Orland Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer
Located in the fertile Sacramento Valley near the beautiful Black Butte Lake, Orland is a fast-growing city with its roots firmly planted in both agriculture and transportation. Bisected by busy Interstate 5 and just a short drive from the county seat, Willow, and busy Chico to the east, Orland retains all its small-town charms while drawing in tourists and residents alike. In fact, Orland is the fastest-growing city in Glenn County and one of the fastest-growing cities along Interstate 5, adding about 1,700 residents since 2000. Today, just under 8,000 people call Orland home, and thousands more visit the area and pass through every year. While Orland’s population has steadily increased since the 19th century, it’s only since the last decade or so that the area has seen a rapid influx of new residents.History of Orland
Incorporated in 1909, the city’s history goes back much farther — way back to the 1840s when the area was home to vast cattle-ranching operations. Of course, lots of cattle need lots of grain to thrive, and soon, hundreds of acres were devoted to the cultivation of grains for both animals and humans. In fact, the area’s harvests were so successful and plentiful, by the 1870s, the Pacific Central Railroad laid track nearby to haul both grain and cattle to distant locales.
Shortly after the post office was established in 1916, the Orland Project irrigation system was mapped out, and farmers in the area shifted their focus to dairy cattle and orchards. Eventually, a thriving bee industry formed. Today, Orland is known as the Queen Bee Capital of North America and is recognized for its leading production of queen bees by local beekeepers.
But agriculture is just part of Orland’s story. During World War II, airfields in Orland were built to train pilots and crew, and many training films were produced at the airfield. Today, the airfields have mostly been incorporated into the Glenn County civil airfield. Until 1982, Orland was also a stop on Amtrak’s Starlight Route from Seattle to Los Angeles. When the train bypassed the city, travelers took to Route 5 en masse, increasing traffic in the area which, not surprisingly, also increased the number of accidents on area roads.Traffic Accidents in Glenn County
With its Mediterranean climate and the natural beauty of the surrounding buttes, Orland is a popular spot to rest and relax, and it’s also becoming increasingly popular with newcomers who are fueling the city’s unprecedented growth. According to the latest data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, nearly 200 people were injured or killed in car accidents in 2016 — a fair number, considering the population is under 8,000 residents. Of those accidents, about 14 involved alcohol and about 20 were related to speeding. Eight involved motorcycles, five involved pedestrians, and another four were hit-and-run accidents. The number and diversity of accidents in the area demonstrate that no matter how careful you are about your own driving skills and habits, you can’t control the skills and habits of other drivers on the road — and that means you can still have an accident.
Considering average cars tip the scales at about two tons, it’s easy to see how even an accident at a low rate of speed can cause considerable damage and injuries. Even a relatively minor accident like a “bump” from behind can cause whiplash, nerve and soft tissue damage that require a lot of medical care and therapy to overcome. Some types of nerve damage can leave you with permanent pain or numbness. And those are the “minor” accidents. Obviously, more serious accidents have the potential to cause much more severe injuries, including injuries that can take months or even years to heal, and some that can result in lifelong disability or even death.Getting Compensated For Your Damages
Medical costs can be outrageously expensive. A single trip to an emergency room can be thousands of dollars, and that doesn’t begin to include the costs of CT scans, MRIs and other tests. And those are just the initial costs. Most accidents require you to follow up with at least one doctor, and often several. That means more office visits, more tests, and more costs. What’s more, because auto accidents typically involve soft tissue injuries, nerve injuries and musculoskeletal injuries like sprains and fractures, many accident victims require weeks or months of therapy to restore normal function and get back to their regular lives. Still, other victims may need emotional care and therapy to help them get past the traumatic effects of being in a car crash.
Regardless of the type of care you need, one thing’s the same: It’s going to be costly. And while it would be wonderful if your insurance would pay for your costs — or certainly, the insurance of the at-fault driver — sadly, that’s often not the case. Insurance policies have “caps” or maximum amounts they’re willing to pay to accident victims. And many times, those caps fall far short of the actual total cost of care. That means you’ll be left to pay the remainder of those costs out of your own pocket, and considering how expensive medical care can be, it’s easy to see how an accident can result in significant financial strain and hardship — not just for you, but for your loved ones as well.How an Orland Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Working with an experienced Orland personal injury lawyer right from the start is one of the smartest things you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, your finances, and your rights. Ideally, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Since it can take considerable time to build a strong, fair, winning case, the earlier you begin working with an Orland personal injury attorney, the more quickly your case can be resolved.
Of course, as important as it is to contact an attorney, there are a few other necessary steps to take first, beginning with the moments right after your accident.
- First, unless your injuries are too severe, move to an area of safety, somewhere near the accident scene but off the road and away from the flow of traffic.
- Call 9-1-1 to report the accident and have emergency personnel proceed to the scene. Get a copy of the police report as soon as it’s available (typically within a few days).
- Check the other vehicle if you can and if it’s safe to see if anyone else is injured.
- Assuming the injuries aren’t severe, exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- If you’re able, take photos and video of the accident scene, showing the angle of the vehicles, the roadways, nearby intersections, road conditions, lighting, weather, and damages.
- Write down what you can recall of how the accident occurred while the memory is still fresh in your mind.
- Ask eyewitnesses for their contact information so your attorney can talk to them about the specifics of the accident if necessary.
- Seek medical attention, even if you think you’re “OK” or if your injuries seem minor. Even a slight jarring movement can cause whiplash and nerve damage, and seeking medical care as soon as possible is the best way to prevent injuries from becoming more severe. Before leaving the doctor’s office, ask for a record of the visit so you can keep a “paper trail.”
- Call your insurance company to report the accident and to provide them with information about the other driver. Do not share all your notes or photos with the insurance company before talking to an attorney, and do not ever sign any forms! Signing forms could constitute in “closure” of your case and may result in forfeiture of your ability to seek damages moving forward.
- Contact an experienced Orland car accident lawyer to discuss your case and share your information. Your attorney will be able to navigate the claims process and pursue additional damages to make sure your rights are protected, and you get the compensation you deserve.
Many accident victims put off speaking with an attorney because they worry they won’t be able to afford the cost. The key is to work with a skilled attorney who works on a “contingency basis,” which simply means your lawyer won’t get paid until and unless you get paid. That means you won’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket, and it also ensures your lawyer will work hard to make sure you get all the compensation you deserve. The first step toward making sure your rights are protected: Schedule a free consultation and start working with an Orland car accident lawyer right away.
View the following video to get an idea of what to expect in the initial free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.Orland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
I'm Ed Smith, an Orland auto accident and personal injury attorney. If you have been hurt in an accident in or around Orland, call me today for my free and friendly legal advice at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.
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