Providing Legal Counsel to Mission Viejo Car Accident Victims
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury claims in Mission Viejo and throughout California. Every day, many drivers suffer severe injuries from accidents caused by negligence, recklessness, or even intentional dangerous driving. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a car accident that someone else caused, a Mission Viejo car accident lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need to determine the best route to recovery.
Easton & Easton is a team of dedicated and experienced Mission Viejo attorneys who can provide the legal representation you need after a car accident. Typically, the first step toward recovery after a car accident in California is to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, but this may only yield compensation for a portion of your total damages. Our goal is to maximize your recovery. Not only can we handle your insurance claim on your behalf, but we can also guide you through the additional legal steps you may need to take to ensure the fullest recovery possible.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Motor Vehicle Accident?
You may wonder if you really need to hire an attorney for a car accident, especially a seemingly minor one. If you have a minor accident with another driver, it’s possible to work out a solution with the other driver or settle the matter with just an insurance claim. However, the determining factor in deciding whether you need to hire an attorney is injury. If you sustained an injury, however slight it may seem at first, it is always best to hire an experienced Mission Viejo car accident lawyer to assist you with your recovery.
Some accidents cause seemingly minor injuries that worsen very rapidly. Others cause injuries that do not show noticeable symptoms right away. If there is any room for doubt as to whether you need legal representation after a car accident in Mission Viejo, it’s worth the effort to contact an experienced attorney to determine your best options for legal recourse.
How Do I Choose an Attorney for My Car Accident Case?
Finding the right attorney will make a significant difference in the outcome of your car accident claim. If you are unsure which local attorney would be best suited for your case, it’s worth the trouble to arrange consultations with your top candidates. A consultation is an opportunity to interview a potential attorney and determine whether they would be a good fit for your claim. When it comes to choosing a Mission Viejo car accident lawyer to represent you, it’s vital to evaluate a potential attorney’s experience level with cases similar to yours, their strategy for handling your case, and their billing policy.
Easton & Easton offers more than 100 years of combined experience handling California personal injury claims, including countless car accident claims on behalf of clients in and around the Mission Viejo area. We know how to approach the most complex car accident claims and deal with difficult insurance claim adjusters on behalf of our clients. Our goal is to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under California law.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Mission Viejo, California
Car accidents happen for many reasons and in many ways, but the most common causes of accidents that generate personal injury claims in the Mission Viejo area include:
- Drunk driving. It is illegal and extremely dangerous for anyone to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any driver who causes an accident due to driving under the influence (DUI) will face criminal prosecution under California’s DUI laws as well as civil liability for any damages they cause to others.
- Distracted driving. The leading cause of car accidents in the U.S. is distracted driving. This encompasses many possible behaviors, including cell phone use, eating while driving, or simply being cognitively distracted when a driver should be paying attention to the road.
- Vehicle defects and mechanical failures. Drivers must address known safety issues with their vehicles as soon as they recognize them. Additionally, a vehicle manufacturer or a parts manufacturer could face liability for car accident damages under product liability law if a defective vehicle or part causes an accident.
- Moving violations. Drivers must obey the rules of the road and adhere to posted traffic signs. Speeding, changing lanes or turning without signaling, aggressive driving, and failing to stop at stop signs and red lights are some of the most common moving violations that lead to accidents.
Whenever a car accident occurs, your first steps immediately after the accident can have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover compensation for your losses. California requires drivers to report all car accidents that cause injuries, deaths, or significant property damage. Always err on the side of caution and report an accident if you are unsure whether you need to by law. This will prevent you from incurring any legal penalties for failing to report an accident as required, and it will also generate a police report of the incident which you may need later.
After a car accident, make sure your vehicle is stopped and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you are severely injured, call 911 if you are able to do so and wait for emergency responders to arrive. If you are able to get up and move around, be careful to not aggravate any injuries you may have sustained. Check on the other drivers involved and contact the police. If you feel well enough to do so safely, the time you spend waiting for first responders would be best spent taking photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the scene of the accident. These photos could be crucial for succeeding with an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident.
Dealing With Insurance Claims After a Car Accident in Mission Viejo, CA
Auto insurance is usually the first step toward recovering your losses from a car accident. California upholds a fault-based system for auto accident claims, meaning an at-fault driver is legally responsible for any damages they cause. This may sound straightforward but dealing with auto insurance claims is rarely easy. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you must have your own underinsured/uninsured driver coverage to secure any insurance coverage for the accident. If this is not an option, or if you exhaust the coverage available from the at-fault driver’s policy, you will need to file a personal injury claim to recover your remaining losses.
Your Mission Viejo car accident attorney can assist you in filing your insurance claim. Having an attorney sign your demand letter for coverage will substantially decrease the chance that the insurance claim adjuster assigned to your claim will mishandle it in any way. Once you have obtained a suitable insurance claim payout, your attorney will help you determine if further legal action is necessary for your recovery.
Personal Injury Compensation Beyond Insurance
While an insurance claim payout may provide some immediate financial relief after a car accident, your damages could eclipse the scope of available insurance coverage. When it comes to securing compensation for the remainder, your Mission Viejo car accident lawyer will help you file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for any and all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence. Your successful car accident claim could potentially help you recover:
- Medical expenses, both immediate and future. If you suffered physical injuries in your car accident, you have the right to claim compensation for any and all medical expenses you incurred from those injuries. This applies not only to immediate medical expenses like hospital bills, but also any long-term treatment costs you incur.
- Lost income. Your injuries may prevent you from working while you recover. You can include lost wages in your car accident claim, and if you are unable to return to work in the future, you have the right to compensation for your lost future earning capacity.
- Property damage. Auto insurance may provide coverage for vehicle repair bills or even the total cash value of your vehicle. However, if insurance cannot fully repair or replace your vehicle, or if you sustained additional property losses in your accident, you could include these losses in your car accident claim.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for their physical pain and psychological suffering from an accident. Your Mission Viejo car accident lawyer will help you determine the most appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your claim.
An experienced Mission Viejo car accident attorney will assist you in calculating the full range of your damages, and it’s common for plaintiffs to discover their claims are worth much more than they originally expected. This is yet another reason it is so crucial to invest in legal representation from a dependable team of Mission Viejo car accident lawyers.
Talk to a Mission Viejo Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can be a life-changing experience, and it’s natural to feel lost and uncertain after another driver has caused an accident and injured you. At Easton & Easton, our goal is to help you hold them accountable for the damages they have caused and guide you through your legal proceedings. If you have recently suffered damages from a car accident, we are ready to assist with your recovery. Contact us today for more information about our legal services and schedule your consultation today.