Frequently Asked Questions
What is Personal Injury and How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case? Personal injury refers to the legal body of law that governs any form of injury to an individual as a result of an accident. The damages resulting from such accidents can be either physical or psychological. In addition to suffering from some type of accident, your injury must be the result of someone else’s fault. In other words, another party must be legally responsible for your harm. Therefore, it is essential that your attorney is able to establish liability in your case for you to be successful. Liability could result from a person’s intentional act, such as assault or battery, or from a person or party’s negligence, such as a slip and fall, or car accidents.
What is Negligence? According to California Law, a Party is Negligent when it fails in a manner expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances. Accordingly, negligence requires the demonstration of four elements:
- A Duty of Care is owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances,
- The responsible party breach their duty of care to the injured party (plaintiff)
- The defendant was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages and
- The plaintiff actually suffered some harm (psychological or physical) as a result of the defendants negligence.
Other than Negligence, How Else Might I Recover for My Injuries? Negligence is only one way a party may be liable for your damages. An individual or entity might be civilly liable for your damages for any intentional acts. Intentional accidents you might recover for include battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress or even defamation. Furthermore, a defendant might be strictly liable for conduct that is neither negligent nor intentional. Most commonly, strict liability occurs as a result of attacks arising from certain dangerous animals (often dog bites, but not always), ultra-hazardous activities such as explosives, or dangerous substances, and product liability resulting from product and manufacturing defects. Also, employers are liable for actions of their employees under vicarious liability under any of the theories mentioned above.
How Much Should I expect to Recover from My Personal Injury Claim? Every case is different, and the amount of recovery for each case is unique. At Downtown LA Law, we believe in utilizing every possible form of recovery, both economic and non-economic, in an effort to fully maximize your compensation. This includes:
- Medical costs resulting from hospital and emergency room care, physical therapy, ambulance costs and rehabilitation
- Future medical care
- Loss or income
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological damages
- Punitive damages where the property owners displayed reckless behavior or gross negligence
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
How Much Will I Have to Pay My Attorney For My Personal Injury Claim?
At Downtown LA Law, we think that you have suffered enough as a result of your personal injury claim. It is under this belief, as well as the supreme confidence in our abilities, that we stand behind our bedrock principle: “NO RECOVERY…NO CONTINGENCY FEE.” Therefore, we don’t get paid unless we win your case. You can also rest assured that we will never nickel and dime you for your injuries. As always, you will never be charged to speak to one of our attorneys, and your case evaluation is always free.
What if I am Partially to Blame for My Injuries? Often times, the opposing party does not carry the full blame for your injuries. A common example of this is in car accidents, where two or more parties are driving recklessly. Under these circumstances, California adheres to pure comparative fault. Under this theory, the injured party in a accident will still recover damages in an accident, even if that party carries some blame. Once the portion of fault is determined, that party is entitled to recover in proportion to the other party’s fault.
What If a Person Dies as a Result of their Personal Injury Accident? Do I Still Have a Case? When a person dies as a result of a personal injury, that person’s estate, otherwise known as heirs (sometimes referred to as “Distributees”) may recover under an action for wrongful death. The types of damages that may be recovered after a wrongful death include pecuniary damages such as loss of support or income, funeral expenses, and even punitive damages in instances of malicious wrongdoing.
How long do I have to make a claim for personal injuries? The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim after your injury is known as “Statute of Limitations.” In California, different claims carry different Statute of Limitations. For most forms of Personal Injury such as car accidents and injuries, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the accident. Other forms of claims such as Defamation (1 year), Fraud (3 years), injury to personal property (3 years), medical malpractice (3 years), written contracts (4 years) carry different limits. Additionally, while the failure the file your claim within the statutory period may be detrimental, ther are certain exceptions. Although the statutory period begins to run on the date of the accident, exceptions will be made in situations where the injured party was mentally incompetent or incapable of filing a claim. Also, the statutory period is extended for minors under the age of 18. The minor has until their eighteenth birthday, in addition to the statutory period to file the suit. Finally, the statutory period may be extended where an injury is unknown, but is later discovered. Additionally, certain claims against public agencies must be made within 180 days from the date of the accident.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney? Our job at Downtown LA Law is to procure the maximum amount of compensation for our clients and to make the process as simple and effortless as possible. We work diligently in learning all the requisite laws and statutes and using every weapon in our arsenal in order to ensure that you receive every last penny that you deserve. Furthermore, we have built a reputation of fearless fighters who will not budge if our goal of maximum compensation is not achieved. We will not settle your case unless we are sure that it is what is right for the client. We are not afraid to battle big insurance companies and fight in court if need be. Also, your initial consultation at the Downtown LA Law Firm is always free, and we don’t receive a penny unless we settle your case.
Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions: