Fault in a Car Accident – The Do’s and Don’ts

A car accident can put you in a state of shock. You may not know how to react or what to say. 

What you say following a car accident is extremely important. Statements made at the scene (whether to other drivers, witnesses or police officers), insurance carriers, and others may have a profound effect on the outcome of your personal injury claim.

LA Century Law has seen thousands of accidents over the years. We have encountered almost every situation following an incident. Below we have summarized some of the “Dos and Do Nots” according to our attorneys.

Do’s and Don’ts of Admitting Fault in a Car Accident

DO – Wait to make statements

A car accident is a stressful event. It’s natural to want to resolve it quickly and make sense of it all. However, you’re in an elevated state right after the accident. In addition, you may have physical injuries that prevent you from thinking clearly.

Take a deep breath and a step back. You don’t have to make statements right away. Cooperate with law enforcement and provide the necessary personal information like your license and vehicle details. However, wait to give detailed information about what happened. You may be unknowingly admitting to fault, even if you’re not at fault.

DON’T – Say “Sorry!”

It’s natural to want to be polite after an accident. You may want to say, “It was my fault” or “Sorry!” in an effort to smooth things over and keep the peace. Don’t ever say you’re sorry after an accident. You can expect the other party and the insurance company to argue that you know you did something wrong if you say you’re sorry after an accident.

DO – Ask if people are okay

While you can’t say you’re sorry, one important thing that you should do is ask others if they’re okay. Secure medical attention for anyone who has any possibility of injury. Helping others is not an admission of fault. It’s important to help others arrange for prompt medical attention.

DON’T – Assume you know what legal fault is

Legal fault isn’t always clear. There are legal definitions of what fault is. When you’re in an accident, you don’t always have complete information to evaluate the situation. There may be extenuating circumstances that you’re not aware of. Fault may be shared among multiple parties. It may take an investigation and legal analysis to determine fault. 

If you make statements too soon, you may be admitting to fault when you’re not at fault. It’s better to allow your lawyer to investigate and advise you as to how legal fault may be apportioned in the case.

DO – Report the accident to the insurance company

Even though you don’t want to make incriminating statements, it’s still important that you report the accident to the insurance company as soon as you can. For now, just tell them that you were in an accident and that there are damages. If you have physical injuries or a vehicle is damaged, you can provide that general information. Tell them that your lawyer will provide more information later.

DON’T – Give the insurance company a detailed statement right away

The insurance company may want you to make a detailed statement about the accident right away. They may even ask to record it. Don’t answer detailed questions or make admissions about your actions. Remember, the insurance company makes their profit from taking in more premiums than they pay in claims. When you have legal representation, your lawyer can provide the information necessary to process your claim.

DO – Work with a lawyer

When you have a lawyer, they are your representative. They can speak on your behalf while ensuring that you avoid making incriminating statements that may damage your case. A lawyer can evaluate the information that you are presenting and ensure that any statements you make are in your best interests.

DON’T – Assume you’re at fault because the police/insurance company says so

In the aftermath of the car accident, there may be others who make statements about fault. The police will prepare a crash report, and it might state a cause of the accident. The insurance company or even the other party may make accusations of fault. Remember, these people are not the ones who ultimately decide who is at fault. Your lawyer can help you investigate and determine how the law looks at fault for the case.

DO – Respond to interrogatories and other discovery requests

As the case moves forward to formal proceedings, you may participate in discovery. You may be asked to answer interrogatory questions or give a deposition. These are situations where you may need to answer questions under oath. 

It’s important to comply with the requirements for discovery in the case. Your lawyer can prepare you for how to respond to tough or confusing questions. You can also send discovery requests. Your lawyer can help you use the discovery process effectively.

DON’T – Post on social media

Even what you say on social media can be seen as admitting fault in a car accident. The best thing to say about the car accident on social media is nothing at all. It’s common for parties and lawyers to scour social media looking for posts that may be taken as incriminating. Don’t give them the opportunity! Don’t talk about the accident on social media. It can be taken out of context and used against you.

If you admit fault in a car accident, is it admissible in court in California?

If you admit fault in a car accident, there is a good chance that your statements will be admissible against you. In the California Evidence Code, statements are not hearsay when they are offered against the declarant who is a party in the case. However, evidence that a person made a settlement offer is not admissible to show fault.

