doctor examining x rays

How Much Are Car Accident Settlements for a Broken Bone?

When accidents happen, drivers and passengers often experience serious injuries, such as broken bones. Bone fractures can cause many different types of complications that may take considerable time to heal. Our San Bernardino auto accident attorneys at LA Century Law can assist with pursuing a broken bone car accident settlement so our clients receive fair compensation for their injuries.

Most Common Broken Bones During a Car Accident

No two car accidents occur in the same way or cause the same damage, but broken bones are among the most common injuries sustained in a collision. During a crash, some bones tend to fracture more often due to the position of people in the vehicle, the velocity of the collision, and the thickness and health of the bone. Examples include:

  • Clavicle
  • Ankle and femur
  • Ribs
  • Pelvis
  • Spine/vertebrae

While other bones in the body may also break during a car accident, there are a variety of circumstances that affect how hard the impact is to both drivers and passengers’ skeletal systems.

Accident Causes and Broken Bone Correlations

When our attorneys examine cases for broken bone compensation, they may note that the type of fracture the client received often depends on the circumstances of the accident. Reviewing the different types of fractures allows our attorneys to create a detailed timeline that supports evidence offered by the victims and eyewitnesses during a trial.

Wrist and ulna bone fractures

In the seconds before an accident, drivers and passengers may instinctively tense their bodies to brace for the impact. Drivers, in particular, may suffer wrist and ulna fractures because of the position of their hands and arms during the moment of impact. High-impact crashes may result in multiple fractures of these forearm bones.

Femur fractures

Many broken bone car accident settlements involve femur fractures. The femur, or thigh bone, often suffers one or more fractures if the vehicle’s exterior structure fails during an accident or if an individual’s leg becomes pinned. Femur fractures can take considerable time to heal due to the thickness of the bone.

Skull fractures

Sometimes, a settlement for a broken bone in a car accident includes a skull fracture, which can cause life-threatening injuries. The skull houses the brain, and when a skull fracture occurs from striking the head on the interior of the car, such as the steering wheel, it can harm the brain as well. Open skull fractures, where a piece of the skull shatters, may require emergency surgery to protect the brain.

The Cost of Broken Bones in a Crash

When broken bones require setting, or in the case of compound fractures where the bone pierces the skin and the wound requires stitches, the cost of care can range into the thousands of dollars. While simple fractures may heal within a month or so, depending on the severity and location of the injury, some breaks can take months of treatment and specialized care.

Upon arrival at a medical facility, car accident victims with broken bones must undergo a variety of treatment services such as X-rays, MRI scans, wound cleansing and closing, and cast settings. They may also receive pain medication and require future physical therapy if they experience multiple breaks or if the injury affects their mobility. Our attorneys examine each case closely and assign value to the injuries and medical costs incurred by the accident so our clients receive fair compensation.

How Our Attorneys Build a Case for Broken Bone Compensation

When individuals suffer a broken bone during a car accident and believe the driver of the other car caused the incident, our attorneys use a variety of information to build a compensation case.

California is an at-fault state, which means that the people (or, in some cases, a company or other entity) at fault must pay for any losses incurred on the part of the injured party.

Car wrecks are often the result of negligent driving behaviors, including:

  • Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving
  • Eating or drinking
  • Drunk or buzzed driving
  • Speeding or horseplay that results in an accident

Our attorneys use police reports, accident scene photos, insurance records, and witness accounts to connect these actions to how the wreck occurred. For example, if the police report photos include a driver’s cell phone that features an unfinished text at the time of the accident, this supports the supposition that the at-fault driver was using the phone in an unsafe or negligent manner.

The Benefits of Legal Representation for Car Accident Victims

When people experience broken bones due to a car accident that was the fault of another, they may not know where to turn when medical bills arrive. In many cases, broken bones prevent those injured from returning to work for weeks or even months.

At LA Century Law, our experienced attorneys provide a variety of benefits for those injured, including fielding settlement offers from the defendant’s insurance company, tracking down witnesses, and collecting medical reports. Our services allow victims like you to focus on your needs and the rest to recover from a broken bone.

We Handle Broken Bone Car Accident Settlements

Our attorneys at LA Century Law understand the pain and suffering broken bones cause in the aftermath of a car accident. Contact our injury lawyers in San Bernardino today at [phone] for a free consultation and further information.

woman looking out car window

California Road Rage Law and Aggressive Driving Accidents

California is one of the worst states in the nation for road rage. In 2022, reports identified California as one of the three worst states for road rage, with only Florida and Texas seeing more road rage-related traffic incidents.

When drivers exhibit aggression or reckless behavior behind the wheel, the results are often deadly. At LA Century Law, we are well-versed in California road rage laws and the legal implications surrounding aggressive driving. We also have extensive experience helping people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in road rage incidents take legal action in the aftermath. Contact a car accident lawyer in San Bernardino to start your case against an aggressive driver.

What Is Road Rage?

“Road rage” occurs when a motorist exhibits angry or aggressive behavior toward another driver, and it is a growing problem on California’s and the nation’s roadways. Road rage takes on many different forms. However, it often manifests as screaming, making rude gestures, driving aggressively, or making threats of violence. Tailgating, laying on the car horn, bumping another vehicle from behind, or intentionally running a vehicle off of the road may also constitute instances of aggressive driving or road rage.

