If you have been injured in an accident, whether a car crash, public transportation or rideshare accident, an animal attack, a slip and fall, or another traumatic event, you likely have questions. Do I have a right to compensation? Who is responsible? How much can I recover? How much should I even ask for?
All too often, accident victims face an uphill battle when seeking recovery. Insurance companies are rarely motivated to accept claims and will fight to protect their bottom lines. Nonetheless, the law entitles you to pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost income, reduced earning capacity, and other losses resulting from a serious, life-altering injury. As such, it is worthwhile to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
When you choose to pursue compensation for a personal injury, California law requires you to prove a few elements:
In building your case, an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will investigate the cause of your accident and gather evidence of liability. In many cases, this involves collecting medical records, hiring expert witnesses to offer an opinion on the monetary value of your claim, and collecting physical objects involved in the accident - like torn rugs in a slip and fall or broken chains in an animal attack case.
Damages in California personal injury cases include compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate you – make you whole – for your injuries and financial losses. The goal is to restore you to your pre-accident condition financially, physically, and emotionally. This type of damages award includes economic damages, like medical expense reimbursement, payment for lost wages, and property damage compensation, and non-economic damages, which involve intangible losses like reduced quality of life.
Economic damages are concrete and calculable. Generally, they include items like:
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate, as they are intended to compensate you for intangible losses. Items that may be considered in a non-economic damages calculation include, among others:
If a California judge or jury determines that the liable party acted recklessly or maliciously, you may be entitled to an award of punitive damages. These are damages designed to punish defendants, rather than to simply compensate you. Your attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable claim for punitive damages.
If you have been injured, call San Diego personal injury attorney Anthony Laureti for a free consultation. It is critical to act quickly to protect your rights, to prevent your case from being barred by the statute of limitations, and to ensure that you are treated fairly by any liable parties and their insurers.
If you have questions, need the advice of a trusted counselor, or simply do not know where to turn, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
If you are unable to visit us in our office downtown during the week, we are more than happy to meet you at your home or in our office over the weekend. Hablamos espanol.