aerial view of languna beach californiaIn the Los Angeles area, people spend a great deal of time driving to and from work, shuttling the kids back and forth to school and their activities, and visiting relatives and friends. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans travel more than 220 miles a week—over 11,000 miles a year. That’s comparable to driving roundtrip twice from the east coast to the west coast.

Even if you’re a good driver and follow the rules of the road, being alert and vigilant may not be enough to avoid an accident. A negligent driver not paying attention can cause a crash and change your life forever.

If you suffer injuries in a car crash, you may face expensive medical bills and need to take time off work. Your life will be upended, and your recovery may make it impossible for you to enjoy your life and the activities you love. Because the aftermath of a crash can be overwhelming, it’s critical that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Case Barnett Law. We will work to determine how the crash happened, and we have the experience to help you obtain a fair settlement.

Orange County: Causes of Car Accidents in Laguna Beach

In 2021, Orange County saw nearly 12,000 car accidents. And even though Laguna Beach is not a large city, it ranks in the top five worst cities in California for car-pedestrian accidents. Although California is a reasonably safe state to drive in, the Golden State has nearly 500,000 car accidents yearly. 

The California Traffic Safety Survey, conducted in 2022, found that those drivers surveyed were most concerned about speeding and aggressive and distracted drivers. Additionally, over half of those surveyed reported they’d been hit or nearly hit by a distracted driver using their cellphone.

Common Causes of Laguna Beach Car Accidents

  • Speeding. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that excessive speed is the primary cause of injuries and fatalities in Orange County. Speeding seems especially problematic in this county, and it ranks third highest in speed-related accidents of all 58 California counties.
  • Distracted driving. In California, operating a motor vehicle with a cellphone in your hand is illegal. If a driver allows anything to pull their attention away from the road, it’s considered distracted driving. If someone causes an accident because they were distracted, their attorney may be able to prove negligence in a personal injury claim. 
  • Drunk driving. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that over 10,000 drivers were arrested in Orange County for a DUI in 2017. Statistics show that if someone is convicted of drunk driving, they’ve likely driven drunk over 75 times before police catch them.
  • Aggressive or reckless driving. When drivers are stressed, impatient, or irritated behind the wheel, they’re more likely to drive unsafely and put other drivers at risk. More than 65% of car crash deaths are caused by aggressive driving.

The Benefits of Hiring a Laguna Beach Car Accident Attorney

A skilled car crash attorney understands the process of putting together a case for someone hurt in an accident. There are critical steps an attorney must take to ensure compensation for their injured client. Because an attorney knows what it takes to prove negligence in a car crash, your chances of receiving a fair settlement improve significantly if you have legal counsel.

Ways an Attorney Can Help Ensure Fair Compensation for a Laguna Beach Car Crash

  • Gathering evidence. Having evidence that helps prove the at-fault driver’s negligence is crucial for your personal injury claim or lawsuit. The Case Barnett Law personal injury attorney team knows the type of evidence needed and how to get it. There may be video footage of the crash and eyewitnesses who saw the accident. Your attorney will also investigate the crash site, check for debris and skid marks, and determine if road conditions factored into the accident.  
  • Helping you avoid mistakes. When you’re in the hospital and at your most vulnerable, the insurance company for the at-fault party will likely contact you. During this time, it’s possible for you to make mistakes that can hurt your personal injury claim. Hiring a skilled accident attorney will help you avoid those mistakes. For example, an insurance adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement or give them access to your medical records—giving the appearance that they’re collecting information to understand what happened to you. They may pretend to care and seem sympathetic about your situation. It's also likely that the insurance adjuster will offer you a lowball settlement that sounds reasonable but will likely not cover all of your medical bills and property damage.

Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they use unscrupulous tactics to pay you as little as possible. Initially, they may try to delay or deny your claim. They may also try to get information from you that they’ll use against you later. Always know that the insurance company doesn’t care about providing you with a fair settlement, and your attorney is aware of this. They’ll advise you to give only basic facts and will take over communication with the insurance companies so you can focus your time and energy on recovering.

  • Determining the value of your claim. When you’re injured in an accident, you suffer many types of loss. And it’s important to remember that the value of your claim isn’t just the total of your medical bills or the cost to repair your car. If you have to take time off work, you may lose wages during your recovery period. You may also have to pay out-of-pocket expenses and transportation costs going back and forth to doctor appointments. Additionally, your attorney can evaluate the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident. Your attorney will determine the monetary value of your claim or lawsuit to ensure that you receive fair compensation.

Obtaining Fair Compensation After a Laguna Beach Car Accident

When a negligent driver causes a car crash in Laguna Beach, obtaining fair compensation from the liable party may be challenging. Their insurance company wants to pay you less than what your claim is worth, and an insurance adjuster may use dishonest tactics to get you to make statements that will harm your claim. They may act friendly and helpful, seemingly concerned about your condition and injuries, but their goal is to get information from you that will negatively impact your case

When you’re injured in a car accident, you can recover many types of damages—damages that the insurance adjuster will not account for when giving you a lowball offer. It’s important to understand the money you may be owed in a personal injury case.

After a Laguna Beach Car Crash: Possible Recoverable Damages

  • Medical costs associated with the accident and any future medical costs
  • Future care needs, such as rehabilitation
  • Lost wages, including raises, bonuses, and loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Assistive devices such as wheelchairs or railings
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law