The Many Questions Following An Injury
If you or a loved one has been injured, we know you might have more questions than answers. Although every personal injury situation is unique, we do have some common questions that we have received from our clients at North Bay Law Group. The following are the answers:
What is a personal injury claim?
These claims arise when damage or harm inflicted to an individual’s body and/or emotional and mental health has been caused by a third party’s negligence. If you want to seek justice or secure fair compensation, a lawyer can help you define a suitable course of action for your matter.
Are there things I should do immediately after an accident to help my case?
Yes. First of all, seek health care even if you are not visibly injured. Your safety and health are always the top priority. Next, document all you can: Take pictures, look for witnesses and ask for their names and contact information, and keep a timeline of facts. It is highly advisable to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible to negotiate with insurance adjusters or to defend your rights.
Will my case go to trial?
Possibilities are high that your case will not go to trial, provided that you can be awarded fair compensation through negotiation. However, going to court could be an option to protect your interests or seek justice if the insurance company will not negotiate fairly. We have extensive experience in negotiations and at trial.
What if I were partially to blame for the accident?
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that multiple parties may be entitled to compensation based on their percentage of negligence. Depending on the case, comparative negligence principles may affect the amount of your compensation.
How long do I have after an accident to file a personal injury claim?
Personal injury victims in California have a time limit (called a statute of limitations) of two years from the date of the accident or one year from the discovery of the injury. An injury victim cannot file a lawsuit after the given time limit.
How much can I expect to get out of my case?
As previously mentioned, every injury case is unique. A settlement amount depends significantly on the facts and the type of damages sought, like economic damages caused by medical bills and lost wages. An injury victim can also fight for compensation from punitive damages in some cases.
What are punitive damages, and can I seek them in my case?
Also known as pain and suffering damages in California, these are considered noneconomic damages. The objective is to punish the defendant by paying additional compensation to plaintiffs due to mental suffering, emotional distress, physical pain, humiliation and losses of loved ones, among others. A lawyer can help you seek punitive damages if they are appropriate in your case.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you pay your attorney’s fees with a percentage of the settlement you receive. In other words, if you do not get your compensation, you do not pay your lawyer. Before hiring a lawyer, discuss in detail the conditions and percentage of their payment.
Do You Have More Questions?
If you want to know more about your options in your personal injury case, call our Mill Valley office at 415-326-7262. You can also leave your contact information in our online form. Your consultation is free. We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fees unless we recover compensation for you.