Orange County Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve suffered critical injuries from a motor vehicle wreck caused by someone’s negligent actions, work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in Orange County to get the compensation you need.
Car accidents occur daily in California, particularly in Orange County, because of its many high-traffic roads and highways. Plus, the tourism industry lends itself to even more drivers on the road from out-of-state.
In 2013, the California Highway Patrol reported more than 223,000 people injured and 3,104 people killed in traffic accidents. Although it’s impossible to prepare completely for automobile accidents, many can be prevented. Unfortunately, it’s out of your control when other drivers act negligently and cause a serious crash.
If you are in a car accident because of another person or entity’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can ensure you receive fair and legal treatment in the process.
How an Attorney Can Help Your Case
For your claim to be successful, it would be well-advised to seek help from a qualified car crash lawyer. Although this isn’t a requirement, having experienced representation can help your case. While you’re in recovery, your attorney will work rigorously to gather evidence to support your case. Such evidence might include:
- Video footage of the collision
- Medical documentation
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Expert testimony
- Safety inspection reports
Your lawyer will use this evidence to build a compelling case against the at-fault party. Establishing fault is critical to the success of your case. Without it, you won’t be able to move forward with your claim.
Another way your lawyer can make a difference is by calculating the true and full value of your damages, and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you’re getting the most out of your claim. Retaining a highly trained attorney can often be the best way to secure full compensation for your losses.
Determining Fault in Orange County Car Accidents
Every driver throughout California is required to carry auto insurance on their vehicles. The minimum requirements include:
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage
- $3,500 in uninsured motorist property damage coverage
- $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident in both bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
This is important, as California is considered a fault state for car insurance. This means that in order to get your costs covered after an auto wreck, you’ll need to go through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, where applicable. The insurance company should provide compensation for your medical expenses and any damage to your vehicle.
If the damages exceed the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy, you’ll need to bring a civil lawsuit against them. This claim will allow you to recover the remainder of these economic damages, plus any other losses you incurred.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
The causes of car accidents vary, such as another person’s negligence, bad weather, or poor road conditions. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in California are unsafe driving, faulty or malfunctioning vehicle parts, and dangerous road conditions.
Many times, the driver of the other vehicle has contributed to the cause of the accident in some way. This could be for a number of reasons, including:
- Distracted Driving – This occurs when a driver is paying attention to something other than the road, such as a cell phone when texting and driving, a navigation system, changing the radio station, reaching for a snack or beverage while driving, or even being distracted by a passenger.
- Alcohol-Impaired Driving or Drug-Impaired Driving – It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those found to be drunk or drug-impaired will face criminal charges in addition to the civil lawsuit you bring against them.
- Adverse Weather Conditions – If severe thunderstorms, significant rain, or other weather conditions have made the roads too dangerous to drive on, you can bring a claim against the driver for not taking necessary precautions in poor weather.
- Adverse Road Conditions – Dangerous road conditions include wildlife, such as deer, moose, raccoons, and skunks—even debris in the road can be a hazard.
- Aggressive Driving – Someone who is driving aggressively might be speeding, changing lanes suddenly and without warning, following too closely, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, not using a turn signal, exhibiting road rage, cutting off a driver and then reducing speed or slamming on the brakes, and a number of other unnecessary and unsafe driving practices.
When the other driver is not found to be liable, your lawyer can examine both vehicles to determine if a part malfunctioned or was faulty. If so, the next step is to consider whether the vehicle parts manufacturer or technician knowingly installed a faulty part, or if they failed to issue a recall on a part that could have prevented the accident.
In cases where roadway hazards, such as large potholes, missing street signs, debris in the road or unsecured road construction zones have caused a wreck, you can bring a claim against the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). This government agency is responsible for maintaining safe roads across the state and should be held accountable for failing to do so.
Any number of elements can cause a car accident. If your injuries were caused by a factor outside of your control, an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer at Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP can help. Reckless or negligent driving can leave you struggling to pick up the pieces, but our firm can help.
Auto Accident Injuries in Orange County
Injuries that result from car accidents can vary just as much as the causes of accidents themselves. These injuries can range anywhere from minor bumps and bruises to those that affect you and your family for the rest of your life.
When facing serious and long-term injuries, it’s crucial that you have a qualified car accident lawyer in Orange Country on your side to help get your life back into a position to move forward. Some of these injuries can include short-term injuries, such as broken bones and whiplash, or long-term injuries, such as brain damage and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Even short-term injuries can have lasting complications and effects. Whiplash, for example, can last weeks or even months, especially when improperly treated. When you need to rest, you might struggle to work your normal schedule, or for as many hours, causing you to miss out on crucial income.
Pursue Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
It’s critical to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. If an individual or business is liable for your losses, you have two years from the date of the accident, or the date of your injury diagnosis, to get your claim filed. However, if a government agency is liable, you’ll have just six months to file.
This is important because failure to file your claim within the statute of limitations means your civil lawsuit could be dismissed, and you could be unable to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries
It isn’t easy dealing with the pain of injuries by themselves, but when you’ve been involved in a car accident, you have much more to handle. The entire process can become overwhelming, especially when you attempt to navigate it alone.
When seeking compensation, you will need to provide evidence that the other driver acted negligently or recklessly. You’ll also need to prove that his or her actions caused the accident and your subsequent injuries, and that you should receive compensation as a result.
It’s vital that you’re pushing for all of the compensation you deserve. If you forget a major expense or leave off any non-economic damages, you could end up with a smaller settlement than you deserve.
Handling compensation after a collision is a process that often requires the knowledge of an Orange County car crash attorney. Get in touch with someone who is familiar with state laws, negotiating with insurance adjusters, and defense lawyers tactics.face
Types of Damages Recovered in Car Accidents
The types of damages that could be recovered for you in a car accident can go well beyond just covering your ambulance ride to the emergency room. Consider the tremendous effect that even one injury can have on your entire life.
These typically fall into two categories: economic damages, which are your monetary losses, such as property damages and bills; and non-economic damages, which are damages to your quality of life that account for the suffering you experienced. Some of the most frequently sought losses include:
- Compensation for current and future medical expenses
- Loss of employment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Damage to your earning potential
- Loss of household services
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Economic damages might not be too difficult to calculate on your own. If you have kept all the bills for your expenses together, it’s a matter of totaling up the costs. When including non-economic damages, though, it can get more complicated. Pain, after all, cannot be measured in dollars and cents. These damages often must be calculated by an attorney because they are subjective and difficult to prove.
You could also be awarded a sum of punitive damages if the judge presiding over your case finds that the actions of the defendant are found to be abhorrent or willfully harmful. Although this award will dramatically increase the amount of your final award, it’s important to keep in mind that punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer, rather than award the plaintiff.
Negligence Laws Can Affect Your Claim
When you speak to your car accident lawyer in Orange County, be sure that you are also prepared to prove that you were, for the most part, blameless in your accident. California practices comparative negligence, which means that your fault in the accident will be considered when it comes time to award compensation.
If you were partially negligent, your percentage of blame will be factored into your compensation, and you will only receive a portion of your compensation. For example, if you were found 30 percent at fault for your accident, and you were awarded a sum of $100,000, you would only receive 70 percent of the award, or $70,000.
This is especially useful to the defendants. They don’t want to cover your full award, and they’ll take every opportunity possible to devalue your claim. Call an experienced attorney to help you maintain the full value of your claim.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Most drivers trust that the insurance company will cover any injuries, as well as the vehicle that is damaged in a car accident, especially if it occurs because of someone else’s negligence. However, this isn’t always the case.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies are notorious for paying out as little as possible, and if you’re battling the other driver’s insurance company, it’s can be more difficult to get what you need and deserve. These insurance companies will use every tactic possible to prevent a payout for your settlement.
Insurers might put the blame on you for your own accident, for example. Under California’s comparative negligence laws, blaming you for a small part in the accident could mean a lower settlement. They might even issue an insultingly low offer when they recognize your claim is worth a lot more, so they can pay you less than you’re entitled to. Without the right attorney, your claim could be devalued.
An Orange County car accident lawyer at Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP has invaluable experience dealing with the insurance representatives who don’t have your best interests in mind. Rather than risk managing your injuries and damage alone for the rest of your life, let us handle the professionals to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Orange County Car Crash FAQ
There is no way you can adequately prepare for being injured in a car accident, but you can do everything in your power to hold the liable party accountable for his or her negligence. Below, we discuss some of the most commonly asked questions our clients have in regards to their claims. If your question hasn’t been answered here or above, contact our office directly.
Will I have to go to court?
It’s possible. It is not uncommon for auto accident survivors to be intimidated or weary at the thought of going to court. However, we can typically avoid this by negotiating successfully with the insurance company. Your lawyer will never allow you to settle for less than you’re entitled to.
For this reason, if the insurer fails to come to a fair and reasonable settlement, your attorney will advise that going to court is the best option in your case. Often, having your case heard by an impartial judge can be an excellent opportunity to achieve maximum compensation for your damages.
I can’t afford a lawyer; what do I do?
If you choose to work with the attorneys at Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP, you can afford a lawyer. Our firm works with personal injury cases based on an attorney contingency fee. This means that you won’t have to pay us anything unless, or until, we win your case.
Before we begin working your claim, we will discuss what percentage of your winnings is appropriate for our fee. Once we enter into an agreement, we will work diligently on your case. If or when we win, our fee will be deducted from your award, relieving the pressure to pay anything out of pocket.
My child was injured in a car accident; can I file a claim for them?
Yes, you can. Minors are not legally able to file civil lawsuits against those whose negligence causes their injuries. It’s your responsibility as their parent or guardian to advocate for their rights. Although they cannot file a claim for themselves, they are still entitled to recover compensation for their losses, which could be more impactful than that of an adult injury survivor.
An Orange County Car Accident Attorney Can Help
It’s easy to think you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident by yourself. However, accidents and injuries are complex matters that are difficult to manage alone, especially when you are already facing your injuries, medical expenses, and the trauma of the accident itself.
When you work with an Orange County car accident lawyer from our office, you are getting not just an aggressive litigator, but also a passionate car accident attorney who can help you recover from the accident. If you have been in a car accident, you can’t afford to wait or attempt to deal with it alone.