Real Estate & Personal Injury Law Orange County, CA
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Auto and Truck Accidents

Experienced Orange County, CA Accident Attorney

Southern California is famous for its vast network of freeways and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some of the most congested streets and highways in the country are located here. And with so many cars and trucks on the road at the same time, accidents are bound to happen.

Knowing what to do after a serious motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. You have so many things to worry about - from getting the medical care you need to making sure your vehicle is repaired and safe to drive.

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Fortunately, you're not alone. The Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton can take care of your claim while you focus on what matters most - your recovery. Located in Costa Mesa and serving accident victims throughout Orange County, attorney Carlton and his talented legal team can work with you every step of the way.

Founded by lifelong Southern California resident Dan Carlton more than 40 years ago, our law firm has extensive experience handling car accident cases. And since attorney Carlton was born and raised here and practices law here, he thoroughly understands how the legal system works in Orange County and other nearby areas. That's why he has such a strong track record of success. That's why he's eager to meet with you.

Cases We Handle

There are many different types of motor vehicle accidents. And our law firm has extensive experience handling all different types of cases. Learn more about how our law firm can help:

You can also learn more about car accidents and how our law firm can help you by visiting the following pages.

The bottom line is our experienced legal team knows how to handle even the most severe motor vehicle accidents in Southern California.

You Can Count On Carlton

You might think you don't need a lawyer if another driver caused your motor vehicle accident. All you have to do is file a claim and your insurance company will take care of everything. You didn't do anything wrong so you don't have anything to worry about, you think.

Think again. In most cases, motor vehicle accidents turn out to be far more complicated than many people first suspect. The driver who caused your crash might deny any wrongdoing. Or the driver might even try to claim you caused the accident.

And even if the driver does take responsibility for your crash, you'll likely hit a roadblock once you start dealing with the other driver's insurance company. In nearly every case, most insurance companies do everything they can to reduce payments to accident victims or deny their claim altogether.

That's not right. That's why you need attorney Carlton on your side, standing up for your rights. We understand the seriousness of your accident. As your attorney, we'll take an aggressive stance on your behalf. We will present the insurance companies with evidence, including witness statements, police reports and insight from experts. And if they refuse to negotiate, attorney Carlton is prepared to take your case to trial.

Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today.

Auto Accidents

Car accidents in Southern California happen every day. And while auto accidents might seem routine to some people, a serious car crash can instantly change your life forever. Suddenly, you might not be able to walk or move normally due to another driver's reckless or negligent actions.

That's why it's critical that you speak with an attorney right away after your crash. That way, you can learn about all the legal options available to you. Newport Beach, CA car accident attorney Dan Carlton is well-versed in state law and knows how insurance companies work when it comes to dealing with victims of car accidents in Southern California.

With more than 40 years of experience, attorney Carlton has built a reputation as a lawyer who gets clients the results they need. He knows what evidence to look for, what questions to ask and how to compile all that information into a strong legal case.

Car crashes can cause many serious injuries, including head, neck and spine injuries, which can be devastating, sometimes requiring years of recovery. Even airbag injuries, such as ringing in the ears (airbag tinnitus) and hearing loss after airbag deployment can impact a person's life.

Whatever the circumstances of your crash, no matter how straightforward or complicated it might seem, make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related expenses. Make sure you contact attorney Dan Carlton today.

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Highway Accidents

Orange County, California's highways are among some of the most congested interstates in the country. Interstate 5, the 405 and 605 are often filled with cars and trucks. So are many other California highways in Orange County, including State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), State Route 22 (Garden Grove Freeway) and State Route 91 (Artesia and Riverside Freeway).

But no matter what highway you take, a motor vehicle accident can occur at any time, resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. The causes of highway accidents are endless:

  • An overturned big rig could be due to a trucker asleep at the wheel on the 605.
  • A speeding tractor-trailer might jackknife into oncoming traffic on the San Diego Freeway.
  • A distracted driver looking up GPS directions could cause an SUV rollover on I-5.
  • A drunk driver may sideswipe a motorcyclist in a 91 Express Lane.
  • A texting teenager could cause a rear-ender on I-5 on the way to Los Angeles.

