What Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Look Like?
- Jun 30 2019
Each personal injury case is unique; however, there are several similarities in cases involving personal injuries. One of the most common similarities is that the deadlines to file a claim involving personal injury is restricted by law. Because the statutes of limitations (deadlines) for personal injury claims vary by claim, it is wise to seek the advice of a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid losing the right to file a claim against the party who caused your injury.
Types of Personal Injury Cases in California
There are several different types of personal injury cases that may be filed in California. Some injury claims may fall under general personal injury laws, while other claims may fall under specific laws related to that type of accident or injury.
Common cases involving personal injuries include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents, including accidents involving cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists
- Slip and Fall Accidents and injuries sustained on another person’s property (premises liability claims)
- Injuries Sustained Because of a Defective Product (product liability claims)
- Illnesses or Injuries Sustained Through Employment (workers’ compensation claims)
- Boating Accidents
- Injuries Related to Swimming Pools
- Dog Attacks or Dog Bites
- Wrongful Death Claims
- Injuries related to Medical Negligence and Medical Errors (medical malpractice claims)
- Injuries Related to Sports or Recreational Activities
Any incident that results in an injury or damages may give rise to a personal injury claim. The key is to determine if the case meets the legal requirements to prove another party is liable for your damages related to the injury.
Factors Common in Many Personal Injury Claims
Deadlines for filing claims apply in every personal injury case. Other factors that are common in many cases involving personal injury include:
Proving Negligence and Fault
Most personal injury claims require you to prove that another party’s negligence caused your injury. Workers’ compensation claims do not fall into this category because an employee is not required to prove the employer was negligent to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Except for claims involving workplace injuries and illnesses, you must have evidence that proves the elements of negligence applicable in your case. For example, in a car accident claim, you must prove that the other driver caused the collision. In a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that the doctor failed to meet the medical standard of care. For a premises liability claim, you are required to prove that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition.
Financial Losses and Noneconomic Damages
Injury claims involve financial damages and noneconomic damages. Your financial damages are your out-of-pocket losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are the “pain and suffering” you endure because of the accident and injury.
Investigations and Settlement Negotiations
In most cases, an attorney investigates the cause of the injury to obtain evidence to prove fault and identify all parties who might be liable for your damages. The attorney also files a claim with insurance companies and negotiate settlements of the claims. Many claims are settled without going to court.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If a claim cannot be settled outside of court through mediation, arbitration, or settlement negotiations, your attorney may advise filing a personal injury lawsuit. Lawsuits may be necessary to force the other party to turn over evidence during discovery that is necessary to prove your case or place additional pressure on a party to settle for a fair and just amount.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for Additional Information
If you have been injured, a California personal injury attorney can review your case, explain the law governing your case, discuss your options for recovering compensation, and assist you in pursuing a personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.