Personal injury lawsuits and settlements cover a wide range of situations, and no two cases are alike. If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Read more below about what constitutes a personal injury in Palmdale, and how we will go about seeking damages for your injuries.
Contact us immediately to get the process started — California has a statute of limitations that will legally bar you from seeking damages more than two years after your accident (or one year after the injuries became apparent — whichever comes last). Even if you believe that the situation will continue to evolve, there is no reason to delay starting your personal injury case. We will take every detail into consideration, and will argue on your behalf for future damages as well as damages that have already occurred, to be certain that you are financially taken care of at the resolution of our time working together.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil proceeding that seeks compensation for an injured party. The premise of the lawsuit is that the defendant in the lawsuit caused the accident by negligence or malice, and therefore the victim(s) should not be responsible for covering the costs.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove three things:
- That the accident was caused by negligence
- That you were injured in the accident
- Your injuries have recoverable damages
If you are able to build a case around these three key points, then we will likely be able to move forward in seeking damages. Since every accident is different, we can not say for certain that you have a case until you speak with us and we are able to explore the nature of your situation in detail.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
After many accidents, you will file a claim with the other person’s insurance company. Once you have filed the claim, you will deal with an insurance adjuster, who will investigate the situation and determine what they believe is a fair payment for you.
Keep in mind that an insurance company does not exist to make full payments to every person injured by one of their policyholders. An insurance company’s main business goal is to protect their bottom line by issuing minimum payments on claims. Therefore, the offer you will receive is not going to be anywhere near what you are rightfully owed, no matter how convincing the insurance company is about this being their maximum. If you accept this offer, you will sign away your right to any additional litigation against their client, meaning that if you have a spinal cord injury that worsens over time, you are legally unable to seek appropriate compensation.
After you receive your first offer, the next step is to negotiate towards an amount that we have determined is fair, reasonable, and covers the entire scope of your injuries.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To From My Personal Injury?
There is no simple formula to determine exactly how much you are able to collect, since accidents come in many forms, with many varying impacts on the victims’ lives. However, below are some common things that are considered and factored into the amount we seek for our clients. The damages sought in a lawsuit are typically broken into two categories, which are both handled in different ways, with different methods of determining a fair amount.
Economic damages are the foundation of most personal injury lawsuits, and they cover every aspect of the accident and injuries that have true values attached to them. This includes things like medical bills, physical therapy sessions, and medications, as well as lost wages from time missed at work. Even if you used paid time off (PTO) or sick leave, you can still seek repayment for that time off in your lawsuit. If the circumstances unfortunately require, we will also seek payments to compensate for long-term disability or a decreased ability to earn what you could before your injuries.
We will consider every detail while compiling your economic damages, and gather any relevant information such as invoices, bills, and previous income slips to present a complete picture to the courts. Keep in mind that you are contractually obligated to your insurance company to repay them the full amount that they paid out to cover your injuries, meaning that a significant amount of your economic damages will go straight to them. However, your economic damages are only a portion of your overall damages.
Non-economic damages go beyond the actual financial cost of an accident and the injuries, and instead addresses the personal impact that this situation can have on a victim’s life. If a broken bone costs $500 to treat, how can a court quantify, in dollar amount, the pain of the broken bone, the ongoing suffering through the healing process, and the depression of being unable to enjoy yourself while you are recovering?
Most commonly, we will use your economic damages as a foundation, and then apply a multiplier that we believe is a fair representation of the non-economic suffering you have gone through. If we are able to settle outside of court, it will be up to your legal team to negotiate with the defendant’s (or the defendant’s insurance company’s) attorneys to reach an agreement. In a trial, the jury will award compensation for non-economic damages as they see fit. There are no caps for non-economic damages, except during medical malpractice cases.
Contact Us Today
Do not wait to begin dealing with a personal injury lawsuit in Palmdale. California has a strict statute of limitations that will legally bar you from seeking compensation for an accident that happened over two years ago (or one year after the injury became apparent), meaning that you should begin the process as soon as you are able to. Do not worry about future expenses, or any possible changes to your situation, as we will factor those into your case as we fight to recover the damages you are rightfully owed.