Even smaller Orange County highways can be hazardous, such as the Foothill Corridor, the Mesa Freeway (Route 55), Laguna Freeway (Rte. 133) and the Orange Freeway (Rte. 57). Wherever your highway accident occurred, make sure you get the legal help you need and deserve. Make sure you have Orange County accident attorney Dan Carlton on your side.

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Car Accident Injuries

Thousands of people sustain serious injuries or die in car accidents in Orange County, California every single year. Injuries from rear-end crashes, head-on collisions, side-impact wrecks and rollovers on freeways can be severe. Such injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)/Concussions - Many people might think a concussion is not serious, but it is a brain injury that can have a grave impact on the victim. Car wrecks are the cause of more than half of all reported TBIs. Symptoms of a car accident brain injury may be difficult to recognize because victims may sustain such injuries after their heads strike a hard object such as a windshield or steering wheel. The injury is not always apparent, because the skull may not have been penetrated.
  • Broken Neck or Back - Whiplash is one of the common terms for a neck injury in a car accident and refers to damage to the soft tissues in the neck. But neck and back injuries can be complicated. Sometimes the injury in the back is a result of damage to the discs and these types of injuries may not be apparent for months after the accident.
  • Spinal Cord Injury - Damage to the spine from a car accident is one of the most serious types of injuries a victim can sustain. This type of life-altering injury may be a result of the spinal cord being severed, which can result in paralysis. One form of paralysis, paraplegia, refers to the loss of sensation in the lower half of the body. Another form, quadriplegia, refers to paralysis of all four limbs.
  • Bone Fractures - A broken bone in a car accident is a common injury. Some typical fractures may involve injuries to the face or skull, which may occur in a head-on collision. Femur fractures (a break to the thigh bone), may be difficult to repair and require long-term rehabilitation. Other fractures include breaks to the rib, hip, pelvis, wrists and clavicle (collar bone). While some types of bone breaks are more serious than others, any type of fracture can result in limited motion and may affect the victim's ability to work and perform routine household tasks.
  • Cervical Dystonia (Spasmodic Torticollis) - This is a movement disorder that is characterized by involuntary contraction of the neck muscles. Your head may twist or turn to one side uncontrollably. This disorder has no cure. While one type of dystonia has genetic components, another form called acquired dystonia, or secondary dystonia, can result from a car accident.
  • Airbag Tinnitus - Airbags recently have been in the news for causing serious and fatal injuries because of a product defect, one type of injury involves hearing loss due to deployment of an airbag. Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing in the ears that may become permanent after an accident involving airbag deployment.
  • Other Ear Injuries - The force of impact from a car accident can result in damage to the inner ear. Sometimes, such injuries may be related to a brain injury. If you hit your head against an object in a car accident, you may sustain trauma to the inner ear. This not only may affect your hearing, but may have an impact on your ability to balance. Symptoms include vertigo (feel like the room is spinning), dizziness or unsteadiness on your feet.
  • Internal Organ Damage - Internal injuries, such as damage to the spleen, lungs, liver, hear and other essential organs, may result from an auto accident. Often, a rib fracture may cause an internal injury, such as a punctured lung. These types of injuries may not be immediately apparent, which is why it's critical to get prompt medical attention after a car wreck.
  • Coma - One of the most frightening types of car accident injuries, a coma can happen in an accident in which a victim suffers a hypoxic event, a condition in which the brain is deprived of oxygen. A coma can result in a long-term and expensive hospitalization. Recovery can be difficult. The future can be unclear and scary for family members. Attorney Dan Carlton and his talented legal team can fight for the money you need to pay medical bills and cover other expenses.

