You’re only as effective as the tools you work with, and choosing the right Sacramento personal injury lawyers will make all the difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim.
But we’ll be the first to admit that finding skilled personal injury attorneys in Sacramento is not always straightforward, especially if you’re still recovering from the mental and psychological fatigue that follows an injury. There are so many options, and the wrong decision can end up costing you the fair compensation you deserve.
Careful not to wait too long, though, because you have a limited time to file the lawsuit in California. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from an incident that led to an injury. After this time frame passes, your right to sue other parties expires – with very few exceptions.
Call a Lawyer at the Earliest
It can be tempting to talk to insurance companies and law enforcement personnel. But the things you say and the actions you do immediately after a personal injury could influence the outcome of your case. All it takes is a slip of the tongue or minor delays in seeking medical treatment to minimize the fair compensation you deserve.
The insurance companies are not your advocates in this situation because helping you means losing money. Our legal advice is to get in touch with a lawyer at the earliest. Do not agree to any recorded conversations or sign anything until you have discussed it thoroughly with your Sacramento personal injury lawyer.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment After an Injury
First things first – you have to protect your health after an injury. Don’t wait until you’ve spoken to your attorney for this one and seek medical attention before your personal health deteriorates. In most cases, you will be reimbursed for the mounting medical bills.
Just keep all documentation handy, including every single receipt, because they will decide the amount of financial compensation.
Remember, the more you delay seeking medical attention after an accident, the more obstacles you create with the insurance company. This is because the insurance companies can argue that you were negligent in looking after your health and intentionally delayed getting medical attention to seek more compensation.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice Carefully
It goes without saying that you have to follow the instructions from your medical doctors while the case is ongoing. The insurance company will scrutinize your doctor’s advice to identify areas where you may have fallen short. Besides, you should not risk further injury even after settling a case. So make sure to follow your doctor’s advice and try to get fully healed.
Pain and Suffering is More than Just the Medical Bills
Pain and suffering cover a broad spectrum of the accident’s physical and psychological effects on the victim and their loved ones. You won’t have medical bills to prove pain and suffering in most cases. An accident could change the victim’s life forever, including their ability to earn their potential.
This is a crucial area of personal injury law that requires expertise and skill to compensate a victim for the full extent of their damages, including those that are not easy to measure, such as mental anguish and ability to earn.
Remember, each individual case of personal injury is unique. There is no determined method of figuring out how much you should sue. Still, your attorney will help you navigate these difficulties.
Retain All Documentation
A successful personal injury case depends on proving the severity of a victim’s injuries. After getting injured, you will receive many documents, and it may be tempting to discard some of them. But doing so will hurt your case. The documents and receipts you receive will prove the accident and establish the existence of injury, including its type, severity, liability, and cause.
Proper documentation goes a long way in building a solid foundation for your case to help you prove that the accident directly led to your injuries. Medial documentation also proves that your injuries stem from the accident and result from pre-existing health conditions.
As a rule, the more documentation you can gather, the better. It takes only a few minutes to ensure that all the files are correctly stored when you receive them and will save you a ton of headache in the future when you have easy access to the documents.
Personal Injury Cases Can Take Time to Settle
Most personal injury cases take about 6 months to settle. Still, the actual length of time will vary depending on the extent of injuries and the number of parties involved. It isn’t uncommon for cases to take over two to three years. Once the case has settled, it will take anywhere from four to six weeks for the personal injury settlement check to arrive.
While these are average numbers, you should speak with your personal injury lawyer in Sacramento to understand precisely how long it will take for you to receive your compensation.
What Falls Under Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law covers various categories of injury. These injuries may be sustained due to the accident and will vary in severity. Some cases may result in permanent disability and even death.
The most common causes of personal injury that give you the right to seek compensation include:
- Auto accidents
- Slip and fall acids
- Construction site accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Police misconduct
- Wrongful death
- Assault and battery
- Emotion distress
- False accusations that lead to defamation of character
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Autonomous vehicle accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
Personal injury law will cover the following situations:
- Physical and mental injury
- Intentional injurious acts
- Defective product
What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
Types of compensation for negligence actions of another person include both monetary and non-monetary damages.
Monetary damages include the following:
- Medical expense
- Medicals treatments
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-monetary damages, also known as general damages, are often difficult to calculate because they don’t come with receipts. It includes the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical scarring
Can you Lose a Personal Injury Case?
Many factors can affect the outcome of your personal injury claim and cause you to lose the case. It is essential to understand that a personal injury claim is a very rigorous process, especially for court filings. There are strict deadlines that must be met. With that said, it’s just as important to skillfully negotiate a settlement. It also requires experienced judgment to know when to accept a settlement offer – even if it appears to be too low.