Other possible acts of road rage might include:

  • Preventing a vehicle from changing lanes
  • Getting out of the car to confront another motorist
  • Driving on a sidewalk or in a median to get around a driver

Road rage and driver aggression are frequent contributors to crashes, with SafeMotorist noting that 66% of today’s traffic deaths involve aggressive driving. Of those incidents, about 37% involved a firearm, and the majority also involved male motorists who were under the age of 19.

Is Aggressive Driving a Criminal Offense?

After an incident with a reckless driver, many people ask – is aggressive driving a criminal offense? California does not consider aggressive driving, by itself, to be a criminal offense.

However, aggressive drivers may face criminal, as well as civil, charges if the injured party is able to prove that his or her injuries resulted from the other motorist’s aggressive or reckless behavior.

The same holds true when it comes to road rage. While California road rage laws do not exist, there are still certain circumstances under which road rage crashes may lead to criminal charges. Some of these charges might include assault, battery, or reckless driving charges, among other possible offenses. If a road rage incident leads to charges of assault or battery, the aggressive driver may face serious penalties, some of which might include hefty fines and potential time in jail or prison.

What Are California Road Rage Laws and Statutes?

While an aggressive or reckless driver will not face an actual “road rage” charge, he or she may face a charge of reckless driving after committing an act that is in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23103. This statute defines reckless driving under California law and asserts that it involves a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” on the roadway.

The penalties associated with driving aggressively may vary based on the severity of the offense. Whether a motorist has similar infractions on his or her record may also come into play.

However, motorists guilty of reckless driving may face serious criminal repercussions under California road rage laws. Typically, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense that may lead to fines, probation requirements, and even potential jail time.

California Vehicle Code Section 13210 also addresses road rage. This provision gives the California Department of Motor Vehicles the right to suspend or revoke the driving privileges of motorists whom the state sees as a threat to public safety due to ongoing incidents of road rage or repeated traffic violations.

Can You Make a Claim Against a Driver for Aggressive Driving?

When someone suffers an injury in a wreck involving an aggressive driver, the injured party has the option of pursuing a civil claim against the responsible party. Authorities, too, may decide to take action against the aggressive driver by pursuing criminal charges that align with California road rage laws.

Motorists or passengers who suffer injuries in aggressive driving incidents also have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim against the driver whose actions caused the crash. This typically involves gathering comprehensive documentation about the incident and the injuries that resulted from it. Compiling medical records, witness statements, photos of the crash scene, and other relevant forms of evidence helps strengthen a personal injury case arising from allegations of aggressive driving.

It is important to note that statutes of limitations exist when it comes to pursuing a claim against an aggressive or reckless driver in California. In most cases, injured parties have two years from the date their injuries occurred to file a formal claim against the responsible driver. Failing to meet this deadline leaves crash victims without legal recourse.

Ready To Move Forward With a Car Accident Claim for Road Rage?

Ultimately, the strength of a case involving aggressive driving, reckless driving, or road rage depends on the injured party’s ability to prove that aggression factored into the incident – and that the other driver violated California road rage laws. Motorists who suffer injuries or lose loved ones in accidents involving driver aggression should contact our team at LA Century Law at [phone] to have our attorneys assess the strength of their case and determine if it has merit. Call today.

Can a Car Accident Settlement Include Chiropractor Visits?

Can a Car Accident Settlement Include Chiropractor Visits?

If you have ever been in a car accident, you understand that injuries can often take hours to days to show up. This is why our attorneys at LA Century Law suggest that you might want to visit a chiropractor to learn the extent of your injuries, as well as to know how long and what types of treatments you need.

We can then work with you to make chiropractic care part of your car accident settlement. Learn from our San Bernardino car accident attorneys what you should know about the process of seeking chiropractic care after a crash.

What Sorts of Car Accident Injuries Benefit From Chiropractic Care?

Did you know that a chiropractor can often help you more than a physician or surgeon when it comes to hidden injuries to your neck and back after a car accident? With this kind of trauma, you could tear muscles and ligaments that may not show up on X-rays. Chiropractic care after a car accident can align your spine using spinal manipulation, intended to release inflammation, increase mobility, reduce scar tissue, and decrease pain.

Common injuries that chiropractors treat include whiplash, strains and sprains, back and spinal cord injuries, herniated discs, inflammation, and pain in the chest, neck, joints, extremities, and shoulders. These injuries often limit mobility in damaged tissues and bones because your body feels stiff and sore. Through drug-free, natural treatments, such as spinal adjustments, your chiropractor stimulates your natural healing process and releases pain-reducing hormones.

What Can You Expect When a Lawyer Sends You to a Chiropractor?

Traditional medicine may miss or may not effectively treat some injuries and their symptoms. During your initial consultation, your chiropractor will ask about your symptoms and injuries from the accident as well as your medical history. The goal is to find the source of pain and diagnose the problem.

These medical professionals will ask you to take a few tests, including a physical examination of your back, neck, joints, and anywhere you feel pain or have swelling or inflammation. Your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate are important, and the chiropractor will test your range of motion, reflexes, and flexibility.

