If you’re searching for a pleasant place to visit, live in, or start a business, choose the city of Irvine, California. It is well-known for its excellent schools, friendly people, and exciting sights. It’s 15 minutes from Disneyland Resort, 85 miles from San Diego, and 45 miles from Los Angeles. Most of all, it’s known for its low crime rate.
While the city has all these advantages, could you say that it’s also safe for motorists? Perhaps not. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) released a 2020 report on the following facts for Irvine:
- Around 470 people were injured and killed in fatal crashes
- Twenty-five of these cases involved alcohol
- Sixty-three cases were related to overspeeding
- Thirty-three happened at night
- Twenty were hit-and-run cases
If you’re planning to drive the streets of Irvine, you must be careful. Accidents can happen at any time. On November 26th, a man died after their car crashed into a tree. A passenger was transported to the local trauma center. The cause of the accident is unknown, but as it involves a single car, it is likely due to reckless or negligent behavior.
Work with us at The Personal Injury Center if you or a loved one sustained injuries in a negligent auto accident in Irvine or Orange County. We can help you find a reputable car accident lawyer in Irvine to take on your case.
You deserve justice and just compensation for your injuries.
Call now for legal representation!
Facts About Irvine Car Accidents
Irvine, California, is the 13th safest place to live in the United States. However, you can still get in a car accident while going to and from work or with friends.
Accidents can be stressful, even minor ones because physical harm is not the only thing that comes from a crash. Victims could suffer financial loss and emotional trauma as well. To minimize stress, you must understand your legal rights after an Irvine car accident.
Here’s what you should know about Irvine car accidents:
- Based on 473 reported car crashes, 190 or 40.6% of crashes happened in broad daylight.
- Out of 474 car crashes, 423 cases, or 89.2%, happened with clear atmospheric conditions.
- Six minutes is the average response time of Irvine’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Why do car accidents occur in Irvine?
Car accidents are a fact of life, but why do they happen? There are many reasons for car accidents, but most happen when drivers don’t follow the rules of the road.
Errors in judgment can lead to accidents, such as driving too fast for the conditions. Distracted driving is also a frequent cause, occurring when using a phone or doing other things while driving. Such activities cause drivers to take their eyes off the road.
Another reason for car accidents is speeding. If you’re going too fast, you reduce your time to stop or react to unexpected events.
Car accidents can also be due to drunk driving. If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your reaction time slows down. In some cases, drivers intentionally cause accidents to commit insurance fraud.
Here are the common causes of car crash accidents in Irvine in detail.
Driving while intoxicated (DUI)
Any driver who has consumed alcohol or drugs should not operate a vehicle. This includes ingestion of prescription medications that may impair fine motor skills, consciousness, or reflexes.
How much alcohol is too much? That depends on several factors, two of which are body weight and tolerance to alcohol. Other factors include genetics, food intake before imbibing, gender, type of alcohol consumed, and any medications taken. The average person will start to feel the effects of alcohol after consuming two or three standard drinks within 45 minutes.
Some people feel alert even after a couple of glasses of wine with dinner. However, it would be advisable to avoid driving if you have been drinking.
Devastating accidents can result from even brief distractions. Distracted driving means doing something that takes your attention away from the road while driving. It includes eating, drinking, talking on your cell phone, texting, fiddling with your stereo, and adjusting your GPS.
Sometimes it takes work to know what’s distracting and expected behavior when you’re in the car. A rule of thumb is if an activity takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds, it’s dangerous behavior.
Driving requires constant attention and quick decision-making skills. These are compromised when you’re talking on your cell phone or texting while driving.
You can’t see as well when you look down at your phone. If you’re eating or drinking while driving, there’s a chance that food will spill onto your lap. If you argue with someone on the phone while driving, there’s a chance that your judgment gets clouded. All of these are distractions.
It is everyone’s responsibility to follow the established speed limits. When a driver is speeding, they risk losing control of their car. Collisions at high speeds are more likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities.
