Personal Injury accidents change lives, sometimes forever. In California, there is a very high rate of injury accidents compared to the rest of the nation. This is partly due to a dense population of residents and the high number of visitors that visit this large and attractive state. Nationwide, in 2013, unintentional injuries accounted for 31 million emergency department visits. Accidents are the seventh leading cause of death in America, resulting mostly from vehicle accidents, falls and unintentional poisonings.
Many injury accidents are due to negligent behavior on the part of another person or a company. When someone is injured in an accident due to negligence, they have legal options to pursue to obtain fair compensation for their injury expenses and care. If there is a death from these accidents, survivors also may be able to obtain compensation for certain loss claims, including funeral and burial expenses. If your life has been disrupted by accidental injury or a death of a loved one, an experienced Personal injury Attorney can work with you to determine the best options within the legal system to help you recover from accident damages.
Orange County Personal Injury
Orange County is home to about 3 million residents and many more visitors, all of whom enjoy a thriving economy and abundant outdoor activities at beaches and parks in an almost perfect climate. Although it is the smallest county in Southern California, located just south of Los Angeles County, it is the third-most populous county in California, and sixth in the United States.
Filled with exciting visitor attractions, like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, Orange County is served by three major Interstate highways, and, like other populated areas, it also has its share of personal injury traffic accidents. Despite the high population density, Orange County has far fewer fatal traffic accidents than neighboring Los Angeles County. There were just 7 fatal vehicle accidents per 100,000 population here in 2013, compared to 213 in Los Angeles. There were 2 fatal accidents involving drunken persons, 4 pedestrian fatalities, and 10 vehicles that were involved in fatal accidents that year.
In addition to injuries from traffic accidents, people suffer the same problems as elsewhere in the country. Injuries occur on public and private property from slips, falls and trips, workplace violence, parts failures or defects, and other actions causing harm or death. Drugs and alcohol contribute to the accident rate, particularly in the incidence of traffic accidents.
Orange County Personal Injury Accidents
No one is immune from being harmed in an accident due to negligence or carelessness. In July of 2015, 2 Irvin police officers were hurt when an adult woman slammed her sedan into their police car. Both officers were hospitalized, but fortunately their injuries were non-life threatening.
Traffic accidents are probably the most likely cause of personal injury damages. There are many variables that enter into these incidents, including drugs and alcohol abuse. Here are a few typical vehicle accidents that recently made the news reports in Orange County:
- An intoxicated driver in Huntington Beach crashed a van that rolled over multiple times and landed in the sand, injuring several people. A passenger in the van said they were heading home from work when the DUI driver sped through an intersection and off the road into the sand.
- In Anaheim, a 17-year-old boy who was skateboarding and a driver of a pickup truck were critically injured, when that driver plowed the truck into a cinder block wall and it flipped onto its side, injuring both people.
- A police pursuit reached top speeds of 100 mph on a Buena Park freeway when the vehicle crashed into a wall. It took firefighters over 30 minutes to free the driver from the wreckage. Shortly after 2 a.m., the driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a sound wall on the side of the freeway.
Accident reports also show that in recent years, there has been a shift in fatalities from falls, with older persons now having more incidents of slip and fall accidents. When property owners fail to keep floors, walkways and parking lots free of debris or fail to maintain those pathways properly, people can experience severe injury and death from falls. Head, neck, brain and spine injuries can easily result when someone trips over uneven cement, loose mats or slippery objects, snow, ice or other debris. Accidents are frequent and serious within the transportation industry, and anywhere safety equipment is needed.
Product defects or failures are another category of things that cause severe injury or death. When a product design is flawed, or when there is negligence in the manufacture, installation or use of a product or piece of equipment, an accident can easily result. Vehicle design flaws may lead to rollover accidents, structural crushing or failure of safety equipment to protect users, and the end result can be bodily harm or death for the user or passengers. This is seen regularly in news reports about automobile, truck or bus accidents. Seat belt failure, brakes that do not work properly, exploding airbags and other equipment failures have led to the wrongful death of many people.
Orange County Personal Injury Claims
Claims filed in Personal Injury lawsuits range from simple inconvenience to work loss, medical expenses and, when there is a wrongful death claim, loss of companionship, and funeral and burial costs. There are two major types of damage claims that can be sought under Personal Injury laws: economic and non-economic.
- Economic Claims – These are items for which there are specific monetary costs. Included here would be medical care expenses, including costs for doctors, nurses, surgical care, transportation (ambulance, etc.), pharmaceutical needs, nursing home or home care costs and other specific monetary costs related to accident injuries. Losses of income, insurance benefits, retirement contributions and other items that are related to a job or employment benefits can also be claimed as specific monetary damages in a personal injury case.
- Non-Economic Claims – This category includes items that may not have a specific and easily assessed monetary value, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, inconvenience, and loss of companionship when a loved one is killed in an accident. Children lose parental guidance, income and future inheritance. Partners in a relationship claim loss of consortium and companionship. Expert witnesses may be brought in by a Personal Injury Attorney to calculate a variety of non-economic damages, including future income that is lost due to disability. Psychological, emotional and mental anguish are other areas where there can be long-term problems that also bear a personal cost in many areas of life. Loss of lifestyle enjoyment due to severe injuries or disability can be claimed here also.
When you are going to make claims for personal injury compensation, it is important to work closely with your attorney to determine all potential problem areas and related costs. An attorney can obtain a higher compensation amount in most cases, and settlement prior to court is what happens in most lawsuits of this type. When litigation is required, there is no substitute for experience; this is why it is essential to look at the record of success your attorney has achieved in similar cases.
Orange County California Personal Injury Accidents
Like many other states, California has time limitations that apply to filing for compensation after an injury accident. If your case is against a government agency, you only have a 6 month time limit. Other claims will have a longer time limitation, generally 1 to 2 years, with certain exceptions for product liability or construction cases.
It also has set limitations on the amounts and types of damages that you can recover in a personal injury case. It is a “pure comparative negligence” rule state, meaning that if you bear any portion of fault, any compensation you might be entitled to receive will be reduced by that percentage amount. In addition to the fault issue, California places a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, at $250,000.
Orange County Personal Injury Attorney
When you or a loved one is harmed due to negligent behavior, you deserve compensation to help with recovery, so you can again move forward in life. Your medical expenses, personal lifestyle changes, financial situation and other problems that arise from being injured can be terribly stressful and harmful on their own. Get the strong legal support you need to determine the best way to fight back against the unexpected and serious damage negligent behavior can bring into your life.
When you have legal questions or concerns about an injury accident, start with a consultation with an experienced Orange County Personal Injury Attorney. This legal professional has the knowledge and skills needed to help you find justice. A generous settlement or jury award of monetary compensation can turn the tide of financial woes into a past concern. Take action today and enjoy life again!
The above information applies to the following cities in Orange County including but not limited to:
Rancho Santa Margarita
San Juan Capistrano
Santa Ana (county seat)