Car Accident Lawyer

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Brad Nakase, Attorney


We can agree that money cannot compensate for debilitating pain resulting from a car accident. Hello! I’m Brad Nakase, a car accident lawyer. I am a boutique law office that focuses quality of my services by accepting a limited number of clients. How do you know if I am the right car accident lawyer to fight and protect your interests? I invite you to read the 120+ perfect 5 Stars Google Reviews and decide.

Since 2006, I’ve served as a car accident lawyer for hundreds of clients in personal injury cases. Most car accidents happen because of human error, which means most accidents are preventable. Much debilitating pain stems from an injury to the neck, spinal cord, whiplash, and hips. If you were involved in an auto accident in California, Los Angeles, San Diego, or Orange County, don’t hesitate to contact me for a free consultation.

How Do Car Accidents Cause Back Injuries?

The spinal cord is composed of a bundle of nerves which, along with the brain, make up the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord extends from the skull to the pelvis and is about a foot and a half in length. Vertebrae, a column of circular bones, protect the spinal cord from damage.

The spine’s vertebrae are divided into four separate regions:

  • Cervical (C1-C7) – The cervical part of the spine makes up the top seven vertebrae that compose the neck. When victims of crashes endure a whiplash injury, it is usually one or more of the cervical bones that are impacted.

  • Thoracic (T1-T12) – The thoracic part of the spine makes up the twelve vertebrae of the upper back. Usually, blunt force trauma causes injuries to the upper and mid-back, which is common in severe car or motorcycle accidents. Thoracic spine injuries are normally serious because this part of the spine connects the ribs and chest, both of which protect the body’s vital organs.

  • Lumbar (L1-L5) – The lower back is known as the lumbar region of the spine and is composed of five vertebrae. These are the largest and strongest bones in the spine, which offer the support and stability needed to move.

  • Sacral (S1-S5) – The tailbone, composed of the sacrum and the coccyx, is made up of nine vertebrae at the base of the spine. These are fused to form one solid bone structure. Broken tailbones are a common injury in car accidents because of the major outside forces that are involved. Injuries to the tailbone can cause radiating pain that requires a long recovery period.

Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves branch off from the spinal cord, and their job is to send and receive signals that control sensory perception, movement, and unconscious functions of the body. They are the links that connect the central nervous system to other regions of the body.

Damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of function, mobility, and sensation. The spinal cord does not have to be severed to cause a serious spinal cord injury. Most times, the spinal cord remains intact but surrounding damage causes pain and impaired or lost function. About 260,000 individuals in the United States suffer from a spinal cord injury.

Other back injuries include pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, and ruptured discs. These are not as debilitating, but they can still cause pain, numbness, and weakness.

Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, making up 38% of cases. Rollover accidents are not common, but they are the most likely to cause spinal cord damage. More common kinds of collisions include head-on, rear-end, sideswipe, and side-impact. Common injuries include damage to intervertebral discs, strains, and pinched nerves.

Factors that Affect the Severity of Car Accident Back Injuries

One important factor concerning spinal injuries is the direction and speed of the crash. The fast a car is travelling when it collides with another, the higher risk of serious injury. The best way to avoid a devastating spinal injury is to follow speed limits, drive defensively, and never ride in a car with a drunk driver.

Also, when a car rolls over during a crash, the probability of spinal cord injuries increases. When a car rolls over, the body goes through a number of changes in direction and speed. The head may hit the roof of the car or other parts of the vehicle, which increases the risk of damage to the spine. Also, the body may be partially or completely thrown from the vehicle.

SUVs are twice as likely to rolls over as other cars, and they are more likely to cause spinal cord injuries even if they do not roll over. This is because SUVs are top-heavy, which makes it easy for them to turn over. Their large size contributes to more serious accidents, even though they offer a false sense of safety to their drivers.

There are risk factors that make an individual more likely to have a spine injury as the result of a car crash. Young adult males are the most likely to have a spinal injury as the result of an accident because they are statistically more likely to drive recklessly.

There is also a connection between weight and body mass index (BMI). People who weigh more will endure greater forces to their bodies in a crash.

Wearing a seatbelt reduces the chances of a serious spinal injury. This is especially the case in head-on and rear-end crashes, though seatbelts are helpful in rollover and side-impact accidents also.

Why Is It Important to Have a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

Most Americans drive a car every day without realizing the risks associated with doing so. In the year 2013, car accidents accounted for 2.4 million visits to the hospital. This included almost 34,000 car accident deaths, which was the second greatest cause of accidental death in the United States. After a car accident, an individual’s life can change for the worse due to injuries and other damages. Even small injuries can leave an individual facing major medical bills and difficult insurance disputes. The repair bills for a car may be just as prohibitively expensive as the medical bills. An individual may also be injured so badly that they are unable to work while they recover.

