If you are injured in an accident in California, you could be entitled to compensation if someone was negligent. Once the claim or lawsuit has been resolved, you can receive money for your losses. When speaking to a lawyer about your case, there are two major types of damages to be aware of.
Find out below about special damages in a personal injury claim. If you have questions about a case, talk to the Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C.
Special damages refer to out-of-pocket costs you incur after an accident caused by someone else. Special damages also can be referred to as economic damages. The idea behind awarding special damages is to put you in the same financial position as before the accident happened.
The most common special damages are:
If the accident affects your ability to earn a living, you could receive compensation. You should receive compensation for the work you lost already. Also, you may be entitled to lost earnings in the future. To show you lost income, you must verify that the injury prevented you from working.
These damages are all medical costs from the moment of the accident and into the future. Injured clients need to realize they may be due medical expenses for weeks, months, or years of treatment, not just for treatment in the past.
There are other costs from an accident you may not think of. For example, what did it cost you in gas expenses to drive to and from the doctor? What did you have to pay for prescriptions?
If you were in a car accident, you could be entitled to having your vehicle repaired or replaced. In addition, if the car contained personal property such as a cell phone or computer, you could be compensated for that.
If you need physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain lost function, you could receive money for those expenses.
You could receive funeral and burial costs if you lost a loved one in the accident. If so, filing a wrongful death lawsuit could be necessary.
Special damages should be calculated. This includes past and future special damages. Your Oakland personal injury attorneys will request your medical and other out-of-pocket expenses. Then, they will add them up with other categories of damages before presenting the negligent party’s insurance company with a demand letter.
Whether you were injured near Oakland Ice Center, Roof Garden, or another Bay Area location, a personal injury attorney can help you get the money you deserve.
Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. The Oakland law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., has helped injured clients in northern California for years to get the most special and general damages in their claims. Our attorneys will also fight aggressively for a favorable outcome if your case goes to trial.
Contact our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to learn how we can get the most compensation for your personal injury claim. Our attorneys are pleased to serve clients in Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.
Photo Credit – https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Big-SF-landlord-Veritas-sued-by-long-term-renters-13300906.php
Over the past 5 years Bracamontes & Vlasak, PC, as co-counsel with the Law Offices of Greenstein & McDonald, have successfully prosecuted 7 multi-plaintiff cases against Veritas Investments, Greentree Property Management, and Yat-Pang Au, who owns both companies. The lawsuits have alleged that Veritas and Greentree, at the behest of Au, have engaged in an unlawful business plan throughout the City and County of San Francisco, namely, a modus operandi of attempted wrongful eviction (acquiring large, residential, rent-controlled buildings and immediately commencing prolonged, nuisance construction designed to force out long-standing tenants to profit by raising rents to market).
Cases filed and successfully resolved to date by BV Law and G&M include cases spreading over 45 Veritas buildings on behalf of approximately 175 tenants, i.e., McGlynn, et al. v. 634 Powell I5, LLC, et al. (CGC-18-566137), Stoops, et al. v. 300 Buchanan I3, LP, et al. (CGC-18-566646), Evander, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-18-570435), Consos, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-20-585034), Annison, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc. (CGC-20-585904), Belman, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-20-585954), and Amoedo, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-21-589712).
More lawsuits are anticipated in the coming months. For questions about Veritas Greentree litigation, contact attorney Ryan Vlasak.
October 25, 2022: BV Law files lawsuit for 44 tenants against Hines corporation and 41 Tehama LP for unfair business practices and wrongful eviction in connection with June and August 2022 major water leaks and tenant displacement at 33 Tehama, San Francisco. A link to the Complaint is provided here. Contact attorney Ryan Vlasak at 415-835-6777 for questions about the case.
If you are hurt in an accident, you face tremendous uncertainty. How will you cover your medical bills? What about your earnings? Will you need to file a personal injury lawsuit?
Whether your attorney reaches a settlement or the case goes to court, general damages are one type of compensation you may be owed. California Civil Code 3281 states that every individual who suffers because of an act of another person may be eligible for damages in a lawsuit. Learn more about general damages below, and contact an Oakland personal injury attorney if you have questions.
General damages in a California lawsuit are also referred to as non-economic damages. General damages usually cover:
General damages may be available to you in many personal injury cases. Partnering with a skilled Bay Area personal injury attorney is essential because general damages can sometimes be larger than economic damages. Therefore, having an attorney who can maximize your general damages compensation pays.
Your attorney will have access to recent settlements and verdicts in California, which can be a way to indicate what your injuries might be worth.
