Since you’re here, we assume you’re considering contacting a personal injury lawyer in Southern California about a potential claim. If that’s true, there are a few things you should know about our firm:
- We are an innovative law practice, managed by an experienced attorney, Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez.
- The personal injury team is comprised of Samir Sheth, Esq., Julie Lu, Esq., Maggie Ramirez (case manager) and Lisa Perez (case manager). We use a team approach for every single client to ensure that each client receives the highest level of service possible. We genuinely care about our clients and strive to provide the best experience possible.
- Our firm takes most personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay any attorney’s fees, unless we win compensation for you.
- The hardworking attorneys at AR | Legal Team care about you, and we fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your case.
If you’re ready to start a personal injury claim, contact us today. Not ready to talk to one of our attorneys? No problem. We invite you to keep reading to gain a better understanding of what it means to have a personal injury claim in California.
What Is Personal Injury and Do I Have A Case?
Getting into a serious accident can be devastating. If you are severely injured, your life could change overnight. Along with the confusion and worry about your future, you may be wondering what your legal rights are.
As a firm working on behalf of personal injury victims, we know that you likely have a lot of questions.
Personal injury is the area of law that deals with accidents, injuries, and wrongful death. For example, parties injured in motor vehicle accidents often have personal injury claims. Those that slip and fall on another’s property, like a retail business, may also be able to sue for personal injury. Families and loved ones of a deceased personal injury victim might have wrongful death claims.
You might have a case for personal injury if another party’s negligence caused you harm. Read on to find out more.
Why Is It Important to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
At this stage, you may be wondering why it’s necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. After all, in this uncertain time, a lawsuit may be the last thing you want to worry about.
Unfortunately, personal injury lawsuits have been portrayed unfairly in the media. Idle chatter about personal injury lawsuits also tends to be negative. Many people think that personal injury lawsuits are frivolous. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these lawsuits serve many purposes for the victim, their families, and even sometimes the general public.
1. Personal injury lawsuits help compensate the victims.
It may seem like the recovery numbers in personal injury cases are excessively large. But the truth is, most of the recovery from these cases go directly to pay for the victim’s medical expenses. After a severe injury, the medical costs can add up. Sometimes, the victim has health insurance that may cover only part of the costs. Other times, the victim has no health insurance and has no way to pay for their looming medical bills.
Often, personal injury victims are unable to work. The recovery from their lawsuit may help cover lost wages and lost earning potential. A severe accident or injury can be a devastating thing to experience. Personal injury lawsuits can help with some of the emotional pain and suffering.
2. Personal injury lawsuits can prevent others from getting injured.
In case of a public business’ negligence, personal injury lawsuits can help prevent others from getting injured. If a company has repeatedly acted in an unsafe manner or has not protected those coming onto their property from injury, a personal injury lawsuit can help ensure they fix their behavior.
3. Personal injury lawsuits require insurance companies to work as they should.
Much of the time, insurance companies pay the damages in personal injury lawsuits, not the directly responsible party. Many of us forget that this is the precise job of insurance companies. They are designed to pay for accidents and injuries when someone gets hurt. Most insurance companies are big businesses, and they try to pay out as little as possible. A successful personal injury lawsuit can ensure that the victim gets what they need from the insurance company.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be about more than just receiving compensation. But in many cases, the financial recovery is essential for the victim. Along with deterring the wrongdoing company, personal injury lawsuits can also deter other companies from acting in a similar manner.
What Happens in A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit starts at the scene of the accident. It’s vital that you keep as much information to yourself as possible before you speak to an attorney. Don’t admit any fault for the accident or your injury to any party.
You should visit your doctor as soon as possible and as needed. Document all of your doctor’s visits. Keep a record of trips to the hospital, medical procedures, and any ongoing issues with your recovery. These records are important evidence for your claim.
As soon as you can, you’ll want to speak to your attorney. To build a case, your attorney will need documentation of everything. If there is a police report, your attorney will need that. They will also need insurance information. If you have them, you should provide photos and videos of the accident and your injuries to your attorney, as well.
1. Your attorney will gather information.
Your attorney will spend a lot of time gathering facts and evidence. They’ll compile information about the accident from many different sources.
They will probably ask about your personal life and history, such as what you do for work and if you’ve filed personal injury suits before. Your attorney will also ask about prior injuries and prior medical history.
2. Your attorney will make a demand on the other party.
Usually, personal injury lawsuits won’t start with a trial. Your lawyer will first send a demand letter to the other party, asking for compensation. If the other party offers you a satisfactory settlement, this may be the quickest and most efficient way to get the money you need. Your lawyer won’t settle without talking to you, though. You don’t have to take any settlement that you think doesn’t cover your pain, suffering, and expenses.
