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Pedestrian Accidents: Understanding Responsibility, Settlements and Outcomes

From parking lots and driveways to crosswalks and local roads, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians can occur in a variety of settings.

Because of this huge weight difference between a vehicle and a pedestrian, combined with the lack of protection that pedestrians have from impact, the injuries from pedestrian accidents can often be devastating.

In lucky situations, pedestrians may walk away from an accident with minor cuts and bruises. In severe accidents, however, impacts between cars or motorcycles and pedestrians can result in serious, lifelong injuries or death.

As a leading Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer’s office, we’ve represented a diverse range of people injured in pedestrian accidents. As such, our team has an expert understanding of the responsibilities of pedestrian accidents and the factors that can determine most settlements.

In this post, we’ll look at both aspects of pedestrian accident cases — the way most settlements are calculated, as well as the party that’s ultimately held responsible for paying compensation to the victim.

How are pedestrian settlements reached?

Most of the time, settlements in pedestrian accident cases (in addition to many other accident types, such as motor vehicle or bicycle accidents) are reached by considering several different factors.

The first factor is the cost of medical care and treatment. Pedestrian accidents often result in significant injuries — injuries that can require extensive, ongoing medical care. The cost of this care is typically factored into a settlement or compensation in a pedestrian accident case.

The second factor that’s considered in reaching a pedestrian accident settlement is the extent of the injuries sustained by the pedestrian. The more seriously someone is injured, the greater the damages are likely to be, compared to an accident that only produces minor injuries.

In determining the severity of injuries, medical experts will generally look at factors such as the permanence of (for example, whether or not the injuries have a lifelong effect) and the specific type of injuries that are sustained in the accident.

The third factor that goes into reaching a pedestrian accident settlement is the long-term effect of the accident on the victim’s life. Injuries sustained in a serious accident can prevent someone from working or enjoying life to the fullest — a variable that can influence the total settlement.

Finally, liability is considered when reaching a settlement. Settlements tend to be higher when the defendant is completely liable for the accident, while settlements are usually lower in cases where persons are considered jointly liable for the accident.

All four of these factors play a role in determining the total amount you can expect to receive in a personal injury settlement. Because every case is unique, it’s impossible to say which factor will have the biggest impact — most of the time, all four factors contribute to the final outcome.

In a pedestrian accident, who pays the settlement?

In the vast majority of pedestrian accidents, the defendant’s automotive insurance provider will provide the settlement.

Collecting a settlement from an insurance company is an involved, complex process that often requires negotiation. As a personal injury law office, we work attentively and aggressive in this stage of the process to ensure you receive the full settlement to which you’re entitled.

If the pedestrian accident involved a commercial vehicle, the settlement is typically paid either by the responsible company or by the company’s insurance provider.

However, in some cases, the motorist responsible for the accident may not have any insurance coverage and thus won’t have an insurance company to accept responsibility for the settlement.

In this case, things can become more challenging. If the motorist that caused the accident does not have sufficient funds to pay the settlement, collecting the amount of money to which you’re entitled under the law can lead to an arduous, often ineffective litigation process.

However, if your auto insurance policy includes an uninsured motorist clause, your insurance provider may pay out either the entire sum owed to you or the difference between the amount payable by the uninsured driver responsible for your injuries.

Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrian accidents can be devastating experiences, both from a physical and psychological perspective. Often, the injuries from a pedestrian accident are lifelong, restricting your ability to work and enjoy a high quality of life.

Our Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney’s office specializes in helping people affected by pedestrian accidents seek justice. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can provide expert advice, assistance and representation to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Because every case is different, the best approach is to contact our team to learn more about your legal options. To begin the process, please fill out our free online case evaluation form or call us directly on 1-800-560-2139 to speak to a member of our team.

Can You Make a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?

You’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t any fault of your own, but it’s left your car damaged beyond repair.

Or, you’ve slipped and fallen in a retail store due to unsafe design, or a wet floor that wasn’t properly marked with a warning sign.

Or, you’ve been left with a serious injury as a result of another person’s negligence that will make it impossible for you to work for the next three to six months.

All of the above situations are common occurrences in which you, as an individual, have the right to pursue an accident or personal injury case against an individual, a business or their insurance provider.

In all of these cases, you have two options to choose from: you can represent yourself, and potentially keep the entire settlement instead of having to deduct a lawyer’s fees (typically a third of the settlement amount).

Or, you can work with a personal injury attorney and pay a contingency fee only if you receive damages or a settlement.

At first glance, the decision seems simple. If you have a slam dunk case, why wouldn’t you opt to represent yourself? The reality is that while you can make a personal injury claim without an attorney, there are numerous reasons not to do so.

