Following a bad road collision, it’s crucial to get the best Los Angeles car accident lawyers to represent you. At the world class Ehline Law Firm PC, our mission is selflessly assisting Los Angeles consumers seeking justice for auto accidents. Established in 2005, this group of successful, tough and effective trial lawyers is located in Southern California. Since opening our doors, thousands of car accident victims have retained our superlative services. Their decision in choosing our attorneys for their car accident was crucial. Above all, we work to help tort victims transition with the finances needed to deal with their new-found anxiety and disabilities.
If you became badly injured by another driver and it wasn’t your fault, you have legal rights. Naturally, you will be stressed out and confused about the right steps to take. Because of this, we extend a risk-free consultation to place you at ease. However your accident happened, we will attentively listen to your concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We help put your fears to rest in your hour of need. Hence, we can always give you our opinion as to the legitimacy and prospective success of your potential new injury case.
Getting Consumers More Money For a Car Accident
Any lawyer can quickly settle a liability insurance claim. But the truly great lawyers work up the case file and settle for more money. There is no set formula for success. But it is certain that dynamic lawyers like Michael Ehline have a command presence that garners them larger settlements. Certain character traits exist with the more successful car accident attorneys. Typically these are advocates who are highly enthusiastic. This is precisely why Ehline is the gold standard in car accident legal representation. Ehline Law Firm PC – is an honest, motivated, trustworthy law group.
By our past record, insurance companies know we are tack drivers. They know we will push the envelope to get suffering victims more money. We don’t want to settle quickly for just whatever amount is offered. Rather, we want windfall like compensation from the other driver’s insurance. Hence, our auto-vehicle injury advocates work to maximize the value of meritorious, serious accident insurance claims. This is done in various ways, as will be discussed. Obviously, training and past wins will work to maximize personal injury case values.
Unrepresented Victims Rarely Win
Accident victims battling insurance companies rarely win. Unrepresented people get little respect from malevolent adjusters. Good luck arguing over money for car repairs and doctors with a bureaucrat. But teaming up with a fierce and effective lawyer scares shiftless adjusters in action. Ehline has a take no prisoners ethos with a string of wins few lawyers can compete against. We are there to help people get respect from their adversaries. Our job includes helping car accident victims take back control of their lives. What we offer consumers is a rare chance to pull a win out of a losing situation.
Car Accident Lawyers Statewide
Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have received peer and client accolades as industry leaders in the tort law field. These great honors come from the most independent attorney rating organizations. Our partners have won tough car accident cases involving DUI and hit and run. Some of these included driver arbitration hearings and mediations.
Often, these complex cases span from Greater Los Angeles, all the way to San Francisco. So we have a selfless reputation for happily assisting traffic accident victims statewide. As discussed below, LA County auto accidents are among the most frequent and worst.
Choosing The Best Los Angeles Car Crash Attorneys is Crucial
Before we move on, consumers need to understand one thing. Effective legal representation is key to winning a car accident case. Choosing a terrible, or inexperienced car accident lawyer could harm your family’s long-term financial well-being. But hiring the right Los Angeles car accident attorney could mean all the difference in the world. We have made this jarring and confusing process easy.
An effective lawyer is a representative who helps you achieve a similar lifestyle to that you would have attained. Being effective is not just about knowing the law and procedure. Effectiveness has a direct relationship with how personable the lawyer is with other parties. The best way to build the value of a case is to have open communications with the client and opposing parties at all times. Being a jerk to the insurance adjuster, or paying party can sabotage a claim’s success. Lawyers who understand civility like Ehline, know not to make this personal. Accordingly, we insulate upset clients and face the case from an unbiased, matter of fact point of view. This is part of our winning formula for success.
- Our Promise – Keeping Clients in the Loop
One thing clients will notice right away that distinguishes our services, is our regular updates on their files. We don’t believe in signing a car accident case and letting the file sit in the corner. We are forever working. So we use email, mobile phones, and other technology to always keep our clients in the loop. Our accident lawyers believe you will see the difference in our responsiveness and attentiveness. This helps the attorney and client stay abreast of the legal and factual issues. For example, clients can inform the lawyer how physical therapy and pain management is coming. Also, the key players can coordinate depositions and discuss new evidence. With us, you’ll see action. Hence, you’ll be confident you have made the best choice for your car accident claim.
Los Angeles Traffic and Accidents
Angelinos have seen many aspects of the effects of highway culture in Southern California. Our seasoned car accident lawyers have assisted hundreds of drivers injured in serious accidents on California bridges, highways, and roadways. Many of these wrecks take place on the 10 Freeway or 105 Freeway commuting to and from Wilshire Boulevard and Huntington Park area. This is where we live.
So we take pride in our aid to those neighbors of ours. These are people out of work. These individuals are trying to put food on the table and have a family to support. In a few terrible cases, our clients may have lost cherished loved ones to a wrongful death car crash.
Those left behind need a way to carry on and survive as they mourn. Loss of a breadwinner can leave people in the poorhouse. Sometimes it seems like the person that caused the accident won’t be able to pay up. But sometimes other people were also at fault. Hence, in pursuing a car accident claim, we leave no stone unturned in identifying all parties responsible. Our pursuit of relentless justice in car accidents gets people the money they deserve under the law. Only the best attorneys should handle your car accident insurance claims. Call and speak to a great lawyer now at (213) 596-9642.
The Two Pillars of Claims Resolution
Noteworthy is that most car accident claims get built on two pillars.
- Getting paid for harm, and;
- Negotiating with insurance company adjusters and agents. These are people who usually make low ball offers on behalf of the insurance company.
Adjustors love it when victims remain unrepresented. The loss of your income can be embarrassing to your ego and self-esteem. Also, the post-accident physical pain and grief can be overwhelming. If vulnerable victims take bad offers and sign a general release after a car accident, then game over. Because of this signature, their rights to seek more money get extinguished. That is all they get for a car accident.
Sometimes the unthinkable happens and people lose a loved one due to a motor vehicle accident. Getting you paid real money means your accident lawyers have to convince people your motor vehicle injury claim has merit. Even with terrific representation, people can go broke waiting to get the insurance company to settle. In recognition of this dilemma, we often help sign some people up for special programs.
We promise to help our best. So we also can lead people to entitlement programs that help make up for lost work. This can include disability, worker’s comp, and more. Also, sometimes people die waiting for a car accident to resolve. Don’t let a car accident claim die with you. Get a lawyer who strikes while the iron is hot and expedite your matter. When you hire us, we will challenge those that caused the accident. We fight to ensure fast, real results for our clients from all potential sources of money. Most of all, we try to get you money to live off of while we resolve your lawsuit favorably.
A California Focus
Our attorneys have a series of offices up and down the state of California. While our headquarters are in Los Angeles we understand issues unique to motoring injuries in our state. We also are experts in the factors that cause auto accidents and fatalities.
So our accident attorneys have studied the rate of deaths from wrecks intently while we worked with law enforcement and families of the deceased. Statistics like these help jurors and adjusters understand the dire circumstances of Los Angeles vehicle wrecks. Our So Cal focus and understanding helps a car accident victim get the justice that is so richly deserved.
Your Hometown Team in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles is unfortunately one of the most dangerous cities for drivers. It is also unsafe for pedestrians when compared to the rest of the country. Also, pedestrians consist of one third of all traffic fatalities. Getting hit from the rear while stopped at a red light or on the freeway is a common fear of many commuters in LA. The Los Angeles County stretch of the 5 and 405 South Freeways are world famous for catastrophic accidents.
LA. Car Crash Statistics
Statistics show there are easily 5.8 million registered motor vehicles in LA County. Also, there are at least and 7.5 million vehicles in the county. Also, there are literally thousands of miles of poor roadways and highways in LA County. The California Department of Transportation says we have 20,771 miles of roadways. Also there are 527 miles of freeways and 382 miles of conventional highways in Los Angeles County alone.
Yearly, 600,000 cars get sold in LA County. There are actually only a few states with more registered vehicles than LA County. Of special interest, Los Angeles vehicle operators travel over 92 million miles per year. Also, Los Angeles County has pedestrian traffic death rates well above the national average. In fact, deaths approached those of New York City, a state over three times larger in population
Created with data from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Above graph uses data from 2010. Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
As discussed, L.A. accidents are frequent and among the most horrific. So we don’t mess around when it comes to traffic safety in the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves in having fought in courts across the Greater Los Angeles County area. Our firm knows the lay of the land. Because of our roots here, we fostered relationships with many judges and clerks here. We have the home court advantage.
A Law Firm With a History Fighting for Traffic Safety Legislation
The Ehline Law Firm PC attorneys understand many of the underlying causes of auto accidents. Furthermore, we are hard at work with your political representatives to prevent as many as possible. Accordingly, Michael Ehline lobbies the U.S. Congress for better transportation regulations. So we don’t just sign up PI law cases. We fight for consumers to get better safety legislation and avoid more PI cases.
We have seen hundreds of similar auto accident cases and have a handy guide with tips on how to avoid car crashes:
Travelers will never be able to avoid every car accident. People can significantly lower the risks of serious injuries or death by following a few basic tips.
- Don’t drink and drive – Alcohol was a factor in over 10,000 motor vehicle fatalities in 2012.
- Observe the posted speed limit – The NHTSA says 30% percent of reported traffic deaths were due to unsafe speed. This means there were at least 10,000 traffic fatalities in 2012 alone.
- Buckle up – Scientific studies indicate that wearing seatbelts significantly lowers the risks of , traffic accident injury. In fact, there is a 45% less likelihood of death passenger in the front seat. All other occupants have an as much as 50% less chance of bad injuries. NOPUS says that seatbelt use for all U.S. passenger vehicles is about 86%.
- Use booster seats and safety belts for kids – The NHTSA says using child booster chairs properly can mean life or death. In fact, there is a 71% less likelihood for infants to get hurt. Even better, there is a 54% less likelihood toddlers will be killed or maimed if buckled up in a car accident.
- Follow the vehicle recalls online – In 2014 alone, we had the “year of the auto recall.” Car makers from Volkswagon, Toyota, Ford and many others issued over 550 vehicle recalls. That amounts to over 52 million motor vehicles. Of special interest, consumers can look up recalled vehicle makes and models here. Just type your VIN into the DMV database.
- Do not use your cell phone while driving –
- Make sure that all airbags and other safety devices are fully functional –
- Do not drive while tired –
Experienced in Every Aspect of a Car Accident Recovery
Don’t go it alone for this mishap. Accommodating your needs is part of our stated goal. Our accident attorneys take every aspect of your recovery period serious. We have experience handling hundreds of cases across the state of California. So we understand you may be on pain meds and unable to travel. You probably have missed work and are stressed about paying medical bills and rent. Not to worry.
Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles will handle every aspect of the car crash, including:
- Determining the cause of a car accident. We work with a car accident reconstructionist and law enforcement to get the best possible angle.
- Finding the best possible health consultation. People should never delay before getting medical care. Sometimes we can help get you treatment up front.
- Find the ability to pay for long-term care, including surgery and physical therapy.
- Seek the party or parties responsible for the accident accountable.
- We make a solemn pledge: no money for you means no money for us. Either we get a recovery for our clients or they don’t pay us a fee. We even advance reasonable costs.
- We travel anywhere in the state to assist our clients. Hence, we rate as one of the highest firms in the state.