After locating the source of your injuries and their associated symptoms, the chiropractor will sit down with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include acupuncture, dry needling, physical therapy, massage, spinal decompression, and spinal adjustments. You will likely receive exercises that you need to complete at home as well.

Is Chiropractic Care Covered by Insurance or a Lawsuit Award?

Only a slight majority of Americans view chiropractic care positively. You may feel concerned about your car accident chiropractor settlements, especially since insurance companies do not place chiropractic care on the same level as care you receive from a medical doctor.

If you go to a chiropractor after a car accident, the insurance company or your settlement should cover your care.

However, prepare to fight for your payment. First, ask your doctor for a referral to a chiropractor. Then, see the chiropractor as soon as possible after the accident and start your treatments immediately.

Make sure your tests, charts, reports, updates, and referrals are well documented by both your doctor and chiropractor. Keep a journal about your injury, pain levels, and treatments, as well as your physical limitations. Follow your care plan exactly, and do not miss treatments.

How and Why Do Insurance Companies Try To Dismiss This Care?

Insurance adjusters tend to challenge chiropractor bills more than doctor bills, such as by stating that you do not need two to three treatments per week or suspecting that your chiropractor will not ever find you healed enough to stop your treatments. If you received chiropractic care before the accident, insurance adjusters may state that your injury existed prior to the accident.

An insurance company’s job is to limit financial outlays or liabilities. Because chiropractor care is not as widely accepted as other medical treatments, they are more likely to fight against paying for it, suggesting that it is a way to bill the insurance company for needless procedures. If they undervalue this treatment and your claim, it can impact your car accident chiropractor settlements.

How Many Visits Might You Have To Make to a Chiropractor?

If you have ever received an injury, you understand that it takes time to heal. Major injuries, such as those you often get during car accidents, also require consistent care, especially if you want to see a quicker recovery. However, your treatment period depends entirely on your injuries. More severe injuries will take much longer to heal than minor injuries. Your pain levels and soft tissue damage will guide your treatment plan.

In most cases, chiropractor professionals suggest that you attend at least one follow-up visit to ensure that you did not receive any long-term injuries during the accident. If you just have a little soreness, you may only need to visit the chiropractor a few times over the next three or four weeks.

More serious injuries may need extensive treatment for much longer periods. The goal is to get your body functioning at an optimal level, so some chiropractors also suggest regular wellness checkups even after you heal.

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys Today

Your primary concern after a car accident should be healing your body. Then, as you recover from your injuries, our personal injury attorneys at LA Century Law in San Bernardino can help you fight for a car accident settlement that includes your chiropractor treatment expenses. Contact us today for your consultation.

What Are California's Headlight Laws?

What Are California’s Headlight Laws?

What if you were in an accident where the driver didn’t use their headlights or was using illegal headlights?

Most drivers understand that vehicle headlights serve not only to increase their own range of vision during low visibility but also to make themselves visible to other motorists. By respectfully adhering to California headlight laws, everyone on the road can significantly reduce the odds of experiencing a car accident at night or during inclement weather while also navigating California’s notoriously congested traffic.

LA Century Law has experience in a wide range of personal injury and auto accident cases. Consult with our attorneys to learn more about proper headlight use and how you can proceed after experiencing an accident with someone who violated the state’s headlight laws.

California Headlight Laws Overview

California law requires all vehicles, except motorcycles, to have at least two headlights, with one placed on either side of the vehicle’s front end. A number of other laws apply to headlights and their use as well.

When should you turn on your headlights in California?

Drivers must turn on their headlights in the dark or during inclement weather. California headlight laws define this as any weather condition that “prevents a driver of a motor vehicle from clearly discerning a person or another motor vehicle from a distance of 1,000 feet or a condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture.”

Is it legal to use fog lights in California?

Fog lights or fog lamps are lights mounted lower than typical headlights on many vehicles for the purpose of illuminating the ground below layers of fog. It is entirely legal to have fog lights and for drivers to use them as they see fit, though fog lights cannot replace headlights in situations that require them.

Can you use aftermarket headlights in California?

Aftermarket headlights and LED headlights are legal in California so long as they comply with color and brightness standards and come with amber-colored turn signals.

Can you use other-colored headlights in California?

Headlights in the state of California must exhibit white light. Other headlights, such as those that exhibit blue light, can be overly bright, intense, or distracting for other drivers.

What are California’s laws about headlight positions?

Some aftermarket vehicle modifications might include altering the positioning of headlights. California headlight laws state that headlights must be at least 22 inches off the ground and no higher than 54 inches. Headlights positioned outside of this range may not adequately illuminate the road or might blind other drivers.

Dangers of Improper Headlight Use

Improper headlight use can entail failing to turn on headlights during low-visibility conditions, driving with dimmed or broken lamps, or using headlights in such a way that might blind another driver. The dangers of such improper use can include the following:

  • Limiting one’s own visibility
  • Fatigue caused by straining one’s own vision
  • Increased likelihood of a collision

The worst-case scenario following a violation of California headlight law is for one party to sustain a severe injury. If this occurs, the next step may be to file a personal injury claim to secure the compensation necessary for covering medical bills and lost income.