(Sources: California Evidence Code § 1220; § 1152

Lawyers to Help with Fault in a Car Accident

The best way to protect your interests is to have a lawyer guiding you through the process. At LA Century Law, our lawyers ensure that you avoid admissions of fault, and we handle all of the interactions with the insurance company and the other party for you. When you work with us, your case is in good hands. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your car accident claim.

How To Get a Police Crash Report for a Car Accident in California

It’s always important to get a copy of the police crash report when you’re in an accident. Not only should you get a copy, but you should review it carefully.

How do you get a police crash report in California? 

Our car accident lawyers explain the ways to get your crash report.

How do you get a police crash report in California?

To get a police crash report in California, make a request for the report from the agency that investigated the accident. It may be the California Highway Patrol or a local police agency. Each agency has a procedure for requesting reports, and you may make the request by mail, in person or online depending on the procedures for the agency.

How to Get a Police Crash Report for a Car Accident in California

If the crash was investigated by the California Highway Patrol:

In Person

You can go to any California Highway Patrol office to request a copy of a collision report, if the accident was investigated by the California Highway Patrol. Find your nearest California Highway Patrol office

By Mail

A party who has an interest in the accident can use form CPH 190 – Collision Request Form to request an accident report by mail.

Send the completed form to the CHP office that reported the collision. You must also submit a copy of your driver’s license, picture identification or other proof that you are a party of interest. If you don’t have the required identification, your CHP 190 form must be notarized.

An interested party is any of the following:

  • Driver
  • Passenger
  • Vehicle Owner
  • Parent of a Minor Involved
  • Legal Guardian
  • Insurance Companies
  • Attorneys
  • Coroner
  • Highway Construction and Maintenance Officials

To complete the form, you must provide the following information:

  • Date of the accident. If you’re not sure, provide as much information as you can
  • Location
  • Drivers or vehicle owners involved
  • Your name as the requester
  • Your address
  • Why you are an interested party
  • Signature
  • Fees

Through Your Insurance Company

You can ask your insurance company to provide you with a copy of the report. It may take longer to receive it, but the insurance company may not ask for a fee.

If the crash was investigated by a police agency other than the California Highway Patrol:

Each police agency has their own procedures for producing copies of police reports. Determine what agency investigated the crash. Check their website for the procedure for how to request a report, or call them and ask. Most agencies will produce crash reports in response to online, mail and in-person requests.

How do I get a police car crash report from the Los Angeles Police Department?

Los Angeles Police Traffic Collision reports are available online and through the mail. To make the request, submit the Traffic Collision Report Request Form or send a written request that includes the required information. Submit your request with a $16.00 check or money order. Cash is not accepted.

Submit your request to:

Los Angeles Police Department

Records and Identification Division

Document Processing Unit

P.O. Box 30158

Los Angeles, CA 90030

Can you get a copy of a car accident report in California if you live out of state?

Yes, you can get a copy of a car accident report in California if you live out of state. Complete and submit form CHP 190, and mail it to the appropriate CHP office, along with your identification and payment.

What does it cost to get a California car accident report?

Costs for a California car accident report are based on the size of the report:

  • 1-25 pages = $10.00
  • 26-50 pages = $20.00
  • 51-75 pages = $30.00

For most reports, the charge is $10.00. There is no handling or mailing charge.

How do you pay for a California car accident report?

The California Highway Patrol accepts personal checks and money orders for car accident reports. Cash is not accepted for mailed requests. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.

How should you review a crash report for a car accident?

As you get a copy of the police report and review it, there are several things to keep in mind.

First, look at who created the police report. It may have been created by the responding officer who appeared at the scene and investigated the accident. However, drivers may also make their own written reports of accidents.

Always consider the source and the biases of the person who wrote the report. In the case of the investigating officer, they may state who they believe is at fault for the accident. Remember that their primary purpose is determining if traffic violations or crimes have occurred. They’re not in the business of determining civil fault and sorting out complex issues of comparative negligence. The investigating officer does not take the role of the jury. The observations that they record may be important. However, they are not the final say when it comes to determining civil fault.

