If you or a family member has been injured, you might be facing steep medical bills, prolonged pain and emotional trauma from your injuries, and missed days at work and/or an inability to work at the same level as before the injury. You have seen all the television ads, billboards, and bus stop signs for personal injury attorneys, but they do not really answer the question: how can you file a lawsuit if you were injured by someone? Below we take you through a few questions you will want to answer as you prepare to file a lawsuit.
What Was the Nature of Your Injuries?
If you were physically injured in an accident or intentional act, causing you to seek out medical care, then you have the damages sufficient for a personal injury case. Without seeking medical care for your injuries, you may be limited in your ability to pursue a case. Simply claiming emotional injuries can also be insufficient for sustaining a case unless the defendant’s actions were extreme and outrageous. But so long as there was physical injury requiring medical care, you can seek damages for all medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost income due to the injury.
Were Your Injuries Due to the Negligence or Wrongdoing of Another?
Not all injuries can be the basis of a successful civil claim. For example, if you alone are responsible for the injury, or if you were completely aware of a risk and you either consented to it or otherwise proceeded to expose yourself to the risk, your options for legal recourse may be limited. But if your injury was due to another person’s failure to take due care in their actions, and it was foreseeable you would be injured as a result (or if the other person acted recklessly or intentionally in causing you injury), you can bring a successful civil claim.
Who is Legally Responsible in a Civil Claim?
Figuring out who a proper defendant is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury claim. Clearly the person who committed the act is liable, but so is that person’s employer if the act occurred while that person was on the job. Also, a premises owner such as a store or municipality could be liable for dangers present on the land (e.g. slippery surfaces or even criminal threats) if it failed to maintain its legal duty in keeping the premises safe.
Have You Already Accepted a Payout or Settlement?
Defendants and their insurers will often try to get you to accept a quick settlement (or, worse, ask you to sign away your rights in a release) for your injuries, but you should always speak to an attorney before doing so. Defendants and insurers hope that you will accept the quick cash instead of pursuing what your claim is really worth through a lawsuit, and, if you do accept the payout/settlement, you may well be unable to bring a claim for your full range of damages later on, which can be devastating when medical bills continue to pile up from an injury.
Do You Have an Experienced Attorney You Can Trust?
By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can maximize your chances for a full recovery for all your damages, both past and future, in your civil claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will work with medical caregivers and experts to fully establish causation and make sure you get the highest amount of compensation possible in your case. Your personal injury will investigate your claim, file all necessary court filings, and negotiate a sizable award on your behalf.
The attorneys at The Kaufman Law Firm has consistently won six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured victims across Southern California. They will work with you from the moment you call to investigate your matter and build your best possible case for recovery. Contact The Kaufman Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.