Were you severely injured in an accident in Long Beach? Did you lose a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? If so, you have a right to seek full and fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and the impact the accident has had and will have on your life.

Personal injury lawyers handle cases that range from motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles to premises liability accidents that include house fires, slip and fall, and wrongful death. You’ll want to have a skilled Long Beach injury lawyer on your side if you’ve been hurt. Having the right attorney working for you could make a significant difference in the amount you ultimately recover.

The skilled Long Beach injury attorneys at OnderLaw have a long track record of success for almost twenty years both in Long Beach and across the nation, helping our clients recover over $3 billion dollars and counting.

There are many important deadlines to meet when filing a claim and you have enough to deal with in recovering from injuries. Let the Long Beach personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw take it from here. Call us today or visit our contact page for a free consultation to see how we can help.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you need a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, you are likely in a lot of physical pain and under just as much mental stress. The recovery process is difficult and takes a long time. Adding the extra steps of gathering evidence, filing paperwork, and communicating with insurance companies in order to file a rock-solid insurance claim is too much for anyone to have to bear on their own.

That is why having a skilled lawyer by your side is so important. Missing one step or skipping a deadline is very easy to do, and it could cost you everything. A personal injury lawyer will not let that happen. They will make sure your claim is as strong as it can possibly be so you can focus on healing your body and resting your mind as much as possible.

One way your lawyer will protect you is to handle all interactions with the insurance companies involved. It is good to remember that insurance companies have no obligation to care for your wellbeing. They are businesses, and everything they will do will be to protect their bottom line.

So when they reach out to you for a statement, they are looking for you to share any piece of information that they can use against your case. The best thing to do is tell them that you would like to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.

Your lawyer will also handle gathering evidence, filing the appropriate documents, and helping you track your expenses, which will all increase the strength of your claim.

We understand that the idea of talking to a lawyer feels scary and expensive. Know that we serve everyone who comes through our doors regardless of the size of their bank account. We represent clients on what is called a contingency-fee-basis. This means that we will not collect a penny unless we win, so you can rest assured that you will get our very best because our success is tied to yours.

At OnderLaw, we have a significant amount of experience serving accident victims in Long Beach. In our time, we have seen many different accidents that include:

Steps to Take After an Accident

Accidents are scary. There is a lot of chaos and there is lots of confusion. Knowing what to do next is helpful in getting the best possible outcome for everyone involved. We suggest:

  • Check for injuries and call 911
  • Collect contact information from anyone around the scene who saw the accident.
  • Take as many photos as possible to serve as evidence in your case.
  • If it was an auto accident, get both the contact and insurance information from the other driver.
  • If it was a premises accident (residence, business, or medical care facility), report the accident to the property owners, management, or staff and collect their insurance information.
  • Visit a doctor as soon as possible. This will help you get on the mend that much sooner.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders. That means not missing anything from an appointment to a dose of your medicine, and document everything you can. This will help you recover much more quickly while showing everything you are doing to stay well, which is important for your claim.
  • If you mention anything about the accident, make sure to only speak to the facts. This is especially useful when speaking to police officers, lawyers, and insurance representatives. If you happen to apologize, take blame, or place blame, you are risking the credibility of your claim.
  • Avoid mentioning or posting anything related to the accident. There is a chance that unintended evidence may appear, which will also harm your claim.
  • Make the call to a Long Beach personal injury attorney. They will offer you a free consultation to review your accident, and will guide your steps to securing the best possible outcome for you and your family.

What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?

Investigations after an accident typically involve the police, lawyers, and insurance representatives. They will begin the process of respective claim development and/or defense. The process will likely go as follows:

  • Taking statements — Investigators will approach everyone involved in the accident in addition to any witnesses who were present. Getting everyone’s account in writing will provide valuable information about what happened while comparing notes to check inconsistencies.
  • Collecting evidence – The next step will involve photo and video evidence. Investigators will gather as much footage as possible to best determine all possible outside elements that could have played a role in the accident. Additionally, they will also gather all investigated parties’ driving records.
  • Simulated accident reconstruction – Investigators will sometimes seek the opinion of an accident reconstruction specialist, which is someone who uses visual models to recreate the accident in an attempt to cover every possible data point that may have been missed in determining the cause and fault of the accident.
  • Determining any law violations – If the other party violated the law in any way, those actions could go a long way toward demonstrating negligence in a civil case.
  • Confirmation of liability– The final step of the process ends with the attorney and investigation teams assessing the sum of their findings and determining who was liable in the accident.

