Our West Covina personal injury attorneys serve the San Gabriel Valley of California, east of Downtown Los Angeles. Though it is positioned a bit outside the Los Angeles city limits, West Covina is a bustling community of its own, and is home to a diverse population of more than 106,000 people. Additionally, the community’s many retail, hospitality and recreational facilities have made West Covina a hub in the greater Inland Empire region.
However, living in a thriving community near such an urban hub does come at a price, and that price is often driver safety. This area is known throughout the country for its congested and sometimes chaotic freeways, and residents of the area face a number of risks when taking to the roads. That includes the risk for car accident. If you have been injured in West Covina, Covina, or El Monte, call personal injury attorney Joshua W. Glotzer to discuss your case at (626) 497-8355. We offer a free consultation and you pay nothing unless we win.
Personal Injury Practice Areas
Throughout West Covina, CA, we assist accident victims in all personal injury matters including:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Brain Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- See All Practice Areas
Potential Damages Available to You Following an Accident
The two basic types of damages in a personal injury claim, including an auto accident, are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are usually broken down into general and special damages. The goal of compensatory damages is to make the plaintiff whole again. While this is not always possible, special compensatory damages can reimburse a plaintiff for:
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- All medical expenses;
- Cost of future medical expenses;
- Household expenses related to injuries
General damages compensate the plaintiff for non-monetary damages, including:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional trauma;
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
If a death occurred because of the negligence of another person, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted. A wrongful death claim provides damages for surviving family members or loved ones. Wrongful death damages can include:
- Burial and funeral expenses;
- Medical care which occurred prior to the death;
- Loss of financial contributions to the family;
- Loss of companionship and consortium, and
- Loss of services and support.
Finally, punitive damages are awarded when the behavior of the defendant was truly reprehensible or malicious. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant as well as to deter the same type of behavior in others.
California Statute of Limitations To Pursue A Personal Injury Claim
The California Code of Civil Procedures, Section 335.1, allows you two years from the time of your accident in which to file a lawsuit. The statutes of limitations vary from state to state, however they all provide a specific time limit a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit after being injured by a negligent party. Under California Code of Civil Procedures, Section 338, you have three years to file a property damage lawsuit, beginning on the day of the accident.
It is very important that you are aware of these statutes and that you don’t exceed the amount of time allowed, or you could be forever barred from filing a lawsuit and collecting compensation for your injuries and property damages.
California Laws Regarding Fault
Different states operate under different types of “fault” laws. Some states are “no-fault” states, meaning no matter whose fault the accident is, each driver’s insurance company pays for the injuries and damages. Other states operate under contributory negligence or comparative negligence, and under the comparative negligence umbrella are pure comparative or modified comparative.
The state of California, along with twelve other states, operate under pure comparative fault, allowing a damaged party to recover, even if that party is as much as 99 percent at fault. The recovery is, however, reduced by the damaged party’s degree of fault.
Have You Been Injured In a Car Accident?
Like any busy, bustling city, auto accidents unfortunately occur in West Covina. In 2014, there were six auto accident fatalities. Three of the people involved in those accidents were impaired by drugs or alcohol, and one of the fatalities was a pedestrian. These fatal auto accidents in West Covina occurred on Hollenbeck Street, Sunset Avenue, Rowland Avenue, Cameron Avenue and Barranca Avenue. West Covina did not, fortunately, make the list for the worst drivers in California.
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, then you understand that it can be the beginning of a stressful period of time. In addition to facing anxiety or shock over the situation, many people are so overwhelmed that they fail to keep up with necessary steps, like reporting the incident or dealing with the negligent individual’s insurance provider.
That’s where a qualified personal injury attorney comes in. The fact is, these types of accidents are not always easy to assess. Many situations boil down to “he said/she said”, or require additional investigation of elements, including:
- Pictures or other evidence of injury from the accident
- Medical or emergency room records
- Emergency room or other medical bills
- Information regarding the other party, including name and address
- Insurance information for all parties
- Eyewitness information
Additionally, an attorney can recommend a course of action for recovering any damages or other compensation from at-fault parties.
Determining Who is at Fault in Your Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, and you believe the accident was the other driver’s fault, it is important to ensure your argument for their negligence is strong. A police report is an important tool in proving fault in an auto accident, which is one reason you should always call the police following an accident, no matter how minor it seems at the time, or how big a hurry you are in.
A police report is a written account of the accident, containing evidence about liability. The police report will indicate whether either driver was issued a traffic ticket. Insurance companies often refuse to issue a car accident liability report until they have a copy of the police report. The California Vehicle Code can also provide support for your argument that the other driver was at fault.
Once you find the law which applies to your accident, you are in a better position to speak to your insurance company. Negligence is the failure to exhibit the level of care that a reasonable person would have done, had they been in the exact same circumstances. Since car accidents are rarely intentional, they almost always fall under negligence. In order to prove negligence, you must be able to show that:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty under the circumstances;
- The defendant breached that legal duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner;
- The defendant’s actions caused your injuries, and
- You were harmed or injured by the defendant’s actions.
Most Common Reasons for West Covina, California Car Accidents
Although your car accident is unique, there are some “typical” factors involved in the majority of car accidents, including:
- Drivers who drive while distracted. Distractions can include texting, talking on the phone, texting, turning around to discipline the children in the back seat, eating, changing radio stations, talking to passengers and even daydreaming. Distracted driving is quickly moving up to the number one slot as a factor in auto accidents.
- Excessive speed has always been a primary factor in auto accidents, however it is no longer as much of a factor as distracted driving.
- Fatigued Drivers. Truck drivers are the number one drivers on the road who are likely to be driving while fatigued. It can be difficult to pinpoint drowsiness or fatigue as a cause of an auto accident, although certain clues, such as a lack of skid marks or lack of evasive measures can indicate fatigue. Few drivers will admit they were fatigued or fell asleep, causing the accident. Fatigue can cause impaired reaction times, impaired judgment, decreased performance and decreased vigilance.
- Adverse weather conditions are believed to account for as many as 22 percent of all auto accidents. Adverse weather conditions can include rain, slick roads, fog and sandstorms in West Covina.
- Road defects or defects in the road’s design, layout or maintenance can cause a serious accident. Poor maintenance of roadways can lead to poor visibility or unexpected hazards.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is, and always has been a significant cause of auto accidents.
- Inadequate visibility can be a problem during adverse weather conditions.
- Aggressive drivers are seen practically every day by those who commute to work. Drivers who tailgate, and weave in and out of traffic can cause accidents, even multi-car accidents.
Call West Covina Personal Injury Attorney Joshua W. Glotzer Today
If you or someone in your life has been involved in a car accident, or has sustained injury as a result of an auto accident, then you may be eligible to seek compensation. It is important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible to determine your options moving forward.
In West Covina and the surrounding communities, Joshua W. Glotzer, APC works with clients to resolve their personal injury claims. From liaising with insurance companies to conducting thorough investigations, our attorneys can handle every facet of your personal injury claim with the upmost care. To us, our clients are like family, and we are committed to securing the maximum value settlement that you deserve.
We are ready and able to be your personal injury advocate. To schedule your initial free consultation with one of our West Covina personal injury attorneys, you are invited to call our office today at (626) 497-8355.
West Covina Office
Joshua W. Glotzer, APC has opened a West Covina office to better serve our San Gabriel Valley clients. We are located at 1619 West Garvey Ave North, #106 West Covina, CA 91790, just a few blocks from West Covina City Hall.
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