Orange County Car Accidents Attorney
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths and injuries throughout the United States. Accidents happen for many reasons, including distracted driving, dangerous weather conditions, mechanical failures, and drunk driving. Whenever an accident occurs due to a driver’s negligence, that driver absorbs liability for all resulting damages. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries because of another driver’s negligence, an Orange County car accident lawyer can offer you the best chance of securing total compensation for your losses.
The team at Chris and Frank offers legal representation in a wide range of civil cases, including personal injury claims pertaining to car accidents. We know that these incidents can cause devastating financial losses for victims and their families, and it’s common for car accident victims to experience distress and uncertainty when determining their best channels of recovery. Our goal is to help our Orange County car accident clients recover as fully as California state law allows. We’ll help you navigate the complex details of your car accident claim and guide you through the legal proceedings you face as you work toward your recovery.
Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash?
It’s common for those who experience minor car accidents to wonder whether they need legal counsel to secure compensation for their losses. For example, suppose you had a minor fender-bender with another driver at low speed, such as a minor crash in a parking lot. In that case, it’s possible to work out a resolution with the other driver, typically with an insurance claim against the auto insurance policy of the at-fault driver. If your vehicle only sustained minor cosmetic damage and no one was injured, this may be an acceptable option for addressing your situation. However, if your accident involved an injury of any kind, you should prepare to seek legal counsel and will likely face a more difficult road to recovery.
It is also vital to remember California’s accident reporting laws in these situations. California state law requires drivers to report accidents that result in significant property damage, injuries, or deaths. If you are unsure whether you need to report a car accident in Orange County, it is always best to err on the side of caution and report it as soon as possible. This will ensure you do not incur penalties for hit-and-run and create a police report of the incident. If you fail to report a car accident required by state law, you could face criminal prosecution and a more difficult road to recovering compensation for your losses.
Ultimately, if you suffered any injury from a car accident, even a minor one, it’s best to secure legal counsel to ensure the best chances of recovering your losses. An experienced Orange County car accident attorney is a tremendous asset when you incur substantial medical expenses, property damage, and lost income. Additionally, a good attorney can help you get compensation for your pain and suffering, potentially securing much more than the total of your claimable economic damages, depending on the severity of your injuries. The team at Chris and Frank is ready to assist you with your Orange County car accident claim. We can help you determine your best available options for recovery and guide you through all phases of the legal proceedings resulting from your car accident claim.
How Much Does an Orange County Car Accident Attorney Charge?
If you are concerned about the potential cost of legal fees for your Orange County car accident, it’s vital to fully understand your attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation. The majority of personal injury lawyers in the United States offer contingency fee billing to ensure legal counsel is accessible to those who need it most. Unfortunately, the prohibitively high cost of legal fees can deter some people from seeking legal counsel when they need it. Still, contingency fee billing offers the average person legal representation, ensuring they only pay legal fees when they win their case. Their fees come as a percentage of their case award.
Chris and Frank charge no upfront fees to our clients, and you will not pay anything until we win your case. Our goal is to help you approach your car accident claim with confidence and maximize your compensation. We’ll help you explore every available channel of recovery and guide you through all the proceedings your case entails.
Should I Get a Car Accident Attorney for a Wreck That Was My Fault?
If you cause an accident with another driver in Orange County, you are responsible for their damages. Typically, the first step toward recovery after a car accident is for the injured driver to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. If you caused an accident, you must provide the other driver with your insurance details to begin their claim process. At this point, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to defend you in case the other driver decides to pursue a personal injury claim against you.
Even if you know you are at fault for an accident, you should still make every effort to defend yourself and ensure the case resolution is fair and reasonable. Under California law, an at-fault driver is responsible for an injured driver’s damages after an accident, so if your auto insurance policy cannot cover the other driver’s damages, you should expect them to file a personal injury claim against you for the remainder. Your defense attorney will help you through settlement negotiations, uncover any evidence of the plaintiff’s comparative negligence that may reduce your compensation burden to them, and potentially help you avoid liability depending on the factors in play.
What to Do Immediately After a Motor Vehicle Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, the first steps you take immediately after the accident can significantly impact your recovery. Your primary concern should be your health and safety. If you suffered injuries in the accident, call 911 for help if no one else has already done so and remain in your vehicle. If you feel well enough to move or if you need to exit your vehicle due to immediate danger, do so carefully so as to not make your injuries worse. After checking yourself and your passengers for injuries, check on the other drivers involved in the crash.
