Personal Injury is a legal term for injuries caused to the body, mind, and/or emotions. It can span a variety of instances, like truck, car, or motorcycle accidents, injuries sustained at work or while you are out and about doing leisurely activities, and even in the seemingly safe environment of someone else’s home.
In common-law jurisdictions this term, “personal injury”, is most commonly used to refer to a type of tort lawsuit in which the person bringing the suit has suffered harm to his or her body or mind. This is why personal injuries can include accidents, illnesses, or trauma that affect the physical or psychological status of the person in question.
But before stating that any type of injury is considered a “personal injury”, it’s important to understand the type of injury, as well as its extent, as this can determine the seriousness of each case.
So what do you do if you think you have sustained a personal injury through no fault of yours? Especially in the State of California, you want to look for a California personal injury lawyer, as this state has many laws that differ from those in other states. Let’s go through some personal injuries and what to do if you have sustained one as well. But first, let’s talk about California’s accident fault laws and see where we stand.
What are California Accident Fault Laws?
A no fault state means that all parties involved in an accident will have coverage from their insurance with respect to injuries or damages no matter who was at fault for the accident. However, California is considered a fault state, which means the state puts the blame and financial responsibility on individuals. The person responsible for the car accident is also responsible for the resulting losses, including medical bills and property damage.
This is why it is imperative to have a lawyer on your side to make sure you do not get stuck with the bill, and to make sure that whoever is responsible for your accident and/or injury holds up their end of their responsibility by paying what is needed.
Common Types of Personal Injuries in California
The most common types of personal injuries in California are motorcycle and truck accidents, workplace accidents, and premises liability.
Truck Accidents: Depending on the circumstances of the crash, truck accident injuries can vary from moderate to catastrophic. Take a look at these common injuries sustained as a result of truck accidents. The NHTSA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has confirmed that in 2019 there were an estimated 159,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks.
Of those crashes:
- 69% (110,000) were occupants of other vehicles
- 29% (46,000) were occupants of large trucks
- 3% (4,000) were nonoccupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.)
Some common truck accident injuries may include traumatic brain injury (TBI), mild traumatic brain injury, whiplash, broken or fractured bones, spinal cord injury, contusion or bruising, lacerations, paralysis, seat belt injuries, collar bone injuries, back injuries, soft tissue injuries, and/or fatalities (wrongful death).
Motorcycle Accidents: According to the most recent available data, 5,115 people have died and 79,000 have been injured since 2019 due to motorcycle crashes. Motorcycles represent only 3% of all types of vehicles registered in the U.S. and actually only account for 0.6% of miles driven by all vehicles.
Even though the total number of motorcycles, 8.6 million, registered in the U.S. is far less compared to the 263.8 million other motor vehicles registered in this country, they actually account for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 17% of passenger fatalities or occupant deaths, and 3% of all injuries.
What Should I Do Next?
Looking for an attorney in connection to your personal injury case is probably the most important thing you can do next to taking photos at the scene, and preserving evidence about your injuries and what happened, which are obviously very important things to do.
But then what? What you can do with that information and how you are going to use it to your advantage is likely going to be done with an attorney, specifically, an accident attorney who specializes in the field of what your case is. Whether it’s a family law case, a personal injury case, or a civil rights case, you want somebody who is extremely experienced and who focuses on the area of practice that your case is about right now.
The most common way people find an attorney would be by a referral, like a friend or family member, who says, “Oh, I know a lawyer”. Which is fine – but only as long as that lawyer is experienced in that specific practice area. For example, your friend might know a Family Law lawyer, but he cannot really help you in the event where you have a Civil Rights Case, or an Employment Claim, or if you have sustained a truck or motorcycle injury.
Therefore, while it is helpful to seek referrals from people you know and trust, do take special care to note what area of law this person or firm specializes in, to decide if they are relevant to what you need.
The other way people are finding lawyers nowadays would be just based on online reviews like Yelp reviews and Google reviews. This is largely reliant on how a lawyer or a law firm markets themselves – whether or not they invest in building an online presence or spend money making sure they look good on the internet when you search for their name.
However, you are not looking for somebody who is really good at marketing. You are looking for somebody who is really experienced in going to trial, adept at preparing a case, who is convincing when arguing in front of a jury, and ruthless at cross-examining a defense expert. Just because someone is a good marketer does not mean they are good at these types of tasks.
Some lawyers and firms look really legit because they have over one hundred positive Google reviews or Yelp reviews. However, it does not really mean they can give you what you are looking for. So what do you do now?
What Should I Look For in a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You want to look at the person’s or firm’s results, especially when it comes to your personal injury case specifically. And remember, the jurisdiction matters. So be sure to include the location of your accident in your search because what applies for accidents in Los Angeles and California might not apply outside of the city or state. Be specific in your search terms as well, like “truck accident lawyer Los Angeles” or “motorcycle attorney Los Angeles” to make sure you find the results you are looking for.
Does the lawyer have experience fighting for claims around truck accidents in Los Angeles? Have they had any settlements for accidents in California? You want to look at their track record and their published reputation, and whether or not they are respected in the field. Arguably, some of the best attorneys in California, if not the United States, have very few Google reviews or Yelp reviews, but they have been getting verdicts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for some of them, even millions.
You should look for lawyers and firms who are really doing well within their jurisdictions and, despite having no real online reviews, are extremely respected in the field. For example, many of them can be found constantly giving lectures in front of audiences to other lawyers. That is the type of person you want fighting in your corner of the ring.
Do keep in mind that some of these lawyers who seem to have three hundred five star reviews might not be respected in the field, and are never talking to other lawyers about how to actually do the work. They are nothing but just good marketers.
Therefore, the way to go when finding a good lawyer would be to find a balance between somebody who has good word of mouth, a moderate number of good reviews, but also has the reputation and the experience to really help you in what you need.
Kirakosian Law and Your Personal Injuries
After a personal injury, it can be confusing to understand what your options are, how you will be able to move forward, and what rights you have as a victim of someone else’s dangerous behavior. This will all be clarified during our initial consultation as we go over the type of accident you were involved in, the events that led to the accident, the injuries you have sustained, and more.
Once we have a clear understanding of the high-level details of your situation, we will be able to provide you with an explanation of how your case is covered by California personal injury law. In addition, we will be able to go into detail about how you can benefit from the support of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible to get started on your case today. The earlier into this process you are represented by an experienced personal injury accident attorney, the more time they will have to build a strong case on your behalf.
*These blogs are meant purely for educational purposes. They contain only general information about legal matters. They are not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult with an attorney.
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