Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
If you are the victim of another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. You may be able to collect for medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries, disabilities, punitive damages, or the death of a loved one.
In a strong personal injury case, our attorneys must first prove that an injury (not necessarily physical) has occurred. Also, it must be proven that the defendant is responsible for those injuries, through an act of carelessness, negligence, or maliciousness. In the event of a death within the family, surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit.
Do I need a personal injury attorney?
If another party’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence has caused you to be injured, you should always contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Statistics show that victims who choose to “go it alone” receive substantially less compensation than those who retain representation.
What is negligence?
The law requires us to act with “reasonable care”. The specifics of what constitutes reasonable care vary somewhat from state to state and from situation to situation. When someone fails to act with the reasonable care required by a given circumstance, that’s negligence. That’s important to you because in order to recover for most personal injuries, you’ll have to prove (with your personal attorney’s help, of course) that another person or a business was negligent, and that the negligence caused your personal injuries.
What should I do if I’m hurt in an accident?
First and foremost, get medical attention. At the same time, if you’re able you should be creating a record that will help protect your claim. File a police report, either at the scene or as soon as possible afterward. Try to get names and contact information from any witnesses. If you’re able, write down exactly what happened as soon as possible after the event. Accident scene photographs often provide valuable evidence that can’t be duplicated after the fact. And, of course, talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you can get advice about how to proceed, what kind of records you should be keeping, and how to handle the inevitable phone calls from the other party’s insurance company.
What shouldn’t I do if I suffer a personal injury?
Don’t sign anything without consulting a personal injury attorney. Don’t attempt to negotiate with an insurance company (your own or the other party’s) without consulting a personal injury attorney. Don’t make any kind of statement, even one the insurance company rep or other party tells you is “off the record,” without consulting a personal injury attorney. Don’t downplay your personal injuries before you know the extent of them—it’s not always immediately apparent how serious your personal injuries are, and if you’ve said you were “fine” at the scene, that may come back to haunt you. The bottom line is that it’s best to get advice from a personal injury attorney before taking any kind of action outside of seeking medical attention.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident
it is important to protect your legal rights.
Tel: (916) 564-5781 | Fax: (916) 564-2764