There are hundreds of thousands of preventable accidents throughout the United States every year.
Unfortunately, many of those incidents happen in California and result in serious injuries.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we know how devastating these injuries are for victims and the lifelong consequences they carry.
That’s why we advocate for personal injury victims throughout the state of California.
Types of Cases Our Sherman Oaks Attorneys Handle
Personal injuries can happen in a number of ways. Maybe you get into a car crash on the way to work.
Or, perhaps you slip and fall due to an unmarked spill at the grocery store. Whatever the case may be, the person responsible for your injury should be held accountable.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we handle a variety of personal injury cases, including:
- Car accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Bike accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Dog bites,
- Premises liability,
- Construction site injuries, and
- Wrongful death
While not all of these personal injury cases have the same process, our Sherman Oak attorneys have experience in all of them.
Even if you don’t see your specific case type here, we recommend reaching out to discuss your situation.
How a Sherman Oaks Personal Injury Attorney Calculates Damages
In most personal injury cases, a personal injury attorney in Sherman Oaks divides damages into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Not all of these categories apply to every case type, but they often play an important role in determining the overall value of a claim.
Here’s an overview of each damage type, what it includes, and how your attorney may calculate it.
Perhaps the most important foundation of any personal injury case is economic damages. Also known as special damages, these are the financial losses you sustain due to your injury, both past and future.
Some examples of this include:
- Hospitalization costs,
- Prescription medications,
- Surgical procedures,
- Rehabilitation services,
- Lost wages during recovery,
- Reduced earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
Many of these losses come in the form of bills, estimates, or receipts, which are a little easier to calculate. A Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney usually just adds all of these losses together.
However, future losses are somewhat more challenging to determine. In many cases, the attorney consults experts, like doctors, who help estimate the cost of future care.
Not all losses victims experience after a personal injury are financial. Instead, some losses are physical, emotional, or mental. In fact, some injuries are so debilitating that they reduce one’s quality of life.
The purpose of non-economic damages is to reimburse the victim for these intangible losses, which include:
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of life’s enjoyment,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Pain and suffering.
Unlike economic damages, these losses don’t have a straightforward calculation. That’s because these losses affect everyone differently.
Some attorneys determine non-economic damages by multiplying the total economic damages. Others just calculate a per-day cost to the victim during recovery.
Ultimately, it depends on the way the injury affects the victim’s life.
Although not common, punitive damages occasionally apply to personal injury cases.
Courts award them only in situations where the party responsible for the injuries either intentionally harmed the victim or acted with complete disregard for their safety.
The Role of Negligence in California
In California, negligence plays a significant role in the overall value of a personal injury claim.
That’s because California has a pure comparative negligence law, which means that a victim may claim damages, even if they are 99% at fault for their injuries.
The trade-off is that the total damages are reduced by the victim’s share of fault.
Here’s an example of how negligence may change the value of a case. Let’s say that John gets into a car accident and has $100,000 in damages due to serious, disabling injuries.
During trial, the jury finds him 20% at fault for his injuries. As a result, they reduce his total damages by 20%, bringing the amount down to $80,000.
How Long You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
After receiving a personal injury, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit if necessary.
This is because California has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which is two years from the date of injury. If you try filing after this date, the court will likely refuse to hear your case.
Relatedly, if you let the limitation period expire, the at-fault party and their insurance company will have no motivation to settle or compensate you for the harm you suffered.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sherman Oaks Today
If you or a loved one sustains an injury due to another person’s negligence, you don’t need to fight for your recovery alone.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we believe that victims deserve an advocate who cares about their physical and emotional wellbeing. We fight tirelessly for their recovery and make sure to provide individualized, attentive service.