Personal Injury Lawyer
Traumatic injuries can cause a long list of hardships, including physical pain, emotional distress, and significant financial losses. When someone suffers a personal injury due to an accident, negligence, or an intentional act, he or she might be offered a settlement by the responsible party’s insurance company. However, insurance companies frequently attempt to underpay legitimate injury claims. To ensure a settlement is fair and covers all of a victim’s losses, it might be necessary to seek the assistance of an Orange County personal injury attorney.
An attorney could help victims navigate California’s complex legal system and fight for the justice they deserve.
What Are Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury law covers any event in which someone suffers harm as the result of another party’s wrongful actions, whether they are accidental, negligent, or intentional. Any harmful incident has the potential to end up in court, but a few common injury types make up the majority of personal injury claims. These include:
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents are responsible for most personal injury claims filed in the United States. Studies have shown that up to 94% of all traffic accidents are caused by human error. When these driving errors cause injuries, they often result in personal injury claims.
Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims are also very common in personal injury law. Property owners are legally required to maintain a reasonably safe environment for visitors. When an owner’s negligence causes someone to suffer an injury, such as a slip and fall injury, the victim might have grounds to file a personal injury claim.
Medical Malpractice Claims
Studies show that medical mistakes are a leading cause of injury and death for Americans every year. Common examples of medical mistakes include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication mistakes, and surgical errors. A personal injury claim might be warranted whenever a doctor, nurse, or health care professional fails to provide the standard of care.
Dog Bite Claims
In California, dog owners are strictly liable for any dog bites that occur. This means an owner can be held responsible if the dog has never bitten or shown aggression toward anyone in the past. Individuals who have been injured by a dog bite might benefit from contacting an attorney as soon as possible.
Defective Product Claims
Manufacturers are legally required to provide safe products to consumers. If someone is injured while using a product as intended, the manufacturer could be held legally liable for designing, manufacturing, distributing, or selling a defective product. The manufacturer could also be found responsible for any injuries a consumer suffers while using a product in a reasonably foreseeable way.
Assault and Battery Claims
Assault and battery cases often end up in criminal court, but the victim of an intentional attack also has the right to pursue financial compensation in civil court. For example, the perpetrator in a bar fight might be arrested and charged with criminal offenses. However, the victim can also file a civil personal injury claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other losses resulting from the attack.
Claims Involving Severe or Long-Term Injuries
Victims who suffer severe or long-term injuries can face devastating financial losses, including medical bills and lost wages. In addition, those who suffer disfiguring injuries can experience significant emotional distress and mental anguish. A personal injury lawyer could fight for a victim’s rights and push for a settlement that covers the totality of his or her losses, both now and in the future.
What Is Involved In A Personal Injury Case?
All personal injury claims have three necessary steps:
For a personal injury claim to have merit, victims must be able to prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that the defendant breached said duty of care through negligence or intentional action and that the defendant’s actions played a significant role in the resulting harm.
Meeting the Statute of Limitations
Victims must also file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. If a claim is not filed within the legally required time frame, the victim can no longer pursue legal action. In California, injured individuals must file a personal injury claim within two years of the date they were injured, or within one year of the date, they discovered their injury. Victims must take legal action within six months to one year if the claim is being filed against a California city, county, or state government agency.
A personal injury claim is typically resolved in one of two ways. The first way involves the plaintiff filing a formal lawsuit against the defendant in civil court and letting a judge or jury decide the outcome. The second way involves negotiating an informal settlement that outlines an agreeable monetary amount paid in exchange for both parties dropping their legal claims. Most personal injury claims are handled informally with the help of attorneys. However, some claims are settled through mediation or arbitration, which is the middle ground between a formal lawsuit and an informal settlement.
Possible damages covered by a personal injury settlement include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation costs
- Current and future income losses
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Should You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
Orange County residents who have suffered injuries caused by another party might find it helpful to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer could carefully assess a victim’s case and determine if it requires legal action. Legal counsel could also help gather critical evidence supporting a victim’s claim and ensure that the lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires. If a victim has already been denied an insurance settlement or offered a low settlement amount, a lawyer might be able to appeal the decision and negotiate a full and fair monetary agreement.
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