If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be asking yourself whether you need to hire a car accident attorney. If you’ve suffered an injury, then yes, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. That’s because even accidents that appeared to be minor at first can later prove to be complicated. When the accident happens, you may be in shock and unaware of any injuries. They may take time to appear and when they do, they can cause severe pain and complications. In situations such as these, it is essential to have a car accident lawyer by your side.
If you’ve been in a serious car accident, then it’s crucial that you hire a law firm with a record of success in Los Angeles car accident cases. These include any accident that resulted in emergency medical care, hospitalization and/or left you unable to work.
This is not the time to go it alone. Insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize your claim, regardless of the extent of your injuries. Sometimes, the other person involved in the accident will dispute who’s to blame. These situations can and do arise. The Dominguez Firm has successfully handled all types of car accidents and injuries. We know the insurance companies and the other side’s tactics because we’ve confronted them all and we know how to counteract them.
And if you think you can’t afford to hire a team of Los Angeles car accident lawyers, think again. The Dominguez Firm works on a contingency basis. That means we receive a percentage of your final settlement or verdict amount. You pay no upfront fees or costs. And in the unlikely event that we are unable to obtain compensation for you, you owe us nothing. You win, or you don’t pay! So, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by hiring The Dominguez Firm.
Questions you should ask an auto accident lawyer before hiring them:
- Have you handled cases like mine? How many?
- If I lose, will I be responsible for your expenses?
- What are your fees?
- What staffing and financial resources do you have to fight my case?
- How long have you been handling Los Angeles car accident cases?
- How long will my case take?
- What can be done to improve the chances of a successful outcome?
- How many cases has your firm won in a jury verdict?
- What were your top 5 jury verdicts?
- Were those top verdicts with in-house car accident lawyers, or did you need or use outside lawyers?
What to do after an accident
- Move to a secure area if it’s safe to do so and call 911 to report the accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Provide the officers on the scene with the facts of the accident as best you can.
- Gather witness information and take pictures of the cars involved and accident scene, but only if it’s safe to do so.
- Hire The Dominguez Firm to handle all aspects of your car accident case.
What should I not do?
- Do not admit fault or any wrongdoing. Also, don’t apologize since that can be understood to be an admission of guilt.
- Do not guess or assume facts when providing information to a police officer.
- Do not delay medical treatment.
- Do not give statements to ANY insurance companies or their representatives (including your own) until you have consulted with our firm.
- Do not accept any settlement offers or settlement agreements without consulting with your lawyer.
What are some common car accident injuries?
While a lot of people think the bigger the crash, and the more property damage to your car, the bigger the injury. The truth is that even small or seemingly minor accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. It doesn’t take much force to hurt vulnerable areas such as the spine, brain, joints, and bones.
What are some of the most common injuries?
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
- Spinal cord injuries, including partial or full paralysis, whether temporary or permanent
- Whiplash and nerve injuries
- Internal injuries, including bruised, damaged, and/or lacerated organs
- Crush injuries
- Facial injuries, eye injuries, dental injuries, and scarring
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Dislocated joints and/or deranged joints
- Cuts and lacerations
- Muscle strain and/or sprain
The legal process and time frames
Lawsuits related to car accident injuries are generally treated as personal injury lawsuits and filed in civil court. The plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) seeks to recover money from the defendant (the person being sued). Here is a general overview of the steps involved in filing a lawsuit.
- File a complaint. The first step in pursuing a car accident lawsuit is to file a complaint with the court. This provides a detailed narrative laying out what happened, the damages you are claiming, and the legal basis for bringing the lawsuit. You must file your complaint within your state’s statute of limitations—in the case of California, within 2 years of the accident that caused your injuries.
- Serve the Defendant with the complaint. After filing your complaint with the court, you must inform the defendant that you have filed a lawsuit against them. This process is formally known as ‘serving the complaint,’ and you must follow strict guidelines in order for the court to consider the document properly served.
- The Defendant files an answer to your complaint. This answer will usually include admission or denial of the factual allegations laid out in your complaint and set forward any legal defenses.
