If you have ever been injured in an accident, you probably know the frustration of getting the insurance company to pay you the money you are owed. Even if you stay at the scene of the accident, get a copy of the accident report, and save every medical bill that you have, the insurance company is going to try to keep from paying you all the money they owe you. A personal injury attorney who is well-versed in California law can help you get a fair sum for your injuries.
Have you been injured in an accident that someone else caused? Have your injuries cost you money and suffering? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you may be able to seek financial compensation from the person who caused the accident, or their insurance company, to address your unnecessary and life-altering pain. There are many different situations that you could be injured in that will qualify for a settlement that goes above what you will be offered by the responsible party’s insurance company will try to settle for, but it is important that you navigate this process with the help of an experienced, reliable personal injury attorney in Huntington Beach.
When you are working with an insurance company, one of the most important things for you to remember is that the insurance agent you are working with is NOT working on your behalf: they are a representative of a company whose main goal is to spend as little money as possible while protecting their client and themselves from any future legal issues. This means that when they offer you a settlement agreement, this is the absolute minimum that you deserve, and will come at the cost of signing away your ability to pursue any future legal action. Never accept an initial offer from an insurance company; instead, contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate this process and ensure that you are being treated fairly.
Read more below about a variety of situations you might be entitled to seek additional damages for, how a personal injury attorney can help, and what type of damages we may be able to include in our negotiations or lawsuit. Call now for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights and options for your specific situation.
California is a pure comparative fault state when it comes to auto insurance. This means that the insurance company of the person who causes an accident must pay the other driver’s accident related bills based on the percentage of fault assigned to the at-fault individual at trial. This means that a driver is only responsible for the percentage of the accident that they caused. For example, if you caused 20 percent of an accident, you may file a claim for 80 percent of the bill with the other driver’s insurance company, and the other driver may file a claim for 20 percent of the bill with your insurance company.
California has one of the highest rates of truck accidents in the country. Some of the same rules that apply to car accidents apply to truck accidents in California. However, a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and as a result, the chances of fatalities and serious injuries are much greater when you have an accident with a truck. If you are injured by a truck or if you have lost a loved one due to a trucking accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company in addition to recovering money from the trucking company’s insurance company. If the driver was not trained properly, did not have an up to date license to drive a truck, or if the truck was carrying too much weight, you may have a case. If the driver was inebriated, distracted by a cell phone, or if that driver has worked more hours than they are legally allowed to work dur
A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. There are a lot of things that can go wrong during surgery due to the number of people who play a role in any operation. The scrub nurse could forget to wash their hands, the anesthesiologist may over or underdose you, or the doctor could make a number of different mistakes such as removing the wrong organ or even leaving a sponge inside you. If you have been injured due to a doctor’s negligence, we can help you recover the money that you have lost due to your injury. We can also work to recover funds for your emotional pain and suffering.
Construction work is a dangerous job, and there are many things that can go wrong. Even if you are just a bystander at a construction site, you can easily be injured if a construction company has been negligent in their duties. Knowing who to sue or file a claim against can be the biggest challenge in a construction lawsuit because there are often contractors, subcontractors, and property owners involved in a construction job. Our team of legal researchers can assist in finding out who was responsible for your accident and assist you with the execution of your claim.
If you slip and fall in a store you are shopping in, an office you are visiting, or even a private home, you may be able to file a slip and fall claim. Things like free-standing water, nails sticking out of the floor, and construction flaws are the result of negligence by the property or business owner. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you should report it to the manager, fill out an accident report with the business, and get their insurance information. Moreover, call their insurance company and let them know what happened. When you are done, call an attorney who can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Sixty two people died riding bikes in Southern California in 2017. When you ride a bike, your arms are your side doors. Your back tire is your trunk, and your face is your windshield. Two tons of metal crashing into you can certainly cause an enormous amount of damage. So long as you were riding in the bike lane, going in the direction of traffic, and obeying all signals, you should be able to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company if they have hit you.
California ranked 15th in pedestrian deaths in the year 2017, with 352 people being killed by drivers. Many of the same laws that apply to car collisions apply to pedestrian-involved accidents. If you were at all responsible for the accident, you are only entitled to compensation for the percentage of the accident caused by the driver that hit you. If you were flagrantly disobeying traffic laws, an insurance claim can be denied altogether. Remember, California’s roads are not pedestrian-friendly, and traffic lights do not always give a person enough time to cross the street. So, you, as a pedestrian, should always be as cautious as possible, but if an accident does occur, give our office a call for a free case evaluation.
Losing a relative to an accident is horribly traumatic, and it can also leave you in debt. If a member of your family has died in an accident, you can sue the person or entity responsible for that accident in court.
