In Porter Ranch, California, there are many different types of accidents and events that lead to people suffering debilitating injuries. When these incidents result from the wrongful conduct or negligent actions of individuals or entities, the victims may have the legal grounds to file personal injury claims against the wrongful actors. When people are injured, getting help from an experienced personal injury attorney in Porter Ranch may be important. An attorney may help injured victims to recover much higher compensation amounts than the victims might be able to recover on their own. Because of their legal knowledge, negotiating skills and experience, Porter Ranch personal injury attorneys may help their clients to be successful with their claims.
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How Personal Injury Lawsuits Work
Following an injury accident, it is normal for the insurance company to contact the victim. The company may ask to conduct a recorded interview about what happened, and it also may ask the victim to sign a full authorization for his or her medical information. It is important for victims to avoid making recorded statements or signing authorizations for their medical records, however.
Insurance adjusters are employed by the companies for which they work, and their jobs entail working to help reduce the losses that their employers suffer through claims. When they take recorded statements, they often try to get victims to say things that the companies can use against them in their cases. Similarly, insurance companies use signed authorizations to dig through victims’ medical histories in order to try to blame their injuries on earlier incidents.
People can politely tell the insurance adjusters that they would like to consult with personal injury attorneys before making any statements or signing anything. After the victims have retained experienced personal injury attorneys, the lawyers can then communicate with the insurance companies on their clients’ behalf.
Once an attorney has been retained, the lawyer will value his or her client’s case. Valuing a claim involves making calculations about the current and future expected medical costs, losses in the future ability to earn an income and others. After valuing the claim, the attorney may present his or her client with monetary values within which a reasonable offer should be expected to fall. The lawyer will then draft and send a demand letter to the company in which the lawyer asks for a settlement in the high end of the range. In some cases, attorneys are able to negotiate with the insurance companies and come to a reasonable agreement without filing a formal personal injury lawsuit. In others, the attorneys will need to commence formal lawsuits by filing civil complaints in the courts that hold jurisdiction over the cases.
Once the civil complaint has been filed and served on the defendant, the defendant will be granted enough time to draft and file an answer to it. Following the answer, the case will enter into a period that is called discovery. During the discovery process, the plaintiff and the defendant will be required to exchange evidence. The parties may have to answer interrogatories and to submit to depositions. The discovery process allows both sides to understand what the testimony and evidence might be at trial, and it often results in a settlement before a trial happens. If a settlement is not reached, then the case will go to a jury trial. During a trial, both sides will be allowed to call witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and present evidence. Once both parties have rested, the case will be sent to the jury for deliberations and a verdict.
Types of personal injury claims
There are many different types of personal injury claims, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Slip-and-fall cases
- Products liability cases
- Medical malpractice cases
- Dog Bites
- Workplace accidents
- Dangerous drugs
Personal Injury Compensation
In California, there are a variety of different types of damages that personal injury victims might recover. Damages are generally divided into two primary types, including compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages, which are designed to punish defendants, are only recoverable in very egregious cases and are normally not ordered. Compensatory damages include economic and noneconomic losses. The economic damages may include the following:
- Reasonable burial and funeral costs in wrongful death cases
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income losses
- Property losses
The noneconomic losses include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium for spouses
- Losses of the ability to enjoy life
- Factors affecting the amount of damages
The amount of compensation that might be available will depend on the relevant circumstances of each individual case. These factors may include the extent of the injuries, the circumstances of what happened and the actual losses that were suffered. Plaintiffs who share fault in causing their accidents will also have their awards reduced by the percentage of fault that they are determined to hold. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $100,000 and is determined to have been 40 percent to blame, he or she will receive a net award of $60,000. Finally, if the claim involves medical malpractice, California law caps the amount of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000.
Get Help From an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Proving a personal injury claim can be very complex, requiring extensive knowledge of case law, statutory law and the tactics that are used by insurance companies. Victims may recover much higher amounts with the help of an experienced Porter Ranch personal injury lawyer. Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with Valley Accident Attorneys today.
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If you or a loved one has been injured, you will want a top rated Beverly Hills personal injury attorney that understands how to get the maximum compensation you deserve. Our pledge is to be your partner, and provide passionate, yet skillful legal representation needed to win your case. Contact our highly trained personal injury lawyers today for a free case evaluation.