If you've come to this website, you've probably visited another five or six and you're seeking out an attorney who will fight for you because you've been injured by somebody else. This injury might be caused by someone's negligence. This injury might be caused by someone's intentional act.
One of the things that you don't realize, is that behind the scenes, it's the insurance company protecting their insurance dollar. who is the real villain when it comes to trying to get fair justice for your injury? Statistics have put the dollar amount controlled by the insurance company at approximately 67% of every dollar in America. Insurance companies are really good at collecting money, but when it comes to paying out, the payout affects the bottom line, it affects their profit margin, it affects the shareholders price. That is the reason that you will not get fair settlement for your injury case, unless you have an attorney who's willing to put on the boxing gloves and climb into the judicial ring known as the courtroom to fight for you.
Our firm is a little different than most firms. Most personal injury firms take hundreds and hundreds of cases if not thousands, and they process them like a fisherman cleaning fish, one after the other, one after the other. If you ever watched a fisherman cleaning a hundred fish off a tuna boat or off a boat where they all went fishing and caught a bunch of trout. They're moving really fast. He's got the knife, he sticks it in there. He slices down the spine, flips it over, slice down the spine. Hits the filet, one filet, two filet, boom he's done. But what you didn't see is all the meat that was left on the bone. He did a hasty job. He was quick about it. He wasn't paying attention.
Many personal injury firms operate on that same principle. They've taken hundreds, if not thousands of injury cases, pick and choose the ones that they think they might be able to make more money on. And all the others kind of get thrown to the wayside and they're just cleaned like a fish. We approach our firm a lot differently. If we decide to take your case, then we are all in. If we decide to take your case, we will give it 100% of our attention. We will vow to take this case to jury trial. And only you have the authority to decide if you want to settle the case beforehand. We do not take thousands of injury cases. We do not take hundreds of injury cases. We limit our scope and take the cases that we think we can help people achieve full and fair justice for their injuries.
If you want to know a little bit about our firm, Silva and Silva Attorneys at Law, we're a father daughter team located in beautiful downtown Redlands. Part of our practice, we handle select injury cases, criminal defense cases such as DUIs, and probate and estate planning. We do have a network of attorneys around us, so that if you have any other type of case, and you call us first I'll make sure you get to the right attorney who is a leader in his field, knows what he's doing, and he has earned my trust over the last two decades.
If you want full and fair compensation for an injury, you're not going to get it by trying to negotiate with the insurance company. If you want full and fair compensation for an injury, even attorneys cannot get full and fair compensation from the insurance company through negotiation. There is a power imbalance between the big gorilla dollar, owned and controlled by the insurance company and the little person trying to fight for full and fair justice.
Give us a call at (909) 798-1500. I'll gladly speak to you over the phone about your case. I'll give you my analysis and opinion. And if you want to go farther we'll set up a no obligation free consultation, so that you can become more educated on what you're facing. There's an old saying that says something about pouring salt in the wound. It's bad enough that you were injured by a negligent person and now you've got to face an insurance company who's trying to do you over, and not handle a case in a fair and reasonable manner.
A serious injury or death can occur in any aspect of our lives. A serious injury or death can have a profound impact on our health, our family, our ability to provide for our family, and our mental and physical sanctity. We have seen serous injuries occur out of auto crashes that do not show a lot of visible property damage yet have caused enough injury to change the course of a person's life. We have seen people die because of the wrong doing of another human being. Centuries ago, when a person was harmed, justice would be in the form of "an eye for an eye". In today society justice has to be carried out in the form of money as a measurement of compensation. When someone is needlessly killed no one in their right mind says "oh goody, I have a lawsuit." Everyone wants to avoid the lawsuit, avoid the pain of losing a loved one, and avoid reliving the reminder of losing a loved one. Many folks would love to have "an eye for an eye justice" but we have grown as a society and that measurement of justice is no longer allowed.
Big Rig Crashes
Car Seat Failure
Loss of Limb
Hurt at Work
Bicycle vs. Car
Defective Air Bags
Defective Front Car Seats
Hit by Drunk Driver
Hit by Drugged Driver
Motorcycle vs. Car
Pedestrian Hit by Car
Collapsed Car Roof
Sue Your Insurance Co.
What is a California personal injury case? A personal injury or catastrophic injury case occurs in the state of California when a person has suffered some form of severe physical or psychological injury as a result of another person or companies wrongful conduct. The wrongful conduct may be simple negligence or intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct. People harmed in automobile, motorcycle, and large truck accidents are examples of personal injury cases involving vehicles.
