When you are injured because of negligence on the part of another person, you may have the basis for a legal claim against the party responsible for your injuries. Under California’s personal injury laws, should you prove the other party acted in a reckless manner, you can file a claim against them. Many people do not know what types of injuries can result in a successful claim, and this is understandable. We all understand accidents can happen, but when someone is acting in a willfully negligent manner, you do have rights under the law. Let’s review some of the instances where a claim may be in order. For more information about your specific case don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys.
Car Accident Claims
California roadways can be challenging to navigate. Drivers, passengers, bike riders, motorcycle operators, and pedestrians are all at risk when a car accident occurs. Thousands of accidents take place because of impaired, drowsy, or distracted drivers. These are all examples of negligent behavior and if you suffer any type of injury, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for the accident.
- Brain and spinal cord injuries – Brain injuries are unfortunately all too common after a car accident. The force of two vehicles colliding can result in a victim’s brain being shoved back and forth inside the skull resulting in traumatic brain injury. Victims may also suffer spinal cord injuries including slipped or herniated discs that may result in paralysis.
- Broken bone and amputation injuries – Crushing injuries can occur when you are involved in a car accident. While not common, some victims are pinned beneath a vehicle resulting in blood loss that renders a limb useless. Broken legs, arms, pelvis, and ribs are painful and take weeks and, in some cases, months to recover from.
- Soft tissue injuries – Tendon and muscles can be damaged during a car accident. These injuries are often hidden, and victims may not be aware of the severity of the injury for days following a car accident. A car accident attorney may help you recover financial compensation for your injuries.
- Internal injuries – Damage to organs, internal bleeding, and a host of other complications can result from a serious car injury. This type of damage can also result in death.
Premises Liability Claims
Property owners who welcome customers and guests onto their property owe those visitors a safe environment. Unfortunately, too often, victims suffer serious injuries because a property owner failed to maintain their property, failed to place warning signs on uneven or wet surfaces, or failed to properly secure items on shelves. A personal injury lawyer can help victims who suffer from some of the following:
- Slip and fall injuries – Uneven or wet surfaces, broken handrails, carpeting or tiling that protrudes into walkways can cause serious injuries. While many victims will only suffer from bruises and bumps, victims can suffer broken bones, and more serious injuries including concussion and other brain injuries.
- Falling objects injuries – Items that are not secured properly on store shelves can fall and cause serious injury. Victims can suffer a head injury or may suffer back and neck injuries as a result of items falling from heights.
- Construction site hazard injuries – Construction sites pose several risks to both passersby and those who work on the site. Victims can trip over items left in walkways, can suffer head injuries as a result of unsecured items blowing off a platform, or in extreme cases, can suffer burns and other injuries.
Medical Malpractice Claims
A health care provider owes a duty of care to a patient. Whether the provider is a doctor, nurse, dentist, psychologist, or a nursing home worker, this duty of care prevails. When a medical professional fails to abide by accepted standards, patients can suffer a broad range of injuries for which the medical professional may be held accountable. Common medical malpractice injuries include:
- Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis – When a patient who is ill is not properly diagnosed, they could suffer serious issues that can ultimately result in the wrong medication being administered. While not every error is medical malpractice, if a doctor fails to run the proper tests, they can be held accountable for bad outcomes including the death of a patient due to improper medications or treatments.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect – When we trust our loved ones to the care of a skilled nursing facility, we expect they are treated properly. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue across the United States. Injuries range from burns, bruises, and in some cases death. You can hold a nursing home and their staff members accountable for injuries to your loved one.
- Birth injuries – While not every birth injury is a result of negligence, many suspected cases of birth injury result from negligent behavior. Infants with skull injuries resulting from use of vacuum extraction or forceps, nerve damage to shoulders and arms, and other injuries could result from negligence.
Defective Product Claims
When we purchase items for personal use, or we depend on our physician to prescribe a drug, or medical device, the last thing we think about is the product causing us an injury. However, every year, many people suffer a range of injuries due to defective products.
- Defective tires and vehicle failure injuries – When brakes or tires fail, the resulting car accidents can be catastrophic. Victims can suffer a range of injuries including soft tissue damage, brain and head injuries, broken bones, and worse. Victims should seek the guidance of a lawyer to make sure they know their rights.
