Santa Ana Injury Lawyer
With Offices in Huntington Beach
Do you need legal help?
Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyer
With Offices in Huntington Beach
Do you need legal help?
- Georgia Cunradi
- D. Franklin Welch
- J. Weber
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Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident or another situation where someone else’s actions did you harm, you could have sustained injuries that altered your ability to live a normal life, either temporarily or permanently. If this is the case, then you may be eligible to seek financial repayment for your injuries, both physical and emotional, through a settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are intended to seek compensation after an accident for the economic impacts that the accident has had on the victim, as well as the noneconomic but pervasive impacts that they have had to deal with additionally.
If you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused, and your injuries have had an adverse impact on your life, we highly recommend that you contact the team at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates as soon as possible for a free case consultation with a legal professional. You will be able to discuss the incident, the impact it has had on your life, and get a better understanding of how this situation should be handled in a legal context. Even if you are uncertain of your rights or options after your injuries, a call with our team will be able to help you understand that you are not alone, that there are courses of action for situations like your own, and that there are people here to help.
Read more below about some overview information about personal injury law in California and how these situations are handled in the California courts. Keep in mind that the following information is very high-level, and is intended to be a brief summary to give you some context, and to possibly understand how your own circumstances fit into the overall world of personal injury lawsuits. However, if you do not see anything on this page that seems familiar, this does not mean that you are not eligible. Whether or not you find anything familiar on this page, contact us immediately to learn more about your rights, how we can help, and what the next steps are that we will take.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
If you have been involved in an accident of any kind, it can be surprising how quickly the expenses and costs can add up. This could be from medical bills, lost wages, and a variety of other things that all have a very real, and very immediate financial impact on your life. A personal injury lawyer in Santa Ana will work with you to determine all of these impacts, quantify them, and build a case where you will be able to seek compensation from the responsible party to make financial amends.
The world of personal injuries can be complicated and intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with it, which is why a personal injury attorney focuses on this aspect of the legal system in order to have the best possible understanding of California tort claims.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
If you are involved in a car accident or another situation where the responsible party has insurance, then you may end up dealing directly with the insurance company in order to collect compensation for your situation. You will be dealing with an insurance agent who goes through the details of the accident and associated injuries and will then return with a one-time payment meant to reimburse you for your losses. While this amount may seem appealing at first glance, it is important that you NEVER accept this offer without consulting with an attorney. If you accept this amount, you will also need to sign an agreement that voids your future ability to seek additional damages from both the insurance company and its client.
Clearance rates have declined in the past few years, meaning that the CA courts are opening more cases than they are closing. This is just one reason why reaching an out-of-court settlement is ideal in many situations to avoid an overwhelmed court system and time-consuming delays.
It may seem that this amount is as much as you will get from the insurance company, but you should remember that an insurance company is there to spend as little money as possible, not to pay people everything that they deserve. This amount is simply the beginning of a negotiation process. When you hire a personal injury attorney, they will manage these negotiations and work to get you an out-of-court settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries and can avoid the complications of a full trial. If negotiations fail, then you can be confident that you have an experienced professional on your side who will build a strong case to seek the amount you deserve.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are a few basic criteria that must be met before going any further in deciding the strength of your personal injury case in California.
- The responsible party had a duty to act in a way that kept those around them safe from harm.
- The responsible party acted in a way that failed or violated this duty.
- This failure of duty led to you being injured.
- Your injuries resulted in significant damages.
In some cases, such as a drunk driving crash, it can be fairly simple to determine the answers to these questions: The other driver had a duty to drive safely and failed to uphold this duty when they got drunk and then operated a motor vehicle. While drunk, they caused an accident with you, and you were injured as a result.
In other cases, such as an injury resulting from a defective product, or certain premise liabilities, you may be uncertain of whether or not you have a case. Additionally, any insurance companies that you are dealing with will do everything in their legal power to make it seem as if you do not have any rights beyond the offer they are making you. Our free consultation is intended to help victims determine their rights simply and affordably before making any decisions that will impact their lives in significant and permanent ways.
Common Personal Injury Cases
As you can imagine from the criteria listed above, there are endless things that can result in a personal injury lawsuit. However, below are some of the more common cases that we handle at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates. If your situation is not listed below, do not be discouraged — we are here to help you no matter what the cause of your accident.
- Car accidents
- Drunk driving
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Pedestrian injuries
- Motorcycle crashes
- Defective products
- Premise liabilities (slip and falls)
The most recent information provided by California Highway Patrol is for 2017, and shows that a total of 277,160 people were injured and 3,904 killed in car accidents in CA in that year. This is just one of the many types of personal injuries that we are all at risk for each day in our state.
The above list is meant to be a small sample of situations that could qualify for a personal injury lawsuit and additional damages.
How Much Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Worth?
There is no simple way to answer the question of how much money a victim should be seeking in a personal injury lawsuit because there are many different factors that go into determining a fair amount of damages. As no two accidents are the same, no two damage amounts are the same either. Below are some examples of things that are included in these lawsuits and an explanation of how they are divided.
