If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash in Encino, you are likely overwhelmed, stressed, and even scared. You may also be suffering from minor or serious injuries. The last thing you should be doing in this condition is dealing with paperwork and insurance negotiations. Southern California has a high incidence of traffic accidents, and Encino is certainly no exception. In fact, Ventura Boulevard is home to many of this area’s accidents, including deadly crashes and hit and runs.
Following an injury car accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering. But it is critical to show that negligence caused your injuries. Proving negligence is not always an easy task, especially while you’re healing and recovering. That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Encino car accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in a collision.
At MAJK Law, our highly skilled car accident attorneys will fight for you every step of the way. In addition, our in-house insurance advisor has trained countless insurance adjusters across California so we know the ins and outs of everything required to get the claims you deserve. From negotiating with insurance companies to calculating a fair settlement, we will zealously represent your interests and will not stop until you receive the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
Why choose MAJK Law
At MAJK Law, our injury attorneys have extensive experience representing car crash victims in Encino. If you have been injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve by:
- Performing a thorough investigation of the accident to determine fault and collect evidence;
- Reviewing the police report;
- Negotiating with insurance companies and other involved parties;
- Assessing and calculating damages;
- Protecting your rights and best interests in court; and
- Positioning you to obtain the maximum possible settlement.
Following an accident, there are many competing interests.
The insurance company wants to save money, and its representatives are notorious for encouraging injury victims to accept the lowest settlement possible. Additionally, any other individuals involved in the crash will want a favorable outcome for themselves.
Having an Encino car accident lawyer by your side allows you to advocate effectively for your own interests.
California car accident laws
To recover damages by filing a car accident claim or lawsuit, it is essential to show that negligence was a contributing factor. To do this, you must be able to demonstrate the following four components of a negligence-based car accident:
- The other party (generally the other driver) had a duty to act in a safe manner;
- The other party breached this duty;
- This breach of duty caused the accident; and
- The accident was a direct cause of your injuries and other damages.
In some cases, it is not another driver, but a city, state, or government agency. For example, you may need to sue the city or county if a malfunctioning traffic signal caused the accident. However, there are strict rules to follow when making a claim against a government entity. An experienced Encino car accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed.
Furthermore, there is a two-year statute of limitations on car accident claims in California. As such, it is extremely important to start the process as soon as possible after the accident. In addition to ensuring a timely filing, consulting with an attorney immediately also helps with the processes of collecting evidence, preserving memories, and highlighting the severity of your injuries.
California car insurance claims
After a car accident, several key rules and regulations are helpful to keep in mind.
In California, you must file an injury claim within two years of your accident, in order to abide by the state’s statute of limitations. If you file a claim regarding property damage, you have three years from the date of the accident.
Furthermore, California law requires that vehicles be covered with a minimum of 15/30/5 insurance. This means that your insurance company would pay up to:
- $15,000 for an injured person or fatality,
- $30,000 for more than one injured person or fatality, and
- $5,000 for property damage.
If the other driver was at fault, you would file the claim with their insurance provider.
It is also worth noting that California’s liability laws take into account partial fault. If you were found to be 60 percent at fault, for example, you could still receive compensation for damages based on the percentage that you were not at fault.
Do I need a lawyer for a car accident claim?
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident, or a loved one was killed, it is critical to hire an experienced car crash lawyer immediately. Following this type of accident, the only thing you should be focused on is healing—physically and emotionally. Serious car accidents can take a major toll on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
A skilled Encino car accident lawyer can review the details of your case, determine fault, gather evidence, calculate damages, and negotiate for the maximum settlement. And if a reasonable settlement isn’t offered, the tenacious injury team at MAJK Law will fight for you in court. Although we always strive to settle out of court, we are prepared to go to trial if it’s in your best interest.
Furthermore, car insurance companies are notorious for offering ridiculously low settlements to injury victims, especially those without legal representation. They have no problem taking advantage of your vulnerability after a serious auto accident. Don’t miss out on thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars because you tried to represent yourself. An experienced injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover and get your life back on track. Contact MAJK Law today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
California insurance company tactics to be aware of
If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is imperative that you avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve had a chance to speak with your lawyer.
It is the insurance adjuster’s job to pay as little as possible to claimants. As such, they employ various tactics to get injury victims to accept the lowest possible settlement.
Some of these tactics include:
- Contacting the victim immediately following the accident;
- Asking the victim for a recorded statement; and
- Asking the victim to sign a release form, permitting the insurance company to review the victim’s medical history.
