Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can happen when you least expect it to. You could be a safe and cautious driver that follows the rules of the road; however, you can still get into a car accident due to negligent actions committed by another driver.
Victims of a car accident are entitled to file a personal injury claim against the driver at-fault for injuries and damages. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our Newport Beach car accident attorneys are available 24/7 to offer legal assistance.
We have won more than $1.6 billion for our clients and have over 60 years of collective legal experience in personal injury cases. We are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case and secure you a fair settlement.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Taking on a car accident claim can be quite complex, especially if it is your first time dealing with insurance carriers and the legal system. Your car accident attorney will be on your side to help answer your questions and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim.
Car accident lawyers can also outline your options and provide you with information that will help you make good decisions regarding your car accident case.
While most car accident cases can be successfully negotiated outside of court, there are times when litigation may be in your best interest. In these situations, your attorney will present a strong and persuasive case to the judge or jury to help you get the compensation you deserve for your damages and medical treatment for your injuries.
Your attorney will also make certain that you don't do or say anything to the insurance companies or other parties involved in the case that may damage your claim.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle
Our firm comes across numerous car accident claims daily, some more horrible and gruesome than others. However, regardless of the severity of the car accident, the at-fault party should still be held responsible to avoid out-of-pocket costs.
Here is a list of some car accident claims we have handled in the past for our Newport Beach clients:
- Hit and Run accident
- T-bone collision
- Rollover accident
- Sideswipe accident
- Multi-vehicle collision
- Single vehicle crash
- Rear-end Collision
- Side impact crash
- Head-on Collision
- Intersection crash
- Food delivery vehicle accidents
We also handle other motor vehicle accident cases, such as:
- Bus accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
If you have been a victim of negligent or reckless driving that has caused a car accident, get in touch with an experienced Newport Beach car accident attorney today.
Driving Regulations in Newport Beach
While minor auto accidents may leave victims with minimal to no injuries, a serious car accident will leave victims with severe injuries.
It is important to be familiar with the traffic laws and regulations of whatever city or state you reside, in order to prevent car accidents.
Here are some important laws that Newport Beach drivers should be aware of to promote safety on the roads:
- No person shall drive through a funeral procession
- No person shall drive a vehicle on any sidewalk area or parkway
- No person shall drive any vehicle over newly made pavement or freshly painted marking in any street
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited
- Except established by public authority, no person shall drive on a limited-access roadway
- No person shall operate any vehicles on the city's public pier.
- Driving or parking on the beach is illegal
- Cruising (driving past an established control point) is prohibited
- No person other than an officer of the Police Department or a person authorized by law shall direct or attempt to direct traffic
- It is illegal to drive with a suspended license and an unregistered vehicle
Car Accident Statistics in Newport Beach, CA
Car crashes can have serious and long-lasting consequences for all parties involved. While victims can belong to any age group, younger drivers are more at risk of a bad car accident due to inexperience.
There was a total of 42,939 fatal motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roads in 2021. Out of this alarming number of car crashes, 38,824 resulted in wrongful deaths, and 12,330 resulted in drunk-driving fatalities.
There have been over 200 fatal crashes and road traffic accidents in Newport Beach since 2018. 157 of them involving a fatal crash, 13 of them involving pedestrians, 4 of them involving drunk persons.
What Should I Do in a Car Accident?
If you have been a victim of serious injuries sustained in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
- Check to make sure everyone involved is safe and not in any immediate danger.
- If you or anyone else is hurt, call 911 to receive immediate medical attention.
- If there are no injuries and everyone is safe, move your vehicle to a safe location if possible.
- Contact the police to file a car crash report. This report will also serve as evidence in your car accident case.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver
- Take a moment to write down details of the crash, such as time of day, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and the events that led up to the collision.
Do not accept or place any blame. Your insurance company has people trained to determine who is at fault.
Filing a Newport Beach Car Accident Lawsuit
Trying to navigate the legal process on your own after a traumatic car accident can feel overwhelming without the right legal resources to assist you.
Filing a car accident lawsuit in Newport Beach is a crucial first step to take in securing damages and maximum compensation if you have suffered injuries.
Your car accident attorney will help you gather evidence, determine liability, and handle the negotiation process with the insurance company on your behalf.
The outcome of your case will be dependent upon the details, and you could decide to settle out of court or take the case to trial.
Gathering Evidence for Your Claim
Prior to submitting a car accident claim, you will need to include important documentation that will support your claim. The more convincing evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
Here is a list of essential documents that will be needed to help increase your chances of acquiring fair compensation.
- Obtaining the other party's information: You will need to ask the other party for their driver's license details, license plate numbers, contact information, and insurance information.
- Taking photographs and/or video footage: After the accident, if possible, try to take pictures or video footage of your injuries, damages, and the location of where the accident took place.
- Getting witness information: If a witness is nearby, you should ask for their consent to acquire their contact information. Remember, witness testimonies can greatly support your claim.
- Requesting a copy of the official police report: If a police officer was present, you should ask for a copy of the official police report. This document will also help support your claim.
- Requesting medical records: It is important for accident victims to visit a doctor or hospital to get their injured area checked. Any visits that are connected with the accident will be saved on file and can be used as evidence that you were, in fact, injured.
- Recording your perspective: Jot down your perspective of the accident in a journal or diary. Do not forget to include the date and time of when the event took place.
Determining Liability in Newport Beach Car Accidents
Determining liability in a car accident can be difficult in California, especially if more than one party was involved. Generally, any party that contributed to any amount of negligence directly to the accident can be held accountable for injuries, as well as damages.
Negligent behavior is unacceptable. Every driver has a duty of care while behind the wheel. This means that all drivers are legally responsible for using reasonable care while operating a vehicle. They must be mindful of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists.
If you were injured by another driver, you are expected to show proof that the driver's negligence was the cause of your injuries. The legal standard for negligence in the state of California will consider the following three elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care through negligence.
- The defendant's negligence was the primary cause of the injuries sustained.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence
When trying to prove liability in a Newport Beach car accident, the state's comparative negligence law must be taken into account.
California follows a strict, pure comparative negligence system rather than contributory negligence. What this means is that if you are involved in an accident and share a degree of fault with the other driver, you are still liable to seek damages for your car accident injuries.
However, when trying to recover compensation from the at-fault party, the amount you are entitled to will be reduced in proportion to your level of fault in the car accident. For example, if you are responsible for 30% of the damages, your compensation will be reduced accordingly.
Understanding the comparative negligence system in California is crucial to having a successful Newport Beach car accident injury claim. Schedule a free consultation to speak with a trusted car accident lawyer who will ensure you get all the facts and are prepared for your personal injury case.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Newport Beach
California's Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has revealed that 12,789 Orange County victims were killed and injured in a fatal car accident in 2020.
Car accident victims can sustain major life-changing injuries due to negligent or distracted driving. Our Newport Beach car accident attorneys help victims of a traumatic car crash overcome their pain and suffering.
Some common car accident injuries that our car accident lawyers have helped victims recover compensation for include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
It’s important to recognize that you may not be aware of the extent of your injuries, especially if you sustained any traumatic brain injuries. Even if you have minor injuries, seeking medical treatment after a car crash is advisable.
Your medical expenses will be reimbursed as damages in your personal injury claim. Consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more about receiving maximum compensation for damages like medical bills and property damage expenses.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Most car accidents are preventable, as driver negligence is the most common cause of car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents.
Common factors that have contributed to the cause of numerous Newport Beach car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence
- Disobeying traffic lights
- Distracted driving
- Bad weather
- Reckless driving
- Road rage
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Running stop signs
- Drowsy driving
If you have suffered injuries due to the reckless driving of someone else, file a claim with experienced auto accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers. Our expert team will ensure the insurance carrier does not try to take advantage of you by giving you an unworthy settlement.
Tips for Avoiding Car Accidents in Newport Beach
Like many densely populated places, Orange County faces several traffic safety issues like traffic congestion and intersection safety.
