A personal injury lawsuit is a civil claim filed by an injured party against the party they believe is responsible for their damages. Depending on the type of injury the victim sustained, their damages could be substantial. Their initial losses can easily cause a snowballing effect that leads to even more significant financial problems in a relatively short amount of time.
If you have recently sustained any type of personal injury due to another party’s negligence, contact our firm. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine your options for legal recourse. The right attorney can help you maximize the compensation you receive from your case.
A personal injury case will typically revolve around a physical injury or illness caused by another party’s negligence. The plaintiff in the personal injury claim must keep records of all the medical expenses they incur from their experience, including their immediate hospital bills, specialist treatment costs, surgery fees, and emergency medical transportation fees. While these initial medical expenses can be substantial, the plaintiff can also incur long-term medical costs. For example, a plaintiff who suffered a compound bone fracture can claim their hospital bills and immediate treatment costs as well as the cost of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other necessary long-term treatments they require.
Some personal injury claims involve damaged personal property. For example, a car accident can easily cause severe injuries and also result in significant vehicle repair or replacement costs. An experienced attorney can help their client determine the full scope of their claimable damages and ensure any property losses are fully compensated.
One of the worst aspects of many personal injuries is the fact that the victim is left not only with severe and painful injuries but is also unable to work for an extended time as they recover. A good personal injury attorney can help their client not only obtain repayment of wages lost during their initial recovery time but also lost future earnings. A serious injury can prevent the victim from resuming their previous job, forcing them to accept a lower-paying position. It is also possible for them to develop a permanent disability or medical condition that prevents them from working at all in the future.
Pain and Suffering
Every state has unique laws concerning pain and suffering in personal injury cases. While “pain and suffering” may sound too abstract of a concept to generate a sound monetary figure for compensation, plaintiffs typically receive pain and suffering compensation that reflects their other claimed damages. Every court uses different calculation methods to determine pain and suffering. For example, a court can award pain and suffering on a “per diem” basis that awards a set amount for each day the victim spends in recovery until they achieve maximum medical improvement.
It’s also possible for the court to award a lump sum reflective of the plaintiff’s claimed medical expenses and the perceived severity of their injury. For example, a plaintiff claiming $30,000 in medical expenses for a severe injury could receive the same amount or more in pain and suffering compensation.
In the event a defendant in a personal injury case was egregiously negligent or acted with harmful intent, the judge overseeing the case may award punitive damages to the plaintiff per state laws. The amount the plaintiff receives typically depends on the defendant’s financial situation; a wealthy defendant will pay a significant amount in punitive damages. The judge will strive to discourage similar behavior in the future.
Wrongful Death Damages
When a personal injury victim does not survive their experience, their surviving loved ones may take legal action in the form of a wrongful death claim. This type of civil claim functionally replaces a personal injury claim when the victim does not survive. California allows a surviving spouse, child, or parent to file a wrongful death claim. If no such kin exists, then any party with a valid claim on the deceased’s estate or any party who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
Navigating any type of personal injury or wrongful death claim can be incredibly challenging without the right legal representation. Victims of personal injuries often suffer significant losses that extend well beyond their initial experiences. If you want the best chance of recovering as completely as possible after any personal injury, seek legal counsel from a trustworthy and experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to schedule a case review with our team and learn more about your legal options under California’s personal injury statutes.