Reasons You May Need a Riverside Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury cases can range from minor property damage to wrongful death, and everything in between. Most personal injury cases stem from accidents, but they can also be caused by negligent behavior. If your bodily harm or property damage would not have occurred without the negligence of someone else, you should not have to be responsible for the expenses or hardships you experience.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are many ways that personal injury can occur. If your injury does not match one of these, that does not mean that you do not have a valid case.
- Vehicle collisions
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall, premise liability
- Serious dog bites.
There are countless ways that injuries and property damage can occur. The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to have a consultation with a personal injury attorney in Riverside who knows the intricacies of the law.
Elements of a Valid Personal Injury Claim
There are a handful of elements of your case that must be present in order to file a valid legal claim against a negligent party.
According to California Civil Code 1714, the negligent party must have owed a duty of reasonable care to the injured party. In the case of a vehicle accident, the driver owes all other drivers the duty to drive reasonably and abide by traffic laws. Similarly, a doctor should use reasonable care while performing a medical procedure.
Breach of Duty
Once it is established that a duty was owed, it must be proven that the duty was breached. The breach is the wrongful conduct that caused the damage. A driver who ran a stoplight has breached a duty of care that was owed.
The “but for” rule is a common way to analyze causation. If you can say “but for” the action of the negligent party the injury would not have happened, the cause has been established. The breach of duty must have been the cause of the harm.
Actual damage must have occurred. If you slipped on a wet surface in a store but were not injured at all, the store has nothing to be liable for. There must have been actual damages because of the negligent accident.
Comparative Negligence in California
If you are partially responsible for the accident that caused the injury, you may not be barred from compensation. California follows a comparative negligence system, which means that if you share in the responsibility, your compensation is reduced by the percentage to which you are deemed at fault.
An experienced Riverside injury lawyer can help you gather evidence and conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your injury so that you do not accept more responsibility than you should.
Compensation Available in a Riverside Personal Injury Case
The purpose of taking legal action is to receive fair compensation for the injuries, damage, and suffering you may have incurred. There are multiple types of compensation that may be available.
Economic damages are meant to cover the actual expenses incurred because of the injury. These expenses are usually not overly complicated to calculate because there are often receipts, invoices, and pay stubs that can demonstrate exact numbers or close estimates of dollar amounts. Some of the expenses that may be covered include:
- Medical expenses;
- Physical therapy;
- Ongoing care;
- Lost of current and future wages; and
- Property damage.
It is important to keep all records of costs associated with the injury including those that impact your dependents.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages may be more difficult to calculate. This type of compensation takes into consideration how the result of the negligent behavior impacts your quality of life. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Post-traumatic stress;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium.
Even though you may receive economic compensation for the tangible expenses, no amount of money can ever truly make up for mental trauma. But non-economic damages are the closest remedy available.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for “willful and wanton negligence,” which means that they knew what they were doing. These damages are not requested, but instead may be awarded by the court after the verdict.
Some examples of situations where punitive damages may be awarded include when a driver caused an accident when driving under the influence, or a company produced a product that they reasonably knew could cause injury.
How Can a Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
There are several reasons to seek counsel from an experienced Riverside injury attorney, even if you do not litigate. Many personal injury cases start with an insurance claim. Insurance companies generally do their best to offer the lowest settlement possible and you should never settle for less than what you deserve.
A Riverside personal injury lawyer can help determine fair compensation for your injuries so that you don’t get taken advantage of. They can also negotiate on your behalf.
And keep in mind that there is a limitation on how long you have to file a personal injury case. California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 states that you only have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you do not file before that deadline, you may be barred from legal remedies.
The team at Saeedian Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and options. It is important to realize what your case is worth so you can get what you deserve and get back to life. Saeedian Law Group takes personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you will not be responsible for legal fees unless we win your case. Schedule your free case consultation to start moving forward.