For more than 25 years, attorney Douglas Easton has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV Preeminent* peer review rating for ethical standards and legal ability.
Most Common Causes of Personal Injury Claims in Riverside, CA
Personal injury cases involve all types of situations, and it’s vital to find legal representation from an attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. Easton & Easton has decades of professional experience representing Riverside area clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, such as:
- Car accident claims. California enforces a fault rule for car accidents, so if another driver caused your injuries, they are liable for your damages. An auto insurance claim may provide some initial compensation for your damages, but you are likely to need to file a personal injury suit if the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough to fully compensate your losses.
- Truck accidents. Any accident involving a large commercial truck can easily have devastating effects on those involved. These cases are often more challenging to resolve than standard passenger vehicle accident claims.
- Premises liability. If you were hurt on another party’s property, they could bear liability for your injuries under the premises liability laws in California. If you’re unsure how to hold a property owner accountable for a premises liability claim,it’s vital to consult a reliable attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
- Intentional acts of violence. California has one of the highest statewide crime rates in the U.S. Unfortunately, some people suffer physical injuries during robberies, assaults, and domestic altercations. If you were intentionally harmed by another party, they are liable for your civil damages and face criminal prosecution for their actions.
- Product liability. If your personal injury happened because of an unreasonably dangerous or defective consumer product, the manufacturer could be liable for your damages.
- Catastrophic injury claims. A “catastrophic injury” is any injury that results in permanent harm. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and severe burns are some of the most commonly reported catastrophic injuries that generate personal injury claims in California.
Our firm routinely represents clients facing these and many other kinds of personal injury claims in the Riverside area. We can work with you to address any unique variables present in your case and guide you to a successful conclusion to your case proceedings.
Resolving Common Personal Injuries in California
Car accidents are some of the most common causes of personal injuries throughout the U.S., and legal action against an irresponsible or reckless driver may be necessary for your recovery from car accident injuries in Riverside. California requires all drivers to carry auto insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements, but even an expansive auto insurance policy may not fully cover a victim’s damages from a serious accident.
Insurance may be an essential first step in your recovery from a vehicle accident. All drivers in California must have auto insurance, including commercial drivers covered by their employers’insurance policies. Drivers are not required but encouraged to purchase underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage that they can use when an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident with their vehicle.
Regardless of the type of insurance claims you need to file after your car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be very unpleasant and stressful. Hiring an attorney to assist you with your demand letter for coverage significantly diminishes the chances of you encountering any bad faith tactics or other unethical treatment from the insurance company. A good lawyer can carefully review the policy in question, determine the full scope of coverage available to you, and streamline the process of securing the insurance coverage you deserve.
Personal Injury Claims Pertaining to Domestic Violence
A personal injury claim can pertain to other areas of law outside of the civil court system, specifically the criminal justice system of California and the family courts. Personal injury claims pertaining to domestic violence draw upon all three of these areas of law. A defendant who caused a personal injury to a family member or a member of their household not only faces a civil claim from their victim but also criminal prosecution from the state as well as repercussions in the family court system.
If you were harmed by domestic violence, the aggressor will likely be arrested, and you will have a temporary restraining order that prevents them from coming into contact with you. An individual charged with domestic violence is likely to face fines, jail time, and restitution as elements of their sentence upon conviction. When it comes to family court, they could very well lose any child custody or visitation rights they previously held. Depending on the severity of their actions, there could also be little recourse to reobtain those custody or visitation rights in the future.
Comparative Fault in California Personal Injury Claims
Every state has different laws pertaining to negligence and liability for personal injury damages. California is one of few U.S. states to uphold a pure comparative negligence statute. This law enables any plaintiff who bears liability for causing their claimed damages to still collect compensation from a defendant. However, they lose some of their case award to reflect their comparative fault.
Defendants in personal injury cases commonly attempt to assert comparative fault to deflect liability for plaintiffs’ damages. If you are worried that you are partially responsible for causing the personal injury you recently experienced, it’s essential to speak to an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your concerns. Depending on the value of your claim, even slight comparative fault could mean a substantial dent in your case award. For example, if you were found just 10% at fault in a $500,000 personal injury case, this would mean losing $50,000 from your case award.