Using High-Intensity Headlights in California

While some aftermarket headlight modifications are legal in the state of California, it is important to know when high-intensity headlights are unacceptable. HID headlights must measure within the limit of 2,513 lumens to be street legal according to California’s headlight brightness law.

Similarly, there are limits to when drivers may use their high beams on California roads. Though high beams are useful for seeing across greater distances during low visibility conditions, it is more than just common courtesy to turn them off in the presence of other vehicles. In fact, California headlight laws state that drivers must turn off their high beams when approaching an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet or when following a vehicle within 300 feet.

How Headlights Impact a Personal Injury Case

When a car accident occurs, improper headlight use may serve to establish liability in the incident if one party is guilty of not using their headlights when required or using overly bright lights. All motorists on the road owe each other a duty of care, and a driver who demonstrates negligence in that duty by exhibiting improper headlight usage is fully or partially at fault for an accident that occurs as a result.

Motorists can also be liable for accidents resulting from improper headlight use, even if they are not actively driving. Leaving one’s headlights on while in a parked position can contribute to the likelihood of an accident if the lights point at the road in such a way that they may blind an active driver.

In addition to any other penalties and damages that an at-fault driver must pay when liable for an accident, violating California headlight laws also implies a fine of at least $238 and a point against one’s driving record.

Contact Our Attorneys to Help You

The use — or misuse — of headlights can play a critical role in a motor vehicle accident. If you sustain damage or injuries in a crash that occurred during low-visibility conditions, the team at LA Century Law can help you navigate complex California headlight laws and investigate the circumstances of the accident. Contact our personal injury lawyers in California to schedule a consultation today.

Most Common Injuries in a Rollover Car Accident in California

Most Common Injuries in a Rollover Car Accident

Rollover accidents present significant dangers to the drivers and passengers involved. 35% of vehicle collision fatalities occur as a result of rollover accidents alone, which is a demonstration of just how much damage they can cause to drivers and passengers.

For California residents who are injured by a rollover collision, the health and financial costs can be severe, and it’s important to understand how to take the best next steps after the accident occurs. Contact our car accident attorneys in Tarzana at LA Century Law if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a rollover crash.

What Is a Rollover Accident?

A rollover accident is any collision that results in one or more vehicles turning onto its side or roof. These accidents most often involve more than one vehicle, though there are times when rollovers occur without the impact of other vehicles on the road.

Only about 2-3% of all vehicle collisions are typically classified as rollover accidents from year to year, yet they remain one of the most significant causes of death on the road for drivers and passengers. Almost half of rollover accidents are partially due to excessive speed on the road.

What Are Tripped and Untripped Rollover Accidents?

There are two basic categories of rollover accidents: tripped and untripped. It’s important to understand the difference.

Tripped rollover accidents

Tripped rollovers are those that occur as a result of an external force, such as another vehicle, debris on the road, or a guardrail. The vast majority of rollovers are tripped.

Untripped rollover accidents

Untripped rollovers, on the other hand, occur without the influence of external forces. This type of rollover might happen when a vehicle is taking a particularly aggressive turn on a highway, for example.

What Are Common Injuries from Rollover Accidents?

There are several types of injuries that rollover car accidents can cause, including the possibility of a fatality occurring. Here are some of the most common types of injuries from rollovers:

  • Fractures and breaks
  • Internal and external bruising or bleeding
  • Head and neck trauma, including severe whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord trauma, including long-term paralysis
  • Glass damage and lacerations
  • Burns from vehicle explosions or airbag deployment

What happens to your body in a car accident can have significant consequences for months, years, or life. Rollover accidents are notorious for crushing limbs to passengers, throwing passengers from the vehicle, and causing catastrophic injuries.

What Are the Common Causes of Rollover Accidents?

Both tripped, and untripped rollover accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. The vast majority involve negligence on the part of a driver, though it is technically possible for a rollover to occur solely as a result of external factors.

There are several common causes of rollovers, including the following:

  • Speeding
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Other driver negligence (such as driving while fatigued)
  • Malfunction of vehicle parts
  • Poorly designed roads or signage

Out of all of these potential causes, speeding is responsible for the largest percentage of rollovers (about 40%), whether it was the rolled-over vehicle that was speeding or another vehicle involved in the collision.

How Is Fault Determined for Rollover Accidents in California?

The fault for any given rollover accident is essentially calculated and determined by negligence on the part of one or more parties. Fault can be shared between more than one party or may be solely attributed to one party, depending upon each case.

Determining fault is nuanced and can be difficult, especially when you’re already dealing with injuries and car damages in the wake of your accident. An experienced rollover accident attorney can help gather and organize the relevant evidence as well as provide other resources that can help bolster your case. Our attorneys can utilize an accident reconstruction expert to better understand the percentage of fault.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that because California uses the pure comparative fault system, even if an injured party was partially at fault, they can still pursue damages to some extent.

We Can Help You Recover From Rollover Accident Injuries

If you’ve been injured or impacted by a rollover accident, it’s imperative that you get the legal help you need to fight your case successfully. Contact us today at LA Century Law for a free case evaluation with our experienced team. We’re ready to partner with you in your pursuit of what you’re rightfully owed for your damages.