What Compensation Is Available for Injuries?

Compensation is designed to provide you the opportunity to recuperate your financial losses and serve any physical and/or emotional pain caused by the accident. This breaks down into three kinds of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic damage compensation are damages that affect your finances. They include:

  • Medical expenses- any medical expense related to your accident. This means any costs for medical bills, copays, prescription, or otherwise qualify for potential compensation. We suggest tracking these by keeping copies of every bill and/or receipt. Additionally, we encourage you to get a copy of your medical records. By having both pieces of documentation you can prove how much money you have spent and show the difference between what your health was like before the accident and what it is like now.
  • Lost wages- serious injuries take a long time to heal, and in some cases, they leave a person permanently disabled. Any time missed work because of the accident qualifies. This means that whether it was for recovery or for attending a doctor’s appointment, it still counts as lost wages because of the accident. If you were permanently disabled, you can also claim lost future income because of the accident, as well. In order to best track these losses, keep copies of old check stubs, punch cards, and any form of documented appointment schedules. Having these data points will show what the accident has cost you both now and in the future.
  • Property damage- any items damaged or destroyed, including your vehicle and/or any items that were affected will fall under this category. In order to document repair costs, you will need to bring the damaged piece of property to a repair shop for an estimate. This shows what it will cost to repair the item. If the item was destroyed, you will be asked to provide any receipts or proof of cost for replacing the item.

Non-economic damage compensation refers to any non-money-related damages. These are often a bit more challenging to quantify, but often includes:

  • Physical pain- any pain you are having to live through because of the accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life- no longer being able to enjoy life and/or previously enjoyable experience.
  • Emotional trauma- any post-traumatic stress related to the accident. This means any anxiety, depression, or fear that have developed after the accident, and the therapies and/or medications that follow.
  • Mental stress- the challenge of dealing with the frustration of the situation and any financial concerns both now and for the future.

To help keep track of the impact the accident has had on your life, we recommend keeping a daily journal to write down all of the hard feelings you have. Doing this will help in two ways. First, it will allow you to express how you are feeling, and second, it will provide valuable documentation for showing everything that you are going through.

Punitive damages- In rare instances, the at-fault party may be required to pay punitive damages if there is evidence of extreme recklessness or malicious intent. These types of damages are designed to punish and correct dangerous behavior.

Common Causes of Long Beach Accidents

Every case is unique. However these are some common accident causes we have seen:

Automobile accidents are often caused by:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring traffic lights and signals
  • Inexperienced driving
  • Driving a vehicle with faulty parts/mechanics

Premises liability accidents resulting from:

  • Poorly-made stairs/handrails
  • Poor security
  • Unstable/slippery flooring
  • Toxic chemicals or materials
  • Off-leash dogs
  • Moving objects
  • Falling objects
  • Flying objects

Worker’s compensation accidents resulting from:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Repetitive motion
  • Slip and fall
  • Automobile accidents
  • Inadequate training protocols
  • Violence on the job site
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals

Nursing home abuse accidents resulting from:

  • Inadequate staffing
  • Staff burnout
  • Inadequate pay rates
  • Poor staff training protocols
  • Negligent administration
  • Negligent hiring protocols

Common Types of Accidents in Long Beach

There are a wide variety of accidents that happen every day. Some of the most common are:

Automobile accidents:

  • Single-car crashes
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-bone collisions
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-car crashes
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Rideshare crashes
  • Bicycle collisions

Premises liability accidents:

  • Job site accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Fire accidents
  • Theme park accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Weak security accidents
  • Accidents at school
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Dog bite accidents
  • Elevator accidents
  • Escalator accidents

Worker’s Compensation Claims:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Flying object accidents
  • Falling debris accidents
  • Slip and fall
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Toxic chemicals or fumes exposure
  • Work-related conflict/ violence

Nursing Home Abuse:

  • Delayed diagnosis for illness
  • Misdiagnosed illness
  • Misdiagnosed injuries
  • Delayed diagnosis for injuries
  • Neglected illnesses
  • Neglected infections
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Physical/sexual abuse
  • Psychological/emotional abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Financial exploitation
  • Neglect

