Santa Ana
Car Accident Lawyer

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Santa Ana Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents can happen for many reasons in Santa Ana, and navigating the aftermath of any unexpected accident can be incredibly challenging. You could face a difficult insurance claim process as well as a personal injury case if insurance alone cannot compensate your damages. Before you can recover any compensation, however, you must identify the driver who caused your accident and prove they are directly responsible for your claimed losses.

Experienced Legal Counsel for Car Accident Claims in Santa Ana, CA

Attempting to manage your legal affairs yourself while also struggling with medical complications from your injuries would be incredibly challenging, and if you did manage to succeed with your efforts, you could unintentionally settle for much less compensation than you rightfully deserve. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can provide the legal counsel you need in this difficult situation. Our team has successfully resolved many personal injury cases in Santa Ana, including those arising from car accidents. We can apply this experience to your case and help recover the compensation you deserve.

Santa Ana Car Accident Lawyer

How to Prove Who Is Liable for Your Car Crash in Santa Ana, CA

California upholds the fault rule for car accidents, meaning it is essential to prove liability for an accident before you can recover any kind of compensation for your damages. Car accidents happen in various ways, and some of the leading causes of car accidents that generate civil suits in Santa Ana include:

  • Distracted driving. You may need to prove another driver was inattentive behind the wheel to secure compensation for the damages they inflicted. Your Santa Ana car accident attorney can help gather evidence like cell phone records and traffic camera data to assist you with this and hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions.
  • It is illegal for any driver to exceed posted speed limits, but speeding remains a top-reported cause of crashes in the Santa Ana area each year. Speeding reduces the time a driver has to react to sudden changes in traffic or hazards on the road, and severe or fatal injuries are more likely to occur when a driver hits another driver while speeding.
  • Moving violations. Any violation of traffic signals can lead to an accident. Illegal turns, improper lane changes, running red lights or stop signs, or failure to yield the right-of-way are just a few examples of moving violations that can easily cause serious accidents. Traffic camera footage is often invaluable for proving liability for this type of accident.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. This is illegal, and the penalties for DUI can include fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. These penalties would increase automatically if the driver caused an accident, and they may face a felony DUI if they caused serious injury or death.
  • Vehicle defects. If your recent accident happened because of a defect with your vehicle or a specific part, the manufacturer could absorb liability for your damages under California’s product liability laws.
  • Aggressive driving. Unfortunately, road rage incidents are fairly common. If an aggressive driver causes an accident, they are likely to face criminal prosecution along with liability for the damages they caused.

First Steps After an Accident Can Determine How Your Recovery Goes

These are only a few examples of how car accidents commonly occur throughout the Santa Ana area. No matter how your recent accident happened, if you believe another driver is to blame, then the first steps you take after the accident are crucial when it comes to ensuring an appropriate recovery. Under the state’s fault rule, you can seek full repayment of your damages from the driver responsible for your accident. Before you can secure this compensation, you must prove they directly caused your claimed damages.

An experienced Santa Ana car accident attorney can help their client gather whatever evidence they may need to firmly establish liability for their recent accident. Once the fault has been proven, the plaintiff’s first step toward recovery is likely to be a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. If their insurance settlement doesn’t fully cover their claimable damages, they can proceed with a personal injury claim.

Filing Your Auto Insurance Claim in Santa Ana

Every driver is legally required to have auto insurance. This insurance functions on a liability basis, and a personal auto insurance policy must include coverage for bodily injury and property damage the policyholder causes in an accident. The minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance in California include $15,000 for bodily injury to a single person, $30,000 for bodily injuries to multiple victims of a single accident, and $5,000 for property damage. These coverage amounts may be sufficient for a minor accident, but if you suffered severe injuries, you are unlikely to fully recover with an insurance claim alone.

You Must Prove Liability Before Filing a Claim

Once you have proven liability for your accident, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. You have a limited time in which to report your intent to file a claim, but you should not discuss a settlement with an insurance carrier until you speak with a Santa Ana car accident attorney. Your attorney can review the terms of the other driver’s policy and verify that the insurance company handles your claim in good faith.

Although not required by law, it is strongly encouraged that drivers purchase uninsured driver coverage with their auto insurance policies. If you bought this type of coverage, you can claim against your own policy if an uninsured driver causes an accident. Otherwise, you will need to proceed with filing a personal injury claim to secure compensation for your damages.

Economic Damages From a Santa Ana Car Accident Claim

Once you have recovered as much compensation as possible through your auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, you can proceed with filing a personal injury claim to recover your outstanding damages. Under the state’s personal injury statutes, the defendant responsible for causing your accident is liable for all financial losses they inflicted. The economic damages you can seek from the defendant include:

  • Property losses. Your auto insurance claim might pay some of your repair costs, but any remainder not covered by insurance can be included in your civil suit. You can claim compensation for all repair and replacement costs associated with any of your property that the defendant damaged or destroyed.
  • Medical treatment costs. A car accident can easily cause severe injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain damage, and much more. If you sustained any injuries in your recent accident, the defendant who caused the accident must pay for any medical expenses you incur for the treatment of your injuries.
  • Long-term medical costs. Some car accidents cause catastrophic injuries that require extensive ongoing care. The defendant who injured you is fully liable for your future medical expenses as well as all immediate treatment costs you face for your injuries. Your Santa Ana car accident attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for the entire scope of medical expenses you face in the aftermath of your accident.
  • Lost wages. Many people injured in car accidents cannot work during recovery. If this applies to your situation, you can seek recompense for the income you are unable to earn due to the accident the defendant caused.
  • Lost earning capacity. Unfortunately, some car accidents result in permanent disabilities. If you cannot work after your accident, or if your injuries prevent you from earning as much income as you did prior to the accident, the defendant who caused the accident is liable for your lost future income as well. Your Santa Ana car accident attorney can help determine the future wages you would have reasonably expected to earn if the accident had not occurred.

