Newport Beach Car Accident Lawyer
The Newport Beach area sees its share of car accidents. Although many are relatively minor fender-benders, others cause severe injuries to driver and passengers. If another driver caused a car accident that seriously injured you or killed a member of your family, you could recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
However, the process of obtaining compensation is complex, and dealing with insurance carriers can be difficult and tricky. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your injuries alone, especially as you are trying to recover physically. You also don’t need the added worry and stress in your life.
At Bentley & More, LLP, our top-ranked personal injury attorneys are ready help when you need a Newport Beach car accident lawyer. We will thoroughly investigate your case and fight hard with you until the end to help you secure the compensation you need. Call our law firm today at (949) 617-0938 or fill out our contact form to request a free consultation from a local Newport Beach car accident attorney you can trust.
Why Choose a Newport Beach Accident Attorney from Bentley & More?
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a car crash due to another driver’s negligent, careless, or reckless actions, you can count on the trusted team at Bentley & More, LLP to stand by your side.
- Our Newport Beach injury attorneysfocus on working closely with clients to deeply understand their lives and their individual stories.
- We have a track record of success and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients through favorable settlements and verdicts.
- We take Newport Beach car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we collect no legal fees until after we secure the compensation our clients deserve.
Our compassionate attorneys understand what you are going through, and we are here to answer your questions and advise you of your options at no cost. If you have serious car accident injury claim and agree to work with us, you will receive personalized attention each step if the way, and you can count on us to assert your rights and aggressively pursue maximum compensation for you.
What’s more, our law office is located in Newport Beach, and we have deep ties to our community. Our lawyers also have stellar reputations with members of our local legal community, which is an invaluable asset in helping our clients get the financial compensation they deserve.
To request a free consultation with a Newport beach car accident lawyer who is ready to help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering, contact Bentley & More, LLP at (949) 617-0938. We serve clients throughout Orange County and all of Southern California.
How Will A Newport Beach Accident Attorney Help?
An attorney is going to be an invaluable resource after in Newport Beach car accident case. While most individuals will not have the resources necessary to take on aggressive insurance carriers, a car accident attorney can:
- Obtain any evidence needed to prove liability. This can include any photo or video surveillance available, accident reports, statements from eyewitnesses, and more.
- Work with trusted medical professionals to ensure your well-being and to help calculate your total expected expenses.
- Negotiate with the insurance carriers to try and reach a fair settlement.
- Prepare the case for trial if the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay enough to cover your expenses.
An experienced Newport Beach car accident lawyer will look out for your best interests and deal with the insurance company so you don’t have to. A lawyer can also help you file your claim properly to avoid any mistakes or other issues that could jeopardize your claim. If your case must go to trial a car accident injury lawyer can file your lawsuit in civil court and fight for you to help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Newport Beach
Car accidents in Newport Beach can happen at any time, anywhere, and for a variety or reasons. Some of the most common causes of car accidents we see at Bentley & More LLP include:
Speeding. Driving at excessive speeds puts everyone on the road in danger. Drivers can lose control over their cars or may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that speeding caused more than 30% of car accidents, and in 2020, more than 11,000 people died in car crashes due to speeding.
Distracted driving. Many drivers cause accidents because they were not paying attention. Although texting and cell phone use receive a lot of blame for distracted driving, activities such as eating, changing the radio, adjusting the GPS, and even talking to passengers can cause enough distraction to lead to a serious car accident.
Driver error. A lot of car accidents in Newport Beach and elsewhere occur because of a driver’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence. Drivers run stop signs and red lights, merge lanes without looking, and conduct other dangers behaviors behind the wheel.
Driving under the influence. Drivers who choose to drink or take drugs before driving also cause many car accidents each year, including many fatal car crashes. Intoxication reduces a driver’s ability to make good decisions, judge distance accurately, and other potentially dangerous effects.
Car part defects or malfunctions. Drivers rely on many different components to safely operate their motor vehicles. Numerous car wrecks occur because of tire defects, brake and steering malfunctions, airbag and seatbelt failures, and other defective or malfunctioning components.
