Getting hurt and injured is equal parts horrifying and sad. The soul-deep shock of bodily injury further adds to the confusion, making it difficult to determine who exactly is to blame. But you’re on the hook for costly medical expenses, and mounting up a legal defense may be your only way out. So who should you blame? As experts on personal injury, we, at Phoong Law, can help you determine your options.
Read on to learn who you can sue in the event of a personal injury and what a personal injury lawyer can do for you today.
In general, the exact nature of a person’s liability depends on where the accident took place. If the accident occurred at work due to negligence, whether by your manager, another worker, or a process that must be completed in a certain way, your place of business may be liable. Suppose you were in a car accident where the driver caused an accident due to reckless behavior and violated driving rules. In that case, you could hold the driver accountable. If your medical care provider failed to administer proper care, you could also sue the doctor or the hospital.
So the answer boils down to your specific situation. In most cases, you’ll need an expert personal injury lawyer in California who has the knowledge and expertise to advise you on who you should hold accountable in your lawsuit.
In any case, it is essential to prove someone’s fault beyond the shadow of a doubt. Providing photo proof, witness testimonies, and a police report (if applicable) is vital to help prove your cast. As a general rule, the more evidence you have proving your innocence, the easier it is to negotiate with the at-fault person’s insurance company to pay up.
Most insurance companies are frighteningly effective at casting doubt into who was at fault and dodge their responsibility of paying you the damages you rightfully deserve. This is why it may be essential to work with an attorney in California to help you gain the upper hand. Your attorney ensures you get compensated for your loss due to someone else’s recklessness.
Negotiation with the Insurance Company
Before you sue the at-fault entity, it would be a good idea to try settling outside of court. A professional and experienced injury lawyer can heavily tilt the scales in your favor. In most cases, they handle all the negations with the insurance companies and get you a settlement without going to court.
During negotiations, your lawyer will be responsible for presenting evidence to the at-fault entity’s insurance company.
The information-gathering phase will document your medical bills, related expenses, time missed from work, and pain and suffering. The total damages will be included as a lump sum total and act as the first settlement offer.
In most cases, the first offer may be rejected, and negotiations may continue. At this point, it is better to let your personal injury lawyer take things from here and get you the compensation you deserve.
Situations Where You Can Sue Your Workplace
Suppose you were injured at the workplace. Let’s say the injury was due to faulty equipment or negligent behavior on behalf of other employees. In that case, you can sue them for your damages. Most businesses will have liability insurance if someone, whether it is a client or employee, gets involved in an accident.
A personal injury lawyer in California can help ensure you get the full amount of the policy applicable to you. Skilled attorneys will be able to negotiate with businesses effectively. This ensures you get the necessary time-off you need to recover and the wages you are owed during that period. Remember, if you get hurt while on the job, your employer is responsible for the damages and can be sued for failing to provide you with a safe working environment
Suing After a Car Accident
Imagine this scenario; a reckless driver slammed into your vehicle while you stopped at a red light. This person was not paying attention. Now you are not only left with damages or even a totaled car, but you’re also physically injured and in need of urgent medical attention. It would be best if you did not have to pay for someone else’s negligence.
Well, then, it’s time to sue the other driver for the damages they caused you. After all, you didn’t ask to be in the accident, and you didn’t ask to suffer from life-changing injuries that have significantly changed how you live your life. You can sue for property damage, insurance costs, medical damages, punitive damage. You could also pursue the maximum policy limit covered under your insurance if the accident’s severity warrants it.
If you have further questions about personal injury in California, don’t hesitate to speak with us.
Suing After a Slip and Fall in a Store
Business owners have a duty to the public and their clients. They are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe and they do business in a secure environment. The property should have no areas accessible to the public that may pose a threat of injury. Property owners must maintain their workplace in a safe condition. This means there should be no spilled liquid in a store, no lumps in the hotel’s carpet where someone could trip over, and there should be no low spaces where an unwary person could trip on a sidewalk or stairs.
Slip and falls in stores is a common occurrence, often resulting in severe damages. To bring this lawsuit to court, you will have to determine if the store belongs to a chain or just one owner. If it belongs to a chain, you will have to sue the chain. You won’t be able to sue the store manager since they are acting in the capacity of an employee. You have to determine who owns the store, and it could be possible that the owner is another business.
