Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can be dangerous and cause critical damage, leaving devastation in their wake. In 2019 alone, 15 people and 3 pedestrians were involved in fatal car accidents in Newport Beach, California. Nation-wide, there were 33,244 fatal traffic accidents in 2019, with 3,316 happening in California. When a car hits you due to the other driver’s mistake, you may be owed compensation. Expensive damages can set you back financially for months or more, so it is only fair that you receive a settlement for the damages caused by another’s negligence. After your accident, it is time to speak with a reliable Newport Beach car accident lawyer to learn how to initiate your claim. Call Roberts | Jeandron Law for a free consultation.
What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
Car accidents can put you in a state of shock, making it difficult for you to process what just happened. After a bad car accident, you should take these steps to get started:
Call the Authorities
Police officers show up to auto accidents to help the victims of car crashes. As soon as you’ve been in an accident, you should call 911 and report what happened. The officer may arrive and inquire about your injuries, how the accident happened, and other questions. The dispatcher may summon an ambulance for injured victims, and the officer may give a citation to any drivers who broke the law. If the other driver appears to be inebriated, they may perform a field sobriety test. The officer will write up a traffic collision report containing information about your car accident, which will be useful in your personal injury claim. Auto accident attorneys can then later request the traffic collision report and any test results at a later date and use this information as evidence for your personal injury case.
Take Pictures If You Can
Another great form of proof is photographic evidence. Take pictures of your car to show the damage the other driver caused when they crashed into you. You can take pictures of debris on the road and any surrounding property damage. If you sustained injuries, take pictures of your wounds if possible. You could also take pictures after a healthcare practitioner has treated you to show the extent of your injuries. For example, you may be on crutches or need a neck brace. All of this is valuable evidence for personal injury cases.
Get Important Contact Information
You should obtain the name, phone number, and insurance information from the at-fault party so that your attorney can later contact them. It would be a good idea for Newport Beach car injury victims to also get contact information from any witnesses at the scene. Their testimony can provide additional proof about the nature of the accident.
Seek Medical Help
Because the accident caused serious injuries, you should immediately get medical help. Even minor injuries should be treated because you may have hidden soft tissue injuries that take longer to appear. Delaying medical treatment can signal to parties involved that your wounds are not that serious. This is why it is important for you to get medical help to know what your physical damages are and allow your attorney to use your medical bills as additional evidence.
Your Insurance Agency
Your own insurance carrier may be able to help cover some property damage expenses and medical costs, based on prior agreements in the insurance policy. If your car accident case requires you to recover compensation to cover what the policy can’t provide, your attorney can step in to help and deal with your own insurance company.
Reject Small Settlement Offers
You should decline if the liable party decides to offer you a lump sum or their insurer reaches out to you with a small settlement offer. Don’t give them a recorded statement or any unnecessary information. Let your legal team do the talking. Experienced attorneys will be able to calculate the fair settlement amount you deserve. You may be offered far less than you are owed.
Contact An Attorney
If you are not the at-fault party in your Newport Beach car accident, then an attorney can start working on recovering compensation on your behalf. Car accident victims are often juggling unexpected expenses, lost income, and other difficulties during their recovery process. Your attorney can help you through this situation to get the compensation you need to help you get back to normal. They provide useful advice, resources, and professional support, building a strong attorney-client relationship. With their help, you can receive maximum compensation for the damages you sustained.
Common Car Accident Injuries
After your Newport Beach car accident, you may have terrible injuries because the other driver lost control or was negligent in some way. These are some of the most common car crash injuries that can happen:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
After a car accident, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury which can cause high medical expenses and long-term disabilities. Traumatic brain injuries can happen due to a contusion, penetrating injury, hematoma, or hemorrhage. This can affect your cognitive processes, causing problems with cognition, memory, mood, and neurological functions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Collisions can cause your spinal cord to bend unnaturally, resulting in slipped discs, nerve damage, and sprained muscles along the spine. More severe spinal cord injuries can also cause temporary or long-term paralysis, causing hemiplegia or paraplegia.
In addition to external injuries, you can also bleed internally. Your organs can get bruised or pierced during a car accident, causing them to rupture. Collapsed lungs are a life-threatening issue that occurs when your ribs break and puncture a lung lobe.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Your arm or legs can be crushed during a car accident because of twisted metal or a heavy impact. Bones and fractures take weeks to heal, causing you to be unable to return to your normal life until you’ve fully recovered.
Neck And Back Injuries
These injuries are common because the car’s velocity can cause your back and neck muscles to strain against the force of the impact. Muscles and ligaments can be sprained when you are hurled forward, sideways, or backward during a car crash, resulting in soreness and chronic pain for weeks, months, or even years.
