Unfortunately, accidents are an everyday occurrence. However, when another individual injures you in an accident, you need an experienced attorney to fight for you. With almost any accident comes a plethora of costs such as lost hours at work, doctor's bills, and housekeeping expenses. You are not the one who should bear the burden of these bills. There is a good chance our attorneys can recover money to compensate you for these accident-related expenses, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can fight to make sure you do not pay for another person's negligence.
Common causes of personal injury
There are a myriad of events that can warrant the initiation of a personal injury lawsuit. Consequently, it is important to know a bit about the laws pertaining to the type of personal injury claim that you are making.
When it comes to auto insurance, California is a pure comparative fault state. That means that when you have an accident, the driver who caused the car accident is responsible for paying any medical bills related to the collision that you incurred if the at-fault driver is found to be completely responsible for having caused the accident. The term pure comparative means that each person is responsible for the percentage of the accident that they caused. If you were 20 percent responsible for an accident, you may recover 80 percent of your medical expenses and automobile repair bills.
If you have been in a car crash, remember to get a copy of the accident report, save every bill that is related to your accident, and report what happened to your insurance company right away. An insurance company has 15 days to acknowledge your claim, and 40 days after that to accept or deny your claim and make you a settlement offer. Once you have accepted an offer, the company has 30 days to pay you.
6227 people were killed in pedestrian accidents in the United States in the year 2018. Pedestrian accidents have increased by 41 percent since 2008 when Smartphones became popular with the general public. Although streetlights and road systems are designed to accommodate people in cars and cars are the primary mode of transportation in Southern California, people really do walk here. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, we help you negotiate with the other driver's insurance company and seek the compensation you deserve.
Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you go in for surgery. A doctor can remove the wrong organ or leave an object inside of you. A scrub nurse can forget to sanitize everything, or the anesthesiologist can over or underdose you. Although various tort reform bills continue to make progress in Congress, it is still very difficult to get doctors to admit to any wrongdoing. Consequently, you will need an experienced attorney who can negotiate with insurance companies, doctors, and other lawyers in order to successfully initiate a medical malpractice claim in most cases.
There were 21 people killed in bike accidents in Southern California in the year 2018 alone. Being hit by a car when you are on a bicycle can have a devastatingly hard impact on your life and body, and these types of accidents often result in bicyclist sustaining serious injuries. Nevertheless, an insurance company will try to prove that you were negligent and caused the accident to occur even if their client was clearly at fault.
When you ride your bike, make sure to wear a helmet, obey traffic signals, and travel in the direction of traffic. Never look at your phone when you ride, and always give turning signals. If you have an accident anyway, we can negotiate with the insurance company for you and make sure that you are not bullied into accepting an unfair settlement.
Premise Liability (slip and fall)
If you slip and fall or are otherwise injured in a person's home, at a store, or in an office building, the owner of the property or the manager of the business may be responsible for your injuries. If you slipped on spilled cooking oil in a grocery store aisle, tripped over a folding chair that was lying across the floor, or stepped on a nail, the property owner or business may have been negligent.
When you have an accident at a business, make sure to fill out an accident report with management. Get the names of any witnesses, and take pictures. The business owner or homeowner should provide you with the name of their insurance carrier, and when they do, call the insurance company to report the accident right away. Do not let them record you, and call us as soon as you have spoken to them.
Construction sites are a dangerous place to work or visit. Fortunately, the fatality rate is dropping in the construction industry, but if you are injured in a construction accident, your employer's workers' compensation insurance should pay your basic medical bills. However, if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, permanent injury, or excessive pain and suffering, you should sue.
California has one of the highest rates of truck accidents in the country. If a sedan is in an accident with a truck, there is a good chance that there will be fatalities. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a truck driver, you can certainly file a claim against the other driver's insurance company, just as you would in an auto accident. However, you may be able to sue the trucking company if they did not comply with certain laws pertaining specifically to truck drivers. If the driver did not have a license to drive a truck, if they were overworked, or if they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, we may be able to recover money for you.
Common injury types
Unfortunately, there are many ways that a person can get hurt in an accident. However, there are a few types of injuries that are commonly sustained by accident victims when they are injured due to high impact trauma.
A concussion is one of the most common types of brain injuries, and it is the result of a direct blow to the head. You may or may not lose consciousness when you have a concussion, and it may or may not show up on a cat scan. It can cause a blood clot which can lead to death in some cases. Moreover, a concussion can take years to heal, and this type of injury can also cause diffuse axonal which are scattered lesions in the brain.
A contusion involves a bruise and bleeding on the brain. It is often the result of a direct injury to the brain. If a contusion is large enough, it may have to be surgically removed.
A Diffuse Axonal Injury can be caused by a shaking of the head or a sharp rotation of the head. This injury occurs when the brain lags behind as the head is jerked forward. This can cause nerve tissue to tear in the brain which can interrupt chemical signals. It is a very serious injury that can cause you to slip into a coma or even die.
A TBI of any kind has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease, and it can cause epilepsy. Results of brain trauma can become apparent years after an initial accident. This can cause problems with personal injury lawsuits because you only have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury in the state of California. However, there are some exceptions made for individuals who did not discover the injury within two years.