- Discovery. Once the complaint and answer have been filed in court, both parties will request and exchange information. This process is known as discovery. During this phase, you may be asked to produce documents, answer written questions, or undergo depositions related to the case. The defendant will also have the opportunity to do the same.
- Trial. Once discovery is complete, both sides will gather and present their arguments to a judge or jury. If the evidence is overwhelming for one side, the case may settle before going to trial. If not, both the Plaintiff and Defendant will be given the opportunity to present evidence, produce witnesses, cross-examine the witnesses of the opposing party, present experts, etc. Once the trial is closed, the judge or jury will deliberate and issue a verdict in favor of either the Plaintiff or Defendant based on a ‘preponderance of evidence’ supporting their claim, and a judgment will be entered, including an amount in compensation, if any.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit for your car accident claim is no simple task. It requires a significant amount of skill and experience. This is not something the average person can successfully take on by themselves.
Car accidents come in all shapes, sizes, and situations. Some of the more common car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Left-turn collisions
- Side-swipe collisions
- T-bone collisions
- Merging collisions
- Failure to yield right of way collisions
These accidents can include any of the following types of vehicles:
- Passenger vehicles (4-door, 2-door, hatchback)
- Sport utility vehicles (SUVs)
- Pick-up trucks
- Light utility trucks
- Box trucks
- Large commercial trucks (aka as big rigs, 18-wheelers, or tractor-trailers)
Causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving (texting, eating, using one hand to talk on the phone, etc.)
- Drowsy, fatigued, or sleepy driving
- Impaired driving (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
- Reckless driving
- Following too close
- Ignoring traffic signals, road signage, and stop signs
- Vehicle defects or vehicle recalls
- Roadway design, repair, or maintenance issues
- Teenage or inexperienced drivers
- Lane splitting (for motorcyclists)
- Construction zones
According to data compiled by the California Office of Traffic Safety, fatality statistics related to car accidents include:
- 3,623 traffic fatalities in 2016
- 1,059 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2016
- 15 percent of all drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents that tested positive for drugs
- 548 motorcycle fatalities in 2016
- 225 teenage driving fatalities in 2016
- Overall, in the United States, per the Road Safety Facts by the ASIRT, 37,000 people die in road crashes every year and another 2.35 million are injured or disabled.
I’m undocumented, can you still take my case?
Yes. In California, it is against the rules in any civil case, including a car accident lawsuit, to use someone’s immigration status against them. In other words, when someone is negligent and causes you injury, it doesn’t matter what, how, or why you are here. To be on the safe side, we always issue privacy objections to stop any line of questioning meant to obtain this type of information.
While English is the language spoken in the courtroom, it is common for non-English speakers to utilize licensed interpreters. Our car accident attorneys work with some of the best interpreters in Los Angeles that can help be your voice, often matching your dialect, tone, and intonations, to ensure the translation and interpretation are spot on and conveys your story and emotions.
Can I get compensation for a car accident if I am partly to blame for it?
Yes. California is a “comparative fault” state, which means your total recovery will be reduced by the percentage you are deemed to have contributed to the accident occurring. For example, if you’re total recovery is $1,000,000 and your actions were deemed to have contributed 25% to the accident, then your recovery is $750,000. You can recover even if you are considered 99% at-fault. When speaking to a personal injury attorney, this will be discussed.
What if I was working or on-the-clock at the time of my accident?
Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim and file a lawsuit in civil court against at-fault third parties (non-employer). Fortunately, we have you covered as we not only have award-winning auto accident lawyers on staff, we also have a workers’ compensation department with extensive experience and success handling all types of workers’ comp cases.
How our award-winning auto accident attorneys can help you
In addition to everything discussed above, our core values focus on compassion, service, and results. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers take a client-first approach and aim to give you the best, most personable service possible. We keep you informed, answer your questions, and never make any important decisions without first informing and consulting with you.
Results also matter and with over $1 billion* recovered for thousands of injured clients, we have the track record to prove it. Our team of award-winning accident lawyers, including an expert trial team, has won several multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements including a $29 million auto accident verdict.