Economic Damages in Your Personal Injury Suit
California’s personal injury laws enable a plaintiff to seek full repayment of all the measurable economic losses they suffered because of a defendant’s misconduct or negligence. Depending on the scope and severity of your experience, the economic damages available in your personal injury claim might include:
- Medical treatment costs for your injuries, such as hospital bills, emergency transportation costs, surgery expenses, and anything else related to the medical care you required immediately following your personal injury.
- Long-term medical expenses for managing the symptoms of severe injuries and/or addressing permanent disabilities caused by a defendant’s actions. Your Riverside personal injury attorney will likely consult with your medical care team to accurately assess the full scope of medical complications you are likely to experience in the future. The defendant is liable for any medical treatment costs they cause the plaintiff to incur.
- Lost wages. If the defendant’s actions forced you to miss time at work, they are liable for the income you lost during this time. You can also seek compensation for any vacation time or accrued paid time off you were compelled to use after your injury.
- Lost future earning capacity. If the defendant caused permanent damage that is going to interfere with your ability to work and earn income, they are liable for your lost earning potential. Your attorney can help you assess what type of work you can reasonably handle after recovering from your injury and calculate any drop in your earning power to hold the defendant accountable.
When you calculate the full scope of your economic damages, you may realize that your Riverside personal injury attorney has identified avenues of recovery you would have overlooked if you tried to manage your case on your own. Additionally, California law permits you to seek compensation for your non-economic damages as well.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering in California Personal Injury Claims
“Non-economic damages” in a personal injury claim are the effects of a defendant’s actions that cannot be easily quantified with monetary values or proven with documentation. Physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma are common effects of many personal injuries that are deserving of compensation under California law. However, you could have trouble determining a reasonable figure based on the scope and severity of your injuries.
California does not restrict pain and suffering in most personal injury cases,with the exception of medical malpractice claims. As long as your injury case does not pertain to medical malpractice, there is no limit to the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can seek from the defendant in your claim. Any plaintiff who suffered permanent harm because of a defendant’s actions is likely entitled to a substantial pain and suffering recovery.
There are two commonly used methods for calculating pain and suffering. The “per diem” method is best suited to plaintiffs expected to fully recover from their injuries in relatively short times. The multiplier method is generally reserved for plaintiffs who have sustained catastrophic injuries with permanent damage.
The per diem option awards a specific amount of compensation each day the plaintiff spends in recovery. Once they reach maximum medical recovery from their injuries, the per diem payments cease at the court’s direction. The multiplier method is more straightforward and seeks a large lump sum to match the severity of the plaintiff’s condition.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and whether you face any long-term harm from them, the pain and suffering compensation you obtain could form the majority of your total case award. Many clients who come to Easton & Easton for legal representation in their personal injury claims are pleasantly surprised to learn we can help them recover much more compensation than they initially expected.
What to Expect From a Personal Injury Lawyer
Facing a personal injury case in Riverside, CA can be daunting, but you can approach this situation with confidence when you choose the right Riverside personal injury attorney to represent you. When you work with Easton & Easton in your personal injury case, we carefully review the facts and details of your situation to help you determine the best strategy for holding the defendant appropriately accountable for your damages.
Your legal team will also be invaluable when it comes to accurately assessing your damages and maximizing your recovery. Some victims of specific types of personal injuries may have multiple options for recovering compensation. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, an auto insurance claim against the driver who hit you could provide some initial recovery from your damages. If you must navigate any kind of insurance claim after your personal injury, you are far more likely to secure a suitable claim settlement when you have an attorney draft your demand letter to the insurance company on your behalf.
Once you have exhausted your immediate recovery options through insurance, if available, you can proceed with your personal injury claim to secure compensation for your remaining losses. Some personal injuries entail life-changing physical complications, and others cause victims to experience prolonged periods of psychological disturbance. Whatever your case entails, you are most likely to secure a favorable outcome when you hire the right Riverside personal injury attorney to represent your case.
