The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns us that there is a car accident on American roads every 10 seconds. Auto accident victims often undergo a combination of injuries and stress afterwards that can be monetarily and emotionally draining. An experienced Manhattan Beach car accident attorney at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP can fight for compensation for any personal injury, as well as assist you in a lawsuit against the responsible party to get your vehicle repaired.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
When you’re involved in an auto accident, we strongly recommend the following steps:
- Move your vehicle off the road if you are able to.
- Take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles, and any visible signs of injuries.
- Write down the names and contact information of the other parties involved and any witnesses.
- If an ambulance is not called to the scene, then go to the Emergency Room or see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Notify your insurance company that you were in an accident.
- Contact a Manhattan Beach car accident attorney at Dinsmore & Sandelmann to get help protecting your rights after your accident.
Compensation for Auto Accidents
When the party at fault in an auto accident cannot be determined, the court will look at police reports, pictures of the damaged vehicle(s), and other evidence for clarification.
Traffic law may help determine who caused the accident and who is responsible for compensation and damage repair. Beyond medical costs, compensation can also include lost wages as well as pain and suffering as endured by the victim. If both parties are at fault, the cost will be split according to responsibility as determined by traffic law and other legal principles.
Determining Who is at Fault
The laws determining who is at fault vary depending on the types of vehicles involved and differ slightly from state to state. Generally, pedestrians and cyclists are more protected because they are exposed to more imminent danger.
As part of their professional responsibility, truck drivers have to be particularly careful on public roads. If a commercial truck is involved, a number of parties be held liable.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you have the right to seek legal counsel from an auto accident attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Especially if you are not sure who is at fault, the counsel of an attorney can help guide you through the process and your options.
Causes of Auto Accidents in Manhattan Beach
Most legal claims surrounding auto accidents involve negligence, meaning that the party at fault did not use “reasonable care under the circumstances.” The injured person must prove that the other party:
- was negligent,
- the accident was caused by this negligence, and
- your injuries were caused by this negligence as well.
Auto accidents can also be caused by reckless driving including speeding, improper passing or changing lanes, or even a hit and run.
An accident can also be caused by a mechanical defect in the automobile. Here, the manufacturer or supplier may be held liable for personal injuries. Poorly maintained roads or malfunctioning signals may also be an issue as government entities may be liable for dangerous road conditions.
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
Another serious problem that causes a great number of accidents is drunk driving. Every 30 minutes, a fatal crash is caused by the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the other driver was intoxicated, you may be entitled to recover additional sums in any criminal proceeding, including the contingency fee paid to your attorney. It is also possible to recover punitive damages in such a case. Talk to your attorney when involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Answers to Your Manhattan Beach Car Accident Questions
In California, a person injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence is entitled to seek compensation for the damages they suffered. However, California is a comparative negligence state, which means that the amount of damages you can recover can be reduced by the percentage to which your own negligence contributed to the accident.
For example, if you were hit by a driver who ran a red light but it was determined that you were speeding at the time, you may be found to share a percentage of fault for the accident.
The attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann always recommend that car accident victims contact law enforcement. A police report can provide you with an impartial and official record of the accident, which will give you important information for any personal injury litigation that may later arise.
At Dinsmore & Sandelmann, we get this question often. In most cases, the answer is — eventually. But we strongly advise clients to not accept a settlement until it is fair and full compensation.
Seek Guidance from a Manhattan Beach Car Accident Attorney
The time to file a legal claim or lawsuit after an auto accident has limitations, depending on the circumstances. Contact a Manhattan Beach car accident attorney at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP right away for legal assistance, guidance, and a knowledgeable attorney to help you through your claim.