Articles Posted in Car Accidents

If you are in a car accident in Los Angeles that is not your fault, you should be compensated. That is what the law says. You should be able to go the doctors you pick for treatment. You should receive your salary. You should be compensated for how the pain from your injuries impacts your life and restricts your activities. Maybe you cannot do your daily run, or bike ride. Maybe it hurts when you do your laundry or clean the kitchen, but it still has to get done. You are entitled to compensation.Uninsured-Driver_MiniGraphic-300x300

But what if the person that hits you only has the minimum required liability policy, or worse, no insurance at all. That is where uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance can help protect you.

If the person that hits you and causes the accident does not have insurance, it is not likely that person will compensate you for your injuries. Typically if people do not have the money to pay for their insurance, they do not have any money to compensate you. Uninsured motorist insurance coverage replaces that insurance coverage that the person that caused the collision should have had. It stands in the place of insurance for the at-fault party so that you can recover if you are injured.

Living in Los Angeles, there are a lot of cars and a lot of people going places. Unfortunately, that also means there are a lot of car accidents. No one ever intends to be in a car crash, but especially throughout the San Fernando Valley, including Encino, Tarzana, Reseda, Van Nuys, and North Hills, it happens all to often.

Someone who causes a car accident is not a bad person. Part of the reason we all buy insurance is so that if we accidentally hurt someone, they will be taken care of. It is fair (and the law), that people that are hurt be compensated for their injuries.  By purchasing insurance we all make sure that injured people do not go without proper medical care and proper compensation for the pain that goes along with a car accident and make sure that people are compensated for the inconvenience of the changes that must be made to accommodate for the injuries.

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Unfortunately, insurance companies spend millions of dollars each year advertising to make people feel guilty when they are injured in a collision. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and one of the ways they do that is by marketing to impact public opinion. Insurance companies do not want to fulfill their duty of paying claims and compensating the injured. They would rather keep the premiums paid to them to purchase mandatory insurance policies without following through on their end of the bargain and providing proper compensation for injuries.

People in Encino, Tarzana, Reseda and across the San Fernando Valley are injured in car crashes everyday. In fact, someone is hurt in a car accident every 8 seconds. The National Safety Council has made April Distracted Driving Awareness Month to help reduce the number of collisions. Texting while driving, holding the phone while driving, and using social media significantly contribute to the problem of safety on the roads. Everyone knows that California has made it illegal to use your phone while you are driving, but most of us seem to think that these laws only apply to other people. It is true, that if I was the only person allowed to use my phone while driving, and you all just stayed clear of me, that would probably work. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who wants to use my phone. To be safe, no one should.

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Distracted Driving Causes Auto Accidents

The National Safety Council is hosting a fee webinar on April 19, 2017, to help educate people about the dangers of using technology while driving. The course is free and important. The Council also invites everyone to take the pledge to drive cell free. Rather than a meaningless pledge, it invites you to make that pledge directly to your children or other loved ones that are put at risk of being injured in a collision caused by distracted driving.

distracted-driving-cell-phone-300x200New laws which may reduce car crashes effecting Encino, Van Nuys, Reseda, Los Angeles, and all of California went into effect on January 1. Some of those laws relate to use of your cell phone while driving, and child car seats.

The most significant change is that drivers are no longer allowed to use handheld cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. While talking on a handheld cellphone has long been prohibited, the new law basically prohibits a driving from touching the phone. A cell phone may still be used if it is truly hands free and operated by voice command. In addition, the phone can be used for navigation purposes if it is mounted on the dashboard and operated by a single touch. The purpose of the change is to further reduce car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Keeping kids safe in car accidents is also being stressed in new California driving laws. Studies show that kids are five times safer when rear facing. The new law requires children to remain in rear facing seats until they are at least 2 years old or more than 40 pounds or 40 inches. NHTSA recommends that children remain rear facing until they out grow the seat.

As cell phones have become so common, especially in Los Angeles, where people spent so much time driving, the incidence of distracted driving collisions has gone up. Nobody wants to be injured in a car accident and no one wants to need a car accident lawyer. It is not unusual here in Encino to see people texting while driving. It is no surprise that reading a text requires drivers to take their eyes off the road which leads to a car accident. Writing a text is even more dangerous. It is just common sense that a person who is focusing on a cell phone is more likely to be involved in a crash.

