Dana Point Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter their severity, personal injuries could result in tremendous personal and financial burdens for those harmed. If you were hurt as the result of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you may wish to speak with a compassionate Dana Point personal injury lawyer about your rights.

After an accident that was not your fault, you should not have to face the consequences alone. Unfortunately, the legal system to file a successful claim for recovery can be intimidating and overwhelming for underrepresented claimants, especially when they are suffering from serious trauma. By working with a skilled personal injury attorney, you may have a much better chance of building a persuasive and successful case for compensation.

Determining Fault in Personal Injury Claims

Injuries are often the result of someone else’s negligence. Negligence is a legal theory outlined in the California Civil Code §1714 which states that every citizen has a legal obligation to protect the safety of others. When this duty is breached and results in an accident, the responsible party may be deemed legally negligent.

In many cases, there are multiple factors that contribute to an injury, such as a speeding trucker causing a multi-vehicle accident. A Dana Point accident lawyer could review the police report, talk to witnesses, subpoena the truck’s log and data recorder, and investigate any circumstances that might indicate negligence. They could find that the driver was trying to meet an unreasonable delivery schedule and another driver’s brakes malfunctioned so they could not avoid the collision. The trucker’s employer, the other driver, and the brake manufacturer all could be held liable for the accident.

In many personal injury cases, the liable parties are insured and their insurance companies pay the injured person’s damages up to the policy limits. If a claimant could identify multiple parties bearing partial responsibility for an accident, it becomes more likely that their total settlement will be adequate to compensate all their losses.

What Are the Most Common Personal Injuries?

Car crashes are a frequent cause of an actionable injury and a good example of a typical personal injury case in Dana Point. If another driver causes an accident because they were speeding, their reckless behavior could be a clear example of legal negligence in most situations. Other common causes of injury may include falling incidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle crashes, nursing home abuse, drug overdoses, medical mistakes, and dangerous consumer goods.

Even if supporting evidence seems clear, though, negligence may still be difficult to prove in court. If a claimant’s injury resulted from someone else’s careless action or inaction, a tenacious Dana Point personal injury lawyer could help them prove negligence and seek appropriate restitution for their injuries.

Proving Damages in a Dana Point Injury Case

A claimant in a personal injury case must prove that they are entitled to compensation. Proving economic damages could involve producing receipts, invoices, medical records, tax returns, employment files, and other documentation showing how much the claimant spent to treat their injury and how much income they lost from being unable to work. If an injury is catastrophic enough that it is permanent, then medical and economic experts might provide opinions about the cost of future medical care and projected total income lost due to injury.

Proving non-economic damages, commonly called pain and suffering damages, is a little trickier. Pharmacy records could demonstrate the duration and severity of the claimant’s pain. A doctor or therapist might provide information about the extent of a claimant’s mental anguish. If the injury prevents the claimant from participating in life as fully as they did pre-accident, then testimony from the claimant, their family members, and associates could be helpful. A talented Dana Point civil injury lawyer could elicit testimony demonstrating the severe impact the injuries had on the claimant’s quality of life.

What Happens if a Plaintiff Is Partially at Fault?

The State of California allows for “shared fault” injury claims, in which the injured party may be found partially to blame for their own injuries. An example of this might be a car wreck where the injured party failed to yield properly to a driver who was speeding. The compensation available to a partially at-fault claimant is judged based on the amount of blame that could be ascribed to someone else.

If a court determines that a claimant bears 20 percent of the total fault for their injuries, the damages they may recover from a defendant would be reduced by that same percentage. A personal injury attorney in Dana Point may be able to help in determining how much fault can be ascribed to each party and what actions to take based on their unique circumstances.

The Statute of Limitations in Dana Point

The State of California has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §335.1, this statute sets a two-year time limit from the date of an accident within which a claimant must file their case in order to be eligible to recover damages.

While there are rare exceptions to this statute, an injured individual should endeavor to file a claim that meets this timeline to try and avoid dismissal. With the help of proactive legal counsel, a claimant should be able to build a claim that meets this deadline.

What if the Government is Responsible?

Sometimes the actions of the state of California, Orange County, the city of Dana Point, or a government employee causes an accident. In such cases, an injured person could claim compensation from the government entity. This scenario might arise if injuries resulted from a:

  • Metrolink train collision
  • Slip and fall in a courthouse
  • Car accident and an involved driver was a public employee on the clock
  • Near-drowning on a public beach
  • Pedestrian accident caused by shoddy road design
  • Mishap involving emergency vehicles
  • Fallen tree limb in public park or conservation area
  • Mountain bike accident on poorly maintained public trail

Special rules apply if a unit of government might be responsible for an accident. Most importantly, an injured person must file a notice of claim with the government entity within six months of the accident. Failing to file this notice claim prevents the injured person from filing a lawsuit later. A Dana Point attorney could preserve an injured person’s rights by ensuring that the claimant meets all filing deadlines.

How a Dana Point Personal Injury Attorney Could Help

After a serious accident in which you sustain a severe injury, you may face a plethora of medical bills and a loss of income from an inability to work. Beyond this financial toll, you may also suffer from psychological and emotional trauma.

If your injuries were due to someone else’s negligence, you may benefit from speaking with a Dana Point personal injury lawyer about your right to pursue compensation. A seasoned attorney may be able to help guide you through the process of determining negligence and filing a successful claim. Call today for a consultation.