- As a result, we offer 24/7 coverage for our clients.
Also, our impeccable results, personable client attention, and accessibility, make us the obvious choice following a car accident. After a car accident happens, we focus 100% on getting victims just compensation. Our laser focus is on you, the Los Angeles car accident plaintiff.
Instilling a sense of well-being into our wounded clients due to our elan and esprit de corps is part of our service. When hired, we will immediately gather and protect evidence and discovery. We are available at any time day or night to assist our clients and offer you our all.
So we look forward to helping in all facets of your future recovery in a car accident. For more information or for a chance to talk to a star L.A. based attorney, please reach out today at (213) 596-9642.
When you put us to work we promise:
Use of Cutting Edge Technology Every Step of the Way
We promise to use the latest in digital technology to respond to questions involving a car accident. Our clients know they can text or email us anytime of the day. They know we respond immediately to phone calls. We publicly avail our lawyers at all hours of the day, seven days per week. When you entrust your vehicular accident case to us, you become part of our extended legal family. Clients know we take pride in helping people with everything.
World Renowned Attorneys With Honors and Peer Recognition
We promise to provide you with world-class, respected car accident attorneys. Michael Ehline is one of the most qualified attorneys in California. Also, the firm has international recognition. Furthermore, we have awards and accolades from the top peer and client rating organizations. Just to name a few honors, Personal Injury Warriors International, and Circle of Legal Trust. Also, we have awards from the Million Dollar Advocates and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Michael Ehline, Esq., has received back to back Super Lawyers Rising Star Awards. Less than three percent of lawyers receive such an honor. No more than a handful of accident attorneys are as highly regarded as those at our firm. Also, Michael Ehline was a U.S. Marine. So you know we have the fighting spirit possessed by few lawyers. Friend and foe alike know that our legal experts have honor, courage, and commitment. We have the skills, knowledge, and will to win your case.
Pitfalls of Not Consulting an Attorney Immediately After a Vehicle Collision
Some suffering individuals will delay in hiring a lawyer. Many won’t even make a call to talk to a lawyer till it’s too late. Failing to hire a lawyer from the start can kill any chances of later success. The biggest mistakes people make is when speaking to the other driver’s insurance company. This can often be fatal. Many victims think they are being good citizens by trying to “work it out.” A major problem here is, the insurance company owes no duty to a third party like you.All they have to do is timely dispose of the claim. Our legal representation will be essential during your difficult times after a car accident.
Prevent Yourself From Making Statements Against Your Interests
Unrepresented clients often say foolish things to the insurance company and police. In the heat of the moment, you might make a statement which is against your best interests. When in doubt, tell the police you are injured and not thinking straight. Tell the police to meet you at the hospital later and call a lawyer!
Don’t volunteer opinions or guesses. The responding officers could take it the wrong way and say your statement is an admission of liability. If you blew it already, don’t worry. Obviously, your lawyer can get a copy of the police report later. If there is a problem, he can offer up other evidence and demand the report be amended.
Also, sooner or later, some victims may speak to the opposing insurance company. These malevolent people often seek ways to discount or invalidate insurance claims. But unwary victims will often give an incorrect, or seemingly false recorded statement. This can invalidate their claim, and can get held against them in court.
Even if the other driver’s insurance company is at fault, you could still get screwed. If you make an incorrect statement, it can make you look at fault. Hence, adjusters are counting on the recorded person to give a botched telephone statement.
Sometimes It’s Better Not to Talk To Anyone But a Car Accident Attorney
Sometimes it’s best not to speak with anyone until you have secured an attorney. When we take your confidential call, you can tell us your side of the story. Our promise includes listening to every detail. We are here to assist our clients at a personal level. So sit back, relax, and educate us about the events which occurred. Also, we can arrange a face to face meeting and talk more. Discussing the specific details of your accident with our lawyers is beneficial.
When you call, we will discuss the different courses of actions with you. Also, we will clarify possible ways we will provide help in related matters. So this can include items like finding a decent doctor or physical therapist. We always help car crash victims with expert legal guidance. This is true, even if it’s just to tell them what we know about filing it in small claims court. Also, when calling our boutique law firm about your problem you shouldn’t have to pay money.
If someone charges you to listen to your story, decline the meeting. It is vital that lawyers understand your case and that you not feel rushed by a clock charging you by the minute. Call us now for a no-obligation phone consultation at (888) 400-9721. Let us help you achieve a decisive car accident victory.
California Law Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1.
You Have A Limited Time To Act! California Statutes of Limitations Law
California law has very strict time periods in which a car accident victim can file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. Also, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 states the statute of limitations is two years. The majority of California motor vehicle accident cases have this time constraint.
There are exceptions such as cases against government entities under the Tort Claims Act. Other rules can apply if the defendant is a federal agency or employee. Generally speaking, the period to sue begins on the date of the accident.
Exception – Time to Sue in Cases of Death of a Car Accident Victim
There are also other exceptions in cases of wrongful death of the victim. Exceptions such as negligent killings can extend the time to sue. The statute starts to run from the date the victim died. If you are thinking of making a car accident claim against any person, you must act swiftly. Don’t sleep on your rights.
Other Time and Representation Related Issues that Can Kill Your Car Accident Claims
Get Medical Care Immediately After a Car Wreck
Many injuries from bad car wrecks are expensive to care for. Costs include long term hospital and physician care. Typically no case settles until physical therapy sessions are completed. Some people like elders and small kids are likely to suffer from difficult post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) issues. This means they will need help getting around town to attend therapy sessions and just to feel safe when shopping. So injuries like this can suck valuable resources from your entire family. If you don’t have decent coverage for this, you could spend your entire inheritance and savings caring for a loved one. This sometimes causes scared accident victims to settle for much less than a lawyer would ever accept.
