Suffering an injury is upsetting enough on its own. When you find out that it was the result of someone’s negligence and could have been prevented, it’s even worse. Luckily, California law allows victims of another party’s negligence to seek compensation with a personal injury claim.
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s action or inaction, it’s time to find an attorney who can help. Each of the law firms featured on this page is a verified local Orange County firm, so you can trust the advice you get from a local personal injury attorney. Contact an Orange County personal injury lawyer listed below to discuss your personal injury claim and get your questions answered.
Personal injury is a huge area of law that encompasses lots of different cases. We make it easy to find attorneys for incidents involving:
Each state has its own personal injury laws, which is why it’s so important to work with a reliable and experienced personal injury attorney in Orange County. Their knowledge of California’s personal injury laws will help you avoid unnecessary delays that could cost you money.
In California, most personal injury claims are held to a two-year statute of limitations. The primary exception involves cases against the government at any level. In this case, you must follow specific rules and you only have six months to file your claim. However, there are exceptions to rules and you should discuss the unique circumstances of your matter with a qualified local injury lawyer.
California is one of many states with a pure comparative negligence rule. If you are partially at fault for the accident that led to your injuries, your compensation will be affected. Your total award will be decreased in an amount proportionate to your share of fault. For example, imagine you have $50,000 in damages in an injury claim. The court finds that you are 20% at fault for the accident. Rather than collecting $50,000, you would collect $40,000 after deducting 20% for your share of fault. However, these rules are only used in the courtroom. Negotiations outside the courtroom—where most personal injury claims are decided—are not held to the same legal standard of pure comparative negligence.
Nearly all personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency. A personal injury contingency fee is a type of fee arrangement where the lawyer representing the client only gets paid if the claim is successful (through settlement or verdict). The fee is a percentage of the award and it is regulated by California state law. The lawyer covers the upfront costs of the case and deducts them from the settlement or award before taking their percentage.
The contingency fee percentage can vary depending on the lawyer and the specifics of the case, but it typically ranges between 33% and 45% of the settlement or award. The percentage can be higher if the case goes to trial, as this requires additional work, investment and resources on the part of the law firm.
It is essential that you understand the terms of the contingency agreement before signing it, and ask questions if you’re unsure about any aspect of it.
Determining if you have a personal injury case can be complicated because of the numerous moving parts. It’s highly recommended that you consult with a personal injury lawyer since all attorneys provide a free consultation regarding injury matters. However, there are some key factors to consider when assessing whether you have an “actionable” case:
It’s important to note that every case is unique, and you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and advise you on your legal options. They will be able to guide you through the process,answer your questions, and help you to understand your rights and responsibilities.
During your free initial consultation with an Orange County personal injury lawyer, you’ll typically need to gather information regarding your claim. This may include:
Being properly prepared during the initial consultation will save you time and help to get your questions answered quickly and accurately. This also allows the attorney to assess the potential strength of your claim and provide guidance on the next steps in the legal process.
The value of a personal injury case can vary significantly from one case to another and depends on numerous complex factors. It’s crucial to understand that there is no fixed formula or predetermined amount for any given personal injury case. The value is determined based on the specific circumstances and details of each case. Here are some key factors that influence the worth of a personal injury case:
It’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess the specific details of your case, calculate the damages, and provide a realistic estimate of its potential value. Each case is unique, and the outcome can depend on the specific circumstances and the strength of the evidence presented.
While it’s technically possible for an individual to handle their own personal injury claim, it’s important to understand the potential risks and drawbacks involved. In a straightforward claim where liability is clear and damages are easy to calculate, it may be feasible for a non-lawyer to pursue compensation on their own. However, for more complex cases, attempting to represent oneself can be extremely risky.
One of the primary challenges of handling a personal injury claim without legal representation is that it’s easy to miss opportunities for improving the compensation available. A skilled personal injury attorney can carefully review the facts of the case and identify elements that might otherwise be overlooked, such as additional insurance coverage, potential sources of compensation, potential defenses to overcome, or legal theories that strengthen or weaken your claim.
In accordance with California law, an insurance company is obligated to resolve a personal injury claim within 85 days from the date of filing in California. This timeline can be broken down as follows:
However, it’s important to note that the actual duration for settling most personal injury cases can vary significantly. This variability can range from a few weeks to several years, contingent upon various factors such as the intricacy of the case, the severity of injuries sustained, and the willingness of the involved parties to engage in negotiations for a settlement.
Personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of specific injuries that result from accidents or incidents caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. Here is a detailed list of specific injuries that personal injury attorneys commonly handle:
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a type of injury that occurs when there is a sudden, severe trauma or blow to the head, leading to damage to the brain. TBIs can vary widely in their severity, from mild concussions to severe and life-threatening injuries. These injuries can result from head trauma in accidents like car crashes, falls, or sports-related incidents. TBIs can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage.
A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a traumatic injury that affects the spinal cord, which is a vital part of the central nervous system responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Injuries to the spinal cord often result in paralysis, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, and can occur in accidents like car accidents, falls, or acts of violence.
Personal injury lawyers handle cases involving burns caused by fires, explosions, hot liquids, or chemicals, which can lead to severe scarring and long-term complications. Burn injuries are classified based on the severity and depth of the tissue damage they cause. The most commonly used classification system for burn injuries is the “degree” system, which categorizes burns into 1 to 3 degrees, with a fourth category sometimes added for certain types of deep burns.
A fracture, commonly referred to as a broken bone, occurs when there is a disruption or crack in the continuity of a bone. Fractures can range from minor cracks to severe breaks with multiple bone fragments. These injuries can happen in various ways, including falls, accidents, sports injuries, or other traumatic events. Accidents often cause fractures, breaks, or multiple bone injuries, which may require surgeries, prolonged rehabilitation, and result in chronic pain.