Speed limits are set for a reason, and when you exceed those limits, you put yourself and others at risk. Every one percent increase in speed increases the likelihood of an accident by two percent. Perhaps more importantly, the ratio of overspeeding to fatal injuries is 1:4.
What does that mean? Say you are driving 15% over the speed limit. In that case, you increased your risk of an accident by 30% and your risk of dying by 60%.
Speeding makes it harder for you to react quickly if something unexpected happens on the road. Even a small problem can escalate and become a significant issue if traveling at highway speeds.
Mechanical breakdowns are one of the most common causes of car accidents. Often, these mechanical failures occur because of poor maintenance. If your car isn’t in tip-top shape, it may be more likely to break down on the road and cause an accident.
Every driver has to fix any mechanical problems with their cars as soon as they become aware of them. A motorist that knows of a mechanical issue but chooses not to fix it runs the unnecessary risk of an accident.
Suppose you’re traveling down the highway at 65 mph, and your brakes fail, or your tires blow out. In that case, you could be in for much more than a rough ride. The best way to avoid problems is by regularly inspecting your car and doing preventative maintenance.
Driving at night or in inclement weather often means poor visibility and requires extra caution and vigilance. An inattentive or irresponsible motorist might easily cause a devastating collision when visibility is restricted.
Even on a clear day, accidents can still happen because of what you or other drivers can’t see. Aside from small or tinted windows, blind spots could also contribute to that risk.
Suppose you’re driving behind a truck or SUV. There will be areas where you can’t see what’s happening directly in front of them. This is because their size creates blind spots that extend to both sides of the car.
Vehicles like vans or trucks are also higher than cars. This creates “truck blind spots,” which can be extremely dangerous. The truck driver can’t see you if you pull up behind or beside them. For your sake, always keep a safe distance from trucks. If you must overtake, go past them as quickly as possible to get out of their blind spots.
Defective parts and cars
A vehicle flaw or defective part may cause an accident. In this circumstance, the manufacturer may be responsible rather than the driver. Faulty parts and cars can cause many casualties, including rollovers, fires, and collisions.
Some common types of defects include the following:
- Defective tires: Tires that blow out or have tread separation can lead to rollovers.
- Malfunctioning airbags: Airbags that deploy improperly can cause injury or death.
- Defective brakes: Brakes that don’t work properly may not stop a vehicle quickly enough to avoid an accident.
- Faulty engines; Engines that stall or fail to start can lead to crashes and fires when left running while parked with the keys inside. This is called “hot wiring.”
Failure to follow traffic rules
Traffic signs are put in place to keep drivers safe, but people need to follow them correctly. One example is when a driver fails to yield right-of-way at an intersection. This can result in a crash with another vehicle or pedestrian.
Left-turning accidents are also common, primarily because of a failure to signal correctly. We use signals to indicate our intended course so everyone may react appropriately and drive defensively. It’s crucial to use turn signals and delay moving until you’re sure it’s safe to turn.
Another reason that car accidents occur is drivers failing to keep a proper distance between vehicles. This is known as “tailgating” and leads to many rear-end collisions. As a general rule, the safe following distance between cars at any speed is that you can cover in two seconds.
Drivers should also know and follow the speed limit and account for road conditions.
Most Frequent Injuries from Irvine Car Accidents
The most frequent injuries from car accidents are neck and back pain. These can be due to whiplash or when your head hits the steering wheel. Other common injuries include broken bones, head wounds, and cuts from broken glass.
Suppose you’re involved in a car accident and sustain injuries. It is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Many injuries could result from a car crash, including but not limited to the following conditions.
Fractured bones are among the most frequent injuries from car accidents. When a vehicle crashes, it can cause fractures in the bones of those involved in the accident. These fractures can be very painful and take a long time to heal correctly. In some cases, they may never heal properly at all.