The attorneys at Bentley & More LLP will carefully review the police report regarding your accident and use eyewitness testimony and other evidence to show whether the other driver was acting negligently and caused the crash. If a vehicle component defect or failure caused your accident, we can gather evidence to support that as well and file claims against the product manufacturer and other parties who may bear responsibility.
What Are California’s Insurance Requirements?
Insurance covers most car accident injury cases to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other related expenses. California law mandates that drivers must maintain a minimum amount of liability coverage for any registered vehicle they own, which the state lists as:
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person
- $5,000 for property damage expenses
Drivers may also provide proof of self-insurance through a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate. Also, drivers may pay a cash deposit of $35,000 to the DMV, and companies licensed to do business in California may submit a surety bond of $35,000.
Insurance companies in California must give policyholders the option of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage from their own insurance carrier. This type of coverage protects you in case an uninsured driver caused the accident. You may also buy additional medical payments coverage and physical damage coverage, among others.
Injuries Victims Sustain in Newport Beach Car Accidents
During the latest reporting year across the state, the California Office of Traffic Safety reports that 3,563 people lost their lives in traffic collisions. OTS data also shows that more than 272,000 people sustained injuries in traffic collisions that same year.
In most cases, victims in car accidents only sustain minor injuries. However, our Newport Beach car accident lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained more severe injuries, including the following:
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries such as whiplash
- Severe sprains or strains
- Internal injuries like organ damage or internal bleeding
- Crush injuries or amputations
These are some of the most common car accident injuries, but you can also suffer mental and emotional harm apart from any physical injuries you sustain.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover in a Newport Beach Car Accident Case?
After suffering injuries in a bad car accident someone else caused, you may recover various forms of compensation. You may obtain economic damages to help with the financial losses you incurred, such as:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and other treatment
- Lost income, including tips, bonuses, and other work-related compensation
- Associated out-of-pocket costs you had to pay because of your injury
- Vehicle damage
Along with economic damages, you could also obtain compensation for non-economic damages to cover the intangible losses that may not have a specific dollar amount. Non-economic damages can provide compensation for things like:
- Ongoing pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental or emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
If a driver caused your injuries through egregious negligence, unlawful actions, or intentional harm, you may pursue punitive damages as well. However, insurance companies typically do not award exemplary damages, but courts can. Although you want to settle your claim as quickly as possible, you may want to have your lawyer file suit against the at-fault driver if they caused the crash due to driving while intoxicated or if they showed a wanton disregard for your safety. You can discuss the matter with your attorney if you feel the driver’s actions and the severity of your injuries warrant punitive damages.
How Do I Get Compensation After a Serious Car Accident in Newport Beach?
Your top priority following a car accident with injuries is your own health and safety as well as the health and safety of your passengers. You should always get a prompt medical evaluation no matter how serious your injuries appear at the accident scene. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and soft-tissue damage, may not show symptoms immediately. You should have a thorough medical evaluation, which may include x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, to determine if you sustained internal injuries that will cause problems later.
Your next step following a Newport Beach car accident another driver caused is to get a lawyer. You can pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered in a crash, but you will need an attorney for help. Typically, you pursue compensation after a car accident in one of two ways:
- Have an attorney file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier
- Have your attorney file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court
Your lawyer will most likely file an insurance claim first and negotiate with the insurer to reach a fair settlement. If that proves unfruitful, they may pursue civil action in court.
Proving You Suffered Injuries
You obtain compensation for your injuries after a car accident, you must show you suffered serious harm because of the wreck. This is why it’s so important to get an immediate medical evaluation after the crash. To file an injury claim, your lawyer will need evidence of your injuries, which will come from your medical records, documented treatment plans, doctor’s notes and testimony, and other sources.
Your attorney may also have an independent third-party medical expert attest to the severity of your injuries and the validity of your claim.
Proving the Other Driver was At Fault
Along with showing you suffered serious injuries in a Newport Beach car accident, your attorney must also the other driver is liable for your injuries. To establish liability, your attorney must show the other driver caused the accident because they were being careless, negligent, or reckless. It doesn’t matter if the other driver received a citation or was arrested for their actions that caused the crash–you can still pursue compensation by establishing fault.
To prove the other driver was at fault, your attorney will gather official police reports and witness and driver testimony, along with video surveillance, if available. They may also use accident reconstruction reports and other forms of evidence.
