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  

P.S. Don't forget to look at the Burns Family News section, at the end of the newsletter, below.
How to Verify Information at the Scene of an Accident

There is never a case where you can get too much information at an accident scene. Smart phones make this easy because you can simply snap photos of all the documents and send to your insurer immediately. However, if the driver who hit you doesn't have insurance, you'll want to call the police. That way there is a record of the accident and they will have to pay a fine for driving uninsured.

How do you know if the driver is uninsured? Check the proof of insurance. They may try to produce an expired proof of insurance and hope you won't notice, or they might use a proof of insurance under another person's name, like a family member. They might try to give you the information verbally as well. You can ask to take a photo of their license, and then call the police while you are still in possession of the license if you think the other person will leave the scene.

Even if they produce what looks like a valid proof of insurance, you can cover yourself by following these suggestions from the State Bar of California:
  • The other driver's name, address, date of birth, telephone number, driver's license number and expiration date, and insurance company. Get this information from their passengers, and any witnesses outside the car. 
  • The other car's make, year, model, license plate number and expiration date, and vehicle identification number.
  • The names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance companies of the other car's legal and registered owners-if the driver does not own the car.
  • Try to identify people at the accident scene, even if they will not give their names. For example, if someone who saw the accident drives off, take down his or her license plate number. Law enforcement officials can trace the owner's name and address.
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 john@johnburnslaw.com. We'll be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.
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The Role of Photo and Video in Accident Scenes
The biggest way photos and video can help you at an accident is by taking information impartially. You can document everything now, which makes it harder for others to lie or change events. The first way to use this to your advantage is with photos.  We highlighted a recent case study in our previous newsletter, where John used pictures taken by a client at the scene of the accident to win a case.

Document, document, document

Don't waste time writing anything down at an accident scene. Get out your phone and take photos of all the documents associated with the other driver and their car: license plates, registration, driver's license, and proof of insurance. Then take photos of witnesses and their driver's licenses too. If a witness drives away or doesn't want to be identified, you can photograph their license plate and let law enforcement or an attorney track them down later.

You can also use your phone to take accident photos, but don't put yourself in danger to do this. Sketching a diagram of the accident scene can be useful, and some auto insurance companies also have apps where you can make an animation of the scene and narrate it while it's all still fresh in your memory. Take photos of damages to both cars.

Video can be helpful in that you can talk while taking photos. You can talk to witnesses and get their account right there. You can walk around the vehicle and point out the damage. You can also take video of the weather conditions and visibility, if it's storming or raining or foggy. Video will also help you record any other details, such as landmarks or other identifying information that you may not realize you needed later.

There's an App for that

There are also apps on the market to help you organize this information. Apps like Google's Accident Wizard for Android actually walks you through the evidence-gathering process so you don't leave anything out. There's a diagram of a car that reminds you to get photos from each angle. It also creates a report so that you can email all the information out at once to different parties.
Law Office of John P. Burns Family News
Hi Everyone!
Welcome to the Burns Family News. I'm definitely in denial that October is upon us and the holidays are fast approaching. John and I recently flew to
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It's somewhere north of Minnesota, home of our son Sean, his wife Natalie and our precious grand daughter, Hannah- Lei.

They recently purchased and moved into their new home on Waterloo Street near Wellington Street. Most of the homes are two and three story, Victorian
type, built in the 1940's. Beautiful old elm trees line the streets.

We had a great visit and really enjoyed some quality family time, especially with the "little one."

On leaving Winnipeg we flew to Vancouver to start our return journey. Next, a taxi from the airport to the Pan Pacific Hotel at Canada Place for breakfast, then a short walk to the cruise ship terminal to board the Golden Princess for our three day cruise to Long Beach-nonstop!! 

Vancouver harbor is huge. After leaving the dock and passing under Lion's Gate bridge and Stanley Park, it took several hours to reach the open ocean. Once at sea we easily settled into the ship's routine, consisting mostly of cocktails and dining.
I've been playing bingo on these cruises forever and have never won. On the last day of the trip, I convinced John to go with me to bingo. Guess what??? I won! Of course this now means that John has to go with me to bingo for good luck on any cruise for the rest of our lives!!

I've decided to include a photo of our grand daughter, Hannah-Lei at the end of each of our newsletters. Here is the current one and I hope you enjoy watching her grow as much as we do.

That's all for this month. I hope your autumn is going well and I'm looking forward to writing to you next month.

Donna B

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.