Rollover Accident Case FAQs

What if I share fault for my rollover accident?

Because the state of California establishes a pure comparative fault policy, injured drivers can pursue compensation for their damages even if they were 51% or more at fault for the accident, though the awarded amount will be adjusted accordingly.

What if something other than another driver caused my rollover accident?

There are some cases in which bad signage, mechanics, weather, or another factor can contribute to a rollover. In these cases, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney like one from our team at LA Century Law to determine what entities may be at fault and how to best proceed.

How to Dispute Car Accident Fault

How to Dispute Car Accident Fault

If you’re accused of causing a crash, remember that the other driver’s perspective isn’t always the final judgment. There are actionable steps you can take to dispute the opposing driver’s account.

What’s more, is California is a comparative fault state. This means that even if you are at fault, you can recover for your injuries.

If you find yourself in a car accident situation with conflicting accounts, it’s important to enlist the expertise of our Tarzana car accident attorneys at LA Century Law, who can dispute fault, liaise with the insurance company and fight for your right to fair compensation. Get in touch with us right away to begin protecting your case against accusations of fault.

Disputing Liability in a Car Accident With Conflicting Stories

Gather evidence

Clear evidence can significantly strengthen your case when faced with a car accident with conflicting stories. Document the scene by taking detailed photos of critical clues, such as the positions of all vehicles involved, property damage, skid marks, and road conditions.

Utilize accident reconstruction

Accident reconstruction can be a powerful tool in disputing car accident liability. The concept relies on scientific principles, physics, and engineering to recreate the sequence of events leading up to an accident. It provides an unbiased accident analysis by considering various variables; for instance, vehicle speeds, trajectories, weather, or poor infrastructure.

This objective analysis helps determine the accident’s actual contributing factors. Accident reconstruction creates visual representations of the accident using computer simulations, diagrams, and models. These demonstrations help judges, juries, insurance adjusters, or opposing parties better understand complex accident scenarios. Clear and compelling visuals can enhance the credibility of the disputed claims and arguments.

Lawyers hire accident reconstruction experts to analyze the physical evidence, witness statements, and other relevant data relating to the accident. Their expertise can be used to corroborate your version of events and challenge the opposing driver’s claims.

Collect witness testimony

Individuals who were there at the accident scene, like other drivers or pedestrians, can provide accounts that support what really happened in the moments before the crash. Police officers who responded to the scene may also have statements as to what they witnessed when they arrived.

Because witnesses are pivotal in car accident trials, write down the names and contact information of those present. Memory can be difficult to preserve, and submitted recorded statements, as early as they can be reliably collected, can be key to lowering the percentage of fault for your accident.

California’s Contributory Negligence Law

Contributory negligence laws come into play when both parties ultimately share some degree of fault.

California follows a pure comparative fault system, which means that even if you are partially at fault, you can still recover damages. The court examines the evidence presented and considers factors like actions, negligence, and other relevant circumstances to assign this share.

Once the percentages of fault are determined, the damages awarded to the plaintiff are adjusted accordingly. California’s approach implies that any compensation awarded to the plaintiff is decreased by their percentage of blame. For example, if you’re deemed to be 30% at fault, and the total compensation is $100,000, you’ll be awarded $70,000.

Even if one motorist is 90% at fault, they can still receive 10% of the total damages when compensation is calculated to reflect their accountability. This approach recognizes that accidents often involve multiple factors, and in some cases, one party cannot bear all the blame. By considering the respective degrees of fault, the court can determine a fair and equitable distribution of damages.

Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney at LA Century Law Today

Disputing liability in a car accident requires a strategic approach and extensive legal knowledge. It is difficult to dispute fault for a car accident alone to the insurance company. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer early on in the process increases your chances of a favorable outcome. With a 99% success rate in handling injury cases, LA Century Law can:

  • Assess the validity of your case and provide tailored advice
  • Gather relevant proof to support your version of events
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
  • Represent you in court if a resolution cannot be reached through mediation

The path to a successful dispute lies in presenting solid evidence that protects your rights to the fullest amount of compensation. Contact us at LA Century Law for a free initial consultation and case assessment.

FAQs on How to Dispute Car Accident Fault

Can I dispute a car accident fault if the police report favors the other motorist?

A police report is not the sole determining factor in assigning fault. Our car accident attorneys can review the report, assemble additional evidence, and build a robust case that supports your side of the story.

What if an insurance company denies my claim based on the defendant’s account?

You can challenge the insurance company’s decision and negotiate better terms. Leave this in the hands of an experienced auto accident attorney.

Who's at Fault for a Self-Driving Car Accident in California?

Who’s at Fault for a Self-Driving Car Accident in California?

With the technology’s new nature, self-driving cars create a lot of confusion regarding what happens if you get into an accident with one. In California, there are increasingly more cars on the road that offer hands-free driving. With it comes an increased risk of failing to intervene in time to avoid an accident.

At LA Century Law, our Tarzana auto accident lawyers can help you know who’s at fault for a self-driving car accident and the compensation you may be entitled to from the at-fault party. Contact us to begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your crash with a self-driving car.

