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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury claim may be your best option for recovering your losses if any other party recently caused a physical injury and/or economic loss in the Los Angeles area. Personal injury claims arise from many situations, from motor vehicle accidents to negligent care of private property and more. However a personal injury occurs, it is crucial for the victim and their family to understand what a civil claim for damages entails and the value of having legal counsel they can trust as they navigate their case proceedings.

Compassionate Legal Representation for Los Angeles Personal Injury Claims

The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes offers years of personal injury experience to Los Angeles area clients. Our firm has cultivated a strong professional reputation as a leading choice for personal injury representation thanks to our commitment to client recovery and vast professional resources. When you believe another party is responsible for the harm you recently experienced, our team can guide you through the process of holding them accountable and securing appropriate compensation for the losses you suffered.

Proving Fault for a Personal Injury Case in Los Angeles

Before the victim of any personal injury can recover compensation for their damages, they must be prepared to prove how those damages occurred. Most California personal injury claims arise from acts of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care in a specific situation. Proving negligence entails four elements:

  1. The at-fault party held some duty of care to the victim. For example, a driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle attentively and refrain from distracting actions behind the wheel.
  2. The at-fault party failed to meet their duty of care or breached the duty of care through a specific action or inaction when another reasonable person in the same situation could have prevented the incident.
  3. The breach of duty caused harm to the victim. You only have grounds to file a personal injury claim in California if you suffered actual harm, meaning you sustained some measurable loss and/or physical injury in the situation in question.
  4. The plaintiff’s claimed damages solely resulted from the defendant’s breached duty of care. Therefore, the plaintiff may only seek compensation for the damages they incurred directly because of the defendant’s negligence.

Success with your personal injury claim in Los Angeles is likely if you can firmly establish these four elements of negligence. However, if your personal injury resulted from any intentional misconduct, this could amplify your total recovery but also make your legal proceedings more challenging. If the defendant injured you and broke state law, the state would file criminal charges against them, and their criminal case would unfold alongside your civil suit. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney can advise you as to how this criminal case may influence your recovery efforts and your final compensation.

Commonly Reported Causes of Personal Injuries in California

When you need to hire a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, it’s crucial to choose one who has significant professional experience handling cases similar to yours. The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes has successfully represented clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including:

  • Car accident claims. Car accidents are the leading cause of personal injuries throughout the United States, and each state has different laws for resolving these incidents. Recovery from a car accident in Los Angeles is likely to require an auto insurance claim against the other driver, and if the settlement you obtain from their insurance carrier does not fully cover your losses, you will need to pursue a personal injury claim. The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes can help you maximize your insurance claim settlement and guide you through the procedural steps necessary for filing your personal injury claim.
  • Truck accident claims. Any vehicle accident involving a large commercial truck is likely to result in much worse injuries and economic losses than most other vehicle accidents. Additionally, these accident claims tend to raise more difficult questions of liability, and it’s possible for more than one defendant to bear fault for the truck accident you or a loved one recently experienced.
  • Motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles may be fun, but they offer no physical protection in an accident. If you or a family member suffered catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle crash, our firm could help you identify the driver responsible and hold them accountable for the scope of your losses.
  • Rideshare accidents. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are very popular, but when accidents involving rideshare drivers occur, injured victims can face exceedingly difficult insurance claims and related legal complications. Our firm can help you maximize your recovery after a rideshare driver has injured you as a passenger or while driving your own vehicle.
  • Premises liability claims. Property owners must ensure that lawful visitors are not in danger of injury while visiting their properties. If a foreseeable safety issue causes a slip and fall or another injury, and the injury could have been prevented if the property owner had taken better care of their property, this could form the basis of a premises liability claim.
  • Dog bite cases. Dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend, but any dog is capable of inflicting severe injuries on a person unexpectedly. California’s strict liability rule applies as long as the victim did not provoke the attack and was legally present at the location of the attack. The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes can help you prove fault and assert the strict liability rule to ensure the owner of the dog that bit you is held accountable for your damages.
  • Construction accident claims. Construction is statistically the most dangerous industry in which anyone can work, and a construction accident can easily result in life-changing medical complications for the victim. If you were injured while working construction, our firm could help you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a personal injury claim if you have grounds to do so.
  • Catastrophic injury claims. A personal injury qualifies as catastrophic when it causes permanent harm to the victim. Unfortunately, some personal injury victims never fully recover from their experiences and face lifelong medical complications and economic strain. The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes can provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need after a catastrophic injury, ensuring the defendant who injured you is held fully accountable for the entire scope of immediate and future damages you suffered.