General damages are different than economic damages. Economic damages, also called special damages, include:
Past economic damages can usually be easily calculated, but future economic damages can be more complicated to compute, because it may depend on what medical treatment you need in the future or whether or when you are able to return to work and at what job. It’s important that you work with the right attorney and expert(s) to accurately project all your future economic damages if you are significantly injured.
General damages are just as objective and real as special damages but only you fully experienced them (i.e., you know your own pain best). Therefore, it is important that you work with the right attorney who can understand your pain and effectively communicate what you are going through to the defense team on your case or to a jury in court.
For instance, say you are rear-ended at a traffic light and have $25,000 in medical bills and lost wages. These are economic damages that your attorney will attempt to prove with medical bills, receipts, and other documented evidence.
However, your pain and suffering may be more significant than the bills and could include pain and discomfort, inability to enjoy daily activities, and depression over being injured. These damages could be worth far more than $25,000. It all depends on how much pain and discomfort you endure. Also critical is how long it takes to recover.
General damages require the judgment of people to determine. Also required is good listening, communication and advocacy from your lawyer. The Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions states that the jury should rely on their judgment to determine a ‘reasonable amount’ of general damages based on evidence and common sense. Your lawyer should help inform the jury what constitutes the ‘reasonable amount’ for your situation and injury.
Calculating compensation for all damages is challenging and complicated in a personal injury lawsuit. Even with medical bills and lost earnings documented, getting the insurance company to pay can be difficult. And with general damages, your attorney must present a strong case.
It also is essential to have an attorney who is experienced with both settlements and going to court. You never know when an insurance company will dig in its heels and refuse to compensate fairly for your pain and suffering.
General damages may apply to most personal injury claims, depending on the nature of your injuries, including:
Fortunately, there are few cases where general damages are capped in California, with the exception of medical malpractice cases. However, in other personal injury claims, there is no cap on your award.
The lack of a general damages cap for most claims means your attorney can pursue the most damages possible. That is why it is so critical in California to hire an attorney who knows how to determine the full value of your pain and suffering.
Many personal injury lawsuits settle before the case goes to court. The Oakland law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., has the skill and experience to get you the most for your personal injury case. Also, if your case goes to trial, our attorneys know how to win the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact our personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. to find out how we can help. Our lawyers Michael Bracamontes and Ryan Vlasak are proud to serve Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California and work hard to safeguard your rights. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.
If you have been in an accident caused by another party, you are likely saddled with piles of medical bills, debilitating pain, and lost work time. You need compensation for your injuries and wonder if you must go to court if you file a California personal injury lawsuit.
Many personal injury lawsuits never go to court because the plaintiff’s attorney settles with the insurance company. However, having your case reviewed by an Oakland personal injury attorney is essential to obtain a better idea if your case can settle before a trial. Learn more below about settling or going to court if you file a lawsuit.
When you are injured, going through a trial for weeks or months to get compensation can be daunting. You have so many personal, emotional, and financial issues to confront that you may not want to deal with going to court.
While about 90% of Bay Area personal injury claims settle, it’s best to have a lawyer who is prepared for trial in order to leverage a fair settlement. More aggressive trial lawyers like the lawyers at BV Law go to court more often than other firms because they expect better results for their clients. While your personal injury attorney will most likely be able to reach a fair settlement with the defendant’s insurance company before trial, beware of firms that never go to trial because they will have to take whatever the insurance company offers on your case.
Insurance companies are usually reluctant to offer you a fair settlement, at least right away. That is why they are rich and a lot of people are not. It is essential to work with a personal injury attorney with the skills and experience to win your case in court, if necessary.
Also, there is a difference between making a pre-litigation demand and settling a case after filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer should explain the differences and choose the right strategy for your situation, whether that be a pre-litigation demand, settlement after filing suit, or jury verdict.
If you go to court and the jury finds in your favor (i.e., if you win), you will probably get more compensation than a settlement. A settlement is usually a compromise to avoid risk. On the other hand, juries can favor personal injury victims when they were harmed by a bad actor or large corporation engaged in unfair business practices.
Your case also can bring light and public attention to a social issue that can bring about social change. You may have public policy reasons for a trial, as many settlements entail confidentiality.
Many lawsuits settle before trial because the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys know that going to court is risky. The process can take months, critical evidence could be thrown out, or the decision could be appealed. That is why fewer lawsuits have gone to trial in recent years. As a result, settlements can be less risky and expensive and provide a speedier resolution of your claim.
Many lawsuits result in a settlement before the trial begins. The boutique law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., possesses the experience and approach to maximize your personal injury settlement or award. Whether you settle or go to trial, their litigation attorneys are ready to help you.
Contact our Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to learn how they can help you with your injury case. Attorneys Michael Bracamontes and Ryan Vlasak serve Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California and will fight for your legal rights. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.
