California Personal Injury AttorneyPersonal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind, or emotions caused by the carelessness of another. All of our personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fees until we win. Contact PARRIS injury lawyers for a free injury case evaluation today. Free Consultation
Personal injury law is a branch of law that covers any physical or mental harm caused to an individual due to the negligence of another. This includes cases such as car and workplace accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, assault, battery, and product liability claims.
Examples of personal injury cases include situations where victims have been injured due to dangerous products not being adequately tested by the manufacturer, medical malpractice resulting in injury or death due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, or even intentional violence causing physical harm. In each case, victims are often entitled to receive financial compensation for their losses through personal injury lawsuits.
Common Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries can occur in almost limitless ways, causing physical or psychological harm. These are the most common:
Automobile accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages due to the negligent behavior of a driver. Common injuries include broken bones, cuts and bruises, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and even death.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents occur when someone trips or falls because of something that would have been easily noticed if proper care had been taken by the property owner. These incidents can often result in serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, and even death, depending on the severity of the situation. In order to be successful with these cases, it must be proven that the property owner failed to take proper care of safety hazards on their premises.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide adequate care resulting in injury or death due to negligence or poor judgment on their part. Common examples include misdiagnosis or errors during surgery, which can result in permanent disability or death, as well as financial distress due to skyrocketing medical bills. These are often highly complex cases requiring the assistance of medical experts.
Product liability lawsuits involve products that cause harm due to improper design or manufacturing defects resulting in an injury to the user. This can also extend to issues such as the failure of a product’s warning system leading to an accident resulting in harm. In these cases, it must be determined whether fault lies with either a manufacturer’s design error or lack of safety features included in the production process before any claim can be established successfully under product liability law.
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies prematurely due to negligence resulting from a workplace hazard or accident caused by another person’s careless behavior, including car accidents caused by reckless driving behaviors like drunkenness, medical malpractice, and intentional acts such as murder. The surviving family members can file suit against the responsible party seeking compensation for damages suffered due to loss of income from the deceased victim, plus grief counseling costs, among other expenses associated with funeral arrangements and medical bills.
The Legal Process
While each personal injury claim is unique, the legal process follows a fairly structured path. Here’s what you can expect.
Consultation with an Attorney
The first step in any personal injury case is usually to consult with a lawyer who practices this type of law. During this consultation, it is important for you to provide all the facts surrounding the accident or injury, even if you think they aren’t helpful. Be prepared to give detailed information about your injuries and any medical bills incurred, as well as physical evidence like photos or police reports. This will help the lawyer gain insight into the situation and determine if they can help build a successful case on your behalf.
Investigation and Gathering of Evidence
Once an attorney has been retained, they will begin gathering the evidence needed to support your case against the person responsible for your harm. This may include contacting witnesses, collecting medical records, speaking with experts, obtaining surveillance footage, and reviewing police reports. All these efforts play a vital role in proving negligence, a critical factor in holding someone responsible for your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit
Once enough evidence has been gathered, it is time for the attorney to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages suffered. This might include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among others. In California, filing suit must occur within two years of when harm was suffered.
Settlement Negotiations or Trial
Your lawyer will engage in settlement negotiations throughout this entire process, working diligently to settle your case for a fair and reasonable amount. However, settlement negotiations aren’t always successful.
If negotiations fail, then it is likely that trial proceedings will be necessary before any resolution. During trial, both sides are given an opportunity to present evidence supporting their arguments before any judgment is made regarding your compensation.
In personal injury cases, victims are entitled to monetary compensation for the harm they have suffered as a result of another’s negligence or intentional acts. These damages can be classified into two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the financial losses suffered due to an incident, such as medical expenses, lost wages from work, property damage, and any other expenses directly caused by the incident in question. Getting economic damages is not automatic. You’ll need to keep every receipt and documentation to show the extent of your financial loss related to your accident.
Non-economic damages refer to suffering experienced on an emotional or physical level due to someone else’s actions, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), and mental anguish. Unlike economic damages, however, these non-economic types of awards are unlimited under most jurisdictions meaning that courts have discretion when determining the final ruling on the amount awarded at the end of case proceedings. Like economic damages, these are not automatic. It can be more difficult to provide evidence of non-economic damages since there aren’t receipts or documents you can turn to, making these damages much more subjective.
Calculating the exact amount of compensation that may be awarded is highly dependent upon specific circumstances surrounding your accident and injury. Economic damages are easier to calculate by simply adding all the expenses you’ve paid out of pocket and any lost income because of your injuries. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate and can vary greatly, depending on the extent of your injuries. For example, if you suffer a permanent disability, you may qualify for larger awards than if no impairment were present.
Choosing an Attorney
When it comes to seeking justice through the legal system in personal injury cases, having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Finding the right lawyer is not always easy, so here are some tips on what to look for in order to choose a strong candidate that will represent you effectively in settlement negotiations and in court.
Qualifications to Look For
The first step to choosing a personal injury attorney for your case is finding someone with past experience in personal injury law. There are many attorneys without extensive knowledge of California’s personal injury laws and how to navigate the system effectively. This means you need to look at their experience with personal injury cases, especially those similar to yours. If you were injured through medical malpractice, does the lawyer have experience with medical malpractice, or do they only do car accidents? Also, look for any education or certifications they may have related to this field of law. It is important to make sure that the lawyer specializes in cases similar to yours so that you know they are familiar and comfortable with whatever issue that may arise during proceedings.
Before hiring an attorney, it is essential to inquire about their trial experience as well as past cases that relate directly or indirectly to your own. An experienced trial lawyer can help prepare and present evidence effectively, if necessary, while also being familiar with courtroom procedures. While the majority of personal injury cases settle out of court, sometimes trial is necessary. If you don’t have a lawyer with trial experience, you may need to make a change in the middle of your case, delaying the outcome and your potential payout.
Teaching Other Trial Lawyers
Another important factor when considering potential attorneys is whether they have experience teaching other trial lawyers. This indicates a high level of knowledge and understanding of personal injury law, which can prove useful when encountering complex issues. A lawyer that teaches other trial lawyers is often seen as a figurehead in the community, showing their level of reputation and respect.
How to Evaluate an Attorney’s Track Record
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential candidates, it is important to evaluate each one individually based on their track record. While past success is not an indication of future results, proven success can indicate a lawyer’s ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of their clients.
Speak With a Trusted California Personal Injury Attorney
Suffering an injury is a traumatic experience. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone—PARRIS is here to help. We’ll guide you through every step of this difficult journey, protecting your rights as we work toward achieving compensation from the negligent party. Get the help you need and contact PARRIS today to speak with an experienced California personal injury attorney. You have rights, and we can help you protect them.
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind, or emotions caused by another. It covers an expansive array of case types.