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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
If someone else’s careless or negligent actions have left you injured, you shouldn’t have to spend a penny out of your own pocket on your recovery. Let a Los Angeles personal injury attorney make sure you don’t have to.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident of any type and suspect that someone else is at fault, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Doing so could land you compensation for the independence, career, financial stability, or sense of wellbeing you lost to your injury.
However, even if you feel like you have a clear-cut case, compensation isn’t likely to come easily. For help building the strongest claim possible, contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Haffner Law. We will examine the details of your claim, gather supporting evidence, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Investigating Who Caused Your Injury
The first step in seeking compensation after an accident is identifying who caused your injury.
Catastrophic injuries can result from a variety of sources. Pinpointing everyone who played a role in your accident will enable you to maximize the value of your claim.
To give you an idea of how multiple parties could have played a part in your accident, let’s look at an example: If you develop a serious illness and suffer damages because of something you ate at a restaurant, you could file your claim against both the restaurant and the food distributor.
Your Los Angeles injury lawyer will investigate and determine whether more than one person should be mentioned in your lawsuit. Investigating your accident won’t be easy. Your attorney will need to interview witnesses, gather all available evidence that points to the cause, and maybe even gather expert testimony.
Accidents That Cause Injuries
You could be injured because of someone’s negligence in a variety of ways. For example, if you are shopping at a retail store and a giant box falls off a top shelf and lands on you, you could be seriously hurt. That box should have been properly secured. You can go sue the retailer to recover compensation for your losses.
This above is an example of a premises liability case. Premises liability refers to the responsibility property owners have to prevent injury to those who legally enter their property, including businesses. If they fail in the duty they have to maintain a safe environment for guests and visitors, you have the right to file an injury claim if you’re hurt as a result.
Some of the most common types of injury-causing accidents in LA include the following:
- Vehicle Accidents – When an injury occurs in a car, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle accident, many different parties can be at fault. A manufacturer of faulty or recalled parts, another driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, or even a government entity that did not properly care for the road may be responsible.
- Product Defects – Companies have a duty to protect consumers from harm even if it affects their bottom line. If you’ve been injured by a defective microwave, an unsafe drug, tainted produce, or another product, you can demand compensation.
- Premises Liability – If you slip in a grocery store, fall off an amusement park ride, or suffer a dog bite on another person’s property, the owner can be held liable.
- Assault or Battery – When someone else’s actions cause you harm, that person may be liable for your damages.
- Construction or Workplace Accidents – Workers compensation insurance purchased by your employer often covers on-the-job injuries; however, if a third party was even partially responsible, you may be able to name that person or entity in a separate personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Law in California
California’s negligence laws state that everyone is liable for the injuries they cause others, whether the injury was intentional or not. This law allows you to file a personal injury claim when negligence was involved in your accident.
Not every accident is caused by negligence. When you trip over your own feet and injure yourself, you probably can’t sue someone for your losses. However, if you are walking down the street and fall into an open manhole a careless city worker forgot to cover, you probably have a viable case.
If you believe you were hurt because someone was being careless, you should speak with a Los Angeles injury attorney to see if your case qualifies you to seek damages.
Every state has a time limit for filing lawsuits called the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years for most types of injuries. The clock starts ticking the date of the accident.
If you discover an injury after the fact—a brain injury that surfaces months or years after your car accident, for example—you have one year from the date you discovered the injury to file a claim.
A year may sound like an abundance of time, but the sooner you team up with a Los Angeles accident injury lawyer, the sooner your attorney can start investigating your claim. Evidence doesn’t stick around forever, and witnesses are more likely to remember what happened if you get your claim started right away.
Types of Personal Injuries
Once you have established who was at fault for your injuries, the next step is to work with your Los Angeles personal injury attorney to assess the total value of your claim.
Often, insurance companies want to settle a claim as quickly as possible for the smallest dollar amount. They don’t want to risk a lawyer getting involved, so they strike early, when you’re at your most vulnerable. Don’t sign anything until you and your lawyer have calculated what your claim is truly worth.
Certain injuries have a much larger impact on your finances than others. They also have the potential to cause long-term health problems that should be considered when determining your claim’s worth.
The following are several of the most common types of catastrophic personal injuries and an idea of how they could impact your life:
- Spinal Cord and Back Injuries – Spinal injuries can lead to loss of mobility and even paralysis in some cases. You may require a wheelchair or other mobility device, caregiving services, and transportation services. You may never be able to work again. You deserve compensation for this serious injury.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – Head injuries can range from mild to very serious. You could suffer from memory loss, cognition problems, and balance and coordination issues. Your life could be forever altered after a serious brain injury, and you deserve to be compensated.
