West LA and Santa Monica Car Accident Attorney Dedicated to Helping You
Distracted drivers are a hazard on the road, and unfortunately they are a widespread problem in California. If you are a victim of a car accident caused by the carelessness of another driver, you may consider pursuing compensation for your harm. West LA car accident lawyer Lennon M. Slatter has over 30 years of experience helping residents assert their rights against negligent motorists. He provides accident victims with straightforward advice and dedicated legal representation. Our West LA & Santa Monica car accident attorneys have the resources, knowledge, and ability to give your case the individualized attention that you deserve.
Seek Compensation From a Negligent Driver
A lawsuit arising from a car accident is typically filed as a negligence claim, in which the plaintiff alleges that the careless driving of the defendant caused the victim’s injuries. In some situations, the plaintiff may be able to assert a negligence per se cause of action, which requires that the defendant broke the law while driving and that the violation was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. If negligence per se is not applicable in your situation, the at-fault driver may still be found liable for damages under an ordinary claim of negligence. In order for the plaintiff to succeed, he or she generally must prove four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
When handling a vehicle, any driver has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid creating a foreseeable risk of injury to others. The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant breached his or her duty by providing evidence of the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care while driving. This could include evidence that the defendant was driving at an unsafe speed considering the weather conditions, that the defendant was checking a cell phone while driving, or that the defendant failed to yield at an intersection, among many other examples.
Causation is a two-step analysis. It requires the victim to show that “but for” the defendant’s conduct, he or she would not have been injured, and also that the accident was a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions.
Damages that may be sought in negligence actions typically consist of economic damages, such as medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium. California law recognizes the pure comparative fault rule, meaning that damages are apportioned among the negligent parties according to their proportionate share of fault. Therefore, even if you are partially or mostly responsible for causing an accident, you can potentially still recover compensation from another driver if his or her negligence was also a cause of the accident. However, your damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to you.
What to do at the Scene of a Car Accident
It is normal to be shaken up after an accident but you should try to remain calm and collect all the information you can. Make sure to get the other driver’s name, license information, insurance information, phone number, and address. Details of the scene are important as well; make note of the crossroads, speed and direction of vehicles, lanes each car was in, as well as any other information that seems relevant. If there are witnesses to the collision make sure to get their contact information so that your Santa Monica injury attorney can speak with them. Language is not an issue as translators can be hired. Most importantly, call the police. Without a police report it may be impossible to prove anything happened at all. Any and all information about the accident will help your attorney build a better case and get the best outcome possible.
Obtain Legal Guidance After a Car Accident
Pursuing a lawsuit after a motor vehicle collision is important and requires well-informed legal advice. West LA & Santa Monica car accident attorney Lennon M. Slatter can assist victims of car truck and motorcycle accidents in trying to hold a negligent driver accountable for harming them. We understand the stress that you are going through, and we will try to alleviate the burden on you as much as possible. Contact our office at (310) 405-0964 or online to set up a free consultation. We also represent residents of Norwalk, Downey, Panorama City, Reseda, and other Southern California cities.