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An injury of any type can have serious impacts on a victim’s life and wellbeing, and a serious injury after an accident can have wide-ranging consequences that can continue to create problems for a victim for years to come. In some instances, someone may be injured in an accident that is someone else’s fault, which means that they have the right to seek compensation in the form of a personal injury claim against the responsible party or their representative insurance company.
Getting into an accident or otherwise being injured in a situation that is covered by an insurance policy is very helpful because you can be certain that there are funds available for you, but there are still a variety of issues that you will need to deal with to ensure that you get the money you rightfully deserve.
Working with an insurance company seems to be a fairly straightforward, simple process, which is exactly what the insurance company would like for you to believe so that you do not feel compelled to hire an attorney. The reality of the situation is that the insurance company is working aggressively on their end to limit the amount that they ultimately offer you for a settlement.
When you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you will need to additionally waive your rights to any future legal actions relating to this specific accident, meaning that if any additional issues were to arise, you have no recourse.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, whether you are working with an insurance company or directly with the party responsible for your injuries, you can be confident that you have the right legal representation to maximize your chances of a good outcome. The team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC has a history of success representing victims of personal injuries for a variety of injuries and has helped out clients get settlements that fairly compensate them for the unfortunate injuries that someone else’s actions caused. Read more below to learn about how a personal injury case in San Diego works, and contact us now for a free initial consultation about your own situation.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
In purely legal terms, a personal injury is one that a person suffers to their mind, body, or emotions. When these types of injuries are the result of someone else’s actions (or inactions), then the victim may have legal recourse for seeking compensation. Typically this begins by filing an insurance claim, at which point the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to the case who will research the claim over the course of days or weeks before returning to the victim with an initial offer for a settlement amount. During the claims investigation, the victim may need to submit a series of statements about their accident, undergo an independent medical examination, and generally provide any information that the insurance company requests.
Working With an Attorney During a Personal Injury Claim
When you have legal representation during your claim, you will be able to use your lawyer’s experience and advice to proceed with the claims investigation in a way that will not impede your work as you initiate negotiations and attempt to get the money that you truly deserve. Even simple statements that you take to be completely innocuous can come back to haunt you during negotiations or a trial, including things as simple as apologizing to the responsible driver after a car accident (which can and will be construed as an admission of guilt or as you taking partial responsibility, whether or not you intended to.
Your lawyer will be able to handle all paperwork, provide any requested information, advise you on how to handle the medical investigation, and more, all while doing their own research into your accident and determining how much they believe that you deserve. You will likely be shocked at the difference between the amount your attorney has calculated as the damages you deserve when compared to the initial offer the insurance company will make for you.
Calculating and Negotiating Damages
According to a 2005 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistic, using a sample of 26,948 civil trials, “plaintiffs won in more than half (56%) of all general civil trials concluded in state courts. Among all plaintiff winners, the median final award was $28,000. Approximately 4% of all plaintiff winners won $1,000,000 or more. Contract cases, in general, had higher median awards ($35,000) than tort cases ($24,000).”
To properly negotiate a settlement amount before needing to go to court (upwards of 95% of car accident claims are settled out of court), your attorney will need to spend a significant amount of time gathering all relevant information and documentation about the accident and the impact that your injuries have had (and will continue to have) on your life. This is one reason why hiring an attorney before filing an insurance claim is important since it will give them more time to research the situation before needing to start negotiations. Compensatory damages (the damages that a victim seeks after a personal injury) are divided into two distinct categories:
Economic damages are the “backbone” of a personal injury case and make up the total of the measurable financial impacts of an accident and the injuries. They include all expenses related to the injury, including all medical care, ambulance bills, hospital stays, copayments, prescription costs, and anything else related to the treatment of the injuries. If the victim is required to pay for services that they historically performed for themselves, such as grocery shopping, laundry, or driving, these costs can also be included in these calculations.
In addition, they include any income-based effects of the injury such as missed work and lost income, impacts on earning capacity, and the possibility of long-term disability after a permanent injury. In certain instances, economic damages may also include job training if the victim is unable to return to their former career.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because of their abstract nature and how subjective they can be. They include things like the actual pain and suffering that a victim must endure following an injury, as well as any of the trauma of the accident or other emotional impacts that they must deal with after this upsetting experience. Since they are harder to calculate, an insurance company or defendant is more likely to push back on these damages, but that does not make them any less important.
