Suffered Damages After a Serious Car Accident?

Suffered Damages After a Serious Car Accident?

The attorneys at Easton & Easton have a combined 100 years of experience in successfully representing thousands of people who have been injured in automobile and motor vehicle-related accidents. Let us put that experience to work for you. We have handled cases including auto versus auto, auto versus pedestrian, auto versus motorcycle, auto versus truck, auto versus bus, auto versus taxi and single-car accidents.
This article covers the following important information if you have suffered damages after a serious car accident:

  1. Five Things You Should Do Following an Automobile Accident
  2. Types of Car Accidents
  3. Common Car Accident Injuries
  4. Mistakes to Avoid When Talking with Insurance Companies
  5. How Car Accident Photographs Can Help Your Personal Injury Case
  6. Using Witness Statements to Build a Strong Personal Injury Case
  7. How Your Documentation Can Assist Your Attorney to Build a Strong Case on Your Behalf
  8. Types of Compensation Awarded in Car Accident Cases

Five Things You Should Do Following an Automobile Accident

If you were involved in a serious automobile accident, there are five things you should absolutely know. Making sure that these five areas are immediately addressed will ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you may be able to receive the compensation you are owed.

  1. Obtain Contact Information. Make sure to always get the contact information and insurance card information from the other driver. Additionally, if there are any witnesses or other cars involved in the accident, make certain to obtain their contact information as well. Although the police officer at the scene of the accident should collect all of this information, if you are able to get this contact information yourself, you will be able to provide it to your attorney at Easton & Easton right away so that we can begin working on your case.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Your health is paramount after a car accident. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, they may be more serious than you know. Accident victims typically have a surge of adrenaline which prevents the true extent of pain and injuries from being fully realized. Seeking immediate medical attention allows a physician or qualified medical professional to completely examine you and ensure that your medical injuries are appropriately treated. Additionally, seeking medical treatment allows you to pursue a claim for compensation regarding your injuries later.
  3. Only Contact Your Insurance Company After Visiting with an Attorney. Never talk to an insurance company or provide any written or recorded statement to an insurance company without first talking with Easton & Easton to ensure your legal rights are protected. Insurance companies oftentimes use manipulative tactics to attempt to settle for much less than a victim deserves. In some cases, insurance companies will attempt to obtain a complete history of all of your medical records to which they are not entitled. See more below regarding specifics on how to handle negotiations with an insurance company.
  4. Create a Documentation Folder. Make sure to keep all of the documentation regarding the contact information of all parties to the accident, your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs and other information related to the accident in one folder to ensure that vital information does not get lost or misplaced. Creating a folder helps ensure that all significant documents related to your accident can be easily accessed by both you and your attorney.
  5. Contact Easton & Easton. Call the experienced attorneys at Easton & Easton as soon as possible so we can advise you on what to do next. We can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and help you build a strong personal injury case documenting the injuries and damages related to your automobile accident.

Types of Car Accidents

  • Rear-end Accident – Rear-end accidents are extremely common, however, they may cause severe damage to the spine, head and neck. Oftentimes, even relatively small “fender-benders” or “minor impacts” can result in serious injuries.
  • Head-on Collision – These catastrophic accidents involve two vehicles likely traveling at a high rate of speed directly towards each other. These accidents cause 10% of all fatalities in car accidents.
  • Rollover Accidents – Rollover accidents are also very serious. Some vehicles are simply more prone to rollovers than others, such as SUVs and top-heavy trucks.
  • Side-Impact Collision – 20% of fatalities in car accidents are a result of side-impact collisions (T-bone). These accidents can happen anywhere including highways, small roads, intersections and parking lots.
  • Off-Road Crash – More than 30% of deaths in car accidents are related to off-road crashes. These are accidents where a car leaves the roadway and usually crashes into an object such as a tree or telephone pole.

Common Auto Accident Injuries

While every car accident is different, serious car accidents often result in catastrophic damages and injuries to victims. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered in serious car accidents may include the following:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries (ranging from minor to life-threatening)
  • Whiplash
  • Aortic dissection (ruptured aorta from the heart)
  • Scarring and/or disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injury (resulting in either temporary or permanent paralysis)
  • Amputations
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Death

In many serious car accidents, victims suffer from what is known as polytrauma. Polytrauma is a combination of several injuries. Victims who suffer polytrauma may have life-long serious medical issues and conditions, or they may die due to their injuries.