While some bone fractures heal entirely within a few weeks or months, others may have long-term effects. Additionally, certain shattered bones might harm nerves and require surgery to fix. You must see a doctor immediately after an accident, especially if you have a fracture.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have serious consequences for accident victims, especially if it leads to long-term or permanent medical issues. The effects of concussions and some brain injuries may resolve on their own. However, it may take months or years to understand the full impact of the damage entirely.
Many things can cause brain damage, including the following:
- Road debris
- Falling from a height
- Being struck by a vehicle or object
Brain damage occurs when a solid object makes forcible contact with the head, which frequently happens in car accidents. Violent shaking can also cause damage to brain tissue when it bounces off the inside of the skull.
TBI can also result from multiple blows that add up over time, such as the case with some athletes in contact sports.
Spinal cord injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are among the most frequent causes of spinal cord injury. Damage to the spinal cord may cause complete or incomplete sensory and motor function loss that can lead to paralysis.
The severity of the injury depends on the extent of damage to the spinal cord. This complex bundle of nerves extends from the brain to the vertebral column.
Many different types of injuries can occur when there is trauma to the spine. The most common spinal cord injury is a contusion, which occurs when there is direct spinal trauma. This results in bruising and swelling within the soft tissues surrounding the spine.
A contusion may also cause bleeding into or around the spinal cord itself. This can cause severe pain and death if not treated quickly.
Injury to soft tissues
Car accidents frequently result in whiplash and injury to tendons, ligaments, and muscles. While some of these wounds will heal with little medical attention, others can need surgery and a protracted healing period.
Soft tissue injuries are the most frequent injuries from car accidents. They occur when a moving car, truck, or motorcycle hits the body.
Soft tissue injuries can be internal and external. The former injuries, such as torn muscles, sprains, and broken bones, occur within your body. The latter occur outside your body, like road rash or burn.
Unfortunately, not every person involved in a car accident lives. They may sustain severe injuries that lead to wrongful death. These injuries result from direct impacts with objects or violent shaking of the head and neck during an accident.
Wounds to the head and neck are among the most frequent fatal injuries in car accidents. The most common head and neck injuries include skull fractures, scalp lacerations, facial fractures, brain trauma, and spinal cord injury.
In some cases, there may be no apparent signs of injury, but it may still lead to death due to internal injuries. Impact forces from collisions can also harm internal organs and occasionally result in life-threatening bleeding.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Irvine Can Help
Many think they can handle personal injury cases and file car accident claims on their own. However, dealing with insurance companies is rarely straightforward. Handling a personal injury claim without professional legal help entails a considerable chance of failure and frustration.
Knowing your rights and what happens after car or truck accidents is essential. Still, you need more to ensure a fair chance of success in getting compensation for your losses. A car accident lawyer in Irvine can help you deal with insurance companies or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Gather evidence and build your case
After a car accident, you may be uncertain about who to trust and what to do. That’s why it’s essential to know the benefits of hiring a lawyer at the outset of your case.
A car accident lawyer knows what evidence to gather. They start with a case evaluation and proceed to identify all relevant parties. After which, they’ll move to collect information.
Help determine liability
Hiring an auto accident lawyer helps determine liability in the case. They do this by examining the accident scene or any evidence gathered during the investigation.
A car accident attorney can also help you determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills. They will also help you claim compensation for lost wages and other damages associated with the accident.
Calculating the damages you are due is a critical component of the case. It can be simple if you’ve already finished your medical treatment because you’ve already incurred the necessary costs.
However, you might not be able to estimate the total amount of damages you can recover in the following circumstances:
- You have severe injuries that will require present or future treatment
- You’re unable to work
- You have a permanent injury
Your Irvine personal injury attorney will consult with actuarial, financial, and medical professionals to ascertain how much the compensation is.
Negotiate the settlement
Hiring a car accident lawyer is a great way to get the settlement you deserve. The average settlement is $30,000, but people who hire an attorney may receive payments worth twice that.
Aside from giving legal advice, an attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They have experience dealing with insurance adjusters and can get the highest possible settlement for your case. They will also help you navigate the claims process and ensure that the insurance company pays all your medical bills.
