Being injured because of another party’s negligence, intentional acts, or other torts may result in damages.
You can recover compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, what do you need to know about personal injury cases in California?
We understand you have many questions about these cases. Below are answers to personal injury FAQs that you might find helpful when considering hiring a personal injury attorney in Vista, CA.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims in California
A Vista personal injury lawyer will work diligently on your behalf. They’ll listen to what happened to you, explain your legal options, and answer your questions.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions people ask about injury and accident cases.
What Is a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are claims against another party for damages caused by that party’s actions. Negligence is the basis for most personal injury cases. However, some cases might be based on strict liability or intentional wrongdoing.
Recovering compensation for a personal injury case based on negligence requires that you have evidence proving:
- Duty – The other party owed you a duty of care to act with reasonable caution given the situation
- Breach of Duty – The other party breached the duty of care by failing to act with the level of care of a reasonable person
- Causation – The breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of your injury
- Damages – You sustained damages because of the party’s breach of duty
The best way to know whether you have a personal injury case is to talk with experienced accident attorneys. An injury lawyer will evaluate your case to determine what causes of action could help you recover compensation for your injuries and other damages.
What Types of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Personal injury lawyers handle many different types of cases.
Common personal injury claims include situations involving:
- Wrongful death
- Car accidents
- Premises liability claims
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability claims
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workers’ compensation
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
We have extensive experience handling numerous types of personal injury cases. Our legal team understands the California laws governing personal injuries and accidents. Our law firm also has the resources to devote the time to your case that it deserves.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of a personal injury case depends on the damages you sustain and many other factors.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Generally, injured victims can recover compensation for their financial losses.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Personal care
- Loss of income and benefits
- Household services
- Diminished earning capacity
- In-home and long-term nursing care
Victims may also recover compensation for their non-economic damages, including:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
- Decrease in quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
A victim might also receive punitive damages. However, you must prove that the defendant’s conduct meets the requirements for these damages. Punitive damages “punish” the defendant for egregious behavior instead of compensating the victim for losses.
What Other Factors May Affect the Value of My Claim?
The value of your personal injury claim depends on many factors.
Factors that could affect how much money you receive for an injury claim include, but are not limited to:
- The severity and type of injuries
- Your actions and statements following the injury or accident
- Whether you sustained permanent injuries
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The parties involved in the case
- The strength of the evidence proving liability
- The willingness of the parties to negotiate a fair settlement
An insurance company consistently undervalues damages. The insurance adjuster is not a reliable source of legal advice or information about the value of your case. Before agreeing to a settlement amount, it is always best to consult an attorney.
Experienced personal injury attorneys understand the evidence necessary to prove causation and fault to establish liability. They also understand how to maximize damages to increase the amount you receive for a personal injury case.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Vista, California?
Most law firms represent injured victims on a contingency fee basis. With a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer only receives attorneys’ fees if they win your case. If the attorney does not recover money for your claim, you do not owe the attorney any legal fees.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Case?
Hiring a personal injury attorney means having someone on your side who has your best interest as their top priority. Each personal injury case is unique.
However, common steps a lawyer takes when handling an injury case include:
- Conducting a comprehensive investigation into the cause of your injury
- Gathering and preserving evidence proving fault and liability
- Identifying all parties who could be responsible for your damages
- Working with you and your physicians to document your injuries and damages
- Reviewing insurance coverage, filing insurance claims, and handling all matters with the insurance companies
- Calculating the correct value of your damages and fighting to get you that amount
- Working with expert witnesses as necessary, including medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and financial professionals
- Monitoring deadlines for filing claims and lawsuits
- Negotiating a fair settlement for your personal injury claim
- Preparing and filing a lawsuit and advocating for you in court, if necessary
Hiring a personal injury lawyer evens the playing field between you and the other party. Insurance companies and defense lawyers have endless resources to fight personal injury claims. You need a legal team on your side who fights to protect your best interests.
Deadlines for Filing Personal Injury Cases in California
The California statutes of limitations set deadlines for filing personal injury cases. Most personal injury lawsuits have a two-year filing deadline from the injury date (or the date of death for a wrongful death claim).
However, there are exceptions to the general statute of limitations.
For example, claims against government entities must be filed within six months (in some cases, one year) from the date of injury. Failing to file the proper notice with the correct government agency could cause you to lose your right to sue the government for an injury.
Medical malpractice claims must be filed within one of the following periods, whichever occurs first:
- One year after you discover the injury or reasonably should have known about the injury; or,
- Three years from the date of the malpractice.
There could be other exceptions to the statute of limitations that apply in your case. The best way to protect your right to pursue a legal claim against the party who injured you is to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Call a Vista Personal Injury Attorney For a Free Consultation
After an accident or other personal injury, you deserve to be compensated for the monetary losses, pain, and suffering caused by an injury or accident. Our legal team will fight to get you the maximum compensation for your personal injury claim. Contact our office at (619) 344-0360 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Vista personal injury lawyer.