Anyone who has spent two hours commuting thirty miles to work through the congested freeways of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, or virtually anywhere in Southern California knows how frequently a Los Angeles County car accident can snarl traffic on area freeways. Heavy traffic and stop and go traffic flow often result in collisions. While some of these heavy traffic collisions occur at relatively low rates of speed, this does not mean that they cannot result in serious injury. Some of the most debilitating whiplash injuries can cause physical discomfort and disability for months. While whiplash injuries are sometimes the subject of comic treatment in movies and television, they are no laughing matter. The symptoms of whiplash can last years, and some patients never become asymptomatic
Why Do Many Los Angeles County Car Accidents Result in Catastrophic Injuries?
There are certain types of Los Angeles County car accidents that involve a higher probability of devastating life-altering injuries like brain damage, spinal cord injury, amputation of limbs and paraplegia or quadriplegia. These include collisions involving vehicles that are drastically different in size such as when a passenger vehicle collides with a massive tractor-trailer or a relatively diminutive motorcycle or bicycle weighing less than eighty pounds. The potential horrific nature of such collisions can be attributed to Newton’s Second Law of Physics: Force is equal to mass times acceleration (F = M x A).
The other variable in this equation is acceleration or speed. This is why accidents involving speeding drivers typically result in more serious injuries and higher fatality rates. Some sources indicate that as many as 38 percent of all highway fatalities throughout California including Los Angeles County involve drivers that are speeding. The situation only gets worse when one looks closer at the accident data and finds that young inexperienced male teen drivers, who present the greatest risk of being involved in a fatal car accident, are also among the drivers most likely to be involved in a collision while intoxicated.
If you are involved in a serious Los Angeles County car accident with a driver who is speeding, drunk or distracted, the results can be life-altering. These types of negligent driving (i.e. unreasonably unsafe driving) claim the lives of tens of thousands of people annually and result in permanent debilitating injuries to many more Los Angeles County car accident victims. If you are involved in a collision on any of the highways or city streets in the Los Angeles County area, it can affect your life in profound ways. Experienced Los Angeles County car accident lawyers often represent clients that have lost the ability to walk, communicate, work, perceive the world or even breathe on their own. When you suffer this type of life-altering injury, the resources that are available for the best possible medical care and the highest quality of life may depend on the recovery you obtain by working with a skilled Los Angeles County car accident lawyer.
The Most Common Risk Factors Contributing to Los Angeles County Car Accidents
Many Los Angeles County car accidents are the product of human error by careless drivers who fail to obey traffic safety rules because they are trying to cut minutes off their commute when fighting their way through “the parking lots” otherwise known as Los Angeles freeways at they endure tough commutes to Santa Monica, Burbank, Downey and other areas throughout Los Angeles County. Drivers that are rushing and careless may speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic or otherwise engage in high risk driving behavior. If you observe a driver engaged in this type of aggressive driving, the best course of action is too allow the driver to pass and stay clear of this accident waiting to happen.
There are certain types of risk factors that are involved in a large number of accidents including the following:
Speeding: Driving at an unsafe speed is particularly dangerous because it makes it more likely that a driver will be involved in an accident and typically results in more severe injuries. When traveling at high rates of speed, a driver needs greater braking distances to avoid a sudden stop in the flow of traffic or other roadway hazard. The handling of most passenger vehicles are also compromised at higher rates of speed, which increases the probability that a vehicle may roll over or that the driver may lose control of the vehicle and collide with another vehicle or run off the road. Most Los Angeles County car accident lawyers will tell you that speeding is one of the most dangerous traffic violations.
Tailgating: Even if you are not traveling at an unsafe speed, the risk of being involved in a collision is unacceptably high if you fail to honor the two-second rule. Many drivers do not understand the complex processes that must occur to stop suddenly in an emergency. A driver must perceive the danger, react to the danger by applying the brakes and decelerate the vehicle to a stop. This process takes time so an adequate following distance is essential. When the roadway is wet, many vehicle safety experts suggest this following distance should be increased to four seconds.
Cell Phone Use: Most people would never consider “multi-tasking” when operating a dangerous weapon like a firearm, but they do not hesitate to multi-task while operating a passenger vehicle that weighs at least 3,000 pounds when moving at freeway speeds. Studies conducted by researchers at the University of Utah found that drivers that were texting while driving had slower braking reaction times than drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, which is the legal limit for DUI. Most Los Angeles car accident lawyers report that a growing number of personal injury victims are injured in distracted driving collisions.
Drunk/Drugged Driving: A driver that is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug or alcohol may experience impaired judgment, delayed reaction time, distorted perception, drowsiness and other factors that deteriorate one’s mental and physical driving skills. Drunken driving claims the lives of more than 10,000 people in alcohol related accidents annually.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving now contributes to so many car accidents that it has been designated as “the new DUI” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While the widespread use of cell phones and other portable communication devices are one common distraction, others include eating and drinking, grooming, putting on makeup, reading, adjusting the car stereo, reaching to grab an object and anything else that requires the use of one’s hands, eyes or mind.
Violation of Traffic Safety Laws: The California Rules of the Road are designed to coordinate the safe interaction of vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. When these traffic safety laws are disregarded, this coordination breaks down and collisions are the foreseeable result. Some of the traffic safety violations that Los Angeles County car accident lawyers often see involved in accident claims are violations like disregarding stop signs or traffic lights, failure to yield, unsafe turns and violation of right of way rules.
Experienced Los Angeles Car County Accident Lawyers Seeking Damages for Serious Injury
When you are injured because a driver violates traffic laws, uses a cell phone while driving or otherwise engages in negligent driving practices, your life can be fundamentally changed in the blink of any eye. Whether you suffer whiplash injuries of the neck and back or catastrophic injuries to the brain or spinal cord, you may be entitled to a wide range of compensation including the following:
- Lost income in the form of wages, salary or compensation
- Costs of medical care including hospitalization, physical therapy, medications and other treatment related expenses
- Intangible damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress and impaired enjoyment of life
- Loss of services and companionship of a spouse
- Future partial or total disability from employment
- Compensation for disfigurement
- Costs related to burial and funeral expenses in wrongful death cases
Anyone that is involved in a car accident in the metro Los Angeles County area or any of the surrounding cities should seek legal advice even if the police accident report assigned fault to you. Sometimes the police make mistakes when determining fault. Even if you are at-fault, it may be the case that both drivers or a third party share liability, which means that you may still be able to seek compensation for your injuries. An experienced Los Angeles County car accident lawyer will understand the difficult psychological, physical and financial obstacles you face and can answer your questions about your rights and remedies.
An experienced Los Angeles County car accident attorney may be able to assist you if you are injured in any of the following cities: Agoura Hills, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Burbank, Carson, Compton, Downey, El Monte, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hunington Park, Inglewood, La Mirada, Lakewood, Lancaster, Long Beach, Lynwood, Norwalk, Palmdale, Pasadena, Pomona, Redondo Beach, Rosemead, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, South Gate, Torrance, West Covina, Whittier and all smaller, less populated and unincorporated areas in the vicinity.