Win Your Case With The Top Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you will require a competent lawyer to assist you with your auto accident case. The lawyers at The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. provide top-notch services to our clients, and provide you with the assurance that their legal team will work diligently to win your case for you. It can be daunting to start a case, but it is important to hold the guilty party responsible for the injuries you sustained in an accident.
Along with personal injury cases, Attorney Kramer and his team also handle cases involving birth injury, medical malpractice, product liability, elder abuse, as well as cases in a variety of other practice areas. Attorney Kramer is a licensed medical doctor in California as well as a lawyer, so he is uniquely compassionate and understanding towards individuals who have been injured in a car wreck. You even can receive a free consultation to determine the eligibility of your case.
How Attorneys Proceed with Auto Accident Cases
The first interaction you will have with the law firm will be your free consultation. You will explain the basic facts of your case, and they will figure out if the firm would be a good match, or if you have a case with adequate legal standing. They work to filter out those cases which are frivolous, before they go any further. Be sure to provide them with all of the relevant details to the case. Other steps that are taken with most cases are as follows:
- A detailed client interview is conducted after the firm decides to take the case
- Forms must be filled out and documents submitted and filed
- The other party will be contacted to notify them of the case, as well of any updates and settlement or court dates
- Settlement and court dates are arranged
Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations in California
Your car accident case must be opened as quickly as possible, due to the fact that California has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases. This is two years from the date that the injury occurred, or one year from the time that the injury is discovered, if this does not occur right after the accident. You likely will not want to have anything to do with legal matters after you have been in a auto collision, but it is crucial that you attempt to obtain damages for the harm which has been done to you. This is especially true if you have very high medical bills, you have irreparable physical damages such as the loss of limbs or the ability to physically function in some way, and/or if you have lost the ability to work.
Usually, such cases will be handled out of court in a step called settlement, because the guilty or negligent party will want to avoid the high legal fees and court fees associated with litigation. If a settlement is not made during the pre-litigation period, then you must take the other party to court. The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. has a high success rate with the cases which they take. These attorneys take cases throughout Southern California, Illinois, Arizona, and New York, and have offices located in New York and Los Angeles.
Q & A With Bradley I. Kramer
These are some of the most common questions that are asked when new clients call our office. Of course each case is unique so if you have any questions about your car accident in the state of california feel free to call the office on 310 289 2600 anytime.
Do I need an attorney for a car accident claim?
I would say that any person who gets involved in any sort of car accident that is or isn’t their fault where there is either property damage or bodily injury really needs to at the very least consult with an attorney just to figure out what their rights and obligations are. So, I would advise anybody to at the very least pick up the phone and call either myself or some other law office and figure out whether, in fact, they need one in going forward.
Is there a way that you help level the playing field for a client who has never dealt with a car accident claim before?
Well, like I was saying before, we are a comprehensive, all inclusive service provider. So, what we do is we consult with the individual right after the accident and then we handle everything all the way until the conclusion of that either litigation or pre litigation matter. So, the first thing that a clients does when they call my office is speak with me directly. I answer all the phones. I’ll bring them in for a meeting and we’ll sit down and talk about their injuries, whether it’s bodily injury or property damage or both. I will start that discussion with the insurance companies, either their own insurance or the person who caused the accident – their insurance company and get the ball rolling.
What are some of the common questions asked by your clients that were dealing with a car accident claim?
Most of my clients have concerns when they are involved in catastrophic type injuries over whether or not their medical bills are going to be paid, or whether or not they will be able to see doctors now and in the future to deal with their injuries. That’s a process that I handle for clients. I get them in to see doctors immediately to make sure that their injuries are taken care of, and the legal part of it comes thereafter. My biggest concern when I talk to a client who has been injured is to get their health taken care of immediately. After that’s taken care of we start going down the path of getting them compensation.
What will it cost us to hire an attorney?
All of these services that I provide for accident victims are done on a contingency basis. What that means is that when a client comes into my office, I cover all of the costs occurred in litigating that case from start to finish. And my compensation comes at the back end when that claim is settled or tried in front of a jury. Usually those fees range anywhere between 33% and 50% of the proceeds. All of my clients are reassured that they don’t have to spend anything out of pocket when they come to me as their attorney.
What is the Statute of Limitations for filing a claim for a car accident?
The statute of limitations for a car accident claim is two years. That’s for the bodily injury component. The property damage statute of limitations is three years. But, what I do in my firm is put them both together. That’s the easiest way to litigate these claims. At the very worst, two years is really the cut off for anyone to report an injury.
How beneficial is it to contact an attorney right away?
The first thing any accident victim wants to do is pick the phone and talk to an attorney, be it myself or anybody else. The faster that that individual gets into an attorney’s office, the faster that claim can be put at issue and the faster they can receive compensation. There are very few cases that I have ever handled where a client comes into my office a year and a half or close to two years after the accident occurs. So, my advice would be to all victims, whether it is their fault or not their fault, to call an attorney immediately and get that ball rolling.
If someone is a victim, how can you prove the other person was at fault?
Sometimes determining who is at fault for the accident is not the easiest thing in the world to do. A lot of it depends on the type of damage that’s incurred both to the individual as well as to their property, meaning their vehicle. A lot of it depends on witnesses who witnessed the incident. A certain amount can depend on the police report, and the fourth level to evaluate who’s at fault for an accident comes from experts who will reconstruct the accident in order to determine how it occurred.
