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If you have been involved in any type of accident and you believe you were not to blame, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the person who caused your accident. In order to qualify, the injury typically must be serious enough that you required hospital treatment.
In other words, a scrape to a knee or elbow in a slip and fall may not be considered severe enough to warrant filing a personal injury claim. Most victims of accidents who are seriously injured and who require extensive hospital treatment, time off work and are financially disadvantaged because of the injuries will choose to hire a personal injury lawyer to help them file a personal injury compensation claim.
The sorts of accident events that may qualify for compensation include:
- slips and falls;
- motorcycle accidents;
- auto accidents;
- truck accidents;
- medical malpractice;
- pedestrian accidents;
- bicycle accidents;
- product defects;
- wrongful death,
The role of an insurance company in a personal injury claim
The person/organization that will most likely have to pay when a successful personal injury claim is won is the insurer of the person found to be at-fault. This makes it even more important to hire a personal injury lawyer because insurers try to devalue a claim in order to avoid paying what you rightfully deserve. A good lawyer will argue persuasively on your behalf to get the amount that you are entitled to and covers your financial hardship as a result of an injury that was not your fault.
How will your personal injury lawyer calculate
There are a number of different components to consider when calculating personal injury claims, which are:
- medical expenses since the accident took place up to full recovery;
- loss of earnings while off work;
- pain and suffering;
- punitive damages.
If you have a serious accident and you lose your ability to perform normal every day activities you may need a carer to help you survive. You are not responsible for the financial costs of this type of care and a personal injury lawyer will ensure the right calculation is made with respect to both previous and ongoing medical expenses as well as any additional care you may need. If you were in a job at the time of the injury your personal injury lawyer will study medical reports and physician’s comments to determine your recovery time and even if you are never likely to return to normal working life due to your injuries your financial loss will be included in any compensation calculation. Under California’s personal injury law there are two other components to a personal injury compensation calculation one of which is a financial amount in relation to pain and suffering caused by the accident and the other is punitive damages which can be included in a compensation package if there is proof beyond doubt that the defendant deliberately caused you injury. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could be regarded as negligent, as could reckless driving such as speeding and distractive driving.
Calculating comparative negligence
In California, the full responsibility for a victim’s injuries might not always lie with the person found to be at fault. If a defendant’s lawyer can somehow find even a small bit of evidence to show that you contributed to your own accident, you may have to forfeit a certain percentage of your settlement. For example, if the court finds that you were 10 percent to blame for your own accident, this is the percentage that will be deducted from the final settlement. It is in these sorts of situations that you cannot afford to be without an experienced personal injury attorney.
Time limits for settling personal injury compensation claims
Most states, including California, set time limits for filing a personal injury compensation claim. These are called statutes of limitations. If a private organisation or an individual caused your accident, you have 2 years to file that claim. If a state organization was found to be the cause of your accident, you have six months to file your claim. Your personal injury lawyer will ensure you file your claim on time.
If you are seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, Robert Hamparyan is both an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer and works tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve. He also offers free consultations.