Our lawyers have put together a list of the most commonly asked questions about car accident injuries. If you were injured in a car accident in Orange County and have a question, browse through our site to find the answer, or simply contact us and we will provide you with a comprehensive answer.
If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Newport Beach, the first two things you should do are to seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained and call the police to report the accident. When you’re able, you will also want to contact your own insurance company to report the accident and check the details of your uninsured motorist coverage if applicable.
Unfortunately, victims who are injured in accidents with uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run drivers often face difficult choices about how to pursue compensation. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. And, depending on your coverage, you may be eligible for compensation for your immediate medical care, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, it may be possible to pursue compensation from the driver who hit you. However, this process is often complicated because:
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in the OC, you probably already know that it can be complicated to pursue compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Unfortunately, hit-and-run victims are faced with a number of complications that can make filing an insurance claim difficult—or even impossible.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your OC hit-and-run accident, you may be able to recover compensation by:
If you have recently been injured in an auto wreck in Orange County, you are probably wondering how necessary it really is to hire an attorney to help you. While some accident claims can be navigated alone with a satisfactory result, there are many benefits to seeking experienced legal guidance. This is particularly true if you have suffered a disabling injury or an injury that would require long-term care.
Here are two of the biggest benefits of hiring an attorney to help you with a California personal injury case:
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage is so important that it is the only coverage that the insurance company requires you to sign a waiver for, in order to delete that coverage from your policy. In fact, the law says that if you sign a waiver deleting that coverage and are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, and your insurance company cannot produce the written waiver, your insurance company must provide you coverage even though you sign the document that said that you did not want that coverage.
In addition, this coverage is inexpensive to purchase. The insurance industry does a horrible job in explaining this to their customers. 60% of the public drives with either no coverage or minimal coverage, so your odds are greater than 1 out of 2 being seriously injured in an automobile collision by someone who either has no coverage or insufficient coverage to compensate you for the injuries that you or anyone else in your vehicle, have sustained. UUBI coverage protects anybody in your vehicle who is injured by an uninsured or under-insured driver, and protects anyone who lives in your household regardless of whose car they were in at the time that they were injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Moreover, the coverage also applies if an uninsured or under-insured driver injures you or a family member living in your household while you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle.
If you witness an Orange County truck accident, you could be a great help to the people who were injured in the accident.
Here are a few steps you can take as a witness to an accident in Orange County:
There are a few steps you should take immediately after the accident. Although it may be difficult to stay calm and collected after becoming injured in a car-pedestrian accident, you should do a few things to ensure your health and legal rights. Take the following steps can help protect yourself:
Unfortunately, car-pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in California. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries for the unprotected pedestrian who was involved, leaving the injured victim with mounting medical bills and other expenses.
In almost all cases, the person who struck the rear of the car in a rear-end car accident is at fault for the crash. Very simply, traffic laws state all drivers should stop safely when the car in front of them slows down or comes to a stop, regardless of the situation. However, there are some limited situations in which the striking driver is not at fault. For example, if you are in a vehicle which was struck from behind and that collision caused your vehicle to strike the car in front of you, you may not be at fault for that accident. As Orange County auto accident lawyers, we understand that all cases are different.
It is important to understand that California uses the comparative negligence system. This means the court understands that a driver can be partially at fault for an accident, and an injured victim may claim a percentage of damages based on what their exact involvement was in the crash. For example, if you rear-ended a car, but the other driver was drunk or suddenly swerved into your lane in front of you, you could still attempt to file an injury claim.
With all California motor vehicle accidents, who is at fault for your car accident and injury depends on the details of your case and the evidence available. However, we can let you know a few helpful pieces of information about traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles:
However, simply because an emergency vehicle’s lights were flashing does not automatically mean it is in the right. In the past, drivers of emergency vehicles have been cited for driving recklessly and for negligence; it simply depends on the facts of each case. Talk to a Newport Beach Personal Injury Attorney about the specifics of your accident. Also, if an emergency vehicle did not have its warning lights or sirens on at the time of the accident, you may also have a case. In some situations, the town, city, or hospital in charge of hiring and training emergency drivers may be responsible for a crash.
California was one of the first states to enact cell phone and texting laws. Anyone driving in California from new drivers to commercial drivers to visitors—must not use a mobile device or engage in text messaging while behind the wheel. The only exceptions to this rule are drivers who are making an emergency call, drivers of emergency vehicles, and drivers operating vehicles on private property. If you have been involved in an Orange County car accident in which the other driver was using a mobile device while driving, he or she is likely at least partially responsible for the crash and any subsequent injuries. However, proving that the other driver was on the phone or text messaging can be challenging.
As with all California personal injury cases, understanding who is at fault for an accident depends on the details of the individual case. Having said that, it is reasonably safe to say that, in the case of a wrong-way traffic. accident, the driver who traveled on the wrong side of the road is at least partially at fault for the accident, and could be responsible for compensating your family.However, other parties could also be responsible for the injuries you sustained in a wrong-way car accident. For example, if the wrong-way driver was confused by poor road design, a bad intersection, or a lack of warning signs, whoever designed or was responsible for the road could be partially at fault. As Newport beach car accident attorneys, we understand that every case is unique.
