If you have been injured, you may be hesitant to file a personal injury claim because you are unfamiliar with the process. The biggest reason to file a personal injury claim is to recover financial compensation for your injuries. An attorney experienced in personal injury law can help guide you through the process of filing a claim for personal injuries and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
California personal injury attorney Johann Hall has many years of experience handling all different kinds of personal injury cases. He can help you navigate the legal issues that arise at every step of the process through the litigation process of a personal injury claim. Attorney Johann Hall knows what it takes to fight for your legal right to compensation when you have been wrongfully injured. Contact him today at the Law Office of Johann Hall to schedule a consultation to discuss your potential personal injury claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in California
Under California law, there is generally a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. The statute of limitations means that your personal injury claim must be formally filed with the court within two years from the date you were injured. There are some exceptions to this rule which may shorten the statute time period, so it is important to consult a personal injury attorney to make sure your rights to compensation are protected, and the matter is timely filed.
Before your case is filed in court and litigation begins, your attorney may attempt to settle your case out of court with the insurance company of the at-fault party. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and the other driver was at fault for the accident and therefore, your injuries, your attorney may contact the handling claims adjuster at the insurance company of the other driver. Depending on the amount of the settlement, it may be in your best interest to accept the settlement rather than filing suit.
Your personal injury attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and evaluate the settlement offer and make a recommendation to you as to how to proceed. It will ultimately be your choice whether to accept the offer or to continue with litigation.
Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim in California
When it comes to compensation for a personal injury claim, there is no standard amount awarded or given. The amount of compensation you will receive depends heavily on the facts of your case. For example, if you suffered serious injuries requiring surgery and time off work, your settlement will typically be for more money than someone who had a very minor injury and required little medical treatment due to the accident.
Types of Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim
There are a few different forms of compensation for personal injury claims. These are commonly referred to as damages. The idea of compensation for damages is to return the injured party to where they were before they suffered the injury. Damages in personal injury cases tend to fall within two categories—economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are more easily measurable than non-economic damages. Economic damages include compensation for medical bills incurred as a result of the injury, lost wages for the time you were required to be off work due to your injury (in most cases this must be supported by your doctor’s recommendations), and property damage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Settlement Offers in Personal Injury Cases
If you receive a settlement offer, it will typically just be a lump sum of money with all of the factors above taken into consideration. Your attorney will break it down and explain it to you and help you decide if accepting the settlement is in your best interest. If you decide to accept the settlement offer, you are agreeing to resolve your pending claim for the amount of money agreed to in the settlement. After you sign the settlement paperwork and receive your check, your claim will have concluded, and your case will be over.
If you decide not to accept any settlement in your case, you will move on to the next phase. The next phase includes a formal filing of a complaint to initiate legal proceedings in your case in court. During litigation, the parties will exchange written discovery, in which you will have to answer questions under oath. You also have the opportunity to ask the other party or parties questions under oath. The discovery process also may include depositions of the parties and other witnesses. Finally, the matter will eventually proceed to a trial.