California Head-On Collision Car Accident Attorneys
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California's Toughest Head-On Collision Car Accident Attorneys
Head-on collision accidents can lead to severe injuries. Many of these injuries are permanent, and permanent injuries can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. The financial costs of these injuries are staggering: a lifetime of medical bills and lost wages for decades of work can quickly run in the millions of dollars.
This can happen even before one accounts for the intangible losses an accident victim suffers, such as physical pain and the emotional suffering of living with an injury or disability. Injury victims need to protect their legal right to compensation by hiring an attorney experienced in head-on collision accidents ASAP!
Why Head-On Collisions Are So Deadly
The force of the collision determines the severity of injuries that victims will suffer in an auto accident. Force is higher at higher speeds, which is why speeding is a factor in many fatal collisions. A vehicle’s weight also determines the force of impact, so crashes involving large, heavy vehicles (such as a truck or bus) can also be more dangerous.
In a head-on collision, the force is increased by the speed and weight of both involved vehicles. There is a lot of energy generated by head-on collisions. In turn, this increased energy means that injuries are more likely to be fatal in this type of crash. The injuries that can be survived still can be severe, so victims of a head-on collision are also more likely to have permanent brain damage, amputations, or disabilities.
The Costs of a Permanent Injury and Need for an Experienced Attorney
A permanent injury can quickly accrue millions of dollars in financial losses. If, for example, you are unable to return to work, you are entitled to compensation for all the wages you would have earned between the time of the accident and the time of your expected retirement. This compensation includes bonuses, commissions, overtime, and raises. It also includes employee benefits, such as an employer’s contributions toward health insurance premiums or retirement accounts.
Finally, all these totals will be adjusted for inflation. If you are able to return to work, but only in a limited capacity, you will likely earn less than you did before the accident. This decrease in earning power means that you are entitled to compensation for the difference between what you made before the accident and what you are able to earn with your injuries.
Permanent injuries also require permanent medical care. Victims often spend years seeing specialists, getting second opinions and consultations, and following up with a primary care provider. They will likely need medications and assistance devices (such as a wheelchair or walker). They can also spend years receiving rehabilitative services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, pain management, or chiropractic care.
In addition to all this, your injuries might also require permanent changes to your home or vehicle. All of these costs can quickly add up. A lifetime of medical care is not cheap, and this is why many permanent injury claims settle for amounts that seem incredibly high.
Car accident victims also ask
Any time you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your first priority should be getting to safety. Get out of the vehicle and find a safe spot on the side of the road that is far away from the flow of traffic. If you cannot leave the car, call 911 and let them know that you are trapped. They will send the proper equipment and responders right away.
Next, you need to take care of your medical needs. Let the emergency medical personnel on the scene evaluate your injuries and follow any of their recommendations. If you choose not to leave the scene in an ambulance, you should still visit an emergency department or an urgent care facility right away.
Even if you think you are not injured at all, it is always important to follow up with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not start to show symptoms for days or weeks after an accident occurs. Only a qualified medical provider can determine the extent of your injuries. Whether you think you are injured or not, this documentation will be critical evidence in your personal injury claim.
Once you have addressed your medical needs, it is time to address your legal needs. Find an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Do not make any statements about the accident to the insurance company until you have retained a lawyer. Once the insurance company is notified of your attorney’s contact information, they can no longer contact you regarding the accident, which will protect you from inadvertently saying something that could be detrimental to your personal injury claim.
If your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf, there is a chance that you might have to come to court. Before trial, there are status conferences to handle scheduling and other administrative matters. You usually will not have to speak at these conferences. If the attorneys disagree on the evidence that can be used at trial, the court might hold a hearing to determine whether the evidence can be admitted.
While this may sound overwhelming, it is essential to understand that very few personal injury cases ever go to trial. The vast majority of car accident cases in the United States settle outside of court. This fact makes it unlikely that you will have to go to court, but if you do, your attorney will thoroughly prepare you for what to expect and what will happen.
The law enforcement officers who respond to the scene have the responsibility to file a police report about the incident. This report is a critical piece of evidence. You usually can not get a police report unless the officers respond to the scene. The officers will take your statement about what happened. (While you should not discuss the accident with the other driver or bystanders on the scene, you should give your statement to the officers to be used in their official police report.)
If you have an auto accident attorney, you will not have to worry about filing a claim. Your attorney will handle the paperwork for you. He or she will also prevent you from saying something to the insurance company that could hurt your claim. If you choose to handle your case without an attorney, you will have to call the insurance company to file your claim.
The insurance company will rarely make a fair settlement offer on the first try. Instead, they will try to lowball you with an offer that does not fully compensate you for your pain and suffering. These methods are why it is crucial to be represented by an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer knows how to respond to lowball offers and then prove what the claim is truly worth.
