4 Steps to Take When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When someone is physically and/or psychologically harmed by the action of another, that harm is legally termed as an instance of personal injury. If someone victimized by such an action sues the responsible party through their personal injury attorney, the ensuing case is called a personal injury lawsuit.

Note that in order to launch a successful personal injury lawsuit, it is not necessary for the responsible party to have caused intentional harm to the victim. As long as their actions led to harm, they can be held liable for paying compensation.

Therefore, if you or someone else in your family has been harmed by the actions of a third party, there could be a viable opportunity to seek compensation from the responsible party. The task may seem daunting for obvious reasons at first, but this step-by-step guide will simplify the process for you.

Carefully Collect All Documents

You should pay extra attention to collecting and safely filing all documents related to the incident. At the very least, make sure that you have copies of:

  • The initial police reports, further communications, and investigative reports.
  • The insurance report, communications, and documents.
  • All medical prescriptions, test reports, medication, bills, receipts, and more.
  • Damage assessment reports from experts.
  • Photos, videos, statements, written reports, names, etc. related to the scene of the incident.
  • All of the above directly or indirectly related to the final incident or its aftermath.

Given how varied the cases can be, there is no universal list of documents that can comprehensively include everything. Do not consider any document to be unnecessary without consulting with your personal injury accident attorney first. If you have not yet connected with a personal injury law firm, just keep collecting everything related to the incident for now.

Get to Know the Different Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits

As already explained, any intentional or unintentional injury caused by a third party can qualify as an instance of personal injury. All legally acknowledged instances of personal injury are broadly divided and subdivided into various classifications. It is advisable that you take some time and learn about the different categories and subcategories.

Having only the basic knowledge should be enough for you to identify your own case’s probable category. The following list should provide you with a decent idea about what we are discussing here.

Vehicular/Motor Accident Lawsuits: Personal injuries suffered by a victim after being involved in an auto accident. This includes car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, boating accidents, train accidents, and pedestrian accidents to name just a few.

Product Liability Lawsuits: Personal injury caused by a design or manufacturing defect in any product from vehicles and commercial safety equipment to medical tools and construction equipment.

Medical Negligence Lawsuits: Personal injury caused by negligence in medical diagnosis, treatment, procedure, prescription, and/or aftercare.

Work Related Personal Injury Lawsuits: Negligence in workplace safety standards that are responsible for personal injuries from instances of slip and fall, fall from an elevated surface, electrocution, projectile, struck by an object, etc.

Personal Injury Caused by Assault/Abuse: If the personal injuries were caused by intentional assault and/or abuse, you still have the right to sue the alleged assaulter/abuser for compensation separately in a civil court. The criminal charges on them will be tried separately in a criminal court.

Find the Top Personal Injury Attorneys

You can also save yourself the trouble of searching online with keywords and receive a free consultation directly from one of the top personal injury attorneys California has to offer. Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys specialize in all areas of personal injury claims, ranging from car, truck, and motorcycle accidents to bad faith insurance claims and all claims related to work-related injuries.

It’s a quick, free, and easy way to know if you have a strong personal injury lawsuit on your hands. If a personal injury accident lawyer from the firm does take up your case, they will guide you through every step of the process from that point on. The best part is that Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys only charge their fees after securing the due compensation for their clients and not before. There are Statutes of Limitations that apply to all personal injury claims, so act as quickly as possible.

Get to Know the Legal Process

After you start working with your or personal injury lawyers, they will help you with:

  • Obtaining all essential documents.
  • Finding the legally responsible party.
  • Categorizing and establishing the case against them.
  • Employing investigative measures to gather further evidence.
  • Assist you in getting the right medical care for your injuries.
  • Filling out the applicable form for personal injury, property damage, wrongful death.
  • Serving notice of the claim.
  • Initiating and negotiating an out of court settlement discussion, if possible.
  • Filing a lawsuit, if the above is not applicable or in case the negotiations fail.
  • Trial.