Second, if the crash report was submitted by a party to the accident, keep in mind that their opinions may be biased. They aren’t likely to admit that they are at fault for the accident. The report may contain helpful information about witnesses and evidence. However, by itself, it’s not proof of fault. Use the report for the ways that it can benefit you and help you build your case. But remember that the report has limitations, and it does not take over the role of the jury in determining legal fault for the accident.

Getting a copy of the police report for an accident

It’s always important to get a copy of the police report when you’re in an accident. As car accident lawyers, we review the police report as a starting point to build evidence and investigate the case. A crash report can be a helpful tool to gather information and begin to prepare your claim for compensation.

Have you been in a car accident? Contact our car accident lawyers at LA Century Law for a review of your claim.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Damages are essential elements in a personal injury case to help you recover what you lost in an accident. While most personal injury claims focus on compensatory damages, a plaintiff can also get rewarded with punitive damages in some cases. It is imperative to understand what punitive damages are to help you make informed decisions if you get involved in an accident where the defendant was negligent or reckless. 

At LA Century Law, we have experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys who can advise you on how to go about the process. Whether you suffered injuries from a car accident, truck accident, dog bites, pedestrian accident, slip and fall, bicycle and motorcycle accidents, we can help.  Contact us today for a free consultation. 

What Are Punitive Damages in California?

Punitive damages are the monetary award to a plaintiff as a form of punishment to the defendant for wrongful behavior that led to the plaintiff’s injuries. These damages are usually meant to deter the defendant and other people from engaging in harmful activities in the future. The plaintiff files a case against the defendant for the intentional and reckless activities with gross negligence that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. 

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to misconduct from another party, we can help. We are an established, dedicated, and determined law firm with experienced lawyers who can investigate your case and determine whether you can receive punitive damages for the injuries you sustained in the accident. Contact us today to speak to our reliable lawyers with an in-depth understanding of Los Angeles personal injury laws concerning punitive damages. 

Why Are Punitive Damages in California Awarded?

There are two main reasons why punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff, being that a victim has given valid evidence that the accident happened due to negligence or recklessness. Below are the reasons behind punitive damages:

  • To punish the defendant for their behavior that caused the plaintiff’s injuries, thus, decreasing the chances of repeating the same mistake. 
  • Set an example for other people who may cause accidents by behaving in a harmful manner to others.

If you or your loved one got involved in an accident and did not know whether you should pursue punitive damages, we can help. Our experienced lawyers understand Los Angeles laws concerning punitive damages and can advise you accordingly, enabling you to make informed decisions. 

Types of Punitive Damages in California

There are different types of punitive damages that you can recover following an accident caused due to recklessness, negligence, or intentionally by another party. 

Whether you got involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, dog bites, or any other personal injury-related accident, you can receive a settlement for punitive damages if you prove that the accident occurred intentionally. Speak to us today and let us help you determine what kind of punitive damages you can recover based on your case circumstances. 

How Punitive Damages Work in Los Angeles, California

Punitive damages are an addition to the other compensatory damages such as lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Not all people get punitive damages. 

It is imperative to work with an experienced personal injury attorney like LA Century Law to guide you on how punitive damages work. You will know whether you are entitled to it and how much you can receive.

Do not assume that you do not qualify to receive punitive damages without consulting a personal injury lawyer. Contact us today, and we will be glad to take you through and help you know whether to pursue compensation or not. 

Determining How Much In Punitive Damages You Can Get in California

Many factors determine how much in punitive damages the plaintiff gets. In California, there is no limit to how much one can receive as punitive damages. However, excessive or arbitrary punishments are prohibited. Below are the factors determining how much you can receive: 

  • The judge’s decision after listening to both sides.
  • The overall behavior of the defendant. 
  • The plaintiff’s awarded amount should be appropriate to the defendant’s wealth. 
  • The severity of the injuries, harm, or damage sustained in the accident due to the defendant’s actions.  
  • The relationship between the harm caused by the defendant and the punitive damages that the plaintiff expects.
  • The amount that will punish the defendant and deter them from behaving in the same manner that may cause future harm. 

It may not be easy to handle the judges if you lack legal expertise. A consultation with an experienced Los Angeles injury lawyer is the most helpful way to determine your worth. The lawyer can handle the court case and do all they can to protect your rights. Contact us today and let us evaluate your case for possible punitive damages rewards worth the injuries or damages you incurred in the accident. 