Large damages typically mean extensive opposition

In the event that you suffer significant losses as a result of an accident (for example, lost income or quality of life due to a major injury), the compensation you receive from the responsible party (or, more frequently, their insurance provider) could be a large sum of money.

This also means that you’ll likely face significant legal opposition in recovering damages. Large companies, for example, often have highly effective in-house legal teams dedicated only to the settlement of personal injury and accident cases.

As an individual representing yourself, this means that you’re at a significant disadvantage. With an experienced personal injury or accident attorney on your side, the playing field is leveled and your chances of a successful claim are much higher.

You might be entitled to more than you initially think

In many personal injury cases, victims incorrectly assume that they’re entitled to a far smaller amount of compensation than the reality. Because of this, many self-represented victims take the first amount they’re offered by an insurance company — often, a relatively small amount.

Experienced personal injury attorneys understand not only the process of making a successful personal injury claim but also the average sums that are awarded in court or typically provided as settlements.

As a personal injury victim, it’s easy to underestimate the true cost of an injury. From lost wages to emotional distress, the scope of damages from an injury can often extend beyond your initial assumptions.

Because of this, it’s always best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney that can assess the true costs of your injuries and their relevance to a fair settlement.

Representing yourself is complex and stressful

While television shows and movies may make the process of representing yourself in a lawsuit or personal injury claim seem simple, the reality is that the process is fraught with difficulties for people without legal qualifications and experience.

From calculating damages to preparing a demand letter, negotiating a settlement and more, the process of making a personal injury claim is extremely challenging. Add a hostile opposition into the equation and it’s easy for even a “certain” claim to crumble without the right assistance.

It’s also important to remember that this process takes place in the wake of an accident that has left you injured and seriously affected — a situation that’s already difficult, even without the extra stress of legal proceedings.

As a result, making a personal injury claim yourself is rarely the best approach, no matter how confident you are in the strength and validity of your claim.

Hiring a personal injury attorney is always the best option

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, whether on the road or on private property, the best option is always to seek the services of a personal injury attorney.

An experienced attorney will be able to review the evidence surrounding your injury and inform you of whether or not you have a case. If you have a valid claim, they will be able to fight your case on your behalf, maximizing your likelihood of a satisfactory settlement.

For our clients, we offer a no-recovery, no-fee contingency arrangement that means you won’t have to pay anything unless you receive a favorable verdict or settlement.

In closing, yes, you can make a personal injury claim by yourself. However, as with many things in life, you’ll have the best chances of a successful claim by retaining a personal injury attorney to work on your behalf.

As a premier Costa Mesa personal injury attorney’s office, we’ve helped hundreds of people successfully receive settlements or favorable verdicts. Our experienced team can help you learn more about your rights and legal options in the event that you’re injured in an accident.

For more information, please fill out our free online case evaluation form or contact us now on 1-800-560-2139 to speak to a member of our team.

How to Respond After a Truck Accident

Vehicular accidents can be terrifying experiences. When you’re involved in an accident that also involves a truck — whether it’s a mid-sized delivery truck or a large 18-wheeler — the scale of the damage can be even greater.

As one of the Costa Mesa area’s leading truck accident attorney’s offices, we’ve helped a large range of motorists successfully make insurance claims after being involved in driving accidents with trucks and other commercial vehicles.

As such, we can help you make the right decisions after you’ve been in an accident, particularly if the accident wasn’t your fault.

Below, we’ve put together a simple checklist for you to follow in the event that you’re involved in an accident with a truck or other commercial vehicle. From taking photos to making sure you get the driver’s employer, all of these steps can strengthen your case as an accident victim.

Respond to injuries and medical emergencies

Truck accidents often involve injuries, including significant injuries that may need urgent medical attention. Before you take any steps to protect yourself legally after an accident, assess whether or not any of the people involved in the accident are injured.

If people have been injured in the accident, call 911 and provide all of the necessary information to help emergency services make their way to the accident site. If your car is in the way of traffic and still operational, you can move it out of the way of the road if doing so is safe.

In a crash situation, it’s often possible for adrenaline to prevent you from properly assessing the extent of your injuries. Even if you feel like an injury is “just a scratch” or another minor issue, it’s still important that you contact emergency services.  

Inform the police about the accident

After you’ve checked that all of the individuals involved in the accident are okay, you should call the police. This is important as having a complete, factual and accurate police report of the truck accident is a key part of the insurance claim process.

After the police arrive at the scene, they will prepare an accident report. Make sure you ask the police for a copy of the accident report, as it’s an important document for the insurance claim or legal action process.