The insurer will likely refute the evidence and may try to place partial or total blame on you for causing the accident. Your attorney can advocate for you and hold the insurance company fully accountable.
Calculating Your Damages
To pursue compensation for your injuries after a car accident, you must know how much compensation you will need to fully cover your medical expenses and other related costs. You want to recover compensation for the expenses you have already incurred, but you also want to consider how long your injuries will last and how they will continue to affect your life.
Your attorney will work with you, your medical providers, and other professionals to calculate how much compensation you need to cover your current expenses and losses, but they will also try to determine how much compensation you may need for any medical treatment, physical therapy, or accommodations going forward.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
After your attorney files your injury claim with the insurer, the company will schedule an insurance adjuster to investigate your case. An insurance agent may also contact you to get a statement regarding the accident and your injuries.
Dealing with an insurance company after a car accident can be stressful and frustrating. Insurance companies are businesses, and they are not looking out for your best interests. They are more concerned with making profits and do not want to pay on claim since it will eat into their margins. Therefore, they will try various methods to deny your claim or cover only a portion of your injuries and expenses.
One tactic insurers use is contacting victims soon after the accident happened. Insurers know that victims are likely still shaken from the ordeal, and they may take advantage of that to lead you into making statements that they can use against you. For instance, an insurance agent may ask how you are doing. If you say, “Fine,” or “I’m doing okay,” the agent may take that to mean your injuries are not serious. You should also never apologize or say you feel sorry for the accident. An agent could take this as your admitting fault.
If the insurance agent wants to talk to you, you should refer them to your lawyer and have your attorney deal with them. You never want to provide the insurer with a recorded statement (unless your attorney approves and is present), and you don’t want to inadvertently say something the insurer can use to reduce or deny your claim.
Even if you have to file an accident claim with your own insurance company, you want to have an attorney do it for you. A lawyer can file your claim efficiently and can deal with the insurer so you have one less thing to worry about.
When they file your injury claim, your lawyer will submit a demand letter. The letter will provide details regarding your injuries and their costs, and it will explain how the other is liable and how the policy covers your injuries. Your attorney will also include a total dollar figure the insurer can pay to settle your claim.
The insurer may likely respond with a settlement figure that is lower than what you demanded, and the amount may not completely cover your injuries and expenses.
Your attorney can negotiate with the insurer to get them pay for all your injury-related costs so you can get the full compensation you need. Settlement negotiations can take considerable time in some cases, but the results are often worth it.
You may be anxious to get your money, but you should never accept an initial settlement offer or one that is too low to cover all your costs. Once you accept the settlement, you cannot pursue additional compensation, so it’s best to wait and ensure you have accounted for everything you will need so you can get all you deserve.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In some cases, you may have to take your personal injury case to court. Possible reasons include the insurance company denying your claim and refusing to negotiate or the insurer acting in bad faith regarding your claim. You may also need to take the other driver to court if they did not have insurance or if you want to hold them accountable for their unlawfulness or extreme recklessness.
Although a trial can be expensive and stressful, it may be the only recourse you may to obtain compensation. California requires parties in personal injury lawsuits to attend a Mandatory Settlement Conference to try and resolve the dispute, but if that proves futile, you will proceed to trial.
California’s statute of limitations gives you only two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit in court. From the beginning, your attorney should prepare your case as if it were going to trial so you will be ready if the time comes. Many times, filing suit in court can spark unresponsive or combative insurers into negotiating a favorable settlement.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney can present a compelling case on your behalf and tell your story to illustrate the unnecessary pain, suffering, and expense your injuries have caused. Your lawyer can assert your rights and fight to hold the other party accountable to increase your chances the court awards you damages.
Contact A Newport Beach Accident Attorney Today
If you or somebody you care about suffered injuries or died in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, please seek legal assistance today.
At Bentley & More, LLP, we have extensive experience handling car accident cases and will conduct a full investigation into the crash so we can secure the following compensation:
- Coverage for all crash-related medical bills
- Lost income if you cannot work while you recover
- Any household out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to the crash
- Pain and suffering damages
- Property damage expenses
- Possible punitive damages
Bentley & More, LLP – Newport Beach Office
4931 Birch Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
P: (949) 617-0938