If this is the scenario an individual is facing after a car accident, he or she should contact a dedicated and experienced lawyer who can help him or her overcome the challenges ahead. These challenges will include battling the insurance company for a fair settlement.

Even if an individual is not at fault for a car accident, he or she should still hire an attorney to help them through the claim process. According to California law, a driver who is not at fault for an accident may be entitled to compensation via a settlement or a lawsuit. The driver at fault for the accident must pay compensation to victims to cover damages. These damages include lost wages, medical treatment, as well as pain and suffering.

Is California a No-Fault State?

California is known as a fault state. This means that if an individual is injured in a car accident, he or she may sue both the at-fault driver and their car insurance company for compensation to cover the losses.

What happens if an individual is at fault for an accident? If so, he or she is responsible for the damages of anyone who was injured in the accident. The other driver has the right to file a claim to get a settlement for their losses. This is the case for anyone injured in an accident that is not their fault.

In most circumstances, an individual’s auto insurance will cover expenses that an individual is liable for as the at-fault driver – though the extent of this depends on one’s plan.

What Leads to a Driver Being Determined At-Fault?

The following are some examples of negligent behavior that can lead to a driver being declared at-fault for an accident:

  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Refusing to yield
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while tired
  • Illegally passing
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Failing to use a turn signal

If a driver makes one of the above errors and causes a crash, then he or she will be declared at fault for the accident and must pay compensation to any injured victims.

In some accidents, it may not be obvious which driver is at fault. An experienced lawyer will be able to collect evidence, looking at dash cam and surveillance video and speaking to witnesses. Using these strategies, they may be able to determine the at-fault driver.

What Are the Risks Associated with Driving?

The bottom line is that an individual cannot control what other drivers do. This means that even the safest drivers can become involved in a car accident. Whether it is speeding or texting, negligent drivers put everyone at risk. A car accident lawyer will study every detail of the crash and help identify where the fault lies. Doing this will allow an individual to get compensation from the appropriate party.

Car accidents are such common occurrences that it is likely that an individual will be involved in one at some point in their life. Therefore, it is best to be prepared.

Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

Every year, over one million drivers are charged with driving under the influence. Such reckless drivers cause over 300,000 injuries and 10,000 deaths every year. It is estimated that one out of every three Americans will be involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver at some point in their life.

Driving under the influence is an act of negligence that means the drunk driver is responsible for any injuries and damages. An individual may also be able to hold the business that served the driver accountable.

Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

In California, handheld cell phone use is banned while driving. All cell phone use is banned for drivers under 18. Texting behind the wheel is banned for all drivers. However, according to research, 80% of accidents are caused by distracted driving, and cell phone use is the number one cause of distracted driving.

It can be difficult to find proof of the distraction that caused a particular crash, but an experienced car accident attorney will know what to look for. This may be cell phone records or witness testimony, among other sources of evidence.

Accidents Caused by Speeding

Speeding is another kind of negligence, and it is the cause of some of the worst crashes. It can be very frustrating to be left injured or in debt because of another person’s adrenaline rush or impatience. An experienced car accident attorney can help hold the liable driver accountable for their actions.

What Are an Individual’s Rights After a Car Accident?

Every insurance adjuster is going to try to minimize a financial settlement. This is against a victim’s best interests. Matters can get infinitely more complicated when opposing lawyers become involved. After an accident, it is important that an individual speak with a car accident attorney for guidance.

To protect a claim, an individual should keep the following in mind:

  • Never accept a first settlement offer, for whatever amount. An attorney can review the offer and assess whether it is fair.
  • Never accept medical advice from the insurance company. It is important to visit one’s own doctor for a legitimate, unbiased evaluation of one’s injuries.
  • Never give a recorded statement to the insurance company. A lawyer should handle all communications on one’s behalf.
  • Never give the insurance company access to one’s private medical history.

Should a Person Hire a Lawyer for an Accident That Isn’t Their Fault?

An individual should hire a lawyer if they were involved in an accident, even if they were not at fault. An individual must assume that things may not work out in their favor, and they may have to prove that they did not do anything wrong. An experienced car accident attorney can help make sure that the responsible party pays for any damages than an individual has suffered. An attorney can also help an individual proceed through the process of dealing with the insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, then their insurance company will try to trick the victim into making statements that may lower the value of their claim. They may also try to push a settlement that is less than the amount of an individual’s losses. An experienced lawyer can help prevent this from happening.

What Types of Compensation Are Available After a Car Accident?