If your case goes to trial then your personal injury attorney will represent you at the trial with the goal of helping you receive the highest possible compensation for your injuries, treatments, medication, lost wages, emotional damages, and more, depending on the case’s particulars.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In the context of legal proceedings related to personal injuries, a statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time that can elapse after an injury before filing a claim. For example, if the statute of limitations is two years, that would mean that you have two years to initiate the lawsuit, after which point your claim would no longer be considered valid. Essentially, the statute of limitations is the deadline for initiating the claim-filing process. The exact statute of limitations will vary depending on the situation and the state in which the event occurred.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims?

All states have set statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Most states have set the statute of limitations for personal injury claims to two years after the date of the injury. However, in some states the statute of limitations can be as long as six years. Here’s a list showing the statute of limitations on personal injury claims in all 50 states:

  • Alabama – 2 years
  • Alaska – 2 years
  • Arizona – 2 years
  • Arkansas – 3 years
  • California – 2 years
  • Colorado – 2 years for standard personal injury claims (3 years for claims involving vehicle) accidents
  • Connecticut – 2 years
  • Delaware – 2 years
  • Florida – 4 years
  • Georgia – 2 years
  • Hawaii – 2 years
  • Idaho – 2 years
  • Illinois – 2 years
  • Indiana – 2 years
  • Idaho – 2 years
  • Kansas – 2 years
  • Kentucky – 1 year for standard personal injury claims (2 years for claims involving vehicle) accidents
  • Louisiana – 1 year
  • Maine – 6 years
  • Maryland – 3 years
  • Massachusetts – 3 years
  • Michigan – 3 years for standard personal injury claims (1 year for personal injury protection) claims
  • Minnesota – 2 years
  • Mississippi – 3 years
  • Missouri – 5 years
  • Montana – 3 years
  • Nebraska – 4 years
  • Nevada – 2 years
  • New Hampshire – 3 years
  • New Jersey – 2 years
  • New Mexico – 3 years
  • New York – 3 years
  • North Carolina – 3 years
  • North Dakota – 6 years
  • Ohio – 2 years
  • Oklahoma – 2 years
  • Oregon – 2 years
  • Pennsylvania – 2 years
  • Rhode Island – 3 years
  • South Carolina – 3 years
  • South Dakota – 3 years
  • Tennessee – 1 year
  • Texas – 2 years
  • Utah – 4 years
  • Vermont – 3 years
  • Virginia – 2 years
  • Washington – 3 years
  • West Virginia – 2 years
  • Wisconsin – 3 years
  • Wyoming – 4 years

As you can see, only three states have set their personal injury claim statute of limitations to less than two years. Louisiana and Tennessee are the only states that have set their statutes of limitations to one year for all kinds of personal injury claims. In California, Nevada, Texas, and most other states, the statute of limitations is set to two years for all kinds of personal injury lawsuits. Keep in mind that many states have shorter statute of limitations when you sue a governmental entity. Be sure to consult with a lawyer to confirm the statute of limitation on your case.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims?

The law governing medical malpractice claims is slightly different because it is possible for some time to pass before the injury resulting from the malpractice is discovered. As a result, many states have set statute of limitations that may be based on the date of diagnosis instead of the date that actual the malpractice occurred. For example, in California a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed one from the date that you knew or should have suspected the malpractice not to exceed three years from the date of the malpractice.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Negligence Lawsuits?

Typically, the laws related to negligence lawsuits follow the same statute of limitations as personal injury claims. For example as personal injury claims are generally brought under a theory of negligence.  In California you have two years from the date of negligence to initiate a lawsuit against the negligent party. However, keep in mind that the longer you wait to initiate legal action, the greater the risk you have that the statute of limitations has expired.  Still, even if it has been one year and 11 months since the date of negligence, it is still worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit if you can prove that the other party was at fault.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims?

In most states, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit follows the same general time frame as a typical personal injury lawsuit. That means the loved ones of the deceased, or the legal representatives they’ve elected, have two years (California) from the date of death to initiate a lawsuit against the allegedly responsible entities.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims?

As you might imagine, a slip and fall case falls under general personal injury claims, which means you’d have two years to file a claim in most states (see the list above for the exact statute of limitations in your state).

