Personal Injury Attorney In Los Angeles
A personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will handle dog attack, pedestrian, and wrongful death claims to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
If you suffered injury due to the negligent actions of someone else, you may want to hire a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to help you file a personal injury claim.
This process can be complex, so we encourage you to hire the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer so you’re positioned for the best success.
Take a look at this quick overview to learn more about what California considers a personal injury so you can make an informed decision when seeking the help of a professional.
Let’s get started.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal dispute where one person suffers harm from an accident or injury for which someone else might be legally responsible. The injury can be minor, severe, or even have caused the death of an individual.
Because a personal injury case involves damage to an injured party, the victim can claim damages. There are compensatory damages which are intended to compensate the injured party for what was lost because of the accident or injury, and punitive damages which are intended to punish the defendant for its conduct.
Compensatory Damages Include:
- Medical Treatment Expenses
- Loss of Income
- Property Loss
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Enjoyment
- Loss of Consortium, which involves the impact the injuries have on the injured party’s relationship with his or her spouse.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are many types of personal injury cases. They include those resulting from car accidents, exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos, and medical malpractice. Below is a non-exhaustive list of personal injury claims:
- Auto Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Exposure to Toxic Mold
- Premise Liability
- Products Liability or Defective Products
- Aviation Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Wrongful Death
The Benefits of Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
Personal injury law is complex, as are California court procedures. A personal injury attorney can help explain the complexities of the law, as well as ensure that you have all the information you will need to put a successful case in front of a judge or jury.
Additionally, a personal injury lawyer is usually skilled at settlement negotiations and will be able to maximize the compensation you receive from the responsible party and its insurance company.
The Legal Process
A personal injury case may be resolved through civil court proceedings or through a settlement agreement which is done either before a personal injury suit is filed or after the suit has been filed – but before the case goes to trial in front of a judge and/or jury.
Typically, after the injured party secures legal representation, the lawyer will conduct interviews about how the accident or injury occurred. The lawyer will also ask about any medical treatment that has been performed on the injured party. This will usually also involve the lawyer reviewing medical documentation provided by the injured party.
If the injured party has a case, there are two options:
- Filing a lawsuit
- Attempting settlement negotiations
Typically, if it can be proven that the person who caused the injury was legally responsible or at fault, the injured party has a claim. The allegedly responsible party is usually at fault if a lack of care or negligence can be shown. For example, a person who should have been reasonably careful but was not was negligent and is also at fault.
To file a lawsuit, the “plaintiff”(the injured person bringing the suit) will file a civil complaint against the allegedly responsible party which can be another person, a business, or a government agency.
The entity against whom the suit is filed is the “defendant”. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant acted negligently in connection with the accident or injury that caused harm to the plaintiff.
The suit will most likely be filed in California state court; usually the Superior Court of the county in which the injury or accident occurred.
Once the suit is filed, the “discovery” process begins. During this process, each party will investigate what their adversary is claiming. If the defendant is raising any defense to the claim, such as contributory negligence, then the plaintiff will investigate these defenses.
The parties often will attempt to settle before going to trial. During a settlement negotiation, both sides’ attorneys will attempt to negotiate a settlement that is satisfactory to both the plaintiff and the defendant.
If the settlement negotiations are not successful, then the case will be scheduled for trial.
In California, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. If the injury was not discovered right away, then the lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date the injury was discovered.
Finding the Right Attorney
Choosing a personal injury attorney is a process which should be done with care. You should evaluate the following when deciding who to hire:
- The attorney’s experience with California law
- How comfortable you feel speaking with the attorney
- What types of cases the attorney handles
- The attorney’s experience level in handling your particular type of case
- The success of the attorney’s past trials and settlement negotiations
- Whether the attorney typically represents plaintiffs or defendants in these cases
- Whether the attorney would be personally handling your case or passing it on to a less experienced associate within his or her practice.
There are many benefits to using a local California State Bar Certified Attorney Referral Service for help in finding the personal injury attorney who is right for you.
Programs like the Attorney Referral Service (ARS) of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA) offer quick, easy and properly screened referrals to an attorney near you. Call or contact the SFVBA Attorney Referral Service Today! 818-340-4529