Were you severely hurt, or did you lose a loved one in an accident in Newport Beach? Know that you’re not alone, and that accidents are often no “accident.” When someone else’s negligence causes you or someone you love harm, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation, and the Newport Beach injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC can help you get it.
- Why Hire a Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawyer?
- Steps to Take After an Accident
- What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?
- What Compensation Is Available for Your Injuries?
- Most Common Causes of Newport Beach Accidents
- Most Common Types of Newport Beach Accidents
- Common Injuries Suffered in Newport Beach Accidents
- Newport Beach Accident Statistics
- Newport Beach Personal Injury Laws
- How Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawsuits Work
- Contact Our Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Today
There are many different ways in which you can be injured due to another party’s negligent or reckless actions. These run the gamut from drunk driving accidents and nursing home abuse to on-the-job injuries and premises liability injuries. In some instances, these injuries may be severe enough to cause lifelong problems, and even death.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling all kinds of personal injury cases, and we’ve recovered more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. We’ve also received numerous professional awards for our efforts, including recognition from Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
If you live in the Newport Beach area and have suffered a personal injury, our attorneys would be delighted to talk to you about your case and outline your legal options. Get your free initial consultation today by calling or by visiting our contact page.
Why Hire a Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawyer?
Sustaining a personal injury can take a serious toll on many different aspects of your life. In addition to the cost of your medical bills and damaged property, you may be in agonizing pain and unable to work. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may also have a long-term or permanent disability as a result of your accident, which can greatly impact your quality of life. If you’re unable to work, you may have even greater difficulty paying for the cost of your medical treatments as well as covering your other living expenses.
Your best shot at winning a personal injury case is to hire a law firm that knows what’s at stake and how to fight these battles. The team at OnderLaw, LLC has the experience, drive, and knowledge to help you get the compensation you deserve. It’s hardly a fair fight if you go up against an insurance company on your own, but with our help, you can level the playing field.
We know how to find the necessary evidence to prove your case, and we’ll maximize your potential payout by fully investigating all the sources of compensation. Our collective knowledge and experience mean we know how insurance companies try to shift blame after an accident, and we also know how to fight back against their tactics.
With our team at your side, you can focus on getting better after your accident instead of stressing over a significant legal battle. Our exceptional team of personal injury lawyers knows how to handle many different kinds of accident cases. This includes things like:
Steps to Take After an Accident
The exact steps to take after any personal injury will vary a little bit depending on the type of accident, the nature of your injuries, and other factors. However, there are some general guidelines to follow to make sure you give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation for your injuries. We’ve listed these guidelines below:
See a doctor as soon as you can
This should be your first priority after any accident. Though your injuries might seem obvious, or you may not feel like you’ve been badly hurt, there might be hidden or internal injuries that need to be treated. Seeing a doctor right away after an accident is your best chance of making sure all your injuries are diagnosed, treated, and fully documented.
Report the accident to the police
By letting law enforcement know about the accident, you get a record of what happened that can be used as evidence later on. Their investigation may also help establish fault for your injuries.
Follow your doctor’s treatment regimen exactly as ordered
If you don’t follow your doctor’s orders precisely, you run the risk of having your case dismissed or the value of your claim reduced, since the other party could argue that you aggravated your injuries by not following the correct instructions.
Document your injuries as thoroughly as possible
Hold on to your medical records and receipts, as well as any photos of your injuries. If you have any photos or video from the accident scene, be sure to preserve that evidence as well. If anyone witnessed your accident, get their contact information.
Get contact information from everyone who was involved in your accident
That includes their name, phone number, email address, and mailing address. If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should also get the other driver’s insurance information.
Tell your insurance company about the accident
It’s best not to do this before speaking to a lawyer, but if you do, stick to the basic facts of what happened without saying anything about who may have been at fault. Do not say “I’m sorry” or anything else that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Do not consent to let your statement be recorded, either.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible
There are important deadlines to meet in a personal injury case, so the sooner you talk to a lawyer, the less chance you have of running into any issues with those deadlines. You’ll also want to hire a lawyer quickly so they can speak to any insurance companies and other lawyers on your behalf. If you aren’t careful about what you say in a personal injury case, you could lose out on compensation for your injuries.
What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?
If you don’t have a lot of experience with the legal system, you may not know exactly what a personal injury attorney does as they’re investigating your case. Here are some of the things your lawyer will be doing as the build your case:
Finding and preserving evidence
There are two different kinds of evidence that you’ll need to get maximum compensation for your injuries. The first is evidence showing that the person or entity who injured you is liable for the injuries you sustained. The second is evidence showing the extent of the losses you’ve suffered. By looking through police records, medical reports, photos from the accident scene, surveillance footage, and other materials, your lawyer will build the foundation of your case.