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Pedestrian Accidents

When it comes to car accidents involving pedestrians, people who are run over while crossing the street or walking alongside the road are more likely to suffer serious injuries than vehicle occupants. A pedestrian hit by a car can be thrown a long distance and end up with a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. If a child is hit by a car after darting into the road, the result could be a car crash fatality.

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents in California happen far more often than you might realize. A reckless, drunk or distracted driver (especially texting drivers) can crash into a pedestrian, or even groups of people, in all types of situations, including:

  • Children walking to school or on their way home from school
  • A jogger on the shoulder of a road with no sidewalks
  • An elderly person walking slowly across an intersection
  • People in shopping mall parking lots
  • Movie-goers coming out of theaters at night
  • Students on college campus roads
  • Hit by car on a crosswalk

Sadly, an irresponsible driver may also be an uninsured motorist or a driver without enough insurance to cover the often steep medical expenses required in the case of pedestrian injuries. That means the hurt pedestrian must pursue compensation through his or her own "Uninsured Motorist Coverage," which can be a legal nightmare.

If you're involved in a pedestrian accident, we strongly urge you to take the following steps:

  • Call 911 and ask for emergency medical help.
  • Ask the emergency operator to send a police officer to the scene of your accident.
  • You or someone else at the scene of the accident should call for help even if you do not appear to be injured. A police officer can investigate your accident while a doctor or EMT examines you.
  • If you are not able to do so, ask someone to take photographs of your accident scene. Such photos can be important pieces of evidence in your case.
  • If someone saw your accident, ask someone to get the witness's full name, address, phone number and statement if possible. And make sure to have someone tell the investigating police officer to interview the witness. Witness testimony can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case.

Once you have taken care of your emergency health needs, call a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you every step of the way. A lawyer can help you fill out accident forms, investigate your accident and negotiate directly with insurance companies. While your insurance company might seem friendly after your accident, it's important to remember that most insurance companies only care about one thing: paying injury victims as little as possible. That's not right. That's why you need an aggressive California pedestrian accident lawyer on your side. That's why you need the Law Office of Daniel C. Carlton.

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Bicycle Accidents

Bicycling is a popular way to get around Orange County. Unfortunately, cyclists sometimes get hit by cars or trucks, resulting in serious or even fatal injuries. You may be an avid cyclist who only races or does long-distance rides with a cycling group. You might bicycle to work because it's an easier commute. Or perhaps you just bike to the beach or to the park with your family on weekends.

Because cyclists can be thrown long distances in a bicycle-auto collision, even when they wear helmets, bicyclists suffer traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones or concussion. When these accidents happen, knowing what to do afterwards can be confusing. Once you receive the medical care you need and deserve, what should you do next?

Any bicyclist hit by a driver should seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company. But sometimes, the driver doesn't have insurance. Other times, the driver may leave the scene of the accident, leaving the injured cyclist with a hit-and-run accident.

But even if the driver has insurance and admits responsibility, don't simply assume that you will be fairly compensated. That's because insurance companies often do everything they can to reduce or deny accident claims. That's why you need a bicycle accident lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights.

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Truck Accidents

Orange County has a complex network of freeways, Interstate highways and state routes truckers use on their way to and from Southern California during cross-country cargo hauls. Big rig deliveries come into downtown Newport Beach, Anaheim and Santa Ana every day as well. Unfortunately, many truckers are so overworked, they fall asleep behind the wheel of their tractor trailers, jeopardizing the safety of others around them. In this region, 18-wheelers are often involved in car crashes, motorcycle accidents, bicycle wrecks and pedestrian injuries, causing serious injuries as well as fatalities.

When fully loaded, an 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Compare that to a 5,000-pound car, a 300-pound motorcycle, a cyclist or a pedestrian and it's no wonder a commercial truck collision can result in catastrophic injuries.