If a fair settlement offer cannot be reached in negotiations, your lawyer might want to file a lawsuit on your behalf. In many cases, the mere fact that a lawsuit was filed is enough incentive to get the insurance company to raise its settlement offer. If not, the parties will engage in the discovery process, which involves investigating the case to find evidence that is then exchanged. Evidence found in discovery can also affect the insurance company’s settlement offer.
Unlike criminal defense or divorce lawyers, who charge an hourly rate, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. Working on contingency means that they will be paid an agreed-upon percentage of any eventual settlement. If you don’t get paid, the attorney doesn’t get paid. If the attorney must file a lawsuit on your behalf, the work required on your case goes up dramatically. This fact is why most personal injury lawyers often take a higher percentage if a lawsuit is filed on your behalf. There will also be court costs and litigation expenses, so it is important to be clear on who will pay those fees if the case goes to trial.
The key thing to understand is that you can hire a personal injury lawyer with no upfront fees. Some injury victims do not get representation because they are worried about the cost. Not hiring a lawyer can lead to you hurting your claim. You might say something to the insurance company that leads them to believe you were at fault for the accident.
Surprisingly, the empty roads are riskier than before the pandemic caused by COVID-19. A news release by NSC shows that despite the decrease in driving and mileage of drivers, there has been an increase seen in a few places. The early data is indicating a 14 percent jump in year-over-year fatality rates per miles that were driven in March, despite an 8 percent drop in the total number of car accident deaths in March of the previous year.
Below are the states that have seen an increase in car accident deaths within the first 3 months of 2020.
- Arkansas (16 percent)
- California (8 percent)
- Connecticut (42 percent)
- Illinois (11 percent)
- Louisiana (23 percent)
- Nevada (10 percent)
- New York (17 percent)
- North Carolina (10 percent)
- Oklahoma (9 percent)
- Tennessee (6 percent)
- Texas (6 percent)
The states listed below have seen decreases in the number of car accident deaths for the first three months this year.
- Arizona (-4 percent)
- Hawaii (-32 percent)
- Idaho (-28 percent)
- Iowa (-13 percent)
- Maryland (-13 percent)
- Michigan (-12 percent)
- Oregon (-24 percent)
- South Carolina (-12 percent)
Generally, big cars are considered safer than small cars. There are several important reasons for this. First, in a larger car versus light car crash, physics favors the more massive vehicle. Momentum is a product of mass and velocity.
Of course, large car versus small car safety is a far more complicated issue than which vehicle has more momentum in a collision. A vehicle's safety also considers its ability to withstand a crash, or even help the driver avoid an accident altogether. The driver's experience and comfort with the vehicle's features are also critical components of the safety equation.
When it comes to car accidents in California, it's almost always a good idea to get a personal injury attorney. It is commonly thought that a lawyer is not needed if the accident is minor and does not cause injury. But even a fender bender that seems insignificant can turn into a major headache without a car accident lawyer.
It is estimated that speeding alone led to over 10 thousand fatalities in the United States in 2016. In 2019, 2 million Americans suffered permanent injuries from a car accident. A California personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal mess that can be an unavoidable outcome of an accident.
Under California law, a car accident case involving speeding would be an easy case to show where negligence is indicated. California is an at-fault state, meaning whoever is at fault in a car accident bears most of the burden of responsibility, if not all of it. If you don't know this, you may try to negotiate your insurance claims. Doing this can quickly become a nightmare.
After an accident, you'll have to deal with the police, your insurance company, maybe someone else's insurance company, and the medical field. Sound daunting? It is! Dealing with these problems is what an experienced accident attorney can do for you. Contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as you can after a car accident.
You could undoubtedly hire an attorney, but not just any attorney will give you the results that you deserve. It's crucial to the success of your claim to hire someone with experience and knowledge. It should not be difficult to talk to them about the specifics of your case. Look for these requirements when hiring a California car accident lawyer near you:
- Most or nearly all of the clients they represent are personal injury clients, especially car accident clients
- They have a minimum of 10 years experience in personal injury law
- They offer free consultations at their office or a location that is convenient for you
- They listen to you, recall the details you give them, and pay attention to you when you talk
- They understand the type of injuries you sustained
- They take your case seriously and care about your pain, it is not just about the money for them
In California, the law allows for what is referred to as the medical emergency defense, also known as the sudden emergency defense. This law is only applicable if the individual has an unforeseen and legitimate medical condition, and all of the following terms have been met:
- The driver was not the cause of the emergency.
- Someone was put in danger of injury due to a crisis that occurred.
- The driver acted reasonably.
This means that for the medical emergency defense to be used after an accident, it would need to be proven that the accident was the cause of a sudden health crisis that arose. The driver at fault acted reasonably as anyone else would have done. The driver at fault would have to provide detailed medical evidence that supports their unforeseen medical emergency occurred. Not all states have the same requirements for this law, but a driver that has suffered from a sudden medical emergency will often be burdened by showing proof that the conditions above were met.
