At SMITH Legal Center, we can help you recover personal injury losses due to someone else’s negligence. Call us today!
Did you suffer a physical injury because of the negligent or malicious actions of another person or business? Under California personal injury law, you might have the right to seek compensation for your injury and other damages, both economic and non-economic.
At SMITH Legal Center, we can provide you with professional legal advice and representation when dealing with insurance companies or in direct lawsuits. Call us today at (866) 777-6484 to schedule a consultation and start the claims process in Santa Clarita, CA.
What Types of Personal Injury Cases Do We Handle?
At SMITH Legal Center, we provide clients with legal representation during all types of personal injury cases, including:
- Intentional torts: These are wrongful acts that cause personal injury on purpose—including assault, battery, and the infliction of emotional trauma
- Negligent torts: These are cases in which the liable party did not intend to cause you harm, but nevertheless, their actions were careless and caused damage and harm. Failure to take precautionary steps can also fall under negligence. Examples of these personal injury cases include:
- Road accidents involving pedestrians, cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, and more
- Slip-and-fall accidents and other cases involving premises liability
- Airplane and boat accidents
- Explosions, chemical spills, and other rare accidents
- Strict liability torts: In these cases, a party can be liable for carrying out an action and causing injury even though they did not act negligently or intentionally. Under California law, strict liability applies when personal injury is due to:
- An attack by a dangerous domestic animal, such as a dog
- The manufacturing, distribution, or selling of a defective product
What to Do Immediately Following an Accident
Preserving as much evidence as possible after an accident is crucial to prove negligence and damages. Take the following steps immediately after an accident:
- Get medical care: Call an ambulance as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel pain or see blood. Some potentially catastrophic injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injury, don’t present symptoms immediately.
- Call the police: Under the California Vehicle Code, you must report a road accident to the police within 24 hours if someone sustained an injury or died.
- Take photographs: In the case of a car accident, you should take pictures of your injuries, vehicle damage, and the scene. If you slipped and fell, take a picture of the tripping hazard that caused your fall.
- Check for cameras: Look around to see if any security cameras might have recorded the incident. Ask the premises manager for a recording if you notice a surveillance or security camera.
- Collect physical evidence: Keep all items that might serve as evidence of your claim. For example, if a defective product harmed you, don’t throw it away.
- Gather all parties’ contact information: This step is critical after a road accident. Ask the other parties, including witnesses at the scene, for their names and contact information.
Filing an Insurance Claim: Contact Our Santa Clarita Personal Injury Attorney
Reporting your claim to your insurance company is the first step in claiming compensation for your damages as a plaintiff. However, we advise that you contact and consult with your attorney before you call the insurance company to insure that, in your shaken-up condition, you do not say something that may harm your case.
At SMITH Legal Center, we recommend consulting with a lawyer before you report the claim to prevent potential issues. Our Santa Clarita personal injury attorney will communicate with your claim handler on your behalf, and we will provide you with legal representation throughout the claims process.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for a Personal Injury Claim?
For your compensation claim to be successful, it needs to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant had a duty to take reasonable care
- The defendant failed to carry out their duty of care
- You suffered damages
- Your damages are the result of the defendant’s failure to exercise care
Duty of Reasonable Care
Your claim needs to demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care. This duty is a legal obligation to prevent harm from befalling others.
The obligation to drive responsibly is a typical example of a reasonable duty of care.
Failure to Take Reasonable Care
Your claim must show that the defendant breached their duty to care through negligence in the form of recklessness or failure to act. Speeding, drunk driving, and failure to maintain a vehicle are typical examples of this element.
What Compensation Amount Can I Claim?
Your claim amount will depend on the damages you suffered because of the defendant’s actions. Damages fall under three categories:
- Economic damages: Financial expenses and losses arising from the personal injury, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and loss of income, are economic damages. When determining damages resulting from wrongful deaths, the loss of a deceased’s income can form part of the plaintiff’s economic damages.
- Non-economic damages: Pain, suffering, and mental anguish are examples of nonmonetary damages. Plaintiffs can also claim compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or loss of consortium.
Quantifying these subjective damages can be challenging. In some cases, California law limits the non-economic damages that plaintiffs can claim. For example, $250,000 is the maximum non-economic claim amount in medical malpractice cases.
- Punitive damages: The courts may award punitive damages as a punishment for gross negligence or deliberate wrongdoing.
At SMITH Legal Center, our personal injury attorney in Santa Clarita will help you quantify and prove your damages, substantiating your claim amount.
Services of a Superior and Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Santa Clarita
When claiming compensation for a personal injury, you need a reputable attorney to:
- Gather evidence to substantiate your compensation claim
- Conduct an investigation to determine the facts of the case
- Calculate a settlement amount that covers your damages
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf
- Provide you with legal advice to help you make informed decisions
At SMITH Legal Center, we can provide you with all the legal solutions you need to file a claim. If you can’t settle with the insurance company, we will file a lawsuit and represent your case in front of the court.
SMITH Legal Center: An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney for Santa Clarita, CA
Our reputable personal injury attorney serving Santa Clarita can help you navigate the entire claims process if you suffered a personal injury. Call us at (866) 777-6484 to schedule a consultation. We have offices on Pasadena and Los Angeles, CA, and Phoenix, AZ.