The City of Los Angeles has one of the highest fatality rates from traffic accidents in the nation. In 2014, Los Angeles had the highest number of traffic-related fatalities and injuries among large US cities. The majority of these accidents were speed related and involved alcohol consumption. 2016 saw 260 fatalities from traffic accidents, with more than half of these being pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorcyclists, who along with pedestrians and bicyclists are at a higher risk of dying in traffic accidents, accounted for 15% of these traffic-related fatalities.
Causes of Traffic Accidents in Los Angeles
It is important to know why Los Angeles seems to be so prone to fatal traffic accidents. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Speeding – Between 2010 and 2015, there were 484 speed-related traffic accident fatalities in Los Angeles, putting the city among the top ten cities with the highest speed-related traffic accidents nationally. Further, 2014 saw 6,730 fatalities and injuries related to speeding.
- Poor visibility – In 2014, there were over 3,000 injuries and fatalities as a result of nighttime collisions, often due to poor visibility.
- Distracted drivers – Many drivers in Los Angeles talk or text on their phones while driving, which is a major cause of traffic accidents. In addition, drivers may be eating, or fiddling with their radios, thereby taking their eyes off the road.
- Drunk drivers – This is another pervasive problem leading to many accidents and fatalities on LA roads. Over 3,000 fatalities and injuries in 2014 were alcohol related, with 210 of these involving underage drinking.
- Trying to beat traffic – In heavy traffic flow, drivers may want to beat the red light and make it through an intersection. However, they may end up hitting other cars in the intersection in the process, causing injuries in the process.
Legal Issues Related to Traffic Accidents in Los Angeles
The first course of action following an accident is to call emergency service and make a report to the police. Your police report will be important in building the merits of your case. Medical evaluation is essential for the sake of your health or that of your loved one. Once the treatment is complete and you or your loved one are stabilized, ensure that all your medical records and insurance details relating to the accident are in order so you can give them to your attorney.
In the event that your loved one is killed in the collision, or as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, adequate records should be obtained to show beyond reasonable doubt that your loved one’s death was the result of the accident.
Any time a traffic accident results in a fatality, you or your family member should contact a motor vehicle accident attorney with experience in wrongful death cases. In either case, i.e. survival or fatality, your lawyer will want to begin investigating as soon as possible to determine the following:
- Damage to the vehicle, bicycle or motorcycle.
- Current and future medical expenses.
- Loss of wages in terms of days off work, or in the case of a fatality, loss of income to the family.
- Pain and suffering either for the trauma arising from the accident, or relating to the loss of your loved one.
At Sheridan & Rund, our Los Angeles motor vehicle accident lawyers will handle all of the paperwork and the negotiations with the insurance company so you can concentrate on healing both emotionally and physically. If necessary, we will take your case to trial to ensure that you receive all the compensation that you are legally entitled to. Please call us at 310-640-1200. We will meet with you for free to discuss your situation and we will begin our investigation as soon as possible.