A friend of mine was involved in a traffic accident a few days ago. The other driver was texting while driving — while turning — and hit him dead-on while he had a green light driving forward. The light had only just turned, and my friend was the third or fourth car to go through, so no one was driving too fast. Still, his leg was shattered by the impact. Who knew that someone could sustain that kind of serious injury from an accident at such low speeds? I think I’m more traumatized from the ordeal than he is.
He’ll be fine but he’s decided to lawyer up while the insurance companies communicate with each other. It’s probably unnecessary, but taking the precaution doesn’t hurt. And okay, mes amis, you probably already know that I’m the one who urged him to do it!
Personal injury law doesn’t work the way most people think it does. You don’t “retain” a lawyer like you might when arrested and charged with a crime. The U.S. justice system assumes innocence until guilt can be proved (or so we like to think), but criminal law pretty much assumes that a person who is arrested will be proved guilty sooner or later — which is why the accused is forced to pay to retain a lawyer up front.
But personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which basically means they never get paid until their client wins the case. That works in everyone’s favor. The person who was injured will only be represented if the facts provide a strong foundation for a lawsuit, and no one can really be sued for personal injury if they weren’t responsible. Of course there are probably lawyers who draw outside the lines, but they’re few and far in between. The system cuts down on frivolous lawsuits, which are notorious in California.
After the accident, I did some research on traffic accidents in LA. We all know that traffic is horrible in the city — which is why I almost always ride a bike, walk, or Uber when I need to get from place to place — but some of the information I discovered still surprised me.
Want to visit LA when you’ll avoid the most traffic? Oddly, it seems that traffic congestion is at its worst in January, February and March — but at its lowest in April! Interestingly, April is actually a decent time to visit weather-wise. It’s not too cold and not too hot. And apparently tourists aren’t out in full force yet. No matter when you visit LA, you’ll want to avoid the roads from 5 to 6 PM each night, but especially Friday.
There are an average of 150 accidents every day in the LA metropolitan area. That means on any given day, the chance you’ll get into an accident is low — but that sooner or later you’ll probably have an unlucky day. In 2019, around 235 people died. But there were tens of thousands of injuries. So be careful when driving, and try to walk if possible!