During a personal injury claim, you may come across the term ‘joint and several liability.’ It is a legal principle that holds that each individual defendant in a personal injury case can be held individually liable for the entire accident. In California, there are special rules and regulations in place regarding joint and several liability. Below, our Oakland personal injury attorney provides a more comprehensive guide to joint and several liability in California,
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that car accident fatalities hit a 16-year high in the United States in 2021. If you or your loved one is involved in a crash, you need to know how to protect your rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a car accident injury claim. One of the concepts to litigating a car accident claim is Delta-V—a scientific formula used to help determine the severity of a crash. In this article, our Oakland car accident attorneys provide an overview of the key things to understand about Delta-V in auto accident claims.
If so, it is imperative that you are able to recover financial compensation that accounts for the complete value of your losses. In California personal injury lawsuits, there are two main categories of damages:
Economic damages are the losses to which a specific dollar figure can be readily ascertained and attached. Here, our Oakland personal injury lawyer explains the key things you should understand about recovering economic damages in a California lawsuit.
Under California law (California Civil Code § 1431.2 (b)(1)), the term ‘economic damages’ is defined as “objectively verifiable monetary losses.” Economic damages form the basis of personal injury compensation in California. Some of the most common examples of economic damages include:
Notably, economic damages include losses that have already been incurred—medical expenses, missed paychecks, etc—and anticipated future losses. You can recover for likely future losses (ongoing medical care) as part of your economic damages in a personal injury claim.
To put yourself in the best possible position to maximize your personal injury settlement or verdict, your damages must be properly documented. You will only be able to receive compensation for economic damages if you can prove the validity of those damages. Make sure that you carefully gather and organize all relevant documents, records, and other evidence. Among other things, this may include things like medical bills and wage and income records.
Economic damages are an important part of personal injury compensation, sometimes even more important than economic damages. In California, non-economic damages are the more serious losses to your person, which are typically left up to a jury to decide with guidance from the lawyers and the court. Some notable non-economic damages in a California personal injury claim include:
In a California personal injury claim, economic damages are sometimes used as a basis to help calculate non-economic damages. However, there is no one calculation for non-economic damages. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced injury lawyer who also has an interest in getting to know you and what you’ve been through. It’s best to find a lawyer who has experience at trial and the time and ability to understand what your life is like now (after the injury) so that your situation can be presented to a jury or settlement officer for full and fair compensation. A good personal injury lawyer will know how to educate the jury about your emotional distress and how your life has changed (“on the inside”) because of an injury. Sometimes this is the most important and valuable part of the case, and sometimes it is also the most difficult.
At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our California personal injury lawyers are aggressive and experienced advocates for victims and families. We can help you maximize your recovery from economic and non-economic damages. Contact us today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Because there is a limited time to file a personal injury claim and secure financial compensation, do not delay in reaching out to Bracamontes & Vlasak.
With offices in Oakland and San Francisco, we provide personal injury representation throughout the Bay Area and California.
Concussions are one of the most common serious injuries reported in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 225,000 people are hospitalized for brain injuries each year. The road to a complete physical, mental, and emotional recovery after a serious concussion can be long and daunting.
On June 3, 2022, there was a major water leak at 33 Tehama in San Francisco and all tenants were forced to evacuate. There is expected to be substantial property damage and prolonged displacement. BV Law is providing free consultations to displaced tenants about their legal rights and potential legal recourse.
If you are a displaced tenant at 33 Tehama, contact Ryan Vlasak at BV Law for a legal consultation about your options going forward. Call 415.835.6777 today!
On October 1st, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 447 into law. The bill allows heirs of a victim to pursue general damages (pain and suffering) through a survival action claim. While eligible family members have always been able to recover general damages for loss of companionship, guidance, and comfort through a wrongful death claim, general damages were previously not recoverable through a survival action claim.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most common serious injuries reported in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions and TBIs are a ‘silent epidemic.’ There are approximately 4.5 million TBIs nationwide each year. Nearly 225,000 brain-injured victims require extended hospitalization and, tragically, 60,000 lose their lives.
In California, property owners and property occupiers have a legal responsibility to ensure that premises are in a reasonably safe condition to avoid personal injury to guests. You may be wondering: What happens if an injury occurs on residential property, does the homeowners’ policy cover the claim?
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a California state law that protects employees against workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. For most of its history, FEHA had a strict one-year statute of limitations. Employees had to act quickly to protect their rights.
A serious accident can bring your entire life to a screeching halt. In California, injured victims have the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party, including for pain and suffering. The terms pain and suffering are explained in the California Civil Jury Instructions (3905A). By definition, pain and suffering is intangible damage. It is meant to cover the real, but hard to define loss associated with physical pain and mental trauma.