Every year auto accidents result in thousands of injuries and deaths in the state of California. In fact, auto accidents are the number one cause of preventable injury and death in the United States. Victims have many questions they need answered following car accident including: who will pay for my medical bills, how do I get a recovery for lost work time, who pays for my vehicle damage, and how much compensation am I entitled to. You have many questions and we have your answers.
Car Accident Attorney in Palmdale
Our Law firm is dedicated to providing residents of Palmdale, Lancaster, and the greater Antelope Valley including the city for Victorville with experienced and knowledgeable legal representation in car accident cases. Our goal in each and every case is to make sure our clients receive the compensation they deserve. We accomplish this goal by fighting the insurance companies aggressively. One problem that almost all victims of accidents face is insurance adjusters trying to low ball them. Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They are paid to pay victims of accidents the least amount of money so that the insurance company makes the most amount of profit. We are aware of all the games that they play in an effort to eliminate your claim against them. We are not here to play games. We are here to get justice, and we will not let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Below you will find important information regarding auto accidents and how to protect your right to recovery. If you have any further questions feel free to contact our law offices. All legal consultations and case reviews are provided by our attorneys free of charge.
Most Frequent Injuries following an Auto Accident
Some of the most common injuries following an auto accident include the following:
- Head injuries: Common head injuries can range from a mild concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury. In many cases victims will suffer from various symptoms in a brain injury case including persistent vomiting and nausea after the traumatic crash, blurry vision, hearing loss, release of liquids from the orifices. Of course, you also have the more psychological symptoms like changes in one’s personality and mood swings.
- Facial injuries: These can include facial paralysis resulting in permanent drooping of many facial features, ocular damage, shattering of the orbital socket, broken nose, cracked teeth, jaw pain (TMJ Injury), and facial lacerations resulting in permanent scarring and disfigurement.
- Tinnitus: One of the most overlooked injuries is damage to the eardrum following a violent crash. Victims of accidents often suffer from persistent ringing in their ear. The problem is that some people may not realize that this was caused by the accidents. They may assume they always had the ringing problem, or perhaps it’s due to a clogged ear. An ENT (ear nose and throat) specialist will be able to evaluate symptoms and perform the proper testing required in order to diagnose a tinnitus injury on behalf of a victim.
- Spinal Cord Injury: back and neck damage can range from mild soft tissue damage and minor whiplash to severe damage to the spinal column including nerve root compression, disc herniation and disc rupture. Victims of spinal cord damage should be evaluated by either a pain management doctor or an orthopedist. In order to evaluate and diagnose the damage you have suffered a medical expert may order an MRI or CT scan of your spinal cord. Victims of spinal cord damage may require extensive treatment including physical therapy, aquatic therapy, pain relieving steroid and epidural injections, stem cell therapy, PRP injections, and surgery.
- Orthopedic injuries: The most common orthopedic injuries include fractures to the hand and wrist, fractured ribs, broken ankle, broken metatarsal of the foot and broken tibia and fibula of the leg.
- Nerve damage: Damage to the central nervous system can result in lifelong medical-heath complications. Perhaps of the most severe type of nerve injury is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) otherwise referred to as RDS. Victims who are not able to relieve their pain due to traditional physical therapy may have to undergo the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator.
- Knee Damage: The most common forms of knee damage include torn ligaments, MCL and ACT tears and shattered knee caps. Victims should have their knees inspected, evaluated and diagnosed by an orthopedics specialist.
- Shoulder injuries: The most common damage to the shoulders due to a traumatic event is a rotator cuff tear, and separated shoulder.
- Damage to the internal organs: Including collapsed lung, heart failure, bowel obstruction, ruptured spleen and acute kidney (renal) failure. In many cases due to nerve damage the individual will suffer from urological trauma including incontinence and inability to control bowel movements.
- Psychological damage: Damage to an individual’s mental health is perhaps the most common and yet the most overlooked injury resulting from auto accidents. Common mental health issues following a serious injury include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. In many cases the victim will go undiagnosed and untreated for their mental health injuries resulting in self-medication and substance abuse including narcotics or alcohol.
