If you have been injured in the Sherman Oaks area due to the actions of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. An injury can result in excessive medical or personal costs, but a qualified Sherman Oaks personal injury lawyer can fight on your behalf and help you to get your life back on track.
The personal injury attorneys at Valley Accident Lawyers care about your rights. You can be assured that our attorneys will aggressively fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve if you’ve been seriously injured due to the negligent actions of others.
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Types of Personal Injury Claims
A Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney can assist you if you’ve been involved in any of the following types of incidents:
Car accidents: Every year in America, more than 2.3 million people are injured in car accidents. In Los Angeles alone, there are more than 200,000 injury accidents every year. These often-avoidable injuries are commonly the result of another motorist’s negligence. Some accidents result in lengthy hospital stays, lost wages, and even lifelong injury. If you’ve been in an injury accident, it’s important to contact an attorney right away.
Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable motorists on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 88,000 motorcycle injuries on U.S. roads in 2015. Furthermore, a motorcycle accident is over 16 times more likely to result in an injury than a car accident.
Bicycle accidents: Bicyclists have specific rights that motorists are required to honor. A bike rider has the right to share the same lanes of traffic and use nationally recognized hand signals to navigate the roadways. Still, around 50,000 bicyclists are injured every year on our nation’s roads, and more than 5,000 are killed. Injuries may result from poorly maintained roads or the actions of a motor vehicle driver.
Truck accidents: Accidents involving semi trucks are becoming increasingly common. In fact, there about 11 fatal truck accidents every day in this country. Truck drivers are trained in specific defensive driving techniques, but they have lower visibility than other motorists. In some cases, employers place unreasonable demands on their drivers, requiring them to drive more hours than is safe or legal. This puts everyone on the road at risk.
Dog bites: Every day, about 1,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room for serious dog bites. Children are the most at risk. A dog bite can lead to costly medical bills and even lifelong trauma. Under California Civil Code section 3342, the dog’s owner may be held legally liable in the event of a dog bite injury.
These are just a few of the most common injury types for which a victim may be entitled to compensation. An injury may also occur due to unsafe workplace conditions, a faulty product, or even a defective drug. In short, if you have been injured due to the actions or negligence of another party, you may have a case.
How Personal Injury Lawsuits Work
If you’ve been injured, and you believe that another party may be at fault, the first step is to contact a qualified personal injury attorney. Your attorney will then inform you of your options and take the necessary steps to initiate a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, your personal injury dispute may then be resolved through a formal personal injury lawsuit or an informal settlement.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that they charge you nothing up front but are entitled to a percentage of the money you’re awarded. The benefit is that you pay nothing out of pocket, and you’re not responsible for any fees if you lose your case. If you win your case, the lawyer will typically receive 30-40% as their contingency fee, although the exact amount will vary depending on the case and the law firm.
Once the attorney agrees to take your case, they will gather all of the evidence, conduct interviews with witnesses, and fill out any necessary paperwork. They will also brief you on your testimony and answer any questions you may have. If you’re unable to visit an attorney in person due to your injury or a general lack of mobility, your attorney will come to meet with you in your hospital room, home, or other location.
Personal Injury Compensation
If the court finds that you are entitled to compensation for your injury, you will be awarded damages. Calculating the actual value of an injury can be tricky, though, as one must consider the mental, physical, and monetary cost. Depending on the case, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, particularly if the injury was deliberate or the result of gross negligence. Here are some of the key factors that your attorney and the court will take into consideration:
- Your medical costs
- Your lost wages
- The cost of any damage to your property (such as your vehicle)
- Pain and suffering
Most of these factors are pretty easy to calculate because they carry a specific numeric value. Pain and suffering is the exception to the rule. There are no specific guidelines for determining the value of pain and suffering or emotional distress. In these case, juries are asked to consider the evidence and use their best judgment.
Let’s say, for instance, that a person is severely injured in a car accident. The other vehicle ran a red light and crashed right into the driver’s side of the plaintiff’s car, causing the victim to rack up $150,000 in medical bills and $20,000 in lost wages. As a result of the accident, the victim is forced to spend three months in the hospital and suffers a great deal of depression and emotional distress.
If the jury were to use a common multiplier to calculate pain and suffering, they might take the total cost of the medical bills and lost wages and multiply it by 1.5. That would result in $255,000 in pain and suffering. Again, this isn’t a hard and fast rule for calculating the value of pain and suffering, but it’s one fairly common benchmark that is used. In some cases, the value may be as high as four times the amount of lost wages and medical bills.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the best thing you can do is contact a qualified Sherman Oaks personal injury lawyer and discuss your options. Help is available, so don’t suffer in silence.
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If you or a loved one has been injured, you will want a top rated Sherman Oaks 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.