Orange County Intersection Accident Lawyer
Intersections are the most dangerous areas. Motorists are bound to make mistakes when vehicles turn and approach each other from multiple directions. Worse, reckless drivers, road rage, and intoxication contribute to a witch’s brew of hazards.
More than 50% of auto accidents occur at intersections. Intersection collisions also contribute to an outsized proportion of serious accidents, including t-bone collisions, head-on collisions, and roll-over crashes. Nordean law has seen all types of intersection collisions with significant injuries. As a result, we see clients who suffer from debilitating pain, disability, lost income, and diminished lives because of intersectional auto accidents.
Contact our office online or call 888-527-1267 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer. Our law firm handles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get compensated if you don’t get compensated.
What Is an Intersectional Accident?
Intersectional accidents consist of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-pedestrian, and vehicle-to-cyclist accidents. Most vehicle-to-vehicle accidents result from rear-end collisions, poorly executed left-hand turns, and head-on collisions when vehicles enter the opposite lane to complete a turn.
A traffic light controls intersections, stop signs, yield signs, or uncontrolled. Most intersections in the Orange County region are controlled by traffic signals and stop signs. Unfortunately, many intersectional accidents occur because of intentional or accidental disregard for traffic signals and signs.
Orange County is home to hordes of red-light and stop-sign scofflaws. But distracted and hurried drivers also whizz obliviously past stop signs or misjudge how much time they have before the light changes. The atrocious accident injury and fatality statistics show the results of these dangerous practices.
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What Are the Most Common Intersection Accidents?
The most common type of intersection-related car accident involves a driver making a left turn. As anyone who drives knows, making a left-hand turn at busy intersections can seem like a gamble. With too many vehicles rushing to make the light or swerving past slower cars and trucks, it can be difficult to gauge when it is safe to cross.
In addition, pedestrians and cyclists often seem to pop out of nowhere. In this atmosphere, many types of accidents are commonplace at intersections, including the following:
- Head-on collisions, such as when a vehicle tries to merge into an opposing lane to turn
- Side impact, often when a left-hand turner t-bones an oncoming car
- Side and head-on impacts, which often happen when a motorist runs a red light
- Yellow-light crashes from drivers trying to beat the light
- Rear-end collisions, often caused by distracted- or aggressive drivers
- Striking pedestrians crossing the intersection
- Striking cyclists, especially while turning
Who Is At Fault In A Car Accident At An Intersection?
California law imposes a pure comparative negligence standard. Under this rule, courts assign each party a percentage of the liability from 0% to 100%. In addition, the court may find that the plaintiff is 0% liable for auto accidents, resulting in an award of 100% of their damages.
On the other hand, the court can rule that the plaintiff is partly at fault. In that case, it assigns a percentage of the liability to the plaintiff and reduces the award proportionally. For example, imagine a driver turning left into your lane at a busy intersection, causing an accident. Courts usually consider this type of accident the fault of the turning motorist because he cut into the lane without the right of way.
However, the court may find that the other driver contributed to the accident somehow and rule him partly liable. For instance, if evidence surfaces showing that the plaintiff (who had the right of way) exceeded the speed limit, the court may assign partial liability to that person.
In a case like this, the court can find the defendant 80% liable and the plaintiff 20% liable. As a result, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced by 20%. So if the court agrees that the plaintiff had $100,000 in damages, it would award the plaintiff 80%.
What happens to the 20% the plaintiff loses?
It goes to the defendant. Pure comparative negligence imposes no 51% bar. A 51% bar prevents anyone with over 51% liability from receiving damages. Accordingly, a party can receive damages even if 99% are at fault, though the award is just 1% of the total.
What Damages & Compensation Can Be Recovered In An Intersection Accident Lawsuit?
California law divides personal injury compensation into economic, general, and punitive categories. Economic damages are the most obvious and easiest to establish. They include all the expenses put upon the plaintiff by the accident and other financial losses, such as lost income.
Typical economic damages include the following:
- Property damage
- Ambulance charges
- ER charges
- Intensive care
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Assistive devices
- Home health aids
- Lost wages
- Lost salary
- Lost business income
- Lost self-employment income
- Lost benefits
General damages do not correspond to a bill or lost paycheck but can be even more devastating in terms of impact on the victim’s life. They usually include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are rare. Courts award them only in response to egregious actions by the defendant and as a deterrent. For example, a vehicular homicide case where the defendant was drunk, driving recklessly, and intentionally crashed into another vehicle out of road rage may qualify for punitive damages.
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Contact Top Rated Orange County Intersection Accident Lawyer
Orange County has more than its share of dangerous intersections. While defensive driving reduces your odds of being hit, the region’s congestion makes it impossible to eliminate all risks.
If you suffered an injury in an intersection accident, you have the right to total compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Nordean Law specializes in proving driver negligence and winning cases for its clients. Contact Nordean Law for a FREE CONSULTATION!