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Camp Lejeune Injury Claims?

Camp Lejeune represents a unique kind of personal injury case, so you might be wondering if the same statues of limitations apply to it since the event occurred across multiple decades from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s. Since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was only passed in August of 2022, claimants have two years from the date the Act was passed to file a claim. That means the deadline for filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination is August 10, 2024. Prior to the CLJA passing, residents of North Carolina and other states who had previously worked or lived at Camp Lejeune were not able to file claims against the government due to the state’s general three year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.

 

Still Not Sure If Too Much Time Has Passed Since Your Injury?

If you still have questions about whether you remain eligible to file a claim for compensation, try discussing your situation with a personal injury attorney during a free consultation. Call us at 877-557-4221 and let the brothers fight for you! It should only take 5-10 minutes or less to get a professional opinion on whether you should pursue a lawsuit based on a simple recollection of the events and a few questions about your supporting evidence and documentation.

5 Common Accidents In California

Accidents can and do occur in everyday life. Being a careful driver, wearing reflective clothing while bicycle, or waiting for the green light to cross the street as a pedestrian are all important ways to reduce your accident risk. However, it’s still too easy to endure the effects of a life altering injury.

Anyone who lives in California would probably not be surprised to learn that the most frequent causes of injuries are slip-and-fall accidents, automobile accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents. The most crucial thing to remember is that you must learn about your rights and take proactive measures to protect yourself and your future if you ever find yourself the victim of such an accident.

Truck Accidents

There are many other reasons why truck accidents might happen, including careless truck drivers, poor vehicle maintenance, and the inability of passenger automobiles to maneuver around larger vehicles. Among the most typical accidents kinds you could experience are listed below:
• Jackknife
• Wide turn collisions
• Truck rollovers
• T-bone accidents
• Tire blowout

If a truck accident has injured you, you must retain the services of a qualified attorney who can assist you in obtaining the money you want to cover your medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings, and emotional distress. Likewise, even if everyone is cooperative and you believe your injuries may be minor, you should consider calling the police and going to the hospital immediately.

Car Accidents

In California, there are hundreds of thousands of car collisions annually. Unfortunately, many car accidents are caused by drivers who are careless or reckless. To significantly reduce the danger of collisions, injuries, and fatalities, drivers must comprehend and steer clear of the most prevalent of these behaviors.
• By limiting a driver’s effective reaction time and ability to maintain control of their vehicle, speeding can increase the likelihood of collisions.
• Each year in California, hundreds of car accidents are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• One other accident-causing factor in California is driver distraction. Numerous still-legal distractions, like eating while driving, might increase the likelihood of a car accident.

Motorcycle Accidents

One of the riskiest modes of transportation is a motorcycle. Tragic accidents are more likely to happen to motorcycle riders. Hundreds of motorcycle accidents in California yearly result in injuries or fatalities. Some of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents in California are the ones listed below:
• Head-On Vehicle Collisions
• Intoxication
• Lane Splitting
• Road Hazards

Speak with motorcycle injury lawyers. Everything will be handled by motorcycle injury lawyers, including gathering proof, speaking with witnesses, communicating with insurance providers, and presenting the case in court.

Train Accident

It is impossible to emphasize railway accidents’ emotional and financial toll on victims and their families. Despite the fatalities and demands for more safety, there will probably be more California train accidents in the coming days. The following list includes some of the most frequent causes:
• Negligent engineering
• Lack of sufficient training
• Equipment malfunction
• Extreme speed
• Inconsistent signals

A train accident lawyer who is well-versed in how California and federal law interact may be necessary for the sufferer. Regardless of your situation, train accident lawyers will vigorously defend your rights and work to get you the money you are due.