Insurance adjusters do these things as a means of gathering ammunition against the victim if there is a resulting injury claim. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster after an auto accident, simply explain that you are not speaking or signing anything until you’ve talked to your attorney.
What to do after a car crash in Encino, CA
If you have been involved in a car accident in Encino, you are not alone.
According to a report by Statista, in 2020, there were around 3,723 fatal motor vehicle accidents in California, with the majority of deaths involving passenger cars.
These crashes involve head-on collisions, sideswipe accidents, rear-end crashes, t-bone collisions, and auto/pedestrian accidents, with broadside and auto/pedestrian accidents being among the most deadly.
- In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, the first thing you should do is check for injuries, your own, and anyone else’s.
- If someone is hurt, call 911 immediately. People’s safety and health should take top priority following a crash.
- While you are at the scene of the accident, it is recommended to call the police, even if no immediate injuries are apparent.
- In addition to ensuring everyone’s safety, this will result in the creation of an official police report, which can provide important evidence if you end up filing a claim, or offer protection if the other driver makes an unfair claim against you.
- Be sure to exchange contact information with the other driver(s) and take pictures of the accident.
- Let your insurer know about the crash in a timely manner. Your auto insurance company may penalize you for failure to notify them of the accident within a few days.
- Please note: do not discuss any details of the crash with the insurance company until you’ve consulted with an Encino auto accident lawyer.
- If anyone was injured or the vehicle damage was above $1,000, you must also report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days, as directed by California Vehicle Code 16000. Failure to do so may result in your license being suspended.
Given the complexity of California car accident rules and regulations, it is in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney immediately following a crash.
A knowledgeable Encino auto accident lawyer will advise you based on your specific situation and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward.
What not to do after a car crash in Encino, CA
While it is important to take the above steps after a car accident, it is also critical to avoid taking certain actions, so as to not jeopardize a potential injury claim.
Probably one of the most important things to avoid doing after a crash is to engage in conversation with other involved parties, other than to exchange insurance and contact information. Arguing about who was at fault or—even worse—admitting fault, will almost certainly come back to bite you. Even saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” can be used against you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Furthermore, you should always seek medical treatment after an auto accident. Even if no injuries are immediately apparent, it is in your best interest to get a professional medical check-up. Some serious and even life-threatening injuries, including brain injuries and internal bleeding, may take days or even weeks to produce symptoms. Seeking immediate medical attention can also be valuable to your case if you decide to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
Car accident injuries
Motor vehicle accident injuries range widely, from bumps and bruises to death, but certain injuries are particularly common in car accidents. These include:
Minor injuries may not require medical intervention, but others, such as concussions, broken bones, and post-traumatic stress disorder, likely will.
If you were injured in a car accident, your Encino car accident lawyer can help calculate damages, accounting for the cost of medical treatment, disability accommodations, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and/or other factors relevant to your case.
Who is responsible for my injuries?
In many cases, the other driver is solely responsible for your injuries, but there could be multiple at-fault parties, and you may even be partially responsible.
If, for example, a truck driver crashes into you after falling asleep at the wheel, it may seem at first glance that he is solely responsible for the accident. But if his employer encouraged him to work over the federally regulated maximum hours per day, the trucking company may also be responsible. And if an investigation into the accident reveals that defective brakes also contributed to the severity of the accident, the brake manufacturer may be on the hook. Your Encino car accident lawyer can help you determine fault and calculate damages following a crash.
Types of damages car accident victims can recover
The types of damages you can recover after a car accident are largely dependent on the cause of the accident, and the severity of any injuries and property damage. Common types of damages in a motor vehicle crash include:
- Medical expenses, current and future;
- Lost income, current and future;
- Vehicle repair expenses;
- Emotional pain and suffering;
- Alternate transportation costs;
- Disability; and
- Wrongful death.
Certain damages, including medical bills and the cost to repair a vehicle, are pretty straightforward and easy to calculate. These are known as economic damages. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, can be more challenging to calculate, and yet they often account for the lion’s share of the total settlement. This is just one more of the many reasons why you should hire an experienced Encino car accident lawyer following any type of crash.
Contact an Encino Car Accident attorney today
If another’s negligence has caused you harm, the skilled legal team at MAJK Law can help. For more than 45 years, we have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims in Encino, and throughout Southern California. We have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to get you the compensation you need in a timely manner. Our tenacious car accident team will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the entire process so that you can focus on the only thing you should be doing—healing. Let us gather evidence, handle the paperwork, and negotiate with aggressive insurance adjusters. Let us work the magic. Contact MAJK Law today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.