Welcome to the Orange County Car Accident Attorney newsletter.  This newsletter is designed to help us keep in touch with each other.  It is also designed to let you know that I am here to help you with any car accident or other personal injury problems which you, a loved one or someone you know may have.


With this monthly newsletter I hope to provide you with useful and interesting information relating to car accidents and personal injury cases.  If you have any additional questions, comments or suggestions, or are in need of legal assistance, please feel free to email me or contact me through one of my social media buttons below.  You can also call me, at no charge, at 949-496-7000 to discuss a case. 


Best Regards,  

John P. Burns   
4 Common Types of Car Insurance Coverage
As Orange County car accident attorneys, we encourage people to know about the type of vehicle insurance they have. For example, You're driving with your family and are involved in an Orange County car accident. Without warning, another car hits you. Both cars sustain damage. You, your family, as well as the other driver and his or her passengers suffer injuries. Making sure everyone gets immediate medical attention is the #1 priority. Knowing you have adequate car insurance coverage to financially manage the costs associated with the car accident, will bring you peace of mind. Here are four of the most common types of car insurance coverage.
Liability: This is insurance to cover you if a claim is made against you or you are sued. There are two main types of liability coverage: bodily injury and property damage. If you are at fault, bodily injury liability will pay the medical and related expenses for anyone injured in the car accident through your fault, in your vehicle or in a vehicle you hit, but not for you the policy holder. It will also pay funeral expenses for anyone killed. Property damage liability will pay for any damage your car causes to property, such as the other car involved in the accident and any object you may hit, such as a lamp post, fence, or building. 
Both bodily injury and property damage liability have dollar maximums. Bodily injury liability limits are the maximum dollar amount that your insurance policy will pay out per person who is injured by your driving and for each accident. Property damage liability is the maximum dollar amount that will be paid for property damage you cause another person's car or other property. Under California law, a car owner is required to carry at least the following amount of liability insurance coverage: 

1. $15,000 for injury/death to one person. 
2. $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person. 
3. $5,000 for damage to property.
If damages exceed a policy's maximum limits, you as the policy holder can still be on the hook for the difference. If you have assets to protect, such as your home or a business, you may want to speak to your insurance agent about obtaining sufficient insurance to protect you and your family.
Collision:  Collision coverage pays for damage done to your car in a car accident, whether the damage is caused by another car or an object. Recoverable damage is limited to the cash value of your vehicle minus your deductible. Collision coverage is optional in California.
Personal Injury Protection:  In California, this insurance is called Medical Payments Coverage or Med-Pay coverage. This type of car insurance will cover the medical expenses of the policy holder and anyone injured while in the policy holder's vehicle, even if he or she is at fault. It also covers such things as, funeral expenses, lost wages, and child care.
Comprehensive:  If you car is damaged by something other than a car accident, such as a falling tree, vandals, or the car or its contents are stolen, comprehensive coverage will pay for the damage and loss. Like collision and personal injury protection coverage, comprehensive coverage is optional in California. Like collision coverage, the policy holder receives the cash value of his or her vehicle minus the deductible.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist:  Due to the significant number of uninsured and under insured drivers in California, this is very important insurance coverage. If you are in a car accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, this type of insurance will pay for the damage to your car and your injuries up to the limits of your Uninsured Motorist policy.

Further, even if you're hit by a motorist who is insured, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will pay for your damages that exceed the other motorist's policy liability limits, again, up to the limits of your Uninsured Motorist policy. Though this type of coverage is optional in California, it is automatically added to a car insurance policy and requires a signed, written opt-out request to remove from your car coverage.

Following a car accident, hiring an experienced Orange County car accident attorney allows you to focus on recovering emotionally and physically. At The Law Offices of John P. Burns, we make sure you receive all the benefits you deserve without having to deal with all the details. It's free to ask questions, so contact us directly at 949-496-7000 or email us at We'll be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.
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is a referral from our friends and clients

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What People Are Saying About The Law Offices of John P. Burns
"You wouldn't think you could get badly hurt in a parking lot accident but that's just what happened to me. My car was struck by another driver who pulled out of a parking
space at a high rate of speed.
The next thing I knew, my car was badly damaged and my left knee, right knee, right ankle, right foot and neck and back were injured.

I had to have surgery on my right knee. My left knee had to have a cortisone injection. I had to go through extensive physical therapy for my neck and back, as well as separate
physical therapy for my knee.

My attorney, John P. Burns of the Law Offices of John P. Burns, and his staff did an excellent job on my case. Mr. Burns and his staff convinced
the insurance companies involved to each pay the full policy limits of the insurance policies.

Although it was difficult to go through all the medical treatment, Mr. Burns and his staff made sure that I received the maximum financial amounts available in settlement.

I highly recommend the Law Offices of John P. Burns to anyone who has been in a serious accident like I was."

Dori Green-MacDonald, San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Attorney John P. Burns Wins Pedestrian Fractured Leg Case for Client

A client of Orange County car accident and personal injury attorney 

John P. Burns was hit by a car while crossing the street at an intersection.  Unfortunately for the client's health, the client was seriously injured when hit by the car.  Unfortunately for the client's case, the client was hit while walking against a Do Not Walk signal at the intersection.


The client said that he thought the driver was stopping to let him cross.  The client also said that, just before he was hit, he saw the driver looking over the driver's left shoulder at oncoming traffic.  The client said that, as he stepped off the curb, the driver suddenly made a right turn on the red light and accelerated rapidly into him. 