Easton & Easton takes a client-focused approach to personal injury representation, learning as much as possible about every client we represent. This ensures we address the client’s unique needs as their case unfolds. We thoroughly investigate every avenue of recovery open to our clients and provide ongoing support and reassurance as their case progresses. Our team is confident that we can assist you in building a very strong personal injury claim that’s likely to succeed and also secure as much compensation as possible for your damages.
How to Resolve Your Personal Injury Claim
If you work quickly after an injury to secure legal counsel from a trustworthy attorney, they can ensure your case proceeds unimpeded by administrative red tape in the civil court system. If your attorney can help you compile a very strong claim that leaves the defendant little room to contest their liability, you could potentially secure a swift and satisfying outcome to your case with your attorney’s assistance.
Most of the personal injury claims filed in Riverside, CA end in settlement. A private settlement negotiation requires the plaintiff and the defendant to meet privately to discuss a mutually agreeable solution to the claim. If the defendant accepts responsibility for their actions and acknowledges the plaintiff’s damages, the case can end as soon as an agreement is reached. However, if a settlement doesn’t produce results or if a defendant refuses to acknowledge their liability, your case could extend to litigation and take much longer to resolve.
When a personal injury case goes to court, both parties have the right to present evidence and testimony. The judge overseeing the case has the final say regarding the defendant’s fault and the compensation they owe to the plaintiff. Litigation is risky for both parties. The defendant may think that a court case will absolve them, only to end up facing an even greater liability than they would have faced in a settlement. On the other side, a plaintiff may actually secure less compensation in litigation than they could have obtained through settlement, or the judge may determine they are partially liable for their injuries and diminish their recovery.
Easton & Easton aims to help our clients settle their cases quickly and decisively whenever possible. However, we understand that this isn’t possible in every personal injury case. Rest assured that if you must go to court to hold a defendant accountable for your damages, our firm will be there to guide and assist you through all the challenging courtroom proceedings your case may entail.
Personal Injury Lawyers FAQs
Q: How Do I Know If I Should File a Personal Injury Claim in Riverside?
A: If you or a loved one suffered an injury that someone else caused, you should not be forced to pay for the resulting medical expenses and other damages. A personal injury claim seeks accountability for the effects of an act of negligence or misconduct. If you believe any other party bears fault for your damages, it is essential to discuss your legal options with an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Claim in Riverside?
A: California’s statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury claims. This means that you must file your civil suit within two years of the date of the injury to which the suit pertains. If you were unable to immediately discern the cause of your injury and only discovered that another party is responsible for harming you much later after the actual injury occurred, the discovery rule applies. This means you have six months from the date you discovered the harm in question to file your personal injury suit.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Receive for My Damages?
A: If you succeed with your personal injury claim, you can generally expect full compensation for all of your economic losses. The exact extent of this side of your recovery hinges on the scope of the defendant’s actions and the severity of the harm they caused. You also have the right to recover funds for pain and suffering. A good Riverside personal injury attorney can help you calculate the full scope of damages you can seek with your claim.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Riverside Personal Injury Attorney?
A: Easton & Easton offers contingency fee billing to our personal injury clients. This means you aren’t expected to pay any upfront legal fees. Once we win your case, our firm takes a percentage of the final case award as our legal fee, and you owe nothing if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf. Some plaintiffs may even have grounds to hold defendants accountable for the costs of bringing their claims.
Q: Is It Really Worth Hiring a Riverside Personal Injury Attorney for My Case?
A: The right attorney can have a very positive influence on the outcome of any personal injury claim. If you are hesitant about hiring legal representation, Easton & Easton can evaluate your claim and help you determine whether it would suit your best interests to pursue a civil claim against the party who injured you. Even when you account for the cost of hiring legal representation, your attorney can add substantial value to your case.
Easton & Easton understands the anxiety and frustration that follows most personal injuries. Whether you need help assessing your damages, identifying the parties bearing fault for your personal injury, or if you are unsure if you have grounds for legal action in the first place, we can help. To discuss your recent injury with a Riverside personal injury attorney, contact Easton & Easton today to schedule your consultation with our team.