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Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Automobile Accidents. Legal causes in California including rules of the road. Personal injury law issues related to auto and car accident claims.

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work-related-car-accidentsAs a Los Angeles work-related car accident injury attorney, I know that many people in L.A. are required to drive for their jobs on either an occasional or routine basis. In some cases, people who are driving for work reasons are involved in car accidents. People who are working within the course and scope of their employment when their accidents happen are entitled to file workers’ compensation claims with their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition, if the other involved motorist was at fault in causing the accident, the injured victim may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Getting help from a Los Angeles personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer might help you to recover the maximum potential compensation to pay for both your economic and noneconomic losses.

Types of Jobs that Require Employees to Drive

Many different types of jobs require workers to drive as a part of their work duties. Some common types of jobs that require employees to drive include the following:

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Lyft-Accident-Attorney-Los-AngelesAs a Los Angeles Lyft passenger injury attorney I know that the use of ride-sharing apps has skyrocketed in Los Angeles, and many residents and visitors alike are choosing Lyft to get them to their destinations. Overall, the number of people who used this service in L.A. during 2017 reached 23 million, which was double the number of riders in 2016. As the app becomes increasingly popular, it is important for riders to know what to do if the vehicle in which they are riding is involved in an accident. An experienced Los Angeles rideshare attorney may help injured riders to recover damages that sufficiently compensate them.

What you should do if you are injured in a rideshare accident

If you are riding in a car that you hailed through the ride-sharing app that has a collision, there are several things that you should do to protect yourself and your rights.

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Los-Angeles-Drivers-Worst-CountryAre Los Angeles drivers the worst in the country? A new study suggests they may be.  Los Angeles is a dangerous city in which to drive. Many people have long complained about how badly people drive in Los Angeles, and their complaints have been validated by the findings of a recent study. According to the Allstate America’s Best Driver Report, Los Angeles ranked a dismal 193 out of 200 cities, demonstrating the problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by L.A. drivers. In addition to the property losses caused by bad driving, many people are seriously injured or killed in the city each year because of bad driving. People who are injured and the families of victims who are killed because of bad driving by others may pursue compensation by filing civil lawsuits against the negligent drivers who caused their accidents or those of their loved ones.

The Allstate study showing Los Angeles drivers some of the worst in the country

Allstate looked at data from 200 U.S. cities in order to determine which cities had the best drivers and which had the worst. The company made their determinations based on the average number of years that drivers in the cities went between accidents. Los Angeles drivers average 5.9 years between accidents, placing the city near the bottom for the driving behaviors of its motorists. Kansas City, Kansas took the number one spot for safe driving. Drivers in that city average 14.9 years between accidents. The city with the worst drivers was Boston. Drivers there average just 3.6 years between accidents. The study points to the need for drivers to exercise caution while driving. There are several problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by many Los Angeles motorists that can lead to accidents that injure others. These driving problems are prohibited by California law and are evidence of negligence when accidents result.

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California Auto Insurance ClaimsFiling and pursuing California auto insurance claims requires some basic knowledge of the types of coverage, the laws and the claims process. Motorists in California are required to have automobile insurance. The state has established minimum liability requirements, and there are a variety of different types of coverage and levels of insurance. People who are involved in accidents may file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance or with their own, depending on the types of coverage that they have selected. People may want to determine the level of coverage and types that might best protect them in the event that they are involved in accidents. An attorney may help to determine the available recovery sources if his or her client is injured in an accident.

Types of car insurance coverage in CA

At the most basic form, Californians are required to carry bodily injury liability and property liability insurance. People who choose liability only coverage must carry minimum limits of $15,000 per person for bodily injury and $30,000 per accident (so called “15/30 coverage”).  From there, many insurers offer and I highly recommend higher policy limits that can range usually up to $250,000 per person injured and $500,000 per claim.  The minimum property liability coverage in the state has a limit of $5,000. Other types of coverage that are not required but that may be smart for people to choose include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical expenses coverage, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. These additional types of coverage provide added protection when people are involved in collisions.  Usually, good drivers may also obtain “umbrella” coverage which can add additional coverage of usually up to one million dollars.  Surprisingly, this additional coverage can only add a few hundred dollars or slightly more to your annual premium.

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Uber, RideshareAs an Uber passenger injury attorney in Los Angeles, I have seen the mobility of society give rise to various transportation network companies, or TNCs, in the last five years. Also called rideshares, these companies offer a less expensive option to taxis. In addition, they have attracted numerous drivers due to the scheduling flexibility for students or others who like the option of extra weekend work. However, the occupation is not without risks as accidents can occur when using a TNC.

An Overview

With a solid presence in nearly 20 cities, Uber boasts the quickest expansion rate in Los Angeles of all their markets, according to a Forbes article written in 2015. A Princeton University professor, Alan Krueger, along with their Head of Research released an analysis of the company’s history and earnings. They reported that the company is hiring new drivers at a rate that more than doubled every six months between 2012 and 2014. The company’s Upscale service, which uses black cars, has seen some growth, but most of the growth is via the traditional service, where drivers use their own vehicles.

