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Accidents and injuries happen every day across the country. But when you have suffered critical injuries in Riverside, and someone else is responsible, they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. 

With help from our dedicated Riverside personal injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers, you can get justice. Pursuing insurance and civil claims may be the best way to obtain maximum compensation for your damages. Find out what your next steps should be when you contact our office by calling (951) 393-1299 or filling out our quick contact form.

Types of Cases We Handle

Common Types of Injuries to Sue for in Riverside 

When you have been involved in an accident in Riverside, you may be wondering whether your injuries are severe enough to warrant legal action. It is more common than you might think for personal injury victims to believe their injuries are not considered debilitating enough to pursue their case. 

However, the type of injury you suffer in your accident will not determine whether you have the right to move forward with a claim. Instead, your attorney will look to the ways in which your life has been impacted by your injuries to determine your right to compensation. With that in mind, there are some types of injuries seen more frequently in Riverside accidents. Some of these injuries include:

  • Abrasions
  • Contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Sepsis
  • Organ failure
  • Internal bleeding
  • Compound fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Back, neck, and head injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Emotional injuries

If you have suffered another type of injury that we did not include in the list above, you may still have grounds for insurance or civil claims against the culpable party. To find out what legal options may be available in your case, reach out to a dedicated Riverside personal injury attorney for help.

Do You Have Grounds for a Riverside Personal Injury Claim?

Many personal injury victims assume that the type of injury they are diagnosed with determines whether they have grounds for a personal injury claim. However, this is not the case. If you are lying in your Riverside hospital bed wondering what your next steps should be, it is important to consider whether someone else could be or is responsible for causing your injuries. If the negligent actions of another caused your injuries or illness, you should not be expected to cover the costs or deal with the fallout on your own. 

The liable party can be held accountable in both criminal and civil court, depending on the details of your case. In pursuing a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover the compensation you will need to cover your damages in full. If you hope to recover compensation in a personal injury claim, your injuries or the accident itself must have had a considerable impact on your life in some way. Your attorney will closely evaluate these damages to determine whether it is in your best interest to pursue a Riverside personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

What to Do After an Accident

The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. It’s understandable for people to feel shaken up after getting involved in a life-threatening situation. However, it is important to have some knowledge or understanding of what would be the best actions to take after a collision in order for you to acquire compensation for any damages caused by the accident you were involved in.

Below, our Riverside personal injury attorneys have created a list of steps one should take after getting into an accident.

  • Get yourself to safety. If you are physically capable of moving after the accident, try to get to a safe location. You should also check to see if there are any drivers or passengers that need help. If you notice that they are suffering from injuries, call 911 immediately.
  • Contact the police. They will arrive at the scene of the accident and create an official police report. Paramedics will also be present to assist those who need immediate medical attention.
  • Exchange personal information. You must share your driver’s license, contact information, and insurance information with the other party(ies) involved in the accident.
  • Gather evidence. Try to find as much important information as you possibly can. If you notice police officers are gathering evidence, do not feel discouraged to do it. You can request for the police officer’s badge number and get a copy of the official police report. Furthermore, you should take pictures of your damages and injuries, along with the location of where the accident took place. If there are any bystanders nearby, you should ask them if they feel comfortable getting involved with your case. If they approve to take part in it, you should ask them for their contact information.
  • Get medical treatment. It is important for you to seek immediate medical attention after the accident. Even if you think you have not suffered any serious injuries, it would be best to still get checked out to rule out any chances of having internal issues. If you are dealing with moderate or severe injuries, you will be transported to a hospital. Doctors will run tests on you to diagnose the problem and provide you with a treatment plan that will help you recover.
  • Speak to a personal injury attorney. If you would like to file a lawsuit against the party at-fault for the accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will guide you through the process of building a strong claim. They will also negotiate with insurance companies in order to get you the maximum compensation you deserve for your losses.
  • California law requires drivers to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the accident. You are given a 10 day period starting from the initial date of the incident. This is only applicable if the collision resulted in more than $1,000 in property damage and/or the collision killed or injured someone.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Personal Injury Claim in Riverside

If you hope to maximize the compensation you are awarded in your Riverside personal injury case, you may need to be prepared to pursue compensation across all avenues. Many people feel overwhelmed at the thought of going up against a large insurance company or bringing their case to court. 

However, doing so could be the best way to get the most out of your claim. With that in mind, here is more about what you can expect when filing a claim with the insurance company and filing a lawsuit in the Riverside civil court system.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Generally, the person or party responsible for causing your injuries will have some type of insurance protection coverage. For example, if you were injured due to the mistake or negligence of your healthcare provider, this party would likely be protected by some type of malpractice insurance. If you were involved in a car accident with another driver, the negligent driver should have auto insurance coverage in place.

Although filing a claim with the insurance company may seem like the best way to recover compensation for your damages, dealing with the insurance company is a monster all its own. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult. They do not like to pay out on claims because it costs them money. This should not be your problem, but that will not stop the insurance company from trying to take advantage of you. Your attorney will fight to recover maximum compensation for your damages through the insurance company. 

