Know Your Rights

You are entitled to compensation for any loss which is the direct result of someone else’s negligence. No injury, whether long term or not, should be taken lightly, especially if it reduces your ability to earn a living and affects the quality of your life.

It is important to protect yourself when your well-being and livelihood are damaged. Early medical treatment can be critical in preventing long-term physical and emotional difficulties. If we assume your representation, we can help you obtain the prompt medical treatment that you need, even if you are financially challenged.

Early legal assessment is also crucial. Without adequate help your rights may be lost, or at least, seriously compromised. Evidence of the damages which you have suffered must be documented in order to prove a claim. In addition, prompt investigation of the collision makes a significant difference. Inasmuch as there is a two (2) year time limitation (Statute of Limitations) for personal injury incidents in the State of California, it is important to preserve your rights in a timely fashion. After the statute expires, your action will be barred by law and you cannot recover any money whatsoever.

Personal Injury Law: Definitions

Claimant/Plaintiff: You, the person making the claim and seeking monetary damages, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, and directly related financial losses.

General Damages: Your pain and suffering, mental as well as physical, and your general disability.

Punitive Damages: Money which a jury can assess against a defendant to punish an act or failure to act, which has caused your injury.

Defendant: The person or entity against whom you are making the claim against.

Defenses: A position taken by the opposition to your claim. For example, that you were driving too fast and that you caused or contributed to the incident.

Negligence: The unreasonable act of an individual or entity which is not what an ordinary reasonable prudent person or company would do under the same or similar circumstances. The negligence of the adverse party must be the direct cause of your injury. The lack of due care or failure to act reasonably on the part of the person or corporation.

Notice of Claim: Many governmental bodies, e.g., municipalities, State agencies, public entities, etc., must be served with a formal claim long before suit can be brought. This is generally a very short period of time after the incident. Often times, failure to file a Notice of Claim in a proper form and within an appropriate time, can bar your recovery. Don’t let the time elapse!

Direct or Legal Cause: The legal requirement to establish a causal relationship between the incident and the injuries that you suffered.

Statute of Limitations: The period of time within which you must resolve your claim or file a lawsuit. If these time limits are not met, you will be barred from recovery. Sometimes the issue is so complex that a court must resolve it. In California there is a two (2) year Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims.

Tort: A civil wrong, e.g., an automobile or motorcycle collision caused by another party.

Wrongful Death: If a person dies due to the negligence of another, a claim may be brought to collect monetary damages. These damages generally include not only the pain and suffering which that individual suffered before death, but, in addition, the financial losses of beneficiaries and, for the suffering of the bereaved. The law is very complex as to who may bring the claim and the people to whom the money may be awarded.

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