Your vehicle may catch fire during an accident, resulting in burns that can cause serious injuries and disfiguring scars. First, second, and third-degree burns require medical attention and sometimes surgery.
What Happens with Underinsured Motorists?
In the case of uninsured and underinsured motorists, you may be stuck with no way to obtain maximum compensation without the right coverage on your own auto insurance policy. If you have extensive property damage that can’t be covered by your insurance company and medical bills that far exceed the amount supplied by your insurance policy, this can be a problem. Even if you seek a settlement with the help of your personal injury attorney, the other party might not have enough money to cover your damages. If your insurance carrier has uninsured motorist coverage, you can receive payment for your damages once the insurance adjuster decides how much you are owed.
What Are The Stages Of A Personal Injury Claim?
Once you’ve been in a Newport Beach car accident, you may want to speak to car accident attorneys to help guide you through the process. Typically, you will follow the process outlined below through the direction of a car crash lawyer:
Initial Review Of Your Case
Car accident attorneys have to first review your case through the lens of the state’s personal injury law. They must be able to prove liability to help you recover compensation; otherwise, you won’t have a strong enough case to seek a settlement. Your attorney will review your case to discover if the other party broke any traffic laws and whether there is enough evidence to support your claim. If you are at fault, then you will be held liable for the damages you caused. If you are partially at fault, you can still receive a percentage of the compensation under California law.
Investigation Of Personal Injury
Your Newport Beach personal injury attorney has to investigate claims to dig up as much evidence as possible to prove the other party’s negligence. They will review medical records to scrutinize your physical damages, analyze photographs of the crash, obtain the police report, and more. They will do their best to obtain additional evidence, such as traffic camera footage and finding out if the other driver was texting while driving. Your attorney will perform various tasks to investigate your case and ensure that you have strong enough evidence to receive a settlement.
The Claim Is Filed and Served
After the initial investigation, your attorney will begin drafting documents describing all of your damages, the evidence, why the other party is at fault, and the compensation claim. These documents will be served to the relevant parties.
Once the liable driver and their insurer receive the settlement claim, the negotiation process begins, and your attorney will constantly communicate with them. The negotiation may go on for weeks or months, and your attorney may adjust your claim over time according to your wishes. Eventually, the claim will end with a settlement offer, closing your case.
What Happens When There Is No Settlement Agreement?
If the other party refuses to settle, your attorney will help you file a personal injury lawsuit. This process comes with its own steps, as you move from pre-trial to trial phases. Initially, you will have to attend a pre-trial mediation to negotiate a resolution. At this session, your attorney will try to come to an agreement with the other driver and their insurance company. If no agreement can be made, then a trial date will be set. The trial can take days or weeks or longer based on the circumstances of your car accident. Your attorney will represent you before the judge, providing details of your car accident and explaining why the other party owes you compensation.
What Are Common Causes Of Car Accidents?
Car accidents happen for many reasons. Here are some of the causes of car crashes:
A common practice while driving is using a mobile device while operating a vehicle. Because of texting, talking, GPS mapping, games, and other distractions, drivers often wind up in a rear-end collision or worse. While some mobile phone activity is legal, it is recommended to avoid using a phone while driving so that your attention is entirely focused on the road.
Rain, snow, fog, ice, sleet, and other inclement weather can create chaos for drivers on the road. It can be difficult to see when there is a heavy downpour. Even worse, when the roads are icy or wet, drivers must go slower and stop sooner to prevent hydroplaning.
Drivers sometimes abuse substances, which can create slower reaction times and problems with attentiveness. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs is strictly prohibited.
Ignoring Traffic Signs
Impatient drivers can ignore red lights, fail to yield, ignore stop signs, and partake in dangerous driving behavior. This puts other drivers at risk, as they can collide with a careless driver who does not pay attention to traffic signs.
Speeding is a common occurrence and can cause drivers to lose control of their cars. High-speed accidents can be fatal because high-impact car crashes often result in heavy damage to vehicles and their occupants.
Improper Lane Changes
Reckless drivers who change lanes without checking their blind spot first can end up causing an accident.
Aggressive drivers can cause crashes due to reckless behavior like tailgating, brake checking, and cutting off other vehicles.
What Are My Next Steps After A Newport Beach Car Accident?
After your accident, it is time to start thinking about your damages and what you may be owed. A traffic accident caused by another driver requires a consultation with a car accident attorney. Next, your lawyer can help you calculate your damages by adding up your lost income, medical bills, and property damage. With the help of your insurance company, they can then estimate your pain and suffering damages and add this to the total amount. You can build a strong case against the responsible party to get compensation for all the damages you endured with the help of a lawyer. For more information on car accident settlements in Newport Beach, CA, speak with Roberts | Jeandron Law.