Why Should You Hire a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney When Seeking A Punitive Damages Settlement?

Handling personal injury cases can be complicated and time-consuming if you lack legal expertise. The process can be even more challenging if you are seeking punitive damages. 

It is not easy to determine how much you should receive. You may also not know the limits. It is essential to work with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney such as LA Century Law to investigate your case and handle the legal proceedings.  

The lawyer can also help you determine whether you’ve met the right criteria for receiving punitive damages. If you are eligible for compensation, the lawyer can communicate with the relevant parties and negotiate your settlement for a favorable deal.

Contact An Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you are looking to recover punitive damages you incurred in an accident due to another party’s negligence and recklessness, LA Century Law can help. Do not let it go unrecognized if you believe that extreme negligence and recklessness from the other party caused your injuries. Contact us for a free consultation. 

Punitive Damages FAQs

When are punitive damages awarded?

When the plaintiff has already received compensatory damages, the court must rule out that the money awarded is insufficient based on the injuries, harm, or damages you incurred. 

Are punitive damages awarded in every case? 

No. Punitive damages vary depending on the circumstances of your case. They are rare, but you can pursue compensation if you believe your case is valid. 

Who gets the punitive damages?

The money goes to the injured person seeking compensation, also known as the plaintiff.

California Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision happens in a fraction of a second. It may ruin your day – or change your life forever.

California is an at-fault state for all motor vehicle accidents, including rear-end collisions. If you have been hurt, you may deserve financial compensation. Our lawyers explain rear-end collisions and what to do if you’re a victim.

What is a rear-end collision?

A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle hits another from behind. The vehicle in the back hits the one in the front when both vehicles are traveling in the same direction.

What is the law that applies to rear-end collisions in California?

The law that applies to most rear-end collisions in California is California Vehicle Code § 21703. It says that a driver may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent.

When determining a reasonable following distance, all drivers must consider:

  • The speed of the vehicle in front of them
  • Traffic conditions
  • Conditions of the roadway

A driver who causes a rear-end collision will most often be cited for violating California Vehicle Code § 21703 – Following Too Closely. The law requires each driver to leave enough following distance to stop for the vehicle in front of them. 

Who is at fault for a rear-end collision?

The driver in the back is usually at fault for a rear-end collision. They must be able to stop for the vehicle in front. But there are some exceptions.

What are some reasons that rear-end collisions occur?

Some common causes of rear-end collisions are:

  • Misjudging the stopping distance needed for the vehicle in front
  • Tailgating – following too closely
  • DUI/Drunk driving
  • Texting and driving, distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Mechanical failures
  • Medical events
  • Being unfamiliar with the braking capabilities of the vehicle

Why is the driver in the back usually at fault for a rear-end collision?

The driver in the back is usually at fault for a rear-end collision because it’s their job to know what’s going on in front of them and leave enough room. It wouldn’t be practical to require the person in front to adjust their speed or driving behavior based on what the person behind them is doing. 

The person in front may not impede traffic. Impeding traffic is a violation of Vehicle Code § 22400(a), which prohibits driving at such a slow speed to block the normal movement of traffic. The person behind them must still leave enough space to react. The person in front may have contributory negligence for slamming on their brakes or driving very slowly. Still, the person in the back usually has most of the culpability for a rear-end collision.

What are some circumstances where the driver in the front is at fault for a rear-end collision?

The driver in the front may be at fault in a rear-end collision for:

  • Slamming on their brakes for no reason
  • Driving very slowly
  • Purposefully backing up into the vehicle behind them
  • Merging when there isn’t room
  • Broken taillights or other vehicle malfunction
  • Insurance fraud, purposefully causing a crash

A driver in the front can be at fault for a rear-end accident. Their fault may be total or partial.

For example, two drivers are stopped at a traffic light in a row. The driver in front accidentally (or intentionally) goes in reverse, running into the vehicle behind them. That’s a situation where the driver in front is at fault.

What is the penalty for a violation of California Vehicle Code § 21703 – Following Too Closely?

A violation of California Vehicle Code § 21703 – Following Too Closely is a civil infraction. The person cited must pay a fine. There is also one point assessed to their driver’s license. In turn, that can increase insurance rates.