While the wrong-way driver probably is partially responsible for the crash, it is possible there were other factors which caused the driver to enter the highway or interstate in the wrong direction. Some of these factors may not be readily apparent, especially soon after the car accident. A Newport beach car accident attorney can examine the evidence of your case and help you understand who may be responsible for damages.
“The periods prescribed for the commencement of actions other than for the recovery of real property, are as follows: Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” Although you have a full two years to file your personal injury claim, it is not recommended you wait that long to do so. In many cases, the sooner you act, the more likely you are to collect evidence and witness reports to support your claim. In addition, seeking damages sooner also means securing compensation and moving on from the accident sooner.
If you were struck by another motor vehicle that ran a red light—and you can prove they were, indeed, at fault for the accident—you may have a strong personal injury case. Even if you ran the red light and broke a traffic law, you still may be able to recover some damages. California is a comparative negligence state, meaning, we understand that more than one party can be at fault for an accident. As long as you weren’t 100 percent responsible for the accident, you may have a case. For example, if you ran a red light and struck a vehicle, you should investigate whether the other vehicle was following all traffic laws or whether the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, or driving recklessly. If you were 25 percent at fault and the other driver was 75 percent at fault, you could recover 75 percent of your losses. Many people wrongly assume they caused an accident, or believe they know who was at fault for an accident without looking at all of the evidence. Keep in mind that many traffic accident causes are not readily apparent even to those who were involved in the crash.
After a car accident and injury, you are contractually obligated to report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. However, speaking to the insurance company of the other driver or giving a recorded statement without consulting a legal representative is another matter altogether. While you may eventually speak with the insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company or send a written statement, you should speak with a California personal injury attorney before agreeing to any kind of statement. A California car accident lawyer can help you understand your case and the crash—as well as common mistakes drivers make in the wake of the accident when speaking with insurance companies.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies attempt to settle car accident and injury cases as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if the outcome is not fair. Some do so by using tactics like requesting recorded statements immediately after a crash when they know car accident victims are confused, overwhelmed, and uninformed. A CA car crash lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes during this difficult time.
However, simply because you have two years to file your claim does not mean you should wait that long. There are advantages to acting quickly after your accident, including:
Most people need this compensation to pay their bills, receive ongoing medical attention, and support their families. Keep in mind that filing a lawsuit can take weeks or months as your attorney collects information and prepares your case. It is worth repeating that starting your claim sooner would mean you could receive compensation for your medical bills and expenses sooner.
An air bag is a flexible envelope that inflates to protect car occupants from injuring themselves on interior car objects such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows during a crash. When a car accident occurs, air bags deploy quickly and with great force. In the past, experts were concerned that air bags might not be safe for expectant mothers because they could injure the unborn child when they inflate. However, a recent study at the University of Washington compared car accidents involving pregnant women—in vehicles with and without air bags—and concluded that airbags do not appear to elevate the risk of pregnancy complications.
In addition, the current position of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is that the combination of a properly worn seat belt and an airbag provides the best level of protection from injury in the event of a car accident. This applies to all adults—including pregnant women. Experts advise expectant mothers to wear a seat belt correctly and use the airbags installed in their vehicle. The attorneys at Russell & Lazarus are committed to promoting automobile safety and urge expectant mothers to heed this advice every time they get into a car.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you know how traumatic, confusing, and overwhelming it can be in the moments, days, and weeks after a crash. However, there are a few important steps that you should take to ensure that your health and your rights are protected:
1. Get medical treatment
Many accident victims have the impulse to refuse treatment or minimize their injuries – just so that they can escape the reality of the crash. The number one most important thing you can do after an accident is to go to the hospital or your doctor and get evaluated and treatment. It will help your health and your injury case.
2. Collect information about the accident
Understand exactly what happened and who was at fault is at the heart of any California personal injury case. Talk to witnesses, talk to police, and make sure that you are getting the whole story.
Most of the time serious California truck accident injuries are caused when the truck driver is unable to stop his rig in time. This results in either the trucker rear-ending a smaller, more vulnerable car in front of him, or the trucker side-swiping a more vulnerable car when he swerves out of his lane to avoid a read-end collision. Therefore, a very important question is, “What exactly causes the driver’s inability to stop?”
Discovering the root of the problem can help truck drivers prevent accidents from happening and can also help other drivers on the road recognize a problem and avoid being near the dangerous truck altogether. After handling Orange County truck accidents for more nearly 30 years, the lawyers at Russell & Lazarus have come to find out that these are the most common reasons for truck driver’s loss of control:
POSSIBLY – If you sustain injuries that cause you pain for more then a week, it is best to consult with one of our Orange County motor vehicle attorneys.
IT DEPENDS – If you have a good, aggressive attorney, the majority of claims can be resolved within 60 days from the last date of medical treatment. However in order to obtain fair value for substantial injury claims, a lawsuit usually must be filed, which can extend the time-frame of the claim to be resolved.
Get experience, knowledge and compassion on your side. Call Russell & Lazarus at (800) 268-9228.