When dealing with personal injuries, most people have a significant amount of questions and concerns regarding their legal rights.  At the Skolnick Law Group we have prevailed in countless accident cases in California, and believe that educating clients about their legal rights and options is key to our success. From day one, we take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, and also, guide you throughout the legal process.  With this in mind, we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a list of the most frequently asked questions by our clients, which can assist you in deciding whether a personal injury case is right for you.  While the following does not constitute legal advice, it does serve as a primer on California personal injury law.  Consider the following:

1.     Do I have a viable personal injury claim? 

To file a viable personal injury claim, there are a number of requirements.  First, you must demonstrate that either you were injured or, you sustained damage to your property.  Second, you must further establish that said injuries or damage was caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent actions.  If successful, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

2.     What is the filing deadline for personal injury cases?

In California, victims of personal injuries typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against responsible parties.  Known as the statute of limitations, if you miss this deadline, you may forever be barred from recovering from your injuries.  Should you be involved in an accident with a government entity, the time period is 180 days from the date of the accident. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the scope of your rights and ensure your compliance with all applicable time frames and filing deadlines.

 3.     What documents do I need to give my attorney when we meet?

No matter what, you should provide your lawyer any and all information that pertains to your case.   These include police reports, which often contain key eye witness statements regarding the cause of your accident.  Additional documentation such as medical reports, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, and any photographs or video footage of your accident and/or injuries may be extremely helpful in proving your case.

 4.     What is negligence?

Negligence is one of the main theories of liability that you can pursue against a person that caused your injuries.  Specifically, negligence pertains to when a person fails to act in a reasonably prudent manner to avoid causing harm to others.  The determination of whether a person’s actions were negligent is typically considered by a jury after the close of all evidence presented at trial.

5.     What damages can I seek against the person who caused my injuries?

Intended to restore you to your pre-injury condition, injury victims in California may seek three types of damages: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss wages.  If a person is hit by a drunk driver, or was injured due to assault and battery, he or she may pursue punitive damages against the wrongdoer.  These are rare however, in certain limited circumstances such as the aforementioned, they can be recoverable.

6.     Can I still collect damages if my medical insurance paid for them?

Generally, yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule in California, you can still collect money for your medical expenses, even if they were covered by your health insurance or MEDPAY.  The same goes for loss time at work.  You can be compensated for this time even if your work despite being paid for it.

7.     Do I need a personal injury attorney?

While California law does not require someone to seek legal representation, it is nonetheless recommended that they do so.  Only a seasoned personal injury attorney can assist you in determining the scope of your legal options, and help guide you throughout the pendency of your case. Also, insurance companies are crafty and well equipped at doing anything and everything to reduce the monetary value of your claim.  Do not accept a settlement offer of any kind without speaking with an attorney as to whether the proposed amount is fair and just in light of the facts of your case.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.