Pedestrian Accident

Since pedestrians use the roads, their safety is just as crucial as that of drivers and passengers. However, these mishaps can result in catastrophic injuries or the loss of precious lives. Here are a few of them to keep in mind whenever you set out on foot:
• Intoxicated drivers
• Walking during night-time
• Pedestrians not using the sidewalk
• Drivers making unsafe left turns
• Speeding drivers
• Distracted pedestrians

Get the necessary legal counsel from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid engaging in a pedestrian accident in California. Do not hesitate to contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys if you or a loved one was injured in an accident. Our pedestrian accident lawyers have years of expertise in helping clients obtain the greatest compensation to cover their damages and injuries. Our injury attorneys will ensure that you receive the correct medical care for your injuries, provide outstanding legal counsel, and secure just compensation.

Let our award-winning attorneys at Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys help you. Call us at 877-557-4221 today!

6 Things to Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents are one of the most common types of road incidents to occur around the country. Every year, thousands of people get injured or die from these events, and when they do happen, they can be difficult to navigate without the right knowledge and support. So, if you ever find yourself a victim of a vehicle collision, here are six essential steps to take in the aftermath.

 

Do an Injury Assessment

There is a good chance that while the accident is happening, your brain will not keep up. This is a protective response from the brain and is entirely normal. When the dust settles and things are standing still, you might start to feel the impact. This is when you need to assess your injuries and damage to figure out if you can move and whether you need medical attention.

Attend to yourself first because if you are seriously injured, it is vital to take a pause and look after your body. Then you can focus on any passengers that might be on board. Children and the elderly are a priority in this situation and if you are able to help them, this is your first job. If the passengers are stuck or seriously hurt, then make a judgment call on whether it is safe for them to remain in the vehicle until the ambulance support arrives at the scene.

 

Move Away to a Safer Spot

After you have this information, you can make move your car to a safer spot. There is a high risk to your body and vehicle if you stay put so try to move away from active traffic if it is safe to do so. There is no real way to tell what harm has been caused to the vehicle until it has had a professional assessment, so don’t try to fix anything. Prioritize getting to safety for you and all of your passengers too, then you can have a clearer head to deal with the next stage.

 

Phone 911 for Assistance

Here is when you call 911. 911 is there to connect you with the nearest emergency services. You should ask for police and an ambulance to attend the collision scene. These two units are professionally trained for this exact scenario and will be able to direct you and anyone else involved as to what needs to happen.

 

What the Police Will Do

The police attend to take details of the accident from you and anyone that was involved. They will also make further investigations into the scene to find out what could have happened and why it took place. There is a chance you will be breathalyzed, which is a device used to detect alcohol in the blood as drunk driving is a crime and often needs to be ruled out.

 

What the Ambulance Team Will Do

The ambulance crew will naturally assist with any injuries and make a call on whether or not further intervention in a hospital setting is needed. It is normal for your body and mind to be in shock as this event can be traumatic. Make sure the medics team is directed to the person most in need of assistance first so they can receive support and minimize the damage.

 

Exchange Information

Now you have had intervention from emergency services, you can exchange information if appropriate. Try not to leave the scene without acquiring the details of the opposing vehicle because this will be essential information for your insurance claim and any other future events that come from this accident. You will need to:

  1. Take their name, and plate details and ask for the insurance company they deal with.
  2. Take pictures of the crash if you’re in a position to. Photograph your vehicle and the others involved too.
  3. Take pictures of your injuries.
  4. Make an account of what you think happened from your perspective.
  5. Ask the other people involved to do exactly the same thing and give them your insurance details and everything else that is needed as well.
  6. Get the contact information for any witness. Your lawyer will want this to prove that you were not at fault for the crash.

 

Talk to Your Insurance

As soon as possible after the accident, you should call your insurance company to report your claim. Remember that you are only required to report your claim. You do not have to undergo any recorded statements regarding how the crash occurred or the nature and extent of your injuries. You should try to avoid giving a recorded statement to any insurance company. Making your claim should be straightforward, but it may take a while to process when it comes to the administrative side of things. That is why it is important to take action as soon as you feel able to in order to avoid further delays. If your vehicle is completely ruined, and you pay for a replacement vehicle as a part of your policy, this can be arranged too so you are not without transport for a delayed period.