Most people lose personal injury cases without professional consultation when they try to handle them. They are missing a valuable experience that can make all the difference. More importantly, they don’t understand the nuts and bolts of filing the legal paperwork and handling court appearances.
Another critical reason people lost personal injury claims is that they don’t appear to be entirely truthful to their case – or at least, they cannot prove their claims efficiently. Making even minor misrepresentations or exaggerations can prove fatal to the case. Misrepresentations can also lead to a court dismissing a claim or issuing sanctions.
Some people often lose their cases because they make too many appearances on social media with photos and updates that downplay their injury. These social media posts could be used by the defendant against the victim to undermine their claims. Try not to minimize the issue. If you are in pain, let everyone know. More importantly, you should not feel ashamed trying to get the compensation you deserve.
After all, pain and suffering play a crucial role in determining the amount of settlement you are rewarded.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California
The statute of limitations for personal injury law in California is two years from the accident. A few exceptions can alter the timeframe, but two years is what most people will get. This is why it is essential to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to start the process and secure your compensation. The sooner your attorney can begin gathering the evidence, the sooner your case can be filed.
You can file a case even if the statute of limitation has passed, but doing so will cause failure. This is because defendants will automatically use the expiration as a defense to dismiss the case. Moreover, the state of limitations also applies to settlements. Even if the court does not reject the claim, the defendant will have no obligation to settle with you once the statute expires.
California does make exceptions to the two-year rule. The most common exemption is known as ‘delayed recovery.’ The rule addresses situations where the victims don’t immediately realize they are injured, or someone else’s negligence caused their accident. If this is the case, the statute of limitations starts when the victim realizes they are injured or becomes aware of the other party’s negligence.
Another exception occurs if the defendant leaves the state before filing your personal injury claim. Since you cannot serve the defendant, the lawsuit can’t proceed. This is why the statute of limitations stops running while the other party is outside California. It goes without saying that the defendant could face severe legal problems once they return to California.
Worried that the statute of limitations has passed in your case? Reach out to our personal injury lawyers, who will analyze your case to see if the exceptional circumstances apply to your case.
What Happens When Someone Claims Persona Injury Against You?
Let’s tackle a situation where the shoe is on the other foot: getting sued by someone who claims personal injury against you.
The first thing is to not panic and hire a Sacramento Personal Injury attorney. And never admit the accident was your fault. In fact, stay utterly tight-lipped about the accident. The fewer things you say, the better it is for you. Admission of guilt can be easily used against you in this case.
In fact, you may even think that ht case is your fault when it is not. Moreover, admissions of guilt can undermine the coverage in your insurance policy if it contains specific exclusions. This means you’ll have to pay any compensation amount out of your own pocket.
What Happens When a Personal Injury Claim Goes to Court?
Once the personal injury claim goes to court, the plaintiff and defendant will have to argue their cases before a judge or jury, who will determine whether the plaintiff’s claims merit compensation.
The following steps will unfold once the case goes to trial:
- A jury will be assembled
- Both parties will give their opening statements
- Witnesses will provide their testimony, and that statements will be cross-examined
- Both parties will submit their closing arguments
- Jury instruction
- The jury will example the evidence and provide a verdict
Personal injury trials can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. In both cases, both parties will need to carefully present their arguments. Most people prefer settlements because the process is much quicker than trials. Settlements are faster, cost less, and don’t cause the victim nearly as much emotional drain.
The only problem with a fair settlement is the risk of receiving less money than if the plaintiff went to court. Your Sacramento personal injury attorney should help you decide if the settlement is worth accepting or if you should put in the extra time and cost to pursue the case.
What Percentage of Settlements do Lawyers Get?
This varies depending on the personal injury lawyer and the amount of effort required to pursue the case. Most attorneys will take one-third of the final segment offer as compensation for their efforts. However, in some cases, the court may decide that the defendant will pay some, or all, of the plaintiff’s attorney fees.
Contact Ashley Injury Lawyers to Help You Mount the Best Legal Case
Ashley Injury Lawyers represent personal injury victims throughout the Sacramento, California region. We can handle your injurycase and recommendthe best course of action for you moving forward.
We can handle every aspect of your case, from pursuing settlements with your insurance company to going to trial, if needed. At the same time, you can focus on getting better physically and mentally. Keep in mind that California imposes a two-year statute of limitations for fling a personas injury law.
Reach out to Ashley Injury Layers today for consultation on your case, and an experienced attorney will get back to you at the earliest!