Misconceptions With Self-Driving Cars

A truly autonomous or self-driving car is not commercially available as of July 2023. New cars offer a whole range of assisted driving features, but even with these features, cars cannot autonomously drive as of yet.

In California, no car is actually able to be driven without someone behind the wheel to guide the vehicle and intervene if necessary.

There are certain jurisdictions, like San Francisco, that have allowed autonomous cars to operate without a driver inside, but this is not without its problems. Our focus is on vehicles that transport individuals with a driver behind the wheel who is supposed to be responsible for maneuvering the car when needed.

Cars with self-driving features

Auto manufacturers, such as Ford, Cadillac, and Tesla, include a number of assisted driving features onboard their newer vehicle models. Some of the advanced driver assistance features available include:

  • Lane-change assistance
  • Lane-centering assistance
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot and collision warnings

The combination of these and other features come together to give drivers a near-fully assisted driving experience. There are many tasks that the vehicle is able to perform with no driver input, though legally, a driver must always be present and aware in the driver’s seat.

Self-driving vehicle claims by manufacturers

Recently, with confusion among the public about the degrees of autonomy that vehicles can demonstrate, California passed a law that bans manufacturers from claiming their vehicles are “self-driving” for the time being.

Self-Driving Vehicles in California

There is no law against a self-driving vehicle in California, but all vehicles on the road are required by state law (CVC 38750) to have a driver behind the wheel at all times, and they must follow all traffic laws. This includes not driving distracted.

Fault in a Self-Driving Car Accident

When a self-driving car accident occurs, fault for the accident will still be determined the same way it is now, with the driver of the autonomous car being responsible for taking action when the self-driving features fail to prevent an accident from happening. The law will still require the self-driving vehicle to have a human driver to take over control.

Manufacturer and software developer fault

If the accident is an isolated case, then it is unlikely that a vehicle defect or a software bug could be to blame. Attempting to place fault on a manufacturer or a software developer for a single accident would be a difficult task; a true defect or bug would be more likely if many cases of the defect or bug could be proven under the umbrella of a class action suit.

Lawyers for Self-Driving Car Accidents

When a self-driving car accident occurs, it is important to seek legal guidance from an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who understands the steps you need to take to pursue a compensation claim for your injuries and damages. There is no need to try to navigate the complexities of a personal injury claim on your own while still trying to heal from your injuries.

At LA Century Law, our skilled personal injury lawyers offer clients a range of benefits and assistance. Our legal professionals have a deep knowledge of the state’s current self-driving laws and how they can be interpreted based on the specifics of your accident. We investigate whether the fault for your accident lies with the other driver or potentially the vehicle’s manufacturer.

When against the insurance company, we’re familiar with their tactics and will advocate for you in court if necessary.

The car accident lawyers at LA Century Law are available for a free consultation to discuss the specific factors that affect your accident claim. Let us represent you in your self-driving car accident case.

FAQs About Autonomous Vehicles

How soon could fully autonomous vehicles be a reality?

Automobile manufacturers like Tesla, Cadillac, and Ford are in a heated race. They have hope to have publicly available, fully-autonomous vehicles on the market by the end of 2023.

Who is at fault if a self-driving vehicle hits a pedestrian?

If a pedestrian were hit, the driver of the vehicle would be at-fault for not intervening to stop the collision. The pedestrian could potentially share fault if they were crossing illegally — known as jaywalking.

How Often Are Hit and Run Drivers Caught?

How Often Are Hit and Run Drivers Caught?

A hit and run accident occurs when a driver flees the scene of an accident. When the driver flees the scene, you cannot exchange insurance information or contact information, which can make it more difficult for you to pursue compensation for the damages to your vehicle or your injuries.

As many as 50% of auto accidents in the Los Angeles area are hit and runs—a much higher rate than the rest of the nation, which is around 11%. Unfortunately, Los Angeles police officers only catch an average of 8-12% of hit and run drivers. Contact a Tarzana hit and run accident lawyer today for a consultation from our seasoned attorneys.

Why are Hit and Run Accidents So Complicated?

Hit and run accidents complicate the investigation process for a number of reasons.

The need to establish proof

After a hit and run, Los Angeles police can only make an arrest if they can prove that the driver was behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Without proof, they cannot simply bring someone in; a sign of vehicle damage alone is usually inconclusive. Specific evidence must be relied on like:

  • Injuries on the driver
  • A description of the driver
  • A confession from the driver

Often, even if the police have some evidence of who might have been driving the vehicle, they cannot clearly establish liability.

Lack of evidence

Many hit and run accidents simply do not leave evidence behind. The accident occurs in the blink of an eye. People around the scene of the accident may focus on the injured party and providing aid rather than on the fleeing vehicle. Many witnesses may also not realize that the driver intends to flee the scene until it occurs.

Security camera footage can sometimes help identify the vehicle involved in a hit and run, but not always. In most cases, the footage proves grainy and difficult to put together. It may not even capture the make and model of a vehicle, much less its license plate–and, of course, even identifying the vehicle does not serve to identify the driver at the time.

