Your Orange County Car Accident Lawyers
You never think it can happen to you – until it does.
Whether major or minor, a car accident can be jarring and disruptive to your week at the least or have a life-changing impact.
It’s normal to have questions and feel concerned or even confused following a collision. You’re probably looking for answers and this page is for you.
Each accident is unique, and healing requires, time, patience, and often medical care.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car wreck or have a loved one who was just in a car accident, we understand what you are likely going through. From “how did this happen” to phone calls from insurance companies, you need an advocate to help during this difficult time.
You may hire our team regardless of where you reside in the state to represent you and your family in incidents involving motorcycles, car crashes and major 18-wheeler collisions.
We have helped hundreds of car accident victims navigate the legal process, and we’ve compiled this page to answer many of your most pressing questions following a collision.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can speak with an experienced car accident attorney today. Call the attorneys at Hodes Milman Ikuta at (949) 640-8222 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
We want to hear what happened to you, help you understand your rights and can advise on the best next steps to take.
What Kind of Accident Was I in?
For many involved in car accidents, it can be difficult to recollect the sequence of events. However, understanding what kind of car accident you were involved in can help explain the types of injuries you sustained, whether someone was to blame and how to move forward.
The following list describes the most common types of car accidents. If you feel you were injured in a collision that wasn’t your fault, you may want to file a claim against the at-fault party and we can help ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Understanding what type of car accident you were in will help you describe it to an attorney or to your insurance company.
Insurance Tip: Do not speak with the other party’s insurance company, and be aware that you are likely being recorded on a phone call. Insurance companies often want to speak with you to ask questions and may attempt to make it appear that you were at-fault for the collision.
A side-impact collision – also known as a “T-bone” collision – occurs when the side of one car is hit by the front of another car. These car crashes are often known for causing severe property damage and personal injuries to the driver or passengers closest to the oncoming vehicle. Head injuries are common and visiting a doctor is always recommended.
Inattention and distracted driving (such as texting while driving) are largely responsible for many rear-end collisions. The most common injury from this crash is whiplash, however other spinal injuries may occur, such as damaging or shifting vertebrae which can attribute to pain in other areas of the body, or make walking difficult.
In most rear-end collisions, the rear driver is usually the one considered “at-fault” for the wreck and damages, however, if you are the driver we encourage you to speak with a lawyer first before talking with an insurance company. There may have been hazardous road conditions or other contributing factors that we can help identify on your behalf.
When the speed and weight of the vehicle are too great for a turn, the vehicle loses traction with the road and the possibility of a roll over is serious. Occupants can be injured by hitting the roof of the vehicle, ejection, or from elements inside the car. Though any kind of vehicle can rollover, SUV’s and large trucks are the most common rollover vehicles due to their size, weight and high center of gravity.
The sheer impact and force of two vehicles in a head-on collision almost always causes severe damage to the cars as well as the occupants. Head on collisions most often occur on two-lane highways, but can also occur during confusion at an intersection, lack of visibility (rain or sun) or due to distracted driving.
When several cars are involved in the wreck, it is often considered a “pileup.” Multi-vehicle pileups often happen on freeways when cars are traveling at higher speeds and can result in a mass of mangled metal that is difficult for emergency responders to tend to the injured. Determining fault is especially complicated in these types of crashes because of the number of vehicles involved, however, our car accident attorneys can help you navigate the process and answer the difficult questions.
Sideswipe collisions happen when two vehicles are traveling side-by-side and “swipe” each other. While the collision is not often severe, the impact can startle an unsuspecting driver resulting in an accident.
Injuries You Can't See
Depending on the collision, your injuries could be mild or incapacitating, but some of the most widespread damages of car accidents are those you can’t physically see, such as a brain injury or concussion.
After a car accident, it is common to not feel pain for day or even two, however, physical trauma may eventually set in and all of it should be recorded by a licensed physician.
Important Tip: If you intend to file a car accident claim, with or without the assistance of a lawyer, to prove you have been injured due to a car collision you will need to be seen by a licensed physician.
In fact, if you were involved in a wreck and are considering seeking compensation for treatment, your medical records are an important factor in determining your therapy or rehabilitation.
Once you have seen a qualified physician, it’s best to speak with a car accident attorney who can help you understand your rights, answer your questions, and provide a plan for your next steps – this is called a consultation.
The attorneys at Hodes Milman Ikuta can help you determine the next best step for you and your family towards recovery. For answers to your questions and legal advice from experienced professionals who are dedicated to your recovery, call us today at (949) 640-8222. Your consultation is free and confidential.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The seriousness and prognosis of the injuries you sustain after a car accident can depend on several factors. Vehicle size, speed, location and whether or not any drivers were impaired can all make a dangerous situation worse. Still, some victims of car accidents suffer from trauma that isn’t obvious to the outside world.
Important Tip: Document your injury. Using the categories below, keep a journal of the pain, where it hurts, rate it on a scale of 1-10, and take pictures of injuries and their healing time.
This is only a short list of the most common injuries from all types of car accidents.
One of the most serious injuries, head injuries from car accidents are often severe and sometimes difficult to detect. These may range from a concussion to traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries are extremely sensitive and can worsen when they’ve gone undiagnosed or untreated. If your headaches, your feel unusually, have blurry vision or other symptoms, please get to a doctor at once.
