Not all Irvine residents are aware that Irvine was “master-planned” in the 1960s. Irvine’s bustling 66 square miles were not incorporated until 1971 after its primary layout, initial buildings, and thoroughfares were thoroughly planned in advance. Despite all of the careful planning that went into Irvine’s construction, the city remains less safe than it should ideally be. For example, despite its wide roadways and carefully laid-out grid system, Irvine’s roadways and nearby freeways experience far too many of the millions of non-fatal and fatal crashes that occur in the U.S. on an annual basis.
If you have been injured on one of Orange County’s seemingly infinite number of roadways, you are not alone. Our firm has represented many clients who have been moderately, severely, or catastrophically injured as a result of crashes that have occurred in Orange County. We have also had the honor of representing surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured in local car crashes. Whether you have been injured or you have lost a loved one in a car crash, know that our firm can help. Regardless of the cause of your collision, whether your case is likely to be straightforward or complex, and regardless of whether you were partially at fault for what happened to you, you may have legal options and opportunities for recourse available to you at this time. Because California is a comparative negligence state, you are not necessarily barred from seeking compensation from those who are partially responsible for the cause of your crash even if you were also partially to blame. It is therefore important to refrain from making assumptions about whether you have a cause for legal action until you speak with our firm in a no-cost, risk-free, confidential setting. We will be happy to help you with negotiating fair insurance settlements in the wake of your crash and filing a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf (when applicable) as well.
All Car Accident Victims Deserve to Have Their Rights Protected
The law codifies the rights of accident victims for very good reasons. There is no justice in requiring accident victims to assume the financial burdens associated with their injuries if another party owed them a legal duty of care, breached that duty through negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions, and cost those victims dearly as a result. If you have been hurt in an accident and another party was partially or totally to blame for the harm you have suffered, you deserve to understand whether you have the right to bring legal action, file insurance claims, and/or file for workers’ compensation benefits at this time. We do not believe that you should be kept in the dark about what your rights are and how to exercise those rights simply because you might not be able to afford a case evaluation at this time. As a result, we provide free consultations to all car accident injury victims, regardless of whether they ultimately end up choosing to file legal action or not. There are no strings attached to these consultations.
Our firm has developed a reputation within Orange County for quality legal representation and effective, dedicated advocacy on behalf of our clients because we treat every case with unwavering focus and every client with respect and compassion, regardless of their circumstances. If you have not yet asked an attorney about your rights as an accident victim or you could benefit from a “second opinion” after speaking with another firm, please schedule a confidential, no-pressure consultation for free with our team today. It would be our pleasure to answer your questions and to provide you with an objective case assessment.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents occur for many reasons. It is rare when a single factor causes an accident. As a result, it is important not to make any assumptions about what caused your accident, even if you have a strong sense of some of the most obvious factors involved. Some of the most common causes of car accident causes that our clients have been affected by include:
- Impaired driving: In 2012, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked a significant portion of California’s population if they had driven while impaired within the past 20 days, 1.8 percent of drivers admitted that they had. Practically speaking, that means that 468,000 of California’s 26,000,000 drivers admitted to driving while impaired within the 30 days before the CDC posed the question. This statistic does not take into account the number of drivers who failed to admit to this illegal behavior. Drunk, high, and over-medicated driving behavior contributes to a staggering number of injurious and fatal accidents on Orange County roads annually. If another motorist who hit you was drunk, high, or overmedicated at the time of the collision, facing criminal charges. It is important to understand that regardless of whether there have been any criminal charges filed against the other motorist, you have a right to hold that driver responsible for civil damages. Criminal matters and civil matters are distinct.
- Right of Way issues: Per California Vehicle Code § 21800, “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.” Right of way protocol becomes second-nature when one has driven long enough. However, newly licensed drivers, unlicensed drivers, drivers from countries with different right of way customs, impaired drivers, drowsy drivers, distracted drivers, and aggressive drivers may find these practices less straightforward. All too often, one motor vehicle operator or another will barrel through an intersection turn without considering the right of way consequences of their actions. As a result, accidents occur.
- Aggressive driving behavior: A study by the American Automobile Association indicates that between 2003 and 2007 alone, aggressive driving behavior played a direct role in approximately 56 percent of crashes that occurred in the U.S. during that time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Behaviors as varied as impaired driving, erratic lane changing, and failure to yield to right of way are all classified as aggressive driving behavior. Although some of these behaviors are classified as negligent, many others are viewed under the law as reckless. Under some circumstances, aggressive driving behavior can be perceived by a judge and/or jury as intentionally dangerous.
- Drowsiness: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, conservative estimates suggest that an excess of 100,000 motor vehicle accidents reported to law enforcement every year result directly from drowsy driving and driver fatigue annually. These 100,000+ accidents result in an estimated 71,000 non-fatal injuries, 1,550 fatalities, and more than $12.5 billion in medical bills, lost productivity, and other financial consequences. Drowsy driving behaviors are of particular concern within the trucking industry. Drivers have long been encouraged to push the limits of driving while adequately rested in an effort to pad the bottom line of trucking and distribution companies. Federal regulators have tried for years to crack down on drowsy truck operations but fatigued driving remains a safety hazard within the trucking industry to this day.
Benefits of Working with an Attorney on Your Case
Too often, car accident injury victims hesitate to explore their legal options because they are convinced – before they have obtained legal guidance – that their injuries are too minor to warrant taking legal action. Similarly, many accident victims assume that because they were partially or even totally responsible for their accidents that they have no viable cause of action. However, as noted above, California is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if your behavior contributed to the causation of your crash, you may still be entitled to compensation from any other party whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous behavior contributed to the cause of your crash as well. Even if you believe that you are totally to blame for your collision, some unknown factor – such as an auto defect – may have played a part in your crash.
As a result, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation with our firm but you may gain insight into your crash that will allow you to make informed decisions about your legal options. Avoid dismissing your opportunities for legal recourse outright, as you may be entitled to more compensation than you might otherwise think.
Treat Insurance-Related Calls with Caution
If you have not yet spoken with any insurance representatives about your collision, please refrain from doing so until you speak with our firm in a no-cost, confidential, risk-free consultation setting. All too often, injury victims are so preoccupied with the thought of filing legal action that they neglect to treat their insurance interactions with the same caution that they would treat interactions with parties invested directly in their personal injury case. Sometimes, insurance companies do ultimately become involved in injury victims’ personal injury cases, so it is important not to muddy the waters whenever possible.
Additionally, insurance companies tend to reject and devalue claims when they can, as they don’t particularly like to extend accident victims the full amount of compensation to which they are owed if they don’t have to. Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises and significant compensation awards eat into their potential profits. Speaking with an insurance representative before you have received personalized legal guidance may lead you to unintentionally say something that could devalue the value of your case overall. Allowing us to speak with insurance representatives on your behalf will better ensure that your insurance settlement awards are fairly valued and paid without undue delay.
As California is a comparative negligence state and as the overwhelming majority of car accidents occur due to more than one influencing factor, chances are high that if you have been injured in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation of some sort at this time. You have nothing to lose but a little bit of your time by scheduling a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our experienced legal team. On the other hand, you have potentially much compensation to gain if you look into your legal options and decide to exercise any that are available to you under the circumstances.
If you have yet to schedule a consultation with our firm, please do so today regardless of what the circumstances were surrounding your accident. Once we learn more about what occurred leading up to your collision, we will be able to provide you with an objective assessment of whether you have grounds to file legal action at this time. We look forward to speaking with you.