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Orange County Car Accident Attorney

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As a popular vacation destination with beautiful beaches and sunny weather, there are many drivers in Orange County who are unfamiliar with the area. Unfortunately, this combination of factors can lead to an increased number of car accidents and fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, car accidents are among the leading causes of death and injury for people aged 1 to 44. Especially in Orange County, where there are few options for public transportation.

If you or a loved one were recently involved in a car accident, you need the help of an Orange County car accident lawyer. Dealing with insurance companies, filing a claim, and more can cause headaches while you’re trying to recover. Contact an Orange County car accident attorney at the Law Offices of DiMarco | Araujo | and Montevideo for help today.

Two cars with extensive damage and the text "Orange County Car Accident Lawyer" superimposed

Orange County Car Accident Resources

What Can An Orange County Car Accident Attorney Do For Me?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you are probably feeling overwhelmed by insurance claims, medical bills, and unanswered questions. Being involved in an auto accident leads you to experience many emotions at once: anger at the responsible parties, anxiety about recovery, and pain from the injuries you’ve sustained. These are powerful feelings, and you shouldn’t have to bear them alone. An experienced law firm can help accident victims deal with the stresses involved in filing a lawsuit.

An Orange County auto accident attorney can help you through every step of the process, including:

Speak with the Other Driver’s Insurer

Arguing with an insurance company can be an exercise in futility if you lack the experience. Fortunately, the car accident lawyers at our law firm have 40 years of experience dealing with insurance companies. The claims adjuster is the one who carries the purse strings, and we know how to communicate with them to get the settlement that you deserve.

Gather Evidence of Liability

Personal injury claims rely on the establishment of negligence. To prove that the other party committed negligence, we need to find them responsible for the accident. We open our own investigation of the case, talking to witnesses, taking pictures, and poring over police reports. We gather all the necessary evidence to build a strong case for your car accident claim.

Put Together a Picture of Damages

Using the evidence we gather from the scene, we put together a scenario that outlines the amount of damages you sustained in the accident. Another important aspect of this is accessing your medical records and putting a tag on your pain and suffering.

Doctor’s offices often don’t attribute your injuries to a specific cause; they just outline it and treat it as necessary. An Orange County car crash lawyer can request a special note from your doctor establishing that your injuries were a direct result of the accident. This is an essential step in winning your personal injury case.

Enter Negotiations

Negotiation is a finely honed art, one that our law firm has been practicing for decades. Leave it to us to speak with the insurance adjusters, doctors, guilty parties, and lien holders. We’ll only settle for a claim that’s fair and one that accounts for all of your physical and emotional symptoms.

Common Orange County Car Accident Injuries

While many car accidents produce only minor injuries, some can cause catastrophic (and even fatal) injuries. Some of the most common injuries in Orange County auto accidents include:

  • Amputations
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Puncture wounds
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Wrongful death

Even with the absolute best medical care, these injuries can be excruciating and cause an unimaginable amount of stress. And in the event of a wrongful death, we know the pain associated with the loss of a loved one. With the legal advice of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, we can fight for justice and work to earn maximum compensation while you or a loved one recover.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions can happen for a number of reasons. And quite a few of these reasons are not directly attributed to human error. Here are some common causes of car crashes in California and throughout the United States:

  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Drunk drivers
  • Distracted driving
  • Treacherous weather
  • Car mechanical failure or vehicle defects
  • Tire blowouts
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Poor visibility
  • Road hazards

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

While some law firms charge you a retainer fee, plus a bill of however many hours they worked on your case — we do not. Our law offices work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you pay nothing if we do not win your case. A contingency fee system allows our clients to feel confident in our services. With nothing to lose (except your time), there is no risk in hiring our legal representation.

What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered?

No two car accidents are the same. Not only can car crashes cause serious injuries and property damage in the short-term, but they can also cause a lifetime of pain and suffering. Whether the driver or passenger was injured, the car was totaled, or the victim has to miss work (and therefore lost wages) during recovery, car accident damages can come in many forms. In the aftermath of an Orange County car accident case, our attorneys regularly help clients recover both economic and non-economic compensation.

  • Economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate car accident victims for losses that are relatively easy to calculate. This is done by gathering proof of the loss, such as medical bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, proof of repairs for vehicles, etc. Economic compensation is typically awarded to cover an accident victim’s:
    • Medical bills
    • Lost income
    • Property damage expenses
    • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are a bit harder to calculate because there are not necessarily any bills or receipts that can be provided to prove them. Generally, this type of compensation is awarded to cover the unseen losses that an injury victim sustains. This can include:
    • Physical pain and suffering
    • Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Loss of consortium for a spouse
  • Punitive damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to a victim in the aftermath of an Orange County car accident case. Punitive damages are typically reserved for instances where the negligent party’s behavior was particularly egregious, grossly negligent, or intentional.

When working to calculate compensation for these cases, an accident victim and their attorney will gather all proof of losses. For economic damages, this will include any medical bills, all receipts, and proof of lost wages. Non-economic damages will usually be calculated using a multiplier method. This means that an injury victim or their attorney will add up all of the economic damages and then multiply that total by a set number (usually 1.5 to 5). Then, both the economic compensation amount and the non-economic compensation amount will be added together to reach the overall total.

