Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
Q: How much is my personal injury case worth?
A: A case’s worth is based on numerous factors assuming that the liability (fault) issue is straightforward. Those areas include:
Past Medical Bills, Future Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Pain and Suffering
There is no blueprint for determining a case’s value. However, based on our experience with past cases, we can estimate the value of the case once the attorney has gathered all medical records and statements and has an idea if the client’s physical and mental state has improved or worsened from the date of injury.
Q: How much are the attorney fees?
A: We work on a contingency basis. This means that our fee is generated by how much your case ultimately resolves for. There is no fee if we do not recover.
Q: How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may lose your legal right damages for your injury. Typically California has a 2 year statute of limitations, however claims involving medical malpractice are shorter. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.
Q: What should I bring with me for my meeting with a lawyer?
A: You should provide a lawyer with any documents that might be relevant to your case. Police reports, for example, contain eyewitness information and details about the conditions surrounding the event from which your claim arises. Copies of medical reports and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries. Information about the insurer of the person who caused your injury is extremely helpful, as are any photographs you have of the accident scene, damaged property and your injuries. The more information you are able to give your lawyer, the easier it will be for him or her to determine if your claim will be successful. If you haven’t collected any documents at the time of your first meeting, however, don’t worry; your lawyer will be able to obtain them in his investigation of your claim.
Q: What is “negligence?”
A: To be eligible for a personal injury lawsuit, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Q: Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at-fault for my injuries?
A: In California victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. In these cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim may be lessened in accordance with the victim’s degree of negligence.
Q: What if I can’t prove someone’s negligence caused my injury? Is there any other basis for personal injury liability besides negligence?
A: Yes. Some persons or companies may be held “strictly liable” for certain activities that harm others, even if they have not acted negligently or with wrongful intent. Under this theory, a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product, for instance, may recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent. Also, persons or companies engaged in using explosives, storing dangerous substances, or keeping dangerous animals can be strictly liable for harm caused to others as a result of such activities.
Q: Should I sign a release?
A: Before signing anything, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. If you sign a release, you may be unable to recover future damages. In some instances, the insurer may offer an early settlement, which may not fully compensate the victim, as he or she may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of their injuries.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.