Once you have assessed your injuries, you should take a few moments to take photos of the accident scene. Pictures of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, the positions of the vehicles involved in the accident, and nearby landmarks are all valuable. They could potentially help with a future insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Remember California’s law about reporting car accidents and call the police to report the crash if the other driver hasn’t. While you wait for the police to arrive, take this time to obtain the other driver’s contact information and insurance details.
When the police arrive, they will interview the people involved in the accident and take their statements. They will also take statements from any witnesses who saw the crash occur. When speaking with the police, answer them honestly and concisely but do not say anything they may construe as an admission of guilt. Even a statement as simple as “I’m sorry” can be taken out of context and used against you later. Once the police have the information they need, they will allow you to go and clear the accident scene. Be sure to take as many photos as you can before they start clearing the site in case they remove any physical evidence that could be useful to a future insurance or personal injury claim.
After the police allow you to leave, you should seek medical treatment immediately, even if you think you only suffered minor injuries. This will help ensure that any injuries you did suffer will receive appropriate, timely treatment. Your physician can examine you to determine the full scope of your injuries and provide you with a medical report that outlines the injuries you suffered and your future prognosis for potential medical complications. If you were seriously injured in the accident, emergency responders would transport you to the nearest hospital. Once your condition stabilizes, you should be able to obtain a medical report of your injuries.
The next important step after dealing with the police and receiving medical care is to contact an attorney. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help you determine the best available options for maximizing your recovery. This may include filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, or both. One crucial detail to remember is that you should not speak with any insurance claim adjusters until you have retained legal counsel. If any insurance representatives contact you after your accident, politely inform them that you consult with your attorney before speaking about any insurance claims.
How to Handle an Insurance Claim After a Car Crash in Orange County
Dealing with insurance companies is rarely a pleasant or straightforward experience, but having an Orange County car accident attorney assist you with this process can make it much easier. If you need to file an insurance claim after a car accident, your attorney can help you draft your demand letter. This will instantly add authority to your claim and reduce the chances of the insurance company pushing back unfairly against it. In addition, your attorney can review the terms of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and ensure your insurance claim payout is as extensive as the policy permits.
Insurance companies have the right and the responsibility to conduct investigations into all claims for coverage to ensure their legitimacy. Your attorney can help you prepare for any correspondence with insurance claim adjusters and help you address any pushback you may receive against your claim. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit organizations that lose money when they pay out on claims, so they generally look for all justifications they can find to reduce or deny claims. A good Orange County car accident lawyer will help you through the insurance claim process and take further legal action if necessary.
Commonly Reported Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can easily cause devastating injuries, some of which may require extensive ongoing treatment or result in permanent disabilities. A few of the most commonly reported car accident injuries in Orange County include:
- Broken bones. Bone fractures are painful injuries, and while some may heal entirely with time, others may require extensive treatment and cause permanent medical complications. Nerve damage, diminished flexibility, diminished range of motion, and chronic pain are all possible aftereffects of severe bone fractures.
- Spinal injuries. The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body, making it one of the most critical bodily structures. Unfortunately, the spinal cord cannot heal itself the way the rest of the body can, so spinal injuries are permanent and can have life-changing effects. Loss of sensation, loss of motor control, and complete paralysis are possible effects of spinal injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Crash impact forces can easily cause head injuries that leave lasting damage to victims. Traumatic brain injuries are also unpredictable. Two people could suffer seemingly identical brain injuries and have vastly different reactions to them. A traumatic brain injury can easily cause permanent damage, including memory loss, cognitive impairment, sensory processing issues, and more.
- Internal organ injuries. The traumatic force of a car accident can easily damage internal organs, disrupting organ functions, or even causing internal bleeding. Sometimes, these injuries do not cause immediately noticeable symptoms.
- Facial and dental injuries. Crash impact forces and airbag deployment can cause severe facial and dental injuries, potentially causing permanent scarring or dislodging teeth.
It’s common for victims of severe car accidents to sustain multiple injuries, some of which may require immediate medical treatment. Your Orange County car accident attorney can help you determine the full scope of your injuries and guide you through the process of obtaining compensation for these losses.