 

Seek Legal Representation

There is a lot more to legal representation post accident than just making a financial claim. A good law firm will help in finding great medical support for any injuries you might have suffered. This will help your recovery process and make you feel cared for in a bigger circle. They can also support you with your medical bills and sorting through all the associated administration that comes along with that. Aside from this, an experienced lawyer will be able to secure the optimum compensation model and ensure that if you are unable to work because of the accident, you get what you need to thrive. This might involve pursuing the opposing party responsible for the accident or clearing your name if an accusation is brought against you.

Car accidents are scary regardless of the circumstances. It is good to know what to do if you are involved in one, and how to navigate life afterward. If you suffer injuries that impede your ability to socialize and work, you may be able to find financial support to help you move in a more positive direction. When the accident is not your fault, and your vehicle is totaled, it can be a frustrating situation for all involved.

Let our award-winning attorneys at Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys help you. Call us at 877-557-4221 today!

What the Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

When you purchase insurance for your car, in theory, the insurance company is there to help you as the policyholder if you get into an accident. If you are involved in a car accident or sustain a serious injury while driving, then you will need to file a claim with an insurance company in the hope of receiving compensation for any medical expenses you have incurred, loss of income due to not being able to work while you recover from the injuries, and pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, the truth is that insurance companies are more interested in making a profit than they are in helping you. For that reason, there are quite a few things that your insurance company doesn’t want you to know. If you were aware, then you’d be standing in the way of them making money!

So, what are some of the things that insurance companies would rather be kept a secret? Read on to find out more.

 

What You Say Can be Used Against You

After a car accident, your insurance company may ask you to provide a recorded statement addressing what happened and the damage that was done. However, you are under no legal obligation to do this, and it is recommended that you don’t unless you’re doing it with a personal injury or car accident attorney who can help you make sure that you are describing the accident in a way that does not incriminate yourself. In fact, even casual remarks that you make while talking with claims adjusters can be taken as formal statements – especially if you are speculating about whether or not the accident was your fault or describing your injuries. Because of this, it’s important to only stick to the basics when talking about your claim and consult a car accident attorney before giving any statements.

 

Insurance Adjusters are Great At Negotiating

After a car accident, you might simply want to get your money and move on with your life – and the claims adjuster will know this. They might pressure you to accept a settlement offer or even give you a deadline, telling you that you only have a few hours to accept or that this is the best offer that they can come up with. However, it’s best to avoid falling for these tactics and don’t accept the first offer you are given. If you are not confident when it comes to your negotiation skills to get a better offer, you have the right to seek outside counsel and hire a car accident lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.

 

Adjusters Might be Lying to You

Don’t assume that your insurance adjuster is always being truthful with you when it comes to talking about your claim. For example, they might use information that they know about you, such as existing health conditions to tell you that you are not going to be able to make a claim for the injuries you have suffered in the car accident. However, this is not always the truth. There are lots of things that insurance adjusters might say to you in the hope that you don’t know any better and to see if they can get away with it, which is why it’s always best to have an attorney liaise with them on your behalf.  Insurance adjusters are sales people. They want to sell your claim for the lowest price possible.

 

Claims Adjusters are There to Make Money

We’d all like to believe that the insurance company is there to help us. However, the truth is that most of them have the main goal of simply making money for the company. While the claims adjuster might seem like a nice and helpful person while you are speaking to them, their main job is to try and reduce your claim as much as possible, or even try to have it completely denied. Bear in mind that the insurance company does not make any money from helping you, and the claims adjuster works for them.

 

They Hire Doctors to Find Pre-Existing Injuries and Minimize Your Claim

If you allow your insurance company access to your medical records when you sign an authorization form, then they are going to use this to find as much information as possible to minimize your claim. To do this, they will often hire doctors who are there to look through your medical records to try and find any records of a pre-existing condition or injury that they can use to throw doubt on your claim. They might then use this to claim that your injury is not as severe as you say it is. Even if your own doctor is backing you up, the insurance company will hire their own doctors to try and contradict this.