Car Accident Fatalities in Orange County (2007-2015)

  • 2007 – 193
  • 2008 – 162
  • 2009 – 155
  • 2010 – 105
  • 2011 – 140
  • 2012 – 153
  • 2013 – 186
  • 2014 – 173
  • 2015 – 162

And this is just in Orange County. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety 2016 Annual Report, car accident deaths increased by 2.4% in 2015 to claim the lives of 3,176 people. This number increased again in 2016:
Car Accidents in California

What To Do After a Car Accident in Orange County

  2. If possible and safe to do so, move vehicles and persons involved to the side of the road, out of traffic’s way.
  3. Help injured persons.
  4. Notify police and medical personnel.
  5. Obtain names, addresses and phone numbers of other drivers, passengers and witnesses involved.
  6. Write down makes, models and license numbers of all vehicles involved.
  7. Draw diagram of the accident scene, indicating the direction of involved vehicles and/or persons, and any important information.
  8. Take pictures of the accident scene, damages to vehicles and injuries.
  9. Use our helpful accident report guide to document all of the necessary information.
  10. Do not accept fault or settlement at the scene.
  11. Keep calm and remain courteous.
  12. Notify your insurance company.

How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident Case?

Determining liability in the aftermath of a car accident in Orange County is crucial for securing compensation. However, it is strongly advised that car accident injury victims work with a skilled attorney who can help with this process. The process of determining liability begins at the scene of the crash. If a crash victim is able to do so safely, and if they do not need emergency medical care, they can begin gathering evidence that could help their case.

The police need to be called to the scene so they can conduct their own investigation. Often, the police will actually notate who they think was responsible for the collision in their accident report. Additionally, the police may gather evidence that accident victims are not able to get at the scene. Insurance carriers often heavily rely on the police report when making a determination about whether or not to settle and how much to settle for.

We have to take a moment to discuss shared fault. It is not uncommon for more than one driver to have some responsibility for a crash. The good news is that, even if a driver is partially responsible for the incident, they could still recover compensation for their losses. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that an injury victim can receive compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

The process of determining liability can be complicated, and a crash injury victim should work with a skilled Orange County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While it may seem cut and dry that another driver caused a crash, an injury victim could be in for a rude awakening if other parties try to place blame on them for the incident. Not only does a car accident victim often find themselves struggling to recover from injuries, but they may also find that they are locked in a battle to prove they were not liable for the crash. An attorney will be a crash victim’s advocate in these situations.

What Evidence Is Gathered to Assist My Claim?

As we mentioned above, evidence gathering can begin as soon as a crash scene is safe. Crash victims can begin gathering as much evidence as possible that may be able to help their claim. This can include:

  • Using a cell phone or another device to take photographs of vehicle damage, debris, traffic conditions, weather conditions, injuries, etc.
  • Gathering contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash
  • Obtaining the names, driver’s license number, and insurance information of any other driver

However, evidence gathered at the scene and the police report should not be the end all be all, as this may not tell the whole story. A skilled Orange County car accident lawyer will be able to use their resources to obtain any additional evidence they could prove liability. Often, this includes obtaining video surveillance footage from nearby buildings or any additional evidence used in a criminal case against an at-fault driver (field sobriety test results, blood alcohol content test results, traffic citations, etc.). An attorney may also need to obtain vehicle “black box” data and cell phone data records of the alleged negligent driver.

Am I Required to Go to Court If I File a Claim?

You will not necessarily have to go to court after your car accident. The vast majority of vehicle accidents are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers before a lawsuit is filed. In these cases, there will be no reason that a person will have to go to court.

However, if an insurance carrier denies a claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Even after a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the likelihood of going to court is still very low. Most Orange County car accident cases are settled between negotiations with attorneys from both sides before they go to a full trial. Only if both sides fail to reach an agreement will it be necessary for a car accident injury victim would go to court.

When Would I Receive Payment for My Injuries?

How long it takes for you to receive payment for your injuries will depend on several factors. First, it may be necessary to utilize your own personal health insurance coverage to cover initial medical bills, particularly when you need immediate care. If another driver was at fault in your crash, any eventual settlement will likely be used to reverse the expenses you had to pay out-of-pocket or that your insurance carrier had to pay.

If your vehicle accident claim is settled after negotiations between insurance carriers, you could receive payment in as little as four to six weeks after the crash occurs. However, if a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party becomes necessary, this timeframe will be significantly extended. If your case is successful, it could still take as long as a year or more for you to receive compensation through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Orange County car accident victims need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their losses. The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the day the injury occurs. This gives car accident injury victims a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they need.

That is why it is crucial to have a skilled Orange County car accident lawyer by your side who understands all deadlines in your case. This includes remembering that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases has nothing to do with any deadlines put in place by insurance carriers in these cases. An attorney will get to work filing your insurance claim, negotiating with aggressive insurance carriers, and helping you secure the compensation you need.

Contact our Orange County Car Accident Lawyers Today For a Free Consultation

When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Orange County, you need the help and expertise of an experienced law firm. At the Law Offices of DiMarco | Araujo | and Montevideo, our car accident attorneys in Orange County know all the tricks that insurance companies and opposing counsel will try to use in order to give you less than what you deserve. From negotiations and communication to securing you the best offer, we will handle your auto accident case with accuracy and aggression.

Most of our cases are settled out of court, but we’re not afraid to take a case to trial if it results in a better outcome for you. If you want to pursue a personal injury claim from a car accident, get in touch with our law office today. We offer a risk-free case evaluation, so we can review the specifics of your situation and advise you how to best proceed. To get started on your free initial consultation today, please contact our legal team at (714) 783-2205 or online today.

“I came to DIMARCO | ARAUJO | MONTEVIDEO firm during the worst time in my life. The law firm was very professional but also kind and caring to my family. They made us feel like family and like they care about us and they knew and felt the pain the we were going through. They listened to our concerns and took a lot of ton of stress off our shoulders when they handled our case. We didn’t have to worry about anything. The staff were always friendly, courteous, very helpful, punctual in returning calls and addressing concerns. I thank God because they handled our case and I will never be able to THANK them enough. DIMARCO | ARAUJO | MONTEVIDEO will always receive high recommendations from us and our experience in the future.” – Erik A.

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