In terms of investigation, what are some of the actions that a person takes who is at fault that causes them to be at fault for an accident?
One of the biggest problems today that I see on the roads, just as a driver, are people texting or using their phone. It’s a huge distraction. It takes your mind off of your driving and I think people forget many times that they are operating a two or three thousand pound vehicle, a machine that has the power to kill. So, you see people doing it every day and it’s an extremely dangerous proposition. You also have, in addition to texting and using one’s phone while driving, you see a lot of individuals drinking alcohol or using substances that would impair their ability to drive safely.
The third thing that I see very frequently is people just in a rush to get to a certain place without taking proper concern for those around them. When I say those around them, I mean those in other cars, those on sidewalks, those on bicycles, pedestrians. So, there’s a whole lot of things that can go wrong when you’re driving a car and when an individual isn’t focused 100% on driving, those impairments can cause accidents.
When two cars are involved in an accident and both have damage, who pays for the damage?
It depends. Like many things in law, it depends on the circumstances. Fault, obviously plays a heavy role in determining who’s going to pay for the accident. But, as long as that individual is insured, and has a sufficient amount of coverage, that insurance company will pay for the accident. Things get a little bit hairy when there’s a large damage claim, again be it property damage or bodily injury, where there’s not enough insurance coverage. And for those types of circumstances, I also am able to advise clients on what the best course of action is.
What type compensation can a person receive for auto damage and injuries?
In the course of my practice, I recover anywhere from $1,000.00 to $3.8 million in connection with litigations that involve personal injury. The way those components are derived are really just an algorithm that includes bodily injury, property damage, lost earnings and healthcare, meaning future healthcare needs and past healthcare that was delivered to that individual. Those are the biggest four components that go into the calculation of how an injury and how damages are going to be compensated.
What portions of damage, injury, and medical bills are covered?
That’s a tough question to answer. But, what I can tell you is that when an individual makes a claim, the four components that I need to know about really are the property damage incurred by that individual, meaning how their car was damaged, or their bicycle or their home. What I will do is I will get an assessor to assess those damages, whether it’s $1,000.00 or $100,000.00 or more. The second claim is going to be bodily injury, and the way those types of claims are compensated, generally, is going to be some multiple of the amount that is spent to remedy those physical injuries. So, if there’s $10,000.00 in healthcare bills, then usually, although not always, the compensation for those medical injuries will be some multiple of that number.
The third is going to be lost earnings which is going to be a product of prior W-2 Forms, statements from the employer with regard to missed work, and other evidence that goes towards that. And, the fourth is going to be future medical care. Future medical care is determined usually by a medical expert who can comment on what other needs this individual is going to have going forward.
If the other person was found to be at fault, who pays the legal fees?
The legal fees that I am entitled to for representing a client, come out of the back end of litigation. Meaning I only get paid if I settle the case. And the payer whose pays those bills assuming the other person’s at fault, generally, is going to be their insurance company. But, if there is insufficient coverage by the other individual’s insurance company and the individual himself, or herself, has assets, then I can go after those assets as well.
What do I do if the other person does not have insurance?
There are a bunch of laws in California that deal with uninsured and underinsured individuals who are involved in accidents. Generally, the way that this process is conducted is, I will determine, as an individual’s attorney, what the coverage is on the other side of the fence. Meaning, what a defendant’s insurance coverage is. If there is not enough coverage to cover all of the damages incurred by my client, then there are two possible claims that can be made.
One is an uninsured motorist claim and another is an underinsured motorist claim. An uninsured motorist claim would be if the individual who caused the accident on the other side had zero insurance, and then a claim gets made against the injured party’s own insurance company provided they have uninsured motorist coverage. The second is called an underinsured motorist claim, and that would be a circumstance if, for example, there were $30,000.00 or $50,000.00 worth of injuries and the defendant’s insurance was only $15,000.00.
The way that works is, if the defendant’s insurance company covered the full amount of the insurance policy, meaning they paid out the entire, let’s say $15,000.00 policy, but, though that number didn’t cover all the injuries sustained by my client, then that client can make an underinsured motorist claim against their own insurance company to recover the difference.
So it would be the victim’s responsibility to have underinsured motorist coverage?
Correct. And that’s always an option when procuring insurance is do you want underinsured motorist coverage and do you want uninsured motorist coverage.
If you are in an accident, whose insurance company do you call, and what if the other person’s insurance company calls you?
By law, you have to report the claim to your own insurance company. That’s all you have to do and that’s all an individual should do if they’re involved in an accident.
Never, ever, speak to the defendant’s insurance company. That is just a recipe for disaster, and when an individual calls their own insurance company to report the claim, the only thing they need to disclose to them is that there was an accident and that they were injured or there was property damage. That’s it. There should be no description of the injury. They should tell their insurance company that they have retained counsel or that they are in the process of retaining counsel because ultimately, if the other side doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage to cover the claim, that individual may have to file a claim for underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist coverage. That claim will ultimately be litigated against their own insurance company.
So, telling your own insurance company what your injuries were is something that can only serve to limit the amount of coverage that you will get for your injuries.