In the state of California, you have three years to file a claim for damage to your property, and two years to file a claim for personal injury. Normally, the time period begins at the moment of the accident, but there are some cases in which the clock may begin ticking when the accident is discovered.
Personal injury law focuses on the physical, emotional, psychological, intimate, and financial effects of injuries incurred as the result of another human being’s actions or faulty equipment. This legal field of practice is separate from those that include damage to property and valuables. As such, personal injury law allows the the person who has been harmed to pursue legal action against and compensation from the party or parties that hurt them.
This legal definition is a bit of a mouthful, but is pretty clear when broken down into its simplest form. In short, personal injury law allows injured parties to advocate for themselves, even if they require a proxy to do so. This field of practice enables victims to recoup at least a modicum of the quality of life they had prior to being injured. It is important to note that while standing before a judge in such a case does not guarantee receipt of financial reparations, the law does at the very least, allow for this possibility.
There are many different things that a personal injury lawyer can do for you, starting with helping you understand whether or not you actually have a case. At Timothy J. Ryan & Associates, you can be confident that we are working on your case because we believe in it. We will not collect a fee if you do not win.
Once we have determined that your case is worth pursuing, we will begin negotiating directly with the insurance company or party who is financially responsible for your injuries. It is in everyone’s best interest to avoid a full lawsuit, and so we will attempt to reach an agreement that fairly compensates you for all aspects of your injury without needing to take it to California courts. If negotiations fail, we will then move to our next step, which is to file a lawsuit to seek the damages we believe you are entitled to.
During a lawsuit case, there will be a lot of paperwork and procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that your chances of winning are as high as possible. Even if you believe that your case is cut and dry, it is extremely important that you are represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer. The defense will work extremely hard to find any legal avenues to reduce the amount of damages they must pay, and our experience will be a great benefit to you and your ability to counter their arguments with your own to ensure that you get what you deserve. Read more about the various damages we will consider during your case.
There are a variety of damages that the courts will consider while we are working through your case, and are divided into categories of compensatory and punitive damages. Since all injuries are different, your situation may not exactly resemble the following examples, but you can be confident that we will make sure that every detail is considered while we are calculating the full amount of the damages we are seeking for you.
Compensatory damages are intended to do exactly what you would expect: compensate the victim for the losses they have suffered after their injuries. There are two different types of compensatory damages which seek money for different types of losses:
Economic damages are intended to compensate victims for losses that have actual dollar amounts attached to them. For example, medical bills or lost wages have true, calculable losses associated with them, and therefore will simply be submitted to the court as proof of the losses. In addition to medical bills and lost wages, we will include any other associated expenses including child care or other assistance that you require because of your inability to take care of yourself, recovery costs, and any possible future expenses. If you have used any paid time off (PTO) that you have accrued at work, we will also seek repayment for these hours as well.
Again, we understand that every injury is different, and everyone has a unique situation, so we will work directly with you to account for every expense associated with your injuries, and seek repayment for them - there is no reason that you should be financially liable for expenses associated with an accident that someone else caused.
Noneconomic damages are a bit more complicated than economic damages and can require some complex calculations and an extensive understanding of the California legal system. Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate victims for losses that do not have actual costs associated with them. This could include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, depression, fear, anxiety, and a diminished quality of life. While there is no way that we could simply submit invoices to the courts that prove the costs of these issues, they are no less important.
We will work to determine a “multiplier” that we believe provides the judge and jury an accurate indication of the severity of these noneconomic damages, which is a lot more representative than trying to come up with a dollar value for your pain. Once we agree on a fair multiplier, we will apply that number to your economic damages, and seek those in addition to the economic damages in your case. For example: if you have suffered from $100,000 in economic damages, and we determine your noneconomic multiplier to be 3x, then we will seek $300,000 in noneconomic damages in addition to your $100,000 of economic damages. In cases of medical malpractice, California has a $250,000 damage cap for noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages are granted to victims in very rare cases where the injuries were the result of extremely egregious actions on behalf of the defendant, or if the responsible party has significant financial holdings and a large award will act to properly punish them for their behavior. These types of damages could be included in drunk driving injuries, or if you have suffered an injury that a major corporation or company caused because of extreme negligence or possibly even malice.
We will not be able to seek punitive damages as part of your lawsuit — a jury awards punitive damages on their own accord, in extreme situations where it is found to be fitting.