A dog bite, trip and fall injuries, defective products and professional malpractice are also examples of cases that can cause harm and damages to someone. In some instances, a party may be strictly liable for injury to another without the injured person having to show wrongdoing by the other party.
What damages are available in a California personal injury case? In most catastrophic personal injury cases, a victim may be entitled to monetary compensation for bodily injury and pain and suffering from the person or company whose negligent or wrongful conduct caused the injury. This includes a momentary lapse in judgment, a mistake or simple negligence. Injuries caused by intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct may also allow an injured party to receive punitive damages which are designed to punish the responsible party. Over the past two decades, we've handled both types of cases.
The primary damages you may be entitled to if you are a victim of personal injury are called compensatory or actual damages. These damages are intended to provide reimbursement or payment to you for your past or future out-of-pocket expenses or losses. Please keep in mind that an expert is normally required to help prove the full extent of your recoverable damages.
The most common compensatory damages include the following: medical expenses, past and future medical bills and expenses for healthcare services from an ambulance or emergency providers, hospitals, doctors, medication and related services from nurses or other health care providers related to your injury in care and treatment are recoverable medical expenses in a personal injury case.
Another area of recoverable damages are called loss of earnings. If you are unable to work for a period of time after the incident, you're entitled to recover reimbursement of all lost wages. A related area of damages are called impaired earning capacity damages and these damages are any reduction of your ability to earn a living. For example, you can't do the same job that you were doing before the accident. Well, those damages are recoverable. In many instances however, an expert economist is needed to be retained to help determine what the actual loss of this income is.
Another area of medical related expenses that are compensable damages, damages you're entitled to recover are called future medical expenses. These are all reasonably necessary future medical care and treatment. Those costs, those expenses normally provable through expert testimony are recoverable.
Pain and suffering damages. These damages are awarded to compensate an injury victim for all past and future pain and suffering related to an incident or an injury. Mental anguish. These are personal injury damages available to a victim who sustained extreme mental or emotional suffering or distress. If that's the case, then you're entitled to be compensated for those injuries. In some cases may also include someone who has witnessed the severe injury or death of a loved one.
Loss of consortium. If because of a personal injury case, the victim spouse is unable to enjoy the benefits of marriage such as companionship, affection, comfort, or sexual relations, a claim for monetary damages may be sought under this particular theory.
Loss of society and companionship. In wrongful death cases, these damages are awarded to an heir for the loss of love, comfort, and companionship with respect to the relationship between the surviving heir and the decedent. Property damage. Any property damage to a vehicle or personal items may be recovered by the victim in a personal injury case.
What is the standard of proof in a California personal injury case? The standard of proof in the United States is typically by a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing evidence or evidence presented beyond a reasonable doubt. That also applies in the state of California.
Because proving a case beyond a preponderance of the evidence, which is simply a slight tipping of the scales, is usually easier than a criminal prosecution, which has a burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt. Most personal injury cases are handled in the civil court system.
Are there special time limits to asserting a California personal injury case? The answer's yes. There are very strict time limits that every personal injury victim and family needs to be aware of. Time is of the essence in many personal injury cases. In civil personal injury cases, most states have a strict statute of limitations, which means the court proceedings must be properly commenced within a certain period of time after an incident or the victim and/or the victim's family will lose their rights to bring a claim forever.
Other time sensitive issues involve areas of possible concern about protecting and preserving evidence, identifying defendants, identifying and protecting available insurance coverage limits, and also assets such as bank accounts and real estate that may be available with respect to collection efforts after a judgment assuming there's insufficient insurance to cover a personal injury claim.
Can a person who causes harm to another human being be prosecuted for both the criminal harm and the civil personal injury case? And the answer to that question is yes. In some instances, a civil and criminal case can both be filed at the same time. People are routinely charged with the crimes of assault, battery, attempted murder, and even murder.
False imprisonment and fraud are also other crimes that sometimes involve your civil rights being violated. In these cases, we work with the district attorney's office to coordinate our efforts to coordinate their prosecution of the crime with our handling of the civil personal injury case.
From a lawyer's perspective, what does it take to be a good personal injury lawyer? Well, first of all, it takes many years and many cases before a lawyer learns how to properly handle and persuasively argue a personal injury case. By their very nature, the available damages in a personal injury case are not always quantifiable through formulas or expert testimony.
So, what are the most common steps in a personal injury case? Well, when you or a family member is involved in a personal injury case, it's extremely important to act quickly and to make smart decisions from the very beginning of your case. Being seen and properly diagnosed by an experienced and well-respected healthcare provider shortly after accident or injury is important for two reasons.