Represent you in court and before insurance firms
When facing the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You might have injuries that need treatment, or you might have lost property in the crash. You’ll still have to deal with vehicle repair costs if you’re lucky enough not to be injured.
An experienced Irvine car accident attorney will help you deal with the legal proceedings efficiently. They will advise you on approaching the issue more confidently if you need to pursue additional legal action.
The process of dealing with insurance companies is complex and time-consuming. It can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Hiring an attorney will help alleviate some of this stress by handling all communication with your insurance company.
A competent car accident lawyer in Irvine will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf. They’ll make sure that they pay for any damages they cause, including medical expenses and property damage. They’ll also ensure that your coverage is up to date to cover any future related costs to the accident.
Recoverable Damages for Irvine Car Accidents Claim
Recoverable damages for car accidents can be awarded to you if you’ve been injured in an accident. To prove that you are entitled to these damages, you must show that another party’s negligence caused the accident.
Negligence is an individual’s failure to exercise reasonable care in performing their duties or doing something wrong. For example, if a driver doesn’t stop at a red light and hits your car, they could be negligent. Moreover, you need to prove the accident caused your injuries and that these injuries led to your losses.
You can prove liability through eyewitness accounts, medical records, and police reports. If there were no witnesses or police reports available for your case, it might be harder for you to prove fault.
If you can prove all that, you can demand compensation for your losses with the help of your personal injury lawyer. These typically include economic or non-economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries.
However, you should know that California is a pure comparative fault state. If you are to any degree at fault for the accident, the court will reduce any awards by that percentage.
Suppose the court awards you $10,000 in damages but finds you are 50% at fault for the accident. In that case, you will only receive $5,000.
The good news is the fault-based system permits recovery of damages even if the claimant is partially at fault. This will help ensure fairness to all parties involved in an accident. Even if you are 99% at fault, you can still file a claim in Irvine, Ca.
Economic damages are quantifiable monetary losses directly resulting from an injury-causing event, such as a car accident. These may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Burial costs (for wrongful death)
- Loss of use property
- Costs of repair or replacements
- Costs of obtaining substitute domestic services
- Loss of employment
- Loss of business or employment opportunities
Non-economic damages are subjective, non-financial losses. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Injury to reputation
Get Help From an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Irvine
Get in touch if you have sustained hurt in a car accident in Irvine. The Personal Injury Center helps you find the proper attorney to advise you on how to proceed with your case. The lawyers on our database have the experience and expertise in handling personal injury cases. With them, you can protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.
Our website also offers free resources to help you navigate the most stressful situations. Help is just a click away!
Talk to us today and get a free consultation.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Irvine
What are the types of car accidents?
The most common type of car accident is a rear-end collision. This happens when one vehicle hits another in the back end. In most cases, the front driver was going too slow or stopped too quickly, or the rear driver was going too fast.
Another type of car accident is the side-swipe collision. This occurs when one vehicle swerves into another, going in the same direction on the road. It can cause damage to both cars and injury to their occupants.
The third type of car accident is a head-on collision. This occurs when two vehicles traveling toward each other collide, damaging both cars. A head-on collision often causes severe injuries and death, especially to passengers who are not wearing seat belts.
What is California's statute of limitations for personal injury cases?
California personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations two years after the date of the accident or discovery. This means you have that much time to file a lawsuit against the liable parties. If you don't file within the statute, you may lose your right to sue for damages.
What should I do after a car accident?
In the event of a car accident, there are some steps you should take immediately.
If you can do so safely, move your vehicle off the road and turn on your hazard lights. This will help alert other drivers to your presence and also give them time to react if they are approaching from behind you.
Next, call 911 and report the accident. While waiting, obtain the names, licenses, and insurance information of the other parties involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses to the incident, get their statements and contact information. Obtaining this information is critical for filing a personal injury, property damage claim, or both.