Negligence on the owner’s part creates a liability that, if proven, can help you recover a sizable amount to recover your damages. The actual settlement you receive depends on the impact of your injuries.
If you have further inquiries about what your case of slip and fall is worth, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney.
What to do if the at-fault driver does not have insurance?
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage, you can do one of two things. First, you could try to sue the driver personally. This is probably not the right choice because drivers without insurance often do not have enough assets or belongings from which you can cove for your damages. So even if you win your lawsuit against the driver, you probably won’t be able to recover regardless.
Your next best option is to avail your uninsured motorist benefits, which means you’ll have to call your insurance company. It is also worth pointing out that uninsured motorist payouts cannot exceed the amount of your primary coverage. For example, if you have $120,000 in coverage, you may only receive up to $120,000 in uninsured benefits.
Suing a Medical Professional or Hospital
We all rely on medical care professionals’ skills and expertise, entrusting them to do everything in their power to tend to our healthcare needs. We trust physicians to treat our ailments since we can’t treat ourselves at home. When a doctor or health care professional administers medical care, we trust they’re doing the right thing.
When they mess up the treatment or don’t live up to expectations, it can have devastating consequences on your health. Suppose another medical professional can demonstrate that your physician or hospital failed to do their job well. In that case, you can sue them for medical malpractice. If this unfortunate accident happened to you, it’s a severe offense, and you should speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Serious Injury Threshold
Threshold injuries are grave health hazards that cause significant or permanent damages to a person. These injuries can impede your personal ability to do everyday activities for a specific period. Threshold injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of a body organ
- Medically certified impairment that may be non-permanent but puts you out of work
If your injuries are severe, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case and recover your damages.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Most personal injury claims are subject to legal deadlines known as the “Statutes of Limitations.” Meaning you must settle or file your lawsuit before the deadline expires, or you will forfeit your right to pursue compensating for your injury.
The clock starts ticking the moment you sustained your injury. You will have to keep track of the time remaining to act.
The insurance company is not under any obligation to warn you that time’s running out. The adjuster is well aware of the statute and knows that once it runs out, they win.
Each state has its statute of limitations of personal injury lawsuits. Most of them are two years or more, so do check your individual state’s laws. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of injury. If you didn’t discover the injury right away, then it’s one year from the date you discovered the injury. Typically, the state where you got injured is where the statute applies. In many cases, this is the state where you will be filing the lawsuit.
Starting Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
A lawsuit may become necessary if you can’t settle outside of court with the claims adjuster. In most cases, a lawsuit is the last resort. You can only file a lawsuit against the defendant, not the insurance company.
Usually, it’s not a good idea to file a lawsuit for minor injures, or at least wait until your claims negation has failed. A negotiated settlement is the best route to take because it means you won’t have to deal with the high effort and stress of a lawsuit. Unless you’re severely or permanently injured, the time and effort may not be worth the payout.
Most lawsuit expenses include the following:
- Filing fees in the court
- Time off from work
- The cost of getting a sheriff to serve your lawsuit
- Expert medical testimony
- Court reporter costs
- Costs for a police report and medical records
This is why it’s crucial to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer before filing a lawsuit. These experts will determine the value of your claim and if it severe enough to warrant a lawsuit.
Warning: Arbitrations Do Not Cover the Statute of Limitations
Arbitrations can take place if settlement negotiations fail. It’s the equivalent of going to court, without actually goat court. In arbitration, both parties agree on an arbitrator (a third party to listen to both sides and decide the outcome). In most cases, the arbiter’s decision cannot be appealed.
Unless your statute of limitations is about to expire, it is best to have an arbitrator determine the course of your case. In most cases, you will be able to recover some amount of your damages.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
At Phoong Law, we handle a variety of personal injury cases for injured victims in San Francisco, Sacramento, and surrounding areas in Northern California. These cases include, but not limited to:
We know how frightening the experience can be when on the receiving end of a devastating injury. At Phoong Law, we have years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases and winning. We encourage you to reach out to our personal injury lawyers if you have suffered from injuries due to someone else’s negligence.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.