Orange County is a busy area. Known for Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, beaches, harbors, and other attractions, millions of people travel to and from the area each year. This is in addition to a regular population of more than three million residents.
With all of this activity, it is no secret that the roads are congested and travel can be hazardous. Based on data from California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System, nearly 12,000 crashes were reported in Orange County in 2021. A little more than 7,000 of these accidents resulted in some type of reported pain or injuries to those involved.
While no one ever expects to be involved in a car accident, having an auto accident attorney is strongly recommended if you have been hurt in a crash that was not your fault.
Why do I Need an Orange County, CA Car Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an auto accident in Orange County, you must prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident in order to collect compensation from them to pay for your damages. The issue of fault is frequently disputed in car accident cases. If the other party’s insurance company decides you were at fault for the accident, you may not be able to collect compensation at all. In fact, your premiums could go up with your own insurance company if they have to pay for the accident. This is extremely unfair, but it can happen if you don’t have legal representation looking out for your best interests.
A skilled attorney will investigate the accident and all of the available information and evidence available. After collecting as much documentation as possible and building a case that clearly shows you were not at fault for the accident, they will calculate how much damages you are rightfully owed by the liable party and then make a demand for a fair settlement.
The insurance company wants to pay as little as possible for your claims. This is because their main concern is their profit as a private company, not your best interests. When you have an attorney on your side, the adjuster knows that you are serious about pursuing compensation and will be less likely to try to get you to settle for a low, unfair amount.
In fact, it’s important that you are very careful what you say to anyone about the accident, especially to anyone at the scene or in the days after. The insurance company for the responsible party may contact you asking for a recorded statement. You have the right to refuse and refer them to your attorney, which is highly recommended to safeguard any potential settlement or verdict you could achieve in the future.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Orange County, CA
The busy streets and roadways of Orange County are filled with cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, and trucks. Drivers should always use caution to reduce their risk of an accident. Still, many accidents happen every year. Here is a look at the most common causes of car accidents in Orange County, CA:
- Drug or Alcohol Impairment
- Reckless Driving
- Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign or Crosswalk
- Failure to Yield
- Medical Emergencies
- Weather Conditions
- Vehicle Equipment Defects
- Driver Fatigue or Drowsy Driving
Each of these common driver errors and reckless behaviors can lead to a serious accident. When you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim. However, you will need to take certain steps to ensure that you can prove who is liable for causing the accident. This is best handled by an auto accident attorney in Orange County. No matter the cause of the accident, if injuries were sustained, you should not try to move through the process of making a claim without an attorney representing you.
What Happens After an Orange County, CA Car Accident?
In the days and weeks following an Orange County car accident, many things will occur. If the accident was the other driver’s fault, you may receive a call from their insurance company. The adjuster on the other line will want to take your statement regarding the events leading up to the crash. This statement is usually recorded and can later be used against you if you change your story in any way.
The insurance adjuster may offer to settle your case. This is the point where many crash victims make a mistake by assuming that the adjuster is working for them.
The initial offer that is made by the insurance adjuster may not take into consideration many factors affecting the true value of your case. This is because the amount of your medical bills and the cost of any future medical treatment may be far more than you currently realize.
If you accept the lowball offer, you will have to sign a waiver. This means that you cannot recover any additional money from the accident, even if the settlement that you agreed to turns out to be nowhere near enough.
An experienced Orange County, CA car accident lawyer knows how to avoid this situation. They have the necessary know-how and skill to properly calculate the total costs you may be facing, depending on the severity of your injury. This may include things like lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity, in the event that your injury is so severe you will no longer be able to work.
Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney in Orange County, CA
A car accident is a stressful, scary, and frustrating experience. If you were hurt in the accident, locate one of the car accident lawyers in Orange County, CA who will stand up for your legal rights. Most auto accident attorneys offer free consultations, where you can speak directly with an attorney and get a better idea of whether you may have a case. If you decide to move forward, you will probably not have to pay anything up front or out of pocket at all. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, so their fee is only paid when compensation is obtained.