Personal injury law is part of the civil court system, and personal injury cases are legal vehicles for injured parties to secure compensation for losses they experience due to the negligent, dangerous, or intentionally harmful actions of other parties. Personal injury lawsuits arise from many different causes, and the damages involved can be quite extensive. While some personal injury lawsuits seem straightforward at first, there are countless variables that might arise to complicate a lawsuit. It’s essential to seek legal counsel from a highly experienced Hermosa Beach personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you think you might have grounds for a personal injury claim.
Hermosa Beach Personal Injury Attorneys
No matter who you are, a serious injury accident has the potential to overturn your world, ruin your finances, disrupt your family and significantly lessen your quality of life. When the accident occurs due to someone else’s actions or negligence, the law says you are entitled to compensation for your losses. Over the past 25 years, attorney Mike McLachlan has successfully represented hundreds of personal injury clients, employing skillful negotiation and aggressive litigation to obtain millions of dollars in settlements for the victims and their families.
If you need legal representation for a personal injury lawsuit in Hermosa Beach, our attorneys can provide compassionate, comprehensive, and responsive legal representation to our clients, even in the most complex of cases. We have helped many past clients recover compensation for the expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the negligent actions of others.
Common Types of Personal Injury
McLachlan Law represents clients covering a wide range of personal injury cases. A few of the most common types include:
- Motor vehicle accidents — injury accidents involving cars, trucks or motorcycles where another party is at fault. In California and the rest of the United States, car accidents are the leading cause of personal injury claims. While auto insurance may cover the damages resulting from crashes that cause minor injuries and fender-benders, this is often not the case for more serious accidents. A Hermosa Beach personal injury lawyer can help you identify the defendant or defendants liable for your damages after a serious car accident.
- Public Transportation — injury accidents involving government transportation such as trains, buses, taxicabs, or shared-ride vehicles like Uber or Lyft. There are unique variables that could be in play when filing a lawsuit against a common carrier such as a bus company, or when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit over an accident involving a rideshare driver. Your Hermosa Beach personal injury attorney can help you determine the unique variables that may come into play in your personal injury lawsuit involving public transportation or a rideshare service.
- Premises liability (slip or trip-and-fall) — when you suffer significant injury or harm on someone else’s property as a result of their negligence. Property owners have a duty of care to maintain safe premises for lawful visitors to their properties. “Lawful visitors” is a distinction reserved for visitors with the property owner’s express or implied permission to enter the premises. If the property owner discovers or should have reasonably discovered a safety issue on the premises before it causes injury to a visitor, they have a duty of care to prevent the issue from causing an injury by fixing it or clearly marking it if visitors are likely to encounter it during their time on the premises. Property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers.
- Product liability — when a badly-manufactured product results in serious injury to the user. Product manufacturers have a professional responsibility to create and sell consumer products that perform as advertised without any unnecessary risks to the end-user. For example, a kitchen knife is an inherently dangerous consumer product, but there is a clear way to handle it properly for its intended purpose without causing injury. If a product manufacturer releases a product with a design flaw, defective physical component, or if the manufacturer fails to include clear instructions for the safe and intended use or necessary safety warnings, the manufacturer could be liable for any resulting damages to end-users of the product.
- Dog bites — when the owner or person in control of a dog fails to control the animal thereby causing injury to others. California law considers dog bite injuries as strict liability issues. This means that a dog’s owner is strictly liable for any and all damages their dog causes if it attacks someone unprovoked. This rule stands regardless of whether the owner knew the dog could bite or had any kind of propensity toward aggressive behavior, unlike in some other states that uphold “One Bite” rules and similar statutes.
- Wrongful death — when someone’s negligence or intentional behavior results in the untimely death of a loved one. A wrongful death claim proceeds similarly to a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of a plaintiff who did not survive their claimed injuries. While these cases proceed along the same lines as personal injury lawsuits, there are special rules pertaining to the damages available, who may file a wrongful death claim and survivor benefits.
Every personal injury case is different, and we look at each case individually to determine what happened, how much loss has been suffered, who is at fault, and how much the client can reasonably expect in compensation. Quite often, we are dealing with the insurance company of the party at fault; if the person was not insured, we may file a claim directly against the defendant, with other potentially responsible parties, or with your insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage. The amount recovered may include any/all of the following types of compensation to which you may be entitled:
- Medical expenses. California law permits personal injury plaintiffs to claim compensation for any and all medical expenses they incur as the direct results of a negligent defendant’s actions. Medical expense compensation can include hospital bills, long-term treatment costs for things like physical therapy or occupational therapy, and the costs of necessary prescription medications and medical devices such as wheelchairs resulting from the incident in question.
- Property loss. When a personal injury results in the damaging or destruction of a plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can claim compensation for the costs of repairing and/or replacing their personal property.
- Lost wages—how much you would have made if you continued working. It’s not uncommon for car accidents and other incidents that lead to personal injury lawsuits to involve serious injuries. During recovery, the victim may not be able to work, and their attorney can help them recover the income lost during their recoveries. When a personal injury results in a permanent disability that prevents the victim from returning to their previous job or working at all in the future, it is possible with the help of a skilled Hermosa Beach personal injury attorney to recover compensation for the victim’s reasonably estimated future earnings.
- Emotional distress—the cost to treat the psychological impact of a serious injury. Although this may sound difficult to assign a monetary value, California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation for their psychological trauma resulting from a personal injury as well as the physical pain they experience. The court may award pain and suffering compensation, even for just emotional distress, in the form of a lump sum in proportion to their other compensatory damages or on a “per diem” basis for the time it takes the plaintiff to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries or illness.
- Punitive damages—an amount awarded by the judge or jury to “punish” the defendant (usually a company) in cases of wanton negligence. Punitive damages aim to discourage similar actions in the future, and California places no caps or upper limit on the amount a plaintiff may receive in punitive damages. These damages are paid to a plaintiff alongside their other compensatory damages. When a civil personal injury claim coincides with a criminal case, such as a personal injury lawsuit for a claim of assault and battery, punitive damages are likely, and restitution may come into play during the criminal sentencing phase.
Personal injury law aims to help victims of negligence recover their losses and get their lives back to as close to normal as possible. Some personal injury cases may resolve at the settlement negotiation table, while hotly contested cases may take months or even years to reach their conclusions. An experienced Hermosa Beach personal injury lawyer is an essential asset for any individual who has recently suffered physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial losses due to the negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful behaviors of others.
McLachlan Law has extensive experience in helping victims of personal injury recover the losses they have suffered. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can help. Call our office for a free case evaluation.(310) 446-8923