Whether you were hit by a tired truck driver, distracted driver or a drunk trucker who jackknifed on I-5 or the 405, your truck accident deserves serious attention. And in many cases, it may be your word against the truck driver, trucking company or their insurance companies or attorneys.

Trying to take them on by yourself can be intimidating. It's also important to understand that you often only have a limited amount of time to obtain critical evidence from your truck accident. By law, trucking companies only have to keep certain evidence (including Hours of Service logs, inspection reports, etc.) for a certain amount of time before destroying them.

Without such evidence, you could have a very hard time obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve from the trucking company's insurance company. Most likely, the insurance company will make you a low-ball offer that doesn't even come close to covering the true costs of your accident.

That's not right. That's why you need on us your side, fighting for your rights. Attorney Carlton has more than 40 years of legal experience in Southern California. He knows how the legal system works here and how to take on trucking companies and anyone else who stands in your way for justice. We can help with everything from negotiating medical treatment expenses to vehicle repairs to the reams of paperwork often required in settling in commercial truck accidents. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident fatality, we can help you recover from your loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. Your needs come first here.

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Causes of Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents happen for many different reasons in California. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving cars, trucks or other vehicles include:

Texting While Driving - Texting while driving may be illegal in California, but drivers still text all the time, resulting in traffic accident injuries and deaths. The laws are very clear for both texting while driving and using a cell phone behind the wheel:

  • It is illegal for drivers to use a mobile device to "write, send, or read a text-based communication"
  • The only texting allowed is voice-controlled texting using a hands-free device
  • Drivers under 18 may not use any mobile devices while driving
  • Drivers 18 and older may only use a cell phone to talk if it is a hands-free device

The drivers most likely to cause texting car accidents are teenage drivers. Teens texting behind the wheel are everywhere - on the 405, the 110, the 710 and I-5. Sadly, no age group is exempt from serious car accidents caused by texting drivers in Southern California.

Distracted Driving Accidents - With new car models offering in-dash technology, driver distraction has become a leading cause of accidents in this country, particularly rear-end crashes.

But distracted driving accidents are not only caused by drivers texting behind the wheel or making a cell phone call while driving. Catastrophic accidents can happen while drivers look up GPS traffic updates, type social media posts, book theater tickets during rush hour or fiddle with MP3 players or surf the internet in search of restaurant reviews.

The bottom line is drivers need to keep their eyes on the road. And when they don't, drivers need to be held accountable for causing serious crashes.

Drunk Driving Accidents - The dangers of drinking and driving have been well documented for decades. Even so, some drivers still get behind the wheel after drinking too much and put everyone on the road at risk.

Though DUI-related injuries can sometimes be minor, many conditions are devastating such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. The result can be paralysis, coma, neurological problems, surgeries, physical therapy. And when a drunk driver accident fatality occurs, that's a case of wrongful death due to the negligence of the person who chose to drink and drive.

A driver who fails a breath test with an over-the-limit alcohol level could be held accountable for any drunk driver collision injuries and property damage he or she causes. In addition, whoever provided alcohol to the guilty DUI driver may be responsible for subsequent DUI deaths or injuries.

Whatever the cause of your crash, don't underestimate the seriousness of your accident. Make sure you take your case seriously right from the start. Make sure you contact our law firm today.

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Do I Need An Attorney After A Car Accident?

The facts might seem straightforward. You've been in a car accident caused by somebody else's negligent or careless behavior. You expect that the other driver will admit wrongdoing. You believe the driver's insurance company will step up and provide you with the financial compensation you rightfully deserve. You may need money for medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle as well as other accident-related expenses.

Don't be so sure. Even the most straightforward of car accident claims can quickly spiral out of control. The other driver might deny wrongdoing. They may even try to blame you. And then there's the insurance companies. In most cases, most insurance adjusters and representatives will do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. If they can get away with not paying you anything, they probably will.

