Every day, thousands of drivers throughout California experience car accidents due to many causes. In Santa Ana, CA, drivers face many of the same risks as drivers in other parts of the country. As a result, the accident trends seen throughout the United States are reflected in accident statistics from Santa Ana. In addition, various agencies at the state and federal levels collect and analyze accident data from all across the country, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). As a result, these agencies publish reports that can help drivers determine the most significant risks they face on the road in California.
Most Common Cause of Santa Ana, CA, Motor Vehicle Accidents
Statistically, rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident reported in Santa Ana, CA, and the rest of the country. A rear-end collision occurs when a driver fails to slow down or stop in time to avoid crashing into a vehicle in front of them. While determining liability in a car accident can often be difficult, one of the positive aspects of a rear-end collision is that liability is very easy to determine. Drivers have a duty of care to leave adequate space between their own vehicle and a vehicle in front of them. When they fail to uphold this responsibility or actively tailgate other drivers or drive while distracted, they can easily cause rear-end collisions.
A driver who negligently collides with a driver in front of them will almost always incur liability for the accident. However, there are some situations in which a driver hit from behind can absorb liability for a rear-end collision. For example, suppose the driver suddenly stopped without warning or justification, and the driver behind them crashed into their vehicle. In that case, the driver in front could absorb some partial liability for the accident under California’s pure comparative negligence law. However, the tailing driver always has the duty of care to prevent collisions with drivers in front of them, so the tailing driver will almost always incur a more significant share of liability for a rear-end collision.
Other Common Causes of Accidents in Santa Ana
Rear-end collisions may be the most common type of car accident in the Santa Ana, CA, area, but they are by no means the only way for accidents to happen. Some of the other most commonly reported types of car accidents in Santa Ana, CA, include:
- Intersection accidents. Drivers must use caution at all intersections, even when they have the rightofway. When drivers fail to stop at stop signs and red lights or make illegal lane changes at intersections, they can easily cause serious accidents.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) accidents. Impaired drivers are hazardous to themselves and all other drivers around them. When an intoxicated driver causes an accident, they will be criminally prosecuted under California’s DUI laws and face civil liability for victims’ damages.
- Speeding and other moving violations. When drivers fail to adhere to posted speed limits and traffic signals, they put all other drivers around them at severe risk. Speeding makes it difficult for a driver to slow down or stop in time to avoid a crash. Moving violations make it impossible for other drivers to anticipate others’ actions.
- Rollover accidents. When accidents occur at high speeds or when vehicles leave the road in an accident, it’s possible for the vehicle to roll over and everyone inside to suffer severe injuries.
- Truck accidents. Large commercial trucks are common on California roads, and drivers need to use extra caution around these inherently dangerous vehicles. Truck accidents are more likely to damage multiple other vehicles and typically lead to catastrophic injuries to those involved.
- Distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving is the leading cause of all traffic accidents in the US. While distraction is the most commonly reported reason for rear-end collisions, distracted driving can easily cause all types of accidents on virtually any road.
These are just a few of the ways that traffic accidents can occur in Santa Ana, CA. Ultimately, even the most careful drivers can face unpredictable risks every time they get behind the wheel. It is impossible for any driver to accurately predict how other drivers will behave at any given time.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Santa Ana
It’s vital to know what to do after experiencing a car accident in Santa Ana, CA. The first steps you take after an accident can have a dramatic impact on your recovery and potentially affect your life for years to come. Keep a few best practices in mind if you ever experience a car accident in Santa Ana:
- Document everything. If you can, take photos of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle before the police clear the accident site. These photos could help with a future insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
- Do not admit fault. You’ll likely need to report your accident to the police and wait for them to arrive before you leave the scene. When they take your statement, do not lie at all but do not admit fault, either. Choose your words carefully and avoid saying anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt.
- Don’t accept an insurance settlement before speaking with a lawyer. Insurance companies typically try to coerce accident victims into accepting lowball settlement offers. Do not speak with any insurance companies until you have legal counsel on your side.
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you think you only suffered minor injuries, it is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident in Santa Ana. This will prove you sought medical care promptly and reduce the chance of a hidden injury worsening.
- Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner the secure legal counsel after a car accident in Santa Ana, the better your chances of securing a recovery as quickly as possible.
It’s natural to have many questions about your legal options following a car accident in Santa Ana, CA. Easton & Easton can provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and secure the compensation you need to recover with peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a case review with our team and learn more about your legal options following a car accident in Santa Ana.