However, insurance companies also only cover certain types and amounts of damages. Generally, this might include property damages, medical expenses, and in some situations, lost wages. If the insurance company is only required to pay out up to the limits of the policyholder‘s policy, any remaining damages can only be recovered if you bring your case to court.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit

When the insurance company is not required to compensate you beyond the policyholder’s limits, or they remain steadfast in their decision to deny your claim, your attorney will need to bring your case to court. In doing so, you have the opportunity to recover your damages in their entirety. While only certain types and amounts of damages are covered by the insurance company, in court, you can seek restitution for them all. This will include both economic and non-economic damages. 

Establishing Liability in Your Riverside Personal Injury Claim

Arguably the most important responsibility or personal injury lawyer in Riverside will have is establishing liability. To prove negligence in a court of law, your lawyer will need to show that the three following elements of negligence have been met:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation

The burden of proof is on your attorney. Here, we will need to prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the evidence presented must show that the defendant is more than likely at-fault for causing your injuries. To obtain evidence needed to prove fault in your case, your lawyer will need to closely examine how your accident occurred. This could be a strong indicator of who is responsible for causing your injuries.

For example, if you were injured in a scaffold accident at work, your attorney would look to your colleagues, contractors, subcontractors, the scaffold manufacturer, the construction company, and other parties for culpability. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, your attorney might consider whether negligent driving, defective auto parts, or dangerous roadways caused your collision. This could indicate a negligent driver, auto parts manufacturer or distributor, or government agencies are at-fault for your damages, respectively.

An in-depth analysis of your accident in Riverside will reveal which individuals or entities are responsible for your injuries.

How California Shared Fault Laws Work

While discussing liability for your personal injury claim, it is important to go over how California’s shared fault laws could impact your case. It is more common than you might think for injury victims to be partially responsible for their injuries or for causing the accident. 

Thankfully, California follows a pure comparative negligence system for personal injury claims. Here, you are not prohibited from recovering compensation for sharing liability for your injuries. However, that does not mean you will not need to be held accountable for your portion of fault. You can expect your personal injury settlement to be reduced to reflect your percentage of liability. Let’s look at an example:

Jack was not wearing his motorcycle helmet when he was struck by a drunk driver. The judge found Jack 15 percent responsible for his traumatic brain injury, for failure to wear a motorcycle helmet. The jury awarded him $100,000 for his damages. However, his injury settlement needed to be reduced to account for his portion of liability. His $100,000 injury settlement was reduced by 15 percent, leaving him with a final personal injury settlement of just $85,000.

As can be seen, even a moderate amount of liability could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Take steps to protect your injury settlement by retaining a powerful legal advocate who will analyze fault and ensure liability is accurately evaluated in your Riverside personal injury insurance and civil claims.

How Long Do You Have to Get Your Claim Filed?

Riverside personal injury lawsuits must be filed before the California statute of limitations for personal injury claims expires. Under the law, this means you will have just two years to get your lawsuit filed. Although two years seems like a significant amount of time to pursue your case, the sooner you get an attorney on your side, the more likely it is that time-sensitive evidence can be recovered to support your case. This might include witness statements, video footage, and forensic evidence, to name a few. 

If your claim is not filed before the two-year statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the right to have your case heard in the Riverside civil court system. In fact, if you were to attempt to file your personal injury lawsuit once the statute of limitation had passed, the defense would simply file a motion to dismiss your case. The judge would have no other choice but to dismiss your case with prejudice. If you want to avoid the statute of limitations affecting your personal injury claim, get a lawyer advocating for you as soon as possible following your accident.

What Is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth in Riverside?

After everything you have been through, it makes sense that you would wonder how much your personal injury claim is worth. To find out the value of your Riverside personal injury claim, your attorney will need to separate your damages into two categories known as economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are most commonly thought of, as they are financial in nature. All of your monetary damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, property damages, and other financial losses, fall into this category. However, there are also non-economic damages you may have the right to recover. 

Non-economic damages consist of the ways your entire life has been affected by the accident and your resulting injuries. Non-economic damages do not have a fixed monetary value. Your lawyer will need to quantify them based on their specific impact on your life. With that in mind, some of the more commonly awarded types of non-economic damages in Riverside personal injury claims include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and skin scarring
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of companionship 
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If the defendant’s actions are considered abhorrent or reprehensible, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Although they are awarded rarely, if you are awarded punitive damages in your case, it could significantly impact the outcome of your injury settlement. Punitive damages are typically only issued when the Riverside civil courts find it necessary and appropriate to punish the liable party and send a message to the public that the court system will not tolerate actions of this nature.

Contact a Riverside Personal Injury Attorney Today

Our Riverside personal injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers are available 24/7 to handle your personal injury case. With more than 60 years of collective legal experience, we are devoted to getting you the compensation you deserve for any losses you have suffered from the accident.

No fees will be charged until your case has been settled. Contact us by calling (951) 393-1299 or filling out our quick contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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