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Newport Beach Car Accident Lawyers
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2018 statistics for car accidents (gathered by the NHTSA) indicate that there were over 3,500 traffic fatalities in California in the last year alone. Out of these fatal accidents, about 2,000 involved a single vehicle, 350 involved a large truck, and 900 involved an intersection-related accident.
With so many drivers on the roads in California, car accidents are inevitable, and oftentimes these accidents are caused by driver negligence.
Car Accident Cases We Handle
The Newport Beach car accident attorneys at Manning Law, APC have extensive knowledge of personal injury law and experience representing injured clients. We have a reputation for being able to effectively negotiate on your behalf.
Our lawyers have represented clients in virtually all types of auto accidents, including:
- Rear end
- Hit and run
- And uninsured or underinsured motorists
Why Hire Our Newport Beach Car Accident Lawyers for Your Case?
- Initial consultations are free
- 100+ years of combined experience
- Personalized and tenacious representation
What To Do After a Car Accident
Your actions in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can have a considerable impact on any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit you may need to pursue.
To protect your rights and your health, be sure to do the following:
- Stop: Never flee the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Doing so can not only prevent you from recovering compensation but can also expose you to serious criminal penalties. Always stop and render aid.
- Call for help: Call for an ambulance if anyone involved in the collision is seriously hurt or unresponsive. Once you have summoned medical help, call the police. The police will be able to help you get the accident scene under control and create a report of the incident.
- Tell the police what happened: When the police arrive, tell them exactly what happened to the best of your ability. Avoid speculation and stick to the facts. If they ask you if you are injured, say you are not sure instead of no. It is not uncommon for car accident injuries to go unnoticed for hours or even days after a collision due to the adrenaline rush of the situation.
- Collect evidence: If you have access to a smartphone, take photographs and/or videos of the accident scene, the damage to the involved vehicles, skid marks and tire tracks, debris, traffic patterns, weather conditions, and any other details that help paint a picture of what happened. If you can, get photos of any injuries you have suffered before they are treated.
- Exchange information: The police will typically handle the collection and exchange of information between the involved parties. If the police do not respond to the accident, you will need to get this information yourself. This should include the names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and license plates of all involved motorists. Be sure to get the contact information of any witnesses to the crash as well.
- Report the accident: Almost all auto insurance policies require you to report your involvement in a crash as soon as possible to be eligible for coverage. Tell them you were involved in a crash and provide enough information to open a claim, but do not submit a statement or discuss the crash until you have had a chance to speak to an attorney.
- See a doctor: If you have not received emergency medical care or been rushed to a hospital, seek a full medical evaluation as soon as you can after it is safe to leave the accident scene. Tell your doctor of any aches or pains you are experiencing and tell them you were involved in a car accident. This will help to establish a medical record of your treatments as well as identify any hidden injuries you may have sustained.
When To Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
It’s best to contact a lawyer after a car accident as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case. There are a couple reasons for this, the first being the statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California?
The statute of limitations is a law which is implemented on a state level which limits how long injury victims have to file a personal injury claim before they lose their legal right to do so.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 the state of California has a two-year timeline for car accident claims. If you do not file a claim within that time period, you may not be able to recover damages for your injury.
There are some exceptions to this law where the filing time may change, including:
- If the injury victim is a minor at the time of the accident
- The alleged negligent party left the state before a claim could be filed
Beyond the statute of limitations, car accident injuries are unique in that they are often soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are injuries that affect the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
A well known example of this type of injury is whiplash. Like whiplash, these injuries typically progressively get worse over a few days or weeks after the injury occurred.
Without knowing this, many injury victims sign a compensation agreement with an insurance company before talking to a lawyer who can inform them of common car accident claim knowledge only to discover later that their injuries are worse than they initially believed but are not able to recover any additional compensation to cover their additional costs.
If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent driver, contact our experienced Newport Beach car accident attorney for help today!
Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
Serious traffic accidents stem from many different factors, but the one thing they have in common is that they can inflict death, injury, and property damage. Victims and their families may consider seeking damages from the responsible parties, but they should first seek proper legal representation.
No matter the cause, Manning Law can help you determine the viability of a legal case and establish the best course of action moving forward.
There are many factors that can contribute to car accidents in California. Some of the most common include:
- Reckless driving: This involves dangerous acts such as weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, tailgating, etc.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving involves any act that diverts a motorist's attention away from the road, such as eating, conversing with passengers and, despite laws restricting such activity, using personal mobile devices.
- Speeding: Speeding can both increase the possibility of an accident and worsen its consequences if an accident occurs. In 2018 alone, 927 deaths were caused by speed-related accidents in California.
- Impaired Driving: When drivers are impaired, it means the use of illegal or even legal drugs and, of course, alcohol has been consumed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,069 fatalities occurred in 2018 as a result of alcohol-impaired driving.
- Improper Lane Changing: This often occurs when a vehicle changes lanes without properly checking to see if it is clear for them to do so.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries in California?
In 2017 alone, 1.8 million injuries resulted from police-reported car crashes, according to data from the NHTSA. Add to that the injuries that may not have been reported, and it is evident that car accidents are a massive national health crisis.
When it comes to car accidents in Newport Beach, even small collisions can often lead to catastrophic injuries. After an accident, it is vital that you seek medical attention for those that need it. Often, the adrenaline of a car accident can mask symptoms, so it’s essential to calm down and assess how you feel.
Here are some of the common car accident injuries and their symptoms:
- Whiplash & soft tissue injuries: Whiplash is common in rear-end collisions, which account for 40% of car accidents in the country, according to the NHTSA. When your car absorbs an impact from the rear, your head and neck often violently jerks forward. When your neck strains to stabilize your head, it can cause multiple small tears in your muscles. This ends up causing symptoms of pain, tightness, decreased range of motion, and headaches. These symptoms can begin presenting themselves mere minutes after an accident or may not be noticed for a few days. It all depends on the person. You may need to see a medical professional if you suffer from whiplash, but in the meantime, icing the area can reduce swelling and pain.
- Head injuries / concussions: Head injuries can be severe and require close monitoring. What first may appear to be a mild concussion can be something much more serious, like a hematoma. Someone with a head injury should seek medical attention and should be closely watched for worsening symptoms. If you experience a persistent headache, sleepiness, pupil irregularities, slurred speech, nausea or vomiting, or loss of consciousness, you should go to the emergency room and seek treatment.
- Broken bones: Broken bones can be caused by the force of impact or by being compressed during a collision. Bone fractures can cause severe pain, bruising, and may require surgery in some instances. The most commonly broken bones in car accidents are arms, hands, fingers, legs, ankles, feet, toes, collarbones, noses, faces, and jaws.
- Cuts and scrapes: Cuts and scrapes are relatively typical injuries from car accidents. The immense amount of force caused by car accidents can cause loose objects to fly around the interior of your car. Cell phones, bags or purses, and hard water bottles can easily cause a cut during a car accident. Even your airbag deploying can cause cuts. Some cuts won’t require serious medical attention, though stitches may be necessary.
Some types of car accident injuries are not immediately noticeable, but can present themselves over the course of several days.
It is extremely important that you see a doctor immediately following any type of collision to ensure that your injuries are tended to. This is also important for filing a personal injury lawsuit later because you will need documentation of any injuries you received in the accident.
Is California a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
No, California is a fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that when an accident occurs, the driver who is found to be responsible for the accident will also hold the responsibility of covering any damages via their insurance company (up to policy limits).
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you have several options for pursuing compensation:
- You can file a claim with your own insurance company if your policy covers it
- You can pursue a third-party claim with the other driver's insurance company
- Or you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver themselves
Regardless which course of action you decide to pursue, you will be better off having a Newport Beach car accident lawyer on your side who can help ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
How Much Can You Get From a Car Accident Settlement in California?
