Why Do We Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Accidents can happen anytime. Injuries sustained during the accident often lead to unforeseen expenses, pain, suffering, and stress. If you are the victim of a crash, you can consult your injury attorney on what you should do.
Personal injury lawyers know the importance of time when it comes to filing a case against an accident.
It is critical to choose a personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of successful cases and resources. A proven track record will help you be confident about the firm that is handling your case.
What Are The Common Causes of Personal Injuries in Orange County
Southern California’s main form of transportation is motor vehicles. Motor vehicle accidents are inevitable in Orange County.
The two most common forms of reckless motorist behavior were speeding and impaired driving. These two are the leading causes of car accident injuries and fatalities in Orange County. The combination of the two is proven to be fatal.
Distracted driving also contributes to the number of motor vehicle accidents. If a driver removes his focus from the road to check a text message or even directions, then he will most likely be in a crash. Anything that distracts the driver from the supposed full focus allotted to just driving itself can be fatal.
If a driver has to look at his phone for directions, he should pull over before checking his phone. This will keep him and other drivers from a vehicular crash.
Orange County’s beautiful coastline and perfect weather are some of the reasons why cyclists love this place. Orange County offers a unique travel experience for cyclists. Sadly, California provides less protection for the motorcycle riders. In 2015 alone, there are 1,400 motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in Orange County alone.
Motorcycle riders report that the most common motorcycle injuries are road rash and broken bones. Even with the mandatory helmet use, motorcycle riders are still at a higher risk for traumatic brain or spinal cord injury compared to 4-wheel vehicle drivers.
When a person dies from an accident due to recklessness and negligence, the loved ones have a hard time accepting his fate. Surviving family members can file a wrongful civil claim against the party a fault.
In case of a wrongful death claim, the family can ask for coverage of funeral and burial expenses, potential earnings the deceased would have earned, compensation for the loss of a deceased’s love, companionship, and financial support.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the following, in order, as specified by the law: a spouse, children, and grandchildren. If none of these are available or can be located, other next of kin, like siblings or cousins, may come forward.
Types of Compensation Available for Personal Injury
There are three main categories where the compensation will be made available to a personal injury victim.
Special or Compensatory Damages
All of the unexpected expenses of the victim due to the accident falls under this category. When calculating compensatory damages, it is relatively easy to estimate a dollar amount, and it’s just a matter of collating records of the following:
- Medical care and/or treatment – Inclusion for this would be reimbursement for hospital/doctor bills, ongoing treatment, and long-term care and rehabilitation costs if applicable.
- Lost income/lost future income – For severe injury cases where the victim won’t be able to work because of the accident, compensation for the time they are absent from their job is entitled to the personal injury victim. In unfortunate cases where the victim succumbs to injuries that cause long-term or permanent disability, a lost future income may be entitled to them. It is also possible that this compensation is given for the rest of the victim’s life.
- Property Damage – This entails compensation for the damaged vehicle in an accident, be it repair or replacement.
- Burial and Funeral Expenses – A compensation for the funeral and burial expenses might be entitled to the next of kin if the accident resulted in the death of the victim.
Some aspects of the damage of an accident can be harder to quantify and put a price on. It takes care of the emotional toll the victim has to go through due to the accident. The following can be included in this category:
- Pain and Suffering – This category typically compensates for the physical pain of the personal injury victim. It also includes compensation for the following: anxiety, mental anguish, anger and/or depression the victim may be experiencing related to the accident.
- Mental Anguish – Damages for mental anguish may be entitled to the personal injury victim for cases where the accident was particularly traumatic, including compensation for life-changing injuries (i.e. witnessing the death of a loved one in the accident, paralysis, disfigurement).
- Loss of Consortium – This category covers compensation for the spouse if the victim was killed in the accident. The surviving spouse is entitled to compensation for the inevitable emotional, physical, and financial loss of their loved one in this category.
- Loss of Companionship – Same as loss of consortium, compensation for the sudden emotional, physical and financial (in some cases) loss entitled to the nearest family member falls under this category.
The victim may be entitled to this kind of damage in specific situations wherein the person liable to the accident acted in an especially irresponsible or reckless manner. In addition to the special and general damages, punitive damages may also be rewarded in cases like this.
The Statute of Limitations in Orange County
Residents of the entire state of California, including Orange County, have the right to file a personal injury claim against the entity or person who caused an accident due to their negligence or wrongful act within two years from the date of the accident. This applies to all types of injury claim, be it a slip or fall, motorcycle, or car accident.
An important exception is given for the above statute of limitations. For minor victims (under the age of 18), the two-year limit for filing a case only starts when the injury victim turns 18.
Contact an Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
Being injured in an accident affects you and your loved ones. The physical, financial, and emotional toll can turn your life around. When an accident happens, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer at once to help you through the process.