The Orange County has it all: posh neighborhoods, beautiful beaches, scenic destinations, and a thriving economy. Its over 3 million inhabitants certainly have a great place to call home. Of course, it isn’t always rainbows and sunshine even for the OC. There are car crashes here just like the rest of the country and the lives of those involved are often changed forever. Families can seek the help of an Orange County auto accident lawyer to explore their legal options.
There are already a lot of cars in the state and a further two million are added each year. With this many vehicles on the road, it should be no surprise that the number of collisions are so high. The California Highway Patrol reported that there were more than 150,000 serious auto collisions in Orange County alone. Over 200,000 individuals were injured because of these incidents including drivers, passengers and pedestrians. They are fortunate to be alive but they face an uncertain future because of their physical condition.
Accidents by their very nature are unexpected. Nobody wants them to happen. Motorists and pedestrians are simply trying to get to their intended destination. Yet they are an ever present danger when you’re out on the road. It should be taken as a distinct possibly with people acting accordingly. At the minimum, motorists must comply with all of the traffic laws which were designed to minimize collisions. They must never go over the speed limit or insist on driving after the consumption of alcohol. They must not try to beat the red light. They should yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street. They should refrain from sending messages, talking on the phone, and other distractions.
On the part of pedestrians and cyclists, there should be an acceptance of their disadvantage in case of a collision. They are no match for these massive vehicles which are moving at speed. They must always be on the defensive when they are out on the streets. Intersections are particularly dangerous. Be attentive when attempting to cross. Look to the sides for any incoming vehicle. Keep calm and always do what feels safe. In case you do get involved in a pedestrian accident, then do not hesitate to call a lawyer. Time is of the essence in situations like this.
Every type of case is bound by limitations. Victims may file a complaint over a certain period in order to get the legal remedies they desire. After this period, they are no longer entitled to compensation. Car accidents typically carry a 2 to 3 year limit. For California, personal injury laws peg this at 2 years. This does not mean that the entire case must be resolved right away. It only means that they must file the complaint in court within this time frame for it to be considered. Otherwise, the case may be dismissed outright due to the technicalities. By hiring a lawyer, work can be started and the case can be filed without delays.
The legal team will have to gather evidence to support the case. Some of these might be time-sensitive so quick action is necessary to preserve or capture them. A good example would be skid marks on the road which would indicate that the car might have been speeding. Another would be CCTV footage by street cameras around the area. These are typically erased after a while to make room for new recordings. A copy must be obtained before permanent deletion or else a vital piece of evidence would be lost forever. The police report must also be studied carefully.
Human memory is known to be rather unreliable. It quickly fades such that details become a massive blur. Eye witnesses are always helpful in any court case but only if they can recall the incident with enough clarity to be convincing. The legal team can start contacting possible witnesses at once while their memory of the accident is still fresh. Their testimony can thus be written down and preserved before they lose the ability to recall important facts. It’s also easier to identify possible witness right after a crash rather than months after when people might have already moved elsewhere.
Victims should be able to file for claims directly with insurance companies. However, their lack of experience in such matters might cause them to say things that will work against them. Companies can use these to lower the amount that they will be giving. Some may even deny the claims outright due to some technicality. Don’t let this happen to you. Ask for legal advice on how to handle insurance claiming. Studies show that people with legal assistance are able to get more out of providers. The release will also happen much faster than usual.
Lawyers can guide you through the complex process of personal injury suits. Their able hand allows you to avoid common pitfalls. For instance, at-fault parties may try to negotiate a settlement to steer clear of the courts. They may offer what seems to be a good sum in exchange for an agreement not to pursue the case. With an auto accident lawyer, you will be able to evaluate whether this sum is good enough or not. Most people accept low offers because they didn’t know that they were entitled to a much larger amount. Lawyers can negotiate on your behalf to get a favorable arrangement.
Make sure that you hire someone who is based locally. OC firms are much more familiar with the system here than those from the outside. They are experts on California cases regarding car accidents and they can use their knowledge to get you a favorable outcome. Avail of the free initial consultation offered by most firms to seek out the right match for your case.