Mistakes to Avoid When Talking With Insurance Companies

It is always best that you have representation to negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf following a car accident. However, if you make the decision to talk to an insurance company regarding your claim, make sure to avoid the following mistakes.

  • Never allow yourself to be recorded.
  • Never even casually say you are “sorry” or provide any admissions of guilt.
  • Never try to give a justification, excuse or reason for the accident (“Oh, I just happened to look down for a second,” or “My brakes felt strange,” etc.”)
  • Insurance companies will ask you, “How are you today?” Never answer, “Great!” or “Fine!” or “Feeling better!”
  • Never spend too much time on the phone with an insurance company, as they will use this to attempt to obtain information from you in a manipulative fashion.
  • Never offer an opinion about anything related to the accident or your medical condition.
  • Never lie or exaggerate about anything.
  • Never sign a medical release that allows an insurance company to see any of your medical records except at the end of the medical treatment and only after discussing it with your attorney.
  • Never discuss any possible pre-existing condition you may have experienced before the accident.
  • Never provide an insurance company with any contact information of your family, friends or work associates.
  • Never cash any checks from an insurance company without talking with your attorney first.
  • Never think the insurance company will immediately offer you a fair settlement amount.

How Car Accident Photographs Can Help Your Personal Injury Case

There are certain pieces of critical evidence that can always add value and help strengthen a personal injury case related to a car accident. One of those pieces of evidence are accident photographs taken immediately following the accident. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and it is absolutely the case in this circumstance. These photographs can greatly increase your credibility regarding your side of the story and can provide absolutely proof of property damage or injuries.

If you can take photographs of your injuries, and it is safe for you to do so, you should consider this as well. Attempt to take photographs of anything and everything, including skid marks, damaged vehicle parts, traffic signs or lights, the weather conditions, chipped paint, broken windows and an overall view of the entire accident scene. Insurance companies tend to relent on calling victims untruthful when there is photographic evidence to back their claims up.

Using Witness Statements to Build a Strong Personal Injury Case

Along with photographic evidence, neutral third-party witnesses can be vital to proving your case. These witnesses have no monetary interest in your case, and if they will corroborate your testimony regarding how the accident occurred, it can result in strong evidence for your personal injury case. Always remember to obtain all the witness contact information at the scene of the accident if you are physically able to do so. If you are unable to do so, do not worry, it is very likely that the police report will have a listing of all witnesses to the accident.

How Your Documentation Can Assist Your Attorney to Build a Strong Case on Your Behalf

Did you ever write in a journal or diary when you were younger? Looking back, you will notice that the notes you wrote down bring up powerful memories that you had long forgotten. The same is true of a car accident case. Everyone always thinks that they will remember all the details, but car accidents are chaotic scenes and with medical appointments, insurance companies, loss of work, and more, many people forget the details in the upheaval of their lives following an accident.

Make sure to create a diary and write in it every day regarding your pain and suffering levels, doctors’ appointments, activities you were unable to do due to your injuries, your inability to return to work, and anything else that relates to your daily life after a car accident.

Also, in the same documentation file, keep all your vehicle repair bills, towing costs, medical bills, diagnostic imaging tests, medical appointments, physical therapy appointments, evidence of lost wages, and any other documentation that relates to your car accident. Having all of this information in one central location will help your attorney ensure that you receive compensation for all of your injuries and damages.

Types of Compensation

If you suffered damages related to a car accident, you may be wondering what types of compensation you may be able to receive. The following are some types of compensation that are commonly awarded to victims of car accidents who suffered injuries through no fault of their own.

  • Medical Expenses – You may be able to claim all doctors’ visits, diagnostic tests, emergency room visits, surgeries, ambulance costs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prescription medications, medical devices including wheelchairs, handrails, walkers and more.
  • Lost Wages and the Loss of Future Wages – You likely missed a great deal of work due to your injury, therefore, you can claim not only your lost wages, but if you are determined to be disabled or unable to return to work, you may be able to claim the loss of future wages as well.
  • Property Damage – Any damage to your vehicle, repair costs, towing costs, or the replacement of your vehicle, along with any property damaged inside of the vehicle, can be claimed in your personal injury lawsuit.
  • Pain and Suffering – Your daily journal will help document your pain and suffering levels as well as the activities you are no longer able to perform independently. These non-economic damages are legally complex to calculate, and the attorneys at Easton & Easton can help ensure you receive the compensation for pain and suffering that you deserve.
  • Punitive Damages – In some cases, the behavior of the other driver was so grossly reckless, negligent or egregious that the court will award punitive damages in an attempt to not only punish the wrongdoer, but to also dissuade others from taking such horrible actions in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Car Accidents

Car accidents are a stressful occurrence, both physically and mentally. Victims are uncertain about the first steps to take following their accident. Some of the most frequently asked questions about car accidents are answered below.

Q: What Should I do Immediately Following a Car Accident?

A: Your first course of action should be to ensure your health and wellness. Contact the police and make sure not to move if you feel you are injured. Accept any help from the EMTs at the scene or go to the emergency room. If it is possible, try to get pictures of the accident scene. After an accident, refrain from talking to an insurance company without first contacting an experienced attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Q: What Should I do if an Insurance Company Calls Me?

A: In most cases, the at-fault individual’s insurance provider is trying to get you to agree to a settlement far lower than you deserve. They will often use your words against you, attempt to record your conversations, or obtain a full medical history in an attempt to offer you a low settlement for your injuries and losses. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Q: What Should I do About My Car?

A: You have the legal right to have your car fixed at any repair center you trust. You also have the option to receive the fair market value for your car if the damage is too expensive to have repaired. Do not continue to drive your car until it has been properly inspected by a professional auto mechanic.

Q: What if the Accident Was Partly My Fault?

A: The State of California follows a pure comparative negligence standard. Therefore, if you are partially at fault, you can still recover compensation and damages for the part of the accident that was not your fault. For example, if the jury determines that you were 80% at fault, you would still be allowed to recover 20% of the compensation you deserve. Never let the fact that you may be partially responsible for an accident deter you from seeking the compensation for your injuries and losses you deserve.

Q: What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive in a Personal Injury Case Related to a Car Accident?

A: Every car accident is different; however, you may be able to receive compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of future earnings, emotional distress or mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, if the accident involved particularly reckless or egregious behavior, you may be able to also obtain punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and send a strong message that this type of action is not acceptable.

Q: Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?

A: Under California law, you only have two years to file a claim to attempt to receive compensation for your car accident injuries and losses. While this may seem like a long time, conducting an independent investigation, hiring expert witnesses, and developing a strong case can take a great deal of time, and it is always best to get started as soon as possible. Additionally, if a public/government entity (i.e. government employee, Caltrans, etc) was solely or partially at fault for the accident, then you must file a government claim with the appropriate entity within the first 6 months after the accident or risk being barred from taking further action against them. This is why it is imperative to contact an experienced attorney at Easton & Easton to ensure all necessary steps are taken with plenty of time to preserve your rights.

Q: Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?

A: The personal injury lawyers with Easton & Easton are car accident experts, and can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and build a strong personal injury case so that you can receive the full compensation that you’re entitled to. Contact our experienced attorneys at 714-850-4590 or online today to discuss how our legal team can help you determine your next steps towards a fair settlement.

Seasoned Car Accident Representation

Motor vehicle-related accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Severe injuries and death resulting from a car accident require legal representation by serious personal injury attorneys who are experienced in handling these types of claims.

At Easton & Easton, our lawyers have the experience, legal knowledge, financial resources, dedication, and commitment to make certain our clients recover all that the law allows. While we will not represent fraudulent claimants, we are committed to helping those with legitimate injuries and claims to maximize the compensation they deserve. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Easton & Easton today at 714-850-4590.

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Firm Awards

The superior client service Easton & Easton provides has earned the firm an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen anew each year since 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as one of the "Best Law Firms" for the Southern California Metro Area.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen by the LA Times Reader's Choice Poll as "The Best Personal Injury Law Firm in Orange County" for 2018.