There are a lot of different accidents that could result in a personal injury lawsuit. The most important thing that we will work to prove is that the situation resulted because of someone else’s actions (or inactions), that the accident caused your injuries, and that your injuries caused you losses. Some examples of common accidents that lead to personal injury lawsuits are as follows:
There are many other situations that can warrant a personal injury lawsuit, but the ones mentioned above are common in California. We understand that no two accidents are alike, that no two injuries are the same, and that no two personal injury lawsuit cases are identical. We will work with you to build a case that represents your situation and seeks the compensation that you deserve for your specific experiences and suffering.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their National Center for Health Statistics, there were a total of 43.5 million emergency department visits for injuries in 2016. Of course, not all of these visits qualified for personal injury cases, but these numbers are significant.
The CDC also reported a total of 169,936 deaths due to unintentional injury, defined as “those with an underlying cause of death classified by International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) external cause of injury codes as V01–X59 or Y85–Y86. Deaths were categorized by mechanism as drowning, fall, fire/burn, motor vehicle traffic-related, other transportation-related, poisoning, suffocation, and all others, using the external cause-of-injury mortality matrix.”
In 2017, there were a total of 38,659 motor vehicle deaths in the US, which breaks down to 11.9 deaths per 100,000 people. In many of these cases, it would be extremely important to identify who was at fault, so that the surviving family members can seek financial compensation if it is determined that another driver caused the accident.
The following are some of the common questions we answer during initial consultations. Recognize that your specific situation will have different answers, but the following are intended to give you a general idea of what you expect.
Although hiring an attorney is not required, if you have serious injuries, it is a very good idea. Insurance companies are armed with teams of lawyers whose goal it is to keep your money in house. You need someone who is just as educated as they are to argue on your behalf.
A Person or business has what is called a “duty of care” in a certain situation. A “Duty of care” is defined as the legal obligation not to injure others. For example, when one gets a driver’s license, they have a duty of care to obey the rules of the road.
With the exception of a wrongful death claim, your case will probably not go to court. A good personal injury attorney can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to get you an acceptable amount of money before you ever have to file a lawsuit, let alone go through an actual trial.
With over thirty years of legal experience, the law firm of Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has experience dealing with every kind of personal injury claim. Our staff of experienced legal professionals will get you the money you need to move forward after an accident. Contact us now for your free initial consultation, where we will be able to provide you with examples of past cases that we have successfully represented that are similar to your own, as well as offer you specific insight to your situation that will be very helpful in making your decision.
If you believe that your injuries may entitle you to compensation, or if you are unsure of your options, contact us as soon as possible for a free initial consultation. During your consultation, you will be able to get a better understanding of what your personal injury case will look like, how the team at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates works with clients, how we will represent you, and what different options we anticipate for your own case.
The sooner you begin this process, the sooner you can go back to focusing on your life and moving forward from your injuries. We will work to make sure that the additional stress of your case is reduced so that recovery can be your priority, and you can rest easy with the confidence that an experienced attorney is fighting on your behalf for everything you deserve. We look forward to working with you and helping you get your life back on track after your life-changing injuries.
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates Personal Injury Lawyers focuses on representing victims in the following areas:
Despite the state’s understanding of the trauma victims have suffered, particularly if they are at a point in which their injuries have brought them to court, there is a limit to how long victims have to submit their personal injury claims in Orange County. According to the California Code of Civil Procedures, Section 335, victims who have sustained any type of personal injury, whether they were harmed intentionally, unintentionally,negligently, carelessly, or in any other manner, have two years from the day they were injured to pursue legal action. Claims that are filed after this two year period have a significant chance of not being heard by the court.
The statute of limitations for minors, as well as cases involving government agencies and employees, is different however. According to the California Government Code, Section 911.2 (a), adults and minors who have personal injury claims against the government or one of their employees, have six months in which to file their claim. During this six month period, they must also complete the state’s designated, administrative form, and pay the court a fee for filing their personal injury claim. Minors involved in personal injury cases that are unrelated to both government agencies or their employees, have a much longer statute of limitations. Minors are allowed to file their personal injury claims in Orange County for two years after they turn 18. Still have questions? Read our personal injury FAQ to find answers you are looking for.
Most people on any given day do not plan on getting injured, being careless, engaging with equipment that does not work the way it is supposed to, or causing injury to others. Sometimes however, life happens around and to us and we get hurt or cause injury when we least expect.
When these personal injuries and accidents occur, most people initially can only relate to the pain and trauma they are experiencing. It is only after they have begun to process what has happened to them that they can even give thought to pursuing compensation, regaining their lives, and everything that comes next.
A personal injury lawyer in Orange County understands the shock and fears you are likely to experience at these moments. This is why contacting an Orange County personal injury attorney who can successfully advocate on your behalf is vital to your health, healing, and ultimately your quality of life.