Unexpected incidents and their resulting injuries can occur at any point during the course of your life. Sometimes, these injuries occur due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. Sadly, broken bones, lasting physical pain, and psychological trauma due to your injuries can leave you feeling unjustly treated and buried in medical debt. To protect yourself against financial distress and pursue compensation for your physical or psychological damage after an incident that causes personal injury, you must pursue a personal injury claim. First, however, it is important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
If you have received serious physical or emotional injuries after an incident in the Rocklin California area, a Rocklin personal injury lawyer is your best chance to seek legal justice and compensation for the other party’s negligence. Accidents are stressful and mentally taxing for you and your loved ones, and recovery should be your primary focus. Rocklin personal injury attorneys specialize in fighting for the compensation you rightfully deserve for your damages.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
Personal injury lawyers provide legal services to you if you claim physical or psychological damages in the event of an accident. The cause of this physical or psychological damage can be workplace injuries, government negligence or even accidents such as vehicle collisions. Your personal injury lawyer will handle all legal proceedings related to the personal injury, including documenting your injuries and expenses, filing court documents, and filing with your insurance. Personal injury lawyers are also trial lawyers. While the term ‘trial lawyer’ is commonly associated with criminal and defense attorneys, personal injury lawyers can also litigate your case in civil court should the need arise. However, in most cases, accidents requiring a personal injury lawyer can be settled outside of trial through negotiations.
A personal injury attorney will undertake various tasks to ensure you receive compensation for the incident causing your injury. Negligence is the determining factor in assigning liability for an accident causing a personal injury. Negligence is any action, or lack of action, which breaches an individual or business’s duty to exercise appropriate care in a given situation. Sometimes, the requirements to fulfill negligence can be ‘gray’ or undeterminable outside of court, in which case a court date may become necessary to establish negligence before a judge. Your lawyer will then help prepare you for your court date and navigate the litigation process.
What Kind of Cases do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Personal injury attorneys are trial lawyers that handle cases relating to accidents and incidents that cause injury. Accidents include a broad range of topics—not only traffic collisions. Any time you have received injuries due to negligence, malpractice, or other tragic circumstances, you have reason to hire a personal injury lawyer. Examples of common cases a Rocklin personal injury attorney handles include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Workplace injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Long-term or permanent injuries
- Government negligence
- Insurance claim refusal
- Wrongful death
Personal injury cases are civil cases, not criminal. While it is possible to include a criminal charge in addition to a personal injury case, the case itself falls under the civil court’s jurisdiction. Even wrongful death is classified as a personal injury, since it is a personal injury that resulted in a fatality.
Are Personal Injury Attorneys Worth It?
Filing a successful claim for an accident causing personal injuries takes specialized experience and training. Although it is possible for an individual to file a claim themselves, the process is complex. In addition, there are some cases that cannot be completed without access to information the average person does not have. If you have recently experienced injuries after an incident caused by someone else, obtaining legal counsel gives you the best possible chance at getting the compensation you deserve.
It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies—especially national brands—have teams of lawyers to protect themselves. You deserve equal standing while making your personal injury claim in court. Unfortunately, many insurance companies use bad faith tactics to prevent or delay compensation in its entirety. When you are up against these major corporations, a knowledgeable lawyer is a key tool in your battle to receive full compensation.
Even after factoring in the cost of a lawyer, court fees, and other legal fees throughout the course of your case, hiring a lawyer is still a sound investment. Without a Rocklin personal injury attorney, you have a much higher chance of failure or succumbing to bad faith tactics by the other party’s insurance company. Should you be successful in making your case on your own, chances are you will not receive the full settlement you could have claimed had you hired a lawyer.
Process of a Personal Injury Case:
The process of a personal injury case is dependent on the type of incident that occurred. Vehicle collisions, for instance, require you or your lawyer to make a claim with both your insurance company and that of any other involved parties. The insurance companies and your respective attorneys would then negotiate a suitable settlement based on the amount of financial damage you accrued because of the accident. Negligence is the deciding factor in liability and who is responsible for paying for the financial damages that occurred.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means liability can be split among multiple parties—including the victim. If the incident is partially your fault, you could assume partial liability for the resulting damages, which affects your compensation. For example, if you receive 10% of the fault for an accident that caused $200,000 in damages, your settlement will be 90% of your total claim. If you were seeking $200,000 in compensation originally, your settlement would be reduced to $180,000 to reflect the 10% partial liability. As such, a major duty of a personal injury lawyer is to prove the other party’s negligence and combat bad-faith practices by the defendant and their insurance company. Without this assistance, compensation and liability can be skewed out of your favor. You could then lose your chance at receiving the full compensation you need to make a full recovery.
What Types of Damages Can You Claim in Rocklin, CA?
Medical bills are only one type of damages you can claim in a personal injury case. In fact, they may be dwarfed by the other elements of your financial burden. If you or a loved one experienced an incident causing personal injury, talk to your lawyer about compensation for other damages, including but not limited to:
- Medical bills, including long-term bills and treatment immediately after your accident, such as physical therapy
- Wage loss, if you had to take time off work to recover
- Loss of earning capacity due to disability, either temporary or permanent
- Pain and suffering, either psychological or physical pain that haunts you during your daily life
- Emotional distress, trauma from the injury that requires therapy
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring that is noticeable and causes social distress in your day-to-day life
- Punitive damages.
Punitive damages are only included at the discretion of a judge, usually when the defendant injured you while committing a criminal act. Punitive damages constitute additional punishment for the other party’s behavior in addition to payment of your claim.
Since your non-economic damages—damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress—do not have a concrete, billed amount for settlement, California courts include multipliers while calculating your claim. Multipliers range from 1.5 to 5 times your economic damages and are added to your base compensation. Multipliers are heavily dependent on the strength of your case and do not take lost wages into account. Lasting, permanent injuries, extreme personal and family suffering, lifelong disfigurement, and concrete liability will suggest a high multiplier, while uncertain liability and less severe injuries do not justify the same.
When Should I Contact a Rocklin Attorney?
Ideally, you should contact a Rocklin personal injury lawyer immediately after you seek medical attention for an accident or incident that caused you harm. It is best to talk to your lawyer before you contact your insurance company. Whether you are experiencing psychological trauma or major injuries, legal counsel from a professional can help you prevent bad faith tactics from insurance companies.
If you think you have long-term injuries after an accident, you should seek medical consultation to confirm that the accident resulted in life-altering damaging effects and begin consulting with a lawyer. Although many people allow insurance to handle minor accidents that result in only minor damage or injuries, major instances with significant damages are best handled by a lawyer to protect yourself from severe economic downfall. In either situation, the services of a skilled personal injury attorney can help you ensure you have the best chance at a successful personal injury claim.
How Do I Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer?
A dedicated Rocklin personal injury lawyer with extensive experience in multiple personal injury case types will give you the best chance to receive the most compensation possible. Kreeger Law Firm and attorney Christopher L Kreeger have built over 30 years of experience in handling personal injury cases of all types. Our dedicated team will work diligently to help you achieve the maximum compensation available to you so you can recover from your injuries in peace. If you have experienced a serious injury and need skilled representation, contact us to request a consultation today.