- Head and Neck Injury – Some head and neck injuries can be serious or permanent or cause chronic pain. You can be compensated for these injuries.
- Broken Bones or Torn Ligaments – Sometimes, broken bones and ligament tears will fully heal, but they often don’t. Your mobility could be seriously impacted by this kind of injury, and the damages you’ve suffered should be taken into account.
- Amputations – The loss of a limb can be one of the most traumatizing and painful injuries a person can suffer. It could take years for you to overcome the pain and emotional trauma that comes with this serious injury type.
- Severe Burns – Burn injuries can be excruciating and can lead to permanent scarring and nerve damage.
- Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage – Many accidents can lead to organ damage, the loss of an organ, or dangerous internal injuries. Your injuries could result in expensive medical bills, and your health could be permanently affected.
- Wrongful Death – The death of a loved one because of someone’s carelessness is devastating. Damages from a wrongful death claim can be used to pay for funeral and burial expenses or replace the income a family has lost when the deceased loved one was the provider.
Fair Compensation for Your Los Angeles Personal Injury
An injury can affect your life in countless ways, so it’s important that your personal injury claim carefully accounts for every expense and loss related to your injury so you aren’t left paying for medical bills and other expenses out of pocket.
The following are a few of the potential financial losses you can recover through a personal injury claim in LA:
- Loss of income or earning potential
- Present and future accident-related medical bills
- Property damage
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation services
- Vehicle repairs, rental cars, and other transportation fees
- The cost of retrofitting your home or car to accommodate your injury or disability
You may also be entitled to non-economic damages that occurred as a result of your personal injury. You will want to discuss the following items with your Los Angeles accident injury attorney to make sure these damages are included in your claim:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Social losses caused by scarring or disfigurement
- Lost interest in hobbies
- Diminished quality of life overall
Working with both your lawyer and your doctor will allow you to assess what your recovery will cost, how your quality of life will be affected, and how your injury will affect you in the long term.
Los Angeles Personal Injury FAQ
At Haffner Law, we’re here to seek justice for our clients and make sure all their questions are answered. Although almost any type of injury can qualify as a personal injury, many victims have similar initial questions.
We’ve taken the liberty of answering those questions below. For answers to your other questions, get in touch with us.
Should I accept the first settlement amount the insurance company offers?
No. In almost every case, the initial settlement offer from the insurance company is going to be too low to cover all of your damages. Insurance companies make these lowball offers to trick victims into accepting less than what they really deserve.
To make sure you’re not being shortchanged, let a qualified Los Angeles injury lawyer evaluate any settlement offer you receive before you accept it.
How will comparative fault affect my claim?
California follows the doctrine of comparative fault. Put simply, this means anyone involved in an accident that causes injuries can share some of the blame for what happened. If you’re found to be partially responsible for the accident that left you injured, the proportion of the blame you hold will be subtracted from your total compensation amount.
If, for example, you might reasonably have seen and avoided a speeding truck coming through a four-way stop while you were on your motorcycle, you might be found 15 percent responsible for the accident that injured you. In that case, you would only receive the remaining 85 percent of the compensation award.
Comparative fault can drastically reduce the value of your injury claim, which highlights the need for an experienced attorney who can build you a strong case.
What kinds of evidence do I need for my personal injury claim?
Although the available and necessary evidence will vary based on the circumstances of your injury, you’ll generally want police reports, medical records, photos, videos, and witness statements related to your accident.
How long does it take an LA personal injury case to reach a resolution?
Every case is unique, and the time frame can vary for a number of reasons. These include the complexity of the case, the available evidence, and the extent of your injuries. Sometimes, insurers will drag out the process because they hope you’ll give up and accept a lower offer. Claims generally take between a few months to two years.
How can I help my claim reach a positive outcome?
The best way to help ensure your Los Angeles injury case is successful is to hire an experienced attorney. Some other ways you can help your case are as follows: Don’t speak with insurance companies on your own, don’t get rid of valuable evidence, document your injuries, and keep careful records of your accident-related expenses.
Speak with a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
Give your personal injury claim a strong chance of success by teaming up with Haffner Law. We’re prepared to help you build a strong claim that covers all your damages and fight to make sure you get what you’re owed.
Worried that you can’t afford an attorney? Attorneys from our firm work on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases. That means you don’t pay any money up front, and we don’t get paid unless we win you the compensation you deserve for your accident.
To speak with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer about your case, give us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.