High number of hit and run accidents

The vast number of hit and run accidents in Los Angeles makes it difficult for police to effectively investigate all of them. As a result, officers may end up devoting their resources to cases with more information and evidence, which means that other cases may slip through the cracks.

Aiding in Your Hit and Run Investigation: What Can You Do?

If you suffer injuries in a  hit and run, you can do several things to aid in the investigation.

Record your statement as soon as possible

Work with the police to record a statement about the hit and run accident as soon as possible, while you can still remember the details of the accident. Do not wait until considerable time has passed since your accident since you may no longer remember the details that led to it.

Provide all the information you can

Do not hold back information after your hit and run. Provide the police with as much evidence and information as possible so that they can conduct a full investigation.

Cooperate with the investigation

Allow the police access to any records involving your vehicle or accident, including your medical records. Let them take a look at the damage to the vehicle, if needed.

The Los Angeles police note that members of the community, including hit and run accident victims, should not attempt to confront the driver who caused the accident themselves. Instead, after an accident, focus on collecting as much information as you can so that you can provide the police with essential evidence that can help them investigate.

Contact a Lawyer for Help With Your Uninsured Motorist Claim

When you suffer injuries in an accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance, you can use your uninsured motorist insurance to cover those damages. The same applies to a hit and run. If you do not have insurance information or contact information for the driver that caused your accident, your uninsured motorist coverage will cover those damages.

Contact us at LA Century Law today to discuss your hit and run accident.

FAQs about Hit and Run Accidents

How can I get compensation for a hit and run accident in Los Angeles?

Your uninsured motorist coverage may cover the damages from a hit and run in Los Angeles. Contact a lawyer to learn more about your specific right to compensation.

What information should I note after a hit and run?

After a hit and run accident, make note of as much information about the liable driver and vehicle as possible. You should include the following:

  • Vehicle make and model
  • License plate number
  • A description of the driver
  • Anything else you remember about the event

The more information you can provide, the better the odds that the police will find the driver that fled the scene.

What If Poor Road Conditions Cause an Accident in California?

What If Poor Road Conditions Cause an Accident in California?

Not all accidents are caused by human error. Poor road conditions result in dangerous accidents that may harm individuals in a single vehicle or affect multiple drivers on the road.

If poor road conditions caused your accident, you might be led to believe the accident was “nobody’s fault.” This simply isn’t true. An experienced car accident injury attorney at LA Century Law can help you determine whether poor road conditions were a factor in your accident and whether the city, county, or state government may be liable for related injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Poor Road Conditions that Cause Accidents in California

According to data from the Department of Transportation, California’s roads are ranked the worst for roughness, with 44% of roads in poor condition. Some of the most common road conditions that cause accidents include:


Items on the roadways can be difficult to spot when traveling at high speeds on roads congested with traffic. Common road debris includes tires, parts of vehicles, trash, household items, construction debris, or even pieces of road infrastructure. In these situations, liability depends on the entity responsible for losing the debris and how long it’s been a hazard to road travel.

Deteriorated roads

Potholes, uneven pavement, damaged guardrails, deteriorated medians, etc., can all be responsible for serious vehicle accidents. All too often, the government agencies responsible for maintenance have fielded multiple reports regarding a single road issue.

Missing infrastructure

Government agencies are responsible for replacing damaged or missing infrastructure that keep the roads safe. Every piece is positioned for a reason, from signage to guardrails, to maintain safety. Missing signs or faulty traffic lights can be responsible for collisions. Damaged or missing guardrails cause injuries and fatalities. Inadequate street lighting can lead to accidents in the evening or at night.

Poor maintenance

Government agencies are responsible for maintaining the roads within their borders. Failure to keep up with maintenance requirements can make roads unsafe. For example, overgrowth that hasn’t been cut back restricts visibility and can damage passing vehicles. Faded street markings or obstructed signs prevent drivers from seeing the rules of the road. When agencies don’t fix these problems, they’re liable for the accidents they cause.

How to Determine Liability in Accidents Caused by Bad Road Conditions

In order to get compensation for your injuries in an accident caused by poor road conditions, you must first determine who is at fault. For instance, building materials that slid off of a truck in front of you is the responsibility of that driver. On the other hand, a pothole that caused your tire to blow out is likely to be the responsibility of the local or state government.

To establish liability, you also have to prove that the party in question was negligent. In other words, they knew about the issue and didn’t take the proper steps to help drivers avoid injury. Additionally, if you suspect a government agency is responsible, you have to file a special claim, called an administrative claim, before you can file in court. In California, this claim must be filed within six months of your injury.

The procedure of establishing and proving negligence or liability for bad road conditions can be complicated and time-consuming. As a result, it can be challenging to achieve on your own. Time is of the essence when attempting to prove such a complex case. That’s why we recommend speaking with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact the Attorneys at LA Century Law

If you were injured in a car accident due to poor road conditions in California, you have the right to claim compensation from the responsible party. The experienced car accident attorneys at LA Century Law are familiar with the process of filing administrative claims and other essential documents involved in cases surrounding unsafe roads. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to determine who is at fault for an accident caused by poor road conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do first if I’m involved in an accident caused by bad road conditions?