Types of Auto Accident Insurance Policies:
- Truck Accidents – Commercial Policy Claim: In the state of California vehicles used for a commercial purpose are required to carry large insurance policies ranging from $750,000 to as much a $1 Million dollars.
- Uber / Lyft and Ridesare Accidents – Passenger rights claims: Passengers and ride share drivers who suffer injuries are entitled access to a rideshare company’s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Based on California law Lyft and Uber must carry a minimum of $1 Million dollars in excess UM/UIM coverage.
- Basic Coverage: Under state laws non-commercial private drivers must carry an insurance liability coverage on $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 overall.
- Government owned vehicles: Government vehicles and trucks are directly insured by the state government and thus theoretically carry an unlimited insurance policy.
- Bus lines: Historically bus lines have been owned and operated by state and local governments. However over the past decades many bus operations across Los Angeles County including Palmdale and Lancaster have been purchased by private entities.
Most dangerous roads interceptions: Based on multiples studies and our own cases we have compiled a list of the most dangerous intersections in Palmdale, Lancaster and the greater Antelope valley region.
- Palmdale and the Sierra Highway: Known as the deadliest intersection in California. Last year there were three accidents resulting in death in that intersection.
- Challenger Way and Lancaster Blvd in Lancaster: There were 12 crashes and 27 injuries on that intersection.
- Rancho Vista Blvd and Sierra Highway: There were 22 accidents resulting in 21 injuries on that intersection in 2015.
- 10th Street West and Avenue K in Lancaster: There were 20 crashes with 15 injuries on that intersection in 2015.
- 10th Street West and Avenue N in Palmdale: There were 11 accidents and 18 injuries on that intersection in 2015.
Car Accident Lawyer in Lancaster
A car accident case is typically tried as a personal injury lawsuit. A large percentage of personal injury lawsuit are predicated on a negligence based cause of action. There are four elements which need to be established in order to prove a negligence theory claim.
- Duty: The question that has to be answered here is whether the defendant in the claim owed a duty of care to the at fault party. Generally all drivers on the road owe a duty to take precautions so as to reduce the incidence of accidents.
- Breach: The defendant was in breach of the duty of care owed to the injured party. Examples of a breach in the duty of care include driving at a high rate of speed, inattentive driving, driving too close to the vehicle in front, driving while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic, failure to stop at a stop sign or a red light, and sleeping while drowsy.
- Causation: The breach of the duty of care needs to be the cause of the accident that took place.
- Damages: The claimant (plaintiff) needs to have suffered a real and diagnosable injury or harm due to the accident.
Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit in California:
In the state of California individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of others have a right to file a lawsuit in order to seek recovery. However a lawsuit against a private (non-government) entity requires filing with state courts within two years from the date of the accident. Failure to file within the statutory time period will result in an elimination of a claimant’s right to recovery under the law.
- Government Claims: Claims against government agencies must first undergo review through an administrative process. A administrative claim with the governmental agency which owned or had supervision over the vehicle or driver involved in the accident needs to be filed within 6 months from the date of the accident. Once the administrative claim has been denied by the agency, a victim (claimant) will have 6 months from the date of the rejection to file a claim in state civil court.
- Tolling of a Statute – Exceptions to a Filing Deadline: Courts have granted some exceptions to failure to file within a two year deadline. For example minors or individuals under the age of 18 have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a civil claim in California courts. Persons in the military who do not have access to courts may be able to file a lawsuit after their two year deadline. Individuals with mental or physical incapacity may also receive an exception.
Lawsuit for the Death of a Family member – California Wrongful Death Laws:
Every year thousands of individuals perish from auto accidents in the United States. Certain family members and loved ones may have the right to pursue a wrongful death action and receive financial recovery. Spouses and children of the deceased have an absolute right to file a wrongful death action. Parents of the deceased may have the right to file a wrongful death action if the deceased individual has no living spouses or children and the parents were in some way financially dependent on their child. Putative spouses and domestic partners are owed the same level of rights as spouses in a wrongful death action. For more information on who can file a wrongful death action in the state of California see California Code of Civil Procedure section 337.60, et seq. Wrongful death claimants have two years from the incident resulting in the death of the individual to file a lawsuit in California civil courts.