Following too closely is not a crime. You’re not going to go to jail for it as long as you address the ticket and don’t miss a court date. You have the right to a hearing if you disagree with the ticket.

Are there any other laws that may be relevant to a rear-end collision?

In addition to the following too closely law (§ 21703), other laws that may be relevant in a rear-end collision are:

A person involved in a rear-end collision may receive one or more traffic citations. If they are not at fault, they should not receive a citation.

Is following too closely automatic fault in a rear-end collision case?

The party at fault for a rear-end accident will often receive a ticket for following too closely. That’s strong evidence of fault for the accident. The violation creates a presumption of negligence for the accident. The question is whether the person violated the law and whether the violation was a substantial factor in causing harm to the victim.

How to evaluate a rear-end collision

If you’re involved in a rear-end collision, know that the vehicle in the back is usually at fault – but not always. It’s important to evaluate the entire situation. Fault may be shared, and our lawyers can conduct a follow-up investigation in addition to what the police may have done.

In general, the party at fault for the accident should pay damages. All drivers should have minimum amounts of insurance to satisfy a claim. Of course, these amounts rarely cover accidents of even moderate severity, so it’s important to look further. The driver may have additional coverage, or you may have additional insurance that covers collisions, medical expenses, or an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Lawyers for Rear-End Collisions

Our lawyers can help you evaluate the circumstances and claim fair compensation following a rear-end accident. At LA Century Law, we help individuals and families. We’re committed to helping each client receive fair compensation for injuries, damages, and harms. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

The Four “Ds” – The Four Most Common Causes Of Car Accidents

Approximately 32,000 lose their lives in car accidents each year. In California, between 2013 and 2019, the average number of deaths from car accidents was 3,500.

Until such time as cars become fully autonomous and additional safety precautions are added, it will be difficult to curb and limit the number of car accidents and deaths that can result therefrom. Therefore, it is important to understand the four most common causes of car accidents or “The Four Ds”.

THE FOUR “DS”

The four most common causes of car accidents are (1) Distraction; (2) Drowsiness; (3) Drunkenness; and (4) Driver Error.

With cell phones outlawed, the state has moved in the right direction to limit distracted driving. However, not all drivers follow the law. It is important to always stay alert. If you are feeling tired, pull to the side of the road. The risk of life is too high to risk driving with any of the “Four Ds”.

What is “Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage and Why it’s Important

Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage is a form of automobile coverage that allows you to collect from your own insurance carrier when a driver of another vehicle has no insurance or inadequate insurance to cover you for injuries they may have caused.

WHY IS “UNINSURED” AND “UNDERINSURED” MOTORISTS COVERAGE SO IMPORTANT?

In California, 1 in 7 drivers are driving without car insurance. That means that if they cause an accident and do not have adequate assets, you may not be able to collect compensation for your injuries. This is why “Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage is so important.

Further, California only requires that drivers maintain a minimal automobile insurance policy in the amount of $15,000.

If another driver crashes into you, and they only have a minimal policy ($15,000), you may not be able to collect above that amount without “Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage.

By way of example, let’s say that you are involved in an accident and your medical bills are in the amount of $100,000. Now, let’s assume that you have a $100,000 “Uninsured” and/or “Underinsured” Insurance Policy. Using the example above, you would be able to collect $15,000 from the other driver’s insurance AND another $75,000 from your own insurance using Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage.

This way you can make two claims – one against the other driver’s insurance carrier and one against your own insurance carrier.

BUT DOES MY PREMIUM OR INSURANCE RATE GO UP IF I TRIGGER MY UNINSURED” AND “UNDERINSURED” MOTORISTS COVERAGE?

The answer is generally no. if another driver was at fault for the crash, using your Uninsured” and “Underinsured” Motorists Coverage should not increase your insurance rate or premium.

Contact our experienced car accident attorneys at LA Century Law today!

What Is “Lien” Care?

If you have ever been involved in an accident or have otherwise contacted an injury attorney, chances are you have heard of “care on lien” or “lien care”.

So, what does it mean?

WHAT IS IT?

Lien care is when a health care provider defers getting paid for their services until such time as your case settle. In exchange for this deferment, the health care provider will place a “lien” on the potential settlement proceeds from your matter. It is out of those proceeds that they are paid.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LIEN CARE?