A soft tissue injury refers to damage or trauma to the soft tissues of the body and can occur in various ways, such as through accidents, sports injuries, overuse, or sudden movements. These injuries are common and can vary in severity. These include injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often resulting from slip and falls, car accidents, or sports injuries. Soft tissue injuries can lead to chronic pain and mobility issues.
Accidents involving heavy machinery, power tools, or severe trauma can lead to the loss of limbs, requiring prosthetic devices and significant lifestyle adjustments. Amputations can occur as a result of various types of injuries, accidents, or medical conditions that cause severe damage to a limb or body part.Amputations are typically performed by surgeons and involve the removal of the damaged or non-viable part of the limb while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. The level of the amputation is determined by the extent of the injury or condition and the potential for functional prosthetic use. After amputation, individuals often require rehabilitation and prosthetic devices to regain mobility and function to the best extent possible.
An internal organ injury refers to damage or trauma to the internal organs of the body, which are located within the chest and abdominal cavities. These injuries can result from various causes, such as accidents, falls, sports injuries, or medical conditions. Internal organ injuries can vary in severity, ranging from minor bruises or contusions to life-threatening damage. Blunt force trauma or penetrating injuries can cause damage to internal organs, such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, which may require surgery and ongoing medical care.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that typically occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward. This rapid back-and-forth motion can strain or injure the neck’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues. Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear-end car accidents, but it can also happen in other situations involving sudden acceleration or deceleration forces.
Personal injury lawyers often handle cases involving orthopedic injuries like torn ligaments (e.g., ACL tears), dislocated joints, and other musculoskeletal injuries. An orthopedic injury is an injury that affects the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other structures that support and enable movement in the body. Orthopedic injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to more severe conditions like fractures and dislocations. These injuries can result from various causes, including accidents, overuse, sports injuries, and degenerative conditions.
Accidents involving explosions, loud noises, or head injuries can lead to partial or complete vision and hearing loss, which may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Vision and hearing loss can have a profound impact on a person’s life, affecting their physical, emotional, social, and daily functioning. The extent of the impact can vary depending on the severity of the loss, whether it is partial or total, and whether it occurred suddenly or gradually.
Emotional and psychological trauma can result from a personal injury, and individuals may experience it in various ways. The experience of trauma can vary widely depending on the individual’s resilience, the severity of the injury, and their support system.It’s important to recognize that emotional and psychological trauma is a normal response to a traumatic event. Seeking professional help from mental health providers, such as therapists or counselors, is often essential to address and manage these emotional and psychological challenges.
A crush injury, often referred to simply as a “crush injury,” is a type of injury that occurs when a body part is subjected to significant pressure or force, usually due to a heavy object or machinery. This force can lead to severe damage to the affected area, including the muscles, bones, blood vessels, and nerves. Crush injuries can be caused by various accidents and situations, and they can range from mild to extremely severe, potentially resulting in long-term complications or even amputation.
Accidents can cause nerve injuries, resulting in chronic pain, loss of sensation, or muscle weakness. Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, refers to any condition in which there is damage or dysfunction in the body’s nerves. Nerves are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of the body, allowing for sensation, movement, and the regulation of bodily functions. When nerves are damaged, it can lead to a wide range of symptoms and impairments.
Permanent scarring and disfigurement resulting from an accident can have a significant and lasting impact on someone’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. The effects can be both visible and deeply personal, affecting various aspects of a person’s life. Some ways in which permanent scarring and disfigurement can impact someone after an accident are emotional & psychological distress and social isolation.
Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a condition characterized by persistent, often debilitating, pain that continues for an extended period, typically lasting for six months or longer. This condition can result from various underlying medical conditions or injuries, and it involves not only the physical sensation of pain but also emotional and psychological factors that contribute to the overall experience of suffering. Some injuries result in long-term or chronic pain conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or fibromyalgia, which can impact a person’s quality of life.
An experienced and well-qualified personal injury lawyer will work to secure compensation for their clients to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other long term damages resulting from these specific injuries.
If you suffer an injury in Orange County, you may have to deal with insurance companies and their adjusters. Insurance adjusters are pleasant but their job, and primary goal is to settle cases quickly and for the lowest amount possible. They will use any information you give them to do this. It is best to let an Orange County personal injury attorney handle negotiations with the insurance company.
However, if an insurance agent contacts you, you should be polite and calm, understand who you are speaking to, not give too much detailed information. Don’t give in to pressure to settle, and always refuse to have the call recorded. It’s recommended to let your attorney handle ALL communication with the insurance agents. An experienced lawyer will know to best respond to questions and present information in the best way possible.
An expert witness in a personal injury lawsuit plays a crucial role in providing specialized knowledge and testimony to assist the court in understanding complex issues relevant to the case. These experts are typically professionals with specialized expertise, qualifications, and experience in a specific field related to the lawsuit. Types of expert witnesses commonly involved in personal injury cases include medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, engineers, forensic experts, vocational experts, and more, depending on the nature of the case. Their testimony and opinions can have a significant impact on the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit, helping the court and jury make informed decisions about liability and damages.
Whether it comes down to a settlement or a trial, you’ll want an attorney on your side. Without one, the insurance company will do everything they can to manipulate you, offer you as little as possible, and weaken your credibility. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries, and with a personal injury attorney in Orange County, you can give yourself a fighting chance at it.
Our listed Orange County personal injury attorneys are vetted and verified to be part of your community. Reach out to one of our listed law firms today to get more personalized information and advice regarding your personal injury claim.