When an individual is involved in a car accident and sustains injuries, he or she not only has to deal with the fallout of those injuries, but also the emotional toll of such an incident. In addition to these physical and emotional costs of the accident, he or she also has to worry about how they will pay for medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses. Car accident compensation can help an individual get their life back on track.

With personal injury cases, a victim in a lawsuit is usually granted compensatory damages, which are meant to make up for the losses that an individual sustained in an accident. There are two types of compensatory damages that an individual can pursue after a car accident: economic and non-economic.

What Are Economic Damages?

An individual may receive economic damages for any kind of monetary losses they endured as a result of the car accident. These losses may include medical bills, vehicle damages, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are meant to compensate an individual for the pain and suffering they experienced as the result of an accident. This money is meant to make up for any emotional impact the accident has left on one’s life. These damages may include PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

It can be difficult to quantify non-economic damages, even though this kind of damage can have serious and lasting impacts after a terrible crash.

Can Someone Sue If They Weren’t Injured in a Car Accident?

If an individual was not injured in a car accident, then he or she cannot file a personal injury claim. For an individual to have grounds for filing a personal injury suit, he or she would need to prove that the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing caused observable injuries or damages. That said, a car accident that does not result in physical injuries can still cause serious damage to a vehicle. This may cause an individual to face serious financial hardship and challenges when it comes to traveling, commuting, and simply getting around.

If an individual was not injured in a crash, but their vehicle suffered extensive damage, he or she may file a claim through their insurance company (assuming they have the appropriate coverage). They may also file a claim against the at-fault party’s car insurance company. Property damage claims tend to be simpler than personal injury claims. Usually, people can file and resolve these claims on their own, without the assistance of an attorney.

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Back pain after a car accident: Common injuries

A high-speed car accident that causes a spinal fracture or vertebrae sprain can lead to permanent and painful nerve damage. Likewise, A car accident resulting in a minor back injury left untreated can progress into a degenerative or chronic spinal condition.

Back Injury From Car Accident

Common injuries from car accidents include soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains and spine injuries such as fractures and herniated discs.

What is the average settlement for a back injury in a car accident?

The average settlement for a back injury in a car accident ranges from $11,000 to over $1 million depending on four factors: 1) Was the injury soft tissue? If yes, the average settlement is $12,000; 2) Was there a spine injury? If yes, the average settlement is $70,000; 3) Was or is surgery required? If yes, the average settlement is $275,000, 4) Is there a permanent disability? If yes, the average settlement can exceed $1 million.

What causes most semi-truck accidents?

The number cause of semi-truck accidents is driver fatigue; a driver cannot legally drive more than 12 hours per day in 24 hour period.

Tractor Trailer Injury Lawsuit

If a tractor trailer seriously injures a victim, an injury lawsuit often results in a money settlement exceeding $1 million.

Rear-end collision settlements California

Unless there is a serious injury, the average settlement for a minor rear-end collision is $12,000 to $22,000. The average rear-end collision settlement resulting in serious injury is $60,000 to $25,000.

What is eggshell plaintiff theory?

The Eggshell Skull doctrine is a common law rule that makes a negligent defendant liable for a plaintiff’s unforeseeable injury because of the plaintiff’s preexisting fragile health condition.

What are common back injuries from car accident?

After a car accident, common back injuries include soft tissue bruises, torn muscles, sprains at the lumbar spine area, lumbar strains, fractures, herniated discs, and disc bulges.

Car Accident Spine Injury

A car accident may cause a serious spine injury when a victim was rear-ended. Spine injury settlement amounts depend on the severity of the spine injury and medical bills.

Brain Injury Prognosis

An estimated fifty percent of patients with traumatic brain injury go through more decline in their cognition within five years of sustaining injury.

How much should I settle for a herniated disc?

A herniated disk is a serious injury that causes lifetime pain if left medically untreated. Because a herniated disc is a big deal, the average settlement is $80,000 to $280,000, depending on if there was surgery.

Sex with Teacher

For years, students, teachers, and lecturers have entered into romantic relationships and dated, despite the risks. In fact, ‘dating my teacher’ is one of the Google searches with millions of results online. However, minor student sex with the teacher often ends up in the minor suing the teacher and winning over $1 million in damages.

Teacher Has Sex with Students

The modern meme for teachers having sex with their students is sex teachers (sex-ed teachers). Teachers having sex with students is uncommon. Students who had sex with their teachers won millions of dollars in lawsuits. 

Compensation for Back Injury

For back injury settlements for strains and sprains, the average settlement is between $15,000 and $45,000. The average settlement for a back injury accident that require or resulted in surgery ranges from $45,000 to $350,000.

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