While some physical effects of a crash can be visible right away (e.g., bruises, scars, and broken bones), others may not be noticeable immediately after the accident. Sometimes, high levels of shock and adrenaline after a car accident keep us from recognizing injury symptoms and may even mask the pain for hours. That is why it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident to diagnose and document all of the injuries and physical damages.
In most cases, the aftereffects of a car accident can be divided into two categories:
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises. These are some of the most common injuries after car accidents. Often, victims of car crashes suffer a cut wound due to shattered glass, broken plastic parts, and metal fragments from vehicles.
- Burn injuries. Car crashes are also likely to result in burn injuries due to hot metal vehicle parts, fires, and explosions at the scene of the accident.
- Tissue damage. Often, tissue damage is not immediately apparent after a collision, which is why accident victims need to go to a doctor to diagnose this type of injury.
- Fractured bones. Fractured and broken bones are some of the most devastating types of injury after a car crash.
- Back and spine injuries. Spinal cord and back injuries are some of the most significant effects of car accidents. Depending on the severity of the crash, a spine injury can result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Loss of a limb. Although the loss of a limb is not a common occurrence in car accidents, it does happen in devastating crashes. Losing a limb is one of the most traumatizing and painful types of injury that can lead to many other severe complications.
- Death. Car accidents are responsible for approximately 100 deaths per day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A severe injury can have long-term emotional effects after an accident. Some of the psychological and emotional effects following a car crash can haunt an injured victim for years or even for the rest of their life. The emotional effects of a car accident include:
- Emotional distress
- Fear (phobias)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Sleep disturbances
- Behavior changes
- Mental anguish
- Mood swings
The quick answer to this question is yes, and no. California law stipulates that car insurance follows the car, not the driver. If anyone gets into a car accident in your vehicle, your car insurance will be involved. You will be held liable at some point. However, you may not be held entirely responsible, depending on the circumstance.
There are some situations where you won’t have to worry if another driver gets into an accident with your car. However, what you have to worry about may be different in every situation. Here are some examples of kinds of car crashes where your liability decreases:
- Stolen car
- Another driver at fault for the collision
- All parties are insured
If you are severely injured on the scene of an accident, it is easy to make the decision to go to the emergency department in an ambulance and get medical care right away. But it is more challenging to know what to do if your injuries don’t appear to be serious. Just because you were able to walk away from a car accident doesn’t mean you were not injured in the crash. It is essential to see a doctor to be sure that you did not suffer any latent injuries.
Beyond the medical concerns, there are also legal reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your ability to be compensated – and the amount of compensation you receive – is determined by automated information about your injuries. While you will likely be in touch with a claims adjuster, most of the real insurance adjusting is done by a computer program that will be fed data about your accident and injuries. One crucial piece of data that could increase your odds of recovering fair compensation is whether you sought medical attention in a “reasonable” amount of time after the accident.
As with medical care, it is important to see a legal professional as soon as possible after an auto accident. Any statement you make on the scene or over the phone to the insurance company can be used to attack your claim. Insurance companies even go through victims’ social media accounts to try to find evidence that will contradict their story, or prove that they are not in as much pain as they say they are. An experienced California personal injury attorney can help you fight these insurance company tactics. The sooner you have a lawyer fighting for you, the better protected you will be.
Of course, you must first tend to your medical needs. See a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Follow his or her recommendations and get the necessary rest. Then, meet with an auto accident lawyer as soon as you are able. Once the insurance company is notified that you have an attorney, they are not allowed to contact you about the accident. You will not have to deal with harassing phone calls or tedious paperwork.
Let our experienced car accident attorneys handle your legal claim so that you can focus on your recovery. You don’t need to wait until you are done with your medical treatment to meet with a lawyer. Sometimes, medical treatment can take months – or even years. Your legal rights are in jeopardy without a lawyer, so you do not want to wait. Find a lawyer as soon as you are medically stable and able to do so. He or she will help move your case forward while you are finishing your medical treatment.
Common Causes of Head-On Collision Car Accidents in California
There are many potential causes of head-on collisions. Your attorney needs to determine what, exactly, caused the accident because this will determine who was at fault (“liable”) for the accident. The person who is liable for the accident also has a legal obligation to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
Liability can involve complex legal issues and defenses. It might be split between multiple drivers or companies. The defense might even try to say that you were partly at fault for your own injuries. The difficulty in navigating this process is why it is essential to work with an experienced California accident lawyer who knows how to prove liability.