Identify the truck, driver and employer

Although some commercial vehicles are owned by their operator, most trucks are the property of a specific company. This means you’ll need to identify both the driver and their employer, even if the driver — rather than the company — is at fault for the accident.

If possible, use your smartphone to take a photograph of the truck’s license plate, as well as any visible branding on the vehicle. You should also ask the driver for information on the tractor (this is the front section of the truck or cab) and the type of trailer (or trailers) attached to the cab.

Of course, you should also carry out the typical post-accident process of asking for the driver’s name and contact information. You can also ask any witnesses to the accident for their names and contact information.

Finally, you should ask for information about the type of cargo onboard the truck. In many cases, these items are insured separately or subject to different insurance conditions, making it helpful to have information on all of the separate vehicle components involved in the accident.

Photograph the scene and surrounding area

In a truck accident claim, the more evidence you have, the stronger your chance of success. To strengthen your insurance claim, use your smartphone to photograph the accident scene, both (or all) of the vehicles involved in the accident and any other objects that are damaged.

If the truck skidded before colliding with your vehicle, take photos of both the skid marks and the tires of the truck and its trailer. Photograph all relevant road signs at the accident scene, as well as factors that could have contributed to the crash, such as barriers or embankment.

Finally, use your smartphone to take photographs of damage to your vehicle. If you’re injured (but not in need of urgent medical care), you can also use your smartphone to record the state of your injuries at the time of the accident.

Contact an experienced truck accident attorney

Truck accidents are a relatively common occurrence. Because of this, many trucking companies have representatives hired for the sole purpose of responding rapidly to accidents and reducing the cost of such accidents for the trucking company.

Often, these representatives will offer you a settlement that’s only a small fraction of the amount to which you’re entitled under the law.

As the victim of a trucking accident, you should not talk to these people. Instead, you should get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

A truck accident attorney will be able to accurately assess the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled as a result of the accident. They will fight on your behalf to ensure you receive a complete level of compensation for vehicular damage and both mental and physical injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, we’re here to help. As a specialist Costa Mesa truck accident attorney’s office, we can help you receive the full compensation to which you’re entitled as the victim of a truck or commercial vehicle accident.

For more information, please schedule a free case evaluation using our online case evaluation form or contact us by phone at 1-800-560-2139.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You After an Accident

Accidents can happen at any time and in any place, from the local shopping mall’s parking lot to regional highways. When they do happen, it can be a traumatic experience, with consequences that range from vehicular damage to serious, often permanent, personal injuries.

Unfortunately, serious accidents are becoming more common on US roads, with an increasing number of drivers dying in automotive crashes. Even in non-fatal crashes, major injuries are an alarmingly common occurrence.

In the event that you’re injured in an automotive or pedestrian accident, it’s important that you talk to a Costa Mesa personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

With 10 locations throughout Southern California, including the Costa Mesa area, we’ve helped a diverse range of clients seek insurance claims, settlements and compensation after sustaining injuries in automotive and pedestrian accidents.

In doing so, we’ve not only produced real results — we’ve also seen how important a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney is for someone injured in an accident that lacks the hands-on legal know-how to deal with an insurance company.

Below, we’ve listed several ways that the right personal injury attorney can help you after an accident. From defending your rights to ensuring you receive maximum compensation, all of these benefits underscore the value of choosing the right legal representation after an injury.

An attorney can help you recover damages

In most automotive accidents, victims can recover two separate types of damages — economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are damages that victims receive to pay for expenses that stem from the accident. For example, economic damages might be intended to pay for things like the bill for being transported to a hospital in an ambulance or receiving medical care.

They can also include direct economic costs from the accident, such as lost income as a result of injuries.

Non-economic damages can also sometimes be awarded to victims of automotive or pedestrian accidents. These damages cover things such as physical or emotional pain caused by an injury, as well as non-tangible effects on your quality of life and wellbeing.

Calculating and quantifying these damages as a non-lawyer is very difficult, which is why many people that file insurance claims without the help of an attorney end up receiving less than they should in the form of compensation.

An attorney can accurately and comprehensively quantify the damage an accident has caused to your life, helping you receive a fair settlement from the party responsible for the accident or their insurance provider.

An attorney can act as your personal advocate

Even if the person responsible for your injuries is completely, undeniably at fault, it can still be a challenge to receive a fair level of compensation when you go up against an insurance company (and their powerful team of lawyers) on your own.

Often, insurance providers offer relatively low settlements to people that file claims without the assistance of an attorney, knowing that they’re less capable of navigating the complex process of filing, negotiating and receiving compensation for injuries.

