In recent years, there has been a notable increase in traffic accidents in Granada Hills, particularly in the areas near the 27 Freeway and 405 Freeway. Regardless of the type or severity of a car accident, being involved in a collision can be a stressful, and even terrifying experience. This is particularly true when the crash results in injuries and/or extensive property damage.
Immediately following the accident, you are likely to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and scared. This is not an ideal state in which to navigate California car accident laws, gather evidence, and deal with mounds of paperwork and unscrupulous insurance companies. But you must do these things to recover compensation for injuries and property damage.
That is why it is so important to hire an experienced Granada Hills car accident attorney if you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle crash. Let your lawyer handle the heavy lifting so that you can do the only thing you should be doing—healing.
At MAJK Law, our highly skilled car accident legal team 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.
The MAJK Law Difference
At MAJK Law, our injury attorneys have extensive experience representing car crash victims in Granada Hills. If you have been injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve by:
- Investigating the incident and determining fault
- Collecting and analyzing the police report
- Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies and other involved parties
- Calculating damages
- Drafting an insurance demand letter
- Representing your interests in court
- Ensuring that you have access to the maximum compensation to which you are entitled
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 a Granada Hills car accident lawyer by your side allows you to advocate effectively for your own interests.
Car accident laws in California
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 Granada Hills 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.
Car insurance claims in California
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 in Southern California?
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 Granada Hills 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.
Common California insurance company tactics to watch for
If you have been injured in a car crash, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney before talking to anyone else. But it is crucial to consult with an attorney before talking to the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster will use unscrupulous tactics to coax you into freely discussing the details of the accident, in an effort to pay you as little as possible. Do not make the mistake of believing they have your best interests in mind and do not fall into their trap.
Some of the tacts insurance companies use to get you to accept a measly settlement check include:
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 Granada Hills, CA
If you have been injured in a Granada Hills auto accident, 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.
- The first order of business, if you’ve been involved in a car crash, is to check for injuries to yourself and others.
- Call 911. Even if immediate injuries are not apparent, you should call the police if there is significant property damage. In addition to ensuring that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way, calling 911 will result in an official police report, which can be invaluable to a personal injury case.
- Limit conversation with the other driver(s), but be sure to exchange insurance and contact information.
- Photograph the accident scene. Take pictures of any visible injuries and contributing factors, from as many angles as possible.
- 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 a Granada Hills 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 Granada Hills 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 Granada Hills, 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.
Specifically, we advise against arguing with others involved in the collision, admitting fault (even saying “I’m sorry” could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt), making promises with regard to payments, and telling the other driver that you sustained no injuries in the crash.
Many injuries, such as internal bleeding and soft-tissue damage, do not produce immediate symptoms, so you may not realize that you’ve been injured. It is not advisable to state that you were uninjured at the scene of the accident, this could give the driver’s insurance company a reason to deny your injury claim down the road.
Common car accident injuries
The type and severity of car accident injuries vary widely, based on multiple factors. That being said, there are certain injuries that are particularly common to auto accidents, including:
- Injuries to the back, neck, and spinal cord
- Brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Skin lacerations
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Although very minor injuries are not likely to require medical intervention, it is always a good idea to seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you don’t seem seriously injured. Certain life-threatening injuries, including internal bleeding and brain injuries, may not produce symptoms for days, or even weeks.
If you were injured in a car accident, your Granada Hills 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 Granada Hills car accident attorney can help you determine fault and calculate damages following a crash.
Types of damages you may be able to recover in a car accident case
Depending on the type and cause of the accident, and the severity of any injuries, you may be able to obtain significant compensation for damages incurred. Although the types and amount of damages will vary widely based on the circumstances of your case, the most common damages awarded in an auto accident case include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Property damage expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Economic damages, such as medical and vehicle repair bills are relatively straightforward. If you have $25,000 in medical bills, you will likely seek $25,000 in damages to cover the cost of those bills. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are more challenging to calculate, but they frequently account for the most significant percentage of the total settlement. This is just one more of the many reasons why you should hire an experienced Granada Hills auto accident attorney following any type of crash.
Contact a Granada Hills car accident lawyer today
If the negligent, reckless, or careless actions of another have caused you harm, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for any damages suffered. With more than 45 years of combined experience, the highly-skilled and tenacious car accident attorneys at MAJK Law have an impressive track record of obtaining maximum compensation for our clients. We will thoroughly evaluate the details of your case, gather evidence to substantiate your claim, and negotiate with the insurance companies so that you can focus on recovery. Do not attempt to navigate this complex, stressful process without the help of a knowledgeable Granada Hills auto accident attorney by your side. Let the experienced legal team at MAJK Law work the magic for you. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.