Unfortunately, people are injured every day in preventable accidents due to negligence. Under California law, injury victims have the right to file personal injury claims to demand financial compensation from the at-fault parties.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice incident and you believe you’re entitled to compensation, it’s important to understand the primary elements of a personal injury claim. Here, the legal team at Black & DePaoli discusses what makes a personal injury claim and what you can do to get your case started.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
When someone suffers injuries and other losses due to someone else’s negligence or other legal faults, the injured person can take legal action and seek compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury claim. Many personal injury claims arise from accidental negligence, such as distracted driving, medical errors, or failure to keep premises properly maintained or secured. However, some personal injury cases involve intentional malice, such as domestic violence or nursing home abuse.
No matter the details of your personal injury claim, it’s almost always in your best interest to work with a trusted attorney. Building a claim and demonstrating that the other party should be financially accountable can be complicated, but a personal injury lawyer can help you fight for the full compensation you deserve.
How Do I Start a Personal Injury Claim?
In the aftermath of a personal injury, it can be challenging to know where to turn. If you suspect you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you can lay a solid foundation for a personal injury claim by:
- Seeking prompt medical attention to obtain treatment for your injuries and create an official record of your condition
- Following your doctor’s prescribed care plan and attending all follow-up appointments as scheduled
- Determining whether the other party is covered by liability insurance and, if so, collecting their policy details
- Gathering information and evidence such as photos of the accident scene, eyewitness statements, police reports, medical records, and pay stubs
What Are the Primary Elements in a Personal Injury Claim?
The key elements of a personal injury claim based on negligence include:
- Duty to exercise reasonable care – You must show that the other party had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and avoid causing you injury. That could include a driver’s responsibility to obey the rules of the road or a physician’s responsibility to follow appropriate standards of care, for example.
- Failure to exercise reasonable care – You must provide evidence of the other party’s failure to uphold their legal duty to exercise reasonable care. Common types of evidence include photographs, video footage, medical records, police reports, and witness statements.
- Causation – It’s not enough to show that the other party neglected their responsibility and that you suffered injuries. You must demonstrate that the other party’s negligence directly contributed to your injuries.
- Actual damages suffered – Lastly, you need to prove that you sustained losses due to the other party’s negligent actions or failure to act. The term “actual damages” refers to measurable personal and financial losses, including medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Contact Our Experienced Folsom Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At Black & DePaoli, we provide personalized and effective legal services to injured people in Folsom and throughout Northern California. Contact us today to learn more in a free, no-risk initial consultation.