Common Injuries Suffered in Long Beach Accidents

Accident injuries range from minor cuts and scrapes to paralysis and death:

Automobile accident injuries:

  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Sprains
  • Concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Burn injuries
  • Fractured bones

Premises liability accident injuries:

  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dislocated joints
  • Sprains
  • Dog bites
  • Drowning
  • Burn injuries

Workplace injuries:

  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Sprains/strains
  • Concussions
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dismemberment
  • Amputation
  • Burn injuries

Nursing home abuse injuries:

  • Excessive force
  • Choking
  • Bedsores
  • Excessive constraints
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Slip and fall
  • Psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Medication overdose
  • Sexual abuse

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

In the aftermath of an accident, you might be dealing with significant financial stress and strain. Mounting medical bills, coupled with the loss of time from work can put the injured individual and family in a precarious financial position. Unfortunately, people may feel that they cannot afford a personal injury lawyer, even if they feel they have a strong case for compensation. Fortunately, hiring a qualified injury lawyer in Long Beach is not expensive. In fact, you’ll pay nothing at all out of pocket when you hire OnderLaw to represent you.

We never charge a fee for a free case evaluation, and when you hire us, we’ll represent you on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you won’t pay us anything until we recover compensation for you. If we don’t win your case, you won’t be obligated to pay us anything at all.

California Accident Statistics

  • In 2019, a Centers for Disease Control report showed that accidents were responsible for 15,116 deaths.
  • A 2018 California Office of Traffic Safety found the following regarding traffic accident deaths:
  • 1,069 people were killed by drunk driving
  • 42 percent of all traffic deaths involved someone under the influence of drugs
  • 488 motorcycle deaths
  • 893 pedestrians died
  • 155 bicyclists died
  • Another 2018 Centers for Disease Control report showed that fall-related deaths in seniors 65 and above occurred for an average of 40 people per 100,000.
  • A 2019 report from The State of California Department of Industrial Relations found 451 workers were killed on the job.
  • Another 2019 California DIR report found 483 workers were injured on the job that year.
  • Dogsbiteorg reports that: 5 million dog bites happen in the United States every year, and almost 27,000 dog bite victims require reconstructive surgery.
  • The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported 488 dog bite accidents occurred in California in 2017, which made it the highest-rated state for dog bites in the U.S. for that year.

Notable Laws in California

Motor vehicle laws:

  • If electronics are in use while driving, they must be hands-free
  • Motorcycle riders must be wearing a helmet at all times while riding

Laws regarding dog bites:

Dog owners in California carry full liability if their dog is responsible for biting someone.

California comparative negligence rules

If there is shared responsibility in an accident, Californians will receive the percentage of their damages commensurate with their role in the accident.

Statute of limitations in California

Unfortunately, there is a time window that you have to adhere to when filing a claim. The longer that you wait to file, the greater the chance you will lose out on large sums of compensation. However, if you are unable to do so immediately, here are the time windows you must file in order for your claim to be eligible:

  • Two years from the date of the for most accident claims.
  • One year from the date of anything related to a medical malpractice accident.
  • Six months from the date of any accident that involves a government agency.

Injury Claims Process

  • Your lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance company that details your damages and proposed compensation.
  • Both sides’ lawyers will conduct their own respective investigations, where they will evaluate evidence, take parties’ statements, and draw formal arguments.
  • Once both sides have their cases, there will be rounds of negotiations.
  • At the conclusion of the negotiations, a formal offer might be presented.
  • If you agree with the offer, the process ends here. You will likely have the choice between receiving a lump sum or several payments over time. You will also pay your lawyer a percentage that will have been agreed to when they took up your case.
  • If no offer is extended or if the other side offers you a lowball settlement, your lawyer will advise you on how to file a lawsuit to seek damages in court.

Contact a Long Beach Injury Lawyer

Were you injured in an accident in Long Beach? If so, turn to a legal team with the right resources, skills, and experience to handle your case. OnderLaw has a track record of successful verdicts and settlements across a wide variety of injury cases. We’ll be ready to put our skills to work for you. Call us today or fill out our online contact form to schedule a 100% free consultation.