Before undertaking a personal injury lawsuit, you have to understand the legal definition of such cases. These cases are part of the civil law code. Civil law cases involve the rights of individuals, and they are handled separately from criminal law. Injuries to one’s person clearly fall into this jurisdiction. These claims are designed to help people get compensation after an accident.
In such cases, the plaintiff is the person who is injured, and the defendant is the party who is responsible for the injury. In these situations, the case is brought forward by a California accident attorney to give restitution to the family of the victim.
There are various limitations on personal injury cases. In California and many other states, claims must be filed within two years of the accident. After this point, your case may no longer have legal standing.
Elements of a Successful Case
While your injury may seem to make an obvious case, you still have to meet the right criteria to prove it in court. A California accident attorney can help assess your case properly, but there are several key factors to keep in mind.
First, you must be able to prove that the other party is liable. Liability is a legal concept that defines who is responsible for the injury because in some cases, liability may be partial or whole. In other words, the defendant may only be partially responsible for the injury in order for the claim to be successful. Such as in most cases, the size of the settlement is comparative to the amount of liability that is proven in court.
Next, it is important to consider the burden of proof. The plaintiff must simply prove that the defendant acted negligently. In other words, it must be shown that a reasonable person would have behaved differently in the same situation. To this end, the case will not prove guilt. It merely establishes legal liability as a basis for compensation.
The key principle of these cases is negligence. It is the essence of proving liability, and it is what the burden of proof is all about. Therefore, before undertaking such a case, you need to learn about negligence more thoroughly.
To prove negligence, you must follow a logical process. First, you must show that the other party had a duty of care. Then, you should document that the duty of care was not met. In other words, your damages must be directly related to the other party’s choices, actions and inactions.
Everyone should be making a good effort to avoid accidents. Choices that lead to accidents, even when unintentional, often create negligence. This can cover many situations. For example, it can cover drunk driving, unattended wet floors, defective products, dog bites and more. In all of these situations, measures are taken that increase the likelihood of an accident, which then creates legal negligence.
Realities of Compensation
The goal of a case is to recover compensation. This compensation is granted for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are more straightforward. These damages cover demonstrable monetary losses. This might include medical bills, rehabilitation costs or even lost wages.
However, non-economic damages are harder to pinpoint, but they are often very important to the long-term recovery of the victim. In many cases, these damages are generally referred to as pain and suffering. The value for pain and suffering can vary substantially, and it often relates to how effectively the case of negligence is proven in court.
Types of Cases for a California PI Attorney
This area of the law can be quite vast. There are many life situations that qualify for a legal case. It can be helpful to know the most common scenarios.
One of the most common causes of such lawsuits is a car accident. Car accidents are exceedingly common. They can even involve pedestrians who are hit by a car or bike.
Another area handled by a California PI attorney is medical malpractice. It is disconcerting how common mistakes are among the medical community. The negligence of doctors and other medical professionals is especially egregious because patients are trusting them with their lives. Medical malpractice can include surgical errors, medication mistakes, misdiagnosis and more. It can also cover birthing injuries to a mother or baby. These cases can be hard to prove, but the compensation for victims in these situations is absolutely imperative.
Other cases stem from accidents at the workplace. Most injuries on the job are protected by workers compensation insurance. However, navigating a claim is no easy task. This is why a California accident attorney is so important. An attorney can help you get compensation for temporary disability, permanent disability and more.
Another major area of legal concern is premises liability. Many cases relate to unsafe conditions of someone’s private property, a commercial business or public facilities. The common thread for these claims is that conditions on the property resulted in injury, and those conditions were a result of negligence. This can cover slips, falls, dog bites and more.
Some cases of injury relate to product liability. When products are dangerous or defective, they can cause harm. If the products are not properly labeled or disclaimed, negligence can be proven. Product liability can refer to anything from food to motor vehicles. It can cover furniture, children’s products, medications and more.
In the worst situations, personal injury can lead to death. In cases of wrongful death, family members will bring a case to court on behalf of the victim’s estate. Family members are able to get compensation to cover medical expenses and other bills. Claims can also provide lost wages, and pain and suffering may also be included. In order to win a wrongful death claim, it is important to link the death to the negligence of another party. This often happens in car accidents, construction accidents, nursing home negligence and more.
This list is not exhaustive. It is not the specific injury that is important. Instead, the key to understanding these cases is the context during which the accident occurs. If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Getting Started With Your Case
To get started, you should seek legal representation. An experienced California PI attorney is the best option. These lawyers will know how to prove your case. Be sure to get a lawyer you trust. You want someone who is reputable and honest. In some cases, the lawyer may not suggest pursuing legal action. However, if your case has merit, the lawyer can help you move ahead.
After an injury, your first focus is on recovery. For many people, this time can be very difficult. The last thing you may want to do is think about a legal mess. However, getting legal support can be validating, and it can ensure that you have the funds you need to move ahead with your life.
Next, you will need to be realistic. While the circumstances of your injury seem obvious to you, providing legal context can be trickier. You need to understand the limitations of the law and set your expectations accordingly. You will need to make sure your case has merit, and you need to make sure that you file a claim within the statute of limitations. There are various legal provisions that further impact some cases, and it is imperative to learn the specifics surrounding your case.
When you file your claim, you will typically go through the county where the injury occurred. You may also file where the defendant lives. If your claim is relatively small, then you may use the small claims court process. However, the paperwork and legal burdens are much greater in such cases, recommending a personal injury attorney for your support.
From there, it is up to you and your lawyer to prove your case. It can be emotionally difficult, and you have to be prepared for the realities of court.
Let’s see if you have a case
Our expert lawyers are ready to defend you in your case. Contact us for a FREE evaluation. If you’re injured, we can come to visit you in Los Angeles, Glendale, and even farther across the state, it is important to get the support you need. And remember no win, no fee: you pay us only when we get your settlement.