Safety is the most important objective after any car accident. Assess the injuries of those in your vehicle and immediately call 911 for medical assistance. If you’re uninjured, you can assess injuries sustained by any other individuals involved in the accident. If you’re uninjured and it’s safe to do so, you should take pictures of the scene to provide as evidence in your case.

Why do I need an attorney to prove my case?

There are very specific regulations about how to prove liability in an accident caused by poor road conditions. Experienced accident injury attorneys are familiar with the procedure and can handle your case accurately.

Is It Illegal to Drive With Headphones in California?

Is It Illegal to Drive With Headphones in California?

With the long commutes and slow traffic, it can be tempting to drive with headphones on in California. Whether drivers are looking to tune everything out or entertain themselves with an audiobook or music, wearing headphones while driving puts others at risk of serious injury or death.

For the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, the state of California has implemented laws that prohibit the wearing of headphones while operating a motor vehicle.

Drivers who wear headphones may not only violate California law but also be liable for injuries and damage in the event of an accident. If you’re injured by a distracted driver in California, contact our auto accident attorneys at LA Century Law.

What are the Dangers of Wearing Headphones While Driving?

Wearing any sort of device, whether it be earbuds or on-ear headphones, is an immense distraction for any driver. It puts drivers in a vulnerable position, being unable to hear surrounding traffic and potential accident cues, emergency vehicles, and car horns.

Not to mention, getting caught up in a favorite song or concentrating on a podcast can critically impact an individual’s cognitive focus. Having headphones on makes drivers more prone to tuning everything else out.

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that involved another driver wearing headphones in California, it’s important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.

What is California’s Law for Wearing Headphones While Driving?

California law states that the use of devices, whether covering or inserted into both ears, is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle. This includes bicyclists and all motor vehicles — not just cars.

The following scenarios have exceptions and do not include the wearing of headphones for entertainment purposes:

  • Individuals operating authorized emergency vehicles
  • Individuals who need to wear safety equipment, such as protective gear for ears, while operating during waste collection
  • Individuals who are involved in highway construction and operating special equipment
  • Individuals who are wearing specially designed protective ear coverings to reduce injurious levels of noise
  • Individuals who need to wear other ear coverings, such as devices that aid in hearing

Dealing with the aftermath of car accidents can have a mental and physical toll on the victim. An attorney can help ease the burden of dealing with insurance companies and legal paperwork, as well as ensure all parties are properly investigated.

Are There Penalties for Being Caught Wearing Headphones While Driving in California?

What happens if someone were to get caught while driving with headphones on in California? This is a violation of California Vehicle Code 27400, and the penalties are as follows:

  • A person who is caught violating California Vehicle Code 27400 may receive a fine of$197.
  • Violators will receive one point on their DMV driving record.
  • The DMV may impose a suspension of the person’s driver’s license if they receive a certain number of points within a given period of time.

If the person was doing other illegal activities while driving with headphones, the citation and punishment could be more severe. Additionally, if the driver collides with a pedestrian or another driver, it could warrant a personal injury lawsuit.

In California, if the victim is able to show that the driver who collided with them was wearing headphones, the law will recognize the driver as negligent, and no further proof is needed to determine whether or not they were distracted.

Each state is different when it comes to the complexities of laws surrounding the use of technology in cars. With that said it can be hard to keep up or understand specifically what is considered illegal, considering technology and devices are ever-changing.

What to Do If Injured in a Crash by a Driver Wearing Headphones

Calling 911 is the first thing someone should do if they are injured in a crash. Seeking medical assistance could be life-saving. From there, the victim should do the following to increase their chance of receiving full compensation and protecting their rights.

File a report with law enforcement

Law enforcement will do a preliminary investigation which will allow them to document all necessary items.

Continue to document everything

If there is damage to the victim’s body or car, take photos. Continue documenting any injuries, whether they are visible or not. Also, be sure to obtain the person who was responsible for the accident’s personal information, like name, address, and insurance information. If there are any nearby witnesses, obtaining their information could also help authorities and insurance companies determine who is at fault.

Seek guidance from an experienced attorney

Hiring a professional who specializes in car accidents and personal injury claims will help you navigate through the complex legal process of filing a claim.

Driving with headphones on in California is illegal, and if someone causes an accident or injury while wearing them, they should be held accountable. It’s not uncommon for liable parties to suddenly stop cooperating, making the process even more difficult.

Consult with LA Century Law Regarding California’s Headphone Law

LA Century Law is experienced in car accidents and personal injury claims where distraction and negligence are factors. We are dedicated to civil litigation and can assist individuals who fall victim to someone operating a vehicle while wearing headphones.

Those involved may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other expenses. Contact us today for a free consultation, where our team of professionals will walk you through the claims process.

FAQs About Headphone Use Behind the Wheel

Is it illegal to wear headphones while driving in California?

Yes; it is illegal to operate any motorized vehicle, including bicycles. With that said, having one earpod or earphone in just one ear is acceptable by law, although can be difficult to prove.

What is the punishment for violating California Vehicle Code 27400?

A standard $197 ticket will be given if someone is pulled over while wearing headphones. More severe punishments and fines may be given to those who caused an accident, or injury, or were involved in other illegal activities. Points on the responsible party’s DMV license may also occur.

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