San Clemente Personal Injury Lawyer

Every day, residents of San Clemente suffer injuries in accidents of all type. For most of them, the thought of an injury never entered their mind before it happened to them. If you have suffered an injury in San Clemente due to the negligence of someone else, a reliable personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Whether your injury happened on a highway or at a private residence, you have the right to seek monetary compensation from the person that injured you. Contact a San Clemente personal injury lawyer to take the first step towards recovery.

Making a Negligence Determination

In any successful personal injury action, the person seeking compensation (plaintiff) must prove that another party (defendant) engaged in negligent conduct and their negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. To be negligent is to act without reasonable or sufficient care for the safety of others.

An accident attorney proves negligence by showing that the accident could not have happened or would not have caused an injury, but for some act or omission of the defendant. Examples of negligence might include:

Proving the defendant’s conduct was careless or unreasonable is the first step in winning a personal injury case. A defendant is not liable unless the plaintiff proves the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual losses, called damages, resulting from the accident.

Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit brings with it the potential for an injured person to recover damages from the responsible party. No matter the nature of the accident, a successful personal injury claim may result in the collection of related damages. Some of the potential damages include:

Medical Bills

The cornerstone of any personal injury claim is the expenses related to those injuries. Serious injuries often lead to staggering emergency room bills, but those are only the beginning of the costs of recovering from a severe injury. With the help of a San Clemente personal injury attorney, it could be possible for an injured person to pursue both past and future medical expenses.

Lost Wages

In many cases, a serious injury often causes an injured person to miss work. If the negligent actions of another person were responsible for the injuries, any wages lost due to those injuries might be sought in the lawsuit. That includes wages previously lost as well as any reduction in future earning power.

Pain and Suffering

One of the aspects of an injury that is difficult to quantify is the level of suffering involving an injury. An accident victim is entitled to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, but the experience of a San Clemente personal injury attorney may help determine the appropriate amount of damages to seek.

Permanent Disability

Some injuries are so severe that they may permanently affect the quality of life of an injury victim. When a person is permanently disabled, they may face costly adjustments to their way of life, including long-term care, home renovations, or even customized vehicles designed with a specific physical limitation in mind. Expenses related to the permanent disability of an injury victim are an important part of many personal injury lawsuits.

Punitive Damages

Most damages in personal injury cases compensate a plaintiff for their losses. Punitive damages are different because they punish a defendant for wrongful behavior. The law permits a plaintiff to seek punitive damages if a defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff or acted with conscious disregard of others’ wellbeing. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted intentionally or with malice. An experienced personal injury attorney in San Clemente could explain whether seeking punitive damages is an appropriate strategy in a particular case.

Statute of Limitations

When it comes to filing a San Clemente personal injury lawsuit, time is of the essence. This is due to a California statute known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a window of time for the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. If the limitation period expires, any lawsuits filed outside of the statute, the court may dismiss the lawsuit.

In California, all personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date the injuries occur. A San Clemente attorney with experience handling personal injury claims may be able to help you manage the critical legal deadlines in your case.

Bringing Suit Against a Unit of Government

Sometimes a unit of government such as the State of California, Orange County, or the City of San Clemente might have liability for an accident that resulted in injuries. The California Tort Claims Act, California General Code § 911.2, allows individuals to sue a local government for their personal injuries if the negligence of a government employee or a condition at government-owned property led to the injury.

Local governments often have liability in motor vehicle accidents if the crash involved a city bus, school bus, or a car driven by a public employee on the clock. Someone who slipped on a wet floor in a municipal building could have a claim, and so could someone who was injured by a healthcare provider’s medical error at a government owned hospital.

Special rules apply to lawsuits against the government, including strict timeframes – a potential plaintiff must file a notice of claim within six months of the injury or lose the right to sue. An injured person in San Clemente could preserve their rights by consulting an attorney as soon as possible after the accident occurs.

How a San Clemente Personal Injury Attorney Could Help

The benefits of a knowledge attorney are extensive. Your attorney could handle your case from investigation through trial, all while complying with the necessary court deadlines in your case. The responsible parties will try to deny you just compensation, so do not try to handle a complex legal matter without skilled representation. To learn more about how experienced legal counsel could help your case, contact a San Clemente personal injury lawyer today.