- Small home appliance burns and injury – Imagine your child putting two slices of bread in the toaster and having the toaster catch fire. Home appliances that are not properly tested can result in burns or other injuries.
- Toys and other home use product injuries – Children and pet toys often pose a choking hazard. When a manufacturer fails to provide suitable warnings, children can suffer various problems including choking, burns, amputated fingers, and worse.
- Hip replacement defect aftermaths – In some instances, the surgeon failed to inform patients of the risks (like one of the many hip replacement recalls) or simply ignored them. Victims can suffer a lifetime of pain after a failed surgical hip implant and they can also suffer from additional injuries as a result of a defective implant.
- Breast implant defect illness and injury – Breast implants were once considered safe after a patient lost a breast due to mastectomy or simply wished to have a bigger bustline. However, over time, many of these implants have failed, leaving women dealing with a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Defects have resulted in leaks in the implant that have caused various illnesses and some patients have had multiple surgical procedures as a result of a bad defect.
- Unsafe drug injuries – When your doctor prescribes you a medication, the last thing you expect is the drug to make your condition worse. You could develop additional health threats, suffer from internal bleeding, or face other health issues due to an unsafe or inappropriately prescribed drug.
There are many types of injuries a person may suffer as a consequence of someone else’s bad behavior. Stab wounds, gunshot wounds, loss of vision or hearing, or permanent scarring can all result from the deliberate, or negligent behavior of another person.
In addition to some of the other types of common incidents, you may also wish to discuss your options with a qualified legal representative if you are a victim of a dog attack. Dog owners have a responsibility to make sure visitors to their home, their neighbors, and others are not attacked by an animal who is supposed to be under their control. In addition to the physical injuries that can result from a dog attack, victims could suffer years of psychological issues as a result of a dog attack. Unfortunately, children are most often the victims of these types of attacks.
Families who have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence may have the right to file a wrongful death claim in California. In many cases, there are financial damages including the cost of medical care, unexpected funeral and burial expenses, and other financial compensation you may have the right to seek. A personal injury attorney may help you determine what claims you have the legal right to file.
There are instances where a workplace injury may also result in serious injury to a victim. Injuries caused by improper training may include crushing injuries, broken or crushed bones, back injuries, and in serious cases, in the death of your loved one. You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney if you are uncertain as to whether you have a claim after suffering an injury at work. Whether your injury is a result of your employers’ negligence, the negligence of a coworker, or the negligence of someone visiting your workplace, you should not have to bear the financial burden of your injuries.
Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Most victims who suffer an injury due to someone’s negligence do not know where to turn. A personal injury attorney who has a track record of success is a good place to start. While past results do not always mean your case will have a positive outcome, working with someone with experience allows you to feel more confident that you are working with someone who has your best interests at heart.
Victims of any type of crime may also file a claim against someone who assaulted them, particularly when the assault resulted in serious injuries. Victims should understand the perpetrator need not be convicted of a crime for you to file a civil lawsuit for the financial damages you suffered as a result of the assault. There may be more than one party responsible for your injuries—for example, victims of sexual assault in a parking garage may have grounds to sue the perpetrator of the assault as well as the property owner if they failed to maintain proper lighting or security.
Recovering from an injury or illness due to medical malpractice, car accidents, or deliberate acts is never easy. You need time to recover physically, and emotionally and the financial toll this can take on you and your family can be significant. Medical bills, rehabilitation and nursing costs, prescription medication costs, and lost time from work can spell financial disaster. Fortunately, victims who seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer need not be concerned about financing a lawsuit since these cases are taken on a contingency basis. This means unless your injury attorney secures a settlement on your behalf, you do not pay for their legal services.
Victims should always use caution when attempting to deal with insurers, company owners, or those responsible for their injuries. Any mistake in what is said to them could result in your sharing information that could ultimately be used to reduce or eliminate your ability to file a claim. In some cases, like medical malpractice or product liability claims, the responsible party may have a high-paid, high-powered attorney on their side. You need an advocate to handle these types of matters, one who will be there to fight for you every step of the way.
Whether you have suffered an injury, or you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you have certain rights under the laws of California. You can protect those rights by contacting a personal injury lawyer. Remember, California limits the time you can file a claim for a personal injury case to two years. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after you suffer an injury is imperative to ensure you do not lose your rights to file a claim.