The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 30 million Americans visit emergency departments with unintentional injuries every year. A serious injury can be incredibly disruptive for the victim and their family — on top of the long road to physical and emotional recovery, they may be left dealing with stacks of medical bills and other financial expenses.
A personal injury lawsuit provides a potential path to monetary relief and financial stability. If you were hurt in an accident, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit. That being said, not every accident leads to a viable personal injury case. Here, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys discuss the key factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to file a personal injury claim in California.
Question #1: Did You Suffer Real Damages?
First and foremost, injured victims should assess their damages. As a general matter, personal injury compensation is designed to account for the victim’s actual losses. A person who suffered little or no real damage in their accident is not likely to have a viable legal case. No damages generally means no recovery. If you were injured in an accident and you incurred major medical expenses, you were forced to miss time at work, or you endured significant pain and suffering, you may be able to sue for personal injury in California.
Question #2: Can Another Party Be Held Liable?
If you suffered real harm in an accident, you also need to determine if another party (a defendant) can be held liable for your injuries. With limited exceptions, plaintiffs in California must be able to establish that the other party’s negligence contributed to the injuries in order to establish liability.
The Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions explains that negligence is the “failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others.” Of course, what constitutes negligence is an extremely complicated question. It is an issue that always requires a case-by-case and fact-specific investigation. Do not assume that you are prevented from bringing a personal injury claim simply because the defendant is not obviously at fault. Your injury should be investigated.
Get the Answers: Set Up a Free Case Evaluation with a Personal Injury Attorney
To find out if you have a viable personal injury case, we recommend that you set up an initial consultation with an experienced attorney. Our California personal injury lawyers offer free, no obligation case evaluations to victims. If you or your family member was hurt in an accident, we will review your case, explain your legal rights and legal options to you, and help you take the proper steps to recover financial compensation. We will tell you if you should sue for a personal injury.
At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys are committed to offering sound legal advice and aggressive representation to our clients. To get your free initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm right away. We represent injured victims throughout Northern California, including in San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Jose.