You probably think of yourself as a good driver. You follow the rules, obey the rules of the road, and drive defensively. But despite all your attentiveness and diligence, you can still be hurt by a negligent driver, and your life is changed forever.
When you've sustained a personal injury from a car crash, our Orange County personal injury lawyer adds, you may be forced to take time off work while facing huge medical bills, and you may not be able to do the things you love most because of a long recovery period.
The aftermath of a crash can be overwhelming, so it’s important that you contact the experienced California car accident attorney team at Case Barnett Law. We have the background and skill to help our clients obtain a fair recovery. We don’t play games or lie to our clients, and we will take your case if we honestly believe we can win.
Laguna Hills Car Accidents
Statistics show that you have a one in 366 chance of getting into a car accident during a 1,000-mile trip. Additionally, over 75% of all drivers have been in at least one accident approximately every 18 years. Although California is a fairly safe state to drive in, there are nearly 500,000 car accidents every year in the Golden State.
Common Causes of California Car Accidents
- Distracted driving. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that over 3,000 people died in car crashes due to a distracted driver. In California, texting while driving is illegal, and anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the road when they are driving is distracted driving and can be considered negligence in a personal injury claim.
- Aggressive or reckless driving. More than 65% of car crash deaths are caused by aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers intentionally act in an unsafe manner and disregard the safety of others on the road.
- Drunk driving. If someone is convicted of drunk driving, it’s likely they’ve driven drunk approximately 80 times before they were caught. Alcohol-related auto accidents have increased by over 35% since 2011.
- Speeding. Approximately 10,000 people die each year due to a speeding motorist. The top reasons drivers speed are because they’re running late, they’re not paying attention to the speed limit, or they’re driving in an aggressive manner.
Obtaining Fair Compensation After a California Car Accident
When you’re hurt by a negligent driver in California, you may find it difficult to obtain a fair settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they want to pay out as little as possible. An insurance adjuster may call and seem friendly—sympathetic even. But their goal is to get you to say things they can use against you to negatively impact your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
How a CA Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Avoid Making Mistakes
- A car crash attorney can help if you accidentally apologize after the crash. In the chaos after a car accident, you might offer an apology—it might be a polite gesture; you may say it to address an injury the other party sustains. Because this can be used by the insurance company as an admission of guilt, it’s best to talk to an attorney right away and discuss what was said. They can walk back your comments to help characterize them accurately, thoroughly investigate the accident to determine liability and help protect you from underhanded insurance company tactics.
- A car crash attorney will tell you not to give an insurance adjuster a recorded statement. Requesting a formal statement is another shifty tactic used by insurance companies to get you to say things and give information that can be used against you later.
- A car crash attorney will advise you not to give the insurance company access to your medical records. If an insurance adjuster asks you to sign a disclosure giving this access, you should decline. Additionally, your attorney will advise you not to make any statement about your injuries, as an adjuster may misrepresent your words to use against you.
- A car crash attorney will advise you not to accept an early settlement. An insurance adjuster will likely contact you while you’re still in the hospital and offer you a settlement. It may seem generous; however, it is likely far less than you might receive if an attorney negotiated with them for fair compensation. Even if the settlement seems like it could cover your medical expenses, you may need long-term care as part of your recovery.
Always remember that the adjuster’s end goal is to save the insurance company as much money as possible, and they don’t care if you receive a fair settlement. An attorney will take over communication with the insurance companies, so you can rest and recover.
Possible Recoverable Damages After a California Car Crash
- 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
Other Benefits of Hiring a California Car Crash Attorney
- An attorney will gather important evidence. To prove the other driver’s negligence, the attorneys at Case Barnett Law will gather crucial evidence for your claim or lawsuit. They may hire accident reconstruction specialists or special investigators to testify on your behalf. They can also find possible video footage of your accident and track down eyewitnesses.
- An attorney will determine the value of your claim. When you’re injured in an accident, the value of your claim isn’t just the total of your medical bills or the cost to repair your car. You’ve lost other important things, as well. You may have lost wages because you had to be off work; you may have had to pay out-of-pocket expenses and transportation costs going back and forth to doctor appointments; and you may have endured a great deal of pain and suffering. Your attorney will evaluate the monetary value of your claim or lawsuit to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve.