With its prime location along the coast, Orange County has become one of the most prosperous and populous areas in California. Millions of people visit here every year to take in the sights and sounds of the county. Having world famous places like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm certainly doesn’t hurt. Guests have also been flocking to the beaches for decades as well. Many have since bought their own houses and settled here permanently. More than 3 million individuals now call it home making it the densest county aside from San Francisco. With people come lots of cars and the result is not always ideal. If you were involved in an accident, get crucial information from http://www.dkblawyers.com/car-accidents/
The California Collision Statistics
According to a 2013 report by the California Highway Patrol, there were over 150,000 serious collisions that year. These resulted in the injury of more than 200,000 individuals. Although they were lucky to escape death, they do have to deal with the aftermath of the crash which is never an easy thing. Their injuries often have profound consequences.
The common causes of these accidents are always the same year after year. The state has laws that prohibit these behaviors. Things have improved but there is still much to do. For example, alcohol and drug-impaired driving continue to be a menace on the roads. Motorists get distracted, often due to texting while on the wheel, compromising their ability to react to stimuli. Speeding and weather conditions are also cited.
Statute of Limitations in CA
Motorists who trigger accidents can be sued by the victims but only until a certain date. There is a time limit defined by the statute of limitations governing this type of case. Personal injury cases in California can be pursued for a period of two years since the incident.
After this, the court will refuse to admit the lawsuit unless it falls under one of the exceptions. It’s best not to take chances. File the suit as early as possible with the help of a competent lawyer. The clock often runs quicker than we think.
What to Do Right After an Accident
If you were involved in a collision, then do the right thing by stopping on the site. This is required by law. Failure to comply could result in a hit-and-run charge which has severe penalties. Stop, park the car to the side, and survey the situation around you. If there is an injured person, then call the police immediately for help. They will send an investigation team that will make a report on the incident. If the other driver is conscious, then exchange insurance details for faster processing. If there is no person around the damaged car or property, then look for the owner.
Lend assistance to injured persons whenever possible, even if it’s just to call an ambulance to save their lives or minimize the damage. Provide first aid if you are trained to do so. Warn other motorists about the incident to prevent another collision. Turn on the hazard lights, put orange cones around the site, or lift the engine hood to draw attention. Stay calm and focused to get the situation under control. Acquire all the pertinent information that you can get including the details of the other driver and his car. Ask for the contact information of any witnesses.
Gather evidence on the site. Draw a quick diagram of the site including the position of the vehicles and visible landmarks. Identify the location of key witnesses. Point to skid marks on the ground and any other signs that could point to the cause of the crash. Take picture if you can with your mobile phone. You will forget most of the details as soon as you drive away from the site so record everything that you can while they are fresh in your mind.
If you sustained any injuries, then go to the hospital immediately for checkup. It is often a good idea to go anyway even if there aren’t any visible trauma as internal hemorrhage can be a real issue. By doing this, you prevent your condition from getting worse and you make sure that there are official records of your injuries. The documents will be important if the case goes to court. Save every piece of paper that comes from the hospital including medical bills and prescriptions. Continue to do so for post-discharge treatments and other needs resulting directly from the incident.
Finding an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer
Victims in a crash are entitled to get compensation for damages. These include the cost of medical treatments, the lost income due to the inability to work, the cost of vehicle repairs, and more. Sometimes the amounts are easy to calculate as it is only a matter to getting sums. However, there are damages that are harder to put a monetary value on such as the loss of enjoyment of life due to disfigurement or disability. Experienced lawyers can help you come up with a suitable amount based on the facts of the case and the typical values awarded by the court.
Compensation can only be provided to you if it is proven that the other driver is at fault for what transpired. The evidence gathered on the site will be valuable in this regard, as well as the testimony of the eye witnesses. An Orange County car accident lawyer can create a legal strategy that will establish liability beyond reasonable doubt based on these elements. Find an experienced professional to ensure that you have a knowledgeable champion at your side. He or she should be a specialist in California personal injury law. Avail of free initial consultation offers from the firms around Orange County to evaluate their suitability for your case.