Get to the Hospital Right Away
The bottom line is that if you don’t build your case right, you may never see the money you deserve. Hence, car crash victims should immediately take an ambulance to the hospital emergency room. Individuals who are suffering must create an unbroken medical record that ties their injuries to the car crash. Going to the ER days later can give the insurance adjuster a way out. So he will then tell your lawyer that your injuries could have happened elsewhere.
This is just one reason why superb and quick medical care is critical. It also helps people mitigate their own medical related personal injuries. Because of excellent medical care, a car accident victim can prevent their condition from worsening. Also, procedurally, your doctor has created a record of your injuries. He has now documented the patient’s diagnosis and prognosis. This usually helps prove up significant damages later.
Even if you are not in pain, you should get a full medical evaluation after a wreck. Adrenaline, fight or flight, and fear can prevent spinal cord and brain injury victims from feeling pain. Hence, even if it doesn’t seem to you like it is a serious accident you should probably ride in the ambulance and see the ER physicians.
Basic Evidence Gathering is Crucial After an Auto Accident
Time is an essential component of any significant vehicle collision case. You must act immediately to protect your failing health and your accident claim. There are many reasons for this. Most of all, evidence collection is time sensitive.
Witnesses can disappear, video tapes can get erased. Evidence Code Section 412 treats the best evidence obtainable with the most authority in court. How can you do this in a weakened state and with no legal training? You must hire a trained legal expert.
What Must You Do Immediately After a Car Crash To Safeguard Evidence
Many clients are badly shaken up after a wreck. Sometimes, when a car accident happens – people don’t get all the information they need/their attorney might need. The single most important thing to do is create a paper trail. You have to create a chain of evidence that documents everything. So this below checklist is not intended to be a hard and fast rule. But if at all possible, a relative, friend, or bystander should help at the accident scene. As them to get as much information as possible from the opposing driver. Here are some of the things you should look out for.
We suggest getting as much information as possible as follows:
- Make a Digital Record. Ask for permission from percipient witnesses to use your iPhone to video-tape them. Have them narrate what happened, and identify who they are. Take pictures of license plates and vehicle damage.
- Take Written Statements From Each Witness. Just the facts. Time of day, date, place, location, directions of travel, and a narrative of how the vehicle accident happened. Don’t rely on the CHP or local police to interview everyone and put it in their Traffic Collision Report.
- Gather Witness Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers. Be nice. Don’t spook potential witnesses. For example, sometimes witnesses are illegal aliens. They may be scared to speak in a court setting later. But trained lawyers can later explain to them they need not be fearful. Always try and get phone numbers for their place of employment, not just their cell phone.
- Jot Down the Defendant’s Driver’s License and Insurance Numbers. By law, the parties in a bad motoring accident must exchange the above info. Make sure you physically see the documents like proof of valid liability insurance with your own eyes. Do not rely on the defendant to write down the information correctly. Sometimes the other driver may be scared and not be thinking straight. Maybe it’s a good idea to take a picture of these documents with your phone camera. Be smart.
- Call the Police. If there are injuries and bad damages to the vehicle, it makes sense to get a police report. Often, you could be on the way to the hospital in an ambulance when the police arrive on scene. But at least there will be a record of some kind. A Traffic Collision Report is also very helpful. Although in most cases it is inadmissible to prove the truth of the matter asserted. But it can be used to lead to other evidence that could be admissible.From an evidentiary standpoint, a formal police report is not always necessary to win your civil case. Naturally, any statements to police should be limited to the basic facts. So limit what you say to name direction of travel (north, south, east or west), the estimated speed of travel, and driving conditions. (was it sunny, was the sun blocking anyone’s view, was it raining, foggy, etc.?)
Poor Evidence Gathering Can Make or Break a Car Accident Case
Although it is true sometimes the evidence is overwhelming in favor of the car accident plaintiff, this is not always the case. You must collect as much information as possible. Particularly important is information about the accident scene. This includes things like the key players, as discussed above. Later on, when you retain car accident attorneys, they will be able to maximize the case value. So collecting information like vehicle rates of travel, traffic signals (was the light red or green?) and direction of travel all helps.
Little things like jotting down what lane each driver was in can be extremely crucial. All these steps you take now will be more important later on down the road. Securing witness statements and contact data can mean the difference between settling with the insurance or being forced to file a suit. Most of all, adjusters won’t settle unless they are convinced with statements of unbiased parties. Same goes with a jury.
Some Evidence Not Allowed in Court Can Lead to Other Evidence Can Get Used in Court
Also, this type of evidence can lead to other evidence that is exculpatory to your case. For example, a hearsay witness may later lead our private investigator to a storefront with a videotaped record. It may be a business record of the street and the accident as it took place.
So when you secure information like this, you are in a better position to win your case. Often the witnesses do not speak English well. This is ok too. Ehline will hire a translator to go to that witness. If the witness speaks Spanish, we already have investigators who speak the language. So when insurance companies see you have done your due diligence, they are more likely to settle.
Other Reasons It is Important For Police To Come to the Car Accident Scene
It is always important that law enforcement come to the scene. This is for many public safety reasons, not just to protect evidence. For one, they can separate upset parties. So they can bring order and protect people at the accident scene from another mishap. Oftentimes the victims are in shock and still in traffic with oncoming vehicles approaching at fast, high rates of speed. Also, it could be dark outside. An out of control car could have crashed into a power pole and knocked out the power to the street lights.
So in addition to risk of another crash in the darkness, there is a risk of being electrocuted by downed power lines. To make things worse, the wreck may have taken place on a blind corner. This could lead to a chain vehicle collision and make it worse. But police can set up emergency barriers, render first aid, and perform any number of tasks in the interests of public safety.
