Dear Clients, Former Clients and Friends,


Welcome to the new monthly newsletter of the Law Offices of John P. Burns. Some of you know me from my current practice in San Juan Capistrano and some of you know me from my former thirty year practice in Laguna Niguel. I have kept the E mail addresses of as many of you as I could and I am happy to be able to finally keep in touch with you all on a monthly basis. I hope that you find this new monthly newsletter informative, useful and fun.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I hope you will feel free to
email me  or contact me through one of my social media buttons below.
Best Regards,  
John P. Burns   
The Right Way To Repair A Vehicle
There has been a car accident in Orange County. What should the innocent driver do next? Obviously, the highest priority is to promptly attend to physical injuries. While making sure their physical health needs are met, the driver must also start taking care of another 'casualty' of the accident: their car.

Following an accident, the at-fault driver might try to pressure the other driver to let them pay for the car's damage without going through an insurance company. They will ask for sympathy, saying that they cannot afford to increase their insurance rates if they make a claim.  The at-fault driver is essentially asking the other driver to pretend the accident never happened; they don't want the police or the insurance companies to know about it.


However, some physical injuries sustained as a result of a "minor" accident do not immediately surface, and failing to make an insurance claim right away drastically reduces the likelihood of obtaining compensation to pay for treatment of these injuries. In addition, having an insurance company assess and pay for vehicle damage creates a record that proves the extent of the impact, which is essential in proving the relationship between the accident and subsequent injuries.


Given that a driver should make an insurance claim to pay for vehicle repairs, the question is whether that claim should be filed with their own insurance company or with the other driver's insurance. Making a claim against the other driver's insurance has distinct advantages.  First, filing a claim with the other driver's company asserts that he or she is at fault in the accident. Second, those who use their own insurance company often have to pay a deductible, which can be quite expensive depending on the policy. If the insurance company of the other driver accepts fault for the accident, then the other insurance company will pay your deductible for you.


Once a driver has successfully filed a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company, the company will most likely suggest specific repair shops that can fix the car. It is important for accident victims to know that these shops may not be a neutral party: they receive their business from the insurance company and may, therefore, minimize the cost of the repairs in order to please the insurance company. Minimizing the costs of a repair might be at odds with making sure the car is fixed the right way. 


Many accident victims do not know that they can choose to bring their car to other shops, including dealer facilities. Under California law, the other insurance company must allow you to have your car repaired at any repair facility of your choosing. Regardless of where you decide to have your car repaired, the insurance company will send an adjuster to examine the vehicle before the repairs begin.


A car accident is disruptive to everyday life. Just as physical injuries must be mended, so too vehicle damage must be repaired. Remembering to make a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company and to take the car to a reliable repair shop is the right way to fix a vehicle after an accident.


It is better to decline any other insurance company request that you give a recorded statement when you ask them to repair your car. Your recorded statement might later be unfairly used against you by that same insurance company in the injury part of your claim. The insurance company cannot make you give a recorded statement as a condition of fixing your car. Once the insurance company accepts fault, they are required to repair your car without a recorded statement.  


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What People Are Saying About The Law Offices of John P. Burns
"Personal Injury attorney John P. Burns and his staff took great care of me and my case. I was treated with respect, courtesy and friendship by everyone at the law offices of John P. Burns. If you have been in an accident and you need an attorney, I highly recommend the Law Offices of John P. Burns."          


De'Brady Hampton, Sun City, CA.

Innovative Ways To Use Photos To Win Large Verdicts

A successful Orange County car accident attorney knows that photographs of vehicle damage are an important part of obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict for their clients. It helps show the relationship between the impact of the accident and the injuries sustained by the accident victim. No claim against an insurance company would be complete without such photos.


But Orange County attorney John Burns recently broke new ground by using a camera to capture his client's medical treatments. These photos were visual proof of the extent of his client's pain management treatments and surgical procedures. The accident victim gave written consent to the medical providers authorizing the photographs, then Burns asked the medical assistants to use a simple-to-operate camera during the procedures.

Ultimately, the insurance company settled the claim for over $500,000, a figure much higher than they had anticipated. According to the mediator, the defense absolutely did not want a jury to see the photos. The mediator continued: "We don't know how you got those photos but they clearly resulted in a great settlement for your client." Just goes to show how innovative lawyers can use new techniques to obtain great results for their clients.

Law Office of John P. Burns Family News
I'm Donna Burns, wife of John, mother of Sean and Heather, my kid's friends, and our whole assortment of animals. I am proud to be their "Mama Donna."

John and I met over forty years ago on a Trans World Airlines (TWA) flight, LAX to Boston. He was the airline pilot, I the hostess. The rest took care of itself.

I am now the receptionist at the Law Offices of John P. Burns. Christopher Fellows and our daughter, Heather Hazlett, make up our staff of paralegals.


Heather Burns

On a different note, I would like to share some family updates and photos.


In the last few months, our daughter Heather participated in the local Dana Point Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Racing Team. Here's a photo of Heather on what we call "Baby Beach" at Dana Point.


Heather races in a six woman team. They leave the harbor in their outriggers and race other teams in the wide, open ocean. On some weekends, she even drives to races in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Marina Del Rey, and San Diego. She gets a lot of great exercise and meets so many interesting people on the beaches. We are intensely proud of her and her efforts.


We also received a few precious photos of our granddaughter, Hannah-Lei Burns, from our son Sean and his wife Natalie Froese Burns. They live in Natalie's hometown- Winnipeg, Canada. 


Here's a photo of Hannah-Lei in a shopping cart at the grocery store in 
Winnipeg. She is quite the stylish girl with her beads, sunglasses, and a box of raisins!
Hannah-lei recently saw some children waiting for a school bus on a street in Winnipeg. Naturally, she made her Dad take her out of the car and learn how to wait for the school bus just like the other kids - and she's only two
years old!
Here's the photo Sean and Natalie sent us:
Well, that's all for this month! I'll be staying busy getting more photos and news for next month's newsletter.


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.