In other cases, an insurance company might dispute the policyholder’s liability for the accident and its resulting injuries entirely — something that’s often difficult to fight back against without a thorough understanding of the law.

A personal injury attorney can act as your personal advocate — an equalizer in the process of helping you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled. Instead of going up against an insurance provider on your own, you have a powerful, knowledgeable advocate on your side.

Many attorneys will help you on a contingency fee basis

The vast majority of reputable personal injury attorneys will offer you a free consultation to learn more about your legal options. We offer this to our clients through our free case evaluation form, which you can use to directly contact our team.

During this consultation, a personal injury lawyer can inform you about whether or not you have a valid claim.

In the event that you have a valid claim, you’ll often be able to take legal action without having to pay costly hourly fees. For example, we offer a contingent-fee arrangement for clients, meaning that you don’t have to pay fees unless your claim is successfully recovered.

This has two benefits. The first is that your personal risk is massively lowered when going ahead with a legal claim. The second is that you have a greater level of assurance that your attorney is aggressively working to ensure you receive fair and complete compensation.

Have you been injured in an auto or pedestrian accident?

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be a difficult experience, and it’s understandable if legal action is the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important that you act quickly after a car, truck, motorcycle or pedestrian accident to ensure your legal rights are 100% defended.

Working with a personal injury attorney gives you a qualified, capable partner in the process of receiving compensation for your injuries. From preparing your claim to negotiating a settlement, they’re with you for every step in the process of recovering from an accident.

If you’ve been involved in an accident in Costa Mesa or elsewhere in Southern California, we’re here to help. As specialists in personal injury law, you can contact our team using our free case evaluation form, or by calling our office directly on 1-800-560-2139.

The 6 Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Car accidents are increasing across the country, with the number of fatal crashes spiking to a nine-year high in 2016.

Automotive accidents occur for a variety of reasons, from distracted drivers to motorists that operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Often, the effects of a car crash are significant, with major injuries and even death far from uncommon.

As a Costa Mesa-based auto accident attorney’s office, we frequently deal with car, motorcycle and other vehicular accident cases. Often, we see the same causes occurring again and again, particularly in accidents here in Costa Mesa and Southern California as a whole.

To help you stay more alert while on the road, we’ve listed some of the most common causes of automotive accidents below. We’ve also provided legal information to help you take action in the event you’re the victim of an accident that stems from one of the situations listed on this page.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is by far the most common cause of car accidents in the United States. Most accidents of this type occur when a driver is distracted by a conversation with a passenger or using their smartphone (either for a call, texting or reading) while driving.

If you’re involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you can and should seek legal advice to ensure you’re treated fairly under the law. Our Costa Mesa-based team can provide more information on the options available for you to seek an insurance claim or settlement.

Speeding

Southern California’s highways might be clogged during rush hour, but in off-peak periods it’s far from uncommon to see people breaking the speed limits. Speeding drivers are far more likely to be involved in crashes than people who drive within the speed limit, creating a serious risk.

Just like with distracted driving, speeding drivers are almost always at fault for accidents they cause. Our team can help you learn more about your legal rights if you’re involved in a crash caused by a speeding motorist, whether they’re in a car, truck or motorcycle.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is the third most common cause of motor vehicle accidents in the country. Often, DUI-related accidents are caused by a loss of focus or motor skills on the part of the intoxicated driver, leading to a wide range of accidents.

In California, an increasing number of DUI-related crashes are caused not only by alcohol but by drivers under the influence of marijuana. In either case, if you’re the victim of a DUI-related crash, you can and should seek legal advice to ensure you can successfully make a claim.

Reckless Driving

Have you ever been tailgated by an overly aggressive driver on the freeway? Or been forced to slam on the brakes after a driver changed lanes without using their turn signal? Reckless driving is an everyday occurrence on Southern California roads and a leading cause of accidents.

As with the other accident causes listed above, if you’re involved in an accident caused by a road user’s reckless driving, you may be able to take legal action. We’ve assisted numerous Costa Mesa-based motorists in seeking claims and settlements due to reckless drivers.

Ignoring Stop Signs

Stop signs are large, red and easy to identify, but this doesn’t stop thousands of drivers from ignoring them every year. Intersections with stop signs are common locations for collisions in Costa Mesa and Southern California, many of which are caused by distracted drivers.

Drivers can fail to notice stop signs for a variety of reasons, from tiredness to simply feeling distracted when entering an intersection. In either case, you can and potentially should take legal action in the event that you’re hit by a motorist that fails to stop for a stop sign.

Weather Conditions

Finally, bad weather conditions are another common cause of road accidents. In heavy rain, it’s easy for cars to lose their grip on the road, making skidding and sliding far more common than it is during dry weather.

