What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another person – including in an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, in a retail establishment or a neighbor’s property, or by a defective product – you can seek damages via a personal injury lawsuit. “Damages” comprise money compensation for any losses you sustained due to your injury. Consult Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati to take the first step towards justice and full financial recovery. Call today for a free case review!
A Personal Injury Lawsuit Needs to Establish Negligence
If a person has been injured due to another party’s the actions, or failure to act, he or she may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. The other party can be a person, a group of people, or an organization, such as a company that sold unsafe products.
To be found negligent, and therefore legally liable for any damages their negligence caused, the other party or entity must be shown to have had a duty of care in the situation. Store owners and rental landlords, for example, have a duty of care to keep their premises safe at all times.
Second, the other party must have failed in the duty of care. They need to have known a condition was unsafe, or the court must feel that a reasonable person should have known a condition was unsafe, and not have taken any steps to make the conditions safe. A landlord who knows there is a broken railing on the stairs, for example, must fix it with all due speed. The law provides that the other party must have had sufficient time to rectify the situation. If it’s raining and you slip on a retail store’s floor because customers have tracked in water, for example, the store owner could argue that she had not had sufficient time to mop the floor.
Additionally, the injury suffered must be directly caused by the unsafe conditions, and not by any other exigency or event.
What Can I Receive Damages for in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Under California law, people who sustain a personal injury caused by negligence can sue for medical bills required to treat their injury. They can also sue for lost wages due to time they had to take off work, either for medical treatment or because they were unable to work due to their injury. Finally, they can receive damages for pain and suffering.
Note that California operates under comparative negligence laws. That means that both parties can be jointly liable in a lawsuit. If you are injured on the stairs of your building, for example, your landlord could argue that you didn’t show sufficient caution in walking down the stairs.
Under comparative negligence, your damage award would be reduced by the percentage amount the court found you liable. If the other party is found to be 90% responsible, and you are found to be 10% responsible, and the award is $50,000, you would only receive 90%. Ten percent, or $10,000, would be taken out of the award to reflect your own responsibility.
The Salamati Law Firm can help you win your case. Sean Salamati is an experienced personal injury lawyer with a long track record of success in recovering substantial compensation for his clients in Los Angeles and throughout southern California. Our firm provides no-charge, no-obligation initial case consultations and we work on a contingency fee basis — meaning you owe us no money unless we obtain a settlement or verdict award on your behalf. We work with seasoned investigators who can investigate the causes of your accident and expert witnesses who can bolster your case before a jury, if needed. Call a knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury lawyer at our firm today to see how much your case might be worth!