Most people living in Indio Springs, CA, are familiar with the concept of a “personal injury.” However, many of these people do not fully understand the legal implications of a personal injury or how to successfully navigate a difficult personal injury claim. If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries or economic losses because of the actions of someone else, you likely have grounds for a personal injury claim. These cases revolve around acts of negligence and intentional misconduct, and the laws of California are pretty straightforward when it comes to plaintiffs’ rights and the liabilities facing defendants in these cases.
Determining Fault for a Personal Injury
Negligence is often the central legal concept in personal injury cases. The term “negligence” can apply in any action where a party fails to exercise reasonable care for the given situation. Negligence can also refer to a failure to take appropriate action when another reasonable person in the same situation would have likely done the right thing. Ultimately, negligence can take many forms, and there are four essential elements to establishing negligence in a personal injury case:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant named in their complaint owed a specific duty of care in the particular situation.
- Breach of duty. Next, it is essential to prove that the defendant in the case failed to uphold their duty of care in some manner.
- Damage. The plaintiff only has grounds for a personal injury case if they suffered a measurable loss or some form of actual harm.
- Causation. The plaintiff must establish a clear causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s claimed damages. Therefore, the plaintiff must definitively demonstrate that the damages they suffered are the direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
If you can successfully establish these elements, you are likely to succeed with your personal injury claim. Alternatively, personal injuries may also occur from intentional acts of harm. For example, if someone carjacked you, injured you in the process, and stole your personal property, they would face criminal prosecution for their actions and liability for your injury and other losses.
Most Common Causes of Personal Injuries in Indio Springs
Many people in the Indio Springs, CA, area sustain personal injuries from various causes every day. Some of these incidents occur due to negligence, while others result from intentional misconduct. Some common causes of personal injury claims in the area are:
- Car accidents. Filing an insurance claim is typically the first step in recovering your damages after a car accident, but the insurance the driver at fault carries may only cover a portion of your losses. A personal injury claim can help you win reimbursement for anything their insurance can’t cover.
- Workplace injuries. Many workers suffer injuries on the job, and California law allows them to file workers’ compensation claims in response to these incidents. However, some injured workers will have grounds for personal injury actions outside of the workers’ compensation claim process, potentially allowing them to enhance their recoveries.
- Interpersonal violence. Victims of violent crime can hold those responsible for harming them accountable with civil lawsuits, and the perpetrators of such incidents will also face criminal charges.
- Slip and fall incidents. Property owners must make sure that lawful visitors, guests, and all their customers are safe on their properties. If you received a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property because of their failure to address foreseeable safety risks, you likely have grounds to file a personal injury claim under the state’s premises liability laws.
There are many other ways that personal injuries can occur. Once you determine how your personal injury happened and who is responsible for causing it, the next step in the recovery process is establishing all your claimable damages. California law allows victims of personal injuries to request compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs. If the defendant injured you and you required medical treatment, the defendant is liable for any medical expenses you incur because of their actions. This includes immediate and future medical treatment costs resulting from the incident. Many severe injuries, such as brain injuries, require intensive ongoing care.
- Lost income. Your injuries may leave you unable to work, and the defendant is liable for the money you lose from not working while you are trying to recover. If their actions left you permanently disabled and you cannot return to work at all due to your condition, they would be responsible for the future earning potential you lost.
- Property damage. Many personal injury claims pertain to physical injuries and property loss. If the defendant, by their actions, damaged or destroyed your personal property, they are responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing whatever they damaged.
California’s personal injury laws also allow for collecting pain and suffering compensation in personal injury claims. Again, this may sound like it would be difficult to quantify in monetary terms, but a seasoned lawyer can determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering recompense to request in your suit. This money aims to compensate victims for their physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from a defendant’s actions. It is likely to form the bulk of the plaintiff’s total recovery in a complex injury case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim?
No matter how straightforward your personal injury claim may seem, it is essential to have legal counsel you can depend on as you begin building your case. The right attorney can increase your chances of success with your case, and they are likely to maximize your total recovery. The average person with no legal experience would likely overlook available channels of compensation, settling for less than they legally deserve. A good lawyer can not only handle your legal proceedings on your behalf while you focus on your recovery, but they may also uncover avenues of recompense you may not have considered on your own.
Ultimately, any personal injury case can pose complex challenges to the plaintiff and their family, and it’s vital to have legal counsel you trust in this difficult situation. If you believe you have grounds to file a personal injury claim in Indio Springs, CA, contact English, Lloyd & Armenta today to set up a consultation with our team.