Whatever your personal injury claim entails, rest assured that our team has the experience and resources necessary to guide you through the proceedings ahead of you. Time is a critical concern for any personal injury victim. If you have grounds to file an insurance claim after an accident, this could yield compensation relatively quickly, but you have a very limited time to file your claim. The state enforces a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, but it is best to hire legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible to have the best chance of securing as much compensation as possible for your damages.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Vehicle Accident

If your personal injury resulted from any motor vehicle accident, an insurance claim against the at-fault driver is likely to be your first option for recovering your damages. State law requires all drivers to have auto insurance, and this insurance must include both bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. Ideally, an insurance claim should yield compensation relatively quickly after an accident, helping you cover the cost of the medical care you require and your vehicle repair costs.

Unfortunately, dealing with insurance companies can be very difficult, and there is no incentive for any insurance company to pay out on your claim. Instead, they will generally look for any and all reasons they can find to deny your claim or offer the lowest possible settlement for your damages. Some insurance company representatives will even knowingly engage in bad faith tactics, preying on the desperation of injured claimants who aren’t fully aware of their rights.

When you have the Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes representing you after a vehicle accident in Los Angeles, our team will do everything we can to streamline the insurance claim process. We will resolve any issues that arise between you and the insurance company in question and ensure you receive an appropriate settlement offer. However, if insurance alone cannot compensate your losses, or if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you will need to file a personal injury suit to recover your damages.

Preparing for Your Personal Injury Claim in Los Angeles

Even if the defendant’s fault seems perfectly clear from the outset of your legal proceedings, any personal injury claim can raise very difficult questions of liability, the damages available to the plaintiff, and what happens when fault is called into question by the defendant. After proving how your accident happened and exploring preliminary recovery options like an insurance claim, you may be compelled to file a personal injury suit to secure the compensation you need to recover from your losses.

The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes can help you file your personal injury suit in Los Angeles. A strong initial complaint is more likely to compel the defendant into settlement negotiations, leading to a speedier resolution to your case. Your initial complaint must outline the damages the defendant inflicted on you, proof that they are responsible for those damages, and a detailed explanation of the compensation you are seeking. After filing your complaint, the defendant is formally served the court papers needed for their response. At this point, the case may either proceed to settlement or litigation.

During settlement negotiations, the defendant and the plaintiff meet privately with their respective attorneys with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable resolution to the claim in question. This enables both parties to save time and money they would otherwise spend on prolonged litigation. However, if settlement proves fruitless for any reason, or if a defendant refuses settlement and denies liability, the case will advance to litigation. If your personal injury claim goes to trial, the judge overseeing the case has the final say regarding liability for your damages and the compensation you deserve.

Compensation for Personal Injuries in Los Angeles

The main purpose of any personal injury claim in Los Angeles is for the victim to receive the compensation they need to become as “whole” as possible after suffering harm from the defendant’s negligence or misconduct. Personal injury plaintiffs are legally entitled to claim economic and non-economic damages from a defendant once they have proven the defendant is responsible for causing those damages.

Economic damages are generally straightforward and include any and all financial losses the plaintiff incurred from the incident. For example, most personal injury cases seek compensation for economic losses such as:

  • Property damage. When a defendant has damaged or destroyed the plaintiff’s personal property, repair or replacement costs can be included as economic damages in a personal injury claim against the defendant.
  • Medical expenses. Whenever a defendant has physically harmed a plaintiff, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for any and all medical expenses they incur due to the defendant’s actions. This includes immediate treatment costs as well as any ongoing health care expenses for managing symptoms, rehabilitation, and other necessary ongoing care.
  • Lost income. If the defendant harmed the plaintiff severely enough that the plaintiff is left unable to work for any length of time, the defendant is responsible for the income the plaintiff is unable to earn during this time. This could include lost future earning potential if the injury caused any permanent disability that interferes with the plaintiff’s ability to work and earn income.