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Head On Collision; Lawyer; Attorney; CaliforniaAs a California head on collision attorney, I know that this particular accident scenario can cause more serious injury or death than just about any other type of motor vehicle accident.  In fact, according to national and worldwide statistics, head-on collisions comprise only about two percent of all motor vehicle accidents but a full ten percent of fatal crashes.  This is largely a matter of physics.  If two vehicles are traveling toward each other at even a moderate speed, this speed of impact is doubled.  For example, if a car and a truck are both going 50 miles per hour and collide front to front, the impact speed would be equivalent of 100 m.p.h.

Major Causes of Head On Collisions and California Vehicle Code Sections that Come Into Play

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the following common characteristics come into play in causing front end crashes between two motor vehicles:

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Cause, Auto Accident, Injury, California LawCausation issues in auto accident cases are one of the biggest legal hurdles that can be faced by an injured party seeking compensation through the civil justice system.  As a California motor vehicle collision attorney with two decades of experience representing car accident victims, I can tell you that this is the most contested and litigated issue in these types of claims.  As I have discussed in other blogs, to prove your case in any personal injury negligence claim, it is the injured party’s “burden” to show a duty was owed by the defendant(s) to the plaintiff(s) [person(s) claiming personal injury]; that this duty was breached by some act or failure to act showing carelessness, unreasonable behavior or wrongdoing; that the breach was the actual and legal cause of injury; and that injury was in fact sustained (See Cal. legal definition of “negligence”).  The most common issues on this third element of “causation” include the following:

  • The delay between the collision and the treatment for the injury:   This scenario goes like this.  A person is involved in a crash and they don’t seek out immediate medical treatment.  They try to “tough it out” or see if the pain will “go away”.  This can begin with a denial of a offer for ambulance transportation from the accident scene to the hospital.  It may be compounded by factors such as a lack of health insurance which provides disincentive to incur medical bills.  The problem becomes when a serious injury is finally discovered (sometimes weeks or even months later), the defense (i.e. claims adjusters for the car insurance company of the at-fault driver), will claim: 1. Given the span of time between the accident and the diagnosis of injury, many other things could have happened that may have caused or contributed to the injury; 2. Defense argument: “If your client was really hurt, they would have gone to the doctor sooner!”
  • The date of the onset of symptoms from the date of accident: Sometimes injuries do not fully manifest themselves or show up at all until some time following the accident.  This is not often but, does happen.  In this instance, the same type of arguments by insurance defense personnel get made.
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Dui traffic collisions in West Covina CA continue to be a problem.  Based upon the statistics provided by the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation, car accidents, bicycle crashes, pedestrian mishaps and related incidents involving the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the most recent year for which data is available (2013) were as follows:

  • Thirty six traffic collisions in which alcohol or drug consumption was involved.
  • Twenty three of these collisions involved bodily injury.
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Auto Accident Injuries, California Car Crash LawyerThe most common injuries following an auto accident have been the subject of many studies.  As a car crash lawyer who has been representing traffic collision victims in Los Angeles and throughout California, I have also seen many of these statistics born out in my practice.  I thought I would summarize what these are and what the normal course of medical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis with these particular types of bodily harm.

What are the top 5 Most Common Physical Injuries Following an Auto Accident:

  1. Neck, Back, Chest and Shoulder Sprains and Strains: A “sprain” is defined as a stretch or tear of a “ligament” (the fibrous tissues that connect bone to bone at or near joints in the body) or “tendons” (fibers that connect muscle to bone).  A “strain” is the stretch or tear of tendons or the surrounding muscle tissue.  This is probably the single most common injury resulting from being involved either as a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle collision.  Sometimes, these sprains and strains do not manifest in pain until hours or sometimes days after the incident.  Some sprains and strains are minor and resolve on their own and many times, they healing process is affected by the severity and whether or not the victim seeks medical treatment including emergency trauma care, and follow up care such as physical therapy.  If the “sprain or strain” is due to a severe tear of ligament, tendon or muscle, surgery may be required to repair the torn tissue before full relief can ever be achieved.
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Auto Accident Report in California, Traffic Collision Report CHPWhat is the legal significance of California traffic collision reports?  This is one of the most common questions I get as an attorney who represents auto accident victims in Los Angeles and throughout CA.  Almost every significant car crash involving serious bodily injury or death in California will be investigated by a law enforcement official from the California Highway Patrol or local agencies like LAPD or other municipal police forces charged with a duty to report his or her findings regarding the alleged “cause” of an accident based upon numerous facts garnered during the investigation of the incident but, what is the significance of these findings?  Are they conclusive as to legal liability of the parties?  If a party is determined to be “at fault” in the report, is this grounds for denial of a civil claim for personal injury at a later date?

What is the purpose of a written accident report in CAL?

The basic purpose of a traffic collision report in California is simply to document the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.  Such information always includes the following:

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