Personal Injury Lawyer San Francisco, CA
A personal injury accident can be devastating, and if you are the victim, you need the help of a San Francisco, CA personal injury lawyer from The Morales Law Firm. An accident can come entirely out of nowhere and not only ruin your day, but cause you physical injuries that can last months or even years. A personal injury lawyer knows that a personal injury can be difficult to deal with, which is why we are here for you every step of the way.
When someone else was irresponsible and negligent and they caused you to become injured, we want to help you get compensated for those injuries. To do this, we must prove that it was the defendant’s fault—not yours—that you got into this accident and that it caused your injuries. Below, we will discuss what we need to prove the other party is liable for your injuries and how this affects compensation. To set up an appointment with our personal injury lawyer, please call now.
How do you determine legal liability?
This may sound like a difficult task, but it boils down to one thing: we must show that someone else’s carelessness—their negligence—caused the accident to happen. When someone is not acting reasonably careful and they caused an accident that is responsible for your injuries, they are responsible for paying at least some portion of the damages that you have suffered. A personal injury lawyer knows there are a few ways that you can quickly determine liability once you have been injured.
If you are on someone else’s property (and you are legally allowed to be there) but the property is poorly maintained and has dangerous areas, the owner of said property would be liable for your injuries because they did not properly maintain the property.
If you were using a defective product, the seller or the manufacturer of the product would be liable if you became injured from using the product. Contacting our personal injury lawyer can help to determine liability for these often complex cases.
If you were being careless on someone else’s property and you were not supposed to be on that property, you may be held responsible for your own injuries instead of the property owner. The property owner would not have a “duty” of being careful if they did not know you were there.
If the owner of the property was careless and you were also careless, it is possible that you would only receive partial compensation for the injuries you sustained.
How does compensation work if you are partially responsible?
Our personal injury lawyer will tell you that compensation can vary based on the state that you live in. If you are partially responsible for the accident then it is likely you will receive part of the compensation. For example, if you are found to be 20% responsible for the accident and the other party is 80% responsible, you may find that out of 100% of the compensation, the total amount awarded to you is reduced by 20%.
Get Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer San Francisco Residents Rely On!
For more information on liability in a personal injury accident, please reach out to a personal injury lawyer from The Morales Law Firm now.
What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims
Being the victim of personal injury can be complicated. In many situations, the person who is the victim may be embarrassed over how they got their injuries (perhaps because of a slip and fall) and they may think they are undeserving of any compensation from the accident. However, our personal injury lawyers at The Morales Law Firm know that when you are the victim in a personal injury accident you deserve compensation. This can provide you with the opportunity to fully recover from the incident.
Although it can seem complicated, we want to make the claim process as smooth as possible for you, which is why we have answered many of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our clients. If you have more urgent questions or would like to set up a consultation with our personal injury lawyers, please call our office now.
What types of personal injury cases are there?
Believe it or not, there are many types of personal injury incidents that can occur. Our law firm located in San Francisco has represented a number of personal injury cases. Types of personal injury cases include:
Intentional Acts: If someone intentionally tries to harm someone else (such as in the case of an assault or assault and battery), this is an intentional act that you can file a personal injury claim with a personal injury lawyer.
Defective Products: Even if the product manufacturer was not intentionally trying to harm anyone with their product, they can still be found liable if their defective product caused someone’s injuries.
Accidents: These are some of the most common types of personal injury incidents to happen and it happens when someone else’s negligence causes another person to be harmed. This could be from a slip and fall accident or a car accident.
What are the steps of a personal injury claim?
When you are filing a personal injury claim, our San Francisco, CA based personal injury lawyer will tell you that there are usually a few things that must happen for a claim to be successful. First, the defendant must have done something to injure you (the plaintiff). They might have injured you in a car accident or hit you in the arm with a baseball bat. Next, you will need to show that the defendant breached their duty of care. If you slipped and fell in a restaurant, you must show that it was the restaurant owner’s job to make sure their premises were safe for you to be in. If you and your personal injury lawyer can prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries, then it is possible to settle outside of court. They may wish to make you an offer of compensation instead of you pursuing a lawsuit. However, if that compensation is not satisfactory, you and your lawyer can take them to court. If, on the other hand, you do agree to the settlement offer, then the case ends there.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against someone who causes you to suffer an injury, you should understand what damages are. This is a simple concept that exists in nearly all civil lawsuits. While this guide will go over what damages are and the different types of damages, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer to have all of your questions answered.
What Are Damages?
Damages refer to any sort of loss that an individual suffers as a result of another person’s actions. In the context of a claim or lawsuit, damages are a compensatory amount of money that is meant to make up the financial losses incurred from the incident. For example, if you sustained a head injury in a slip and fall and had a total of $20,000 in medical bills, as well as $10,000 in lost wages, and $5,000 in non-economic damages, your personal injury lawyer might seek $35,000 in damages.
The Three Types of Damages
There are three kinds of damages. In general, what you would likely be compensated for by the defendant would fall into one of these three categories. The types of damages are:
- Special Compensatory Damages
- General Compensatory Damages
- Punitive Damages
Special compensatory damages refer to damages that have a specific monetary value. If your hospital bill is $20,000, then it is a special compensatory damage because it has an objective value of $20,000. Other examples of special compensatory damages may include missed paychecks and the purchase of medicine.