Doug and Brian Easton have been selected as Top 100 Trial Lawyers for California each year since 2014 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.

Brian and Matt Easton were recently honored for their efforts in securing a $1,850,000 verdict for a client in 2016, which was selected as one of the Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California by TopVerdict.com.

Doug and Brian have each been selected by Super Lawyers, an honor given to less than 5% of attorneys. Matt Easton has been selected among Super Lawyers' Up-and-Coming Top 25 in Orange County and Top 100 in Southern Califonia, an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys under 40 years old.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen as one of the "10 Best Personal Injury Law Firms” in all of Southern California" each year Since 2015 based on client satisfaction — one of the highest honors we could ever hope to achieve.

Easton & Easton received the “People Love Us On Yelp” award in 2016 due to the exceptional client satisfaction reviews given by our clients over the years.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been featured as Premier 100 Trial Attorneys for California since 2015 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Brian and Matt Easton have each earned lifetime appointment to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum — The Top Trial Lawyers in AmericaTM through the results achieved for their clients. This is an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys in the United States.

Doug Easton has held the “AV Preeminent” Rating for over 30 years and Matt Easton received this prestigious distinction in 2015. The "AV Preeminent" rating is the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards, and is based on the legal profession’s oldest peer review rating system, dating back to 1887.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been chosen as one of the "10 Best" Personal Injury Attorneys in Southern California each year since 2015 based on client satisfaction, an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys - and Easton & Easton houses three of them.

Brian Easton was selected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2015. ABOTA is one of the most premier associations of trial attorneys and judges, requiring a certain number of jury trials as lead counsel and approval by a majority vote of the ABOTA board.

Matt Easton has been selected each year since 2014 as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 for California by The National Trial Lawyers — an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.

Both Doug and Matt Easton have been selected as Top Personal Injury Attorneys by Avvo with scores of 10 out of 10 based on their skill, experience, results, peer evaluations, and client reviews.

Matt Easton has been selected as one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys Under 40 in California for 2015 by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys — an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys under the age of 40.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been selected by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel among the Nation's Top One Percent of Attorneys each year since 2017.

Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer | Costa Mesa Auto Accident Attorney | Catastrophic Injuries

“We look for the human story behind every injury or wrongful death. We prepare our cases for trial; reaching out to the jury with the most compelling evidence possible for the best verdict possible. Insurance companies know this and come to the table prepared to negotiate in good faith. Call us to see how we can turn your story into fair compensation.”

Partner W. Douglas Easton

What Our
CLIENTS SAY

Coming out of my first auto accident as an adult, a very difficult and scary time to navigate and understand, I was so incredibly thankful to have been put in contact with Easton & Easton. I honestly was lost with how to handle paperwork, doctors, medical costs and what next steps were, and from the moment I spoke with Travis Easton and my case manager Katie, my mind was put at ease. They have made the entire process stress free for me as I recovered, and I am so grateful for them and their genuine care for my case. Communication from the start has been fantastic, especially making clear what my expectations for the entire process would look like, and I truly believe they have my best interest at heart. 100% I would recommend their firm for anyone that is needing representation!

Sara McClelland

My experience with Easton & Easton has been amazing! Gabriel Mendoza and my case manager Katie have been so helpful and taken so much stress off my plate. They’ve been super informative and honest and given me very clear expectations. They’ve taken such a terrible experience (my accident) and eased my mind about the outcome. I can’t thank them enough!!

Caila Dean

Ive used them twice and never been disappointed

Lisa Bluemel

The Easton & Easton Law Firm is amazing! The entire team is very helpful and caring. They were always there to answer all my questions. They directed me through the entire process and stayed with me every step of the way. This team is outstanding and were wonderful to work with. Because of the tremendous effort they put on my case they were able to win my difficult personal injury case. I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm to handle my case. They are the Best! Thank you for your patience, professionalism, & guidance! I definitely recommend this firm to handle your case. They go out of their way to fight for your rights. THANK YOU…

Sofia Sanchez

I could not be more pleased with the services provided by the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton. The senior partner Mr. Easton took the time to meet with me and my wife while I was still in the hospital, where he gave my family hope that there was light at the end of a very long, and very dark tunnel. Matt Easton then worked my case, and because of his dedication, experience and expertise I received a settlement that was larger than I EVER thought possible. It was truly astounding! Matt and the entire team at Easton & Easton looked out for me throughout my recovery, and in the end they gave me my life back. Five stars is not enough. Thanks Matt! Thanks Easton & Easton!

