Accidents happen every day in Los Angeles County, and while many do not cause any lasting harm, some incidents borne of another party’s negligence can have long-term and potentially life-altering effects. If you had to get professional medical care because another person acted recklessly or carelessly around you, you may be able to hold that person financially accountable for your damages through civil litigation.
The process of filing suit over a personal injury may look simple on paper, but trying to achieve a successful case outcome without guidance from a personal injury attorney is almost never a good idea. Once retained, a seasoned Los Angeles County personal injury lawyer could ensure you understand all your legal options, help you construct a strong case for financial recovery, and tirelessly represent your best interests from start to finish of the litigation process.
For the most part, personal injury litigation in Los Angeles County revolves around a concept known as legal negligence. This concept is one of the major ways in which civil law differs from criminal law, as it allows someone to be held legally liable for injuries that they caused without malice—in other words, without any intention to cause harm to anyone. The applicable standard of proof for civil liability is also less severe than that for criminal liability, as civil plaintiffs are only required to prove a defendant’s liability based on a preponderance of the evidence, whereas criminal trials require proof beyond any reasonable doubt.
There are four key elements that make up legal negligence, all of which must be present for a civil claim to end in the plaintiff’s favor. Put simply, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them an implicit or explicit responsibility to act reasonably and preserve the plaintiff’s wellbeing, that the defendant breached that duty in some way, that the breach proximately caused the accident the case is about, and that the accident in question directly caused the losses the plaintiff is seeking compensation for. Assistance from a Los Angeles County personal injury attorney is often essential to proving all four of these elements and effectively seeking fair compensation.
Depending on their unique circumstances, a person injured in an accident may be able to seek financial recovery from the party responsible for both economic and non-economic damages. The former are objective and quantifiable losses like medical expenses and car repair bills, and the latter are qualitative forms of harm that generally have to do with physical, emotional, and/or psychological pain.
However, even if all the requisite elements of legal negligence are present in a civil case, a plaintiff who waits longer than a year after discovering their injuries or two years after an accident occurs is generally prohibited by the statute of limitations codified in California Code of Civil Procedures §335.1 from seeking any civil compensation at all. A personal injury attorney could help a potential plaintiff in Los Angeles County ensure that they do not run afoul of this deadline or of any other potential legal obstacles.
Every civil case heard in Los Angeles County is unique, which means that every case requires a unique strategy in order to maximize the plaintiff’s chances of success. If you believe you have grounds for a civil claim, you should make speaking with legal counsel your number-one priority, as they could provide crucial insight into what kind of case you have and what you would need to do to secure a favorable outcome.
A Los Angeles County personal injury lawyer could answer all your questions and work diligently on your behalf to preserve your best interests. Call today to learn more.
Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.