We’ve all seen those commercials on television where the lawyers promise to get you huge settlements for your personal injury case. They rattle off a dozen different types of cases they handle. They may even show a picture of someone wearing a neck brace. What they don’t do is explain what a personal injury case is. Our San Francisco personal injury lawyers understand how confusing the law can be. We also meet with dozens of clients every year who have been injured in some sort of accident.
Personal injury cases typically involve one or more accident victims who were injured at the hands of a third party. Many of these people were involved in motor vehicle accidents. Others were hurt in a slip and fall accident. It doesn’t matter what kind of accident you were involved in, if you were injured due to somebody else’s actions, you may have a personal injury claim. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.
Here, we’ll briefly explain how personal injury cases work. We’ll also discuss some of the more common types of personal injury cases. If you still have questions after reading this article, no worries. Just call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.
Your San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer Must Prove Negligence
In almost all personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s attorney is required to prove negligence. Negligence is just another way of saying somebody didn’t behave the way a reasonable person would have. For example, if you’re hit by a drunk driver, your attorney would simply have to prove the defendant didn’t obey the traffic laws. If you fall on a wet floor in a grocery store, your San Francisco personal injury attorney will have to demonstrate that property owners knew about the wet floor and didn’t fix it.
In order to prove negligence in California, you need to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty
It seems like this would be easy to prove. However, that isn’t always the case. Even if you can prove you were involved in a car crash, you have to prove you were hurt. Or you may have medical records that show you were hurt, but you can’t prove the defendant did anything to cause your injuries.
It would be easy to prove negligence if the defendant didn’t also have their own attorney working hard to prove their client wasn’t at fault. There’s no reason to assume their lawyer is any less skilled than your own. However, the facts often speak for themselves.
What Are Some of the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Every now and then, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys get a case that is really unique. For example, we’ve represented people who were bit by their neighbor’s dog while they were housesitting. Other times, we’ve represented clients who were injured while out scuba diving. There’s no end to the possibilities.
While these cases are interesting, to say the least, they aren’t all that common. Some of the more common cases we see in our office include the following:
- Slip and Falls
- Motor Vehicle Crashes
- Premises Liability
- Workers Compensation
- Dog bites
- Industrial accidents
If you’ve suffered any of these types of accidents, you probably have a legal claim for damages. The best thing to do is to call one of our San Francisco personal injury lawyers right away. They can evaluate your case and give you an idea of what your options are.
What Kind of Damages Do Personal Injury Plaintiffs Demand in Their Lawsuit?
Another thing most personal injury cases have in common is the type of damages the plaintiff demand. Unless your case is highly unusual, you will likely have a claim for any or all the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills – You’re entitled to reimbursement for any medical bills you incur as a result of your accident. For example, the defendant will be liable for doctor’s co-pays, prescriptions, and hospital bills. They will also be responsible for any future medical care you may need.
- Lost wages – If you miss any time from work because of your personal injury, your San Francisco personal injury lawyer will demand compensation. All you’ll have to do is submit proof of missed time via a paystub or report from your company’s payroll department.
- Lost future income – In addition to missing time now, you may not be able to do the same kind of work you did before the accident. If this happens and you’re going to earn less as a result, you can demand compensation. This will be the difference between what you will earn and what you would’ve earned had you never been injured.
- Pain and Suffering – Most personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to damages for pain and suffering. This includes any mental and physical anguish you experience as a result of your injuries.
Your attorney is going to demand some or all of the above in your personal injury lawsuit. Of course, you’ll likely settle your case which means you’ll have to make some concessions on damages. However, your attorney will make sure you settle for enough to cover your out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact an Experienced San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been involved in any sort of personal injury accident, you need help. Most people are in over their heads when they try to handle these cases on their own. There are a lot of rules and deadlines you need to meet. If you make a simple mistake, it can cost you a chance of recovery. This is why we suggest you at least meet with a San Francisco personal injury attorney at some point. In fact, it’s best that you do this in the days following your accident.
The last thing anybody wants to do is pressure you into retaining an attorney. However, it is important that you understand the advantages that come with hiring a legal professional. The insurance company will take you more seriously. You’ll also have a trained negotiator there to try to resolve the matter with the defendant’s attorney. All you have to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation.