Accidents happen all the time, but nobody expects to be part of one – let alone suffer potentially life-changing, catastrophic injuries from it. However, close to 31 million Americans each year are injured in accidents, at least 2 million of these necessitating hospital stays. Though some injury-causing accidents are truly no one’s fault, most are the result of another’s negligent action. Almost 400,000 personal injury lawsuits are filed each year by victims to determine fault and seek recompense for wrongfully inflicted injuries. If someone’s intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct has injured you, you may be entitled to damages. It would be wise to speak with an experienced Murrieta personal injury attorney today to learn about your options and protect your legal rights.
Murrieta Personal Injury Statistics
Murrieta is a thriving city. The population according to the United States Census Bureau was 103,466 in 2010 with a 133.7% population increase between 2000 and 2010. It maintains its growth rate to this day and is one of the most rapidly growing cities in California. This population explosion results in a large number of homes, businesses, and industries that provide a large number of risks and create a large number of hazards.
What Kind of Harm Gives Rise to a Personal Injury Claim?
Any injury a victim suffers in California from the actions of a person or a company can give rise to a claim for personal injury. Almost any scenario can give rise to a cause of action, but some are more common than others and can include:
- Car accidents;
- Trucking accidents;
- Construction accidents;
- Nursing home abuse or neglect;
- Medical malpractice;
- Premises liability;
- Slips and falls;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Products liability;
- Wrongful death;
- Survival actions;
- Dog bites; and
- Incidents resulting in brain injuries.
If you are unsure whether your injuries can give rise to a claim for personal injury, consult with an experienced Temecula personal injury attorney today to discuss your situation and receive guidance.
What Do I Have to Prove To Hold The Wrongdoer Accountable?
Personal injury victims usually assert claims of negligence to recover for their injuries. To recover under a theory that the defendant was negligent and therefore liable for their injuries, you must prove:
- Duty – the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the victim.
- Breach – the defendant breached their duty of care through an affirmative action or omission and did not act as an ordinarily prudent person would if placed in their situation.
- Causation – defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the victim’s injury.
- Harm – the victim actually suffered injuries as a result of the act or omission.
If the victim can establish these elements and the defendant cannot raise a valid defense, they will be held liable for injuries the victim can prove. A few personal injury claims such as dog bites and defective product design, will be held to a strict liability standard of negligence and not require proving all of these elements – however, this is the exception rather than the rule.
How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth? Compensatory Damages
Victims can recover compensatory damages they can prove in court – these may be either economic or noneconomic in nature. Economic damages are concrete damages with determined monetary values that can be substantiated. Economic damages may include:
- Medical bills;
- Lost Wages;
- Diminished future earning capacity; and
- Funeral expenses.
Noneconomic damages compensate victims for more abstract, nonquantifiable injuries such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of consortium;
- Disfigurement; and
- Emotional distress.
Once a victim has demonstrated their damages, the judge or jury will make a decision as to the final award owed to the victim.
If the victim can establish the defendant engaged in grossly reckless, reprehensible, egregious, or intentional acts then they may be entitled to an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant’s extremely bad behavior and deter repetition of these and similar acts in the future. Punitive damages are not governed by any statutory limitations and can be quite severe to serve the purpose for which they were designed.
What If I Am Partly at Fault For The Accident That Caused My Injuries?
If you are injured in Temecula, you can still sue and recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident causing your injuries. California employs a comparative negligence doctrine in allocating responsibility and adjusting damage awards accordingly. Judges and juries decide the amount of responsibility each party to the accident bears and assigns each a percentage of the fault. After fault is apportioned, any recovery the victim is entitled to will be reduced by their fault percentage.
What Should I Do Now?
If you were involved in an accident and suffered injury, there are several helpful steps you should take in order to preserve your health and preserve your legal rights.
Get Medical Treatment
If you were hurt, it is important to take care of yourself. Find medical as quickly as possible after an accident. If possible, keep records of your injuries and your treatment. It is also imperative you comply with all treatment recommendations, attend all appointments, and take medications exactly as prescribed.
Take Action Quickly
Though it may seem challenging and unnerving, it is important you do not unnecessarily delay in taking legal action. Personal injury claims in California must be filed within 2 years of your injury occurring. If you do not file by the deadline set forth in the statute of limitations, you will be barred from filing your case and lose your ability to obtain damages for your injuries forever.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the skilled Murrieta personal injury attorney at Walton Law today. Our knowledgeable professionals have years of experience delivering personalization representation for clients like you and recovering millions of dollars in damages for their injuries. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days, so call us at (866) 338-7079 or Contact Us online to schedule your no obligation, risk-free case review today. The initial consultation is free and you pay nothing unless you recover. Let a member of our team speak with you and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.