Back injuries are another serious injury that can lead to nerve damage and pain, to serious incapacitation. Nerve damage alone can impair a vast majority of the body, including all extremities and even leading to paralysis in worst case scenarios. Pressure due to fractures, vertebrae slippage, and other factors can send pain signals to the brain which should not be ignored. Movement after the accident can also make an injury worse. If your back and/or neck are in serious pain, see a doctor as soon as possible.
By far one of the most common injuries in car accidents is whiplash, especially in rear-end accidents. Whiplash occurs when the neck is thrust forward, the head following and quickly snapping back, hyperextending the neck vertebrae.
Whiplash is often downplayed as a “mild” injury, however, when not properly diagnosed can lead to severe side effects and lasting pain. As we have recommended throughout this page, if you have been in an accident, protect yourself and your potential case by seeing a doctor to receive treatment and to document your injury.
It might be easy to think you’re in the clear if you haven’t suffered an injury like the ones above. What many often fail to consider is the emotional trauma that’s associated with car accidents. Along with traumatic brain injuries, the psychological devastation a person experiences from surviving a car crash is somewhat hard to discern at first glance.
Consider the following signs of emotional trauma following a collision:
- Social Withdraw
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Can You Relate to Any of the Above Symptoms?
Please, don’t delay and seek medical attention as early as you can. Pursuing your health and caring for yourself is truly most important, and if someone is to blame for what has happened to you, you might even qualify for compensation to help offset the cost of therapy, medication or hospital bills.
The attorneys at Hodes Milman Ikuta understand the aftermath following the worst and most tragic car accidents. We’ve stood up for families who have lost loved ones, honest men and women who have been damaged beyond repair and even children who have suffered because of an irresponsible driver’s negligence.
We know this is a difficult time and we can help to make the process easier. Give us a call today at (949) 640-8222, for and speak with a lawyer who can help inform you of your rights and what we can do to get started on your case. After your consultation there is no obligation to hire us for your case. We’re ready to hear your story and ready to be your lawyers when you are.
What Do I Do After an Accident in Orange County?
These steps might seem simple and basic, but they are each equally important for your safety, the safety of others and for filing a claim if you decide you want to. An experienced car accident lawyer can help fill in any of the blanks for any questions that you don’t find answers for here.
These steps best apply within 48 hours of a car accident:
These steps best apply within 48 hours of a car accident:
Factors That Can Hurt Your Claim
After an accident, it can be difficult to think clearly. Your first inclination may be to apologize or blame yourself. You should check to see if all drivers and passengers are safe and unharmed; but no matter how you feel at the moment, do not admit fault to any part of the accident, especially to the other party. This can later be held against you, and if it is documented, it will make proving your claim very difficult. Let an attorney help you sort out the details of the collision.
Exercising or Lifting Heavy Objects
The experience of being involved in a car accident has been compared to being blind-sided by an NFL defensive linebacker. The impact can make healing time take longer, and this should be considered before returning to a workout routine or demanding job.
Not Following a Doctor's Orders
If a doctor ordered bed rest but your job requires you to be at work, you should speak with your lawyer.
Pictures, comments, and posts about the accident or relating to the accident can be used against you in your case. As a general rule, we recommend you do not use social media until we can discuss your case confidentially.
Choosing the Wrong Lawyer
A law firm that is not experienced in accident law may not understand the details of a traffic accident case, and if you are injured, what needs to be done to ensure you as the client are compensated for future medical expenses.
An effective car accident lawyer is an advocate for your personal recovery. They look ahead at your situation for 3, 5, or even 10 years to consider what you may need to live a comfortable life. Be cautious with a lawyer who may claim to get you a “fast” settlement.
“Jeff Millman was referred to us after my wife was in a very serious auto accident. He has been responsive, accessible and on top of our case from the start. Jeff is also very personable and really cares about his clients and the outcomes. Kudos to his team as well, Brenda his assistant and Drew have been great to work with and always very responsive. We are happy to recommend them as our experience has been exceptional.”
– Bill G.
How to Find a Car Accident Attorney
For many, the first time they ever enlist the help of an attorney is following a car accident. It can be hard to know where to start and you should decide to work with someone you feel comfortable with – not simply the lawyer you heard about on TV.
At Hodes Milman Ikuta, we know what you’re going through. We’ve walked with clients through countless instances of devastating loss from car accidents, and it makes the cases we’ve won on their behalf that much more rewarding.
If you’re not sure where to start, begin with a free, no-obligation consultation today by calling us at (949) 640-8222. We’ll take care of every aspect of your case, including making phone calls, court proceedings and collecting medical records. You’ll be free to focus on what matters the most – your and your family’s healing.
ABOUT HODES MILMAN IKUTA
Hodes Milman Ikuta has won $200 million and has over 30 years of experience securing justice for victims of negligence. We are proud to call our clients family and offer them the resourceful, committed and accessible legal advocacy they deserve.
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When you work with us, you’ll see the difference. A lot of firms are quick to show you numbers, and it is absolutely true that your lawyer should have experience and a strong track record in the area that you require. However, we’ll take it one step further. We also believe that your attorney should put your needs, cares and desires first. Because you deserve more than just compensation for your losses - you deserve a true advocate.