 

They Don’t Want You to Hire a Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident, then the first thing you should do is hire a personal injury lawyer. However, your insurance company might want to try to convince you from doing this. They might tell you that hiring a lawyer isn’t worth the cost or that having an attorney is unlikely to help you get a better offer. In most cases, they are hoping that you don’t hire a lawyer so that they are less likely to have to pay out a decent settlement for your case, hoping that without legal counsel you may agree to a seriously low-ball offer just to get it over and done with. Don’t fall for it! Hire an experience personal injury attorney.

 

You Can Sue Insurance Companies for Unethical Practices

Any practices that act against the best interests of the policyholder are considered to be unethical insurance practices. Insurance companies should always act in accordance with accountability laws, but some assume you won’t know about them. A good lawyer will help ensure that your insurance company is held accountable if they act in a way that is against your best interests.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys can help you make sure that you’re not falling foul of these insurance company practices. We can liaise with the insurance company on your behalf. Get in touch today for a free consultation and to find out more. Call Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys now at 877-557-4221.

What is the Settlement Procedure for Auto Accidents?

auto accident lawyers

Vehicular accidents are events that all drivers dread to happen no matter how careful they are and drive defensively. When you are involved in this kind of accident because of another driver’s negligence, you have to ensure you can get all the compensation for the damage. This may cover your medical bills, the income you will lose as you are unable to work, and the recovery period because of the personal injury.

As much as you want to get through this as quickly as possible, an auto accident may be a long and arduous process and you need to get help from the best auto accident lawyers. There are cases where amicable settlements from both parties are not achieved so you should be prepared to go through the process.

But what will the process be? How to make sure you’ll get the appropriate settlement for someone’s negligence?

DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR CLAIM

Ensure you have all the documents ready and completed to support your claim. The insurance adjuster will review all the evidence to process the claim and best to have them available once they ask for it.

1. Photos of the accident scene with your car and the other driver’s car.
2. Official police report of the accident.
3. Testimonies of the witnesses.
4. Medical records (diagnosis, findings, receipts from the hospital and pharmacy) resulting from the accident.
5. Statement from the other driver.
6. Place where the accident took place.

EXPERTS IN CAR ACCIDENTS

If the case goes to court, experts that support your claim will be needed. Their experience and knowledge will play a major role in the proceedings.

  • Your Doctor to learn about more of your injuries, intervention, and prognosis
  • An Engineer
  • Reconstruction Specialist who may recreate how the accident occurred

Insurance Policies Review

Many people don’t read what’s written in insurance coverages, including the fine print that everyone ignores. All these will matter in your claims and auto accident injury lawyers are the best people who can assist you and ensure that everything will be reviewed and covered.

There may be technical terms and jargon which may cause confusion or misunderstanding. Also, you will be advised if the settlement offered is just and fair or if there is more that you should be getting. They will negotiate for you and will fight with your best interest in mind. In case it escalates to a lawsuit, you have everything covered from the beginning.

PRE-LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT

It will be awesome if you and the negligent driver settle this out of court. This means that during discussions and negotiations, both parties agree on an amicable settlement.

However, you don’t have to wait for a case to be filed. Auto accident lawyers will represent you in all communication and guide and update you on the status and development of the case.

FILING A LAWSUIT

In case no settlement was achieved, the next step is to file a lawsuit. These cases may be settled without a hearing. Your lawyer will work on the strategy to go about it and will negotiate with the insurance provider of the negligent driver.

COURT PROCEEDINGS

If all negotiations fail, your lawyer will advise you to present the case in court. You may need to appear in these proceedings with a lawyer. They will prepare you and set expectations on how your case will be presented. All other documents will be prepared for you by the firm, evidence will be presented, and witnesses/experts may be called to a stand.

Continuous communication and negotiation even if the court hearing started. This is a good scenario, as all parties would like to lessen expenses, as it will be more costly to do so in court.

HIRE KARNS & KARNS AND GET THE HELP YOU NEED NOW

Remember, you are the aggrieved party, and you need to secure everything that you can by having the best lawyer to help and assist you. Being involved in a car crash does not only impact you economically. The physical injury, emotional and mental pain, and suffering and your inability to do the things that you usually do and would want to do will take a toll on the victim and family. Your time is precious, and you cannot let this be stolen from you. Call Karns & Karns Injury & Accident Attorneys now at 877-557-4221, and they will take care of you.

