When you sustain injuries from an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you should seek compensation to cover your losses, which are called damages. This compensation can help you pay for the medical bills and other expenses you wouldn't have otherwise incurred had you not been in the accident.
According to Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys, you shouldn't wait to recover this compensation. You should document everything and have an experienced attorney help you get what you deserve.
Compensation for Personal Injury Cases in California
In California, personal injury claims are divided into two compensatory damages categories.
Economic damages target the more specific losses you suffered from the aftermath of the negligent party's actions. These special damages, as they are also called, have a direct monetary expense linked to them, such as medical bills. The receipts you keep from all your treatments show how much you spent and how much you require in compensation.
Additionally, lost wages and property damages are other economic damages you can seek. You can also pursue loss of earning capacity if your injuries keep you from returning to work at your current job.
General damages is another term for non-economic damages. These are intangible items that cover your physical and emotional losses. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and a diminished quality of life are also factored into these general damages.
While it's easy to argue about your economic damages, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you fight for your non-economic damages.
Compensation Through Punitive Damages
Along with compensation for economic and non-economic damages, you may be able to recover punitive damages. You can receive them in a personal injury case if the at-fault party acted with malice or excessive negligence.
Comparative Negligence and Compensation for Personal Injury in California
It's important to determine who caused the accident to determine the value you will receive. As California is a comparative negligence state, if it is found that you bear a percentage of the fault, you will receive less than if you had zero fault in the accident. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, you'd receive 80% of the settlement amount.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
While assigning a number to monetary losses related to your injuries is difficult, there are always unique variables in every case. On top of that, you'll have to deal with the insurance companies and navigate the complicated claims process.
Doing this while recovering from your injuries can make it even harder to take care of yourself. Situations become more complex when there are multiple parties or disputes about who is at fault. This is why working with an experienced personal injury attorney is wise.
Many people try to handle their claims themselves and do not think about all the expenses related to their injuries. As such, they often settle for far less than they need to cover even the most basic medical expenses.
The insurance companies will try to keep what they pay out to the bare minimum. This is why you should seek representation from a personal injury attorney who can stand up to them and give you the best chance of success.
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