Accidents happen every day in Anaheim, and unfortunately those responsible often do not want to compensate the injured person. Anaheim personal injury lawyers can help an injured person get due compensation for their injuries.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury suit is a civil case that is started when the injured person, referred to as the plaintiff, sues the person or group responsible for their injuries, referred to as the defendant. Sometimes, the defendant may offer a settlement to avoid a formal lawsuit. If the injured person agrees to the settlement terms, then a formal lawsuit is avoided. If they cannot agree, then they may seek more formal dispute resolution meetings or arbitration. If the two parties still cannot agree, then the case will be heard in civil court and the court will decide if damages should be awarded to the plaintiff. Anaheim personal injury lawyers are vital at all stages of this process. They can determine if the defendant’s settlement offer is sufficient or if the client can get a better resolution in court.
What Do You Gain From a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A lawsuit can only award a monetary amount, called damages. Damages are awarded based on many factors and may fall under economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are easily calculated as the cost of the injuries sustained. Medical expenses, lost wages and vehicle repairs are common examples of economic damages. These amounts are automatically provided if the plaintiff wins the case, and they should be the minimum amount offered in a settlement. Non-economic damages are the more ambiguous damages that cover items like “pain and suffering” or other terms that are impossible to truly calculate. The court will determine the amount of non-economic damages on a case by case basis. There are sometimes caps on non-economic damages. In California, a cap exists on the non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims of the amount of $250,000.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
Personal injury laws are defined by state laws and they can vary slightly with each state. A statute of limitations is an amount of time the plaintiff has to file their lawsuit. If they do not file the suit within that time, then their claim is no longer valid under the law and they cannot pursue any amount of damages. In California, the statute of limitations on most personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of the event. For medical malpractice the statute is 1 year from the date of discovery or 3 years from the event if the injury was known at the time.
Personal injury lawsuits can become complicated very quickly. A great deal of evidence is required and many legal forms must be processed. Anaheim personal injury lawyers can help ensure that the plaintiff is getting the most out of their case and that all necessary forms are being filed with the court. It is important contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you have a case.