Poor weather conditions are a particularly common cause of accidents for motorcyclists, whose vehicles lack the amount of road contact of a car or truck. Often, accidents caused as a result of rain or other bad weather also feature excessive speed or other forms of dangerous driving.

Have you been involved in a car or motorcycle accident?

Road accidents are a common occurrence in Southern California, and their consequences can be significant. From damage to your vehicle to injuries that result in lost income and a reduction in your quality of life, even a “minor” accident can have lasting consequences.

As one of best Costa Mesa auto accident attorney’s offices, we can help you take action in the event that you’re involved in an auto accident caused by a reckless, negligent, dangerous or speeding motorist.

For more information and personalized assistance, please fill out our free case evaluation form or contact us now on 1-800-560-2139 to speak to a member of our team.

6 Essential Items to Keep After a Car or Motorcycle Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a shocking experience. Even if no one is injured, most motorists involved in a collision — either with another vehicle or with a stationary object — feel a sense of anxiety and discomfort afterward.

Because of this, it can be difficult to know what to do after you’ve been involved in an accident.

After you’ve contacted the police, spoken to your insurance provider and carried out the other tasks recommended in our guide to responding after an accident, there are several items you can and should hold onto to increase your chances of a successful insurance claim.

We’ve listed these six items below, all of which are worth remembering when you launch the process of filing your insurance claim or seeking legal action against the party responsible for the accident.

Valuations of damage to your vehicle

Was your vehicle damaged during the accident? From minor scratches to major structural or engine damage, it’s important that you have a full appraisal of your vehicle performed to give you a complete understanding of how much it will cost to repair (or replace).

Most insurance claims, lawsuit damages or settlements are calculated based on the value of a vehicle and the approximate cost of repairs. Providing a detailed valuation of your vehicle and the cost of repairing its damage can help you strengthen your case or insurance claim.

Photographs of the accident scene

This is one of the top items on our list of things to do after a car accident and for good reason. If you have a smartphone, use it to take photos both of the damage to your vehicle, the damage to the other party’s vehicle (or vehicles) and any injuries you sustained during the crash.

Obviously, this advice is primarily for minor accidents, where the priority is to record the results of the accident rather than to rush to help other people. In a serious accident, safety and health should always come first.

Once you’ve photographed your vehicle and any other relevant items, make sure you store the photographs in a secure location. A photographic record of vehicular damage and injuries can be immensely valuable when it’s time to make an insurance claim.

A police report of the accident

For anything other than minor accidents (for example, a tiny scratch on your vehicle caused by a backing car or shopping trolley), it’s always a good idea to contact the police for a record of the events.

After responding to the call, the police officers that visit the scene will write a report. Often, you can acquire a copy of this report by contacting the police. A full, comprehensive police report is an important document that can assist you in successfully making an insurance claim.

Proof of your regular income

If your accident resulted in injuries that prevent (or prevented) you from working, it’s important to have a written record of your typical weekly or monthly income.

Proof of income can take the form of records showing direct deposits from your employer, bank records demonstrating withdrawals from your own business account (if you are self-employed), paycheck stubs, or even records of the tips you receive (if you work in the service industry).

All of these records strengthen your case and increase your likelihood of receiving an adequate level of compensation for any income you’ve missed or will potentially miss out on as a result of an accident.

Recent medical records

If the accident you were involved in causing any injuries — even if minor — it’s important that you keep copies of all medical records. This is important even if you didn’t sustain any major injuries as a result of the accident if only as a precaution against future injuries developing.

In addition to medical records, you should keep copies of your medical bills, prescriptions and all other documents provided by your doctor. The more complete your medical records, the easier it will be to prove to your insurance provider that you suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

An activity and injury journal

During the process of making a claim or taking legal action, you’ll need to recall the dates of specific events. Keeping an activity and injury journal gives you a complete record that you’ll be able to reference, if required, in the insurance claim or legal process.

There are several ways to keep a journal. If you have injuries as a result of your accident, you can keep a physical journal and write down symptoms as they occur throughout the day. If you don’t have injuries but simply need a written record of activity, you can use a word processor.

Regardless of the specific format you choose, an activity and injury journal is a highly useful tool for keeping track of events that follow from your accident, as well as a valuable asset during the legal or insurance claims process that can help a Costa Mesa car accident attorney assist you.

 

6 Tips From Costa Mesa Auto Accident Attorney for After a Car Accident

It’s a situation almost every motorist will face at least once: you’ve been involved in a car accident.

Luckily, no one has been injured. However, the accident has left both your car and the other party’s car damaged — in fact, both vehicles are likely to need thousands of dollars in repairs before they’re back in acceptable condition.

As a motorist, what should you do in this situation? As a Costa Mesa auto accident lawyer’s office, we deal with hundreds of cases every year involving motorists that collide with other vehicles without causing any injuries.

As with everything in life, the best course of action can depend based on the specific type of situation you find yourself in. However, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself in the event of an accident, particularly from a legal perspective.

We’ve outlined these six tips below. For more information, or if you’re reading this directly after an accident and need advice, you can contact us on 1-800-410-4085 or complete our free case evaluation form online.

Before anything else, seek help for injured people

Before you do anything else, including working out who is to blame for the collision, it’s vital to check that no one has been injured in the accident.

If anyone has been hurt during the crash — either in your car or the other person’s vehicle — make sure you contact emergency services. Health and wellbeing is always the top priority in any accident situation, and it’s important that injured people are treated and cared for.

Avoid apologizing for the accident

This might sound ridiculous, but it’s generally best not to apologize to the other motorist after a car accident. The reason for this is simple: while apologizing might be great for easing tension, there’s a risk it could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.

From an insurance perspective, this can be used against you to reduce the amount you receive in compensation after an accident.

Instead, focus on making sure everyone is okay after the accident. If your car is damaged, take a moment to assess the damage. If your passengers are shaken or concerned, talk to them to make sure they’re alright and free of injuries.

Use your smartphone to record evidence

Your smartphone is a valuable tool in the event of an accident, especially if it has a high-quality camera. Use it to your advantage by capturing photographic evidence of the scene, from your vehicle’s damage to skid marks, traffic lights, stop signs and other traffic features.

It’s also important to take photos of any injuries you have, no matter how minor. Bruises, cuts and other physical injuries can also play a major role in determining the outcome of your claim after an accident.

This evidence can be valuable in helping you build a strong case for an insurance claim in the event that you weren’t responsible for the accident.

Contact the police after the accident

Even if no one was injured in the accident, it’s important to contact the police if the crash results in more than minor damage. This gives both you, the other party and the police a clear record of the outcome of the accident, as well as the damage that occurred to either vehicle.

In the event that you need to make an insurance claim, a police report can simplify the process and help you create a stronger case. The presence of a police officer also reduces the risk of a difficult or violent reaction from the other driver — a major risk in some accident situations.

Call an auto accident attorney when possible

Although many minor accidents can be resolved without legal action, others can require some amount of legal process. This is particularly common if your car or motorcycle accident led to significant damage to either party’s vehicle, or resulted in injuries.

As one of the top Costa Mesa auto accident law firms, we’ve assisted hundreds of motorists in successfully navigating the complex legal environment that can emerge after a car, truck, bike or motorcycle accident.

For more information, or for urgent assistance, please contact us on 1-800-410-4085 or fill out our free case evaluation form.

5 Injury Prevention Tips From a Costa Mesa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

With motorcycle crashes on the rise, particularly throughout Southern California, it’s becoming more important than ever to stay safe while on the road.

According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, motorcycle collisions and fatal crashes increased by 23 percent between 2003 and 2012. As a populous area, Orange County often ranks near the top of California regions when it comes to motorcycle-related injuries.

As a Costa Mesa motorcycle accident attorney’s office, we frequently deal with injuries related to motorcycle crashes. Often, these crashes are no fault of the motorcyclist — in many cases, other road users simply make a mistake, drive dangerously or are unaware of road conditions.

While some accidents are unavoidable, you can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident by taking several steps to keep yourself safe while on your motorcycle.

Below, we’ve listed five injury prevention tips based on years of assisting motorcyclists to pursue legal action after accidents. Whether you’re an everyday rider or a weekend warrior, it’s worth keeping these tips in mind — in an accident, they could reduce the risk of major injuries.

 

 

Ride within the speed limit

It should go without saying, but it’s important to ride your motorcycle within the speed limit. A large number of serious motorcycle accidents involve speeding, including a disproportionate number of fatal road accidents.

As tempting as it can be to push your motorcycle to its limits and enjoy its performance, doing so can be extremely risky. Violating the speed limits also makes it more likely that you can be held legally responsible for an accident — something that can have major legal consequences.

When you’re riding your motorbike, pay attention to local speed limits. Ride at or slightly below the maximum legal speed and you’ll reduce your risk of being involved in a collision with a car, losing control of your vehicle or other dangerous situation.

Wear protective motorcycle gear

Costa Mesa and the surrounding area can get very warm, especially during summer. Because of this, it can be tempting to ride without protective equipment, particularly if you’re only going a short distance from home.