The car knocked Mr. Burns' client into the air and out into the intersection.  The client was taken to the hospital with a badly fractured leg and other injuries. The injuries were very serious and required extensive surgery and rehabilitation. 


The investigating officer said, in his written report, that Mr. Burns' client was at fault because the client had walked across the intersection against a flashing Do Not Walk sign. This caused a problem for the client's case because insurance companies will usually not pay for a pedestrian's medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering if the police report says that the pedestrian was at fault.  

When Mr. Burns spoke by phone with the insurance adjuster for the driver, the insurance adjuster made comments to Mr. Burns like "We're not paying your client a dime on this case" and "You can't really be arguing that your client was not one hundred percent at fault can you?"   Mr. Burns believed that the insurance company was stonewalling Mr. Burns and hoping, based on the adverse police report, that Mr. Burns and his client would go away.


Mr. Burns decided that he had enough of the insurance company tactics and sued the driver who had hit his client.  The day after Mr. Burns sent a copy of the lawsuit to the insurance company, a supervisor from the insurance company called.  He asked Mr. Burns if Mr. Burns' client would accept payment of the full amount of the driver's insurance policy funds to settle the case. Mr.  Burns asked the client what he wanted to do and the client decided to accept the full payment for settlement of the case.  


It was sad that the client was so seriously injured but the case demonstrates Mr. Burns' determination to never let an insurance company push a client of his around.  When an insurance company refuses to pay, Mr. Burns will always file a lawsuit and go the last mile with his client. 

Other Car Insurance



Uninsured Motorist Coverage


According to Uninsured Motorists, 2006 Edition, California has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers, at 25% of all drivers.  So while it's a good idea to make sure you have at least the 4 most common types of car insurance coverage, especially including Uninsured Motorist coverage, there are three other types of coverage that may be helpful if your car is disabled.

Medical Payments


Regardless of who is at-fault, medical payment coverage will pay a set amount for medical expenses to you or anyone who is riding in your car at the time of the accident.  This coverage is helpful if the policy holder lacks or has inadequate health insurance.  It also covers deductibles and medical equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs or home health care.


Towing Coverage


If you aren't a member of a motor club, such as AAA or BP, adding towing coverage to your car insurance policy is smart.  If your car becomes disabled because of a car accident, a dead battery, or you're just stuck in deep mud,  this coverage will reimburse you for the cost to have your car towed, up to a set amount.  It will also pay a set amount to get a locksmith, if needed.   Depending on the coverage, you may also be able to get reimbursed for the cost of labor, not parts, to get your car repaired, which includes tire changes, gas, or a new battery.


Rental Reimbursement


Few people like giving up their car for any period of time.  If your car is disabled and you don't have access to public transportation, you will need a rental car.  Rental reimbursement coverage is a set amount.  Rental car coverage usually does not cover your gas or any insurance you take from the rental car company.  Many insurance companies extend the policy holder's coverage to any rental car they are driving so it's a good idea to check with your insurance company before you purchase insurance from the rental car company.


Bonus Towing Coverage Tip


In California, for a small extra price, the Auto Club offers extra coverage on your membership by which the Auto Club will tow your car much further than the 7 mile tow maximum under its standard policy. This is important if you prefer to have your car repaired at a repair facility near you or that you especially trust.  By having this extra coverage you don't have to pay another tow company to tow your vehicle home if it breaks down a long distance from your home.  

Law Office of John P. Burns Family News
Hello everybody from Donna Burns. Here's what's been going on:
The weekend of July 20 was a big weekend for us. John's sister Mary flew out from New Jersey for John's birthday. Here's a photo of Mary with John in our back yard. 
Saturday we all went to Long Beach to watch our daughter Heather race in the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe races. What we got to see was really wild. 
To start with, there are four big floats out on the water. Four of the outrigger canoes load up with nine women each. All four of the boats are paddled out to the floats. Then three women jump out of each boat and swim over to their float. Then each of the four canoes, with six women each, line up for the race. 
Once the start gun goes off, the four boats race to turn markers about one half mile away. They each paddle around the turn markers and then paddle like mad back toward the floats, where three paddlers are standing and waiting on each float. 
As the boats approach the floats, the women on the floats jump into the water and tread water in front of their team's oncoming canoe. As the canoes pass the float, three of the women in the boat jump out of the boat and into the water. At the same time, the three who were treading water swing into the canoe and they all paddle off again to a turn marker about one half mile the other way. Then they all turn and race back. 
Heather's boat crossed the finish line first and her canoe won her race. Heather told John that she won for his birthday. Here is a picture of Heather (4th from left) with her winning team. 
On the last night of the weekend we all went to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. The show is held in an outdoor amphitheater. Cast members pose in costume as figures in scenes constructed to look like that particular work of art. They have to stay perfectly still in their poses for about two minutes while the orchestra plays and the announcer explains the significance of the piece of art. People come from all over the world to see the pageant as it runs all summer. 
The theme this year was The Big Picture and it was about art in Hollywood films. The show was great. Here's a photo of me, John, Mary and Heather in front of a photo of 1920's movie star Tom Mix, outside the pageant grounds. 
That's all for this edition. More from the exciting lives of the Burns family next month. 

Hope to see you then,

Donna Burns  

The information you obtain in this newsletter is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.