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After A Car Accident, Get Prompt, Effective Legal Guidance From A Lawyer In Sherman Oaks 

Being in an auto accident can be devastating, especially when there are injuries and financial burdens involved. Negligent motorists endanger, injure and take the lives of drivers across California each year. A serious accident typically leaves injured people and their families with significant damages. Regardless of whether the accident was major or minor, legal representation can be essential to a full recovery of compensation for injuries and losses.

Our car injury attorneys at Okhovat Law Firm, in Sherman Oaks, have the experience and knowledge of the steps to take to ensure your future well-being after an accidental injury. If you were in a crash or a slip-and-fall accident in the Los Angeles metro area, then it is in your best interests to consult with an injury lawyer to review your case. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will pay nothing unless our lawyers win on your behalf.

How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help You?

A lawyer who focuses on personal injuries knows the ins and outs of tort law. This encompasses all litigation for car accident injuries that are due to other drivers’ negligence. Here are some of the ways that one of our car accident attorneys at Okhovat Law Firm can help you:

  • An attorney who is well-versed in California law will explain and help you fully understand the law and your rights. Each state has different personal injury statutes. Your lawyer will help you become familiar with the state laws that impact your case.
  • Your attorney will provide you with legal advice and assist you in navigating the complex legal procedures. They will interpret terminology in legal and medical documents. They will also organize a large number of documents that are involved in legal cases. You will receive objective opinions to aid your case so that you can successfully move in the right direction. Having legal support is very valuable, especially when you’re facing an injury.
  • Your attorney may represent you in court if the insurance company does not pay the claim and a civil lawsuit becomes necessary. Litigation is a job for a lawyer who will comply with legal procedures, documentation and rules of evidence.

Specific ways in which a car crash attorney can help include the following:

  • Negotiating and communicating with insurance companies and other parties involved
  • Gathering thorough photographic evidence of the car, the accident scene and your bodily injuries
  • Processing and filing legal forms
  • Connecting you with trusted medical providers as needed
  • Assessing damages and calculating all expenses that you will have for the foreseeable future
  • Putting resources to work to conduct professional investigations

The main goal of a car injury attorney is to seek monetary compensation for you to help alleviate any costs that you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. At Okhovat Law Firm, our lawyers are here to handle the legal stresses that come after an accident so you can focus on recovering.

Four Common Injuries After A Car Accident

Serious injuries, including those described below, affect many people who are involved in motor vehicle crashes.

Head And Neck Injuries

Head and neck injuries are quite common, especially after rear-end collisions. When the vehicle behind you collides into your bumper, it is likely that you’ll suffer from whiplash, minor concussions or, in severe cases, a traumatic brain injury. Internal and external head damage, such as a rotator tear injury, requires immediate medical attention.

Spinal Damage

Rollover accidents, head-on collisions and single-car accidents have one injury in common – spinal damage. The spine is the literal backbone of your body. It transmits signals from your brain to other parts of your body. Spinal and back injuries may involve one or more of the following conditions:

  • Herniated disks
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Lumbar damage

It can be quite expensive to treat a spinal cord injury. The injured person may require assistance for a lifetime.

Facial Injuries

The following types of damages are usually overlooked after a serious crash. Upon impact, your head might collide with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield or air bag, causing the following injuries:

  • Bruises
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Damage to teeth
  • A broken jaw

When our attorneys calculate your losses, they will consider all injuries, including these less-dramatic but still debilitating losses.

Internal Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents can severely injure your internal organs. Damages to your liver, lungs, heart, spleen and kidneys are just a few common injuries. Make sure to go to the hospital immediately for a full medical assessment. Don’t hold back any such information from your car accident attorney.

Types Of Compensation You May Seek For Your Damages

A great advantage of hiring a legal professional to cover your case is that instead of negotiating with the insurance company on your own, you might recover for more damages than you anticipated. Insurance companies are designed to pay the base minimum for compensation. They will neither advise nor educate you on all the possible damages you could recover.

It is important to remember that not all injuries appear immediately after the accident. Symptoms might arise days to weeks later if you have experienced whiplash, for example. As long as you have medical documentation detailing how the accident has affected you, our team can begin the claims process against the insurance company.

Physical injuries, lost wages and lost income-earning opportunities all count as damages. “Pain and suffering” is a type of damage that is often disregarded but very useful as you’re trying to piece your life back together.

Definition Of Pain And Suffering In A Personal Injury Claim

Legally speaking, pain and suffering refers to physical injuries, emotional distress, psychological injuries and medical complications caused by the accident. Bodily injuries can result in more than just physical turmoil. Emotional and mental conditions that also affect the healing journey include:

  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • A possibly shorter life span
  • Feelings of anguish and embarrassment

Losses include impairment of normal functions, a diminished quality of life, and missed opportunities both in your personal and professional career.

Steps To Take After A Car Accident

More than six million car accidents happen in the U.S. yearly. Accidents can happen to even the most cautionary drivers. When a fender bender or severe collision does take place, it can leave everyone involved shaken up, shocked and anxious. The first thing you should do after an auto accident is keep calm. For drivers that are unaware of the next steps, our attorneys composed a list of vital steps to take to protect themselves. Knowing what to do after an accident is crucial.