While there are many potential causes of head-on collision accidents, here are some of the most common scenarios our car accident attorneys come across in our personal injury practice:
Today’s drivers have more temptation than ever to take their eyes off the road. In addition to food and drink, pets, children, and other distractors that have always been a challenge for drivers, we now have widespread technology in our vehicles. Navigation programs, mobile devices, and built-in entertainment systems all compete for drivers’ attention.
According to NHTSA, these distractors cause many accidents; nearly three thousand Americans were killed in 2018 as a result of distracted driving. Distracted driving can cause a driver to miss one-way street signs, construction diversions, and other changes in traffic patterns that can lead to head-on collisions.
Drowsy driving is another common cause of traffic accidents. Being tired affects your cognition. Tired drivers are slower to identify and respond to hazards on the road. And of course, if a driver actually falls asleep, he or she may drift out of their lane - or off the roadway entirely. Pay attention to your body.
If you start feeling tired or nodding off, pull safely off the road for a quick nap. Letting in cold air or listening to upbeat music might also help you stay alert. Do not continue driving after you are too sleepy to do so safely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, older drivers can be at increased risk of both causing car accidents and being seriously injured in a car accident. Changes in cognition can affect an older driver’s response time. In contrast, physical changes in vision and motor skills can make it more difficult for older drivers to identify and avoid hazards on the road. In the meantime, underlying medical conditions and physical frailty mean that older car accident victims might suffer more severe injuries than a young, healthy victim.
So what can be done to mitigate these risks for older drivers? The CDC recommends that older drivers discuss any health conditions with their doctors to ensure these conditions will not affect their ability to drive safely. They should also be careful to observe the effects of any medications.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any medication that makes you feel sleepy, uncoordinated, or otherwise “out of it.” All drivers should also have an eye exam once per year and use glasses or contact lenses as directed. Finally, the CDC recommends that older drivers explore alternatives to driving. Walking, public transportation, and rideshare services are excellent alternatives for those who do not feel safe behind the wheel.
Older drivers are not the only ones who are at risk while on the road. Younger teen drivers and other new drivers can cause accidents due to their lack of experience. It is essential to know what hazards to watch for on the road and how to respond when they come up. Even experienced drivers can be at risk when they are driving in an unfamiliar area.
Try to remember the last time you were in a busy area of an unfamiliar city. The street signs, directions, and heavy traffic probably felt overwhelming. In an area with one-way streets, it can be easy for any driver to get confused and travel the wrong way. This scenario is a frequent cause of head-on collisions.
If you have a teen driver, take time to practice driving with them. Start in wide-open spaces (such as a large, empty parking lot). Slowly introduce your young driver into traffic in areas that are not busy. Get them used to watch for hazards, anticipating other drivers’ movements, and other critical driving skills.
Once they develop their skills and confidence, you can introduce them to slightly more challenging traffic situations. Teach them to observe for changes in traffic patterns carefully: construction diversions, one-way streets, and other unexpected changes are common causes of head-on collisions.
Settlement involving a head-on collision – client suffered spinal injuries.– Judd Ross Allen
Wrongful Death Claims in Head-On Collision Cases
Head-on collisions can cause very serious injuries. This fact means that, sadly, not all victims will be able to survive a head-on crash. Surviving family members have the right to sue a negligent driver for wrongful death after a fatal head-on collision.
In a wrongful death suit, the survivors sue the person responsible for an untimely death and the financial losses they caused. These losses can include funeral and burial expenses, as well as all the lost wages the victim would have earned between the time of the accident and his or her expected retirement.
California law also allows surviving spouses to sue for loss of consortium. The phrase “loss of consortium” refers to the emotional losses one suffers due to the untimely death of a spouse. It covers the pain associated with the loss of affection, comfort, love, and even the loss of sexual relations.
These are very real and painful losses that a surviving spouse must endure after a husband or wife’s unexpected death in a head-on collision. Juries understand these losses because they can imagine their own pain if they had to endure the loss of a spouse.
In some ways, California’s loss of consortium laws is less fair than other states. For example, some other states allow children to sue for loss of consortium due to the loss of a parent’s guidance and love. California only allows loss of consortium claims for surviving spouses.
On the other hand, some other states place a cap on the amount of money that can be claimed for loss of consortium and other “non-economic” losses. California does have a limit on the amount of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, but not in other types of wrongful death cases. This fact means there is no cap on the amount of non-economic damages a person can be awarded in a wrongful death case arising from a head-on collision.
Experienced California Auto Accident Lawyers For Head-On Collision Claims
If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you have legal rights that must be protected. The experienced auto accident lawyers at Arash Law led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. have decades of experience and have collected over 400 million dollars for clients across the state. We serve clients in San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Sherman Oaks, and throughout California.
We fight hard to protect our clients’ legal rights so they can focus on recovering from their injuries. Call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Don’t delay – the sooner you have an experienced California car accident lawyer fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.