Damages in car accident cases can vary widely, depending on the severity of the injuries and damage.
You can seek compensation for your medical costs, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you have lost a loved one in an car accident, you may be able to pursue additional compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. If you are involved in an accident, take steps to gather as much evidence as possible.
After an accident, you should:
- Document all damage to your car
- Have your doctor document your injuries
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
It is common for insurance adjusters to contact the injured person with a settlement offer, following the accident.
It is in your best interest to consult with a car accident lawyer in Newport Beach as soon as possible after an accident, and certainly before accepting any offer, to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your loss.
Our car accident lawyers in Newport Beach will assess your injuries and calculate the monetary, physical, mental, and financial cost and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
It is true that not all car accident claims require legal help. Car accidents that result in minor vehicle damage and no injuries can generally be handled on your own without the assistance of a lawyer.
However, if you have suffered any sort of injury or have sustained severe damage to your vehicle, it is in your best interests to seek legal representation to guard your rights.
It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies have teams of attorneys and adjusters who are ready to begin evaluating your injury claim right away. You will need to have experienced legal counsel of your own to level the playing field and maximize your chances of securing just compensation.
How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Every case is different in its own right, therefore it is impossible to predict the value of your case without reviewing the details of your situation with a knowledgeable lawyer.
With that being said, some factors that will impact the value of your claim include:
- The amount of damages involved
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- The available insurance coverage
- The strength of evidence proving the other party's fault
Can I Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious injury in a car accident you may be entitled to receive compensation for emotional distress. Emotional distress, also know as pain and suffering, is a serious injury and requires care to recover from.
Emotional distress can impact your:
- Mental health
- And other critical elements of your life
An experienced car accident attorney can help guide you through the process to get the compensation you need while you focus on recovering.
If I Hire an Lawyer for My Car Accident Case, Does that Mean I Have to Go to Court?
Not necessarily. The vast majority of car accident cases are settled through out-of-court negotiations, which your attorney will handle on your behalf.
However, if a mutually acceptable arrangement cannot be reached between you and the defendant's insurance company, our firm is fully prepared to take your case to trial.
Our knowledgeable trial lawyers have what it takes to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome, whether it be through an out-of-court settlement or litigation.
Do I Have to Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer?
No. In fact, it is far better to discuss your claim with an experienced lawyer before accepting any settlement being offered by an insurance company.
In many cases, initial settlement offers are often far lower than what you would need to compensate you for the full value of your losses. An attorney can help negotiate for a fair settlement and get you the quality treatment or recovery options you deserve.
Can I Seek Compensation if I was Injured as a Passenger?
What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster?
You will likely be contacted by the other driver's insurance company soon after your crash. Remember, no matter how friendly or helpful they may be, an insurance adjuster's main goal is to find ways to limit the value of your claim and protect the insurance company's interests - not yours.
As such, it is important to always be careful when speaking to an insurance adjuster and contact a lawyer for help with your claim. Your attorney can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and help you build a strong claim.
- Do not consent to any recorded statements.
- Stick to the facts and only provide the basic details of the crash.
- Do not speculate. If you don't know the answer to a question, tell them you cannot remember or that you are unsure.
- Stay calm and level-headed, as expressing your frustration will only serve to hurt your claim.
- Avoid answering any specific questions about your injuries. Only provide basic details, such as telling them that you have been injured and that you have sought medical help to determine your required treatment.
- Take notes about your conversation to help ensure your words are not misconstrued.
What if I was Partially to Blame for the Crash?
You may still be able to recover compensation after a crash that was partially your fault under California's "comparative fault" law. Also known as comparative negligence, comparative fault laws allow injured parties to recover compensation at a rate that is proportionate to their level of responsibility.
For example, if you suffered $100,000 worth of damages in a car accident but are found to be 20% to blame for the collision, you would still be eligible to receive up to $80,000 (or $100,000 less 20%).
Since there is no empirical means of assigning fault in car accident cases, your eligible compensation will largely be influenced by the quality of your legal representation.
The Police Issued Me a Ticket at the Accident Scene. Does this Mean I'm at Fault?
Not necessarily. While a traffic citation can play a role in determining fault for a car accident, it is not always the deciding factor. Police do their best to assess fault at the accident scene, but they are not infallible; sometimes they get it wrong.
It is entirely possible that your attorney's investigation into your collision may reveal additional evidence proving the other driver's responsibility. Likewise, signing a ticket is merely an acknowledgement that you have received a notice to appear in court, not an admission of guilt.
How Much do Car Accident Lawyers Cost?
The last thing you need after being involved in a serious car wreck is to be faced with exorbitant legal fees on top of your medical bills. Most car accident lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis.
This means that your attorney will cover all upfront costs of taking on your case and will only be paid if they are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf. If they do not win your case, you will not pay for their services.
This allows you to retain high-quality legal representation while also giving your lawyer the incentive to pursue the highest possible financial award for your case.
Blogs from Our Newport Beach Car Accident Lawyers
Have more questions about car accident statistics and lawsuits in California?
Check out some of our latest blog posts for safe driving tips and up-to-date information about California car crash lawsuits:
What Damages Can I Receive Compensation For?When your injury is caused by the actions or negligence of another person, you can take legal action to recover costs resulting from your injury. We represent clients seeking damages for the following:
Past and future medical bills:Oftentimes medical bills can extend far beyond the individual's initial accident. The victim may require extended hospital stays, operations, and even regular checkups during their recovery process. If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, we will fight to ensure that you receive compensation for these expenses.
Rehabilitation:For injuries resulting in long-term side effects, it is important for the victim to be able to focus on their recovery and rehabilitation, rather than worrying about how they will pay for their recovery process.
Lost income:Most serious accidents will be accompanied by significant amount of time off of work. If someone else's negligence has rendered you unable to work, they should be held responsible for your loss of income during that time.
Mental anguish:Mental anguish can include various forms of depression and anxiety that someone may experience as a result of their accident, or even the loss of someone close to them.
Physical pain and suffering:This type of compensation can be pursued in regards to the physical injuries a victim has experienced and the pain and suffering that those injuries have caused them.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?Under California’s personal injury statute of limitations, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to file a civil lawsuit in court against the responsible party. If the at-fault party is a government agency, you have an even tighter deadline of six months. If you do not seek legal action within this timeframe, the court will likely refuse to hear your case at any time to the future and you will lose your right to seek compensation. These deadlines can sometimes be extended under specific circumstances, such as if the injured party is a minor, the injury or the cause of the injury was not immediately apparent, or the injured individual suffers mental or physical incapacitation due to the injury. Regardless, if you are unsure how the statute of limitations applies to your case, it is important that you get an attorney involved promptly to guard your legal rights.
If I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer, Will I Have to Go to Court?While going to court is certainly a possibility, many personal injury claims are settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the responsible party’s insurance company. A trial may only be necessary if these negotiations should fail, such as in circumstances where fault is disputed or if there is a disagreement over the value of your claim. Our attorneys prepare each case as if it were going to trial to give us the best positioning possible during settlement negotiations.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?Your case could take several months or even years to settle depending on the situation. The timeline of your case will vary depending on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical treatment you need, complications of liability, and the level of cooperation of the responsible party’s insurance company.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?Your case’s value will be based on factors such as the severity and long-term impact of your injuries, the amount of medical treatment you need, the strength of evidence proving the other party’s liability, and the amount of insurance coverage available in your case. It is best to discuss your case with a skilled attorney to get a more accurate picture of your case’s potential value.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Manning Law, APC?Manning Law, APC accepts all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no up-front costs for you. We only get paid if we are successful in your case.
How Do I Know Manning Law, Apc Is Right for My Case?Manning Law, APC offers free consultations, works on contingency, and has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of past clients. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, we have what it takes to maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
We have Recovered Millions for Our Clients
Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
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