At Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP, our Newport Beach auto accident attorneys are skilled and experienced advocates for injured victims. If you or your family member was hurt in a serious crash, top-quality legal representation can make all the difference in a potential case. For a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced California car accident lawyer, please contact our Newport Beach law office today.
How Common are Car Accidents in California?
Car crashes are among the most common causes of accidental injuries in our region. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that nearly 270,000 people were hurt in accidents in the state in 2019 alone. These crashes happen for a wide array of different reasons, including:
- Distracted driving (such as using a cell phone or eating while driving);
- DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol);
- Reckless driving (such as speeding or failing to obey traffic signals);
- Weather conditions (such as fog or rain);
- Running red lights or stop signs;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Fatigue and drowsy driving;
- Failure to yield the right-of-way;
- Poor vehicle maintenance; and
- Construction and road work.
We Handle All Types of Car Accident Injuries
A motor vehicle collision in Newport Beach has the potential to result in severe, possibly life-altering injuries. Our Newport Beach auto accident lawyers handle all types of car crash injury claims. Regardless of the cause or severity of harm, we are prepared to review potential cases and help victims determine the next steps. Common auto accident injuries include:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Fractures (e.g. broken bones);
- Lacerations and cuts;
- Bruises and contusions;
- Internal injuries (e.g. damage to organs);
- Burn injuries;
- Soft tissue damages (e.g. sprains, strains);
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Newport Beach
It is important for victims hurt in a motor vehicle collision in Newport Beach to take action to protect their rights and interests. Too many injured victims make mistakes in the aftermath of their crashes. Here are four steps one can take after an auto accident in Newport Beach:
- Seek Medical Treatment: All auto accident injuries should be evaluated by a doctor—no matter how severe one believes they may be immediately after impact. Emergency care is always the first priority. Non-emergency injuries still need to be checked out. Some injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries, may not be immediately apparent.
- Report the Collision: California law requires that all injury crashes are reported. As soon as possible after the collision, contact the Newport Beach or local police department to report the incident. They will likely take a report of the accident and may also be able to provide additional helpful information.
- Document the Crash: Liability for a crash is based on fault. One should take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to their own car and other vehicles when safe to do so. Gathering the contact information of all parties involved including any witnesses to the accident is important as they may be able to provide valuable testimony later on in the claims process.
- Consult With a Newport Beach Car Accident Lawyer: It can prove to be extremely beneficial to consult with a Newport Beach car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help navigate the most complex aspects of the legal claims process.
Understanding Car Accident Laws in California
As a general matter, auto accident claims are governed by state regulations. If a victim is hurt in a car crash in Newport Beach or any of the surrounding communities in Orange County, it is crucial that they know their rights and duties under California law: Here are key things to understand about the auto accident laws and claims process in Newport Beach:
- Fault-Based Standard of Liability: In California, liability in car accident cases is based on fault. The standard has very important implications for a victim’s rights after a crash. The party—driver, truck company, or otherwise—deemed responsible for causing an accident will be held legally liable for the resulting damages. Fault is based on negligence. In order to prove fault, the injured party must show that the defendant’s careless, reckless, or otherwise improper conduct contributed to the collision.
- Comparative Negligence Jurisdiction: California uses a system of pure comparative negligence to apportion responsibility for a motor vehicle collision. Each party is liable for its share of the fault, based on an investigation of how and why the accident happened. Notably, this means that the number of damages an injured person can recover in Newport Beach could be reduced by the percentage of their own fault in causing the accident. As an example, imagine that a driver is found to be 30 percent at fault for their own crash. In effect, this means that they would only be able to recover compensation for 70 percent of their damages. They would bear liability for the other 30 percent.
- Two-Year Statute of Limitations (With Some Exceptions): The California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 sets a general two-year statute of limitations for car accident injury claims. Any legal action typically must be taken within two years of the crash. Though, there are some exceptions and, in some cases, the statute of limitations can be as little as 6 months. Given the varying time limitations, it is best to consult with a Newport Beach auto accident lawyer right away.
An Overview of the Compensation that May Be Sought in a Car Crash Claim
Following a car crash in Newport Beach, injured victims may need financial compensation to pay bills and support themselves and their families. They may be wondering: How much can I recover through a car accident injury claim? The answer depends on many different factors. Car accident compensation is always issued on a case-by-case basis in California. It is helpful to have a claim carefully reviewed by an experienced Newport Beach auto accident attorney. In a more general sense, the following types of damages may potentially be sought in a car crash injury claim:
- Property damage (vehicle repairs or replacement);
- Ambulance costs and emergency room care;
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses;
- Physical therapy and mental health counseling;
- Lost wages and loss of long-term earning power;
- Pain and suffering & emotional distress;
- Disability, physical impairment, or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
We Represent Auto Accident Victims on a Contingency Basis
Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP is a law firm in Newport Beach that has extensive experience representing auto accident victims throughout California. We work on a contingency basis, which means that our clients pay no out-of-pocket costs for our services. We only get paid if we win or settle a case. It is our goal to provide the highest level of legal service to victims and their families.
Contact Our Newport Beach, CA Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP, our Newport Beach auto accident attorneys have helped our clients secure in excess of $1 billion in compensation across our practice areas. Call us now or connect with us online for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. With an office in Newport Beach, we handle auto accident injury claims throughout the wider region.
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