Claiming Damages in Your Car Accident Claim
Suppose you want to maximize your recovery after a car accident in Orange County. In that case, you need an experienced attorney who knows how to uncover all the available channels of compensation open in your claim. California’s personal injury laws allow an injured victim to seek compensation for all damages resulting from a personal injury. Some of the economic damages you could potentially recover in a successful car accident claim include:
- Property damage. You can claim vehicle repair costs as well as the cost of replacing any of your personal property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident.
- Medical expenses. Injured plaintiffs can claim total compensation for all medical expenses incurred because of another driver’s negligence. This includes immediate medical costs like hospital bills and your anticipated future medical costs for any ongoing treatments you will require following your accident.
- Lost income. A severe car accident can cause injuries that leave you unable to work for an extended time. Your attorney will help you collect compensation for your lost wages. If you are left disabled and unable to resume working, your attorney can help you calculate your lost future earning capacity and add this amount to your personal injury claim.
California law also allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation for their pain and suffering. It may sound difficult to assign a monetary value to intangible concepts like physical pain and emotional distress, but experienced attorneys have formulas they can use to calculate reasonable pain and suffering compensation. For example, suppose your injuries are expected to heal completely over time. In that case, your attorney may seek “per diem” pain and suffering compensation on your behalf that awards a set amount per day until you reach maximum medical improvement from your injuries. However, if your injuries are more severe or caused permanent damage, your attorney may seek a larger lump sum by multiplying your claimed medical expenses by a factor of two to five, depending on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood of long-term medical complications.
An auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy may be the first step toward recovering your losses from a car accident. Still, there is no guarantee that the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate your losses. Therefore, if you exhaust available insurance, you will need an Orange County car accident attorney to assist you in filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover the rest.
Proving Liability for Car Accidents in Orange County
Success with your car accident claim in Orange County depends on your attorney’s ability to prove negligence. This term defines a failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. For example, if a driver causes an accident because they were looking at their cell phone instead of the road, this is a clear example of negligence and a violation of the driver’s duty of care to operate their vehicle free from distractions.
To succeed with a personal injury claim for a car accident, you and your attorney must identify the driver responsible for causing the accident and prove they were negligent in some way that directly caused the accident. Your attorney can secure evidence such as traffic camera footage, vehicle computer records, and cell phone records to help you accomplish this. Your attorney may also look for eyewitness testimony to strengthen your claim, and they may even consult with expert witnesses to help you prove negligence and establish liability for your losses. For example, an accident reconstruction expert could prove how the accident unfolded step-by-step, so there is no doubt who is responsible for causing the crash.
Success with your personal injury claim also requires providing a complete and accurate accounting of all your damages and proving those damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
How Can an Orange County Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
When you work with Chris and Frank in a car accident lawsuit in Orange County, you can rely on our team to help you through every phase of your case. Most personal injury claims settle outside of court because swift settlement suits the best interests of both the plaintiff and the defendant in almost all personal injury cases. A settlement allows the plaintiff to secure compensation much faster than a court case, allowing the defendant to put the situation behind them more quickly.
During settlement negotiations, the two parties must decide on a mutually agreeable resolution to the accident claim. This may require compromise from both sides, but if one side is unwilling to budge on specific aspects of the case, the claim may proceed to litigation. For example, a defendant might accept their responsibility for causing the accident but argue against the scope of the damages the plaintiff is seeking. Regardless of whether you can settle your car accident claim in private negotiations or need to go to trial to fully recover your losses, you can rely on Chris and Frank to provide detail-oriented, responsive, and compassionate legal representation through every phase of your case.
Find A Car Accident Lawyer In Orange County, CA Today
It’s natural to feel distressed and uncertain about your recovery and daunted at the idea of taking legal action following a car accident in Orange County. However, the right legal representation on your side can help you approach the situation with greater confidence and increase the chances of securing total compensation for your losses. The team at Chris and Frank has years of experience guiding our Orange County clients through the most complicated personal injury claims. We understand your frustration and uncertainty and want to help you approach your car accident claim with clarity and confidence.
If you or a loved one is struggling with injuries and the financial aftermath of a car accident that another driver caused, we can help you explore your options for legal recourse. Contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orange County car accident attorney.
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