Car Accident Lawyer
The Los Angeles car accident lawyers of Ellis Injury Law appreciate just how easily lives can change after a serious motor vehicle accident. Medical bills, time away from work, pain and suffering, and other costs quickly add up. A simple rear-end collision can cause significant damage to a single person. More serious accidents may result in unplanned debts and lifestyle changes of such magnitude that can destroy the foundation of a family.
If you have been the victim of motor vehicle negligence you may feel like a pawn in a bureaucratic game of paperwork, but you are not alone. In the state of California, motor vehicle laws are on the side of victims, and you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help bridge your recovery period until you can get back on your feet—physically, emotionally and financially. A car accident attorney at Ellis may be the perfect ally to help you use these laws to greatest effect.
The highways and roads of southern California are treacherous, where excessive traffic numbers and irresponsible drivers all-too-often form a devastating combination. If you have been injured in a car, pedestrian, or motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, the personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law are available to advise you as to your legal rights. All consultations are comprehensive and free of charge. We are ready and waiting to fight for justice for you and your family, and help win the compensation you deserve.
Driving in Los Angeles: a dangerous activity
California has some of the most dangerous roads and some of the highest concentrations of licensed drivers in the world. Car accidents in California happen at a rate of almost one a minute. Whereas the U.S. had reached a six decade low in auto wreck fatalities in 2011, California bucked this trend: the total number of car accident-related fatalities in CA in 2011 was 2791, second in number only to Texas.
In LA County alone, 536 people were killed in auto accidents in 2011, while a total of 28,938 were killed or injured. Preliminary data suggest that these troubling trends persist for the years 2012 and 2013.
Common types of car accidents and their causes
There are many types of car accidents, such as two-car collisions (head-on, read-end, or side) and single vehicle accidents (involving running off the road, rollovers, or collisions with animals or objects).
The causes of auto accidents vary, and may involve:
- Impairment of a driver due to drugs or alcohol, illness, or other factors
- Intentional recklessness (such as “joyriding”)
- Excessive speed
- Distracted driving (such as texting while driving)
- Failing to obey the rules of the road (such as ignoring stop signs)
- Vehicle malfunction (such as failing brakes)
- Damage to roads, traffic lights, or other elements
Common injuries sustained in car accidents
At Ellis Law, we see on a daily basis the toll that car accidents can take on victims and their families, sometimes lasting for an entire lifetime.
Car accident injuries, some fatal, may include:
- Damage to the brain
- Eye/vision injuries
- Ear/hearing injuries
- Jaw/dental damage
- Whiplash injuries, paralysis, and crushed larynx or trachea
- Chest injuries (broken ribs; rupture of the diaphragm)
- Damage to the pelvis
- Damage to internal organs of the abdomen
- Leg, knee, or foot injuries
Such injuries (even less severe ones) can result in disability, loss of wages, required rehabilitation, or emotional trauma (all in addition, of course, to property damage).
Negligence and reckless driving
Car accident lawsuits generally involve negligence as a “cause of action” (the reasoning governing the charge). Negligence could entail acting in a manner that a responsible party would not act in, or failing to take an action or actions that a responsible party would take.
In a traffic case, an example of an act of negligence would be changing lanes without looking or neglecting to stop at a stop sign. Cases can also involve reckless driving, in which the driver knowingly endangers the life of another.
Car Accidents and liability in California
If you are found to have acted negligently or recklessly as a driver, you will be liable to provide compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses. In some cases, the liability insurance that all drivers are required to have will cover these costs. However, in the case of fatality or severe injury, damages may well exceed the amount that insurance covers.
As California is also a state that does not have “no-fault” insurance, the cost of compensation will come solely from the insurance of the party deemed to be at fault. In such cases, the liable party may also be subject to driver’s license suspension or even jail time, depending on the severity of the circumstances determined to be the cause of action.
Why hire a Los Angeles car accident lawyer?
If you are involved in a car accident case in Los Angeles, it is crucial to secure a legal team with the experience and investigative resources to build the strongest case possible. Working with a lawyer at Ellis Law is the first step.
You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and other losses sustained in a car accident. The amount of compensation will vary, depending on a number of factors including the extent and permanence of your injuries, whether you lost wages or were unable to work after the accident, and other considerations of pain and suffering.
Ellis Injury Law is here to help
If you have been injured in Los Angeles as a result of a car accident, please call 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.
[Derek Turbin]: “At Ellis Law what we really specialize in is car accidents. We have hundreds of car accident cases coming across my desk. Personally first thing, again similar to motorcycle accidents we have to make sure our clients are taken care of promptly and immediately for their injuries.
A little bit of a difference with car accidents is sometimes the onset of pain comes out a little bit later, so we have to make sure they’re taken care of immediately but we also have to make sure there’s some consistency in their care and they’re constantly getting checked up on, and evaluated in a consistent fashion to make sure we account for all of their injuries.
A lot of times they injure their back, and about a week later their feeling numbness and tingling down their legs. Maybe they injured their neck and onset of headaches come on. We figure out about some type of neurological injury a little bit later in the game.
Once we know that they’re taken care of, once we’ve ensured that they’ve gotten further prompt and appropriate treatment, that’s when the fact-finding starts again that’s when we go to the scene. We have won a big case with disputed liability that occurred at an intersection. Our client had the green light and the defendant claimed that they had the green light.
In that case we went to the city and got the light facing records. We made sure to look up the lights, to look at the timing, look for all the video cameras around that area. Whether it’s an adjacent store owner or a video camera at the intersection. In that case we’ve turned over all the stones and figure out that really the defendant was lying. She clearly didn’t have the green light, our client had the green to the timing of the light facing record and some of the video from the adjacent property owner. A lot of car accidents are going to be disputed liability and it’s our job to figure that out and determine that our client needs to be compensated for their injuries.
We don’t just want to account for the medical bills that they pay but we also have to account for the future medical bills that can arise from exacerbation. Once we have a very clear thorough picture of what it’s going to take to get them better that’s when we start the settlement negotiations and that’s when we account for the whole picture in the settlement and we are bringing Andy as the closer to make sure that they get a good fair number and settle on that number.”
- NHTSA, Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures* For California http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/6_CA/2012/6_CA_2012.htm
- CA Office of Traffic Safety, 2011 OTS Rankings http://www.ots.ca.gov/media_and_research/rankings/default.asp
- Huffington Post, California Traffic Deaths In 2011 Increased, While U.S. Hits Six-Decade Low, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/california-traffic-deaths-2011-six-decade-low-us_n_2323899.html
- Consumer Affairs, Traffic Fatalities Rise in 2012 http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/traffic-fatalities-rise-in-2012-010614.html
- U.S. News, US road deaths climbing again after years of decline, new data show http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/21/16070501-us-road-deaths-climbing-again-after-years-of-decline-new-data-show?lite