Ariel Law Group Will Fight For Your Rights In Vehicular Accident Cases

Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Southern California

With over 39 million residents and over 386,000 lane miles of road in California, our state leads the nation in the number of traffic fatalities that involve vehicles of all types, including cars, pickups and SUVS, large tractor-trailers, motorcycles, and bicycles, with 3,306 deaths - and the statistics only consider deaths, not total accidents. Accidents and injuries might be 10 to 20 times that, especially you consider that at least 1- million crashes go unreported each year (NHTSA, 2015.) If you live in the Los Angeles area, the numbers of accidents, injuries, and deaths are among the highest in the state. Your chances of being injured (or worse) in a vehicular accident and needing the services of a personal injury attorney some time in your life are great.

Those involved in accidents are not only at risk of losing their lives but can also suffer property loss, loss of loved ones, or bodily injury that can result in serious impairment, traumatic brain injury or spinal trauma, loss of wages, inability to work, medical and rehabilitation bills. Many of the damages suffered in traffic accidents are permanent, irreplaceable, and life-changing, and not even the best insurance in the world can make life whole again for the victims.

At Ariel Law Group, our mission is to help accident victims receive the best possible settlement to compensate them for their losses. Even if other drivers have excellent insurance, the job of these companies is to pay the lowest possible amount on behalf of their insureds so that their business can remain profitable. This state of affairs means that the amounts paid to victims for tangible and intangible losses are appallingly low. Ariel lawyers and staff work tirelessly for clients to fight for true justice so that accident victims can reclaim their lives.

*Unless otherwise noted, the statistics used below were compiled here from various sources

Car Accident Injuries

Recent IIHS statistics for California indicate the 52% of vehicular accident deaths occur among drivers and passengers in cars and increasingly in pickup trucks and SUVs. Rear-end crashes, often caused by tailgating, account for about 29% of collisions, but front or side crashes are most deadly and are responsible for 54% and 25% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths, respectively. (IIHS, 2018)

Although cars are getting safer with increased rollover protection, 7488 passenger vehicle occupants died in rollover crashes, with 28% of the deaths not involving any other impact. While some crashes may have resulted from distracted driving or weather conditions, others may be due to road hazards that might be the result of neglect by a municipality or other governmental body.

If you are injured or lose a loved one in a vehicular accident by a car, light truck, or SUV, the lawyers at the Ariel Law Group are ready to help you by taking action against the other party or even a governmental entity.

Truck Accidents

Each year, 130,000 are injured in 500,000 truck collisions, and crashes of large trucks are responsible for 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths. A startling 84% of fatal crashes and 88% of non-fatal crashed involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (FMSCA), and 37% of all fatal crashes, 23% of all injury crashes, and 20% of all property-damage-only crashes involving large trucks occurred at night (FMSCA). Of the 4.119 people killed in large truck crashes in 2019, 16% were occupants of the truck, and 67% were occupants of a car or other passenger vehicle, and 15% were pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.

Cars cause 81% of truck accidents by underestimating how long it takes a truck to stop due to their weight or design, improperly merging into traffic, making left turns in front of trucks, and pulling in front of trucks at intersections.

As a victim of a truck accident, you need an attorney who will aggressively examine the facts to make sure that you are not assigned an undue amount of blame in an accident. Call the Ariel Law Group when you or a loved one are injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer.

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Reckless Driving

Accidents seldom occur when people are driving along on a nice day, focused on the road, following all traffic rules, and unimpaired by lack of sleep, drugs, or alcohol. Unfortunately, factors such as reckless driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving often play a part in accidents.

Reckless driving may bring to mind a couple of drivers drag racing down a public street, but it most often involves:

  • Not adhering to stop signs or traffic lights
  • Swerving into oncoming traffic
  • Driving onto sidewalks or other areas not intended for motor vehicle operation
  • Weaving, tailgating, or unsafe passing
  • Speeding a certain number of miles over the speed limit (15 in California)

Whether intentional or unintentional, reckless behavior can lead to accidents, especially when other drivers perceive the behavior as intentional and respond aggressively.

If you have been involved in a reckless driving accident, the attorneys at the Ariel Law Group can advise and help you

Distracted Driving

Whether someone texts, talks on the phone, applies makeup, or adjusts the controls on the dashboard, they take their mind off the road and are subject to being involved in an accident. The maximum amount of time driver can safely divert their attention from the road is two seconds, yet drivers routinely attend to other things.

