Early in March, a driver found their way onto the tracks of a Metro Blue Line train in Los Angeles. The train crashed into the car, dragging the vehicle and causing serious damage. Fortunately, the driver sustained only minor injuries. Authorities were surprised the crash was not fatal. Video shows there was no train gate down that would block traffic from approaching the tracks from the driver’s direction. Authorities did not know whether any alarms or flashing lights were in use at the time.
While drivers are expected to remain fully vigilant when driving near train tracks, the government should also ensure that there are proper warnings and barricades to prevent drivers from driving onto the tracks when it is dangerous to do so. When a government agency fails to repair a broken gate or have proper warnings, it might be possible for a driver to seek compensation directly from the state government for any losses, which might include injury-related costs, property damage, and more.
The California Tort Claims Act sets the guidelines for filing a claim against government agencies. This is a different process than filing a claim against a private party, such as another driver. It is important to always seek help from an experienced car accident lawyer who understands how to file the necessary claims in your case.
What to do after a car accident in Los Angeles
After a car accident, it is important to take steps that can protect your legal rights and help a future claim. First and foremost, you should always get the treatment you need for any injuries or suspected injuries. Some people might need an ambulance ride straight to the hospital, where they will certainly be treated by medical professionals.
However, if emergency medical technicians do not need to transport you, it might be tempting to skip the emergency room or urgent care altogether. This is a mistake, however, as it is critical to have documentation of your injuries and treatment recommendations as soon as possible following an accident. This helps to prove that the car crash caused certain injuries when it comes time to file a claim.
Some other steps you might take following a car accident include:
- Giving the police your account of what happened.
- Getting the names and contact information of the other drivers involved and any witnesses.
- Taking pictures of the scene of the accident.
- Keeping notes about your recollections and how your injuries impact your life.
When to hire an attorney after a car accident in Los Angeles
Another important step to take following a car accident is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney here in Los Angeles. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with, and adjusters will try to get injured claimants to accept low settlement offers. Government agencies will certainly do everything possible to limit their liability for accidents and injuries. Following a crash, it is important to have the right attorney on your side as soon as possible.
The following are signs you should not wait to hire an attorney after your accident:
- You believe someone else was to blame.
- You sustained injuries that needed treatment and resulted in medical bills.
- You have other losses, such as lost wages or pain and suffering.
Seek help from our Los Angeles car accident lawyers right away
The law firm of Blair & Ramirez LLP represents clients injured in many types of car accidents here in Los Angeles. Call (213) 568-4000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation and to learn more about how our car accident lawyers can help you.