Contracts and Waivers
Contracts like a liability waiver can complicate matters. Other exceptions could apply due to another contract. You might have a contract with one or more defendant. There may also be an arbitration provision. It could require making a written claim before you can invoke your rights. You need to know these things before you act.
Failing to act in a timely matter could bar any future economic recovery. We can’t stress enough the importance of consulting with an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t leave monetary damages on the table. Don’t ruin your chances to recover funds. Contact help from a seasoned representative today.
We Represent Victims With These Car Accident Claims
More than 200,000 people are harmed in Southern California traffic accidents each year. Representing yourself in court can put you at a severe disadvantage. The other side invariably has their lawyers and so should you. Car accident attorneys are also known as “personal injury lawyers.” “Personal injury lawyers” specialize in various types of accident claims for plaintiffs.
Freeway and highway collisions make up a significant portion of cases signed by our injury lawyers. Most of these involve rear enders during rush hour. We also help victims make insurance claims for situations like this. An experienced attorney can also file lawsuits with the court. Hence, if we can not favorably settle the matter, we will take it to court.
Vehicular accident cases most often handled by us include:
- The Los Angeles Police Department claims that there are approximately 20,000 hit-and-run accidents on our roadways each year. Hit and run collision victims often suffer twice. They can have repair bills and high hospital charges. And the offending driver leaves the scene of the accident. A hit and run victim is then stuck with auto repair bills and sometimes hospital bills. Unfortunately, hit and run drivers sometimes are not caught. Victims do have options, though. The help of a lawyer is essential when exploring sources of payment.
Rear-End Auto Accidents
- Rear-end auto accidents are probably the most common reported car accidents in the State. These are the opposite of a front-ender, which involves front impacts. These tend to take place when the front of a driver’s vehicle, hits an object or thing. Typically, it strikes a curb, a small child, dog, cat, or debris. If the vehicle jumps the curb, people at bus stops are often hurt, and trees are often damaged. Most of all, these are caused by texting or some other form of distracted driving in traffic.
The injuries can be minor or severe. Whiplash is among the most common ailment. A whiplash often causes horrible injuries to the neck, and back. Head injuries can also arise from being rear-ended. Impacts to the cranium can have consequences which last a lifetime. Brain damage can occur if a driver or passenger’s head hits the steering wheel. Heavy vehicles like big rigs and SUV’s can cause major damage to person and property. Furthermore, the head can hit almost anything in the car at strong G-forces. If you are suffering from a head injury, we are here to help. It is what we do every day. Helping victims has helped make us one of the nation’s most awarded car accident law firms in the country.
Roof Crush Accidents
- Roof crush accidents happen more often with SUVs. Vehicles can also roll over off embankments with unsafe guardrails. These can result in the car roof caving in over the heads of the vehicle occupants. Injuries can range from brain damage to quadriplegia or paraplegia. Many injury lawyers are ill equipped to handle cases like this. But we are experienced and ready to help.
- A T-bone car accident happens when the front end of a car or truck. This is basically a side collision into the left or right side of another vehicle. It resembles the shape of a T upon impact. Thus the term T-Bone. Bodily injuries are usually dependent upon the speed of the vehicles. Low-speed collisions still can cause great injuries. The occupant of either car can suffer moderate shock or severe trauma. T-bone collisions make up about 13 percent of all vehicular crashes. Our team of car accident lawyers is extremely experienced litigating these cases.
- Look out for pedestrians. In 2012 alone a reported 4,743 pedestrians got killed by motor vehicle cars. In America, most of these killings were at or near intersections. Learn more about hiring a pedestrian accident attorney.
Other common cases we help with include:
- Commercial trucking accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents, and
- Bus accidents.
We also help with many other types of accident cases. Also, we employ some of the top car accident lawyers in the country. They will represent you for any vehicular accident. We represent clients who have been in accidents on the freeway, highway, subway. Whether it is a complex, or simple case, we can help. Our proven track record of repeatedly recovering millions speaks for itself. We know how to achieve victory in court. It is probably a good idea to let us help you win your case.
Common Injuries We Help You Get Money For After a Car Accident
The NHA, as noted above, says at least two million people get hurt every year in car wrecks. Many of them happen right here in Los Angeles County. These injuries range from major to minor.
Less serious injuries include:
- Friction Burns
- Broken or Bloodied Noses
- Hairline Fractures
- Aching Joints
- Edema and Swollen Joints
More devastating injuries we help with include:
- Facet Joint Syndrome
- Open cuts and wound needing stitches
- Compound fractures like broken femurs, broken ankles, or a cracked pelvis
- Slipped Disks
- Cracked ribs
- Deflated or collapsed lungs
- Cracked or fractured skulls
- Mild Traumatic and Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Missing Digits like amputation of a fingertip, nose, ear, or foot
- Untimely demise or death of a close family member or loved one
Even the seemingly insignificant injuries can conflate into deadly conditions. Hence, even if you feel fine immediately after suffering injuries, you need to get stabilized and seek emergency care. As will be discussed below, failure to get to the hospital right away can leave your case flailing in the wind.
Monetary Compensation For Los Angeles Automotive Accident Victims
What is the Value of A Car Accident Case?
There are many factors used to determine the worth a car accident claim. For the most part, cases are assessed by claims adjusters and courts based upon:
- Visible physical damage to the vehicle and other property impacted by the crash;
- Significance of the medically documented injuries of the victims. (was it moderate whiplash, or more severe like a brain damage or a broken ankle?) Another big mistake is when a car accident victims ignores suggested medical treatments. It’s vital to carry out all recommended medical care;
- Asset exposure of the defendant. (does the defendant own a home or have other property. Are there liquid assets that could be seized to satisfy a judgment?); and
- Different types of insurance coverage can vary court-ordered judgments. Insurance coverages can vary, and court-ordered judgments can differ. Excess or umbrella policies can affect a court-ordered judgment. An over insured primary policy or an underinsured primary policy can influence the final decision. Uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage can also influence the amount of money you collect.
