If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness or misconduct, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the person or entities responsible for your injury. A personal injury lawsuit can recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages related to your injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer will advocate on your behalf and ensure your rights are protected, so you obtain the financial compensation you’re entitled to.
Types of Personal Injuries
There are many personal injuries that can result in a lawsuit being filed. Among them:
- Fatal injuries: including wrongful deaths in which a loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct;
- Traumatic brain injuries/spinal cord injuries: including concussions, herniated discs, spinal fractures and other back, neck, or head injuries;
- Soft-tissue injuries: including sprains, strains, and other conditions that result in damages and harm; and
- Foot, ankle and knee injuries: including sprains, strains, contusions, Achilles tendon issues and injuries resulting from crush accidents.
Other serious injuries include burns, vision loss, and disfigurement.
When is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?
Catastrophic personal injuries refer to injuries that are permanent and/or will require ongoing treatment. Examples of catastrophic injuries include third-degree burns, paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries. Serious injuries include those that require treatment or surgery but that the patient can recover from. This can include a broken bone, first- or second-degree burns, or concussion.
Personal Injury Causes
There are many circumstances that can cause a person to suffer a personal injury. These include vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall cases, defective products that malfunction, medical malpractice, birth injuries, and failure to provide safe premises.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In situations where another party is found legally responsible for a personal injury, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed against that party for economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, the lawsuit will go to trial but in many cases, a settlement can be achieved without going to court.
What are Economic and Non-Economic Damages?
Economic damages include loss of current wages, loss of future earnings, past and future medical expenses, the cost to repair or replace items, out-of-pocket expenses, and anything else that has a verifiable monetary amount attached to it. There is no financial limit to the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover, provided the plaintiff can show the economic damages are reasonable.
Non-economic damages are those that do not have a monetary amount but still affect the victim’s quality of life and are the result of the personal injury. These include emotional distress, pain, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. Under California law, personal injury plaintiffs are subject to a maximum amount regarding non-economic damages they can be awarded. That amount is based on the amount of economic damages they received.
What Factors Determine How Much a PI Case is Worth?
There are many factors that go into determining the value of a personal injury claim. Among the factors that are considered are:
- How severe the injuries are
- How much your current and future treatments will cost
- How much income you will lose from missing work
- How much money people with similar injuries from similar accidents have received in their lawsuits
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
The length of a personal injury lawsuit depends on a variety of factors including the severity of the injuries, how many defendants are involved, and whether insurance will cover the damages. For fairly simple claims with minor injuries, a PI case will be resolved more quickly. In situations where there are disputes over who is at fault in the case and where the victim has suffered extensive injuries, the claim can take a lot longer.
What is Negligence?
One of the main claims made in a Sacramento personal injury lawsuit is that the responsible entity was negligent in causing or allowing the victim’s injury to occur. A claim of negligence has four main requirements to be successful:
- That the defendant had a legal duty to the victim
- That the defendant failed to carry out that duty
- That the failure to carry out the duty caused the personal injury and
- That the personal injury caused harm to the victim
Pure Comparative Negligence
California follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which means that even if you are found partially responsible for your personal injury you are still eligible to recover financial damages linked to your injury. The amount you receive will be deducted from the amount of responsibility given to you. If your damages equal $100,000 and you are found 10 percent responsible for your injury, you will receive $90,000.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In most situations, the statute of limitations in PI lawsuits is two years from the date of the injury. In cases where the plaintiff did not learn about the harm until well after it happened, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the plaintiff either knew or should reasonably have known about the injury.
How Did the Injury Occur?
Among the most important issues to determine in a PI claim is how the injury occurred and who is responsible for the damage. There are many cases that could involve multiple responsible parties, making it vital that all possibilities are explored. Our firm has represented clients who have been injured in many different circumstances, such as:
- Injuries that occurred on another person’s property (construction sites, theme parks, and such)
- Injuries that occurred in an automobile, bike, or pedestrian accident
- Injuries that occurred while under a professional’s care
- Injuries that occurred in a nursing home or assisted living facility
- Injuries that occurred at the hands of law enforcement
Contacting an experienced PI lawyer as soon as possible following the incident is the best way of ensuring your rights are properly protected. Once our lawyers in Sacramento or Oakland understand what caused your accident, we can begin preparing your personal injury claim.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
We are a contingency firm, meaning we are only paid if you successfully recover damages, either in a settlement or in an award. You are not charged any upfront fees and we are only paid if you obtain a monetary recovery.
Personal Injury Attorneys
A personal injury lawsuit can be complex and involve collecting detailed records and arranging for expert testimony. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with the best chances of success in your lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney will:
- Speak with witnesses
- Ensure evidence isn’t compromised
- Comply with all deadlines regarding paperwork and filings
- Obtain all necessary medical records
- Arrange for expert testimony
- Determine who is responsible for the personal injury
Depending on the nature of the accident, there could be a variety of people or entities responsible for your personal injury.
Sacramento and Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s recklessness, negligence, or misconduct, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover damages. You need attorneys who are experienced in personal injury law and are compassionate to your situation. The attorneys at Cutter Law P.C. help clients in Sacramento and Oakland who have suffered all types of personal injuries. We are available to explain your legal rights and help you present the best case possible in your personal injury lawsuit.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation or call us toll free at 888-285-3333.
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