Personal injuries are an unfortunate common occurrence throughout the state. People expect others to keep their safety in mind when visiting a store, getting behind the vehicle, and performing their work duties. However, when an accident occurs due to the negligence of another, putting their safety in jeopardy, individuals should feel entitled to pursue compensation for damages.
For help with filing a legal claim after suffering a careless accident, get in touch with a Rialto personal injury lawyer today. Our experienced attorneys can work with you to hold the negligent party liable for your injuries and getting you the compensation you deserve. Call today to get started on your claim. En Español
Proving Liability in a Personal Injury Case
Individuals must take care to avoid harming those around them (Cal. Civ. Code § 1714(a)). Successful plaintiffs must show that another person or entity acted negligently and bears legal responsibility for the ensuing harm. Proving negligence requires evidence of five factors:
- A duty of care
- Breach of that duty
- Resulting injuries
- Foreseeable risk of the injury
- Actual damages
If a plaintiff fails to establish each of the five factors, they will not prevail. Personal injury attorneys have the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate the local incident, gather relevant evidence, and construct a case that justifies an appropriate settlement or court verdict.
How to Communicate with Insurance Companies Following an Accident
Almost every accident involves dealing with insurance companies. While most people associate insurance coverage with auto accidents, insurance also protects against mishaps in many other locations – home, school, malls, restaurants, bars, work, etc. Filing a claim with an insurance company is often the first thing an injured party must do to recoup their expenses.
After an investigation, insurance companies will either deny the claim or make a settlement offer. Settling cases is often a good thing because lawsuits can take years to resolve, are expensive, and can be emotionally draining. Still, plaintiffs should not accept settlement offers for the sake of expediency. First offers tend to undervalue the true nature of the injuries, and once a plaintiff accepts, they cannot go back and renegotiate the deal.
Attorneys who regularly practice in this area protect victims from low-ball offers. They adeptly negotiate with insurance companies to arrange fair settlement amounts, and if the parties reach an impasse, personal injury lawyers represent their clients in court.
Types of Compensation Awarded to Injured Victims
Whether a resolution comes in the form of a settlement or verdict, the law allows the injured to collect three types of damages:
Special damages reimburse actual expenditures, such as medical bills, lost income, therapy sessions, home health aides, and future earnings. General damages account for pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. In the tragic event that a loved one passes away from their injuries, family members may also bring a case for wrongful death and collect funeral expenses and loss of economic support. The law also enables courts to award exemplary damages as a punishment for, particularly outrageous behavior.
What is Comparative Liability?
Everyone is held accountable for their actions. Relying on this premise, defendants attempt to limit their financial exposure by arguing that victims contributed to their injuries and need to shoulder their share of responsibility.
As a pure comparative liability state, California recognizes this reasoning’s validity, and courts reduce non-economic (or general) damages awards accordingly. For example, an injured party may recover only that percentage of the award attributable to the defendant’s actions. If the plaintiff bears 40 percent of the blame and the defendant 60 percent, the injured person will receive only 60 percent of the full judgment.
Reach Out to a Rialto Personal Injury Attorney Today
Yes, accidents happen, but you owe it to yourself and your family to explore if that accident was a violation of the law. An experienced Rialto personal injury lawyer can help you with that assessment. Our litigation team will give your case the energy and attention it deserves, making a desirable resolution within your reach. Call us today so we can work together for the best results.