Paralysis has occurred when you cannot move any part of your body either temporarily or permanently. The type of paralysis a person has depends on the part of the body that has been affected.
Monoplegia is the type of paralysis that affects just one part of the body. Typically, it affects a single limb, and it can be caused by an impact to said limb or trauma to the brain.
Hemiplegia occurs when an arm and a leg on the same side of the body are paralyzed. It often starts with the sensation of pins and needles in the arm.
Quadriplegia occurs when all four limbs and the torso are paralyzed. It tends to be the result of trauma to the upper spinal cord.
Paraplegia happens below the waist. It can affect the legs, hips, and genital functions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can affect mobility and brain function, and they are not uncommon in personal injury cases. Your power to control your limbs after such an injury will depend upon the severity of the injury and the location of the injury on your spine.
Levels of Trauma
One thing you want to take into consideration when you file a personal injury claim is the level of trauma that you have suffered. An insurance company may try to cheat you out of what you are rightfully owed.
Mild traumatic brain injury occurs when you lose consciousness for a moment, and there is no real loss of brain function or mental capacity. Moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when consciousness is lost from a few minutes to a few hours. This type of injury can cause cognition and behavioral problems that go on for months and confusion that lasts for weeks. The severe traumatic injury comes from crushing blows to the head. Such injuries also involve open wounds to the head and require immediate surgery.
Whiplash is a neck injury that is caused when the neck moves back and forth very quickly. If you are experiencing headaches, neck stiffness, or neck pain after an accident, you may have whiplash. Whiplash does not always show up in X-rays and cat scans, and it may be hard to prove in court.
Orange County Personal Injury Statistics
Accidents that occur in California account for 11 percent of auto accidents in the nation on a yearly basis. 5,045 drivers were involved in fatal crashes in the state in 2017, and 2,195 of these accidents occurred in urban areas. Orange County (OC) ranked 6th in the state for fatal car accidents in 2017 with 178 fatalities being reported that year. There are a lot of long winding roads in the OC and multiple blind turns that every driver should be aware of. When you are driving in the county, it is especially important to wear a seat belt, stay alert, and avoid distractions.
Why Should You Hire Us?
As a member of several bar associations and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Timothy Ryan opened his law firm 30 years ago. He is well-versed in personal injury law, and he has carefully selected staff of attorneys and paralegals who are committed to giving your case the attention it deserves. Over the years, the tenacious Mr. Ryan has collected over 1 billion dollars for his clients, and he is considered to be one of the most reputable personal injury lawyers in Orange County. Mr. Ryan's drive and dedication to the pursuit of justice for accident victims allows him to obtain the best possible result in every case he accepts, and he is ready to start working on your claim today.
What is a personal injury?
Simply put, personal injuries are ones that you suffer to your body or mind, as opposed to property damage that happens to the things that you own. If your cellphone breaks in a car accident, then that is an example of property damage. If you break an arm in a car accident, though, then this is an example of a personal injury and there is a different process necessary to make sure that you get the compensation that you need to cover the economic costs of a broken arm.
Do you need an attorney for a personal injury case?
There is no law stating that a victim needs to have an attorney for any case in the United States, but it is strongly suggested that you choose to have professional representation throughout the process. When dealing with an insurance company, you will be going against a multi-billion dollar entity with a top priority of limiting the amount of money that they ultimately have to pay you. When you have the help of an attorney, you have a much better chance of fighting back against their tactics and getting what you actually deserve.
Should I settle with the insurance company?
When an insurance company completes a claim investigation, it will offer a lump settlement to the victim in the hopes that they accept it and move on. In exchange for this settlement, the victim will be required to waive their rights to any future legal actions against the insurance company or their client for the accident, meaning that this lump sum is intended to cover EVERYTHING related to the accident, including future issues.
The insurance company will never offer the amount that a victim rightfully owes, and instead will rely on the mounting pressure of medical bills and lost wages to convince the claimant that they should take the money. You should never accept an offer from an insurance company without working with an attorney, who can negotiate on your behalf.
Is it unreasonable to seek non-economic damages?
Non-economic damages are often some of the most contentious aspects of a personal injury lawsuit, but this does not make them any less legitimate than the measurable economic damages that a victim suffers. In fact, non-economic damages seek to address some of the most lasting impacts that an accident can have on someone, and a good attorney can effectively calculate a fair dollar amount to compensate their client for these types of suffering.
Can I seek punitive damages for a particularly reckless accident?
In some cases, a judge or jury may award punitive damages to a victim as a way to penalize the responsible party for particularly aggressive, violent, careless, or otherwise harmful behavior that led to the injuries sustained. That said, punitive damages are solely up to the discretion of the courts, meaning that you and your personal injury attorney in Orange County will not speculate on this possibility or include possible punitive damages in the amount that you are working towards in your case. In some cases, it may be clear that punitive damages are warranted, but the amount and structure of these damages will not be determined or influenced by the victim or their legal team.
How much money is my case worth?
In order to get a true idea of what your case is worth, your best bet is to start working with an attorney as soon as possible. There are many subtle details that go into a comprehensive personal injury case, and the more time that you and your attorney have to work together, the better they will be able to gather all of the information to build a strong argument for each of these damages. Contact us now for an initial consultation, and we can talk about the specifics of your injuries and get a better idea of the types of damages we will seek.