Located about 20 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles, West Covina, CA has a population of over 110,000 people. The city is surrounded by several major freeways, including the 10 and the 60. These freeways are important transportation corridors for the many large commercial trucks that use them every day. In addition, most residents rely on their cars to get around.
This much traffic means car accidents are inevitable in this Inland Empire city. Sadly, some of these accidents lead to serious injuries and even death. If you or someone close to you were injured or killed in a car accident in West Covina, you can sue those responsible. Call the personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm for a FREE consultation today.
Here’s more information on your rights and what to do if you’re injured in a car crash in West Covina.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident in West Covina
These are the ten steps you should take immediately following your car accident in West Covina. Make sure you should follow these in order:
- Your safety is your top priority – At the very least, you’re probably shaken up, if not in shock. First, check yourself for any injuries. If you’re on a busy street or freeway, are you in harm’s way? If you are, try and move over. Only do this if it’s safe to do so. If you and the other parties involved aren’t in any danger, don’t move anything. No one should leave the scene of the accident either.
- Call 911 – If there are injuries, call 911 right away. If you can’t, ask someone else to do it for you.
- Document the scene of the accident – Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. Note any traffic signals, street signs and road hazards. Try and do this immediately after the accident.
- Only obtain information – First, do not apologize for the accident! If you do, you’re admitting guilt. Also, don’t tell the other driver that you’re not injured. You may not have any visible injuries, but that doesn’t mean you’re fine. You could have soft tissue or internal injuries and whiplash can take a day or two to develop. Leave the facts of the accident to the police and the investigators at The Dominguez Firm. Be civil and simply exchange information with the other driver. This includes licenses, insurance information and registration. If there were any witnesses, get their names, contact information and if possible, statements from them.
- Call The Dominguez Firm – Yes, call our firm before you call your insurance company so we can get to work on your accident claim right away. Tell us what happened in as much detail as possible.
- Call your insurance company – Report your West Covina car accident to your insurance company. Don’t make any statements to them, recorded or not. If they want a statement, instruct them to call your personal injury attorney at The Dominguez Firm.
Should I Wait to See What the Insurance Adjuster’s Offer is Before Hiring an Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in a West Covina car accident, don’t waste time waiting for a response from an adjuster. The insurance company isn’t interested in providing you with a fair settlement offer, despite what their commercials would have you believe. Adjusters are trained to settle cases quickly and for the lowest amount possible, regardless of how serious your injuries are.
Instead, you should hire the experienced West Covina car accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm. There are two main reasons why:
- The first offer is probably low. If you accept it, it could end up costing you dearly in the end. Even so-called minor injuries like whiplash can cost a victim thousands of dollars in medical bills. And take note, once you accept that offer, there’s no going back and asking for more money.
- Waiting can hurt your case. After a serious injury, it’s important to get our attorneys involved right away. Vital evidence can be lost and defense attorneys will question the severity of your injuries if you wait.
You have the right to sue the person(s) responsible for your accident injuries. You don’t have to settle for the insurance company’s offer.
What Compensation Could I be Entitled to for My West Covina Car Accident Injury?
You would be entitled to two types of damages, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are just what they sound like: compensation for all of the expenses caused by your West Covina car accident. These can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Ambulance fees
- All hospital costs
- Ongoing medical treatment of your injury
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Mental health counseling
- In-home modifications
- Long-term care
Economic damages are very easy to calculate, you just add up all of the accident-related receipts.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the emotional toll your accident has had on you and your family. There is no limit on how much can be awarded in non-economic damages in California so often, they make up the largest part of a person’s final verdict or settlement.
Examples of non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
An experienced West Covina car accident lawyer can compare your injuries and their impact on your life to similar cases they’ve handled in the past. This will give them a general idea of what your compensation should be.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Your West Covina car accident case will take as long as needed to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law. We know this answer is vague and probably not what you want to hear, but it’s true. Since no two cases are the same, no attorney can tell you how long your case will take.
However, you can still get an estimate regarding the duration of your case. Much will depend on the following:
- The extent of your injuries
- How long your recovery period is
- The number of parties involved
Cases involving multiple drivers and/or catastrophic injuries are more complex. Because of this, they usually take more time. Another factor that can add time to a case is if there are questions as to who caused the crash.
Keep in mind, California is a comparative negligence state. That means even if you share some of the blame for your accident, you can still file a claim against the other driver for your injuries. The court would determine your percentage of fault and subtract it from your final settlement or verdict amount.
The West Covina car accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm have been helping accident victims for over 30 years. We can compare your case to similar cases we’ve handled in the past to get a general idea of how long your case may take.
I was Injured in a Car Accident in West Covina, But I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. Can I Still Sue the Other Driver?
Yes, you can. California allows undocumented immigrants to file claims for injuries suffered in an accident. In 2017, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2159. This law does not allow a person’s immigration status to be presented as evidence in personal injury and wrongful death cases. In short, your immigration status has nothing to do with your case.
You can sue the other driver for your injuries without worrying about being deported or facing any other kind of negative action. Defense attorneys can’t even bring up your immigration status at any point during your case.
AB 2159 also changed how damages (the legal term for the compensation you would be entitled to) are calculated for your injuries. In the past, the total amount was based on what your income and expenses from your injuries would have been in your native country. That meant victims were awarded significantly lower settlements and verdicts than U.S. residents or citizens, no matter how long they had resided in this country. Now, you have the right to damages based on where you currently live.
I Lost a Family Member in a Car Accident in West Covina. Can You Help Me?
If you are the legal next of kin of a person who lost their life in a West Covina car accident, then you have the right to file a wrongful death claim for your loss. The next of kin in California are, in order:
- Surviving spouse or registered domestic partner
- Nieces and Nephews
- Aunts or uncles
Some of the damages the next of kin could be entitled to include:
- Ambulance fees
- Medical bills directly related to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Lost income related to the death, including lost income during hospitalization or possible income the decedent may have reasonably been expected to have earned in the future, had they lived
- Loss of anticipated financial support
- Loss of consortium, including love, community, affection, moral support, sexual relations, training and guidance, or other emotional losses related to the family member’s death
There are no damages for pain and suffering like there would be in a personal injury claim, but there are damages for loss of consortium and loss of anticipated financial support instead.
I Can’t Afford to Hire an Attorney But the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer is too Low. What Can I Do?
You can afford to hire The Dominguez Firm for your West Covina car accident claim. We work on a contingency basis. That means we only get paid at the end of your case from your final settlement or verdict. Our percentage will be clearly noted in the client representation agreement you sign with us. You don’t have to worry about any hidden costs, up-front fees or any other out-of-pocket expenses.
In the unlikely event we can’t secure you any compensation, which is rare, you owe us nothing. In other words, if there is no recovery, there is no fee.
You don’t have to settle for the insurance company’s lowball offer. Instead, let The Dominguez Firm fight for your right to the maximum compensation under the law.
Why You Should Hire the West Covina Car Accident Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
The personal injury lawyers at The Dominguez Firm have been helping car accident victims in West Covina for over 30 years. In that time, we have helped thousands of clients obtain the maximum legal compensation they are entitled to for their injuries.
The Dominguez Firm is not a referral service. We are a real law firm with our own nationally recognized attorneys. We have the resources and experience to see your West Covina car accident claim through to the end. If the insurance companies and their lawyers won’t make a fair offer for your injuries, we will go to trial if necessary and they know it. This gives you our client the kind of leverage many other law firms can’t offer.
If you were injured in a car, truck, motorcycle or pedestrian accident in West Covina, CA, call The Dominguez Firm at 800-818-1818 today for a free consultation.