I Was Rear Ended Do I Need a Lawyer?
Nearly 2 million rear end collisions happen across the country every year, and by definition almost no victim ever sees catastrophe coming. The result can be thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle, as well as devastating injuries to the driver and passengers in the vehicle that was struck. While rear end accidents may seem to automatically be the fault of the other driver, these cases are not always so clear cut.
For these reasons, Ellis Law takes a focus on ensuring victims of rear end collisions receive the compensation to which they are entitled after an accident. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer team works tirelessly to give you the advice and representation you need, navigating the legal process to help you restore your life to a sense of normalcy when disaster strikes.
Fault for rear-end accidents in California
A core consideration to your case is that California is a fault state for insured drivers. As opposed to the 12 no-fault states where injured parties must recover damages and restitution from their own policies, California drivers are free to file claims against the other party’s insurance provider, who will do everything possible to minimize the responsibility of their policy holder for the incident that took place in order to protect their bottom line.
The general idea with rear end collisions is that liability for the accident is usually certain, but there is a spectrum of liability that can either increase or decrease the amount of damages that must be paid out. Insurance companies have thorough internal calculations to determine how much it is likely they will have to pay, and they will work to lower it as much as they can by placing the policyholder at the low end of the spectrum.
While seemingly simple on the surface, rear end collisions can be thrown into question by a surprising number of technicalities. For example, if one of your tail lights has gone out, you will typically be unaware of it until alerted by another driver. If you are struck by another driver from behind while your tail lights are not functioning properly, the driver that caused the collision may not be held automatically liable in a claim or lawsuit.
Whose fault is it?
Unexpected actions on your behalf can also be used to downplay the other driver’s responsibility for the incident. A judge will most often evaluate the case based on what “most drivers” would do, and therefore if you decide to stop in traffic when “most drivers” would have kept going, you will be found to have a level of liability for the accident. This also covers situations that are not as well defined, such as stopping for a flat tire instead of pulling over.
Injury claims in fault states like California can also be filed against the other driver personally, and suits can even be entered against both driver and insurers, with each party paying according to their degree of liability for the accident. These cases can become extraordinarily complex, and only the right representation can give you a chance at a positive outcome.
Call a lawyer after a rear-end crash
If your injuries are severe, your need for experienced legal guidance becomes even more clear. Injuries such as broken bones are relatively obvious, but less visible injuries such as chronic pain and nerve damage must be traced directly back to the accident, and insurance companies and their lawyers will always argue that this type of injury was not caused by the accident or even that the victim is exaggerating the extent of their injuries.
Getting the compensation you need to help restore your life to the way it was before the accident often turns into a battle against the insurance company, the other driver, and a team of attorneys, all while you are attempting to recover from the injuries the incident has caused. When it seems like every party involved is working directly against you, dedicated personal injury attorney Andrew Ellis can fight for you to ensure your interests are properly represented.
Our legal team has handled thousands of collision claims, giving us a breadth of experience that few other firms in Los Angeles can claim. Our expertise has earned our clients millions of dollars in settlements and judgements, and we consider every client that turns to us in their hour of need our most important case. Talk to a Los Angeles car accident lawyer today to learn more about your legal options when you are the victim of a rear end collision.