aerial view of mission viejo highways los angeles californiaMission Viejo is a city known for its scenic views and vibrant culture. Unfortunately, it's also known for its high rate of traffic collisions.

A Mission Viejo car accident lawyer explains the dangers lurking on local streets and highways and how victims can get the compensation they deserve after a crash.

How Often Do Car Accidents Happen in Mission Viejo?

People in Mission Viejo experience car crashes every day, but some are more severe than others. Whether you're a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist, being injured in an accident can be an overwhelming experience. From medical bills to property damage, our personal injury attorney says, the costs of a crash can add up quickly.

Some of the worst traffic accidents in the past few years include:

  • In February 2023, a driver caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage by driving recklessly through a business parking lot in the 24000 block of Chrisanta Drive. The driver was suspected to be under the influence when she struck several parked cars and attempted to run over a pedestrian who was recording video of the incident. Police shut down the southbound 5 Freeway to apprehend the driver, leading to her arrest and two counts of felony offenses.
  • In September 2022, nine vehicles collided at the intersection of Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road in Mission Viejo. Five people suffered injuries in the multi-vehicle pileup, and one was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
  • A driver allegedly ran a red light in an early morning collision at the intersection of Marguerite and Alicia Parkway in 2018. First responders to the scene of the 4:00 a.m. crash found the drivers of the two vehicles both injured.
  • A 2012 crash could have been deadly for a mother and her two sets of twins if not for the seat belts and airbags in her vehicle. The family of five's minivan was one of four vehicles involved in the crash at the intersection of Oso and Marguerite. Four of the minivan's occupants suffered concussions, facial lacerations, and broken bones, but no fatalities.

Where Do Most Mission Viejo Crashes Take Place?

Car accidents can happen anywhere in Mission Viejo but are statistically more likely in the following locations:

  • Olympiad Road at Alicia Parkway. Florence Joyner Olympiad Park is surrounded by several suburban neighborhoods, making the double lanes of Alicia Parkway especially hazardous to pedestrians.
  • Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road. Commercial and residential neighborhoods collide at the crossing of these two streets, increasing the risk of low-speed accidents.
  • Alicia Parkway and Muirlands. This intersection near Target marks one end of constant lane changes as drivers merge off of I-5, while traffic in the opposite direction faces sideswipe accidents all the way into Laguna Hills.
  • Puerta Real and Crown Valley Parkway. The exit off I-5 provides an influx of shoppers to the Shops at Mission Viejo and the Kaleidoscope outdoor mall.
  • Marguerite and Alicia Parkways. Eight lanes of traffic traveling in four different directions converge at this corner of Lake Mission Viejo, a common site of left-turn accidents.
  • Oso and Marguerite Parkways. These two busy roadways converge at Mission Viejo Market Place Mall, a prime location for distracted driving as people rush to stores, restaurants, and fitness centers.
  • Exits on I-5. Any exit between Galivan and Irvine can be treacherous, but the multiple lane changes required at La Paz, El Toro, and the convergence of the San Diego and Santa Ana Freeways host several crashes each year.

What Causes Traffic Collisions in Mission Viejo?

Every year, thousands of drivers and pedestrians are injured in accidents caused by negligent drivers. It's important to know what causes these collisions so that you can stay safe on the roads and recognize when another driver is being reckless or irresponsible.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Crash Rankings Results, Mission Viejo saw 189 crash-related injuries and fatalities in 2020. Data compiled in the report revealed common factors involved in local car accidents, including:

  • Drunk driving. Police officers made 76 DUI arrests in Mission Viejo during the study period, suggesting that nearly half of the crashes could have involved drunk drivers.
  • Speeding. Speeding is a major contributor to severe and fatal car accidents nationwide. While there were only 22 crash-related speeding violations in the annual report, the city is filled with drivers who travel above posted speed limits, risking additional incidents.
  • Leaving the scene. The number of hit-and-run incidents suggests that drivers were likely to have done something illegal that led to the crash. At-fault drivers are more likely to leave the scene if they are driving under the influence, texting, breaking traffic laws, or talking on a handheld cellphone.
  • Vulnerable victims. Victims in accidents between two cars have the protection of airbags, seatbelts, and steel frames to protect them from serious harm. However, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists struck by cars are far more exposed and likely to suffer life-threatening injuries.

A Mission Viejo Car Accident Attorney Can Explain Your Best Options for Injury Compensation

If someone else's negligence causes injuries, victims have the right under California law to pursue compensation for damages sustained from the accident. Damages include medical expenses, lost wages due to missed workdays or disability leave, permanent disabilities or disfigurement, or pain and suffering associated with the crash.

California follows a "fault" system when it comes to car accident insurance claims. If the other driver's negligence caused your accident, you would file an insurance claim under the at-fault driver's policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies fight against these claims in any way they can, including blaming victims for the crash. Our legal team can protect your rights and negotiate with the insurer to get maximum compensation for your suffering.

If the insurer refuses to pay what you're owed, we can help you file an injury lawsuit to take the insurer to court. California recognizes pure comparative negligence in car accident cases, so you can still recover payment if you were partially to blame for the accident.

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law