There are a variety of methods that an attorney may use to calculate these damages. The method they use will depend on many different factors, but the ultimate goal is to maximize the amount of money that you receive for your non-economic damages and getting you what you truly deserve. One common way is by using a multiplier, a number used to indicate the severity of the cumulative non-economic damages. You and your attorney will choose a number along a scale to indicate the severity, and then multiply your economic damages by this number. For example, a multiplier of 2 and economic damages of $50,000 will result in non-economic damages of $100,000.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in San Diego
The basis of a personal injury case requires that a few standard factors are present
- The defendant had a duty to act in a certain way to keep those around them safe from harm
- The defendant failed this duty and caused an accident
- The accident resulted in measurable injuries
As you can imagine, there is a very wide range of instances that could meet these basic criteria and qualify for a personal injury case. However, some situations are more common than others. The following are just a few common personal injury cases in San Diego.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were a total of 20,648 traffic-related deaths and injuries in San Diego County in 2017, which ranks San Diego County as 28/58 for these statistics. Of these accidents, over 2,000 involved alcohol, and over 5,000 were speed-related. This is a clear indication that traffic rules, such as adhering to the legal BAC (blood alcohol concentration) and speed limits are a great way to reduce the danger to all those on the road. Over 1800 of these injuries and deaths involved motorcycles and over 1200 involved pedestrians.
When you are hurt in a car accident that someone else causes, you will likely need to deal with the insurance company to complete your claim. As mentioned above, an insurance company will focus primarily on limiting the amount of money paid for any given claim, meaning that the offer you receive is what the insurance company would like to pay, not the amount that you rightfully deserve.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that results from a medical professional failing in their duty of care to keep a patient safe from avoidable harm. This could be something as simple as a prescription error leading to bad drug interaction, or something as serious as a surgical error or mix-up. Regardless of the specifics, the central issue in a medical malpractice case is that the medical professional or medical organization failed to take the appropriate steps to minimize harm to their patient.
This does not mean that the surviving family members can seek compensation from a doctor after losing a loved one after a battle with cancer, but in an instance where a doctor misdiagnoses a disease and this error causes damages, then the victim or surviving family has legal recourse. California limits medical malpractice suits to a $500,000 damage cap for non-economic damages, although there is no damage cap for economic damages in these cases.
When you purchase a product that has inherent risks associated with using it, you can reasonably expect that the company discloses these risks and provides you with clear instructions on how to safely use the item. In many cases, you assume liability for any possible injuries resulting from normal use of the item, meaning that if you were to cut your hand while using a knife that this is a user error, and the knife manufacturer, distributor, or seller has no liability for your injuries. However, there are other instances where there was a failure somewhere along the supply chain that led to you being injured in a way that should have been avoided if proper steps were taken.
Getting into a car accident while you are texting and driving has nothing to do with the manufacturer, but getting into an accident because of a mechanical failure that the manufacturer, dealer, or someone else is responsible for means that they are also responsible for your injuries and damages. There are several parties involved in the product supply chain, so determining who is responsible (in some cases there are multiple responsible parties) is an important first step towards getting the damages you deserve. Working with a personal injury lawyer from the start is the best way to get started on this process the right way.
Why Choose Injury Trial Lawyers, APC For Your Personal Injury Case
Choosing the right legal representation for your case is an important step in getting the money that you deserve for a personal injury. The award-winning team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC has a long history of success representing a wide range of injuries, starting with filing an insurance claim and all the way through to the ruling at a trial. In many instances, a personal injury lawyer will need to hand a case over to a trial lawyer, since trials are so rare and specific; luckily, when you are working with Injury Trial Lawyers, APC you will not need to worry about this transition.
To get a specific and detailed idea of how our firm can help you with your case, contact us now for your free initial consultation. This consultation is the best way for you to understand the type of help we can offer you, and help you understand that there is a clear path forward towards justice and a fair financial award.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
When you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, you are taking one of the best possible steps towards getting the amount of money that you rightfully deserve for your injuries. As indicated in a previous section, your attorney will be able to step in from the moment that you decide to file a claim with an insurance company or file a complaint in the California courts against a defendant and will be available to provide you with advice and their legal expertise every step of the way.
When you are seeking any amount of money from any type of defendant in a personal injury case, you can be certain that their primary goal will be to limit the amount of money they pay for your injuries. You can be certain that there will be lawyers working against you to make this happen, meaning that it is essential that you have your own lawyer to represent your best interests.
In addition to the legal expertise and guidance a San Diego personal injury attorney will provide, they will also be able to take on a significant amount of work that would otherwise cause great stress for you. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, you must avoid as much stress as possible to maximize your physical recovery, and an attorney is a great way to help with this important step.
Getting You The Compensation You Deserve
Filing a lawsuit can allow you to get money from the person who hurt you. Compensation will include economic and non-economic damages.
