Car accidents, SUV accidents and pickup truck accidents are among the most common issues faced by people in Orange County, CA. Many of the busiest intersections in Orange County are the scene of dozens of automotive accidents every year. While it is possible for responsible drivers to take extra precautions in these areas, such as by driving mainly in daylight hours and only while well-rested, the possibility of an accident is always there.
If you are injured in a car accident in the Fullerton, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine or Newport Beach areas it is critical to get in touch with a qualified Orange County car accident attorney right away.
Types Of Car Accidents in Orange County
Drunk driving accidents: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a crime in all 50 states including California. In addition to the criminal offense and traffic violation/MVA aspects there can also be a serious, if not fatal, car accident. Someone in the Fullerton, Newport Beach or Irvine, California area choosing to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol do not just endanger themselves. They also put other drivers and passengers on the road at risk. As many DUI related motor vehicle accidents often occur at high speeds they consequently end in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
Head on collisions: These are some of the more dangerous kinds of auto accidents in California. A head on collision occurs when two vehicles crash into each other head first. Even at lower speeds they can be catastrophic due to the amount of energy going into the crash.
Occupant ejection accidents: There are 2 primary types of occupant ejection accidents that occur as a result of an auto accident. the first is a partial ejection accident. This type occurs when the driver or passenger is ejected but the body is not totally separated or removed from the automobile. They can be stopped by the windshield, windows or seatbelt restraints. This type of accident often results in traumatic head, brain, neck and spinal cord injuries. Another type of accident is a total or complete ejection accident. This type of accident occurs when the driver, passenger or occupants body is thrown completely from the car or truck upon impact. While these accidents induce the same types of injuries as a partial ejection accident they also frequently result in wrongful death. This is due to the risk of being hit or run over by an oncoming vehicle on the road, highway, turnpike or interstate.
Rental car accidents: Every year many people come to work and vacation in the Orange County area and use rental cars to get to where they need to go. In doing so they can cause an auto accident that can induce serious injuries to the victim, or victims. Accidents involving rental cars can become very complex.
Passengers Injuries And Insurance Implications In Car Accidents
Unlike many other states in the United States, California is not considered a “No Fault” state. In California, responsibility for injuries that result from an automobile accident is based on whether a driver involved in an accident was “at fault” of negligent. Drivers in California must have auto insurance policies that cover a minimum amount of damages that they might do to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians while operating their vehicles. California requires a minimum coverage of $15,000 for injury to one other person and $30,000 for injuries for more than one person. Of course, with the seriousness of injuries that can result from an auto accident, it is a very good idea for drivers to carry higher policy limits.
Of course, insurance may not necessarily cover all of the damages that are caused by an accident. Sometimes, it is possible to settle out of court after an accident, using the parties’ insurance to cover damages. However, there are also cases where parties will have go to court in order to dispute fault for the accident or to pursue a larger award of damages where a settlement offer is not high enough. In these cases, it is important to understand how the blame for an automotive accident in California is assigned.
Many automotive accidents investigated initially by the police. After that, insurance company employees may perform additional investigation, such as talking to witnesses, visiting the accident scene, and photographing the vehicles involved. Remember that insurance adjustors, whether they are working for your insurance company or the company representing the other individuals in the case, are ultimately out to benefit the insurance company they work for. This is one reason why it is a good idea to contact an Orange County lawyer who can help to ensure your rights are protected by safeguarding any of the evidence that might show you were not at fault.
Oftentimes, a highly contested case will end up in court. During a court proceeding, the parties present evidence concerning which driver was at fault for the accident. It is possible that blame for an accident can be apportioned between the parties on a percentage basis (see below.) There are many different examples of driving negligence that are recognized in Orange County and throughout the United States: A comprehensive list would be very long. Of course, people must avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at all costs, but even something fairly simple, such as a failure to signal, may cause some of the blame for an accident to be assigned to you.
California uses a doctrine of “Comparative Negligence,” which means that although one person may be mainly at fault for an accident, another motorist, passenger, or even a pedestrian may be partially to blame. This is determined on a percentage basis, and the percentage to which you are determined to be at fault will be subtracted from any amount that you are due from an insurance company or from another motorist. If you are found partially at fault for aggravated reasons such as DUI, there may be implications for your driver’s license.
Headed To LA Or San Diego? Beware These Important Hot Spots
Whether you’re headed from Los Angeles or from San Diego, be aware of the places where some of the most significant auto accidents take place in California. These include the 405 freeway, 5 freeway, 55 freeway, and other freeways throughout the state. The new-pervasive use of cell phones has made matters worse by taking drivers’ attention away from the road.
Even long-term California residents can sometimes find that they face significant challenges when driving in these areas. It is important to take as many precautions as you reasonably can to ensure that you always drive safely in California. Among these are, for example, ensuring that your vehicle’s lights and signals are always in working order and that your insurance and tags are always up to date. Being diligent about these items will help you avoid accidents and reduce the long-term consequences of any automotive accident.
Contact our Orange County car accident attorneys at Nokes & Nokes to discuss your case and learn about any benefits and forms of financial compensation you may be entitled to according to California personal injury law.
- Car Accident Fires
- Fatal Accidents
- Rear End Collisions
- SUV Rollover Accidents