Personal Injury Attorney in Oxnard
If you have been injured by someone else’s actions, then you may be entitled to seek compensation from them in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. These types of lawsuits are civil, meaning that there are no criminal accusations, charges, or penalties associated with the case. This does not mean that the responsible party has not committed a crime, but a civil case is entirely separate from any potential criminal cases. The first step to getting started on seeking the compensation that you need and deserve is to contact a personal injury attorney like the team at The King Law Firm who is ready to work with you as soon as possible.
Take a look below to learn more about how we will help you determine an amount that is fair and equitable for your pain, suffering, injuries, expenses, and financial losses as a result of your accident. This process can be complicated, and it is likely that when you are dealing with an insurance company or the representative legal team for the responsible party, they will be combative about issuing payments for the more abstract (but extremely important) non-economic damages.
Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation, where you will be able to speak directly and freely with an experienced legal professional about your situation and learn more about how we can help. Although we understand that no two injuries or accidents are alike, it is likely that we have dealt with a similar situation in our years of representing personal injury cases, and can give you relevant examples about how we helped our clients navigate this complex process.
Working With An Insurance Company To File a Claim
After you suffer from serious injuries, it is likely that you will need emergency medical attention and possibly will even need an ambulance or airlift to a hospital. While getting the care that you need is essential for your personal health and safety, all of these things are extremely costly in the United States, meaning that from nearly the moment you are involved in the accident, the bills will begin to accumulate. These bills are likely the most pressing factors that you are considering when you then begin working with an insurance company to file a claim.
Insurance companies are in place to cover their clients for having to pay the full amount of the financial damages they cause, but at their core, insurance companies exist to pay as little money as possible in order to protect their financial interests. Keep this in mind as you are working with them, and understand that the amount they will ultimately offer you is the bare minimum that you deserve given the circumstances. When you are working with an insurance company, their initial offer should be a start to negotiations, not a final chance like they will attempt to frame it as.
Whether or not you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is very important that you work with an attorney through this claims process to ensure that you are getting the money that you deserve, and not the money that the insurance company would like to pay.
Calculating Damages Owed After an Oxnard Personal Injury
In order to get a complete idea of the amount of money you are rightfully owed after your accident, an attorney will break your damages out into two distinct categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are fairly straightforward, but non-economic damages are generally where disagreements about settlement amounts arise. Take a look below to get a better understanding of the types of damages that are included in each, but keep in mind that your situation will vary greatly depending on many different factors.
Economic damages, as mentioned above, are the most simple to calculate and the claims process is generally more straightforward as a result. They include expenses and costs directly related to the injury and recovery, such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, prescriptions, treatments, surgeries, and all other related financial factors. In addition, they include things like lost wages from any time you have missed from work as a result of your injuries, and in certain cases will include short-term and long-term disability payments, or will seek to compensate you for a diminished earning capacity if your injuries impact your ability to complete your work as you could before.
While economic damages are about repaying a victim and their insurance company for measurable expenses, non-economic damages seek to compensate a victim for the actual experience of the accident and resulting injuries. These include things like the pain and suffering of the injury, the fear, and anxiety a victim of an accident may be forced to deal with, depression and sadness about the injury and limitations that come with it, and more.
As you can imagine, it is difficult to apply a dollar value to something as abstract as “pain.” This is why a personal injury lawsuit typically uses something called a multiplier in order to quantify the severity of these damages. The multiplier, for example, “3x,” is then applied to the economic damages in order to reach a dollar value. If the economic damages totaled $150,000, and the multiplier is 3x, then 3 x $150,000 = $450,000 in non-economic damages sought by the victim.
Punitive Damages In a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Economic and non-economic damages are known as “compensatory damages,” because they compensate the victim for the actual suffering and loss that they have been forced to endure. In some personal injury lawsuits, though, a jury may award the victim additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. These damages are special in that they are intended to punish the party responsible for the injuries, and so are awarded only in certain circumstances where the responsible party acted in a very reckless or dangerous way and has the financial ability to pay the additional damages. In many cases, these are attached to final lawsuit rulings when the defendant is a company or individual with considerable financial means.
Since these are awarded by a jury, an attorney can not request these damages for consideration, and therefore will never be included in the amount that we are working towards as an award. If the situation seems to clearly indicate that you will be owed punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages, we may suggest moving directly into a lawsuit, or attempt to work with the responsible party to reach a settlement agreement that acknowledges the likelihood of this award.