There is no silver bullet in determining case values. Expert witness testimony is sometimes necessary. They can be expensive. We can give you an estimate of your claim’s value after a car accident. Remember it is only an estimate. Complications during therapy can arise that change the case’s value. No attorney can make any guarantees of the final value of a car accident claim.
And if a lawyer does that it is unethical. Hence, you should immediately find another lawyer. We will give you a fair and honest assessment of your case. But we will do so within our ethical compass. Call Ehline Law Firm PC for a free case evaluation at (888) 400-9721.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable a Car Accident Injury?
There are many types of compensatory damages available in personal injury cases. “Compensatory damages,” means monies awarded to a plaintiff to compensate for losses. So this includes items such as bodily injuries or another incurred loss. Damages used in valuing a claim are general and special damages. Sometimes exemplary or punitive damages are also recoverable.
“General” Compensatory Damages in Auto Accident Cases
These types of damages reference the intangible “noneconomic damages” such as pain and suffering. However, these items are hard to quantify after a car accident. But they include payment for other intangibles: mental anguish, loss of companionship, etc. Insurance adjusters in the past determined these damages with a simple formula. They multiplied the injured party’s medical bills by three.
Example: your medical bills are $50,000. Multiply three times (3 x meds of $50,000=$150,000 in general damages) and you get an additional $150,000 for pain and suffering.
The three times the medical bill formula is no longer used as a hard and fast rule. Gory pictures of terrible scars tend to bump up these damages quite a bit. Because of this, courts make it hard to introduce gruesome pictures into evidence. But the risks of it getting placed into evidence make many adjusters likely to settle quicker, and for a larger number. Hence, any injury that has an emotional impact on a potential juror will help increase damage awards. Adjusters don’t want to risk an emotional jury giving a runaway verdict.
These types of “noneconomic damages” include:
- Psychological anguish,
- Emotional distress,
- Physical suffering,
- Overall quality of life issues,
- Worsening of previous injuries,
- Loss of love, sex and companionship (also known as “loss of consortium.”)
“Economic damages,” or “specials.” are defined as “the past, present, and future” financial losses. These will have a fixed, hard economic cost.
Some examples include:
- Educational employment re-training,
- Physical therapy rehabilitation,
- Costs of surgeries,
- Costs of pain medication,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of capacity to earn standard wages,
- Costs of essential services. Examples include in-home nursing care, housekeepers, and other help. It also includes special vans equipped with wheelchair lifts.
Punitive Damages Or Gross Negligence
If a case goes to a jury trial, the jury can award punitive damages to punish responsible parties. A high profile example of punitive damages is the civil judgment in the OJ Simpson case. The victim’s family got awarded $25 million in punitive damages.
Punitive damages awards are rare in car accident cases. This type of damage can only get granted if the plaintiff can show that the defendant acted with:
- Deliberate Intent, or
There are recovery problems with making punitive damages or a gross negligence claim. It is against public policy for insurers to pay out for claims of intentional conduct. Because people with monstrous intent might elect to hurt other people.
Knowing their insurance company will pay for their terrible or heinous acts could encourage hurting others. Attorneys don’t seek punitive damages in most motor vehicle collision cases.
California Automobile Insurance Claim Coverages
What Are the Various Types of Auto Insurance Coverage?
There are several types of insurance coverages available to California motorists. First, there are minimum coverage requirements such as 15/30/5. But drivers can buy a $10,000 insurance liability insurance bond to satisfy the California minimum coverages law. But essential coverage does not compensate the insured driver.
Minimum coverage covers the legal minimum amount for a car accident victim(s). It also pays for injured occupants and others outside the vehicle who are hurt. Comprehensive Coverage covers costs such as auto repairs to your own car. There are also things like gap coverages for leased vehicles, for example.
This list can help you understand the types of insurance coverages you can buy:
Basic Liability Coverage:
- Most drivers elect to purchase basic minimum insurance coverage. “Basic liability coverage” covers single person bodily injury liability up to $15,000. It can go up to $30,000 total if more than one person in hurt. Also, it includes up to $5,000 for property damage. So basically this is mandatory minimum coverage. This is insurance for the property damage to the person’s vehicle you hit. It also includes claims of other drivers in the zone of danger who suffered property damage. So it can contribute funds when there are multiple defendants, jointly and severally.
- CAVEAT: Right after a car accident the defendant’s insurance company will offer to pay the full policy if the injuries are bad. But make sure and speak to a lawyer first. It could be that the other driver was in the course and scope of employment and other coverages may be available.
- Full Coverage or “comp,” coverage shields against damage caused to your vehicle. Examples of what “comp” covers are trees, falling branches, and objects that fall on the car. It can also include vandalism such as when someone keys your car. But it can also cover damage caused by wild animals, vehicle floods, hailstorms, and vehicle fires.
- Collision coverage is often mandatory for leased vehicles. This coverage is designed to cover the vehicle replacement costs in a “total loss” claim. It also includes the hard repair costs for salvageable vehicles.
- Gap insurance is a type of insurance required for many high-end vehicles. It is designed to pay for “the gap” in the actual value versus the leased or financed amount. Otherwise, the purchaser may end up paying for the difference out of their pocket. The victim may not even be able to get a replacement car absent this coverage.
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM):
- Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist are a problem in many accident cases. Many insurance brokers reference this personal injury protection as UM/UIM. There are many uninsured drivers in California. You should consider purchasing extra insurance coverage. Because every day you are sharing the road with unlicensed, uninsured drivers. When a defendant has little to lose they will often flee the scene creating a hit and run scenario.