General compensatory damages are any damages without an objective value. If you had to endure a very painful medical procedure, that may qualify as general compensatory damages and you may be compensated for that unpleasant experience. A personal injury lawyer can help you to determine what you are owed in terms of general damages – which are subjective (more or less). The amount to be awarded will be decided upon through negotiations with your personal injury lawyer or a judge – in the event your case goes to trial.
Punitive damages are assigned exclusively to punish the defendant and deter them from making the same mistake again. Punitive damages are very rare in personal injury cases. Usually, the defendant must have acted especially irresponsibly to be assigned punitive damages, such as driving while drunk or ignoring many explicit safety warnings.
Personal Injury Law: Statute of Limitations
After you’ve been in an accident that’s left you injured, you may hear the term “statute of limitations” when referring to your insurance claim and accident report. If you don’t know what that means or how it affects your situation, you could miss a crucial deadline for getting compensation for your injuries. Here’s how to understand the statute of limitations and why it is so important for your case.
Defining Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations refers to a legal deadline set by the state. This deadline is specifically for certain situations, such as a personal injury or car accident claim. Basically, the statute of limitations tells you when you must file your claim to receive compensation. If you fail to file a claim before then, you can be barred from reaching a settlement. This is mainly to keep the facts of your accident fresh and to let the negligent party know how much time must pass before they don’t need to worry about a claim.
Limitations by State
States control the statute of limitations, so you need to know the deadline for your specific state. You can find whole lists of limitations by state online, or you can search for your state in particular to find out exactly how much time you have to file a claim. The countdown starts from the moment your injury occurs.
Deadlines for Claims
The average deadline to file a claim in most states is two years. However, this can vary widely. Some states give you only one year to file. Others may give you up to six. If you have a short statute, you need to jump on filing a claim as soon as possible. Time can fly when you are trying to recover from an injury, and you don’t want to miss out on much needed compensation.
Deadlines for Reporting Injuries
Some states dictate how long you have to report an injury to insurance. Ask your insurance company directly on their policies for reporting. You may only have a month to report an injury, and earlier is always better. The sooner you report, the quicker they can get the ball rolling on starting the claims process.
If you have questions about the statute of limitations for your state or if your injury qualifies for a personal injury claim, contact a lawyer. Our professional aid can get you on the right track to recovery.
What Does Social Media Have to Do with Personal Injury Cases?
Recent research indicates that roughly half of Earth’s population can be accurately classified as daily users of social media platforms. Social media influences the ways in which families and friends stay connected, employers seek out applicants (and vice versa), entertainment is shared, and political and social discussions are engaged. For these reasons and many more, chances are good that you are a regular social media user. Although it can be tough, you may want to think about hitting “pause” on your social media accounts until your personal injury case is resolved. If you choose to continue using social media during this time, you’ll need to be very, very careful about what you say and/or do on any given platform. Engaging with social media without first thinking through your approach could significantly impact the ultimate outcome of your case.
Increasingly, attorneys and insurance companies are using social media to determine whether claims that have been filed are legitimate or not. They evaluate an injury victim’s social media activity in an attempt to discern whether the victim in question is being truthful about the extent of their injuries. Even if you adjust your privacy settings to strictly limit who can view your activity (and you should do this for the life of your case), these interested parties may be able to see some or all of what you do on these platforms. The primary problem with this approach is that social media activity is subject to interpretation. If you have suffered a severe back injury and post a picture of yourself holding your new baby nephew up, others may interpret your activity as evidence that you aren’t really as hurt as you are – they have no way of knowing that you took this picture after a massage and taking pain killers. Don’t give anyone interested in the outcome of your case an excuse to devalue or dismiss it as a result of your social media activity.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
It is always important to retain legal representation if you are injured in an accident that occured due to someone else’s negligent actions. Not only should you be compensated for any medical bills that you incurred due to the accident, but you should also be compensated for any damages to property, and possibly even for the pain and suffering you have had to deal with following the accident. There are so many different components of personal injury law, which is why it is crucial that you hire someone who knows what they are doing in court. You will have a much greater chance of gaining compensation if you use the right techniques in court or with insurance agents.
How Do You Pay for Legal Assistance?
The thing that makes personal injury cases sometimes easier than others is that they are paid for on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you do not win your case, you owe nothing to the lawyer for their efforts.If you do win your case, instead of paying out of your own pocket, you will give a percentage of the winnings to the law firm. We will agree on this before the case so you know exactly what to expect. You have a much greater chance of not only winning your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer in California on your side, but you also may end up getting more out of it as well. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know what kind of damages to file for — including some of which you may incur in the future. Finally, we offer free consultations for personal injury cases, so there is no harm in reaching out and finding out whether or not someone at our law firm would be a good fit for you. Don’t worry as much about paying for a lawyer if you are planning on filing a personal injury lawsuit. You will likely be paying much more if you do not file for a case because you may end up having more in damages and future medical bills than you would have paid for legal representation.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have been injured as a result of another’s negligence, intentionally dangerous conduct, or recklessness, it is critically important that you connect with an experienced San Francisco, CA personal injury lawyer as soon as you possibly can. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your injury-related recovery and do not yet feel “up to the task” of exploring your legal options at this time, that is certainly understandable. However, investing an hour or two of your time now could save you significant time, money, and stress down the road. The experienced team at The Morales Law Firm will do our utmost to make the process of exploring your legal options as low-stress as possible. Once you’ve spoken with our firm, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions about your options, whenever you’re feeling ready to act upon them. We look forward to assisting you with your legal needs during this challenging time.
“I wish I hired Chris for my case. Good attorney’s are hard to find and Chris advised me and was honest about best next steps in my challenging situation.”