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Why You Should Call Us before Speaking with Insurance after an Auto Accident
The job and goal of an insurance adjuster is to pay as little as possible on every claim that they work on so that the insurance company makes the most amount of profits. The less they pay you, the more they make. In others words their goal is to eliminate any chance you may have of financial recovery. As a result adjusters will play many tricks against claimants. Below is a list of just a few of the most common trick used against injured victims:
- Denying liability: In many cases and in particular in cases involving commercial vehicles, insurance adjusters will immediately deny liability even though fault against the other driver should be easy to ascertain. Their hope is that you will give up on pursuing a claim against them.
- Reducing Your Property Damage: Many adjusters will advise you to receive a property damage estimate from a facility referred by them. These facilities have a ‘special’ relationship with the insurance companies that refer them clients and as a result will vastly reduce the monetary estimate of the damage sustained to your vehicle. The goal of an insurance company in reducing your property damage estimate is two fold. (1) To pay less for fixing your vehicle and (2) In order make the argument that the force of the impact to your vehicle was not as severe and thus you should not have suffered the injuries you are claiming.
- Getting you to Answer Questions on a Recorded Line: As a result of the release of pain reducing chemicals following a traumatic event many victims will not feel the pain from the injuries they have suffered until many hours or in some cases days following an auto accident. Insurance companies are all too aware of this and will take advantage by contacting you immediately following an accident. They will get you on a recorded line and ask you about your injuries. Since you are not feeling any pain you may say, “I have no pain” or “I’m not injured.” Later on, they will use such statements against you to argue that you were not as injured as you claim to be.
- Lying about the Statute of Limitations: Insurance adjusters will often deceive injured individuals in thinking that they have plenty of time to file a lawsuit. Once the statue has run adjusters will simply stop answering your phone calls and will deny you any further coverage.
- Attempting to Settle Your Claim Early: Adjusters will often make you an offer to settle your personal injury claim just a few days after an auto accident before you realize the full extent of the injuries suffered. You will no longer have a right to receive additional recovery for further damages due to the accident that become apparent once you have singed of on a release.
What Separates Us from the Rest: There are numerous law firms and attorneys who may advertise themselves as auto accident attorneys. But there are exceptionally few law firms which possess the experience, knowledge, dedication and resources necessary to maximize the potential value of an auto accident case. Here is what separates us from the rest:
- VIP service: We are able to meet with you personally any place you wish including your home or hospitals. We offer transportation to and from medical appointments for all out clients.
- Doctors Appointment at no Out of Pocket Costs: We will be able to provide you with appointments with medical professionals for any injury you have sustained at zero out pocket cost for our clients.
- Zero Fee Guarantee – We will not charge any legal fees unless we win your case.
- Our team will fully investigate the facts of the accident. We will establish liability against the at fault party. In many cases traffics accident reports are wrong or misleading. It is important to note that even a TCR report should not always be held up as the truth of the facts of the accident. A TCR report is regarded as hearsay evidence and is not admissible in trial. Our law firm has been able to overturn and or establish liability on a defendant despite the fact that the police report has placed our client at fault.
- We will diligently pursue your claim against the defendant and the insurance company. We will not hesitate to file a lawsuit in cases where insurance companies fail to provide our clients with the compensation deserved. Unlike some other law firms, we are not afraid of taking a case to trial and we will do so if we believe our client can get a higher amount of money if their case is taken to trial.
Cost of Legal Representation
Our law firm provides legal representation on behalf of car accident victims strictly on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay us a single penny out of pocket. Our fee will be extracted only if there is a financially successful resolution of your case. If we do not win you do not owe us a single penny.
Free Attorney Consultation: Our attorneys are able to answer any questions and resolve issues you may be experiencing due to your auto accident. All legal case reviews are conducted by our attorneys free of charge.