There are many benefits to lien care. For starters, it avoids the red-tape that is usually associated with insurance coverage. Generally, insurance companies require individuals to get treatment from an “in network” provider. This can cause a number of issues. First, it can cause delays in getting you into treatment or finding the right provider. Next, in some situations, there is no doctor “in network” that is available. What’s more, even if the doctor is in network, they may be located miles away.

There are also situations where people do not have health insurance. By using lien care, an injured party that would otherwise be unable to get healthcare and proper medical treatment. With lien care, all of these issues can be avoided. We are able to get you into treatment immediately so that there is no delay in getting you to a doctor.

ARE LIEN DOCTORS REAL DOCTORS?

Yes. Lien doctors are excellent, “real” doctors that prefer a deferment method instead of going through insurance companies. We have a large network of doctors who we trust and are the best in their field.

There are also situations where people do not have health insurance. By using lien care, an injured party that would otherwise be unable to get healthcare and proper medical treatment. With lien care, all of these issues can be avoided. We are able to get you into treatment immediately so that there is no delay in getting you to a doctor.

OTHER BENEFITS

Another huge benefit with lien care is that we can schedule you with a doctor almost immediately. Meaning there is no gap in treatment. Insurance companies ignore the fact that it is difficult to find the right doctor or one within your insurance network. By going to a lien doctor, we can get you in treatment the same day. This is important because insurance carriers try to argue that a gap in treatment means the individual was not actually injured.

Contact our experienced attorneys at LA Century Law today!

Can You Still Recover Money Damages If You Are Responsible For A Car Accident?

The answer is yes. Even if you are responsible for a car accident in California, you are still entitled to compensation so long as you are not 100% at fault. The reason for this is that California is what is referred to as a “comparative fault” state.

WHAT IS COMPARATIVE FAULT?

Comparative fault allows you to recover even if you are 99% at fault. Fault in “comparative fault” jurisdictions like California apportion fault by percentage. For example, one party can be 70% at fault and the other 30%. Even if you are the one that was more at fault for the car accident, you are still entitled to money damages. It does not matter so long as you are not fully (or 100%) at fault for the accident.

Other states (not California) have different forms of fault allocation. For example, in Montana if you are 51% at fault you cannot recover anything.

California laws are very favorable in this regard and that is why it is important to establish proper liability and liability allocation between the parties. This can be achieved with the help of an experienced attorney.

ESTABLISHING LIABILITY?

In comparative fault jurisdictions like California, it is important to hire an attorney to help establish liability or to prove that the other driver is more liable for the accident than you are. This will increase the value of your case and your ability to recover money damages.

Call our experienced attorneys at LA Century Law now for a free consultation.

What’s My Car Accident Case Worth?

We receive plenty of calls from clients asking the same question after being involved in a car accident – what is my case worth?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is rather complicated. We always advise all potential clients to be sceptical of any attorney that attempts to provide a definitive answer to this inquiry.

The simple fact is no one knows what a case is worth until both the investigation of the claim and the client’s treatment have both been completed. This is one of the reasons why it is important to make sure you have the right representation from the start of your injury claim.

Below we identified some of the major factors associated with determining the value of an injury claim. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

Insurance Policy

California requires every individual to maintain a car insurance policy. The minimal insurance policy required in California is $15,000. When involved in a crash, we go after the insurance policy. Insurance policies can range from the minimum of $15,000 all the way to the millions. Determining the insurance policy is an important step to your case. The reason being is that most individuals do not have personal assets beyond the insurance policy to go after. Generally, we will try to exhaust every dollar of the insurance policy.

Severity of Injury

An injury claim is made to compensate individuals for their damages. This includes economic damages (e.g. medical expenses, loss of earnings, etc.) and also non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering, impact of injuries on a person’s life, etc.) We send our clients to the top medical providers in the state to ensure they receive the proper medical treatment to fully recover from their injuries, and because these providers keep meticulous notes that clearly communicate necessary treatment and future care plans.  It is important for medical records to accurately reflect an injured person’s complaints. When medical providers fail to properly memorialize this important information it can be very detrimental to a client’s claim.