Texting, for example, takes an average of 5 seconds while driving and increases the risk of crashing by 23 times (NHTSA, 2018), while dialing a phone increases the chance of a crash by 12%. Many states prohibit texting or talking with a hand-held phone but even using a hands-free electronic device is four times more distracting than talking to an adult passenger. (Driver's Alert, 2017)

While the phone is a major source of distraction, drivers pass the time in other distracting ways:

  • Engaging with cell phone apps such as Snapchat, Pokemon Go, or Waze can encourage people to pay more attention to virtual creatures on the road by reporting traffic conditions than watching the road.
  • Attending to a child can be 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone.
  • Over 80% of drivers admit to dangerous behavior while driving, such as changing clothes, steering with a foot, painting nails, or even shaving.
  • The most frequent (62%) cause of distracted driving crashes is being lost in thought or letting your mind wander. (TeenSafe, 2018)
  • Driving while crying or visibly angry increased the risk of crashing by 10 times. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2016)

Most of these behaviors seem innocent enough, but the results can be deadly. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, Ariel Law Group will fight for a fair settlement for you.

Impaired driving

Drivers of any vehicle, along with pedestrians, are fair game for accidents if they are impaired by drugs, alcohol, or even lack of sleep. Latest statistics show that when drivers are under the influence, crash rates are increased by 36 times (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2016); three to five people will be involved in crashes due to impaired driving during their lifetime. (National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2017)

Not all impairment is due to illegal substances. Even having a cold can leave a driver fuzzed-headed and with a slower response time; in addition, using some over-the-counter antihistamines can raise blood alcohol levels above .08% legal limits in most states and increase crash risks.

Driving while sleepy can increase the likelihood of having an accident by 2.5 times, while even missing 2 or 3 hours of sleep adds to the risk. A quick nod-off is all it takes. If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while traveling at a speed of 62 mph, the vehicle will travel 364 feet without a driver in control – slightly more than the length of a US football field, including the two end zones (Transport Accident Commission, 2018)

Escalating numbers of drivers of cars and semis, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists involved in accidents have drug and alcohol levels in their blood that exceed the legal limit - and ups the liability of anyone involved in an accident that is impaired.

Because impairment is a common factor in accident cases, you need a good personal injury lawyer from Ariel Law Group by your side to fight for your rights after you have been injured in an accident.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

When competing against cars and trucks on streets and highways, pedestrians and cyclists have a poor track record. Recent statistics report that pedestrian deaths comprised 16% of all traffic fatalities (NHTSA, 2018), with 81% occurring in urban areas (IIHS, 2019.) Over half of all road traffic deaths worldwide are among pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. (WHO, 2018) Needless to say, the injuries that victims of pedestrian and bicycle accidents suffer in accidents with vehicles can become even more devastating than those that one car inflicts against humans traveling in another.

In California, a comparative negligence state, the role of all participants in an accident is accessed, and the percentage they contributed taken into account. If, for example, a pedestrian crosses against a light or outside of a crosswalk or a cyclist fails to stop at a stop sign or a light, these would be considered negligent. Walking or biking while drunk or texting while crossing the street can also increase your liability. The advantage of having an Ariel Law Group accident attorney on your side is that we will work tirelessly to show the court that your role in the accident was minimal.

Motorcycle Accidents

Driving a motorcycle is an economical way to get to work and an enjoyable way to soak in California weather and scenery, but the activity proved deadly for almost 500 people in 2019. (Nationwide, our state is second only to Florida in motorcycle fatalities.) Recent statistics show that the number of motorcycle fatalities per mile traveled was nearly 27 times the number of car fatalities per mile traveled. (IIHS, 2018)

Whereas car accidents lead to injury or death about 20% of the time, 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. (NHTSA, 2003)

Statistically, if you are injured in a motorcycle crash, the stakes are high for you regardless of who caused the accident. Even if you hobble away with your life, you may have serious injuries that require costly medical care and impact your ability to work.

The personal injury lawyers at Ariel Law Group are the formidable advocates you want fighting for you after a motorcycle accident.

Lyft and Uber Cases

"Ridesharing" companies like Uber and Lyft are an increasingly popular way for people to book rides, but as the drivers are independent contractors who use their own vehicles to transport others, insurance liability is complex in case of an accident. To make sure you are fairly compensated if involved in an accident while in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, you may need the services and support of experts at the Ariel Law Group.

Companies like Lyft or Uber are considered a Transportation Network Company, or TNC, as they connect those who need transportation with those who provide it in their own cars. While these companies provide some insurance coverage to those who use the services, there are exceptions when other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians are involved. Several insurance companies may be involved in any claim.

Complex legal issues arise when third-party liability insurance is involved, as in the ridesharing industry. Laws have continuously challenged the policies of Lyft, Uber, and similar ridesharing services, but it doesn't appear like we will see clear regulations on this anytime soon.

At Ariel Law Group, we have a team of experienced and competent attorneys who specialize in vehicular accident liability law.

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