After a Personal Injury there are many things going through your head. You might think, how am I going to pay for my hospital bills, who should be held responsible for my accident, when will I be able to work again. Another important question which pops up is if I decide to hire a lawyer how much is my personal injury case worth. Here are some simple guidelines attorneys and clients may use to determine their personal injury case. 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
- Was there witnesses
- Was Alcohol a Factor in the accident
- Length of recovery
- Permanent injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Punitive damages
- Was Gross negligence a cause of the accident
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
Indirect damages may include future damages, and punitive damages. Recovery for those damages will be maximized by representation from an experienced and aggressive legal team. Punitive damages have the purpose of punishing defendants so they will think twice before they act in the same manner that caused harm to a plaintiff. Punitive damages are not frequently awarded in civil cases.
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. Negligence requires the demonstration of four elements:
- (1) A Duty of Care is owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances,
- (2) the responsible party breach their duty of care to the injured party (plaintiff)
- (3) the defendant was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages and
- (4) The plaintiff actually suffered some harm (psychological or physical) as a result of the defendants negligence
Contributory Negligence or Partial Fault does not absolve recovery for your injuries in California
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 an 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. One may be awarded damages even if you are partially negligent. For example, if you’ve been injured in an auto wreck and both you and the other driver are partly at fault for the incident, you still may be entitled to a percentage of overall damages.
Can I sue for the Death of Another Person
California CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 377.60-377.62 states,
“A cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of thefollowing persons or by the decedent’s personal representative on their behalf: The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.”
For more information visit Wrongful Death Law and Statutes
Was the case filed in Time: Statute of Limitations to File a Claim
Statute of Limitations refers to the law the limits the amount of time within which a victim involved in a car accident may bring about legal proceedings. Generally, in the state of California, an individual has TWO YEARS in which to file a lawsuit for a wrongful death action.
Medical Malpractice: In cases of medical malpractice the Statute of Limitations may be one year. State and Federal Government: Actions against the government, a lawsuit must first be preceded by the filing a government tort claim; there is a 180 day limitations period. Additionally, Car Accident claims against public agency, the claim must be made within 180 days from the date of the car accident. Also, the car accident claim must first be filed and denied before a lawsuit can be commenced.
Trusted Attorneys are here to Help
A personal injury attorney will be able to explain the nuances of your claim including punitive damages, pain and suffering, bad faith claims against insurance companies, reckless fault, and more. However given the nature of the law it will be difficult to calculate the amount of recovery in a personal injury matter.