However, there are significant risks involved in riding a motorcycle, even on short trips. If you’re involved in an accident without a protective jacket, pants, gloves and other clothing, the risk of you facing serious injuries increases by a substantial amount.

This can mean costly hospital bills, as well as a risk of permanent injuries that negatively affect your quality of life for the long term. Reduce these risks by always wearing protective gear, such as a protective jacket, gloves, jeans, and boots.

Ride responsibly and predictably

As well as obeying the speed limit, it’s extremely important that you ride in a predictable, highly visible manner.

Motorists in cars, vans, trucks and other large vehicles often fail to see motorcyclists, leading to accidents as a result of poor visibility. When you weave in and out of traffic, lane split or swerve around within your lane, you substantially increase your accident risk.

When you’re on your motorcycle, keep the word “predictable” in your head. Riding predictably will keep you more visible to other motorists, all while reducing the risk of collisions caused by other road user failing to account for your on-road behavior.

Raining? Take it easy

It’s important for all motorists — car drivers and motorcyclists alike — to drive carefully when it’s wet and rainy. However, as motorcycles have fewer points of contact with the road surface than cars, it’s particularly important to take it easy if you’re a motorcyclist.

When it’s raining, try to ride within your comfort zone. Don’t accelerate rapidly, even if you keep your speeds under the speed limit, and avoid making overly aggressive turns that wouldn’t be a problem in dry weather. Remember, it only takes a moment for your motorcycle to lose its grip.

When the rain gets really heavy, it’s often best to pull off the road and take a break. If you notice the level of rain increasing, try finding a local cafe or restaurant to take a break from riding until the weather improves and the roads dry up.

Seek help immediately after an accident

It’s every motorcyclist’s worst nightmare — you’re involved in an accident that damages your motorbike and causes injuries. If you have an accident, it’s important to seek assistance — of both the medical and legal variety — as soon as possible.

Seeking immediate medical treatment will help you lessen the impact of any injuries you’ve received as a result of the crash. If the collision wasn’t your fault, seeking immediate medical help will also give you a record of your injuries for use in an insurance claim.

Finally, in the event of a major accident, it’s also important to seek legal help. We can provide free assistance to help you understand your legal options — all you need to do is fill in our free case evaluation form or contact us at 1-800-410-4085.

How to Choose The Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Southern California’s warm climate and a wide variety of scenic roads make it a popular place for motorcyclists.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the country’s top locations for motorcycle accidents. Every year, a total of one-tenth of all motorcycle deaths occur in California, with the majority of fatal accidents occurring during the warm, sunny summer months.

While rates of fatal accidents are falling, motorcycle accidents remain a major problem. They’re a particularly large problem for the people involved, many of whom are motorcyclists affected by unobservant or distracted drivers.

Even in non-fatal accidents, injuries are commonplace. As such, it’s important to seek the legal assistance of a motorcycle accident lawyer in the event that you’re involved in an accident while riding your motorcycle.

Our Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer’s office has assisted thousands of local motorists, including many motorcyclists. As such, we have a thorough understanding of the intricacies of motorcycle accident cases, from vehicular damage to personal injuries.

As the victim of an accident, one of the most important decisions you can make in the wake of the accident is choosing the right lawyer. Below, we’ve provided three tips to help you choose a lawyer that can help you seek a fair settlement or compensation after a motorcycle accident.

Choose a lawyer that specializes in motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents are often quite different from car or truck accidents. Often, other motorists fail to notice motorcyclists on the road, resulting in sudden lane changes or turns that — from the perspective of the other motorist — may not appear to be illegal or dangerous.

As a result, it’s far from uncommon for drivers to dispute responsibility in the event of a crash with a motorcyclist.

Accident lawyers that specialize in cases involving motorcyclists understand this, as well as the other intricacies of motorcycle accident cases. As such, they can provide more thorough, better representation as you seek a settlement or pursue action in court.

In law, it’s almost always best to choose a specialist over a generalist. Seek out an attorney that specializes in motorcycle-related cases and you’ll maximize your chances of receiving the legal treatment to which you’re entitled.

Take action quickly to ensure you receive a fair legal result

It can be tempting to take your time in seeking legal advice after an accident, especially if the other motorist is compliant, friendly and seemed interested in helping you.

However, when someone else is responsible for your accident, their attitude and approach can quickly change as time goes on. This makes it important to retain a qualified, capable attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

Speaking to a motorcycle accident attorney in Costa Mesa (or your own location, if you live in a different part of Southern California) as soon as possible means you’ll have a record of any and all injuries you sustained as a result of the accident, as diagnosed by an expert doctor.

This can be extremely valuable when pursuing compensation or a settlement from the person responsible for the accident (or, more commonly, their insurance provider). A good motorcycle attorney will also help you pursue a thorough damage assessment for your motorcycle.