Prioritize Safety For All

Check yourself and everyone involved for injuries. If anyone appears to be hurt, call 911 immediately. Once you have ensured everyone’s well-being, move your car to a safe location away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Securing the scene can prevent further accidents and injuries while you await help.

Call The Authorities

Even for minor fender benders, having strong evidence is crucial to ensuring fair compensation. Call the police to report the incident – their official report serves as unbiased evidence for your insurance claim and can strengthen your case. Ask for the names and badge numbers of the officers who respond.

Collect And Exchange Information

Even in the emotional aftermath of a crash, take a moment to collect vital details. If possible, exchange names and contact information with all involved – along with their driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information. Remember to jot down each involved vehicle’s make, model, color and year.

Look For Witnesses

Witness statements can support your account of the accident events, helping to protect your compensation. Ask for contact information from anyone who may have seen the incident unfold. Their objective perspective can be a powerful asset if a question of fault arises.

Document Everything

Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially after an accident. Take detailed photos or video of all vehicle damage, from minor scratches to major dents. Capture wider shots of the crash scene and remember to include road conditions, traffic signs, signals and skid marks. The more comprehensive your visual record, the better.

Stay Silent

The urge to apologize or explain might be strong, but resist it. Avoid discussing fault or admitting responsibility at the scene. Anything you say can be misconstrued and used against you later by insurance companies or in a potential lawsuit.

Protect Your Rights To Compensation

Most insurance companies prioritize managing financial risk and minimizing payouts. Their focus will be on settling your claim quickly, for less than you are due. Your attorney can prevent an unfair payout by advocating for nothing less than what you deserve.

Rotator Cuff Tears Can Be Caused By A Car Accident

Car accidents cause minor, moderate and life-threatening injuries. A rotator cuff consists of the four muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. However, sustained injuries can prevent the shoulder from having a full range of motion. Rotator cuff tears may not be as frequent as common injuries, like concussions or broken bones, are, but they can put your life on hold. In most cases, insurance companies dismiss rotator cuff injuries because they happen less often. If you find yourself dealing with a torn rotator cuff following a rear-end accident, then you will need substantial compensation while you recuperate.

Damages That Are Recoverable For Car Accidents

When an accident takes place, victims are burdened with emergency medical treatment costs, a spike in insurance and loss of income, among other incidentals. Despite one’s best attempts to negotiate with insurance companies to gain compensation, victims seldom get an offer when they go at it alone. Additionally, there are several damages to claim, which they may be unaware of, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

A dedicated attorney will assess how much your case is worth during a consultation. From there, they will determine which damages to include for a reasonable financial settlement. If necessary, your attorney can help you tap into your uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

Check out our lawyers’ answers to common questions below, and then bring your own questions to your initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

How do the courts determine fault in car accidents?

Fault is determined by many factors, starting with the police report made by the responding officer on the day of the accident. The police officer will get statements from both drivers as well as any witnesses. The court will also assess property damage, medical reports and signs of negligence that contributed to the accident.

Is the rear car always liable in a rear-ending accident?

A rear-ending is pretty straightforward when determining fault; since the rear driver failed to stop, they are liable for the collision. Sometimes, however, the courts will determine that the driver in the front was negligent, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash.

“Brake checking” is when the front driver deliberately slams on their brakes when they notice someone following too closely. When they stop for no apparent reason like that, your attorney has a strong argument that the front driver is liable for the accident. In a California court of law, a driver who brake checks will be partially responsible for the damages.

Do I have to notify the police if I’m in an accident?

It’s always a good idea to get the police involved if you’re in an accident for official documentation of what happened. Otherwise, it will be the opposing driver’s word against yours if they choose to come after you with a lawsuit. Keep in mind that failure to report an accident within 24 hours to law enforcement or your insurance agency can result in fines and penalties.

What do I do if I hit a wild animal?

Sometimes, animals run out in front of oncoming cars, making it almost impossible to safely avoid hitting them. In the event that you hit a wild animal, protocol depends on the size of the animal.

You are required by law to report the accident to the police if you hit a large animal, such as a dog, bear, deer or livestock. Calling the police will allow you to get help managing the accident and get in touch with animal control.

How do criminal consequences of pedestrian-car accidents relate to potential civil penalties?

Car-pedestrian accidents can result in both civil and criminal penalties. The specific details of the case determine if the driver faces criminal and/or civil consequences.

In most cases, injured people pursue compensation for damages caused by the accident. A civil lawsuit may be brought when another driver or someone else is proved to be at fault for the accident.

Depending on the evidence, a court can also rule on the following criminal charges: hit-and-run, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), vehicular homicide or manslaughter.

Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

If you are in need of an experienced car accident lawyer in Sherman Oaks to handle your case, then our team will be there every step of the way until you fully return to normal life as best as you can. Your job is to take care of your well-being and leave the legal complexities to your legal support system.

Call 424-285-5419 or send an email message today for a free consultation to get the help you need and deserve.