There’s never a good time to be injured in an accident, but if you were injured due to the negligence of another, you might be entitled to damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In Orange County, CA, the law office of Timothy J. Ryan & Associates represents the victims of accidents. Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that our clients don’t pay out-of-pocket costs. All consultations are free. Call today.
The Duty of Care as it Applies to Personal Injury Cases
Every day, we trust that countless people — strangers and known relationships alike — will act responsibly and carefully in order to keep you and all others safe from avoidable harm. This is known as a “duty of care,” and while the specific duty of care varies depending on the specific situation and behavior the individual is engaging in, the expectation is the same: act in a prudent, responsible manner. Unfortunately, many people fail to uphold their duties of care, and too often, these failures result in accidents, serious injuries, and wrongful death. These situations are the basis for countless injury claims across the United States.
If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, one of the best things you can do after getting your medical issues addressed is to partner with an Orange County personal injury attorney. The team at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has years of experience representing clients for a wide range of personal injury claims with a great success record, and we are here to help you get the money you deserve. Personal injury law can be complicated, and working with insurance companies on your own can be overwhelming, but we can take care of your legal issues while you focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track.
Contact Timothy J. Ryan & Associates For a Free Personal Injury Case Consultation Today
We offer a free initial consultation for victims of personal injuries so we can speak directly and in detail about their situation. Knowing where to turn after suffering from serious injuries can be overwhelming, but speaking with an experienced legal professional about the type of support available for your situation can help you look towards the future with confidence. We know California personal injury claims, and we know how to fight for what our clients truly deserve.
Read more about personal injury law, common types of personal injury cases, and how working with an Orange County, California attorney can help you get through this process with a settlement you are rightfully owed. No matter how straightforward your case may seem, working with the insurance companies alone is a complex, frustrating, and overwhelming process in order to get a fair settlement. We are here to help.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
In most accident cases, it’s the defendant’s insurance company that is responsible for your damages. In fact, in many cases, the assurance adjuster will approach you with a settlement offer before you even make a claim. Invariably, an initial settlement offer from an insurer is not enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. While this initial offer may seem like a financial boon, you will have to sign a waiver of liability, which blocks your ability to go back to the insurance company and seek further damages.
Factors Of a Personal Injury Case
As you will see below, there are many different types of personal injuries, and each accident is unique in many ways. However, all personal injury cases have a few common factors that must be present in order for the victim to seek compensation through a tort claim or insurance claim, which are discussed below.
The Defendant Had a Duty of Care
Duties of care are legal obligations we all have to act with reasonable care while engaging in any behavior that could potentially harm others. As you can imagine, these duties vary drastically depending on the act. A driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle in a safe and legal manner to avoid car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle crashes, or other driving accidents; a dog owner has a duty of care to keep the public from suffering dog bites due to their pet; a doctor has a duty of care to provide reasonable care to their patients to avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Defendant Failed Their Duty of Care
When a driver decides to ignore the speed limit, a doctor makes a surgical error, or a property owner fails to repair a dangerous hazard on their property, these are all examples of failed duties of care. However, speeding itself does not warrant a tort claim because there have been no civil damages caused; at this point, the driver is only guilty of violating traffic laws and others are not able to file a claim under civil law. Personal injury claims require additional factors to be true.
The Failed Duty of Care Caused an Accident
When the speeding driver causes an accident with another driver, they have now made the jump from criminal law to civil law because their decision to ignore the speed limit has now involved another person or number of persons. At this point, the victims will take the driver’s insurance company policy information and may be able to file a claim against the driver for the accident. An insurance claim will look at the final factor of a personal injury claim: damages.
The Accident Caused Measurable Damages
“Damages” in personal injury law are the actual impacts a victim has suffered. There are two types of damages that a personal injury lawyer in Orange County will help you seek: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the impacts of the crash that have measurable dollar values like medical bills, property damage, or lost wages. Non-economic damages are the impacts that do not have dollar values, such as pain and suffering.
Are You Uncertain About Whether Or Not Your Situation Qualifies?
If you have been injured in an accident but you aren’t sure about whether or not it qualifies you for compensation, contact our Orange County personal injury law firm today. During our free initial consultation, we will be able to go through these factors to get a baseline of your situation, and then can go into greater detail about your unique circumstances to give you a better sense of the support we can provide to you.
Common Personal Injuries
The following are a few examples of the most common types of Orange County personal injury cases. Whether or not you see your own situation mentioned below, contact us as soon as possible for your initial consultation to get specific advice from the experienced personal injury attorneys at our Orange County law firm.
When someone is granted a driver’s license, they agree to follow the rules of the road such as speed limits, traffic patterns, BAC limitations, and all other requirements meant to keep the California roadways safe for travel. Unfortunately, many people ignore these rules and cause motor vehicle crashes and wrongful death every day across the state. If you have been in an accident in Orange County, California, contact us now to work with a car accident attorney.
Truck drivers have even stricter requirements for their licensing and have a Commercial Drivers’ License in addition to many different certifications depending on the type of vehicle and cargo they transport. This is due to the fact that trucks are significantly larger and more complex than passenger vehicles, meaning that even a low-speed accident can cause significant injuries.
Motorcycle riders in Orange County are at an even greater risk of a personal injury in a crash than car passengers, simply because of the lack of protection — even with full protective gear. These types of accidents are common causes of brain injuries and other serious injuries, as well as wrongful death, and can result in significant medical bills that a victim should have an accident attorney help them recover.
Slip and Fall Accidents
One of many examples of premises liability, a slip and fall accident is just like it sounds: a guest on someone else’s property encounters a dangerous condition such as a wet floor and they slip, fall, and hurt themselves. Slip and fall accident injury cases require your lawyer to prove either that the property owner was aware of the hazard and did nothing to repair it OR that there was a reasonable expectation for them to be aware of it. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for Orange County premises liability cases.
Medical professionals are legally obligated to provide their patients with “reasonable care,” meaning that they are expected to use accepted treatments and stay within their practice areas. Their duty of care does not expect successful health outcomes with every treatment, only that they worked to maintain a high standard of care throughout. There are many excellent medical professionals in Orange County, but if you are injured or have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one due to a doctor’s actions (or inactions), contact us today to work with an Orange County personal injury attorney.
Dog owners in Orange County and across California are responsible for the behaviors of their animals and are held accountable under “strict liability” laws for any injuries if their pet attacks someone. This means that they are not able to claim ignorance of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. Depending on the details of the attack, you may be able to file a personal injury claim with their insurance company or may need to seek compensation directly from the dog owner.
Orange County is home to great walking areas like Newport Beach and Santa Ana, but any time you set out on foot, you are at risk of being injured in an accident. Santa Ana and the surrounding areas have great pedestrian safety features, but nothing can guarantee that you will not be hurt in a car accident while on foot, something that the personal injury attorneys at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates can help you seek fair compensation for.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries
The following are just a few of the most common questions that California personal injury lawyers commonly answer during an initial consultation. Keep in mind that these answers are not meant to be taken as legal advice, and are instead meant to give you a general sense of how your lawyer can help you reach a specific answer for your unique situation.
How do I prove my case?
As the plaintiff in an accident, you have the burden of proof. Your attorney will assemble the evidence, but in the meantime, there are some things you can do. Take pictures of the accident, the surrounding area, property damage, and any visible injuries. Retain any documentation that you receive from police officers, medics, doctors, etc. Track your lost wages from the accident.
What is shared fault?
If you are involved in an accident that was partially your fault, your damages will be reduced proportionately to your fault. That means if your damages are $100,000, but you’re 10% at fault, you can only claim $90,000.
Is there a maximum amount I can receive for my injuries in Orange County?
The state of California does not have damage caps for most types of personal injury cases. Medical malpractice, however, is an exception. Non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases are capped at $250,000. Your attorney can evaluate your case and inform you how much your settlement should be.
What should I do after being injured in Orange County?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is attend to your health. Allow rescue workers to examine you on scene and go to a doctor or hospital if necessary. Seeing a doctor will not harm your ability to make a personal injury claim, so see a doctor if necessary.