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What to Do After an Auto Accident in Los Angeles

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, especially in a bustling city like Los Angeles. As one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the United States, Los Angeles sees its fair share of motor vehicle collisions, many of which result in serious injuries and substantial property damage. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it's crucial to understand the steps you should take to protect your rights and ensure a favorable outcome.

Steps to Take After a Los Angeles Car Accident

Immediately after a car accident, it's important to remain calm and take the following steps:

  • Call the police: Reporting the accident to the authorities is crucial, as it creates an official record of the incident. The police will respond to the scene, document the accident, and potentially issue citations if necessary.
  • Seek medical attention: It's essential to seek medical evaluation. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal trauma, may not be immediately apparent. Prompt medical attention not only ensures your well-being but also creates a paper trail for any future legal proceedings.
  • Gather evidence: Document the accident scene by taking photographs of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries. Collect the contact information of the other driver(s) and any witnesses who may have observed the incident.
  • Notify your insurance provider: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with the relevant details and any documentation you've gathered.
  • Consult with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney: Speaking with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal complexities and ensure that your rights are protected. They can advise you on the statute of limitations, assist with insurance claims, and represent you in any potential litigation.

California Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

In the state of California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from a car accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have a two-year window to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, it's important to note that the statute of limitations can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if the accident involves a government entity, the time frame may be shorter. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you understand the applicable deadlines and ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe.

Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening conditions. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash: A sudden, forceful movement of the head and neck, often resulting in muscle strain, ligament damage, and chronic pain.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: The impact of a collision can cause the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, leading to concussions, bleeding, and other serious neurological complications.
  • Broken bones: The force of a car accident can easily result in fractures in the arms, legs, ribs, and other bony structures.
  • Internal injuries: The impact of a collision can cause damage to vital organs, such as the lungs, liver, or kidneys, which may not be immediately apparent.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Severe trauma to the spine can result in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury.

Causes of Los Angeles Car Accidents

Los Angeles is no stranger to the perils of car accidents, with a multitude of factors contributing to the high number of collisions in the city. Some of the leading causes of car accidents in Los Angeles include:

Distracted driving: The prevalence of smartphones and in-car infotainment systems has led to an alarming increase in distracted driving, with drivers taking their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel.

Speeding: The allure of Los Angeles' wide, open roads can tempt drivers to exceed the posted speed limits, significantly increasing the risk of a collision.

Driving under the influence: Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol or drug use, continues to be a major factor in many car accidents in the city.

Inclement weather: Los Angeles may be known for its sunny skies, but the occasional rainstorm or fog can reduce visibility and traction, leading to hazardous driving conditions.

Poor road conditions: Aging or poorly designed roads, intersections, and highway systems can contribute to the frequency and severity of car accidents in Los Angeles. Many highways in Los Angeles have gaps in the concrete and uneven rough surfaces that can cause unexpected flat tires. 

Hazardous Highways and Intersections in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to a vast network of highways and intersections, some of which have earned the unfortunate distinction of being the most dangerous. A few hazardous highways and intersections in Los Angeles to note are:

1. 405 Freeway
2. 110 Freeway
3. 101 Freeway
4. 10 Freeway
5. 5 Freeway

1. Sepulveda Boulevard and Sawtelle Boulevard
2. Normandie Avenue and Slauson Avenue
3. Vermont Avenue and Gage Avenue
4. Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue
5. Western Avenue and Manchester Avenue

Contact Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Los Angeles can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right knowledge and resources, you can seek to protect your rights and seek a favorable outcome. By following the steps outlined above, seeking prompt medical attention, and consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, you can increase your chances of receiving compensation and regaining your peace of mind.