If your lawyer sends a demand letter to the other party, and they don’t respond satisfactorily, the litigation will begin in earnest.
There will be more fact-gathering, known as discovery, as well as other preparations for trial. If the case does not get settled, it will end up going to a full trial. This is where your attorney will argue before a judge and jury, making the case for the compensation you deserve.
Ideally, and most typically, your case will not go to trial. Trials extend the process significantly, and the hassle and stress can be tiring.
What Damages Are Available in A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In personal injury cases, damages are designed to compensate the victim for what they’ve experienced. There are two basic types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover the expenses the victim faces. Non-economic damages cover the trauma of being in an accident and dealing with the injuries.
Types of Damages Available
- Damages to cover medical bills: Right after the accident, you’ll probably be swamped with medical bills for your immediate injuries.
- Damages to cover future medical bills: If you were significantly injured, you could be looking at a long recovery. Your recovery may include more hospital visits and appointments to see specialists. You may also be facing additional medical and diagnostic tests.
- Damages to cover outpatient and home care: You may have to hire help at home or continue to see doctors as an outpatient.
- Damages to cover the cost of modifying your living space to accommodate your injuries: You may have to alter your home or living space to accommodate new needs in case of serious injury.
- Lost wages: You won’t be able to work immediately after your accident. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be out of work long-term.
- Future lost wages: If your injury puts you in a different position physically than you otherwise would have been, it may impact your future job options and your potential future wages.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover for your pain and suffering. These types of damages are subjective and depend on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.
- Wrongful death compensation filed by the family of a deceased personal injury victim: If a loved one died in an accident due to another party’s negligence, you and your family might be able to recover wrongful death damages.
Punitive damages may be available.
Punitive damages are also sometimes available, but they are rare. These types of damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer, so the court will only award them if the defendant acted particularly poorly. Punitive damages can be awarded if the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. Sometimes the court may award punitive damages for a company, such as a hospital or insurance business, that was intentionally behaving badly. In this case, punitive damages punish the wrongdoer and deter future bad behavior.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in California
In California, generally, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed two (2) years from the date of the accident.
California also has a “delayed discovery rule” that may allow for a longer time to file a personal injury claim in certain circumstances. The delayed discovery rule may apply as follows:
- If the plaintiff did not discover and did not know of facts that would have caused a reasonable person to suspect, that they had suffered harm that was caused by someone’s wrongful conduct; or
- If the plaintiff did not discover, and a reasonable and diligent investigation would not have disclosed, that a harmful situation (like an accident) contributed to the plaintiff’s harm.
In delayed discovery cases, the plaintiff may have up to one year after the injury was or should have been discovered.
Often, in personal injury cases, the delayed discovery rule won’t apply. This is because in the case of serious accidents, the plaintiff will likely know that they are injured. It’s therefore essential to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after your accident.
What Our Clients Say
How Much Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Many people avoid contacting an attorney because they are concerned about the cost of their lawsuit. The truth is, though, a personal injury claim may cost you nothing out-of-pocket.
We take our cases on a contingency fee basis. If you don’t recover anything for your lawsuit, even if we’ve taken it to trial, you don’t owe us anything. Taking cases on a contingency basis allows us to truly help those who need legal services after an accident or injury that was someone else’s fault. We don’t run the clock and bill you for our time—we work tirelessly to achieve results regardless of how long it takes.
Contact us today to begin discussing your personal injury case. We will be happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions you have along the way.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer in California Can Help You
If you or a loved one has experienced an accident which has caused significant injuries, you may not know where to turn. Besides filing a lawsuit, an experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyer in Chino will be on your side throughout the process. We can help deal with the other party and insurance companies on your behalf.
We will also fight aggressively to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you try to deal with the other party and insurance companies on your own, you may not be aware of all the different types of compensation for which you are eligible. Through our years of experience, we can make sure you are getting the maximum compensation available.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact us to discuss your matter. Our team will allow you to concentrate on your recovery and your family while we pursue just compensation for you.
Every year, thousands of people suffer serious, life-altering injuries as a result of another party’s negligence. When this is the case, you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences on your own. Fortunately, the dedicated team at AR | Legal Team understands how to navigate the legal process and is prepared to aggressively fight for you every step of the way.
Contact Us Today
If you’re unsure where to turn after being seriously injured, we can help. We offer consultations to help guide you to what is right for you, even if we don’t go to trial. Contact us today by calling (909) 548-3340 or by sending us a message online.