What are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?Request Free Consultation
A sudden serious injury takes a physical and financial toll on the victim and their family. The cost of medical treatment may lead to financial hardship, especially when painful injuries and long recovery periods result in missed paychecks. In the worst cases, an injury could cause life-altering effects like partial or total disability.
When an injury results from someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior, or wrongdoing, the victim shouldn’t be left to suffer the economic consequences. In most cases of preventable injuries, the negligent party is responsible for the damages. “Damages” are the economic and non-economic consequences of the injury. Compensation for damages typically comes from the at-fault party’s insurance, whether it’s medical malpractice insurance for a malpractice injury or a personal injury protection (PIP) plan for a car accident injury. Sadly, insurance companies are rarely on the victim’s side. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney maximizes the chances of recovering substantial compensation on a personal injury claim.
Understanding Liability in a Personal Injury Claim
In fault-based insurance states like California, a personal injury claim requires evidence of one party’s negligence in order for that individual or business entity to be held liable for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages. Proving liability requires demonstrating the following legal points:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of reasonable care to prevent injury to others, like a driver’s duty to follow traffic laws and a business owner’s duty to keep their premises free of safety hazards
- They breached this duty by acting negligently, recklessly, or with intentional wrongdoing
- The breach of duty directly caused injury
- The injury victim suffered significant damages from the injury, like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma
Proving liability for an injury isn’t always easy, especially when insurance companies are quick to deny their client’s liability to protect their profits. Often these companies take advantage of injury victims who don’t have legal representation for their claim.
Gathering Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim
Insurance companies only pay out on an injury claim if the injury victim provides compelling evidence of their client’s liability. In a lawsuit, the injury victim (plaintiff) must prove the at-fault party (defendant) liable by a preponderance of the evidence. Because insurance companies don’t happily write out large checks, they often find ways of undervaluing a claim or denying it completely.
The injury claim system is complex, and injury victims are busy focusing on their physical recovery. For this reason, it’s beneficial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to focus on the financial side of recovery. A skilled San Diego personal injury attorney provides legal counsel and represents an injured client’s best interests throughout the process by doing the following:
- Investigating all aspects of the injury to determine the liable party
- Documenting evidence through photos, videos, accident reports, eyewitness testimony, and accident reconstruction experts to craft a compelling case
- Carefully calculating damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering to maximize the amount of compensation the victim can claim
- Sending an evidence-backed demand package to the liable party’s insurance company
- Negotiate with the insurance adjuster to secure the largest possible settlement
- Pursuing the case in a lawsuit filed within the state’s statute of limitations if the insurance company fails to offer an ample settlement amount or unfairly denies the claim
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court through an attorney’s negotiations for their client; however, an attorney with a strong litigation track record of success is more than ready to argue for a client’s rights in court.