Medical Expenses

Another major component when considering the value of your case is the amount, the type, and cost of treatment needed. Medical procedures such as surgeries and injections are much more costly and will dramatically increase the value of a claim. As discussed above, an injury claim gives you the right to collect economic damages, which includes medical costs.

Whether Future Care Is Needed

If future medical care and treatment is needed, it will add value to your case. The law requires that a party make you whole. If you require additional treatment, the insurance carrier must compensate you for these anticipated costs and procedures. This cannot be evaluated until the conclusion of a case when final recommendations are made. In some situations, an individual will reach max recovery, meaning that no more future care is needed.

Whether The Injury Is Chronic

If the injury will last for several years, or even a lifetime following the crash, the carrier will be responsible to compensate you for this amount. This is another reason why case value is unknown until treatment and investigation are finalized.

Loss Of Income

A carrier must compensate you for all the wages you lose as a result of the injury, as well potential future earnings lost. If you had to miss work to seek treatment or were unable to work because of an injury, the law provides that you must be compensated for this loss. It is important to keep records of all days missed and that may be missed in order to seek treatment.

Extent Of Damage To Your Vehicle

Insurance companies will also look at the extent of the damage to your vehicle to analyze case value. If a case has relatively low property damage like a fender bender, the value placed on the case by the insurance carrier will generally be lower. Alternatively, if a car has been totaled or has extensive damage, the offers presented are typically higher. We understand that there is not always a relationship between property damage and injuries sustained; however, this is a metric often used by the insurance company to assign value to a claim.

Whether Your Injury Caused Scarring Or Permanent Disability

In some instances, an injury claim can result in scarring or permanent disfigurement. For example, in a dog bite matter, the scar can last a lifetime. If this happens, the value of your case will be significantly more since you must be compensated for a permanent scar, which would not have existed “but for” the incident.

Consistency In Treatment

One of the main tools used by Insurance Companies to devalue and diminish your claim is any gaps in treatment. Our providers lay out a comprehensive treatment plan right away. It is vital that the treatment plan be adhered to so that you can recover fully, and that the insurance companies cannot use any inconsistencies with treatment against you.

It is important to gather as much information as possible regarding the effect of your injury on your life. Not all injuries are the same, and not all injuries affect everyone equally. It is important you are represented by counsel who understands the nuances of each respective injury and how these affect YOU on a personal level.

Do not play games with your future. Make sure you are properly represented from the commencement of your action.

Call our experienced attorneys at LA Century Law now for a free consultation.

Traffic Collision Reports – Why They Are Important And How To Obtain A Copy in the City of Beverly Hills

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to call the police right away and have them complete a Traffic Collision Report. A Traffic Collision Report (“TCR”) or a police report is important when you are involved in a car accident for a number of reasons. First, the TCR will serve as evidence for your injury claim. It summarizes the name(s), address(es), contact information, and insurance information of all the parties involved. It also provides the officer’s opinion as to the “cause” of the collision. But, how do you obtain a copy once it has been completed in the City of Beverly Hills, California?

How To Obtain Your Tcr?

1. ONLINE

You can make a request for a TCR online at the following web address: https://www.beverlyhills.org/departments/policedepartment/onlineservices/trafficcollisionreports/web.jsp. Make sure to have the TCR Number available. This will usually be provided by the officer to you at the scene of the accident.

2. IN WRITING

You can make a written request to the Beverly Hills Sheriff Department by delivering a written request to:

Beverly Hills Police Department
Records Bureau
464 N. Rexford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Draft a letter that states the TCR information and mail a copy of the request to the address above. We suggest including a prepaid envelope that is self-addressed to the location you would like the TCR mailed to. Make sure to include payment for the TCR. You can call the Beverly Hills Sheriff station to find out the amount required to be paid to obtain the TCR at (310) 285 – 2187.

3. IN PERSON

You can also appear in-person directly at the Beverly Hills Sheriff Station at the following address: Beverly Hills Police Department 464 N Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Make sure to bring valid identification in order to obtain the report.

Is The Tcr Free?

Unfortunately, not. TCRs cost a fee paid directly to the City of Beverly Hills.

Why Contact An Attorney?

At LA Century Law we will directly obtain the report on your behalf and advance any and all fees associated with its production. Contact our office now for a free consultation.

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