Anyone with whom you discuss it will self-riotously declare the evils of texting while driving. It is common for California drivers to recognize that driving a car and reading small print on an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S4, or other device is bad. No one defends such a dangerous driving habit which surely will lead to injury. Yet, it is common to see people doing it.

Driving%20while%20texting.jpgThis is one area where there is a clear dichotomy between what people preach, and what people practice. Everyone says driving and using a cell phone is bad, but in the San Fernando Valley and across Los Angeles, it is very common to see. People text at red lights, on the freeway, and driving down Tarzana streets.

This is part four in a series of posts regarding why someone hurt in a car accident should make a claim with the insurance company.

I recently told the story of a friend that called me because her sister was hit by a car while crossing the street. The sister did not want to file a claim. My friend’s sister felt bad and did not want to impose on the person that hit her or the insurance company. Here is how I explained it:

Car%20Crash%20MoneyGrab.jpgThe minute you were hurt because the driver caused the pedestrian accident, you are entitled to money for what you have been through. It is like you are at a table with the insurance company on the other side, and we suddenly put $50,000 of your money in the middle of the table. It is your money. You are entitled to that money because it is fair compensation for the injuries you suffered. (Obviously, the amount of money will vary depending upon the extent of the injuries).

This is part 3 in a series of posts explaining benefits of lawsuits and insurance claims when people in Southern California are injured in an accident.

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People buy insurance for several reasons. Some buy insurance because the law says they have to. Some people buy insurance to protect themselves. If they are negligent and hurt someone in an a car crash (it can happen to anyone), they want to make sure it does not cost them a lot of money which can take away from their retirement, or their kid’s college education fund. Still other people buy insurance because they want to make sure that if they cause an auto accident and hurt someone, the person they injure is taken care of. They want to make sure that they have the means to take care of any injury they cause.

The minute you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, or in any car accident in Southern California, or from any negligence of another, under California law, you are entitled to fair compensation for your injuries. The reality of modern insurance companies, is that you will have to fight to get the compensation that is rightfully yours.

This is part 2 in a series relating to San Fernando Valley Car Crash Claims as a benefit to everyone

I was recently contacted by a friend asking for help. Her sister was crossing the street in Woodland Hills, in a crosswalk and was hit by a car which was coming from Encino. She suffered a significant injury, yet, she did not want to talk to a lawyer and did not want to seek compensation for her injuries. She felt bad for the person that hit her.

Los%20Angeles%20Lawyer%20Neck%20Pain.jpg I explained to my friend that her sister has been brainwashed by the insurance companies, and she has no reason to feel sorry for them. The person that hit her had insurance. California law requires that you have insurance if you drive. The person that hit her was negligent. Generally, when there is a car accident, where a car hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the driver is at fault. Therefore, the pedestrian is entitled to be compensated for her injuries. She is entitled to receive medical attention for her injuries. If it was my family member that was hurt, I would want them to get medical care. The driver (or her insurance company), is legally obligated to pay for that care.

This is part one in a series on why Los Angeles car accident victims should be compensated for their injuries.

There are a lot of lawsuits filed every year in Los Angeles County. Many of those cases stem from auto accidents. Yet when we talk to jurors, they all complain that there are too many frivolous lawsuits. If you ask for more detail, most cannot explain why they feel this way, they have simply been told by the media and the insurance companies that there are too many lawsuits.

Certainly not every automobile accident need result in a lawsuit, nor must every injury result in a lawsuit. Sometimes, people are injured simply because they are careless. Sometimes, people are injured because somebody else is careless. In Southern California and throughout the United States, our laws are designed to protect us from the negligence of others. Thus serves two purposes: (1) it compensates the injured; and (2) it encourages people to be safe and protect others.

As car accident lawyers located in Woodland Hills, we review our client’s auto insurance policies all the time. By the time we do so, it is because someone has been in a car accident and has been injured. As personal injury lawyers handling auto accidents in the San Fernando Valley, we are here to make sure our clients are properly compensated for the injuries that were caused by the accident.

Tarzana_Auto_Accident_Keys.JPG Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late to talk about what insurance they should have had.

One of the first steps in helping our clients is looking at their auto insurance coverage. California law requires that all drivers have basic liability coverage of at least $15,000. It is a misdemeanor to drive without insurance. In addition, you are required to notify the DMV if you are in an accident and let them know who your insurance company is. We handle this process for our clients. Without question, this is the easy part, everyone should/must have at least the minimum required insurance coverage of $15,000.