The cozy community of Downey, California, sits just 15 miles south of downtown Los Angeles and about the same distance north of Long Beach. Although Spanish missionaries settled throughout the area nearly a century before, Downey was founded by and named for an Irish immigrant, John Gately Downey, in 1873 who served as governor of California during the Civil War.
Afterward, he set his sights on bringing agricultural prosperity to his 17,000 acres of ranchland along the San Gabriel River. Orange groves flourished, and dairy production became a booming industry. When the Southern Pacific Railroad established a stop in 1883, it ensured the city would continue to prosper.
With around 112,000 residents, Downey has an unusually diverse array of attractions. It boasts the world’s oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant, on the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Florence Avenue. Opened in 1953, this vintage throwback sports old-school golden arches and an obscure cartoon chef mascot.
Downey is also the home of the Columbia Memorial Space Center, which celebrates the city’s rich aviation history. After excelling in aircraft production during WWII, Downey became the birthplace of the Apollo space program. NASA produced and tested aerospace and military aviation technology at Downey’s Rockwell facility for nearly 70 years.
In the 1960s, Downey Music produced California surf-style records and the Carpenters called the town home. More recent musicians from Downey include James Hetfield of Metallica, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and George Pajon, Jr. Bonus: Wayne Wesley Rainey, an acclaimed Grand Prix motorcycle road racer during the late 1980s and early 1990s, also hails from Downey.
Living In Downey
The ease of traveling to Los Angeles–accessible by car, bus, and Metro tram–is a significant reason many people move to Downey. The town is about 17 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 18 miles from major shipping ports, and 17 miles to Disneyland. In addition to its convenient location, it offers tree-lined suburban charm and a tight-knit community environment. Residents enjoy weekly farmers’ markets, two golf courses, twelve public parks, walking and bike trails, and many other outdoor activities that celebrate California’s ideal climate.
Downey Unified School District offers well-ranked public schools, and its diverse, predominantly Hispanic community is a great place to raise a family. Although the median home price is $595,000, the median household income is around $76,000.
Intro To Car Accident Issues In California
Motor vehicle accidents, more commonly called car accidents, happen every day. In 2020, there were 35,766 car crashes in the United States, 38,824 of them resulting in deaths. Car accidents can be minor, like a fender bender at a stop sign; or major, like a multi-car pileup on a foggy interstate. It seems we Americans are always in our cars, and sometimes, mistakes get the better of us and our vehicles.
If you are in a serious car accident, you may want to consider contacting an experienced lawyer in your area who can help you through the legal process and look after your interests. Lawyers who practice in this area often specialize in certain types of accidents (like truck accidents), or in related areas like product liability (faulty car design/manufacture), or California DUI/DWI.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Car Accident Issues? Are There DIY Options?
Sometimes a car accident won’t require the help of an attorney. There are lots of DIY options you can use to help you file a car crash claim and navigate this legal issue. In the case of a car accident, you can probably handle your accident case on your own if:
- Damage to cars, property, or other vehicles was minor
- You were not at fault and your insurance company agrees to cover your losses
- There were no injuries caused by the accident
There are resources are available to help you settle a car accident claim on your own. Resources might include options like damages calculators, getting multiple repair estimates to show insurance adjusters, using Kelley Blue Book or other online sources to establish the pre-accident value of your car, and more. If the coverage doesn’t add up, or the other driver’s insurance company offers a settlement that is too low, you might want to consider getting legal help.
How Do I Know If An Attorney Is Licensed In California?
A great place to start your Downey car accident attorney research is the State Bar of California website. You’ll find information about whether your attorney has an active license and when they were licensed, as well as whether that attorney has ever been disciplined or had their bar membership temporarily revoked.
How Do I Interview Car Accident Attorneys In Downey?
If your accident was costly, complicated, or you or others were seriously injured, it might be a good idea to get an attorney to represent you. However, not all attorneys are the right fit for you and your case. You’ll want to consider whether the attorney is familiar with the driving conditions in your area, experienced in your type of accident, has a good track record, good reviews (either personal to you or from online sources you trust), and has a payment system you understand and can afford. There are some key questions you should make sure you know the answers to before you hire an attorney including:
- What’s their experience with motor vehicle accidents? What settlements or verdicts have they won recently?
- How do they communicate with clients? Do they answer questions themselves, or is it an associate or paralegal you will be communicating with? Phone, letter, email, text?
- Who else in the firm will work on your case? How will it be billed? What is the bill rate for the various team members like paralegals, junior attorneys, clerks, and others?
- What is the fee structure? Is this a contingency fee, hourly billable, or flat fee?
Then, make sure you feel comfortable. Can you talk openly to the person representing you? Your accident attorney will be involved in your life for a while, so make sure you can communicate constructively and honestly with them.
Driving And Transportation In Downey
Downey boasts easy access to four major highways: I-5, I-605, I-710 and I-105. These highways, which roughly encompass the city, allow residents to easily access LAX, Long Beach, Anaheim, and other Southern California destinations in addition to the L.A. metropolitan area.
Driving within Downey can be challenging. Next to the Stonewood Center shopping mall, the junction of Lakewood Boulevard (State Route 19) and Firestone Boulevard (former State Route 42) was one of the busiest intersections in California in the 1960s. It has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the intersections in Downey that is ranked as “unusually dangerous.” The city has responded to these issues by taking measures to improve intersection safety and reduce collisions at these and other problematic locations.
More Downey Resources
If you are involved in a traffic collision or otherwise find yourself in need of legal help, contact a local Downey attorney. Criminal, small claims, and traffic matters are resolved at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Southeast District. Other types of cases, including juvenile, family, and other civil matters, are heard at the Norwalk location. Here are the addresses for each:
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Southeast District – Downey
7500 E Imperial Hwy
Downey, CA 90242
Southeast District – Norwalk
12720 Norwalk Blvd
Norwalk, CA 90650
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
7500 E Imperial Hwy, Rm 324
Downey, CA 90242
Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office
7500 E Imperial Hwy, Rm 324
Downey, CA 90242