First, you must have suffered an injury to your person or property. Second, you should consider whether your injury was the result of someone else’s fault. It is not always necessary to have a physical injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims are often based on a variety of non-physical losses and harms. In the case of an assault, for example, you do not need to show that a person’s action caused you actual physical harm, but only that you expected some harm to come to you. You also may have a case if someone has attacked your reputation, invaded your privacy, or inflicted emotional distress upon you.
Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, you may have as little as one year to file a lawsuit arising out of an automobile accident. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, your claims can be dismissed. Consequently, it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you receive or discover an injury.
In many cases you will need to hire an attorney to adequately protect your interests. You should take advantage of the free consultations offered by Magomedov & Cronin, LLP, where our attorneys will looks at the specifics of your accident to honestly determine whether we can be of assistance to you or whether it is better for you to deal directly with an insurance company.
You should provide a lawyer with any documents that might be relevant to your case. Police reports, for example, contain eyewitness information and details about the conditions surrounding auto accidents, fires, and assaults. Copies of medical reports and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries. Information about the insurer of the person who caused your injury is extremely helpful, as are any photographs you have of the accident scene, your property damage, and your injury. The more information you are able to give your lawyer, the easier it will be for him or her to determine if your claim will be successful. If you haven’t collected any documents at the time of your first meeting, however, don’t worry; your lawyer will be able to obtain them in his investigation of your claim.
The critical issue in many personal injury cases is just how a “reasonable person” was expected to act in the particular situation that caused the injury. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act like the standard “ordinary reasonable person.” The determination of whether a given person has met his/her “ordinary reasonable person” standard is often a matter that is resolved by a jury after presentation of evidence and argument at trial.
It depends on your jurisdiction. In a few areas, individuals cannot recover compensation if their negligence partially contributed to their injuries. However, most jurisdictions maintain that victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. In these cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim may be decreased in accordance with the victim's degree of negligence.
Yes; some persons or companies may be held “strictly liable” for certain activities that harm others, even if they have not acted negligently or with wrongful intent. Under this theory, a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product, for instance, may recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent. Also, persons or companies engaged in using explosives, storing dangerous substances, or keeping dangerous animals can be strictly liable for harm caused to others as a result of such activities. The theory behind imposing strict liability on those conducting such activities is that these activities pose an undue risk of harm to members of the community. Thus, anyone who conducts such activity does so at his own risk and is liable when something goes wrong and someone is harmed. The people who create certain risks are thus made accountable.
At Magomedov & Cronin, LLP, we abide by the contingency fee contract, which is approved by the California Bar. This means that we will only collect if the case is successful. We accept a fixed percentage, typically one-third, of the recovery.
You should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Injury victims only have a short period of time to file a claim. Failure to file within this time period, known as the statute of limitations, can bar the victim from ever recovering compensation for their injuries.
To determine liability, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. More than one person may be responsible for your injuries. Depending on your type of personal injury, the liability may rest on a hospital, doctor, motor vehicle driver, truck driver, employer or drug manufacturer.
Before signing anything, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. If you sign a release, you may be unable to recover future damages. In some instances, the insurer may offer an early settlement, which may not fully compensate the victim, as he or she may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of their injuries.
Many drivers believe they have full coverage, but are not insured under certain circumstances. There are several different types of insurance coverage, and failing to have a particular one may limit recovery. In many cases, our clients often find that even though they believe they have “full coverage,” they do not have underinsured or uninsured coverage, which will cover you in the event of an accident where the other party cannot pay. Contact your insurance company and discuss what coverage you have, when the coverage is applicable, and, if necessary, hire an attorney if you believe your insurance company is trying to avoid paying a valid claim.
If this is not the case, and you do have full insurance coverage, you may not be satisfactorily compensated because your insurance company wants to minimize payouts. There are often disagreements about specific language in your insurance contract, how much a claim is worth, and whether any other parties are involved who may be responsible. If other insurance or health insurance companies are involved, there may be disagreements over who is responsible for payment. These issues can cause serious delays in compensation.
The act of filing legal papers at the courthouse is called filing suit. The client gives the authorization to file suit after all other options have been exhausted during pre-suit. Over the last decade, the insurance industry has stepped up its aggressive defense of these cases, and the number of clients we are undertaking is steadily increasing. When a case is filed with the court, it does not necessarily mean you will be accompanying your lawyer to court. Most cases are able to be resolved before trials begin, but some still reach the courtroom.
If you are injured you should obtain medical treatment immediately. After your initial medical needs have been addressed, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Cases often need to be investigated quickly and a delay in consulting an attorney can sometimes cause critical evidence to be permanently lost.
We recommend that you not discuss your injury or the way in which it happened with anyone until you have consulted an attorney. Also, if you sign any papers or agree to any settlement before speaking with an attorney, this could affect your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries.
As a general rule, if someone's negligence caused your injury, you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. The specific legal rights and limitations that apply to your case will vary depending on the facts.
Each case is unique. Because of this, until your case has been fully investigated and your medical condition has stabilized, you should be wary of anyone who tries to tell you the value of your claim. Full compensation may include payment of medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of ability to enjoy life, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.
It's difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. Each case is unique; therefore, no general timetable can be established for personal injury cases. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others can take years to complete.
In many cases, the funds are received within seven to fourteen (7-14) days after the release is signed. Cases involving a large settlement, the State, private individuals, and/or out-of-area insurance companies often take much longer. In some cases we need to obtain the approval of the Court before a settlement can be finalized.
This type of loss is referred to as a wrongful death. Spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents can have a claim for wrongful death against the responsible parties. The relationship with the decedent will dictate the priority of the claim. The types of damages that can be sought depending on that relationship are:
Financial support that the survivor(s) would have received;
Value of household services that would have been provided by the decedent;
Loss of companionship, affection, love, care, comfort, society;
Loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the surviving spouse;
Funeral and burial expenses.
Because the loss of a loved one can completely alter the life of the surviving family, it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to recover the just compensation you deserve. We have handled wrongful death cases with great success and compensation for our clients.
Typically, it is the parents or guardians of that child. We have extensive experience with injury cases or wrongful death claims involving children and understand the complexities of negotiating and these types of claims.