Culver City Personal Injury Lawyer
After being hurt in an accident, you will have to deal with a lot. You will likely be in a lot of pain, the medical bills may be piling up, and you may not be able to return to work to pay for them. You also might not be able to provide for your family in the way you once did. The last thing you need right now is to fight with an insurance company. A Culver City personal injury lawyer can handle every detail of your claim for you and help you obtain the full damages you deserve.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law in Culver City is tort law. This means that when you are hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, or carelessness, you can file a personal injury claim against them. The law recognizes that when you are injured through no fault of your own, you should not be responsible for paying anything out of your own pocket. Personal injury law allows you to obtain financial compensation after filing a claim against the negligent party.
Personal Injury Practice Areas
Accidents happen in a number of ways. Although the majority of personal injury claims rest on negligence, different laws govern different types of cases. For example, the laws that govern dog bite claims are different from those that govern wrongful death claims. As such, there are many different practice areas in personal injury law. Our Culver City personal injury lawyers are experienced in many different practice areas, including:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Defective products
- Bus accidents
- Dog bites
- Wrongful death
If you have been hurt in any of the above ways, do not file a claim on your own. A Culver City personal injury lawyer can help you through the process so you claim the fair compensation you are entitled to.
The Four Elements of Negligence
After an accident, it may seem fairly obvious to you which party was at fault. For example, if another driver hit you from behind, it may seem clear to you that they were following you too closely. Unfortunately, your word alone is not enough when filing a claim. You must also prove it, which means establishing the four key elements of negligence in your case. These elements are as follows:
- Duty: Generally speaking, everyone owes everyone else around them a certain duty of care. This means everyone must act in a reasonable manner to ensure that everyone around them stays safe. Due to the fact that most people carry this duty, it is usually a fairly easy element to prove.
- Breach: A breach of duty is more difficult to prove. This involves proving the negligent act that caused the accident. Manufacturers breach their duty of care when they do not ensure their products are safe. Property owners are negligent when they do not ensure their premises are free of hazards that could cause injury. Proving negligence is sometimes one of the most challenging aspects of a personal injury claim.
- Causation: Causation is essentially the link between the negligent act and the accident. For example, if another motorist ran a stop sign but did not cause an accident, the negligent act did not result in injury and so, you cannot file a claim. On the other hand, if the driver ran through a stop sign and hit you, it would be easier to prove causation.
- Damages: Personal injury claims are meant to compensate you for the injuries and other losses you sustained during an accident. As such, if you cannot prove the nature and extent of your injuries and other losses, it will be difficult to claim compensation.
When proving the above four elements, evidence is crucial to your claim. Photographs from the accident scene, eyewitness statements, and medical reports and invoices are just a few of the most common pieces of evidence used in personal injury claims.
Comparative Negligence in Culver City Personal Injury Claims
The law in California recognizes that sometimes, more than one party is liable for an accident. As such, the state is governed by pure comparative negligence law. Under this law, anyone injured in an accident can file a claim for damages, even if they contributed to the accident. When someone is partly at fault for an accident, any damages they are awarded are reduced by the same percentage of fault.
For example, you may have been distracted while you were driving when an impaired driver made an improper lane change. You did not see them quickly enough because your focus was not on the road. However, drunk driving is considered much more serious than distracted driving. Additionally, if the impaired driver had not tried to make the improper lane change, the accident would not have occurred at all. The insurance company or a judge may determine that the impaired driver was 80 percent at fault, while you were 20 percent to blame.
You would still be able to claim damages in the above example, but any compensation you are awarded will be reduced by 20 percent. California uses a pure comparative fault model, which means you can claim damages even if you were 99 percent at fault for the accident.
Even when you were not at all to blame for an accident, the other side will likely argue that you were. They do this to shield themselves from having to pay full damages. If they are successful, you will not receive the full compensation you deserve. This is just one reason why it is imperative that you work with a Culver City personal injury lawyer who can refute these claims.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Culver City Today
At Fisher & Talwar, our Culver City personal injury lawyer will advise you of your legal options after an accident. During a free consultation, we will answer all of your questions and determine the best course of action in your case. Call us today at 213-891-0777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.