You rely on your car to help you navigate your everyday life. You use it to get to and from work, to meet friends, and to transport your family from one obligation to another. You spend much of your life in your car.
Unfortunately, your car can also be a dangerous place, especially when other drivers fail to take their responsibilities seriously. There are dozens of accidents in South Bay every day. Countless people are people are hurt, and some even killed, in these often avoidable car accidents.
Our car accident lawyers will fight for you in the aftermath of your accident. We will pursue compensation for your personal injury or justice for the death of your loved one, and ensure you receive ethical, vigorous representation as you navigate the legal system.
If you live in or around South Bay, California and need an experienced car accident lawyer, please call Kirtland & Packard today at 310-536-1000 for a free consultation.
- What to do After a Car Accident
- What are the Top Causes of Car Accidents
- A Closer Look at Distracted Driving
- A Closer Look at Drunk Driving
- Why Hire Kirtland & Packard Following a Car Accident
- Contact Us Today!
What to do Following a Car Accident
There are no guarantees in personal injury law. But during our decades of experience in car accident litigation, we've seen how taking certain steps after an accident can greatly increase your chances of success.
Here's what you should do after an accident:
- Seek medical attention: Your first priority has to be your health. That's why it's important that you get yourself checked out after an accident, even if you feel fine. If emergency personnel were called to the scene, let them examine you, and even if you are cleared, see your doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries can take weeks or even months to manifest symptoms, but during that time can be doing irreversible damage. Swift treatment is essential for maintaining quality of life.
- Document everything: The law is all about what you can prove – it's impossible to have too much paperwork or documentation on your side. As such, you should document everything related to the accident. Take photos of the scene – don't interfere with any police work, of course, but make sure you get clear photos of the cars and the surrounding environment. And request copies of any paperwork generated after your accident: This includes police reports, medical records and insurance documents.
- Don't sign anything from the insurance company: When dealing with insurance companies, remember that they're looking out for themselves, not you. They want to clear your claim as soon as possible, as cheaply as possible. They might offer you a settlement, and it might even be a fair one. But don't sign or accept anything before you speak with one of the attorneys at our South Bay office.
- Speak with our experienced car accident attorneys: Many accident victims put off speaking to an attorney or even convince themselves they don't have a case. This is a critical mistake. Your consultation with our attorneys is completely free, and it's your chance to learn if you might have a viable legal claim on your hands.
It's important you arrange your consultation as soon as possible. While you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim in California, time is of the essence in accident cases as evidence disappears and memories fade. Let our experienced lawyers listen to your story and advise you on the best way to seek the compensation your injury demands.
Causes of Car Accidents
Negligence can take a truly staggering number of forms. Our car accident lawyers have helped victims hurt in accidents caused by:
- Intoxicated driving, which includes alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and any chemical that may alter physical or mental response time
- Distracted driving, including eating and drinking, applying makeup, and all cellphone use
Reckless driving, such as speeding or erratic lane changes
Defective roadway design or poor roadway maintenance including obscured signs, improper grading, broken or defective signals, and potholes
Defective auto parts, such as airbags, seatbelts, and tires
Whatever the specific cause of your accident, you can count on the lawyers at Kirtland & Packard to discover it during our skilled, professional investigation. We know to look deeper when considering liability, and we have the experience to follow through on this instinct.
When dealing with the insurance companies or attorneys representing other parties, the important thing is to have a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer on your side. We won't be intimidated and we won't be stopped from representing you with the skill and passion you deserve.
If you live in or around Redondo Beach, Torrance, or any of the nearby South Bay communities and need an experienced car accident lawyer, please call Kirtland & Packard today at 310-536-1000 for a free consultation.
A Closer Look at Distracted Driving
There's no doubt that our modern, interconnected society has a number of strengths. Certainly the ability to make instant contact with loved ones to arrange or change plans is a boon to many busy families. However, there's also no doubt that these distractions present some serious dangers to unwary drivers.