First, making sure you get and receive proper medical treatment is important to your short and long term recovery. Second, it's absolutely necessary in personal injury cases to have your doctors properly document, and by document I mean medical records, reports, photographs, X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, to properly document all of your injuries and treatment.
This record or history will be used to confirm all of your injuries and related issues later on in the claim during the litigation process and if necessary at time of trial. Doctors such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors may be needed to help you recover as fast as possible.
They may also be needed to help provide expert testimony at time of trial in order for you to present evidence in front of a jury. Economists, life-care planners as well as experts in vocational rehab are sometimes necessary to help calculate, explain, improve your other financial losses.
Investigation and protecting evidence. When it comes to investigating the incident that caused your injuries and damages, it's extremely important to keep in mind that evidence can be difficult to locate as time passes. Objects get moved or removed from the accident scene. Skid marks wash away with rain and other evidence such as broken glass, asphalt, damaged walls and buildings, they all get repaired or replaced over time.
Damage to vehicles may get repaired before being photographed and witnesses may... they need to be statementized. They need to be interviewed before their memories start to fade. In some situations, witnesses need to be interviewed before the other side and the other side's investigators get to those witnesses and start to coach them about what did or didn't actually happen during an accident.
In other instances, we've seen witnesses completely disappear from the face of the earth when people come to us later on, well after an accident, and then ask us to try to go out and find witnesses. So, time is of the essence when it comes to properly investigating an accident and properly preserving evidence relating to a personal injury case.
Let's talk a little bit about claim and lawsuit filing deadlines. In almost every California personal injury case, you only have a certain limited period of time to file a claim or a lawsuit. If you fail to properly file or serve the required legal documents in a timely fashion, you will forever lose your legal right to pursue a claim or case against the responsible party.
The requirements and time period you have to file a claim against a governmental entity such as a city, a county, or a state is different than when dealing with a private party or company in a slip and fall or automobile, motorcycle, or large truck type of accident. Medical malpractice cases have their own unique limited periods of time within which things need to be done.
If you've been involved in a personal injury case under any of these circumstances that I've just mentioned, you need to speak to an attorney so that you can understand what these time limits are and take the necessary action that needs to be taken to protect your legal rights.
Let's talk just for a couple of minutes about legal documents in a personal injury case. Legal documents called Claims, Pleadings and Motions are normally prepared to file with the court to protect your rights and to maximize your chances of obtaining a full and complete settlement or verdict. Settlement Demand Packages are also sometimes necessary to attempt settlement of a case before the need for a lawsuit becomes necessary.
Mediation, arbitration and trials are all used to obtain a final decision in a personal injury or wrongful death case. All of these different types of hearings and proceedings require a different type of document in order to set forth the facts of your case, your liability analysis, and your specific demand for damages.
Who pays in a personal injury case? Well, when it comes to recovering damages in most vehicle accident cases, most experienced personal injury law firms look to the responsible parties, automobile liability insurance company, or a homeowner's insurance policy.
If the person who caused your injuries was employed with the company at the time that he or she caused the accident and was in the scope and course of employment at the time of the accident, you may also have the right to pursue a legal claim against that person's employer based upon a legal theory called or referred to as respondeat superior. In that theory, the employer is liable for the wrongful conduct of its employees while on the job.
In almost all serious personal injury cases, we also use experts to undertake an asset background check to see whether or not there are any real property, bank accounts, home equity, any interests the other party may have in an estate plan, a will as a beneficiary under a will or a living trust, something like that.
We want to make sure that there's nothing else out there above and beyond the insurance policy that would allow you to properly recover all compensation you're entitled to. In many cases where the other party was either uninsured or insufficiently insured, we've been able to use these types of techniques to get payment on a large judgment against the other side.
The bottom line is that no settlement should take place and no settlement release should be signed until you have a full and complete understanding, until you have all the answers to the above questions with respect to, what does the responsible party have? We're talking about how much insurance, assets, bank accounts, equity in the homes, everything else. These are things you need to know before you finalize your personal injury case.
Since 2001, we've truly enjoyed helping people not big corporations and insurance companies. Our daily focus involves protecting the injured, the wronged, the voiceless, not large businesses that routinely trample, abuse and exploit the rights of the less fortunate. Our drive and motivation has always been devoted to leveling the playing field for clients and families against self-serving goals and corporate greed and higher corporate profits that we see with the large corporations.
If you've been involved in a personal injury case and you have questions, if you need help, give us a call. We'd be happy to answer your questions and if appropriate, if you'd like us to, if we feel we can get involved in the case and bring something to the table and help you, we can formally get involved to represent your interest. But either way, we're standing by to answer your questions and help any way we can.