Car accidents are serious situations and have impacts on a victim's life that goes well beyond any damage that their car or personal property sustains or the injuries that they must suffer. Since these situations are so complex, it is very important that victims of car accidents work with an experienced Santa Ana personal injury attorney to make sure that they are treated fairly by the other insurance company, and that they get the money that they truly deserve — not just the money that the insurance company wants to pay out.
The team of Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has extensive experience and a history of success representing clients who have suffered injuries in car accidents in and around Santa Ana, and we will be happy to help you navigate the complicated and stressful world of personal injuries and car accidents. Below, we discuss some overviews of the legal process after a car accident, but this is only intended to give you some insight into the overall process that we will work with you through. The situations listed below are a small sample of each step we will take in order to get you the justice and compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today to get started on your own case as soon as possible. During your free initial consultation, you will be able to speak with a legal professional who can help you understand your options and rights in your situation, and you will be able to get a better understanding of how we will help you achieve a successful outcome.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is the legal term for a physical or emotional injury, as opposed to property damages. Compensating a personal injury is much more complicated than property damage because it is not as simple as submitting an invoice for the repair or replacement costs of the damaged items. This is why personal injury cases are handled much differently than property damage cases and involved many more factors and opportunities for payment.
Personal injury is more complicated because it is much more subjective than simply seeking compensation for medical bills. It extends to non-economic issues such as pain and suffering, depression, and other emotional and physiological impacts that an accident or injury has on a person. The damages that a personal injury lawsuit seeks to compensate for are divided into “economic” and “non-economic” damages, which address many different aspects of the overall accident. You can read more below about each, as well as additional damages that are sometimes awarded in certain cases.
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit are divided into two types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages seek repayment for actual costs and expenses associated with the accident and injuries, while non-economic damages quantify the damages sustained for more-subjective aspects of the injury.
Economic damages include things like medical bills like hospital stays, ambulance fees, surgical costs, and other expenses associated with the actual medical attention that the injuries require. In addition, they compensate the victim for things like lost wages or personal time off that they needed to use in order to cover the time missed from work. Economic damages can also compensate victims for future losses or expenses, like expected medical requirements or short- and long-term disability payments if necessary.
Non-economic damages pertain to the more-subjected impacts that an accident or injury has on a victim. This type of damage can include things like the actual pain and suffering that a victim endures, as well as any anguish, depression, or psychological impacts of the situation. These damages are more complicated to quantify than economic damages since there is no measurable monetary value associated with them.
In order to quantify the non-economic damages of an injury, an attorney will generally use something called a “multiplier”, which serves as an understandable indication of how severe these impacts have been on the victim. This multiplier is combined with the economic damages in order to determine the full amount of damages being sought.
In rare instances, a jury may award the victim punitive damages, that serve to punish the responsible party for particularly reckless or reprehensible behaviors that led to the accident and injuries. Punitive damages are not sought by the victim and their legal team, so are not factored into the amount that we will be working towards for your case.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
There are many different ways that someone can be injured in a car accident, but below are a few of the most common injuries seen.
Whiplash occurs when a car is hit, and the occupants' heads are jerked down and , causing compression and straining of the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This type of injury can cause extreme neck stiffness and pain, headaches, limited motion, and more.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Fractures are common impact injuries and can be sustained from car accidents by things like being hit by an airbag, being thrown around the interior, or even from a seatbelt.
Concussions are another common “impact injury,” and are the result of the brain being rattled around inside the skull. They can range from mild to severe, with symptoms like headaches, light sensitivity, trouble sleeping, or things like memory loss, extreme personality change, and seizures. Concussions should be treated very seriously, and require medical attention to ensure that they are handled properly.
Contact Us Today
If you have suffered from injuries in a car accident that someone else caused, contact our Orange County car accident lawyers now to learn about your legal options and the possibility of seeking additional personal injury damages. Do not go any further in your contact with the insurance company representatives until you have obtained legal counsel so that you can be confident that you are getting the most money possible for what you have been through. You are likely entitled to more compensation than you initially realize, and it is our job to ensure that you get what you deserve. A personal injury lawsuit is intended to protect a victim from any financial impacts that these injuries have on them, and we will work to protect you as soon as possible.