If you have been hurt due to someone else's carelessness or misconduct, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In many situations, insurers are reluctant to pay the full amount of damages to which you may be entitled unless you have knowledgeable legal representation on your side. A Sacramento personal injury attorney may be a vital tool in asserting your rights to the fullest extent of the law. At Travis G. Black & Associates, we can assist victims who need a car accident lawyer or guidance with other personal injury claims, such as those arising out of slip and falls or dog bites. Based in Folsom, we also represent families who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident.Bringing a Personal Injury Claim in California
Most personal injury cases are based on the theory of negligence, which has four basic elements. These may be defined as the defendant's duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. Everyone in California is expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing foreseeable injuries to others. However, the standard of care may vary depending on the situation. In some cases, laws or regulations establish the standard of care, and a violation of a certain rule will be considered negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law. For example, if a defendant violates the California Vehicle Code by running a red light, and the violation was a substantial factor in bringing about the car crash in which the victim was hurt, there will be a presumption of negligence.
Sometimes defendants may raise the issue of comparative negligence. This means that they want the jury to evaluate whether the plaintiff's own negligence may have caused or contributed to an accident. The jury will assess the amount of damages and the percentage of responsibility of all of the parties. The plaintiff's recovery may be reduced by any percentage of fault attributed to him or her. In contrast to some other states, however, California does not bar the right to compensation unless the plaintiff was completely responsible for causing his or her own injuries.
California follows the rule of joint and several liability with respect to economic damages arising from an accident. Economic damages are tangible losses that may include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, household services, lost income, and lost earning capacity. Each defendant that bears some responsibility for an accident, however little, may be held responsible for all of a victim’s economic damages. In addition to economic damages, a plaintiff may seek noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for relatively subjective forms of harm, and their value may vary significantly depending on how persuasively you present your case. This is just one reason why consulting an aggressive and knowledgeable injury lawyer is an important step to take after an accident.Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento or Beyond
Our principal, Travis G. Black, spent a decade working for the insurance industry before establishing his own firm in Folsom. His prior experience gives him insights into how insurers think and allows him to anticipate the strategies that the opposing side may use in fighting your claim. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers provide perceptive legal counsel to victims during the initial investigation of an accident, as well as tenacious advocacy in settlement negotiations and at trial. Contact us online or call us at 916-962-2896 to set up a free consultation with a personal injury or wrongful death attorney at Travis G. Black & Associates.