Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
At Cutter Law, our team of personal injury attorneys has decades of experience representing people who have been hurt because of someone’s reckless or negligent actions. With millions of dollars recovered for our clients, we are confident we can help you, too.
What does a personal injury lawyer do?
Attorneys who represent individuals who have been hurt in an accident are called personal injury lawyers. They work in the area of tort law, which means they can represent you if you were injured accidentally or intentionally.
Their work aims to provide accountability for those who recklessly hurt others. This is done by pursuing financial compensation for their clients.
Types of Cases a Personal Injury Attorney Handles
Accidents can happen anywhere, even in Sacramento. People can be hurt in various ways, so our personal injury lawyers are skilled at handling several types of cases.
Every case has its unique nuances, so hiring an attorney who will give your case the attention it deserves is important. The areas in which a personal injury lawyer practices include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work accidents
- Dog bites
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Sexual assault
- Medical malpractice
Even though every personal injury case is different, they all share one thing in common. They depend on your attorney being able to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s wrong or negligent actions.
Are personal injury accidents common in Sacramento?
Since Sacramento is California’s capital city, there’s no shortage of activity here. With a population of just over a half million people, there is a lot going on at almost any time of day. Add to that the number of tourists who are drawn by the wineries, the coast, and the gorgeous California weather, and problems are bound to pop up.
Various accidents happen all of the time, with the most common being motor vehicle accidents. According to City-Data, there are around 50 fatal car accidents in Sacramento each year. In 2019, 23 of those fatalities involved pedestrians.
According to data available from the City of Sacramento, the most dangerous areas to drive in Sacramento include:
- Marysville Boulevard between Arcade Boulevard and North Avenue
- El Camino Avenue between Steelhead Creek and Del Paso Boulevard
- Broadway/Stockton Boulevard between 13th Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
- Florin Road between Munson Way and 24th Street
The Sacramento personal injury lawyers at Cutter Law are the team to turn to for help if you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident or another incident involving negligence.
Keys to a Successful Personal Injury Case
In order for your personal injury claim to be successful, four elements of negligence must be clearly met. When a personal injury attorney takes on your case, they will be building a strategy around these elements.
Since insurance companies are part of most personal injury cases, their attorneys and adjusters also consider these four negligence elements.
There Was an Expected Duty of Care
As you go about your daily routine, you look out for yourself. It’s also expected that you will look out for others and assume others are looking out for you. An easy example relates to driving a car. All drivers should be looking out for others and paying attention to the road in order to keep themselves and other drivers safe.
The Duty of Care Was Not Upheld
It must be proven that the person at fault in your accident failed in their expected duty. For example, when a driver becomes distracted while trying to locate something in their vehicle, they are not fulfilling their obligation of safe driving. If their failure of this duty causes an accident, the at-fault driver can be held responsible.
The Failure of Duty Caused Your Accident
A personal injury lawyer must be able to create a direct link between the failure to perform an expected duty and their client’s accident and injury. This illustrates how the at-fault individual is responsible for your injuries, as well as any property damage.
The Victim Suffered Legal Damages Because of the Accident
Your attorney will have to show how you suffered physical injury and monetary loss due to your accident.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to put several pieces of information together to give a monetary value to your claim. Then they will communicate that to the defendant with the expectation that you will receive compensation.
What if you are partially responsible for your accident?
Almost every state uses some sort of comparative negligence standard. Comparative negligence laws help people involved in an injury case understand what to do when both parties share partial responsibility.
California uses the pure comparative negligence system to make determinations about liability. Each person who is at fault in an accident will be liable for a portion of the losses. For example, if two people are involved in a car accident, one may be found to be 75% responsible, while the other is only 25% responsible.
In this scenario, the second driver’s award, or damages, would be reduced by 25%. So if there were a total of $50,000 awarded in damages, the amount would be reduced to $37,500. In addition, the second driver would be responsible for 25% of any losses incurred by the first driver.
Important Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim
In any legal action, the case is only as strong as the evidence. That is true of personal injury cases as well. Experienced injury lawyers know what evidence is needed to secure the highest amount of damage compensation. They will also act quickly to preserve evidence that can strengthen your case.
Types of evidence that a personal injury attorney will collect include:
- Police or accident reports that give details about the accident
- Photo or video evidence — if any exists
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists and other similar people
- Medical records
- Hospital and surgery bills
- Information about your prognosis
Collecting and protecting this information can be critical when building a strong personal injury claim for a client. You should provide any documentation you have to your lawyer as quickly as possible when it’s asked for.
Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement
You deserve fair compensation if you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions. To get the best settlement possible, you should:
- Gather evidence such as photos, videos, medical papers, and accident reports
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident
- Work with your attorney to calculate your damages
- Do not accept any settlement offers without talking to your lawyer
- Do not sign any insurance company documents without consulting with your attorney
When you meet with your personal injury attorney, it’s critical to be completely honest about your accident’s details. Provide as much information as you can upfront.
If your attorney asks for any other documentation, try to provide it as quickly as possible. By doing this, you will be doing your part to keep your personal injury case moving forward.
California Personal Injury Claim Statutes of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are laws that specify an amount of time in which legal actions can be initiated. The California personal injury statute of limitations gives two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for most injury claims.
If your personal injury suit is not started within that period, you will likely lose your right to pursue a legal remedy for your losses.
There are exceptions for certain kinds of injury claims. For example, a claim involving medical malpractice must be filed within one year of the discovery of the injury or three years after the medical mistake took place — whichever is first. If your claim involves a public entity like a local or state government, your suit must be filed within six months.
California does include a discovery rule that delays the statute of limitations if there wasn’t a reasonable possibility for the victim to realize they had been hurt. In that case, the statute begins when the victim realizes or should have realized that they had been injured.
Sacramento Settlements and Verdicts
At Cutter Law P.C., we have a long record of successfully representing Oakland injury victims. Below is a representative snapshot of the successful cases our law firm has handled:
Trial attorney Brooks Cutter took a lead role in a nationwide case against Boston Scientific and Guidant following a recall of the manufacturer’s pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators.
Medical malpractice jury verdict on behalf of a young woman who suffered a spinal cord injury after doctors failed to diagnose a tumor on her spine.
$ 2.4 Million
Brooks Cutter and Margot Cutter won a $2.4 million dollar verdict on behalf of the children of a man who died after a staff doctor at a hospital lied and transferred a patient to another hospital that was not equipped to handle the patient.
Attorneys Todd Walburg and Celine Cutter represented a cyclist in Sonoma County, California who suffered a broken jaw and a mild traumatic brain injury after she rode her bike through a large pothole.
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury claims are settled through negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company. If a personal injury lawyer cannot achieve a satisfactory settlement, they may recommend filing a lawsuit to have your claim resolved in court.
There are several steps in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Your lawyer will file your complaint with the court
- The defendant is notified and given time to respond
- Plaintiff and defense attorneys share information during the discovery process
- Sometimes an effort will be made to resolve your case through mediation
- The case is set for trial
- The attorneys will present evidence to a judge or jury who will decide a verdict
The time it takes to settle a personal injury suit varies from case to case. Several factors can influence the length of time it might take to resolve your case.
Although it can be difficult to remain patient — and you may be tempted to accept a quick payout — it’s usually to your advantage to let your attorney handle the process, even if it takes some time.
There may be instances when you cannot wait for a settlement to be achieved over time. One of the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Cutter Law can help you with your unique circumstances.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
The process can seem complicated and overwhelming for people who are not familiar with personal injury claims. Hiring a lawyer can provide you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your case is in the hands of someone who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle it properly.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Understands the Legal Process
There are many documents to process during the personal injury claims process. There are also many deadlines to meet and people to interact with. It can be to your advantage to use the knowledge of an attorney who has years of practice with personal injury claims. Mistakes made in the process can be costly, so why take that risk?
An Injury Attorney Knows How to Estimate the Value of Your Claim
You may be unaware of all of the elements that can affect the value of your personal injury settlement. An experienced lawyer will understand how to quantify these elements to arrive at a fair amount of compensation that will meet the needs of you and your family.
A Lawyer Knows How to Negotiate
Insurance adjusters negotiate for a living. Personal injury lawyers have this skill as well. This means they understand how best to present your case to an insurance company. Allowing a vigorous negotiator to represent you improves your odds of a larger settlement amount.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Represent You in a Trial
Although most personal injury claims do not make it to a trial, it does happen. At Cutter Law, we are not afraid of litigation. This gives us an advantage during negotiations because most insurance companies want to avoid a trial.
Once an insurance company realizes that you have hired an attorney who is more than ready to take your case to court, they might back down and make an offer that is more suitable to your needs.
Why choose Cutter Law?
There are many personal injury law firms in Sacramento. Cutter Law is unique because of our experience in many types of personal injury lawsuits. We treat each of our clients with the care and compassion they deserve. We fight vigorously in each case to protect and defend the rights of injured people.
With millions recovered for our clients, our results speak for themselves. If you live in or around Sacramento and you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you need our experience on your side.
Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you. Remember, the time to file your suit is running out, so don’t delay.
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Our Office Location
401 Watt Avenue Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95864