Dan Campbell

Brian and everyone at Easton and Easton are simply the BEST at what they do. Brian is thorough, easy to talk to, and truly cares about his clients. If you want a family of attorneys with perseverance and determination to fight for you, give Easton and Easton a call. I am glad I did.

Kyle Keith

What an amazing law firm, talk about going above and beyond to make such a painful experience go so well. I have referred a co-worker and a family member to them as well and everyone had such a great experience as I had.

Logan Ross

I can’t say enough amazing things about my experience with Travis Easton at Easton & Easton. Travis and his entire team (Katie, Amy, Dee, Michelle, & Araceli) are phenomenal. It provided me a lot of comfort to know I was being so well taken care of. I was especially impressed that every document for the case was perfectly written and specific to me. Nothing was generic, which shows the level of care and attention they put into each individual case. I had such a great experience and would highly recommend Travis Easton and his firm to anyone going through a personal injury. Travis took a bad situation and made the best of it for me. Thank you again, I’m forever grateful!!

-Allee

Ashlee A.

Retaining Easton and Easton was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From the initial consultation to our final meeting, they were nothing short of exceptional. I was forced to retain their services after firing my previous attorney for not handling the case properly. I dealt with Gabriel and Brian (partner) exclusively throughout the case. They did as promised and were great communicators throughout the entire process. I will recommend them to anyone I know going through a personal injury case. They were ultimately able to untangle the mess caused by my previous lawyer and get a result that I was extremely happy with. Their staff is exceptional as well and provided top notch customer service. Amera was also extremely helpful and easy to deal with as well.

Jeffrey N.

I was in a pretty bad car accident and decided to have Easton & Easton represent me, Travis Easton to be specific. Travis Easton and his paralegal made the whole process effortless. They were so understanding and helpful! The entire thing was a gigantic mess, yet Travis managed to make it run like clockwork. I would HIGHLY recommend Easton & Easton! If you are ever in need of a personal defense attorney Easton & Easton is the firm to represent you!

Mark B.

They are the best law firm in Orange County period. Choosing them to represent me was the best decision of my life.
My life changed in a matter of seconds after a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left me disabled. Brian Easton and his team worked on my case non stop for 3 years and provided me the justice I deserved. I couldn’t have been more content.
I was treated with utmost respect and I felt like I was being represented by a close family member. The responses to my questions were quick and clear. What E & E has done for me is phenomenal.
My sincere thanks to Brian, Matt, Travis, Doug, Gabriel and Amera. They are what they are because of their dedication to provide high quality and professional service to their clients.

Vamsi P.

Brian Easton and his team, Gabe Mendoza and Amera Hajali, helped me during a very difficult time in my life. I had a significant injury from a car accident, and wound up seeking out Easton & Easton when I was having difficulties getting help from my doctors. The Easton team took a lot of stress off of me while acting as my advocates to help me get the care I needed, and saw my case all the way through to a healthy settlement.

They are the BEST!

Jennifer P.

I have nothing but good things to say about Easton and Easton. Brian handled my case professionally and communicated with me effectively throughout the process. He made sure that the process was effortless and as hands free as possible. This was super important for my busy schedule. I highly recommend Easton and Easton if you are ever found in a situation that you need an attorney.

Claudia C.

I would highly recommend Easton & Easton.
I was rear ended on my home and pushed into a semi-truck. I was not sure how to go about even using an attorney.
Brian, Gab and Amera were so good about helping me thru the process and representing me.
I was able to concentrate on getting myself better knowing they had my back, taking care of the details and keeping me informed along the way

Linda M.

The best Law firm by far. I would highly recommend Easton & Easton, LLP and ask for Gabriel Mendoza and staff. He and his colleagues did and exceptional service. Thank you for everything. Job well done!

Ericka P.

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