Talking to and deposing witnesses
A key source of evidence in a personal injury case is when your attorney interviews witnesses and other figures under oath, which is known as a deposition. By conducting these interviews carefully and using other evidence, your attorney can find any inconsistencies in what the other parties in the accident have said to get at the truth of what really happened.
Reconstructing what happened in the accident
Working with forensic investigators, your lawyer can help recreate the circumstances of the accident to better illustrate what happened and who is liable for your injuries. This is most common in motor vehicle accidents, though it can also be beneficial with other types of accidents as well.
Identifying negligent behavior
To claim compensation for your injuries, you’ll have to show that the party who caused your injuries acted negligently or recklessly in some manner. For example, they may have been intoxicated when they hit you with their care. Your lawyer will look at the available evidence and try to find an example of the person who injured you being negligent in some way.
To obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, your attorney will look at the evidence to find any and all parties who may have been at fault. It could be the case that you may bear some of the responsibility for what happened, though that does not necessarily bar you from recovering compensation under California law. Once a clear picture of who is at fault for your injuries has been established, your attorney can begin negotiating with those parties to get you your compensation.
What Compensation Is Available for Your Injuries?
Under California law, those who are hurt in a personal injury accident are allowed to recover compensation for their injuries even if they are partially responsible for their injuries. This is because the state uses a pure comparative negligence standard, meaning that all compensation in personal injury cases is split up according to the percentage of fault for each party who is involved in the accident.
For example, if you file your claim and you’re found to be 25 percent responsible for your injuries, your total compensation award will be reduced by 25 percent. Because California uses a pure comparative negligence standard, you can file a personal injury claim even if you are more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries, though your attorney may advise you that doing so is not in your best interest.
Some of the things you can receive compensation for in a personal injury claim include:
- Your medical bills related to the accident, including the cost of any ongoing care you may need
- Your lost wages while you were healing from your injuries
- Your reduced ability to earn a living if your injuries resulted in a long-term disability
- The cost of any necessary modifications to your home as a result of your injuries
- The value of any personal property that was destroyed or damaged in the accident
- The physical pain you’ve suffered from your injuries
- Any emotional or mental anguish stemming from the accident
- The loss of emotional or financial support from an injured family member
Most Common Causes of Newport Beach Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of personal injury accidents in Newport Beach:
(car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, rideshare accidents, pedestrian accidents, etc.)
- Intoxicated drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Mechanical defects
- Reckless driving
- Poor road conditions
- Bad weather
- Inexperienced drivers
(slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents, inadequate maintenance, negligent security, dog bites, etc.)
- Liquids spilled on the floor
- Loose or frayed electrical cords
- Loose carpeting
- Poorly maintained or loose guardrails and handrails
- Falling or flying objects
- Poor lighting
- Hazardous or toxic chemicals on site
- Negligent or poorly trained security guards
- Poor maintenance of the grounds
- Dogs not being adequately secured or monitored
- Industrial equipment malfunctions
- Caustic chemical exposure
- Contact with scalding liquids
- Loose or frayed electrical wires
- Falling objects
- Becoming entangled or caught in machinery
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Trip-and-fall accidents
- Motor-vehicle accidents
- Work-related injuries
- Physical assaults
- Poor training
- Overcrowded facilities
- Staff shortages
- Inexperienced or underpaid staff
- Management negligence
Most Common Types of Newport Beach Accidents
Some of the most common types of accidents we see in Newport Beach include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Sideswipe collisions
- T-bone collisions
- Drunk driving accidents
- Override and underside accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Trip-and-fall accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Collapsing steps or staircases
- Dog bites
- Construction site accidents
- Escalator or elevator accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Negligent or poorly trained security personnel
- Inadequate maintenance
- Industrial explosions
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Falling objects
- Motor-vehicle accidents
- Electrical accidents
- Workplace violence
- Medication mistakes
- Identity theft
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Patients being handled too aggressively
- Infections from unsanitary equipment
Common Injuries Suffered in Newport Beach Accidents
There are many different ways in which someone can be injured in a personal injury accident. Some of the most common types of injuries we see at OnderLaw, LLC include:
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Amputated or severed limbs
- Burn injuries
- Road rash
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Dog bite injuries
- Injuries from exposure to toxic chemicals
- Electrical shocks
- Head trauma
- Toxic exposure injuries
- Electrical shocks
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Overdosing on medication
Newport Beach Accident Statistics
Personal injury accidents are strikingly common in Newport Beach and throughout California. Here are some statistics related to the cases we handle:
- California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported there were 3,563 deaths from traffic accidents statewide in 2018.
- Of all those traffic deaths, 1,069 fatalities were the result of drunk-driving accidents.
