Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
Skilled representation for California victims of negligence
Personal injury cases involve a variety of incidents that can end up costing you and your family extensive medical bills, lost wages and personal trauma. Determining if you have a claim against a third party and seeking compensation on your own can be tricky. Consulting with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP will ensure that you have the best legal team fighting for the compensation you deserve.
We have secured more than a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including:
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a type of tort: a wrongful act or violation of civil rights, which leads to liability. Under the Constitution, if you have sustained an injury because of another person’s actions, you may be able to bring a claim against that party in civil court alleging that he or she caused injury or harm to you. You will need to show that:
- You are suffering from a personal injury
- Your injury was caused by another person or party
- There are damages as a result of your injury, such as lost wages, medical expenses, etc.
If your claim involves these three items above, you may have a case; however, that does not guarantee you will recover compensation. This will depend on the specific facts surrounding your case and the lawyer you choose to represent you. Having your case reviewed by a trusted personal injury attorney can give you a clearer picture of your ability to recover damages for the injuries you have suffered.
Issues of liability
Personal injury claims have two components: liability (responsibility) and damages (losses).
Depending on the type of claim you bring, there can be multiple liable parties, each of whom is responsible for a share of the damages you sustained.
Often, the issue of liability is the most complex element of a claim. For example, if you were rear-ended by another driver who was not paying attention, the other driver is liable. But if you are the middle car in a multi-car accident, there could be more than one driver responsible for the crash. The same is true in cases involving defective products, unsafe premises and wrongful death.
Assessing damages for a personal injury claim
If you prove that another party is liable for your injuries, you can make a claim for compensation for your losses. The worth of your case is entirely dependent on the facts of the case. If you have a viable personal injury claim, you can recover damages for:
- Physical and mental pain/suffering
- Loss of income
- Current and future medical bills
California also allows you to seek punitive damages in certain cases. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate you for losses; instead, they are designed to punish malicious, oppressive or fraudulent actions by the liable party. In short, punitive damages are designed to teach a lesson not only to the wrongdoer, but also to any other people or entities who might be considering the same types of acts.
This requires a skilled attorney to demonstrate that you have been injured to such a degree that the other party should be liable for these damages. Insurance companies frequently undervalue personal injury claims and will not pay out an adequate settlement. That is why you need an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney to guide you through the complex process.
What if my injury isn’t physical? Can I still file a lawsuit?
You do not have to sustain a physical injury, like a broken leg or brain trauma, to file a lawsuit. California allows you to make a claim for mental, emotional and/or psychological trauma. It also allows you to claim damages for reputational damage, like that caused by slander, libel or defamation. If someone violates your right to a fair wage, or discriminates against you, you can file a civil lawsuit for damages.
These types of tort claims are not technically “personal injury” claims, but they do allege harm, and you can be compensated for that. McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP has experience successfully representing clients in these types of tort claims.
Filing a personal injury claim in Los Angeles
Every personal injury case is different, from the parties involved to the facts of the case and the outcome, but generally, the following steps occur:
- Consulting with an attorney
- Investigating your case
- Negotiation of settlement (if not, a lawsuit will be filed)
- Filing a lawsuit
Not all of the above steps will be applicable to your case, as many personal injury cases are settled or mediated out of court. While you have up to two years to file your claim under California law, it is not advisable to wait until the deadline. You should file a claim as soon as possible following your injury.
Contact the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP
There are many aspects of resolving a personal injury claim that you may not have considered. The trusted team of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP has helped countless clients in your situation. We have the skill required to give you the best opportunity to recover compensation from those who have caused you harm. Don’t let the allure of a settlement with quick money in your pocket change your view on what you can and should recover for your injuries. Contact us or call 310.474.1582 today to discuss your claim and get compensation for the amount you need to fully recover from your personal injury.