San Juan Capistrano Personal Injury Lawyer

Every day, millions of Americans suffer injuries. These injuries could result from various situations, such as sports, pets, car crashes, and more. When the injuries result from an event that occurred because someone lacked judgment or care, the victim may be eligible for compensation for their injuries.

These situations are legally known as personal injury cases. According to the United States Department of Justice, the most common cause of personal injury accidents is motor vehicle accidents, at 52 percent of all personal injury accidents. Medical malpractice and products liability are the next two major causes of personal injury claims.

Regardless of how a personal injury occurred, a San Juan Capistrano personal injury lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Since personal injury laws can be complicated, a skilled personal injury attorney would help you navigate the laws and craft a case according to your specific circumstances.

Types of Cases in San Juan Capistrano

A personal injury is an injury that occurred in whole or in part due to the actions or inactions of another party. Cases that fall under personal injury law include:

Personal injury laws can be found in California Civil Code § 1714. Under this code, negligence-based injury actions can be brought if a person lacks reasonable care and injures another person or damages their property.

Personal Injury Laws

When an individual turns to the courts to hold another party responsible for their personal injuries, the injured person is the plaintiff and the potentially liable party is the defendant. For the plaintiff to win a personal injury lawsuit or to receive a fair settlement in San Juan Capistrano, their attorney must prove several points. First, they must prove the defendant acted outside the scope of what a reasonable person in a similar situation would have done and was therefore negligent in their actions. This establishes the defendant’s liability.

Second, the plaintiff must prove they suffered damages directly because of the negligence of the defendant. This is a two-part process. The first step is showing causation—the plaintiff must establish that their injuries resulted from an accident that would not have happened if not for the defendant’s negligence. The second step is providing evidence that the plaintiff suffered actual losses due to their injuries.

Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When a plaintiff brings suit against a negligent defendant for personal injuries, the plaintiff is seeking damages to compensate for the losses they suffered because of the accident. Damages include out-of-pocket expenses and the intangible costs that often accompany a severe injury.

Economic damages cover all expenses and lost income associated with the injury. Damages will cover medical bills and costs of getting medical treatment, such as travel expenses, gas, and parking. Damages could pay for a range of expenses related to the injury, such as alternative medical treatments for pain, durable medical equipment, or renovating a home to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Economic damages also will pay lost wages and supplement diminished future earning capacity.

Non-economic damages compensate a plaintiff for the inconvenience and suffering the injury caused. The elements of non-economic damages in a specific case could include disfigurement, disability, physical pain, lost enjoyment of life, mental suffering, humiliation, and other consequences of the accident.

Negligent Plaintiff Retains Right to Seek Damages

The law makes each party to a personal injury action liable for the damages they caused by their actions or inaction. When a lawsuit goes to trial, a jury decides how much responsibility each party has and expresses it in terms of a percentage. The defendant must pay a portion of a plaintiff’s damages equal to the defendant’s percentage of responsibility. Defense lawyers might try to shift blame for an injury onto a plaintiff to reduce their client’s liability.

If a plaintiff’s conduct contributed to the accident or the severity of their injury, the plaintiff would be liable for the portion of their damages attributable to their behavior. Their advocate could present evidence and counter-arguments to ensure that the plaintiff does not bear an unfair share of the responsibility for an accident.

In some states, a plaintiff cannot collect damages from any defendant who holds an equal or smaller percentage of the blame for an accident. However, in San Juan Capistrano, even if the jury assigns a plaintiff 99 percent of the responsibility for the accident, the plaintiff could recover the remaining one percent of their damages from the defendant.

Deadline to File a Civil Suit

All too often, injured individuals make the mistake of thinking they have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. However, under California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, claimants are limited to two years after the date of the injury to file their lawsuit.

Waiting past this deadline, known as the statute of limitations, can void a plaintiff’s right to seek recovery for their injuries. While they can still file a civil lawsuit, the court is not obligated to allow the case to stand and will likely throw out the case at the request of the defendant. If the state or a local government is a defendant in the case, a personal injury lawyer in San Juan Capistrano has only six months to file a notice of claim. Failure to meet that deadline bars the plaintiff from bringing a lawsuit against the government entity.

For questions about how the statute of limitations may impact a case, victims in a personal injury case should contact a well-versed San Juan Capistrano personal injury lawyer in  as soon as possible. The sooner a plaintiff hires legal representation, the better their chances are of preserving vital evidence in the case.

Speaking with a San Juan Capistrano Personal Injury Attorney

After sustaining injuries from an injury, paying for medical bills can be overwhelming and sometimes impossible. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the first step in getting these bills paid and recovering other financial and noneconomic losses. Defendants have aggressive attorneys working to make sure they pay as little as possible despite the suffering you have endured. With a strong advocate on your side, you could get the compensation you deserve. Call today to learn how a compassionate San Juan Capistrano personal injury lawyer can help you.