Have you or someone you love suffered an injury in a Long Beach car accident due to another’s negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay your medical bills and to aid in your recovery. The best way to know if you should fight to get more than the insurance companies are offering is to set up a free consultation with the Long Beach personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw. Distracted driving remains an issue among Long Beach drivers. Also, even though a trend toward worker telecommuting should mean fewer vehicles on our roads, those same workers and families are doing more online ordering, which puts delivery vehicles on our city roads and highways in greater numbers than ever before.

Many times those delivery drivers become distracted while looking for addresses, or they speed as they try to make on-time deliveries. Delivering evening meals in the dark increases accident risks. Increased ride-sharing services mean putting our lives in the hands of strangers.

Injuries don’t have to be life-threatening to be costly. Many times, accident victims don’t realize they are hurt until a day or so after the accident, or sometimes longer. Even what seems like a mild case of whiplash can damage nerves and lead to long-term complications if left untreated. Simply put, you won’t be in the same physical or emotional state as you were before the accident, and that’s unfair.

Don’t risk your future by doing nothing and letting the insurance companies pay as little as possible. Set up a free consultation through our website or give us a call today.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

Being in a car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences a person can face. Even if your injuries allow you to walk away, your mind is filled with “what ifs,” and many people relive the moment of impact over and over again.

With all of these intense emotions, you may simply be so grateful for your life that you are willing to accept the insurance company’s initial offer and “move on.” While those thoughts are completely understandable, that is exactly why you need an experienced Long Beach car accident attorney.

At OnderLaw, we want you to focus on your emotional and physical recovery while we assess your case and put our skills to work for you. Insurance companies count on people being grateful for a quick settlement offer and will try to pay you as little as possible, even if you are entitled to get more.

The Long Beach personal injury and car accident attorneys of OnderLaw have decades of experience in gathering the evidence necessary to build a strong case. We know how to interview witnesses and experts, what records to ask for, and how to recreate an accident to use as leverage and evidence.

We fight insurance companies all the time, and they know we won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit and take it all the way to the courthouse for our clients. That is often enough to get them to make a fair settlement since fighting the case in the courts will often cost them more.

Meanwhile, you won’t pay us a dime until we obtain compensation for you. That’s the fair and compassionate way to fight a case involving a negligent driver and innocent victims, and it’s what our Long Beach car accident clients deserve.

Types of Car Accidents

According to the American National Standard’s Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents published by the National Safety Council, there are two categories of car accidents: collision and non-collision.

Collision car accidents include:

  • Head-on collision with another car
  • T-bone collision, when one car hits the side of another car head-on
  • Broadside or side-impact collision, when the front end of a car hits the side of another, may not be head-on and not as violent as a T-bone collision
  • Multi-vehicle collision involving more than two cars
  • Sideswipe collision, such as when a car drifts into another lane or a driver changes lanes without checking their blind spots
  • Single-car collisions, when only one car strikes an object, like a tree, sign, bench, or pole

An example of a non-collision car accident would be a single-vehicle rollover accident. Rollovers can happen when a driver tries to navigate a curve at a high rate of speed, for example, or if they slide on an icy or wet road.

Causes of Car Accidents

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Long Beach and across California, so much so that the state law increased penalties for repeat distracted driver offenders.

In 2021, Long Beach community volunteers and city employees worked on a joint distracted driving project. The team counted almost 1,000 drivers using a handheld device at Long Beach intersections over the course of three days. That means that almost 350 drivers per day are driving distracted just on Long Beach city streets.

Other common causes of car accidents include:

  • Impaired driving due to drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, and fatigue
  • Poor vision, such as if a driver isn’t wearing glasses or has issues driving at night
  • Speeding and other reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of lanes, tailgating, or going too fast in a construction zone
  • Poorly maintained roads. Potholes can cause tire blowouts or cause drivers to swerve quickly, putting other drivers at risk
  • Running a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield

Sometimes a driver isn’t at fault at all, but the car manufacturer is. Automobile manufacturers issue recalls for defective parts every year. Unfortunately, many people get injured or killed from defective car parts before the problem becomes known or public.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Car injuries can impact every part of your body, both inside and out. With some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, you may not realize you are injured for a day or two. This can lead to serious complications, which is why accident victims should seek a medical evaluation right away.

In addition to whiplash, other common injuries our clients have experienced in car accidents include:

  • Head injuries, ranging from mild to severe concussion, or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries, leading to temporary or permanent paralysis
  • Burns
  • Bone and muscle bruising and broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Tendon strains and tears
  • Amputations

In addition to physical injuries, many car accident victims suffer emotional trauma and suffer for years from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Who is Responsible for a Long Beach Car Accident?

California is an “at-fault” insurance state, which means the one responsible for the accident is responsible for paying the damage and costs. You could pursue a claim through the other driver’s insurance company or, your insurance company may pay you from your policy, and then they will pursue reimbursement from the other insurance company in a process called subrogation.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to interview you and will often cleverly try to get you to admit that you are at least partly to blame for the accident. They may ask you if you had enough sleep the night before or if you knew if your tires were properly inflated.

This is why it’s important that you talk to an experienced Long Beach car accident attorney before you make any statements to insurance companies. While you recover, we will communicate with the insurance company and conduct our own investigation. If they deny your claim, we can negotiate or pursue other legal action to make sure your rights are protected.

Compensation for a Car Accident Claim

If you are the victim of a negligent Long Beach driver, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical treatment and lost wages for any time you are unable to work. In more serious cases, if you are unable to perform the same type of work, we may decide to seek compensation for reduced earning capacity.

Other types of compensation we might seek include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental health damages from emotional distress, like PTSD
  • Property damage, including your vehicle and personal items in it
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

A spouse may also seek damages for loss of consortium if the level of companionship they had in your relationship is no longer possible due to the accident.

California and Long Beach Accident Statistics

The 2019 Urban Mobility Report put the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region at the top of its traffic congestion list. More traffic means more opportunities for accidents and more impatient and angry drivers.

Statewide, the California Highway Patrol analyzed 2017 accident reports and found that a Californian gets injured or dies from a traffic crash every 3 minutes, with speed being the primary factor. In 2017, not a single day went by without a traffic-related death.

The situation is so serious in Long Beach that the city began a “Safe Streets” initiative with the goal of zero traffic-related injuries and deaths by 2026. Between 2013 and 2017, 35% of fatalities and serious injuries involved motor vehicle drivers and passengers. Pedestrians accounted for the second-highest number at 34%.

Don’t Wait – Call OnderLaw Today

At OnderLaw, we know there’s a difference between a true “accident” and one that could have been prevented if a driver had exercised greater caution or not been reckless or negligent. When reckless actions change someone’s life forever, it’s time to hold the responsible party accountable. Let us help. Give us a call today, and let’s get started.