If you or a loved one recently experienced any injury, illness, or economic loss that you believe resulted from the negligence of another party, it’s vital to know your rights and available options for legal recourse. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, our team routinely provides comprehensive legal counsel to those injured by negligence, intentionally harmful acts, and the reckless behavior of others. A personal injury lawsuit is one of the best available options for securing recovery for your damages after such incidents, and we can help with yours.
Attorney Travis Black and Attorney Kelsey DePaoli have years of experience handling complex personal injury claims covering a wide array of injuries, illnesses, and economic losses. Our team understands how devastating an unexpected personal injury can be for the victim and their family and the confusion and frustration that often follow these incidents. If you are unsure of your legal options after another party has harmed you, we can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need to secure an appropriate recovery for your losses.
Why Should I Hire an El Dorado Hills Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people with valid personal injury claims make the mistake of foregoing legal counsel, believing they can secure the compensation they deserve while saving money on legal fees. The reality is that if you do not hire an experienced El Dorado Hills personal injury attorney to assist you with your case, you stand to lose much more than you could have possibly saved on legal fees.
Filing your personal injury claim with the El Dorado Hills civil court system requires meeting very strict procedural steps, providing complete and accurate documentation to support your claim, and navigating various other legal statutes. Making even a small error during these preliminary steps could jeopardize your case before it even reaches the litigation stage. Instead of risking your recovery on a procedural error, seek reliable legal counsel so you can approach your claim with greater confidence and peace of mind.
How to Start a Personal Injury Claim
The main legal concept at the heart of every personal injury claim filed in the United States is negligence, a legal term that describes a failure to act with reasonable care in a given situation. If you intend to file a personal injury claim for any reason, you must identify the party you believe to be responsible for your damages and prove they were negligent in some way that directly resulted in your claimed damages.
Proving negligence in a personal injury claim requires four basic components:
- The plaintiff must establish the defendant’s duty of care in the situation in question. An example of a duty of care is the responsibility of a driver to follow posted traffic signals and operate their vehicle safely.
- The next component is proving the defendant’s breach of duty. The plaintiff must show how the defendant failed to uphold the duty of care that the situation in question required.
- The third component is proving actual harm or tangible damages resulting from the defendant’s breach of duty. If the plaintiff suffered no actual harm, there are no grounds for a personal injury claim.
- The final component of negligence is causation between the defendant’s breached duty of care and the plaintiff’s claimed damages. The plaintiff has the responsibility of proving their damages were the direct results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Proving these four elements of negligence is easier in some claims than others. California state law provides a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, meaning a plaintiff has two years from the date an injury occurred or the date they discovered an injury to take legal action. This may seem like a generous timeframe, but the reality is that it can take quite a long time to gather the evidence necessary to prove the elements of negligence and start the claim filing process. The sooner you speak with an experienced El Dorado Hills personal injury attorney about your legal options, the better your chances will be of securing an expedient result to your personal injury claim.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
One of the most common questions our firm receives from prospective personal injury clients is how much they can expect to secure from a successful claim. California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to claim compensation for any and all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence with no upper limits or restrictions, except in cases involving medical malpractice. California state law limits noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims to $250,000.
If you are wondering how much compensation you could potentially receive from your personal injury claim, it’s vital to consult an El Dorado Hills personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While some of your damages may not be immediately calculable after your injury, your attorney can provide a realistic estimate of the damages you can potentially recover from a successful claim. Personal injury claim damages exist in three distinct forms: compensatory, noneconomic, and punitive or exemplary damages:
- Compensatory damages seek to repay the plaintiff for the economic losses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. These damages include medical expenses, both immediate and future, lost income, lost earning capacity, and property damage. Personal injury law allows a plaintiff to recover their compensatory damages in full once they establish a defendant’s negligence.
- Noneconomic damages repay a plaintiff’s pain and suffering. California state law allows for financial compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from a personal injury. While this may seem difficult to quantify, attorneys can use different formulas to determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering damages to seek on a client’s behalf. They may use a “per diem” formula that seeks a set amount for every day the victim spends in recovery, or they may multiply the client’s claimed medical expenses by a factor between one and five depending on the severity of their injuries.
- Punitive or exemplary damages are awarded at the discretion of the judge overseeing the case. Unlike compensatory and noneconomic damages that repay the victim’s losses, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and discourage them from engaging in similar negligent behavior in the future.
Ultimately, your personal injury claim could result in much more compensation than you initially expect, especially when you work with an experienced El Dorado Hills personal injury attorney with the skill and experience to handle your case’s unique complexities.
Cases We Handle
The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC provides comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel to clients in the El Dorado Hills area for a wide range of personal injury claims. You can rely on our team for personal injury claims such as:
- Traffic accident claims, including those involving car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of personal injury claims throughout the US.
- Bicycle and pedestrian accident claims. If a driver failed to yield the right-of-way to you while riding your bike or crossing the street, we can help you hold them accountable.
- Workplace injury claims. If your recent injury at work exceeds the scope of recovery available through the workers’ compensation system, we can help you determine your best options for securing maximum recovery for your losses.
- Premises liability claims. If a property owner failed to address a known safety issue that caused your injuries, we can help.
- Dangerous and defective products. Our team can hold a negligent manufacturer accountable for injuries caused by an unreasonably dangerous or defective product.
- Medical malpractice claims. The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC has the experience to handle the most difficult medical malpractice cases in California. We will help you determine if your recent medical injury resulted from a medical provider’s failure to meet the standard of care your condition required.
- Dog bite injuries. If a dog owner was negligent in the handling of their dog or kept a known dangerous dog that injured you, we can help you recover compensation for your losses and hold them accountable.
- Catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent disability. Some personal injuries completely change victims’ lives. If a recent injury resulted in a permanent disability or medical condition that interferes with your ability to work and live independently, we can provide the detail-oriented representation you need to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence.
- Wrongful death claims, which take the place of personal injury claims when victims do not survive their personal injuries. You can rely on The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC to provide the compassionate legal counsel your family needs after the sudden loss of a loved one.
It’s natural to have many questions about your options for legal recourse after suffering a personal injury of any kind. Our team is ready to provide the answers and guidance you need to navigate your personal injury claim with confidence. If you are ready to discuss your personal injury case with an El Dorado Hills personal injury lawyer, contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC today and schedule a complimentary case review with our team.