The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes will carefully review the details of your personal injury to help you identify every economic loss you can cite as damages in your claim. Non-economic damages, namely your pain and suffering, are more challenging to calculate. California law does not limit pain and suffering compensation for most personal injury cases, but the plaintiff must make a compelling case to justify the amount sought in their civil suit.

Attorneys generally calculate pain and suffering damages in one of two ways. First, when a plaintiff has suffered severe injuries resulting in any long-term or permanent harm, their attorney would be more inclined to seek a large lump sum in pain and suffering compensation using the multiplier method. The attorney adds up the total of all the plaintiff’s economic damages and then multiplies this amount by a factor that represents the severity of their condition. For example, if the plaintiff claims $200,000 in economic losses but suffered a severe injury causing permanent disability, their attorney could seek several times this amount in pain and suffering compensation.

The other method for calculating pain and suffering is the per diem method. This is most often used when a plaintiff is expected to make a full recovery from their injury in the near future. The attorney determines a suitable amount of daily compensation for their client, and the client will receive this for each day they spend recovering from their injury. Ultimately, pain and suffering usually account for most of a personal injury plaintiff’s total case award.

Comparative Fault in California Personal Injury Cases

If a plaintiff is partially liable for the damages they suffered, the state’s pure comparative negligence law applies to their personal injury case. Under this law, the plaintiff maintains the right to seek compensation from the defendant, but they will lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their shared liability. A judge will review the case and assign the plaintiff a fault percentage that reflects their level of liability for causing the damages in question. This percentage is how much is then deducted from their final case award. For example, if a plaintiff is found 30% at fault for causing their personal injury, they lose 30% of the total compensation recovered from the defendant.

If you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your recent personal injury, it is imperative to seek legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible from an experienced attorney. When you choose the Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes to represent your personal injury case, we will carefully review all evidence and witness testimony in play to create the most compelling civil claim possible. In addition, our team strives to maximize client recovery in every case we accept, including those in which plaintiffs share fault with the defendants cited in their claims.

FAQs About Los Angeles, CA Personal Injury Law

Do I Really Need a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney?

There is no law requiring you to hire an attorney to file a personal injury claim. However, it is vital to consider how much legal representation you can trust can improve the results of your personal injury case. Your legal team can handle all your case proceedings on your behalf, assist you in uncovering every avenue of compensation available to you, and streamline the process of securing compensation for your damages.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney?

The Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes offers contingency fee billing to personal injury clients, meaning we only take a fee after we win compensation for our client. Additionally, our fee is a percentage of their case award, which ensures they receive appropriate compensation for their losses. There are no upfront or ongoing costs, and the client pays nothing if we are unable to secure compensation on their behalf for any reason. Therefore, there is no financial risk to you by hiring our firm to represent your personal injury case.

Will I Get More Settlement Money if I Hire a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney?

The average personal injury plaintiff can identify immediately recognizable damages, but they are likely to struggle when calculating the entire scope of long-term damage they can seek from a defendant. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney improves your ability to secure maximum compensation for the losses you suffered significantly, and your attorney may uncover channels of recovery that you did not realize were available to you.

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim in Los Angeles?

The vast majority of personal injury cases filed in Los Angeles end with privately settled agreements. As long as you have reliable legal counsel advising you and the defendant’s liability is clear, a swift settlement benefits both parties. A settlement should only take a few weeks to conclude, but there is always a chance for unpredictable complications to arise and delay your recovery efforts. If you must resolve your case through litigation, it could take several months or even longer than a year to complete.

What Happens When a Personal Injury Is Fatal?

If you have recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident, and they would have had the right to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident had they survived, a wrongful death claim can effectively replace this personal injury suit. A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury case from a procedural standpoint, but while a personal injury case requests compensation for the victim’s losses, a wrongful death claim requests compensation for the damages the plaintiff’s family incurred.

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Any personal injury has the potential to be a life-changing experience for the victim and their family, both in terms of the harm done and the long-term effects of the event. If your family is struggling with the effects of any other party’s negligence or misconduct in the Los Angeles area, you need trustworthy legal counsel to guide you through the difficult proceedings you face. Contact the Law Offices of Carl D. Barnes today and schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney with the skills and resources necessary to guide you through your case with confidence.

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