Traffic fatalities are on the rise in California and across the nation, with this state averaging about 3,000 motor vehicle deaths annually, according to the state highway patrol. Another 225,000 people are injured.
At Fakhimi & Associates, Trial Attorneys, our experienced Orange County accident attorneys know crashes often result in injuries ranging from whiplash and other soft tissue damage to fractures, lacerations, internal organ injuries, facial wounds, brain trauma, spinal damage and even death.
In many cases, liability is fairly clear. California is an “at-fault” state when it comes to insurance, meaning crash victims are free to pursue liability damages against at-fault drivers and other responsible parties, including:
- Car owners
- Insurance companies
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Bars/ liquor service establishments
- Traffic engineers
Nationally, an estimated 33,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 2 million were seriously injured.
In order to be eligible to collect damages for a crash in California, one must show the accident was at least partially caused by another party’s negligence and the accident resulted in serious physical injuries to you or a family member. Our lawyers can answer any questions you may have about what constitutes as “negligence” and whether the injuries involved may be characterized as “severe” from a legal standpoint.
Our team is experienced in handling many types of auto accident claims and lawsuits, including those involving:
- Rollover Collisions
- Red-Light Runners
- Intersection Collisions
- Distracted Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Teen Drivers
- Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accident
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
- UM/UIM Collisions
- Broadside Collisions
- Head-On Collisions
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents Motorcycle Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
If you are injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another – even if you were partially at-fault in the crash – you are likely entitled to collect damages to help recover for:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy expenses
- Chiropractic visits
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Future loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium
These types of damages are known as “compensatory damages.” They are intended to compensate the victim(s) for losses they have incurred.
In some situations, victims may be able to assert “punitive damages,” intended to punish wrongdoers for egregious misdeeds resulting in serious harm to others. Punitive damages often exceed compensatory damages, though they aren’t approved in every case.
Formulating the most effective legal strategy to help maximize your total compensation amount is important, and you will need a strong legal team driving your efforts.
Causes of Car Accidents in California
There can be many different variables in car accidents, but there are a few causes that national safety advocates and we as injury lawyers tend to see repeatedly.
Some of those factors are:
- Distracted Driving. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some type of driver inattention. Talking and texting on the phone is currently the No. 1 source of driver distraction. It’s worth noting that even talking on hands-free devices contributes to something known as “inattention blindness” where your brain doesn’t see what’s right in front of you. California law prohibits drivers from texting and using handheld, wireless cell phones. Drivers under 18 are also forbidden from using hands-free cell phones.
- Speeding. Speed is a contributing factor in an estimated 50,000 California car crashes each year, according to state officials. California Vehicle Code § 22350 prohibits driving a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than what is reasonable or prudent given the weather, visibility and traffic conditions.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI). More than 12,000 serious accidents in California are attributed to impaired driving annually. Of those, about 500 are deadly. Nationally, drunk driving results in a third of all fatal crashes. The injury lawyers at Fakhimi & Associates have zero tolerance for drunk drivers, and are dedicated to helping their victims obtain justice.
- Failure to Obey traffic laws. It could be red-light running or failure to yield at an intersection or making an illegal U-turn. When drivers fail to follow the laws – regardless of their intentions – it puts us all in jeopardy.
- Poor Road Conditions. State and local governments are responsible to properly maintain roadways at all times. Failure to address missing guardrails, pot holes or unsafe intersection design may contribute to a crash. This may be grounds to assert compensation for damages.
- Manufacture Defects. If a vehicle or vehicle part is poorly designed or manufactured, the consequences can be catastrophic. There were a record number of vehicle recalls in 2014, following the discovery of long-concealed, latent dangers ranging from faulty ignition switches to defective, airbags.
The circumstances of every car accident case will be unique, and thus so will the challenges. Our dedicated team of legal professionals is committed to ensuring your rights are protected and your chances at compensation are maximized.
Contact the car accident lawyers at Fakhimi & Associates, Trial Attorneys, by calling 714-705-6701 or 909-859-0280. Serving the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside.
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