Woodbridge Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
One of the many unincorporated communities in San Joaquin County is Woodbridge. Founded in 1852, Woodbridge received its name after Alexander McQueen and Jeremiah H. Woods, both of whom established a ferry across the Mokelumne River. This helped create a new road to be routed between Sacramento and Stockton. Since then, Woodbridge has blossomed into a famous wine-growing region of the San Joaquin Valley and its population has grown to almost 4,000. With such growth comes the potential for accidents that often leads to emotional, physical, and financial hardship. This is where the assistance of an experienced Woodbridge personal injury lawyer can make a difference. A skilled attorney can help an injured person recover the compensation they need to move forward from their loss.What is a Personal Injury?
The physical, mental, or emotional harm caused by the negligence of another constitutes a personal injury. Our law office exclusively handles accident cases involving serious injuries such as:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car Crashes
- Dog Bites
- Motorcycle Collisions
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Products Liability
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Trucking Accidents
- Wrongful Death
Personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence. This means that an individual failed to act in a way that was reasonable and caused harm to another person. To recover damages in these cases, the injured person must prove how the negligent party violated their due diligence in the accident. Establishing fault usually requires these four elements:
- Duty of Care: The injured person must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed them a duty of care in the accident that gave rise to the trauma
- Breach of Duty: The injured individual must prove how the responsible party breached this duty of care. Negligence may include failing to exercise due care when another reasonable individual would have
- Causation: The injured person must compile documents and evidence that demonstrate that their damages were incurred as a result of the liable person’s breach of duty
- Damages: The injured party must show that they have suffered actual harm or measurable loss
An unexpected injury accident can trigger significant stress and expenses. Your Woodbridge car accident lawyer can help seek financial compensation that covers any of the following economic and noneconomic damages applicable to your case:
- Disfigurement: Scarring and disfigurement, particularly in a visible area of the body, can have a significant psychological, physical, and financial impact on the life of an injured person. Multiple reconstructive procedures may be required to achieve minor improvements to the structure or appearance of the scarring. This process can be prolonged and costly.
- Loss of Consortium: A claim for loss of consortium may be placed if the person involved in the accident is severely injured or killed and cannot supply their spouse with the same companionship, affection, love or sexual relations that were provided before the incident.
- Loss of Earning Potential: If an individual is unable to earn wages or is permanently disabled due to a personal injury, then the loss of earning capacity may be claimed. Testimony from an expert such as a vocational rehabilitation specialist may be necessary to demonstrate the assessment of medical limitations as well as cognitive and dexterity examinations. The expert will also calculate future wage loss based on the age, occupation, skill, experience, and life expectancy of the injured party as well as various employment requirements.
- Lost Wages: If a personal injury forces a person to miss time at work, they may claim income lost during that time. To be eligible to recover damages for lost wages, the injured person must prove the amount of income that they have lost to date. This can be done by presenting testimony from the employer or income statements before and after the crash.
- Medical Bills: Expenses for necessary and reasonable medical treatment are recoverable. All forms of treatment and care, whether ambulance, hospital, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and the like may be recovered.
- Out of Pocket Expenses: Some injuries require medical appliances such as a brace or a wheelchair. Others may require modifications to the home like installing medical equipment, widening hallways, adding ramps to entrances, and retrofitting bathrooms. Any of these out of pocket expenses may be claimed for compensation.
- Pain and Suffering: This includes treatment for emotional and psychological trauma caused by a collision such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from the crash.
- Property Damage: If the actions of a negligent person caused any damage to the injured person’s personal property, they might be able to recover for the costs of replacing or repairing that property.
- Wrongful Death: Damages for wrongful death may be claimed by the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent. Damages include funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income, costs of household services, and loss of consortium.
For information on what factors may affect the value of a claim for damages, watch the below video.Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Punitive damages may be awarded in some cases under certain circumstances. These are not intended to compensate injured people. Instead, they serve as punishment for a negligent party if it is shown that they have behaved with malice, fraud, or oppression. Punitive damages are also intended to act as a deterrent for preventing similar conduct in the future.What Does Comparative Negligence Mean?
California adheres to a system of comparative fault when assessing personal injury damages. In other words, all parties are liable for no more than the percentage of negligence assigned to them. Insurance companies often apportion a percentage of liability to each party involved in comparative negligence cases. However, there are times when an insurer uses an injured person’s unfamiliarity with comparative fault to their advantage. Having an experienced Woodbridge personal injury attorney by your side in these situations is critical. Your lawyer will review the facts and evidence of the case to ensure liability is properly determined.Is There a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury?
Time is of the essence when filing a claim for damages. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, there is a two-year window to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Conversely, there are some exceptions for which the statute of limitations can require an injured person to file a claim sooner. In cases involving government negligence, a claim must be filed within six months or 180 days from the time of loss. Since there are various causes of action and several possible statutes of limitations that apply to a case, it is essential to consult with an injury lawyer to avoid missing any deadlines applicable to your claim.How Much Does a Woodbridge Auto Accident Attorney Cost?
Some people are under the impression that hiring an injury attorney can come with high hourly rates or retainer fees. However, most injury lawyers offer contingency-fee billing. This helps provide injured people with legal representation when they need it most. Legal fees are only owed when the injury attorney can secure fair compensation on the injured person’s behalf.Woodbridge Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Woodbridge car accident and personal injury lawyer. The recovery after a car wreck, no matter how mild or severe, can be overwhelming. Having an experienced injury lawyer at your side can make all the difference. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, please contact me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly case advice.
Picture Credit: By "Tama66," "Free-Photos" and "Nile" via Pixabay
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 12.26.19]