An injury can cause serious financial stress. Economic damages help to make up for the costs of your accident. Awards can help to offset out-of-pocket expenses and future bills.
There are limits to awards of economic damages. Our attorneys will make sure that you get every penny you deserve.
Economic damages include:
- Medical Bills
- Nursing Care
- Property Damage
- Lost Income
Some injuries won’t have a direct financial cost. These injuries can still cause a lot of harm. Non-economic damages can help you with the physical and emotional pain of your accident.
Our attorneys will identify which damages you should be able to get. We will work with experts to determine what your case is worth. Call us today to schedule your free case assessment.
Non-Economic damages include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
Helping Accident Victims Across San Diego Country
Our attorneys have over two decades of experience helping accident victims. We handle all complex personal injury cases.
Slip And Fall
Wrongful Death Claims
Car accidents can do a lot of damage. They can result in severe injuries and financial stress. After your accident, it can be difficult to get the money you deserve. Insurance companies know how to minimize your compensation. Some will try to shift the blame to you. Others will trick you into accepting a lowball offer.
Our attorneys know how to deal with tricky insurance companies. We will fight to make sure that they do not deny you the money you deserve. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you secure the money you need after a car accident.
San Diego Car Accident Statistics | Amputations | Catastrophic Injury | Chest Injuries | Crushing Injuries | Whiplash Injuries
Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of suffering a fatal or catastrophic injury in an accident. These injuries can leave you suffering from chronic pain and may require lifelong medical care. Serious crashes can even result in a permanent disability. Our attorneys know how these complex cases need to be handled. The team will work tirelessly to get you the money you deserve.
Our team takes an aggressive approach to motorcycle accident cases. We pinpoint every possible cause of your accident and pursue money from anyone who may have caused you harm. This strategy allows us to maximize the financial award you receive. Contact us for a free consultation with our legal team.
Dog bite injuries can inflict pain and suffering that can stay with you for life. The emotional trauma of the attack can be as devastating as the physical wounds. While money will not take this pain away, it can help you cope with your injury.
Dog owners are liable for the harm caused by a dog bite. This applies even if they didn’t know their dog was dangerous. However, owners may try to argue that you provoked the dog in some way. Their insurance companies may even try to undervalue your injuries. As your attorneys, we will not allow these tactics to be successful. Our approach to your dog bite case will force the dog’s owner to accept responsibility. We will fight to get you the money you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free San Diego dog bite case assessment. Read More
Slip And Fall
As a guest on someone else’s property, you have a right to be safe. Property owners even have a legal obligation to keep the property safe. Unfortunately, some owners fail to maintain the property. Ignoring building codes or failing to hire competent staff can increase the odds of you suffering a slip and fall. If you are harmed while you are on someone else’s property, our attorneys can help you demand the money you deserve
Insurance companies will make it difficult for you to get the money you need. In fact, some may even try to shift all or some of the blame to you. This can jeopardize your ability to recover compensation. Our attorneys know how to approach these cases and gather the evidence that a successful claim requires. Call us today for help negotiating a favorable settlement after your accident.
Construction Accidents | Elevator Accidents | Negligent Security | Swimming Pool Accident
There are more bicyclists on the road than ever before. As a result, the number of bike accidents has risen significantly in recent years. Many accidents happen because drivers refuse to share the road with cyclists. However, these same drivers will try to pin the blame on the bicyclist to avoid responsibility. A thorough and detailed into the cause and extent of your crash is the best way to combat these attacks.
Our attorneys will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. The money we recover can help to ease the stress caused by your bicycle accident. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Most accidents can result involve an injury to the brain. The severity of these injuries can vary significantly. Some cause temporary memory loss, while others can result in full-blown paralysis. If you suspect that you have suffered a brain injury in an accident it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Our legal teams understand that the effects of a brain injury can be immediate and long-lasting. Determining the extent of your brain injury will be crucial to your legal claim. The future costs of your injury should not be underestimated. We will consult with experts to assess the extent of your injury and project how it may impact you down the line. This information will allow us to maximize the financial award you receive. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you recover compensation for your brain injury.
Brain Stem Injuries
Truck accident lawsuits tend to be more complicated than most other personal injury matters. This is because there are often several parties involved. Drivers, trucking companies, government agencies, and even truck manufacturers could all be on the hook for damages. You need an attorney who knows how to investigate these complex cases. Identifying everyone who contributed to your accident will help to make sure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Call our lawyers to learn more about filing a personal injury claim. We know that a truck accident can have devastating consequences and will fight to get you the money you deserve. Read More
Wrongful Death Claims
Unfortunately, some accidents will claim the life of a victim. This can be devastating to a surviving family member. Wrongful death claims allow you to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one after a fatal accident. The money you get can help to cover medical bills and compensate for a loss of economic support. You can even recover compensation for the emotional trauma you’ve experienced.