What to do if you are involved in a car accident

  1. STAY IN YOUR CAR AND GET TO A SAFE SPOT. Never get out of your car in traffic.  If you get out of your car in the roadway, you might be hit by another car.  Your best bet is to stay in your car, and if possible, move your car to a safe spot out of traffic. This usually means over to the right shoulder.  If you’re on a busy street, consider turning onto a side street. If your car is too damaged to move safely, or if you or anyone else is too injured to move safely, then just stay in your car and proceed to Step #2.
  2. CALL THE POLICE. California law requires that all traffic accidents be reported to the local authorities. Do not be afraid to call 911.  If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and be sure to request an ambulance.
  3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Once you are safely pulled to the side of the road and out of the flow of traffic, be sure to get the names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information of all involved drivers. Emotions will almost always be running high at this point, but try to remain calm and respectful. Do not discuss who is at fault… there will be plenty of time for that later!
  4. TAKE PICTURES. Make sure you take pictures of all the cars involved in the accident.  Pictures that show damage to the cars in the accident are extremely important, because they can help prove how an accident happened. Pictures of damage to vehicles, damage to other property, skid marks, etc. can also help corroborate injuries. You can never take too many pictures.
  5. TALK TO WITNESSES. Be sure to get the name and phone number of any witness, even if the other driver admits the accident was their fault. An at-fault driver (or their insurance company) will often try to change their story and deny any wrongdoing. Witnesses who can verify what happened in an accident will help ensure that at-fault drivers and their insurance companies don’t try to weasel their way out of accepting responsibility for their negligence.
  6. GIVE YOUR STATEMENT TO THE POLICE. When the police respond to the scene, cooperate fully with them and aide them in their investigation. Speak clearly and slowly.  The police will give you a receipt with instructions for how to request a copy of the police report.  It’s usually a little quarter-sized or half-sized slip of paper.  Be sure to keep that receipt in a safe place, because you will need it later.
  7. IF YOUR CAR IS TOWED FROM THE SCENE. If your car is not drivable, the police will call a tow truck to have your car moved to a certified police tow yard.  The tow truck driver will give you a receipt with the location and phone number of that tow yard. Be sure to keep that receipt in a safe place, because you will need it later.
  8. TREAT YOUR INJURIES. If you are badly injured, treating your injuries is usually not a choice. You may be rushed to an emergency room in the back of an ambulance. But even if you are able to safely drive away from the scene of an accident, it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort at all. This includes what people commonly refer to as whiplash symptoms. Whiplash is a phrase that has been hijacked by the insurance industry and turned into a code word for “minor injury that will get better with just a little time.” But frequently, what feels like whiplash may actually be a much more serious injury. This is the type of injury that will NOT get better with just a little time. Sometimes, pain symptoms can develop hours or even days after an accident. One of the best ways to see a doctor quickly for a non-life threatening injury is to visit an urgent care facility. Urgent care facilities tend to operate a little more efficiently than emergency rooms. If you experience any symptoms associated with head trauma, such as nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, or slurred speech, be sure to visit a doctor immediately.
  9. CALL A LAWYER.  There is only one person who can truly protect your legal rights after an accident: your lawyer.  It is important to understand that your legal rights and interests will not be protected by insurance companies, not even your own insurance company. In fact, insurance companies will almost always take immediate steps to minimize the value of your injury claim. Your own insurance company will try to find a way to make the accident partially your fault, so they can increase your rates later! Call the lawyers at Karns & Karns before you do anything else, and keep insurance companies in check. We offer free consultations and have a track record of providing our clientele with the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you think we might be able to assist you with your legal issues, we’re patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling at 877-557-4221.

Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Lawyer

rideshare of uber & lyft

If you’ve been in a rideshare accident, you may feel confused about what next steps to take. What should you do after a rideshare accident? How do you figure out who’s at fault and who’s paying for the damages? And how long do you have to file a claim in Los Angeles?

