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With over 12 years of experience, our personal injury team at Beahm Law has represented and won favorable recovery for clients in the Bay Area and across California in a range of personal injury lawsuits. No matter the gravity of an accident or injury, you deserve the proper compensation in damages. To better understand next steps following injury to you or a loved one, it will be worthwhile to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case or settlement.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury cases arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else is legally responsible for that harm.Common types of personal injury cases in San Mateo County include:
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
A personal injury lawsuit may either be formalized at a civil court proceeding or negotiated through an informal settlement between the two parties before any lawsuit is filed.
With that in mind, there are two potential outcomes of a case:
- Formal lawsuit
- Informal settlement
A formal lawsuit for personal injury typically starts when the plaintiff files a civil complaint against another person or business alleging that they acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection to an accident or injury that caused harm. Be aware that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in California is 2 years from the discovery of the injury. An informal settlement, on the other hand, commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action (such as filing a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreed amount of money.
Most personal injury disputes are resolved through informal early settlement, usually between those personally involved in the dispute, presided by their insurers and attorneys representing both sides. Note that there is a middle ground between a lawsuit and an informal settlement, which usually takes the form of mediation or arbitration.
How a San Mateo Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you are dealing with a formal lawsuit, it will be important to have an attorney to represent you throughout the court proceedings. In the case of an informal settlement, however, in California you have the choice of whether to hire a personal injury lawyer during the negotiation of your case. While you are not required to have legal representation, it will be helpful, especially if the injuries are serious. A lawyer might be able to negotiate more significant compensation for your damages.
Some of the compensation injury victims can collect from negligent parties for their injuries and losses include:
- Past and future estimated medical costs
- Property damages
- Value of lost wages and earning capacity
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
It might be in your best interests to seek legal aid if you do not know a lot about personal injury laws and what the other party or insurance company might bring to the negotiation table. In some cases, an insurance company might dispute or deny the claim. In this situation you might need legal representation to aggressively fight against bad-faith insurance dealings. Further, in some situations filing an insurance claim is just the first step in what could be a lengthier legal process. While you focus on recovering from your injuries or spending time with an injured loved one, let a lawyer handle the bulk of your case. Speak to our experienced personal injury attorney serving San Mateo before settling your case.