In short, acting quickly not only maximizes your chances of success in seeking a settlement or compensation — it also makes it easier to accurately assess the extent of your injuries and the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle.

Find an attorney that offers a free, no-cost consultation

The best motorcycle accident attorneys will typically offer a free consultation, allowing you to get legal advice and assistance without paying an expensive hourly fee.

This makes the process of learning more about your legal options much more affordable. In the event that you have a viable case, many accident attorneys will also offer a contingent-fee type arrangement, in which they’re paid out of the total sum recovered in a settlement.

With a contingent-fee arrangement, you won’t need to pay anything in order to take legal action against the person responsible for your injuries. As your attorney is compensated out of the total verdict or settlement, they’re also highly motivated to fight aggressively for your success.

Were you involved in an accident? Seek free legal advice now

We specialize in helping motorcyclists seek justice after being involved in accidents. Over the years, our law office has helped an extensive, diverse range of California motorcyclists receive fair and complete financial compensation in the wake of unfortunate road accidents.

As a top Costa Mesa motorcycle accident attorney, we can offer free legal help to motorcyclists involved in accidents. For more information, please fill in our free case evaluation form or call us now on 1-800-410-4085.

When Should You Speak to a Costa Mesa Accident Lawyer?

On average, more than 160,000 motor vehicle accidents causing injuries occur every year in California.

If you’re one of the many people involved in an accident, it’s important that you seek an expert legal opinion as soon as possible. This is especially important if the accident in which you were involved resulted in serious property damage or injury.

It can be difficult to know when to contact a lawyer after an accident. As a leading Costa Mesa auto accident law firm, we deal with hundreds of cases every year, the majority of which involve people who’ve never been involved in an automotive accident before.

As such, we can provide some tips and insights on what you should do after an accident, as well as when you should consider speaking to an attorney. Below, we’ve listed three key situations in which you should speak to an expert attorney as quickly as possible after an auto accident.

 

Have you suffered injuries as a result of the accident?

If you’ve been injured as a result of an auto accident, it’s extremely important that you speak to a Costa Mesa accident lawyer (assuming you’re located in, and/or the accident occurred in the Costa Mesa area).

As an individual, seeking an adequate level of compensation from an insurance company can be an immensely challenging process. While it is possible to file a personal injury claim without an attorney, doing so often puts you at a significant disadvantage.

A qualified, capable accident attorney understands the legal process and has experience in the challenging, stressful process of dealing with insurance companies and their legal departments.

As such, they’re a valuable asset to have on your side, and speaking to one should be your first action after confirming that you and the other people involved in the accident are safe, uninjured and healthy.

If you’ve been involved in an accident recently and need to speak to a personal injury attorney, you can contact our team directly on 1-800-410-4085 or fill in our free case evaluation form.

Is the responsible motorist being noncompliant or unfair?

Most automotive accidents are relatively minor, with the vehicular damage the only outcome and motorists usually friendly and willing to help each other.

However, in some cases, the motorist responsible for the accident can be difficult, nasty and non-compliant, refusing to take responsibility for the damage and/or injuries they’ve caused to you and your vehicle.

In the worst cases, drivers responsible for accidents can become hostile and aggressive — a situation in which you should immediately contact the police.

While it’s important to contact an attorney in any serious accident situation, it should be one of your top priorities in the event that the driver responsible for the accident isn’t being compliant, helpful or honest.

An experienced attorney can make sure you’re able to pursue the other motorist’s insurance provider as thoroughly as possible, helping you make progress and seek results rather than dealing with the threats, insults or other unwelcome behavior of a belligerent motorist.

Do you have significant medical bills or lost income?

Car accidents don’t only lead to injuries and difficulties in the short term — they can also lead to major issues in the long term. These can include costly medical bills due to physical injuries that stem from the accident, as well as lost income due to mobility and physical performance issues.

As the victim of an automotive accident, you’re legally entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses. You’re also legally entitled to seek compensation for income that you lose as a result of temporarily or permanently being prevented from working.

An accident/personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options in the event of an auto accident leaving you injured. They can also help you present an effective case for long-term compensation, potentially through the opinions of medical professionals.

In Conclusion

Unfortunately, auto accidents happen relatively often, particularly in busy areas such as Costa Mesa and other Southern California cities. In the event that you’re involved in an accident that was not your fault, it’s extremely important that you have a qualified attorney on your side.

From making a claim to disputing liability, an accident attorney can help you navigate through the complicated legal process of seeking compensation after an accident. As such, the ideal approach is simple: contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible after an auto accident.