Of course, distracted driving is nothing new - there have been low tech distractions since the moment a person first jumped behind the wheel of a car - but these new distractions are louder, shinier, and more insistent on attention, allowing them to increase risks even more.
Examples of distractions in a vehicle include:
- Using a cellphone to type (text, email, browse the web)
- Using a cellphone to talk
- Operating a portable music device
- Changing radio stations or CDs
- Personal grooming (applying makeup, shaving, brushing hair or teeth)
- Eating and drinking
- Reading (maps, GPS, books)
- Interesting sights or scenery along the road (rubbernecking)
Many people have been erroneously led to believe that onboard electronics, Bluetooth, and infotainment systems provide a safe alternative to cellphone and music distractions. This is simply not true. In fact, a study conducted by AAA found that infotainment systems are a bigger form of distraction than the devices they aim to replace.
The important thing to understand is that causing an accident while distracted is a serious liability issue. A distracted driver will have a hard case to make when it comes time to allocating liability. This is true even in cases where the driver did not know they were being inattentive, which has become more common as infotainment systems have replaced standard electronics in most new models.
Our auto accident lawyers know how to comb through the evidence to find if driver distraction was a serious issue in your accident, even when that distraction was unknown to the other driver. If it was, you can count on us to make a compelling case on your behalf.
A Closer Look at Drunk Driving
We all have certain obligations when we get behind the wheel of a car. These obligations are, at their heart, quite simple: exercise due caution and operate your vehicle safely and within the confines of the law.
Driving drunk is one of the most flagrant and unacceptable violations of these obligations. When someone operates a car while intoxicated, they put everyone around them in danger.
Under California law, drivers cannot operate their vehicles if they have a blood-alcohol content of greater than .08. For drivers under the age of 18, there is a zero tolerance policy for any measurable alcohol in the blood stream.
The state recognizes the importance of severely discouraging drunk driving. Alcohol consumption greatly impairs a driver's reaction times and negatively affects their judgment. In short, drunk driving puts innocent people at risk.
Intoxication behind the wheel of a car is a form of negligence. If it can be proven that a driver was drunk at the time of the accident, that places a huge legal burden on the driver in question. It is difficult for a drunk driver to offer a reasonable defense in a personal injury case.
As your car accident lawyers, we will thoroughly examine all witness statements and police reports as part of an investigation to determine if alcohol played a role in the accident. We will use our unique experience and knowledge of the system to your advantage, and we will be relentless in our representation of you.
It is important to remember that, while drunk driving is a crime, your ability to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit is not tied to a conviction. Civil cases are separate from criminal proceedings and you may be entitled to compensation even in cases where an intoxicated driver strikes a plea or is found not guilty.
Why Hire Kirtland & Packard to Represent You?
This is a surprisingly complicated question. Drivers undoubtedly possess liability in these accidents, but liability doesn't stop at the scene of the accident. This is something inexperienced lawyers often forget.
At Kirtland & Packard, we know how to look deeper and conduct a thorough investigation that follows the winding trail of liability back to its source.
For example, let's say the other driver missed an important road sign urging them to slow down at an uncontrolled intersection. Their fault, to be sure. But what if the road sign was partially obscured by a tree, making it difficult to see and fully understand? That can be an issue of defective roadway design, and some fault can rest with whoever is responsible for that sign's placement.
Or perhaps the other person's car was equipped with a shoddy or defective vehicle part. This doesn't clear them from responsibility for the accident, but it does mean that there are other places to pursue compensation.
And this is important. California law requires every driver carry insurance, but despite that, some drivers are under-insured, which means it can be complicated to get the compensation you need and deserve. Finding the true source of liability means you won't be left out in the cold.
Our attorneys have been handling auto accident lawsuits for decades. We understand how these cases work and we know how to successfully pursue them. This experience will prove invaluable as you move through the often frustrating and confusing legal system.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident in Southern California, Kirtland & Packard can help. Call our Redondo Beach office at 310-536-1000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more. The car accident lawyers at our office apply their decades of combined experience to help victims of serious injury in Torrance, South Bay, and all surrounding areas get the compensation they deserve.