In El Cajon, some people are injured or killed because of the actions of others every year. People who are injured or killed because of the negligence or wrongful acts of others may be able to recover damages by filing civil lawsuits against the responsible parties. It is important for people to get help from an experienced El Cajon personal injury attorney. An attorney who is experienced in tort law may help his or her clients to recover maximal damages so that they can be made whole.
What is personal injury law?
Personal injury law is a type of tort law that involves injuries to people rather than injuries to property. A personal injury can include harm that is caused to a person’s emotions, body or mind. When a person is injured because of the negligence or wrongful actions of other people or entities, the victim has the right to file a lawsuit against those who are responsible.
Who has the right to sue for personal injury?
Some people are injured in accidents that are not caused by negligence or wrongful acts. Just because someone is injured does not necessarily mean that he or she will have the right to sue. Most personal injury cases proceed under a theory of negligence, which means that people will need to prove that the defendants were negligent in order to be able to win their claims. The elements of negligence include the following:
- The defendants owed a duty to the plaintiffs; and
- The defendants breached the duty; and
- The breach either proximately or directly caused the accident and resulting injuries; and
- The plaintiffs suffered financial harm.
In order to have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, the victims must be able to prove all of the elements of the offense. If one of the elements is missing, the claim will fail. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and offer you an opinion of whether or not it is winnable.
How the El Cajon personal injury lawsuit process works
After an injury accident, the first thing that you should do is seek medical help. After you have received treatment, the next step that you might want to take is to contact a personal injury lawyer. The attorney may help to represent your interests while you can concentrate on recovering. After you retain an attorney, he or she will investigate the case so that he or she can value it. After arriving at a valuation of your claim, the lawyer may then send a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company. The demand letter will contain a monetary amount that you are asking for to settle your claim.
The insurance company may accept the demand, deny it outright or make a counteroffer. If you are not able to reach a reasonable settlement agreement with the company, your attorney may then file a formal civil lawsuit against the defendant or defendants. The civil complaint and summons will then be served on the defendants, and they will be given time to respond to it. After the defendants file their responses, the lawsuit will then enter a discovery phase. This period involves both sides exchanging all of the evidence that they have with each other. Discovery may include interrogatories and depositions as well. A vast majority of personal injury claims are ultimately settled. If they are not, however, they will proceed to jury trials and verdicts.
Damages that may be available
Every personal injury case is different and will be worth different amounts. Some of the types of damages that may be available in a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Past and future expected medical expenses
- Past and future expected income losses
- Future reductions in income capacity
- Property losses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reductions in the ability to enjoy life
Factors that may impact your right to compensation
Several factors might impact your right to compensation. If you share fault for your accident, you will not be barred from recovering damages. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you had. For instance, if a jury determines that you were 20 percent at fault, your gross award will be reduced by 20 percent. Other factors that may impact the amount of compensation that you might receive include the severity of your injuries, the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct and other individual characteristics of what happened in your case.
Contact an experienced El Cajon personal injury attorney
It is important for you to contact a lawyer as soon after your accident as possible. If you wait too long, you may be prevented from recovering damages for the losses that you have suffered. Contact an experienced El Cajon personal injury attorney today to learn more about your potential claim.
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