If an uninsured driver, causes an accident you could be in for trouble. So if he or she hits you or your car, you may have no way to pay for the ambulance ride to the hospital. Also, after a car accident you may have no money for other hospital costs. So you may not be able to afford X-rays or your MRI. But this is why you buy additional automotive insurance coverage. Some insurance declarations exclude coverage with no physical contact between vehicles during a car accident.
If the other car driver makes you take evasive action and there is no paint transfer between vehicles, you could be out of luck. So even though you thought you had coverage you are now left with a truckload of bills and headaches. Make sure you know what you are buying. The only way to protect yourself after a car accident is by calling attorney Michael Ehline or one of his paralegals. Just give us a call and we’ll discuss your policy. Also, let us guide you as to the coverages you should purchase for future security.
Medical Payments Coverages:
- “Medical payments coverage” is a type of additional first-party coverage for immediate medical expenses. Lawyers call it “Medpay.” It gets utilized for covering passengers and the driver up to a set amount. The maximum coverage is around $5,000. Sometimes the auto collision lawyer will set this money aside in trust. He may use it to offset reimbursable costs like filing fees and costs of depositions.
Engagement With Car Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident
Following a car accident your attorney will speak to two insurance companies. As soon as possible, your lawyer will need to talk to with your first part insurance company. They will also need to call the other party’s insurance company. Both liability carriers will assign representatives to your claim and issue claim numbers. The representatives they assign to your case are called “claims adjusters.” These people use actuarial tables and other formulas to place an estimated value on your insurance claim.
Subdivided among these professionals are:
- Property damage adjusters, and
- Bodily injury adjusters.
The first claim to get resolved after a car accident will be the property damage. A “draft,” or check typically gets mailed to the repair shop. Next is the bodily injury adjuster. These are the ones you need to especially look out for when you have no lawyer.
As discussed above, do not make statements against your own interests. Adjusters will usually try and trick you into giving a recorded statement. NEVER do it! They will use deny, delay, defend tactics to wear you down. Their goal is to pay you nothing, or next to nothing. The insurance adjuster is not looking out for you. These people are your adversary.
Being represented by a top accident attorney gives you credibility and puts and end to the gamesmanship. It assures your right to just compensation gets preserved. We deal with the opposing side. So you can focus on repairing your body, mind, and soul. Other than that, we also are there to offer you moral support as we pursue insurance and other forms of payment. But we will take care of the essentials no matter what.
What Makes Us Winners In So Many Car Accident Cases?
Why choose Ehline Law Firm PC? Many people believe that all car accident law firms are the same. We have all seen the T.V. commercials and heard the A.M. radio jingles. But the chances are that you will never even meet the celebrity attorney or actors.
Often these cases are sent out to mills who have thousands of files and little time for you. You know we take our Marine Corps ethos seriously. Also, clients want a winning and elite attorney that produces above average results. Like you, we all want personal care. You need only look at our stellar track record and training to understand what makes us a cut above the rest.
What also makes us so different is that we are very careful about the cases we take. Most of all, we are not into this for a numbers game. We only take cases that meet a certain value threshold. So this means that we can afford to give your claims file the individual care and attention you deserve.
Personalized legal service is our hallmark. Because of this, we are enabled to produce a constant stream of above average results. Small firm service with big firm results sets us apart. We are the exception to the rule.
Let Us Go the Extra Mile for You
Our promise means we will:
- Go to the accident scene to investigate and even meet you there
- Help you locate compassionate “lien doctors” willing to treat you today and get paid later.
- Come to your home, hospital or workplace for meetings
- Hire specialists to determine who is at fault for your accident
- Research other potentially liable parties such as state and non-state actors
- Deal with the insurance adjusters and take care of the arduous and confusing paperwork
- Be fully prepared to attend to all facets of your legal case. So this means attending arbitration, mediation, depositions, court and jury trials
- Respond to case status emails, phone calls and text messages in a timely fashion. We will not leave you in the lurch
As seen above, we get it. Because of this, we place ourselves in your shoes. Clients want to be in the loop by a compassionate legal representative. They want constant communication from someone who comforts them after a car accident. Satisfaction only comes with positive interaction. Accordingly, we will promptly and responsively answer any case related questions.
We know that picking a lawyer after a car accident is no easy task when you’re injured and alone. It is not uncommon for accident victims to be overwhelmed. The law and the courts alone can be daunting. Being confused about your legal rights and the process is understandable. Hiring a lawyer who will not listen to you, and your concerns is not an option for a mover and shaker like you.
People don’t just need a cut-throat attorney. They also need compassion and honesty. Rich or poor, we are all human beings who deserve respect. You expect consideration and empathy from everyone involved for a car accident case. We strive to get you the respect you deserve. So you know can count on us to help you find things like a medical lien doctor, a rental car, a car repair shop, and more. We believe our law firm is a cut above the rest. Also, we are confident you will notice the Ehline Law Firm difference.
Some of Our Proven Client Case Results
We have a proven and steady stream of case results. Below are just a few of our verdicts and settlements.
- $8,700,000.00 Settlement
- $4,966,255.67 Settlement
- $1,400,000.00 Settlement
- $1,000,000.00 Settlement
But this is just a snapshot of our past success. Read about more results here.
What Our Clients Say About Us
As can be seen by our Yelp! reviews here, and our Facebook reccomendations here alone, you can see that clients have a lot of nice things to say about our staff and partners. Particularly, clients in car, truck, bus, motorcycle and other transportation mishaps have given us many 5 star reviews. Here is a snippet of what one of our past clients said:
Ehline Law Firm truly is world class. I got a ton of money after firing my first lawyer (who wanted to settle for a few thousand) and hiring this former U.S. marine, I was thrilled. He hammered the insurance adjusters. But there was not enough money, so they offered the policies and he got the car drive that hit us, to fork up some dough. We got good money for our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys efforts. Thank you Mr. Ehline. – Thomas J.
