Orange County Car Accident Laws

Car accidents in Orange County, California, bring up several legal considerations, such as the statute of limitations, determining who is at fault, common causes of accidents, and the importance of legal representation. If you were in a car accident, understanding and dealing with the legal system can be challenging. Without proper knowledge and timely actions, you might jeopardize your rights and the compensation you’re entitled to.

While car accidents in Orange County come with their share of legal challenges, having the right legal support can make a significant difference. You can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our OC car accident attorneys at Nordean Law for expert guidance and representation to achieve the best outcome for your case.

California Statute Of Limitations For Car Accidents

The statute of limitations is a legal provision established by the state that sets a specific timeframe for initiating legal proceedings and filing a lawsuit regarding any loss or damages you have incurred.

Every state has statutes of limitations governing various types of lawsuits within their civil court systems. Personal injury cases or cases involving negligence claims have two years time limitation. In most personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations begins on the day you were injured. For instance, in a car accident case, it’s the date the crash occurred. 

Failing to adhere to this deadline usually results in forfeiting your ability to bring your case to court. However, some exceptions may extend the time limitations for your claim. Even if you’re not willing to initiate a lawsuit after an accident, it’s crucial to know the statute of limitations in your state and how it works for your case. If you’re considering making an insurance claim, giving yourself enough time to pursue legal action is crucial.

Car Accident Definition and Types

A car accident is when a motor vehicle collides with another entity, including objects such as trees, buildings, or other vehicles. Such accidents are common and highly destructive. The WHO mentions that vehicle accidents are the global cause of death among individuals aged five to twenty-nine. Non-fatal car accidents are even more common and can have a lifelong impact on you.

Fatal V/s Non Fatal Car Accidents

Fatal car accidents result in one or more deaths due to severe injuries in high-speed or massive-force collisions. Such accidents can have emotional and legal consequences. Likewise, non-fatal car accidents can result in damages ranging from minor bruises to broken bones.

These accidents include medical treatment, legal actions, and emotional trauma. Prioritizing road safety, obeying traffic laws, and proper driving skill is crucial for preventing fatal and non-fatal accidents.

Car Accident Statistics in California

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) report provides 216,366 traffic accidents in 2022, resulting in 3,854 fatalities and 165,978 injuries. Compared to 2021, it marked a 6.5% decrease in accidents, a 5.2% decrease in deaths, and a 7.3% decrease in injuries. DUI was a major reason for 38% of fatal accidents, and overspeed contributed to 29% of fatal accidents. Rear-end collisions were the most common type, accounting for 27% of all accidents, followed by broadside collisions (20%), sideswipe collisions (13%), head-on collisions (5%), and single-vehicle accidents(2%).

Who is Liable for a Car Accident in California?

Determining liability in California car accidents is based on fault. Drivers responsible for an accident may be liable for all the damages. Insurance companies may investigate and consider evidence like police reports and witness statements while determining fault.

There are different fault types:

  1. Failing or neglecting to exercise reasonable care.
  2. Deliberate disregard for safety with reckless behavior.
  3. Intentional misconduct that causes accidents.
  4. Strict liability in certain situations.

Determining fault can be complicated. It can involve shared responsibility. California uses a comparative fault system, assigning percentages of fault to each driver dictating damages accordingly.

Common Injuries After a Car Accident

When you get into a car accident, it can be devastating, and you may suffer from various injuries. Such injuries range from mild to severe, but seemingly minor accidents also can lead to permanent disabilities. The most common injuries you may incur in a car accident include:

  • Fractures and Bone Injuries
  • Head Injuries
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Burn Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Sprains and Strains

Dealing with such injuries can be challenging in terms of time and money. While a personal injury lawsuit cannot speed up your physical recovery, it can provide you with the compensation you deserve to rebuild your life again.

Common Causes of a Car Accident

Common causes of car accidents in California include:

  • Speeding causes over 50,000 speed-related accidents yearly, resulting in more severe damages due to reduced reaction times.
  • Distracted driving, like using cell phones, eating, reading, or conversing with passengers, increases the chances of accidents due to insufficient attention.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) is responsible for over 12,000 fatal accidents annually.
  • Violating traffic rules, such as making illegal U-turns or tailgating, results in hundreds of California accidents. Inattentive drivers who don’t obey traffic laws and other road users also contribute to such accidents.
  • Manufacturer faults like defective vehicle parts can lead to accidents and serious injuries.
  • Poor road conditions and debris can cause drivers to lose control and crash.

Such accidents can result in devastating injuries and damages, often with expensive treatment costs. Staying alert and avoiding these behaviours can reduce the risk of being involved in a California car accident. If you do get injured, contacting experienced car accident attorneys is crucial. We at Nordean Law can help you seek rightful compensation.

What to Do After a Car Accident?

If you’re involved in a car accident, it is crucial to be aware of the necessary steps, including:

  • If you require any emergency help, dial 911. Also, assess the condition of the others, and in case of injuries, seek medical attention.
  • Report the accident to the relevant authorities or local agencies responsible for motor vehicle accidents. Some police departments respond to all accidents, while others assess the severity and location before responding.
  • Exchange information with other parties involved. If there are any witnesses, gather their names and collect evidence.
  • Additionally, notify your insurance company about the accident or initiate a claim through the responsible party’s insurance provider if they are at fault.

Contact a Top-Rated Car Accident Lawyer to Get Help

Contact Sam Nordean Of Nordean Law

Contact a top-rated car accident attorney at Nordean Law in Orange County. Our team of personal injury lawyers is skilled enough to navigate the complexities of such claims. We have the expertise to assist you in securing the highest possible compensation for your losses, including pain and suffering. We can aid you in building a strong case and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Trust us to be your advocate to safeguard your legal rights. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

FAQs About Car Accident Laws

If you are at fault in a car accident in California, you may be responsible for covering the other party's damages, including vehicle repairs and medical expenses. California's "pure comparative negligence" rule could reduce your compensation if you're partially at fault. It's crucial to report the accident to your insurance and consider legal advice for complex cases.

No, California is not a no-fault state for car accidents, which means all individuals involved in an accident must submit a claim to the insurance of the person responsible for the accident. In California, you can pursue compensation for any damages incurred due to someone else’s fault.

Regardless of how minor a car accident is, you must submit an SR-1 report to the DMV if you're involved in an accident. You, your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must fill out and submit the SR-1 report to the DMV within ten days if injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceed $1000.

Even if it wasn’t your fault, getting a lawyer for a car accident is beneficial. A lawyer can help you protect your legal rights, navigate the complex legal process, and prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Suppose you don’t have insurance in California. In that case, the “No Pay, No Play” rules apply, preventing you from receiving compensation for non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life. However, you may be eligible for medical and vehicle repair compensation.
A car accident lawyer can assist in proving another driver’s fault in the accident to pursue these claims.

Picture of Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

Picture of Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

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