- 488 motorcyclists died in accidents in 2018.
- There were 155 bicyclist deaths in 2018.
- 893 pedestrians died in traffic accidents.
- The Centers for Disease Control reported there were 39,433 accidental fall deaths nationwide in 2019.
- The CDC also said there were more than 10 million emergency room visits nationwide for fall-related injuries in 2017.
- Dog bite injuries are more common in California than in any other state, according to a 2018 report from The Tribune, a newspaper in San Luis Obispo.
- There were 376 work-related fatalities statewide in 2017, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
- The Division of Occupational Safety and Health also reports that transportation accidents accounted for 37 percent of all work-related fatalities from 2013-2017.
- Workplace violence accounted for 20 percent of all workplace deaths from 2013-2017. Slip-and-fall accidents accounted for another 19 percent of all workplace deaths during that period.
- The California Office of the Attorney General reported the state’s elderly population is projected to hit 6.4 million people by 2025.
- There are about 110,000 residents statewide living in licensed nursing homes and another 150,000 residents living in licensed residential care facilities. There are also about 150,000 residents living in unlicensed assisted living facilities, and these residents are particularly vulnerable to receiving substandard care.
- While about 5 percent of all incidents of nursing home abuse nationwide involve some type of exploitation, gross abuse, or neglect, in California, that rate is 13 percent, according to California’s Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman.
Newport Beach Personal Injury Laws
It’s important to be aware of some of the laws that govern personal injury claims in California. Here are a few of the key laws to know about:
- It’s illegal to use a cellphone while driving unless your vehicle is equipped with a hands-free system of some sort.
- All motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear helmets at all times.
- All drivers are required to carry liability insurance with at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, as well as at least $5,000 per accident in property damage coverage.
- California does not have a “one-bite rule” for dog bite injuries. This means owners can be held liable for injuries caused by their dogs even if the dog has never attacked anyone before and gave no indication that it was dangerous.
- You have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- If you believe you were injured by a state or local government entity, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is six months.
- Uninsured drivers are unable to collect compensation for non-economic losses in an accident (for example, pain and suffering) unless the accident involved a drunk driver who is convicted of DUI.
- Compensation for non-economic injuries in medical malpractice claims is limited to $250,000.
Accident Claims Process
Filing the claim
The first step is to submit a letter to the insurance company or companies for whoever you believe is responsible for your injuries. The letter should contain an overview of your injuries and how much you are seeking in compensation.
Dealing with adjusters
Once you’ve submitted your claim, the insurance company will appoint an adjuster to evaluate your claim. They’ll look at the evidence you have as well as gather additional evidence on their own.
Reviewing settlement offers
Your initial offer will likely be rejected, so you and your lawyer will begin settlement negotiations. By the time negotiations are complete and all the evidence has been reviewed, you may have more than one offer available, and you can review any offers you have with your attorney.
If you receive a fair offer and agree to it, you’ll get your compensation in a structured settlement agreement. Your lawyer will take a percentage of your compensation according to the terms of your contingency fee agreement.
What to do if the insurance company denies your claim or a settlement can’t be reached
If your claim is denied or the insurance company refuses to make a good-faith offer, then it’s time to take your case to court. Your attorney will file your claim in the local civil court for that jurisdiction and begin preparations for trial.
How Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawsuits Work
Should you choose to take your personal injury claim to court, here are the basic steps involved:
- Filing your lawsuit – Making sure your case is filed with the correct court or agency is essential. Civil suits under $10,000 are filed in small claims court, while those over $10,000 are filed in the local California civil court. Workers’ compensation cases are filed with the state Division of Workers’ Compensation.
- Summons and complaint – Once you’ve determined where to file your claim, your personal injury lawyer will write the first two components of your lawsuit. These are the summons, which informs the defendant that they’re being sued, and the complaint, which lists the facts of the case as well as what you are seeking in compensation.
- Discovery – At this point, both sides of the lawsuit have the opportunity to request and look at whatever evidence the other side has.
- Mediation – In many personal injury cases, the judge will order you and the defendant into mediation before the case can proceed. This is similar to earlier settlement negotiations, though sometimes a court-appointed mediator will lead the proceedings.
- Trial – Should mediation fail, then the case will proceed to trial. There may be a jury, or the trial may be held with just a judge, depending on the circumstances of your case and what your attorney thinks is the best strategy.
- Verdict – After the trial is over, you’ll get a verdict from the judge or jury. If the verdict is in your favor, the judge will determine what compensation you get. If the verdict is unfavorable, you can attempt an appeal.
Contact Our Newport Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Today
With so much at stake in a personal injury case, getting proper legal representation is essential. With our experience and knowledge, we’re your best bet at helping you get the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries. To learn more about how we can help you, call today or visit our contact page.