It is important to make sure that any damages you request are valued property. Insurance companies will work day and night to undervalue your claim. They will even downplay your loved one’s financial contributions to you and your family. Our attorneys work with experts to project the financial losses you’re likely to encounter in the wake of your unexpected loss. We will fight on your behalf until you’re offered a settlement amount that is reasonable and fair. If the defendant is not willing to negotiate, we will go to court. Call us today to learn more.
When our loved ones age they often become unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes have a legal obligation to ensure a resident’s health and well-being. This probably seems like the best solution. Unfortunately, many homes and in-home care services are cutting corners. They are simply not providing the level of care that our loved ones need. As a result, our elderly family members are often at an increased risk of abuse.
Has your elderly family member has experienced abuse, neglect, or financial attacks in a nursing home? If so, you have the right to take legal action. Our elder abuse attorneys will investigate the abusive conduct by interviewing staff, reviewing agency records, and analyzing your loved one’s medical records. With the help of skilled experts, we can build a case that allows you to recover compensation for your loved one’s harm.
Were you injured in a pedestrian accident? You may have the right to demand compensation from the person who is to blame. This is true even if you contributed to your own accident. Our attorneys will fight to make sure that your role in the accident is minimized and that others are held responsible for their negligent actions.
It will be important to determine every cause of your accident to maximize the compensation you recover. We will pursue compensation from anyone responsible for causing you harm. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Doctors and healthcare professionals spend years learning how to identify, diagnose, and treat medical issues. We trust them to use their expertise to keep up safe when we’re sick or injured. When a doctor or medical professional fails to exercise the degree of care they should, the consequences can be devastating.
Medical malpractice cases can be challenging. Healthcare professionals will challenge any accusations that they acted negligently. At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC we work closely with medical experts to make sure that your case has the evidence and testimonial support it needs to be successful. Our goal is to hold negligent doctors accountable for their actions and get you the money you deserve. If you’ve been injured in San Diego due to medical negligence, call us today to learn more.
On-the-job accidents happen every day in San Diego. While anyone can be injured at work, employees working in certain industries, including construction and manufacturing, are most likely to be involved in a workplace accident. When you are injured on the job you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important to speak with an attorney to understand your legal options.
Our attorneys will review your case and determine whether you should request workers’ compensation benefits, file a personal injury lawsuit, or both. In most cases, collecting workers’ compensation will waive your right to sue your employer. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit against a negligent third party. We can help you maximize your recovery by identifying every possible avenue for financial recovery. Call us today to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a legitimate personal injury lawsuit in San Diego?
There are many different factors that we will need to consider when determining whether or not you have a legitimate lawsuit. Most importantly, we will need to establish that the other party acted negligently, maliciously, or otherwise failed in their duty to keep you safe in the situation that led to the accident. Once we can prove that the other party had an obligation to keep you safe (whether this is by driving safely, making sound medical decisions, keeping a public walkway clear of obstruction, etc.) and they failed, we will then set out calculating the actual damages that you have suffered.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
There is no simple and exact formula for determining how much a personal injury case is worth without exploring a wide range of factors that go beyond the facts of the accident. Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation for costs like medical bills, but it additionally seeks payment for lost wages and other income-based damages, meaning that they are specific to the victim.
In addition to these economic damages, these lawsuits will additionally consider the non-economic impacts that the situation has had on the victim, such as the actual pain and the suffering that they have had to endure since the accident. These are called “non-economic” damages, and they may be a major point of contention between your attorney and the party responsible for your injuries, but they are extremely important.
Will I be awarded punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages?
A victim and their attorney can not request punitive damages in a lawsuit, meaning that you will not factor these possible awards into the amount that you are seeking. Punitive damages are awarded in personal injury lawsuits in San Diego when the actions of the responsible party are particularly egregious or irresponsible and serve to punish them for their actions. In cases where the defendant is a major corporation or party with significant financial assets, punitive damages may be awarded as a way to ensure that the costs actually feel restrictive.
Filing A Timely Personal Injury Law suit In San Diego
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you can after an accident. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages. The state imposes a strict statute of limitations on all personal injury matters.
In most situations, you will have two years from the date of your accident to file your legal claim. If you do not file a timely claim you will not be able to get the money you deserve. You can make sure that your claim is filed on time by our attorneys right after your accident. Call us today to get started on your personal injury case.