With the Newport Beach resident population over 83,000, there is always a high potential for car accidents and injured victims.
Knowing how to avoid these accidents can help prevent severe injuries and wrongful death claims. Here are some tips for avoiding a Newport Beach car accident:
- Avoid distractions
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Make sure the car is regularly serviced
- Do not drink and drive
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or other illegal substances
- Keep your eyes moving
- Do not put on headphones while driving
- Follow all traffic lights and road signs
- Put on headlights at night
- Avoid driving in bad weather
- Do not speed (especially in residential areas)
- Use your signal properly
What Are California’s Insurance Requirements?
The state of California requires all drivers to have their own insurance carrier or some form of financial responsibility for every vehicle that is parked or operated on California roadways.
This proof of insurance must be in the vehicle at all times while driving and, upon request, must be provided to law enforcement. Driving without insurance or insufficient insurance is a crime as well as a huge liability in Orange County.
Proof of insurance must also be provided when renewing the vehicle's registration and in the event of a car accident. The minimum car insurance requirement in California is 15/30/5 liability coverage. What this means is that your insurance policy should, at the very least, cover:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $5,000 for property damage per accident
Dealing with Insurance Companies
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident caused by someone else, you have several options for pursuing compensation. You can file a claim with your own insurance company if your policy covers it, or you could choose to pursue a third-party insurance claim with the other driver's insurance company.
You can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver themselves with the help of a Newport Beach car accident lawyer.
If you choose to pursue a claim with the defendant's insurance company, the insurance adjuster will attempt to contact you to investigate the accident. Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side will ensure the insurance adjuster does not coerce you into admitting fault to the insurance company.
You should never give statements to the insurance company without seeking legal consultation from qualified or experienced car accident attorneys first.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists in California
While the law requires the at-fault party to compensate the injured person, many California drivers carry the minimum amount of insurance, which is not enough to cover many injury costs, medical expenses, or property damage.
Some negligent drivers ignore the law entirely by having no insurance and leaving car accident victims at great risk. A car crash with an uninsured driver can prevent you from obtaining a fair settlement offer.
Uninsured motorist coverage/Underinsured motorist coverage (UMC/UIM) is an optional insurance coverage that is included in your insurance policy unless you decline it. Every auto insurance company in California must offer this policy to collect damages against uninsured and underinsured drivers.
UMC/UIM coverage pays when another driver is at fault, but either has no insurance or doesn't have enough insurance to cover your medical costs. Uninsured motorist coverage will also cover the damages if the driver flees the scene in a hit-and-run accident.
Available Damages for a Car Accident
If you are a victim of another driver's negligent driving or were in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.
The most common available damages for victims of car accidents are categorized into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. It is calculated by determining the number of out-of-pocket losses a car accident victim has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. A few examples of economic losses include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Attorney fees
- Property damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses.
Non-economic losses are more subjective and difficult to assess than economic damages and may also have limitations, such as award limits, depending on the case. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
The third type of damages a California court may award is known aspunitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages. It is designed to punish and deter malicious and reckless wrongdoings.
You may be entitled to punitive damages against someone who intentionally harmed you or acted with gross negligence, such as drunk driving, an intentional collision, or a hit and run.
Punitive damages are awarded at the court's discretion. It is typically given as a punishment to the at-fault party when their actions are considered especially harmful and negligent.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is the time limit given to accident victims to bring their claims forward and file a lawsuit.
The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident is two years from the date of the incident. This may seem like enough time, but the claims process can be complicated without help from car accident lawyers and enough time to prepare.
Victims of car accidents are advised to file a claim on time in order to receive maximum compensation to cover medical treatment costs.
An experienced Newport Beach car accident lawyer will look out for your best interests and deal with the insurance company so you don't have to.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident as a result of someone's negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses.
A Newport Beach car accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and even future medical costs.
Our car accident lawyers have recovered over $1.6 billion in damages and can assist you with your case. Contact our Newport Beach personal injury law firm and set up a free consultation today by filling out our contact form. You can also call our toll-free number at (213) 927-3700 to speak with someone from our legal team.
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