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Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Long Beach

You may have many questions when you are involved in a car wreck, we are here to help! We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by car accident victims in the city of Long Beach.

Are Car Crashes Common In Long Beach, California?

Long Beach does experience a relatively high number of car crashes.

In 2019 alone, the area was home to 30 fatal accidents, and in 2017, 162 collisions causing death or injury were reported.

Southern California is a dangerous place to drive overall. The 30 fatal accidents Long Beach saw in 2019 were just a fraction of the 35,549 serious crashes reported in Los Angeles County that same year.

As a whole, the state of California is projected to reach nearly 4,000 driving fatalities in 2022.

Do I Need A Car Accident Lawyer To File A Personal Injury Claim In Long Beach?

Technically, no. You’re free to represent yourself in these cases. But it’s highly advised to hire a lawyer.

Personal injury claims can be complex situations, requiring a certain amount of legal knowhow and finesse to make it through the legal process, or have any shot of bringing in a settlement.

How Much Is The Average Personal Injury Settlement For A Car Accident In Long Beach?

The amount of money accident victims receive can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to many tens of thousands or beyond. The final total depends entirely on the details of the case.

If you or a loved one have been involved in one in a car accident in the Southern California area, an experienced car accident attorney serving Long Beach, California can help you navigate the aftermath. LegalFinders can help you find a high-quality car accident lawyer that will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Car crash accident on city street

While you’re not required to hire a lawyer when filing a personal injury claim for an auto accident, there are many ways a Long Beach car accident attorney can help.

These lawyers have years of experience handling Long Beach car accident cases. Aside from a general knowledge of personal injury law, they’ll have specific information on Los Angeles County and any local rules that could impact your case.

Legal teams with those kinds of insights also generally have a higher success rate at the negotiation table, giving you a better chance of walking away with maximum compensation.

LegalFinders helps car accident victims connect with top lawyers in their area.


Who’s At Fault For A Car Accident In Long Beach, CA?

As is the case with many legal issues, assigning fault in a car crash may not be as simple as it seems.

That’s partly because there are many ways someone can be “at fault” in car accident cases. Rather than represent an absolute condition, the term is generally dictated on a sliding scale, ranging from “negligence,” to “reckless and wanton behavior.”

More severe, aggressive, or preventable incidents, like DUI, are considered reckless or wanton behavior. These generally call for the most stringent types of punishment.

On the other hand, an incident such as rolling through a stop sign could be deemed negligent. Considered more accidental, this class of “at fault” behavior usually results in lower offenses.


Is The At-Fault Driver Always Liable In A Car Accident?

In a majority of personal injury cases, the at-fault driver is considered liable. But it’s possible for other persons or parties to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident.

Any other people involved in the incident, including bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or fellow motorists, could share liability in these cases. And it’s even possible for people or institutions not at the scene to be legally implicated.

If dangerous road conditions contributed to the case, it could leave certain government agencies vulnerable, due to their role in ensuring infrastructure is safely designed and maintained.

And in cases of mechanical failure, it’s also possible for auto manufacturers to be included in the case.


What Are Your Legal Options After A California Car Accident?

There are a number of legal avenues you can pursue if you’ve been involved in an auto accident.

Most people start by filing a personal injury claim in the wake of the crash. This allows you the chance to state your case, list your damages, and name any parties you consider potentially liable for the wreck.

Hiring a personal injury attorney is recommended in these scenarios, as filing a case can be a difficult and confusing process.

An experienced car accident lawyer will help you keep track of what needs to be done, and can advise you on the ongoing details of your case.

If your personal injury claim fails to reach a settlement, you’re still not out of options.

In these instances, you still have the right to take your case to court. This takes the case off the negotiation table, and hands it over to a judge or jury to render a verdict.


Steps To Take After A Long Beach Car Accident

Whether you file a claim or take your case to court, there are some steps you can take in the wake of a car crash that can help you have an easier time.

1. Consult A Car Accident Attorney

Again, hiring legal representation is not required. But having a car accident lawyer on your side can make a big difference toward winning your case or securing your settlement.

With free consultations, you can run your case by the law offices in your area to get an idea of their different thoughts and styles, and determine whether you think the office is a good match for you.

2. Gather Details

While it’s always a good idea to be careful with paperwork, it’s especially important to hang on to important documents after going through a car crash.

Your car accident attorney can help advise you on the specific documents you should collect, but in general, it’s a good idea to keep track of anything related to:

  • The car accident, including:
    • The police report
    • Photos of the accident scene
    • Photos of any personal injuries sustained
  • Medical expenses/medical care, including:
  • Property damage, such as:
  • Other expenses, which can include (but are not limited to):
    • Rental car agreements
    • Demotions at work

3. Negotiate A Settlement Offer

This is typically the job of your attorney, but it’s another advantage of hiring a personal injury lawyer.