That's why you need an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer on your side after your crash. That's why you need us. A lifelong resident of Southern California and an attorney with more than 40 years of experience, Daniel C. Carlton knows how handle complex car accident cases. He knows how the find the facts that matter, then put them together into a strong legal case. Some of the most common car accident cases we handle at our law firm may include the scenario you're facing now, including:

  • You were involved in a rear-end accident caused by a distracted driver who's sending or receiving a text message.
  • You were hit in a head-on collision involving a drunk driver who lost control of her vehicle and crossed the center median.
  • You were involved in a highway accident caused by an overturned tractor trailer.
  • You were in an accident with an uninsured motorist or the driver fled the scene of the crash, leaving you to deal with a hit-and-run accident.

Car accidents in Orange County can have consequences that affect you and your loved ones for years. That's why it's critical to contact our law firm. Attorney Carlton knows how to build a solid, successful legal strategy on your behalf. He is prepared to play "hard ball" with the insurance companies so you can get the money you rightfully deserve. Contact our law firm today and schedule your free case evaluation. Your accident deserves our full attention.

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Uninsured Motorists

It's hard enough being rear-ended, sideswiped or hit head-on, but finding out later that the driver has no car insurance or not enough coverage can make the entire experience even more traumatizing. Suddenly, you now may be faced with questions like, "Who will pay for my medical expenses?" or "Who will cover my repair costs?"

The answer could be in your own car insurance policy, which may include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. But sometimes, these types of claims are denied. There are many reasons for this. Your own insurance company may argue that you caused the accident. You may therefore have to prove that you were a victim of the other driver's negligence or recklessness, such as by obtaining records to establish that the other driver was texting while driving. It may have been a DUI crash, in which case you could be responsible for obtaining the police report showing the driver's breath test results.

When you don't know how the system works, it can be an intimidating, frustrating and fruitless process to take on by yourself. That's why you need legal representation to fight for what is rightfully yours. If you were in an accident involving an uninsured motorist, contact us. Our law firm has helped many people just like you throughout Orange County.

Some careless or reckless drivers who cause car accidents in Orange County have minimal car insurance, which won't pay for all your medical treatment and property damage costs. This is known as an underinsured driver accident. But you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance carrier if you have UM/UIM coverage. Such coverage exists for exactly this type of situation, when the other driver has no insurance or not enough to cover all the accident costs, in which case your car insurance policy can pay the balance.

Find out how the process works and which solution works best for your particular accident. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation today.

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Motorcycle Accidents

Orange County motorcycle accidents happen every day. Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable, even with helmets and protective gear. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, you can suffer a serious head injury, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones or deep scrapes. It doesn't take a major accident to kill a motorcyclist. Even in a rear-end accident, anyone riding a motorcycle can be thrown off onto the road or crushed under the cab of a big rig. If a car sideswipes a loved one, they can be dragged by a car or pushed into oncoming traffic, causing a head-on collision and a wrongful death.

If you or a family member was involved in a motorcycle accident in Orange County, contact our law firm today. You may have internal organ injuries, a concussion or even a serious head injury. We can help make sure you get the medical attention you need and the legal help you deserve.

Even if you didn't do anything wrong to cause your crash, don't simply assume that you will be fairly compensated for your crash. In many cases, many motorcyclists face an uphill battle since many drivers and insurance companies think most motorcyclists are daredevils who take risks on the road. The reality is actually quite different. Most motorcyclists are very careful, defensive drivers. They're the victims of reckless drivers who change lanes without warning or perform other dangerous maneuvers.

With so many distracted drivers texting and swerving into other lanes and drunk drivers running red lights or speeding, even the most cautious, law-abiding motorcyclists can end up being hit by another driver. If you or a loved one suffered motorcycle accident injuries or if you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident fatality, don't wait for insurance companies to give you a hard time. Take back control. Contact our law firm and find out how an aggressive Orange County motorcycle accident attorney can help you with you claim. You have rights. We can fight for them.

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