We at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys are highly experienced in personal injury law, including car and rideshare accidents, and we may be able to give you the guidance you need. Allow us to break down everything you need to know about rideshare accidents in Los Angeles.

How Do You Calculate Fault After a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

In California, including Los Angeles, fault in a personal injury accident is calculated on pure comparative negligence. This means that in a rideshare accident, multiple parties might be at fault and responsible for paying damages.

In general, fault is calculated in percentages as determined by legal representatives and insurance companies. In order to calculate the damages a particular party is responsible for, you multiply their percentage by the total amount of damages.

If the driver of a rideshare vehicle is driving while texting and rear-ends the vehicle of a driver who is rubbernecking, both parties maybe at fault. Maybe the rideshare driver is considered 60% at fault, and the rubbernecking driver is responsible for 40% of the damages. If the total amount of damages is calculated to be two million dollars, the rideshare company and driver may be responsible for $1.2 million in damages.

Who Pays for Damages in a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

At-fault parties will need to pay the damages for a rideshare accident. In a typical car accident, these damages may be paid for by insurance companies. However, in rideshare accidents, the rideshare company itself may be held liable depending on the damages. Whether or not the rideshare company is responsible may also be determined by the driver’s status within the phone application used to manage the ride. This may include the Uber or Lyft apps, for example.

In a case where the rideshare driver does not have the application active on their device, they will likely be responsible for paying all of the damages out of their individual insurance or their own pocket. This is similar to being off the clock, as employers are typically not liable for accidents that occur while employees are off company property and not working.

However, in the case the rideshare driver has the app running and is waiting for work, the rideshare company will generally be held liable to a certain extent. In this case, Uber or Lyft will generally pay for up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.

Suppose a rideshare driver is en route to pick up a rider or is on the way to a rider’s final destination. In that case, rideshare companies will often offer even more coverage: up to one million dollars. However, in some cases, rideshare drivers may be required to use their own collision insurance to pay for damages.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. A personal injury accident generally includes any accident where at least one party has been injured, and this may include your rideshare accident case.

What Can a Los Angeles Rideshare Lawyer Do for You?

If you’re considering taking legal action following your Los Angeles rideshare accident, you may want to hire a lawyer to assist you in your case. Your lawyer may be able to help you throughout the entirety of the legal process in many ways.

Referrals and Resources

Many lawyers may be able to offer suggestions for medical care facilities to visit, as well as, supply you with extra resources that might be helpful to your recovery. We strongly recommend visiting a medical professional following your accident if there is any chance you may have been injured.

Collect and Analyze Evidence

Your lawyer may also be able to assist with collecting and analyzing evidence for your case. This may include getting into contact with potential witnesses for statements, as well as, footage of the accident from nearby traffic cameras or private businesses.

Legal Knowledge

Your lawyer, especially if they are familiar with personal injury law and rideshare accidents, likely has the legal knowledge to aid you through your case. This may be useful in constructing arguments and analyzing evidence.

Adept Negotiation Skills

Lawyers are often considered to be adept negotiators. Your lawyer may be able to use their skills to lower your fault or increase your compensation, especially during settlement negotiations.

Maximize Potential Compensation

Your lawyer may be able to maximize the compensation you’re entitled to because of their unique situation. The combination of legal knowledge, negotiation skills, and understanding of your side of the story may assist them in effectively negotiating, decreasing your fault and obtaining the most compensation for you as possible.

Tailored Next Steps

Depending on the specifics of your case, your lawyer may be able to assist you further. You may be asked to avoid discussing your case, stay off of social media, or seek medical attention, for example.

Get the Help You Deserve From a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Lawyer at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys

We at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys know how stressful a rideshare accident may feel, but we dedicate ourselves to fighting for our clients and maximizing their compensation. Our legal team is compassionate and confident, allowing our clients to feel supported each step of the way.

We only accept payment for our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis which means you don’t pay us, until you get paid, and we’re available to schedule a free consultation any time. If you think we may be able to help you, feel free to contact us by calling 877-557-4221.