Filing a Car Accident Claim in Mission Viejo

If an individual is involved in a motor vehicle accident in Mission Viejo, a claim on their behalf is presented by their attorney, generally to the opposing insurance company at the outset of the case. Due to this important role that a Mission Viejo car accident lawyer plays in filing a car accident claim, it is crucial that a person retains an attorney who has experience in the filing process and who is familiar with the laws of Mission Viejo.

An experienced lawyer can understand how difficult it can be for a person to endure the injuries of a car accident, as well as how injuries can impact a person’s life, and can, therefore, use the tools available to them to provide an injured person with a strong representation and sound legal guidance as they file a car accident claim in Mission Viejo.

How Does a Lawyer Present a Case?

Depending on the date of the car accident and the deadline within which to file a case in Superior Court, which is generally two years from the date of the accident, a person’s attorney will typically present the case to the opposing insurance company for them to evaluate the claim. The things they may present include the facts of the case and the person’s injuries and damages. If the statute of limitations deadline is approaching, then the attorney can file a complaint in the Orange County Superior Court, or other appropriate Superior Court where the incident occurred, which commences the litigation process on the person’s behalf.

With that said, every case is different and must be evaluated on its own facts and merit to determine whether the case could potentially be settled or litigated, in order for the injured victim to obtain the best possible result.

Recovering Damages

The damages that an injured individual can recover after being involved in a motor vehicle accident include:


One category includes the nature and the extent of the injury, which bear on the amount of compensation that the individual is entitled to receive. This involves the actual diagnosis, such as an orthopedic injury, head injury, or fracture which requires appropriate treatment.

Medical Expenses

The next category involves the medical expenses incurred related to the reasonable and necessary treatment that is required by the injured individual. An additional category of damages includes loss of income or lost time away from work or gainful employment in order to receive proper treatment and rehabilitation. Loss of earnings or income can also include the sick time or vacation time that a person used, bonuses and commission, and additional compensation that was lost.

Pain and Suffering

A major category of damages includes the pain, suffering, and emotional distress experienced by the individual. This would include the physical pain, disfigurement, and loss of the ability to engage in normal activities of daily living, as well as those activities that the person participated in for pleasure and enjoyment.

An individual injured in a car accident is entitled to claim all of these categories of damages which relate to the compensation that they ultimately will receive. Each element of compensation needs to be proven by appropriate documentation such as medical records, medical bills, and income verification.

With regard to pain, suffering, and emotional distress, a qualified attorney will be able to discuss all of these factors with a person in order to make sure that they obtain the best possible result regarding appropriate compensation.

What is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence, or comparative negligence, is a factor which can play a role in a motor vehicle accident case in Mission Viejo, or even throughout California. Contributory negligence means when the injured victim is partially at fault or responsible for the occurrence of the collision.

If the conduct of the injured driver in some fashion contributed to the collision, then a percentage of fault out of the total of 100% can be attributed to the plaintiff or injured driver. This, however, does not mean that the person cannot proceed with a claim or case, it just means that they may not be able to obtain 100% of the damages in their case.

For example, if the injured driver stops short on the freeway for traffic in front of them and they are then rear-ended by the driver directly behind them, the defendant driver may claim that in the act of stopping short, the plaintiff contributed to the collision. For this reason, a person should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident so that all of the appropriate witnesses can be contacted and in order for the attorney to obtain the correct version of what transpired.

Importance of an Attorney in Filing a Car Accident Claim

Every motor vehicle accident case has to be evaluated on its own facts. For example, if the adverse negligent driver who caused the accident did so in the course and scope of their employment for a governmental agency such as a utility or city, or even if a person is involved in an accident with a police car, the deadline to present their claim is six months from the date of their incident.

In this regard, it is critically important that regardless of the type of car accident that a person was involved in, they should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney straightaway.