Most accidents in Los Angeles result from negligent and distracted driving. People often do not follow the basic on-road safety norms, causing accidents, collisions, and crashes that were definitely preventable. Immediately after an accident, you may have questions on your mind. In this post, check some basic aspects related to state laws and why you need to hire a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Do you need to report the auto accident?
In most cases, the answer is yes. The state laws require you to file a report with the California DMV within 10 days if the accident involves injury, death, or serious property damage. In general, it is always advisable to inform the local police after an accident. Do not run away from the scene under any circumstances, and make sure to call 911 for medical assistance.
Do you need a lawyer to file an accident claim or lawsuit?
The short answer is no. However, lawyering up is always a wise idea. Remember that insurance companies are not here to pay for your medical bills or empathize with your circumstances. If you deal with the insurance company directly, you may end up settling too soon and for a much lower amount. Get an attorney on your side to negotiate better.
How long do you have to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver?
This is determined by the statute of limitations. The typical deadline is just two years for most personal injury cases in California, including auto accident lawsuits. If your claim is against a government employee or agency, the deadline is six months. Note that this deadline starts from the date of the crash.
How long will it take to settle the case?
There is no one answer for that. If your injuries are non-catastrophic in nature, you can expect to get your settlement within six months. If a lawsuit is filed and a trial is necessary, it can take much longer, often as long as 18 months or more.
What if the accident involved an uninsured motorist?
In such cases, you can file a lawsuit against the party and hope to enforce the judgment. However, if your insurance has coverage for this, you can file a claim with your insurer and seek compensation for your losses.
Every case is different, and it makes sense to talk to an attorney about the worth and scope of your accident claim.