Personal injury covers a broad range of civil incidents. Everything from car accidents, construction accidents, or even medical malpractice where someone is injured because of the negligence of another is addressed under personal injury law. These injuries have costs, both financial and psychological, that need to be addressed and are the responsibility of those who caused the injury. A Murrieta personal injury lawyer can help hold the party accountable.
Personal injury law is the mechanism by which these costs can be recovered. At Karlin & Karlin, we help our clients navigate this process and represent them in the fight to get what they deserve.
The central element of a personal injury case in Murrieta, CA is proving fault. The primary element your lawyer’s investigation will be focused on is gathering enough evidence to prove that the defendant was negligent in a way that led to the injuries that you suffered. This involves proving three components:
The financial award that covers the costs associated with an injury is known as damages. Part of receiving an award of damages is showing that the costs are a direct result of the injury. This connects the breach of duty to the costs incurred by the victim. There are three kinds of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury claim:
A: Generally, a damages award in California is not going to be subject to any damage caps. The exception to this is medical malpractice, where there is a cap on non-economic damages. However, caps aren’t the only way that damages may be limited.
California operates under a system of comparative negligence. This means that the defendant in a personal injury claim is given the opportunity to try to prove that the defendant also shares some liability for the injuries. If they are successful, both parties will be assessed as having a particular percentage of blame. The plaintiff, then, will have their damages award reduced proportionate to their share of blame. For instance, a plaintiff who is 10% at fault with a damages award of $10,000 will receive $9,000.
California’s system is “pure” contributory negligence, which means that the defendant, even if they are 99% at fault, could still collect 1% of damages from the other party in the accident.
A: There are inverse advantages and disadvantages to either settling a claim or taking it to trial. The advantages of one are the disadvantages of the other. One significant advantage of going to trial is that it probably offers the chance to maximize your potential financial award, whereas settling a claim could result in a slightly smaller payout. However, that’s not always the case as the defendant still could pay the maximum because they wish to avoid the expense of the trial.
The expense of the trial can be disadvantageous for both parties. Arguing a personal injury claim in court can be expensive and take quite a bit of time. The advantage of a settlement is that it can mean getting your money months and sometimes years sooner than you would if the case goes to trial. The most significant advantage of a settlement is that it removes the element of risk from the situation. A settlement is guaranteed, but in a trial, there’s always the risk of a judgment that doesn’t work out in your favor.
A: The time limit to make a personal injury claim is set by what is known as the statute of limitations. In most personal injury cases, the standard statute of limitations of two years will apply. However, there are several possible exceptions, some of which shrink the time to file and some which extend the deadline to file a claim.
These exceptions can be dependent upon a variety of factors, including the type of claim, who the defendant is, when the injuries were discovered, and whether or not the injured party was a minor.
A personal injury lawyer can help you understand what limitation applies in your situation, but it is generally a good idea to get in contact with a lawyer as soon as you think you may have a claim so they can begin to investigate and prepare your case.
A: If you’ve been injured what you can do is going to be limited by the extent of your injuries. However, there are some general principles regarding the handling of your injury that are helpful in preparing and protecting your claim. These things include:
Personal injuries are often paid out by insurance companies. They will usually resist paying out the entirety of what they should and offer less or nothing at all. The legal process of a civil claim, though, exists to hold them accountable for paying what they should. Sometimes, even the legitimate threat of a claim is enough to bring them around to negotiating an offer that more accurately reflects the costs the victim has endured.
When you work with the team at Karlin & Karlin, you are working with attorneys experienced at handling insurance companies and fighting to get what their clients deserve. Contact us to discuss your personal injury claim today.
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