your accident was the result of poor road design or a road defect, your claim may be against the government. If this is the case, you have a very limited amount of time in which to file a claim. As a result, if you suspect that road conditions played a role in your crash in any way, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately.
When to get a lawyer for a car accident
If you have been involved in an accident, you may be wondering if you should retain an attorney to represent you. It’s always advisable to retain an L.A. car accident attorney after an accident, even if your accident was relatively minor or you’re sure that the insurance company wants to settle the case.
Insurance companies are for-profit operations and make their money by paying out as little as they can on every claim they receive. In fact, the insurance company will happily deny your claim in full if they have any reason to do so.
The best thing you can do to protect your rights and ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve for your car accident claim is to retain an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
What is a fair percentage for a car accident lawyer to take?
The overwhelming majority of car accident lawyers in Los Angeles (and the rest of the United States) take their cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that the attorney's fee is contingent on your settlement or award; if you get nothing, your lawyer gets nothing, too. If you do recover compensation, your attorney will take a percentage of that recovery as his or her fee. So, what percentage is fair?
Typically, attorneys take 33 percent (or one-third) of a settlement or award in a car accident case. Sometimes, a lawyer may charge less if the case settles without a lawsuit ever being filed. On the other hand, the fee may increase if the case actually goes to trial. You should be certain that your fee agreement is clear and that you completely understand its terms before you retain an attorney to represent you in your case.
Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in Los Angeles
If you have been injured in a traffic accident in Los Angeles, there is a good chance that you can recover compensation for your accident-related damages, including your medical expenses, lost income, the damage to your vehicle, and your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Call Blair & Ramirez LLP or contact us online today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers.