No one gets behind the wheel of a car expecting to suffer a serious motor vehicle accident. Yet, even with advanced automobile safety features, posted speed limits, and common knowledge about the dangers of drunk driving, millions of car crashes occur each year in the U.S. Not all of these are serious, but more than enough lead devastating or even fatal consequences. The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic and traumatic, and the long-term effects can be difficult to endure. Car accident victims who survive crashes may have to live with permanent injuries, overwhelming medical expenses, loss of income, and a decreased quality of life.
Car accident claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, and injured parties file these kinds of claims to recover the financial damages incurred from auto crashes. Such damages can include medical expenses charged for evaluations, surgeries, treatment, follow-up care, and medication. Some victims also need to recoup lost wages when injuries cause them to be unable to work.
Other costs can include property damage to the vehicle and compensation for pain and suffering. The skilled Harbor City car accident lawyers from Dordulian Law Group have handled countless traffic collision personal injury claims, and have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for satisfied clients. We have a very high success rate of over 98%, and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you were involved in a Harbor City car accident, filing a personal injury claim can help with your road to recovery. An experienced DLG Harbor City car accident attorney can provide you with the trusted legal guidance you need to help yourself and your family. More specifically, the compensation you might receive could assist with meeting the short and long-term challenges you are facing.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report that included data for 2019 and 2020 traffic fatality estimates in the U.S. In 2019, there were 36,096 motor vehicle traffic fatalities. Of those, the number that involved at least one large truck was 5,005. The 2020 preliminary fatality estimates analyzed the first half of that year. As expected, the second quarter numbers were down as a result of less traffic on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data indicated that approximately 8,780 people perished in traffic accidents during that second quarter.
Looking at California, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also posted state crash data for 2019, with some sobering statistics. That year, there were 3,606 traffic fatalities, close to 10% of all the fatal crashes in the U.S. for that year. This included people driving cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, large trucks, and motorcycles, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. The majority were single-vehicle crashes, but 44% included two or more. In California, an estimated 1,338 of the drivers killed in auto accidents were driving under the influence of alcohol.
It can be exceedingly difficult to remain calm after a car crash, but remembering a few key points can help make things easier. The first thing to do after a Harbor City car accident is to check for injuries and call 911. If immediate, life-saving measures are not required, it is best not to move anyone who may be hurt. The vehicle may or may not be in an unsafe position, like the middle of a highway. In such situations, the vehicle should be slowly moved off to the side of the road and away from passing traffic.
The 911 operator will provide some direction until first responders arrive at the scene, including how to administer medical attention to those in need. Some injuries are not obvious at first, and can manifest weeks to months after an accident. For this reason, it is always advisable to undergo a medical examination immediately after a car accident.
Those involved in the crash should exchange driver’s license information, phone numbers, and copies of auto insurance identification cards. This can easily be done with cell phone cameras. It is also a good idea to snap photos of the other vehicle’s license plate number and the accident scene. Skid marks, road conditions, and other pictures can provide valuable information for a Harbor City auto accident claim. Drivers should only ever answer questions with short, factual responses; going into detail and admitting fault at the scene could complicate matters in the future.
Drivers will also want to contact their auto insurance companies as soon as possible, but never provide a statement without the consultation of a qualified personal injury lawyer who has experience handling car accident cases. The insurance provider will follow-up soon after the accident, and may send out an adjuster to examine the vehicle. If police officers were at the scene, a report should be available to the driver after a few days.
While a small fender-bender may not seem like it warrants the need for legal advice, erring on side of caution and at least proceeding with a consultation is advisable. There are some guidelines to go by that might help in making an ultimate decision regarding legal representation. If fatalities or serious injuries needing medical attention occurred, those are clear indicators for contacting an attorney. A lawyer’s advice may also be needed if the injuries make it difficult or impossible to return to work in the same capacity. Essentially, if you’ve experienced financial loss (medical expenses, physical damage to the vehicle requiring repair, rehabilitation expenses, etc.) or any form of trauma (psychological or physical), it is in your best interest to contact a Dordulian Law Group Harbor City car accident attorney for a free consultation. If you can handle the claim on your own, the DLG team will be able to provide advice that may be invaluable.
Some people allow for time to pass after a crash, and then discover that the police reports tell a different story from what actually happened. Or, the injured person may receive unexpected medical bills that arrive at a later date. The other party being clearly at-fault is another reason to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Liability is often a grey area, so it is recommended to reach out to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Statues of limitations come into play, and vary depending on the state. In California, the time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years after the accident date – and for property damage, three years.
Insurance companies are in business to make profits, so their actions will be based on their own best interests – not yours. Whether it is your provider or the other driver’s provider, adjusters and other insurance representatives can be challenging. A DLG Harbor City personal injury attorney can step in to represent your needs, helping to negotiate the best possible settlement.
If law enforcement did not arrive at the scene, California law dictates that accidents involving fatalities or injuries be reported to the local police department or the state highway patrol within 24 hours. The report may point to which person was liable for causing the accident, and this can help to show if that person was negligent.
Drivers who are injured in auto accidents can file claims with their own insurance providers. This is often done by drivers who are clearly at fault following an accident. When an accident was caused by another person, the injured party can file a third party claim against that other person’s insurance company. The claimant can include a demand letter that details all the facts and reasoning for why the claim should be paid. A Harbor City car accident lawyer from Dordulian Law Group can also provide assistance with these various steps.
If the accident was serious, and there are questions about negligence, an investigative agency may get involved. We utilize our Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, on every car accident case. Castillo is a former LAPD detective in the city’s elite Central Traffic Division. He uses his nearly three decades of experience in investigating and closing high-profile hit-and-runs, pedestrian accidents, wrongful deaths, and more when investigating any car accident claim on behalf of one of our clients.
When it is shown that a person’s injuries were caused by negligence of another driver, that person can seek “compensatory damages.” In essence, this is financial compensation to pay for the person’s medical costs, lost wages, and in some cases, pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded in especially traumatic cases, such as a driver speeding excessively, running a red light, crashing, and paralyzing another driver.
To prove negligence in a car accident case, we proceed with a detailed and thorough evidence-gathering phase for each and every claim – whether major or minor. Investigators may return to the scene, contact all those involved, and analyze medical documents. If there were any witnesses to the accident, they may be called as well.
When insurance companies set up roadblocks or do not offer fair settlements, it may be time to contact an experienced Harbor City personal injury lawyer from DLG for assistance with a settlement. In California, insurance companies must respond to claims within 15 days, and send the claimant the information they need. There is also a 40-day time limit for the provider to let the claimant know if their claim was approved or denied.
Once an agreement is reached, the insurance provider must pay the full settlement amount within 30 days. On average, settlements can take from four to six weeks, but this all depends on the extent of the injuries, property damage, and who or what was at fault. Delays are not uncommon, and can happen even when claims are valid.
When denials are received, claimants who wish to challenge the decisions must respond with a written appeal letter. This should include all the facts related to the case, with any additional supporting documentation. These steps do not guarantee a settlement payment, however. Claimants often have to pursue legal action in order to be justly compensated for their injuries and property damage. The odds of recovering a maximum damages award are significantly increased when car accident victims are represented by private attorneys. Studies indicate that personal injury victims, in particular, receive substantially more money for their claims when represented by a qualified lawyer like a member of the DLG Harbor City car accident team.
The monetary damages that a car accident victim receives will depend on multiple factors. To begin with, the at-fault party may or may not have insurance. California drivers are required to carry $15,000 for death or injury to one person, $30,000 for death or injury to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage. It is easy to see that these amounts might not be adequate in a very serious car accident (or even a minor one).
Insurance adjusters look at the costs related to the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages, and total those line items for a final number. Those numbers may be clear, but estimating the amount of compensation for pain and suffering is not. This makes it hard to predict an accurate amount for a settlement, but a Harbor City car accident lawyer from DLG will be able to provide such an estimate after evaluating your case.
As for costs associated with a car accident case, when choosing DLG you never have to worry about upfront expenses or hidden fees. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you never pay a penny until we recover a financial damages award on your behalf. Additionally, our consultations are free, and we’re here to answer your questions and address your concerns 24/7.
“The staff and lawyers are very professional. They have an accurate knowledge of their goals. Everyone there is friendly and helpful, and RAFI always went above and beyond to get things done in a timely manner. They made a bad situation tolerable. Thank you you.”
Dealing with injuries and car repairs is hard enough, and having to fight with an insurance company can only make things worse. A skilled car accident lawyer can review your auto insurance policy and explain the complicated language. They can help determine exactly why a claim may have been denied, and work on your behalf to file a strategic appeal. Attorneys can also handle any necessary document gathering and contact the insurance company on your behalf. Legal representation will reach out to the other involved parties and manage the complicated paperwork, while you focus on what’s most important – your recovery and well-being.
Once you hire a trusted Harbor City attorney from Dordulian Law Group, you can focus on getting back on your feet and being made “whole” again. Insurance companies are known for finding ways to reduce their clients’ liability, and have many methods for denying coverage. When claims escalate, their own lawyers will enter the picture, and without a legal background, car accident victims can find themselves struggling to protect their rights.
Our Harbor City auto accident lawyers will work to streamline and expedite the claims process, while keeping you in the loop every step of the way. If you are on the fence about making a claim or need help with a settlement, now is the time to contact the legal team at Dordulian Law Group.
Our law firm in Harbor City, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.