Once you calculate the extent of your immediate and future economic damages, you might be surprised to learn your case is more valuable than you initially expected. However, beyond these economic damages, you also can claim compensation for your pain and suffering.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Compensation in Your Accident Case

It may sound difficult to come up with a monetary value for pain or emotional distress, but your Santa Ana car accident attorney knows how to maximize this aspect of your recovery. Personal injury attorneys typically use one of two methods to determine appropriate compensation for their client’s pain and suffering.

The per diem method is more commonly used for clients expected to fully recover from their injuries. The attorney determines an appropriate daily compensation rate for the client and then multiplies this by the total days it takes them to recover fully. For example, your attorney may deem $300 to be an appropriate daily rate, and if it takes you 100 days to fully recover, it will mean $30,000 in pain and suffering compensation. The multiplier method is more often used when clients have suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent complications. With this method, the attorney multiplies the client’s total economic damages by a factor of one to five to reflect the severity of their injuries.

Your Santa Ana car accident attorney can help you determine fair pain and suffering compensation to reflect the severity of the harm the defendant inflicted in your recent accident. In most cases, a plaintiff who has suffered severe injuries will secure more in pain and suffering compensation than they obtain for all their economic damages, but many variables come into play in calculating damages in these cases, and you need reliable legal counsel to maximize your case award.

What to Expect From Your Car Accident Lawyer

The right legal team can have a tremendously positive influence on the outcome of your recovery efforts following a car accident in Santa Ana. When you secure legal representation promptly after an accident, your attorney can immediately get to work gathering any evidence and testimony you need to prove liability and proceed with your recovery efforts.

An experienced Santa Ana car accident attorney can be invaluable for confronting an auto insurance carrier. Most insurance companies train their employees to look for all the reasons they can find to deny a claim or justify the lowest possible settlement offer for a claim. Your attorney can ensure the insurance company representative handles your claim in good faith and offers a fair settlement under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy.

When insurance alone cannot fully compensate your damages, you will need trustworthy legal counsel to guide you through the process of filing your personal injury claim. You will need to produce clear evidence that the defendant not only caused the accident but is also directly responsible for your claimed damages. In other words, your attorney can help prove that your losses resulted directly from the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and not some other cause.

Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers client-focused legal counsel for car accident claims in Santa Ana. This means we can take time to get to know you and learn the details of your situation so you can approach the recovery process with confidence. Whatever your recovery may require, you can count on our team to provide ongoing reassurance through every phase of the case. Our team has secured outstanding results for many past clients, and we are ready to leverage this experience on your behalf as you seek accountability for the car accident you recently experienced.

Santa Ana Car Accident Lawyer FAQs

Q: How Many Years Can I Take to File a Personal Injury Claim for an Accident in Santa Ana?

A: The state upholds a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury claims, so you must file your civil suit against the at-fault driver no later than two years following the date of your accident. You have a much shorter time limit for filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, so it’s vital to speak with an experienced Santa Ana car accident right away after your accident to meet all applicable deadlines in your case.

Q: Why Should I Hire a Santa Ana Car Accident Attorney?

A: You aren’t legally obligated to hire legal representation for a car accident claim or any other personal injury claim. You can try to handle your claim yourself but do not assume that doing so would be a good way to save money on legal fees. If you did manage to win your case, you would be unlikely to secure as much compensation as an attorney would win on your behalf. You could also make errors in the early stages of your claim that jeopardize your recovery. It is always worth investing in legal counsel you can trust for any personal injury case in Santa Ana.

Q: What Happens if I Partially Caused My Recent Accident?

A: California enforces the pure comparative negligence rule, which comes into play whenever a plaintiff shares liability with a defendant for causing their claimed damages. If you are concerned about bearing partial fault for your recent car accident, it is important to consult a Santa Ana car accident attorney quickly. They will know how to minimize a fault percentage for your shared liability and preserve your case award. Whatever percentage of fault you bear is the percentage of your compensation you will lose as a penalty.

Q: How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Case?

A: The time your case could require to complete depends on several factors. Primarily, the defendant’s willingness to accept liability for the accident is the most important factor. If they accept responsibility for the accident and agree to negotiate a settlement, it may only take a few weeks to resolve your case. However, if liability is contested and the case goes to court, this could take several months to conclude.

Q: How Much Will a Santa Ana Accident Attorney Cost to Hire?

A: Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers contingency fee billing for our personal injury clients in Santa Ana, so we will not add to your financial concerns when you are already struggling with the expensive aftermath of an accident someone else caused. With this billing policy, our client only pays a percentage of their total case award as our fee at the end of their case and only if we win compensation on their behalf. There is no fee if our team is unable to win a case award for you for any reason, so you can approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.

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The right attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your impending birth injury claim in Huntington Beach. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers a unique level of professional attention to your case that you cannot find anywhere else, and the sooner you consult our firm, the sooner we can put our resources and experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Huntington Beach birth injury attorney.

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