Monthly Archives:' March 2018

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.