Economic damages are the types of damages that come with actual dollar amounts associated with them. This means things like hospital bills, recovery costs, surgical procedures, medications, and other medical expenses, which are all simple to compile. In addition to these costs, we will also determine the amount of income that you have lost, caused by time out of work, diminished earning capacity as a result of your injuries, or any vacation or sick leave that you have needed to use to cover your missed work. If we believe that you will still have future medical bills or lost wages, we will seek these damages as well.
Economic damages are included in personal injury lawsuits to ensure that the victim and/or their insurance company is able to recover the immediate financial costs of the accident. We will work to ensure that any and all expenses or costs associated with your accident are included in the damages we are seeking. In addition to medical and career-related expenses, we will include any services you must pay for because you are unable to complete the duties on your own and anything else unique to your situation.
Noneconomic damages are the other form of compensatory damages included in personal injury lawsuits but address issues that do not have a set price attached to them. These damages can be a bit more complicated to determine a fair amount for, and an insurance company will not include these types of damages in the initial settlement offer that they will make for you. Just because there is no simple way to calculate these damages does not mean that they are not as important, if not more important than the economic damages.
Noneconomic damages account for things like pain and suffering, depression, fear, and anger, as well as loss of enjoyment and a diminished quality of life. Since these factors do not have an accepted or calculable dollar value, we will work to determine a “multiplier” with which to present the severity of these issues to a judge and jury. Once we determine a multiplier that we believe to be fair and accurate to your situation, we will apply that number to your economic damages in order to determine the amount we are seeking.
For example: if you have $100,000 of economic damages, and we have determined a multiplier of 5x, then we will seek $500,000 of noneconomic damages, in addition to the $100,000 of economic damages, for a total of $600,000 in compensatory damages.
In some situations, a jury may find the responsible party’s actions to be so egregious and irresponsible that, in addition to compensatory damages, they should pay additional damages as punishment. These are known as punitive damages and are not included in the damages that you will seek, and will not be included in any amounts that you and your personal injury attorney will calculate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Santa Ana Personal Injuries
The following are just a few of the many questions we answer, both during our initial consultations and in greater detail throughout our work with clients. Keep in mind that the answers below are general and should not be taken as legal advice. The only way to get a clear answer about your unique situation is by speaking directly with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation and to get the information you need about how best to move forward with your case.
How can I prove fault in my personal injury case?
Depending on the type of accident or situation that you sustained your personal injuries, there are a number of methods to prove fault and therefore establish liability for the resulting damages. For example, if you were in a car accident, there will likely be a police report, as well as potential eyewitnesses, dashcams or traffic cameras, your statement and the other driver’s statement, and more. If possible, take a video and pictures of the scene of the accident while narrative over the footage. Your memory will fade almost immediately after the accident, so trying to record as many details as possible at the scene is one of the best ways to be sure that your story includes all relevant details.
There are a few reasons why it is important to call 911 after an accident: first, to ensure that you get medical care for your injuries as soon as possible. Secondly, calling 911 means that there will be a police officer at the scene who will gather evidence, take statements, and compile a report. If the at-fault party violated any laws, then they will be cited and/or arrested for these violations, which can also help to prove their fault.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
Working with the team at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates, as well as most other personal injury law firms, is based on contingency fees. These fees are designed to take a percentage of the final award, whether through an out-of-court settlement or at the resolution of the trial. This percentage is agreed upon between the client and the attorney beforehand and empowers a victim to partner with experienced and aggressive legal representation without having to pay out of pocket. This is especially helpful when the victim’s medical bills continue to mount as their lost wages continue while they miss work due to injuries.
The other benefit to a contingency fee is that if we do not win your case, you owe us nothing. Tying our payment to your award means that we are just as committed to your case as you are, and you know that your attorney is on the same page as you are about getting as much as possible from the defendant.
How much is my California personal injury case worth?
If this were a simple question to answer, personal injury claims would take much less time to resolve! The reality is that there is no simple calculator or set value for a specific type of injury or accident because the effects of these variables are specific to the victim and their life. In order to reach a comprehensive calculation about the damages you are rightfully owed for your insurance claim, your attorney will need to go through an extensive investigation process and track down each damage individually. Once identified, each damage will need to be calculated before added to the total costs or losses that your lawyer will seek payment for on your behalf.
As a rule of thumb, you can compile your economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, cost of services to assist after your accident, etc.) and multiply those by anywhere between 1.5 and 5x. This multiplier is based on the severity and longevity of your non-economic damages like your pain and suffering and other emotional impacts. However, this calculation is nowhere near an accurate estimate, so speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to get a general sense of your case’s value before you begin working together in-depth.
Contact Us Now
California has a strict statute of limitations that will legally invalidate any claims if you wait beyond the allotted time to file your lawsuit. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to begin building your case and ensuring that you are able to move forward as aggressively as possible. Call our Orange County personal injury lawyers now, or schedule an appointment from our website to take an important step towards recovery.
Tim Ryan took my small personal injury case and turned it into a “win” for me. I appreciate his time, patience, and professional expertise in resolving this neighborhood dog injury issue for me. I feel safer because of Tim Ryan. Thank you!