The negotiation process can be difficult, with the law teams of all parties involved trying everything they can to get their client off the hook. But a good lawyer will have the skills to hold any liable parties accountable.

What Types Of Damages Can You Claim In A California Personal Injury Case?

Damages is a broad term in the legal world, accounting for not just the financial hardship brought on by a motor vehicle accident, but any physical or emotional pain.

And though money can never make up for some losses, payments can be issued for any number of different types of injury.

Medical Bills

Medical expenses account for some of the most straightforward damages.

These costs can cover the medical care given after an accident, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Rides to and from the hospital
  • Ambulance rides
  • Surgery and hospitalization costs
  • Medical devices
  • Therapy or rehabilitation bills
  • At-home medical care

Lost Wages

You’ll be eligible for lost wages if the damage or injuries brought on by the crash caused you to miss work.

Any salary you may have missed while away from the job will be accounted for, along with diminished earning capacity tied to bonuses, accounts, or promotions you may have been passed over on.

If you sustained serious injuries that left you unable to return to your job or line of work, additional compensation can be sought to cover the cost of changing careers.

Pain And Suffering

While the pain and suffering sustained in an accident may be clear, it can be difficult to determine their financial value.

These damages attempt to compensate for any physical or emotional trauma connected to the crash, as well as any chronic pain or loss of enjoyment of life that stems from the experience.

Wrongful Death

In the most tragic cases, you may be able to sue for wrongful death.

These payments couldn’t possibly make up for the loss of a loved one, though they aim to cover the financial aspects of the scenario, including:

  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of income or capacity to save money


What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?

Automobiles are fast, heavy machines, and capable of causing all types of damage, including:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis


California Laws That May Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury law is practiced differently from state to state.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a personal injury law firm from Long Beach that specializes in this practice area is the knowledge of local laws they’ll be able to bring to the case.

Throughout California, there are some policies that may influence the way your case plays out.

At-Fault State

The at-fault or no-fault status of a state primarily concerns the way car insurance is handled.

When it comes to personal injury cases, people in at-fault states are responsible for any damages they’re named liable for, while people in no-fault states have insurance policies that will cover any damages inflicted upon them.

California is an at-fault state, which means the parties found responsible for causing the crash will also have to pay for it.

Comparative Negligence

California also practices the legal concept of pure comparative negligence.

Under this principle, every potential liable party is examined, and a portion of the blame is assigned to each party. Then, each party is also responsible for paying a portion of the damages, which is based on their percentage of liability.

And if you’re found partially at-fault in your own case, it can take away from the maximum compensation you’re able to receive.

Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a deadline marking how long you have to file a claim after an incident.

In California, you have two years from the time of injury to file a personal injury claim. If the injury didn’t clearly manifest until later, you’ll have one year from the date of discovery to file your case.


What Causes Car Accidents In Long Beach, CA?

While California has long been lauded for its pleasant climate and sunny beaches, the state is perhaps equally well-known for its nightmarish infrastructure and traffic.

Unfortunately, these same highway oceans and high congestion can cause any number of accidents in areas like Long Beach. Speeding, improper turning, or unsafe lane changes can take a toll in such an environment.

California also allows motorcycles to split lanes, which can lead directly to crashes or cause drivers to make a last-minute swerve that could lead to an accident.

And Long Beach is home to no shortage of dangerous roads, including the 405, the 710, Anaheim Street, and Long Beach Blvd.


Long Beach, California Car Accident Rates

In fact, Long Beach has struggled with so many accidents, the city called for a Safe Streets initiative in 2016.

There were 30 traffic deaths in 2019 alone. But the problem has been steadily on the rise in Long Beach for some time, with 2017 seeing 50 more fatal or serious accidents than 2013.

And while cars and trucks were by far involved in the most accidents in Long Beach in 2015, pedestrians and bicyclists suffered the highest fatality rates when involved in a crash.


Reach Out To Contact The Best Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. But they don’t have to be the end of the story.

An experienced Long Beach car crash attorney can be a source of strength and sound legal advice who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

LegalFinders can help you start your search today to find the best Long Beach car accident lawyer to represent your case. Call us now to learn more.


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Published: 30 December 2022


California Office of Traffic Safety — OTS Crash Ranking Results

City of Long Beach — Safe Streets Long Beach: A Vision Zero Action Plan

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration — State Highway Report (2020) – California