Car Accident Procedure For the Hearing and Impaired
If you are hearing or impaired, just check out this video on Youtube. Let us know how we can help in a car accident injury matter.
Experts in Bad Faith Auto Insurance Claims
Pursuing a Car Accident Defendant With No Assets Usually Makes No Dollars or Sense
Sometimes the person that hit your car or caused you to take evasive action didn’t have insurance. Perhaps they did have basic California Prop 215 coverage. But maybe it wasn’t enough to cover your serious bodily injuries after a car accident. Assume the defendants have no real assets to attach. What point is it to pursue a broke third party insured in court? Why waste time and money? It really makes no sense unless the first party defendant was wrongfully denied coverage.
Assignment of Third Party Bad Faith Rights
It would be a rare case for an at fault basic third party policy-holder to be denied a payout on a small policy. However, that defendant could assign his or her rights to sue. So in that case, a car accident defendant denied coverage would now have personal assets at risk. Now they are probably damaged by their own carrier. Hence, a deal can be struck to assign their rights to sue their own insurance company over to you, the car accident case plaintiff.
Pursuing Your Own “Full Coverage” Insurance When Defendant is Broke
As noted above, often a defendant will not have assets or anything to pursue. Also, there is the risk the defendant with assets but a small policy could seek bankruptcy protection. Of special interest, when that occurs, the motor vehicle accident personal complaint could be dismissed without prejudice and delayed forever. Probably it is a better idea to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance company.
Basically, when a person buys insurance, they are given the option to buy comprehensive and collision coverage. They can also buy uninsured and underinsured coverages. The latter two coverages are the declarations that would cover your bodily injury claims up to your policy limits. The first two would only cover vehicle repairs to your car and other things like a broken computer, for example. So don’t assume “full coverage” means you are really covered for your accident. You need only get a copy of your declarations of coverages and exclusions. Next, hand them over to your attorney to know one way or another.
Enter First Party Insurance Insurance Bad Faith Law
An automotive liability insurance company owes a special duty of care to its policyholder(s). Because of this, when an insurance company stalls, delays, or wrongfully denies a claim, they can be subject to extreme penalties. For one, a mere complaint to the insurance commissioner can cause adverse harm. Because of this, it can hurt an insurance company’s star rating with the state. Obviously, most insurance carriers want a 5-star rating with the California Department of Insurance.
Secondly, wrongfully delaying or denying a legitimate insurance claim can lead to a punitive damages award. (See the video here to learn more about punitive damages). This is bad for the insurance carrier on many levels. First, it means their shareholders get hurt. Also, it can lead to other penalties with the state and even federal government. Most of all, it hurts their bottom line.
Represented Car Accident Victims Get Better Service From Insurance Companies
Bottom line, insurance carriers treat you better when they see you have hired respected lawyers. Also, when they see your lawyer has already been in bad faith claims, they pay attention. Also, plaintiffs in a bad faith claim could include the California Department of Insurance. So it’s not just the insured plaintiff they have to worry about. This can raise the risks of taking unfair advantage of an insured plaintiff.
The problem is with no lawyer, adjusters and supervisors can string along their insured. They can delay and make up lots of excuses. Thus, many insured people could die while waiting for help. So often, these poor dupes don’t even know they should file a DOI complaint.
Without a lawyer, many auto accident victims could succumb to illness and give up. Things like illness, fatigue, or getting worn out could extinguish rights to pursue damages. Ok, so the goal was to settle your claim without a lawyer. But alone, uneducated, and inexperienced you could not.
Many people believe they can get more money going it alone. This is since they think they can cut out paying an attorney’s fee. But studies prove that a car accident victim with legal representation gets more money. Also, there is no reason to be prideful in this situation. It is time to pick up the phone and call an accident attorney.
Getting Sued for Bad Faith
Sadly, as discussed, we’ve seen cases where insurance companies refuse to assist their policyholders. But we are finely attuned on how to help those in need of such assistance. In cases such as these, we go for the jugular to ensure that these companies honor their own policies. When your own insurance company acts in bad faith, this is a very serious legal matter. As discussed above, punitive damages are no laughing matter for California insurance carriers.
No matter how deeply entrenched such a large corporation is we stop at nothing to challenge them. We stared down Farmer’s Insurance, State Farm, Infinity, Geico, Progressive and more. Rest assured, we do not let their corporate attorneys scare our clients. PERIOD! You have learned the pitfalls in dealing with large fortune 500 companies.
Also, you have seen the problems of dealing with the police while unrepresented after a car accident. Furthermore, you discovered the steps to take before, during and after a serious collision in Los Angeles. Last, you learned how bad faith law works after a car accident. Most of all, you learned why it is important to get legal help while the traffic accident claim is still fresh. In conclusion, you have seen the reasons it is so important to hire a lawyer with vast experience and without further delay.
The Main California Cities We Service:
- Costa Mesa
- Los Angeles
- Santa Monica
- Rancho Cucamonga
- Laguna Beach
- Long Beach
- San Diego
- San Bernardino
- Newport Beach
- Huntington Beach
Contact A Lawyer Immediately
Call us right now! Speak to our staff of legal professionals. We will help you navigate the legal maze and court system. Why not let us help you determine if you have a claim worth pursuing? And if you do have a car accident case we can help. You and your loved ones will be our priority. Also, if you are not able to call, we offer live chat and an email contact form on this page. As always, we respond right away. We will help answer your important questions. Let an award winning lawyer guide you through this difficult time. Call us now! (213) 596-9642.