Personal injuries can be extremely devastating and cause lasting physical, emotional, and financial damage if not handled properly. Fortunately, you have options. For the best chance at success when taking legal action related to personal injuries, it is important to choose a law firm that specializes exclusively in these types of cases, like Rodriguez & Associates. With over 100 years of combined experience, we can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a formal legal action in which an injured person holds the negligent party accountable for their injuries and seeks compensation to cover their losses. To have a valid personal injury claim, you must have suffered some form of physical or mental harm as a result of a defendant’s negligent actions.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
It’s important to understand the most common types of injuries and how liability is determined so you can seek compensation for your injuries. The following are some of the most common types of personal injury claims:
Car Accidents: Car accidents are a leading cause of personal injury claims. Serious injuries, such as whiplash, broken bones, head trauma, and even death can result from car crashes. To prove that another party was at-fault for causing an accident, you must prove their negligence or violation of traffic laws was the direct cause of the accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents: Proving liability in slip and fall accidents is contingent upon demonstrating that the property owner was aware of – or should have been aware of – a dangerous or hazardous condition on their premises, but either neglected to remedy it or failed to warn visitors of the potential risk.
Product Liability: Product liability claims are based on the notion that manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe for consumers. To successfully pursue a product liability claim against a manufacturer or retailer, you must be able to show that there was some defect with the product which made it dangerous or unfit for consumer use, and that this defect directly caused your injury. You also need to show that you were using the product as intended.
Dog Bites: Dog bites are another common type of personal injury claim. In California, dog bite cases are governed by strict liability. This means even if the dog had no past aggression or instances of bites, the owner is still responsible if their dog bites someone and causes injuries.
Proving Fault and Being Successful in a Personal Injury Claim
The following are some of the steps involved in proving fault in a personal injury claim and what you need to do to get started with your case.
One of the most important steps in proving fault is gathering evidence. This usually includes medical records, photographs of the scene and your injuries or damaged property, witness testimony, police reports, and any other relevant documents or information that may help establish liability.
Even if there are no witnesses present at the time of an accident, there may still be other forms of evidence available such as surveillance footage from nearby businesses or security cameras.
Next, you will need to establish negligence on behalf of the defendant. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act with reasonable care under similar circumstances and causes harm to another person or property.
To prove negligence, four elements must be present:
- Duty of care– the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care toward the plaintiff
- Breach of duty– the defendant failed to act with reasonable care
- Causation– the defendant’s actions caused direct damage
- Damages– the plaintiff suffered actual physical or financial loss
Negotiating a Settlement
Negotiations between the defendant and plaintiff are common in personal injury cases. The parties try to come to an agreement on how much the defendant should pay the plaintiff in exchange for the plaintiff dropping the lawsuit.
Reaching a mutual agreement is often beneficial for both involved, as it can help avoid a lengthy court process and save costs associated with litigation.
If no agreement can be reached, the case can be taken before a judge or jury who will make a decision based upon all available evidence presented during trial proceedings.
What Damages Can I Seek in a Personal Injury Claim?
There are two main types of damages that can be sought in a personal injury claim: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to expenses directly incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages due to being unable to work, and property damage.
Non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life, are often referred to as non-economic damages. These types of losses cannot be estimated with a set dollar amount because they are more subjective.
In cases where the at-fault party has exhibited gross negligence and malicious behavior, punitive damages may also be sought. Punitive damages are designed to punish the person responsible for their reckless actions.
Rodriguez & Associates Is The Right Choice For Your Personal Injury Claim
If you believe someone else has wronged you and caused injury, it’s essential to take appropriate action, such as speaking with an experienced lawyer so you can obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. Here’s why you should work with Rodriguez & Associates:
- We specialize exclusively in personal injury cases, so we know how to handle your case.
- Our reputation speaks for itself and gives us an edge in any case we take on as our attorneys understand exactly what it takes to win a case. We have an impressive 95 or 96% success rate in settlements and verdicts.
- We have also obtained the three largest personal injury verdicts in Kern County history.
If you’re looking for a firm that can get you the compensation you deserve, you’ve come to the right place. Contact Rodriguez & Associates today to schedule a free consultation.