Automobile accidents occur in countless ways. More common occurrences are rear-end and side-impact collisions, and rollovers. Regardless of how the accident occurs, experienced car accident attorneys can tell you that the aftermath protocol is generally the same. The California Motor Vehicle Code requires drivers to stop at the accident scene and exchange vital information, including names, contact information, and registration. Failing to stop at the scene is considered a hit and run, subjecting the driver to criminal charges. If any injury results from the accident, motorists are required to render aid to the injured party; i.e., by immediately calling 911. Drivers are required to file a written accident report with the Highway Patrol or local police.
Russell & Lazarus’s Orange County car accident attorneys recommend you not discuss the accident with any party, except your lawyer, beyond what is required by the Motor Vehicle Code, as statements may be used as evidence against you. Specifically, do not admit fault to anyone but your lawyer if you believe you are at fault. If any witnesses observed the accident, obtain their names and contact information.
The leading claim or cause of action in all automobile accidents is Negligence. In order to prevail on a Negligence claim, the plaintiff (the party bringing suit) must prove the following elements:
Our firm specializes in negligence and other related causes of action resulting from automobile accidents, such as Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. We will thoroughly advise you regarding all claims applicable to your case to achieve maximum compensation for your injuries.
Rear-end collisions generally occur when a motorist fails to keep sufficient distance from other motorists. California Motor Vehicle Codes §§21703 and 21704 require drivers to maintain a safe distance from other drivers of no less than 300 feet.
Frequently, fault lies with the motorist who rear-ended the other vehicle. If a rear-ending driver denies fault, skid marks and other evidence aid in measuring the distance between vehicles upon impact.
Side-impact collisions are also called “T-bone accidents.” T-bone impacts generally occur when one vehicle runs a red light or stop sign and collides with a vehicle on either the driver’s or passenger’s side.
T-bone accidents are often more dangerous than other collisions such as front or rear impacts. If you are struck from the back or front, you have several feet of steel, bumper, engine, and/or seats between you and the impacting vehicle. When you are struck on the side, you have only the car door between you and the impacting vehicle. You may also possibly have the passenger seat, depending on whether you are hit on the driver’s or passenger side.
Rollovers generally occur with defectively manufactured sport utility vehicles. Defectively manufactured vehicles or parts give rise to a unique type of lawsuit called Products Liability. In a Products Liability lawsuit, the defendants are parties who participated in placing the defective vehicle in the stream of commerce, including the manufacturer and seller. If the defective vehicle causes injury to any party (the driver, passenger, or a bystander), the defendants are liable under a Products Liability theory, which may include Strict Liability, Negligence, Warranty, and sometimes Battery.
Russell & Lazarus’s highly-skilled Orange County car accident attorneys will discuss these complex theories with you, and inform you as to which apply to your case.
Regardless of how your automobile accident occurred, if you sustained injury your first priority is healing. Retaining an Orange County car accident attorneys will relieve you of the stress of litigating a lawsuit. While you recover, place your trust in Russell & Lazarus, a firm committed to successfully prosecuting your case to seek the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Please call Russell & Lazarus at (800) 268-9228 to confer with a knowledgeable and seasoned Orange County car accident attorneys.