Los Angeles, CA Car Accident Lawyer
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Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury claims in California, accident rates have increased throughout the state resulting in serious injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact a Los Angeles, CA car accident lawyer at Rafii & Associates, P.C. to discuss your case. You may have a right to fair compensation for any losses from the at-fault party.
Why Choose Rafii & Associates, P.C.?
The personal injury attorneys at Rafii & Associates, P.C. have more than 75 years of combined experience handling car accident claims in California. We have helped past clients secure more than $100 million in damages over the years, and we believe that the key to successful legal representation is close communication between attorneys and clients. When you hire Rafii & Associates, P.C. to handle your car accident claim, the lines of communication will be fully open between you and your attorney, so you can have the most comprehensive representation possible.
Hiring a car accident attorney is a big decision. It is highly recommended to not only check a potential lawyer’s credentials but also find one with a strong record of success in cases similar to yours. At Rafii & Associates, P.C., we excel in both. Call our experienced car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, CA for a free consultation. Working with us means working off a contingency fee basis – meaning you don’t pay unless we win.
Why Do I Need a Los Angeles, CA Car Accident Lawyer?
Your car accident claim may seem straightforward at first, but several factors can significantly complicate your ability to claim compensation for your losses. The at-fault driver may dispute his or her liability for your damages or counter that you are actually responsible for your accident. Accidents involving multiple drivers may lead to several counterclaims or crossclaims. Additionally, the process can grow even more complex in various other ways.
The experienced Los Angeles, CA car accident lawyers at Rafii & Associates, P.C. can handle the complex legal affairs, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Ultimately, hiring an attorney to handle your car accident claim not only often leads to more compensation than you would have secured on your own, but also offers a higher chance of succeeding with your lawsuit in the first place.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen for a number of reasons. In California, some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence. Alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and makes it difficult for the impaired driver to react to changing traffic conditions. Drivers under the influence of alcohol are more likely to sustain and cause serious injuries when accidents happen.
- Aggressive driving. Driving in California is notorious throughout the country due to the number of aggressive drivers. Many California drivers neglect to use turn signals for lane changes and may engage in aggressive or unsafe maneuvers to navigate highway traffic. The best way to prevent car accidents is to follow posted speed limits and drive defensively.
- Speeding. The speed limit is not a guideline, so it’s important to remain within the posted speed limit wherever you drive in California. Accidents that occur at high speeds are more likely to result in significant damages.
- Distracted driving. There are several laws in place that restrict the use of cell phones while driving in California, but there are many possible distractions that may divert a driver’s attention from the road and cause an accident.
- Moving violations. If a driver runs a stop sign or red light it can easily cause an accident. Traffic signals like lights and stop signs exist to allow drivers to anticipate the actions of other drivers, so moving violations can easily cause serious accidents.
All drivers in California have a duty of care to obey the traffic laws, follow posted safety signals, and operate their vehicles safely at all times. When a driver violates this duty of care and causes an accident, an injured victim will need to consider his or her options for legal recourse.
Common Damages in Car Accident Lawsuits
The damages in a car accident lawsuit can be extensive. A plaintiff can secure several types of economic compensation for financial losses sustained due to a defendant’s negligence, including:
- Medical expenses. The at-fault driver is liable for all the medical expenses the victim incurs because of the accident. This includes the cost of treatment immediately following the accident as well as any long-term treatment like rehabilitation or physical therapy.
- Lost income. A car accident may cause a victim to miss work for an extended time. The plaintiff can claim the wages lost during that time as economic damages. If the plaintiff’s injuries prevent him or her from working in the future, the plaintiff’s attorney can arrange for a financial expert witness to provide the court with a professional interpretation of the plaintiff’s lost future earnings.
- Property damage. The plaintiff in a car accident case can claim compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing his or her vehicle as well as any personal belongings damaged by the defendant’s negligence.
In addition to these damages, a plaintiff will likely receive compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A car accident can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, burns, and a variety of other serious injuries. The jury will consider the type of injuries the plaintiff sustained, the prognosis for those injuries from the plaintiff’s doctor, and the testimony of expert witnesses to determine an appropriate amount of compensation for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
The court may use a “per diem” system if the plaintiff’s injuries will only require a relatively short recovery period. For example, a plaintiff who sustained a broken femur receives a prognosis that he or she should make a full recovery within a year. The jury may award $150 per day in pain and suffering compensation for each day until the plaintiff reaches maximum possible recovery.
For more significant injuries or injuries that result in permanent disability or disfigurement, the court may multiply the plaintiff’s medical expenses by a certain amount and award the result as pain and suffering damages instead. There is no way to predict how much a plaintiff will receive in pain and suffering damages, but there is no cap on the amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff can recover in California.
California Car Accident Laws
California uses a fault-based system for handling car accidents. Some states that follow “no-fault” laws require drivers to file claims against their own insurance policies after accidents, regardless of who was at fault for an accident. In no-fault states, injured drivers can only make personal injury claims for catastrophic injuries or fatal accidents.
Under California’s fault-based system, the plaintiff in a car accident case has the burden of proving that the other driver in the case was at fault for the accident and therefore liable for the plaintiff’s claimed damages. Proving this may require consulting the police report of the accident, interviewing eyewitnesses, and forensic data from the crash site.
Another important California law to remember is the state’s comparative negligence law. Under this law, a plaintiff can still recover damages even if the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the damages. The plaintiff loses a portion of the settlement, or case award, equal to his or her fault percentage. For example, if a plaintiff is 40% at fault in a $100,000 lawsuit, the plaintiff loses 40% of the case award for a net total of $60,000 instead. If there is any uncertainty about who is at fault for your recent car accident, a Los Angeles, CA car accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable and what type of compensation you can expect.
Proving Liability and Winning Your Case
Once a plaintiff determines who is at fault for a car accident, he or she must then prove that the defendant was negligent. The plaintiff must also prove that his or her claimed damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not another cause. For example, if you claim that a car accident resulted in a herniated disc in your spine, you may need to produce medical records or other proof that the injury resulted from the accident and was not a preexisting condition.
The first element of negligence in a car accident case is duty. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the given situation. Next, the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s breach of duty. This means providing evidence that the driver failed to act with reasonable care. After that, the plaintiff must prove causation, or that his or her damages resulted solely from the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff must prove that his or her damages would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s behavior or that the evidence indicates the defendant’s negligence clearly caused the plaintiff’s damages. Finally, the plaintiff must have compelling proof of the extent of his or her claimed damages.
Finding the Right Attorney for Your Los Angeles, CA Car Accident Claim
Car accident claims may seem simple at first, but they can become extraordinarily complex and demand the attention of a trained and experienced attorney. A Los Angeles, CA car accident lawyer at Rafii & Associates, P.C. has the experience and resources to handle the most complex car accident lawsuits in California. We understand that these incidents can take a devastating toll, and we work closely with our clients to help them maximize their recovery.
If you recently experienced damages from a car accident in California, contact Rafii & Associates, P.C.today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. After we review your claim we can let you know your chances of success and what type of compensation you might receive if you win.