Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
1.What is a personal injury case?
A personal injury case is a legal case in which one party is seeking monetary compensation from the other for injuries. The individual bringing the case is termed the plaintiff, while the party from whom compensation is sought is the defendant. Personal injury cases are torts, which are cases in which a remedy is sought for a legal wrong. Usually personal injury cases are brought for injury accidents allegedly caused by the defendant’s negligence.
2.How much will it cost me to hire a personal injury attorney?
Personal injury attorneys usually don’t require money up front. Instead, they take a percentage of the settlement, usually 33%. Once the settlement has been finalized and a check has been issued, the attorney collects his fee, along with other costs, such as copies of medical reports, which he has incurred.
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3.How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
If you suffer an injury to your person — physical, emotional or both — that is legally recognized, and is due to the fault or negligence of another, you have a personal injury case. In some instances you don’t even have to be actually injured, as in assault, where the actions of another led you to an expectation of harm. You may also bring a wrongful death personal injury suit. This is not on behalf of the decedent, but for your loss of financial support as well as companionship.
4.How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit? What is the statute of limitations in California?
If you have suffered a personal injury, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years from the time the injury accident occurred. In some instances the statute of limitations is temporarily stopped. For instance, if the injury victim is a minor, she is not legally entitled to file suit until she turns 18. The two year limit then would begin on her 18th birthday.
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5.What is “negligence?”
Negligence in a legal sense means failure to use reasonable care. It involves failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do in a given circumstance or doing something a reasonable person wouldn’t. It applies when an individual’s action or inaction directly leads or substantially contributes to the accident.
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