Even minor car accidents in Long Beach can lead to life-changing consequences, including severe pain or disabilities, trouble getting back to work, missed wages, and repair damage to you vehicle. If you weren’t at-fault for the accident, you might be entitled to financial recovery for your expenses. To avoid paying costs you shouldn’t have to, call a Long Beach car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Our attorneys at Simmrin Law Group are here to help. We’ll sit down with you, listen to your experience, and use our legal knowledge to fight for your rights. With a history of settlements at six figures or more, we know how to push insurers and pursue every cent you need and deserve to recover. For a FREE consultation to get started with us, call us today at 310-997-4688 or fill out the form to the right.
Who is at fault in a car accident in Long Beach?
Fault in any car accident is determined by whose negligence led to the crash. Negligence refers to carelessness—taking or failing to take actions that would have otherwise prevented the car accident from happening. Examples of negligence could be:
- Driving while texting or talking on the phone without a headset
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Merging into a busy lane without looking or signaling
- Not stopping soon enough and rear-ending the car in front
- Failing to obey traffic laws like red lights, stop signs, or driving too fast or slow
If you believe the other driver was at-fault for your accident, set up a consultation with a car accident lawyer right away. They can help you compile evidence that the other driver was being negligent and caused your injuries and damages.
The other driver is blaming me for the accident. What should I do?
Don’t admit any fault or blame yourself until you’ve spoken with a car accident lawyer. The other driver—and their insurance company—may press you to accept blame as a way to reduce their payout to you. But all the facts need to be presented first. Even if you feel guilty about the accident, the other party may have been acting negligent in a way you didn’t realize.
Right after the accident, compile as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of your injuries and damage to your vehicle. Talk to any witnesses who saw the crash, and get their information. Your lawyer will use the evidence to help demonstrate the other driver’s fault in the accident.
Also, if the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, speak with your lawyer before making any statements or answering questions. And again, don’t accept any blame. Their agents are trained in being negotiators and may use your words against you—such as asking if you feel okay and using your response to assert you weren’t hurt as badly as you claim.
If the accident was partly your fault but the other driver was partially to blame as well, it may be a case of comparative negligence meaning damages may be split according to the percentage of blame for each party. Long Beach and the state of California follows the state of “pure” comparative negligence, means you may be awarded damages even if you’re mostly at fault. (This is different from other states where you’re often barred from any recovery if you’re more than 50 percent to blame for your injuries.)
This can get very complicated and is even more reason to contact a lawyer who can help.
What if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
It’s a sinking feeling to get in a car accident only to learn the other driver is uninsured. But don’t let this stop you from seeking financial recovery. Even when you’re dealing with an uninsured motorist, the at-fault driver is still liable for ALL of your costs from the accident like:
- Medical bills from doctor visits, tests, and treatments—directly after the accident and ongoing
- Prescription medication costs
- Any rehabilitation or physical therapy costs
- Repair or replacement costs for your car
- Missed wages from having to take time off work due to the accident
- Pain and suffering damages, in some cases
Thankfully, insurance companies in California are required to offer you what’s called Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC)/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). This is insurance that covers you if you’re in a car accident with a driver who isn’t insured or is underinsured. Unless you signed a waiver declining this when you bought your insurance, you probably have UMC/UIM. Here’s what it covers:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): Injuries to you as the driver and anyone who was in your car when the accident happened
- Underinsured motorist (IUM): Limited coverage for bodily injury if the driver doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for it
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): Damage to your car with a limit of $3,500, only if the uninsured driver is identified
Uninsured drivers are more likely to flee the scene or avoid calling authorities after a car accident to avoid being “caught” without insurance. If this happens, try to remember as many details about the driver and their vehicle if you can—especially the license plate. But if the driver does stop after the car accident, get their name and contact information, and always call police to report the accident.
Talk to a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer for Free
No one wants to deal with the pain and costs of a car accident—but at Simmrin Law Group, we know that they can happen, and we want to help. We’ll start with a FREE consultation so you can sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss your case. Every client is unique, but many car accident cases look the same and we can easily help you decide on your best next steps towards recovery. Call us today at 310-997-4688 or fill out the form to the right to get started with your free consultation.