Personal Injury CasesAREAS OF EXPERTISE
The following are GENERAL ANSWERS to basic questions that arise as a result of an accident in which a person is injured because of another person’s or entity’s actions. The information is NOT to be construed as applying to every case of this kind and is only to be considered as an orientation in these type of cases.
It is critical that questions regarding your particular case be addressed by an attorney who practices this area of the law.
My office does not charge for a personal consultation. Attorney fees are only awarded based on a percentage of the recovery of benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions and the Answers
1. What is bodily injury/personal injury? These type of injuries can be physical, mental or both. The physical injuries can result in death.
2. What is injury to property? These type of injuries are usually to physical items such as cars, homes, and personal belongings.
3. What kind of law governs these cases? Civil laws are used to govern rights between people. This is not governed by criminal laws, although there are times that crimes are committed in which a civil action can also be pursued. The legal principles are known as TORT LAWS.
4. When can an injured person pursue this type of civil case? When a person is injured and it is caused by the negligent act of another person, the injured person may bring a Tort action against the responsible party to recover damages. The responsible person is considered “LIABLE” for any resulting damages. Damages may take the form of things such as pain, suffering, emotional distress and inconvenience. It can also take the form of medical costs and lost wages, among other types of losses.
5. What are the most common negligent acts?
- MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
- injuries on the job in which a person, not the employer, causes the injury.
- alcoholic beverage liability/providing excessive alcohol
- slip and falls
6. Are there cases where there is absolute liability regardless of any act of negligence? YES.
- Animal owner’s liability i.e. dogs, horses, etc.
- Ultra-hazardous activities.
7. Can a spouse of an injured person be part of the action against the responsible party? YES.
- Depending on the circumstances there can be a claim for loss of consortium by the spouse. This would be based on loss of companionship and care for the injured spouse.
- A family member who witnesses an accident in which a relative is injured may also have a right to join in the action.
8. How is negligence determined? There are many factors that are considered, and that must exist, to determine if negligence occurred in an accident. It is strongly recommended, and in many cases, critical that any attorney practicing in the area of TORT law review the particular facts of your case in order to apply the specific legal requirements, to provide a reasoned opinion.
9. How long does a person have to bring a case/lawsuit/action against the responsible party? An injured person is limited to a set period of time in which to bring an action against the responsible party. This is called a statute of limitations. In most cases minors have longer periods of time in which to file an action.
- You only have 6 months from the date of injury to bring a case against the state, county or city.
- You only have one year from the date of accident for all accidents up to January 1, 2003 to bring a case against a private entity, business or individual.
- You only have two years from the date of accident, for all accidents occurring after January 1, 2003 to bring a case against a private entity, business or individual.
10. It is critical that a person seek the advice of an attorney who handles these type of cases as soon after the accident as possible! There are times that it appears that there is no insurance that will cover the injuries and damages. However, with further investigation an insurance may exist that will cover.
For further information call the law office of Sylvia Lopez at (661) 324-5911.
If you don’t receive a settlement, you don’t pay a dime.
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