Orange County Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of the actions of another person, you have the right to hold them accountable for any resulting losses through a personal injury claim. The process of filing a personal injury claim is a relatively straightforward one in theory, but in practice, it can be quite difficult if you do not have reliable legal counsel on your side. An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney is the best asset you can have if you need to take legal action for a personal injury.
The team at Chris and Frank has extensive experience handling personal injury claims on behalf of our clients in Orange County, CA. We have successfully represented clients in many personal injury claims, from car accidents to dog bite cases and accidents involving defective consumer products. We know how to help our clients calculate their damages and maximize their recoveries under California state law. If you are unsure about whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim against another party in Orange County, our team will review the details of your situation and help you fully understand your legal options for obtaining compensation for your losses.
Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney for Personal Injuries?
You may wonder whether you need to hire an attorney to represent you in a personal injury claim. Technically, it is possible to succeed with a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney but doing so is much more complicated than you might expect. While California enforces relatively straightforward personal injury statutes, actually navigating the legal proceedings that your case entails unassisted can be incredibly challenging. If you are already struggling with the aftermath of a personal injury, you would only be compounding your stress by attempting to undertake a personal injury claim without professional legal counsel on your side.
Hiring a reliable and experienced Orange County personal injury attorney provides you with the freedom and peace of mind to focus on your recovery, knowing your legal affairs are in capable and trustworthy hands. You can rest while your legal team manages your personal injury case, providing you with updates as your case unfolds. Whether your personal injury claim will entail difficult settlement negotiations or active litigation, you will be able to rely on your Orange County personal injury lawyer to guide you through these proceedings with confidence.
What Cases Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle?
The team at Chris and Frank has years of experience handling a wide range of cases in personal injury law. A few examples of the types of personal injury cases our firm accepts include:
- Motor vehicle accident claims. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths and injuries throughout the United States. Suppose another driver caused an accident due to negligence, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, or a moving violation. In that case, we could help you gather the evidence necessary to hold them accountable for your losses.
- Rideshare accident claims. Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular, but when accidents involving rideshare drivers occur, these situations can generate more complex car accident claims than accidents with individual drivers. Our team can help you navigate the complex insurance issues common in rideshare accident claims and ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your damages.
- Dog bite injury claims. In California, dog owners are strictly liable for all injuries their pets cause to others. Dog attacks can lead to painful bite injuries and secondary injuries when a dog knocks the victim to the ground. It’s common for dog injury cases to involve bite injuries, broken bones, head injuries, and psychological trauma. If a dog injured you in any way, our team could help you hold the dog owner accountable with a personal injury lawsuit.
- Premises liability claims. If you suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property because they failed to address an obvious safety issue, we could help you hold them accountable under California’s premises liability laws.
- Product liability claims. Product manufacturers must take responsibility when they release defective or unreasonably dangerous products that cause injuries to consumers. If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a defective product, we could help you explore your options for legal recourse against the manufacturer.
- Workplace accident claims. If you suffered an injury at work, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. However, navigating the workers’ compensation claim system can be difficult, and your benefits may not fully cover your losses. Our team will help you approach your workplace injury claim with clarity and fully explore your available options for recovery.
- Medical malpractice. Medical professionals have a professional duty to do no harm to their patients and uphold every patient’s standard of care, but medical malpractice is a leading cause of accidental deaths and injuries in the US. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a medical professional’s negligence, we could help you hold them accountable with a medical malpractice claim.
- Wrongful death claims. Unfortunately, not every personal injury victim survives their experience. Therefore, if you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you would need to file a wrongful death claim instead of the personal injury claim they could have filed had they survived.
Many types of personal injuries might occur in Orange County, CA, and these incidents can happen very suddenly with little to no warning. Therefore, it’s natural to feel uncertain about your legal options after experiencing a personal injury. The team at Chris and Frank can help you fully understand your legal options after experiencing any personal injury.
Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
Negligence is the crux of every personal injury claim filed in Orange County, CA. This word defines a party’s failure to use reasonable care in a given situation or a failure to uphold a duty of care in a specific situation. For example, every driver has a duty of care to abide by traffic signals. Likewise, they have a duty of care to refrain from operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol. When an individual breaches a duty of care, or if they act so that a reasonable person would not act in the same situation, they become liable for personal injuries if their negligence harms another person.
Success with any personal injury claim requires establishing four components of negligence:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff filing the personal injury claim must identify the defendant responsible for the injury in question and prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care in that particular situation. For example, if you are filing a personal injury claim because a drunk driver hit you, you would need to identify the driver and prove they owed you a duty of care to operate their vehicle free from the influence of alcohol.
- Breach of duty. Next, the plaintiff must prove how the defendant violated their duty of care. This could be a direct action, such as the defendant operating their vehicle while intoxicated, or inaction, such as the defendant failing to address a known safety issue on their property.
- Damage. The plaintiff only has grounds for a personal injury claim if they sustained a measurable loss of some kind. The plaintiff’s attorney can assist them in proving the full extent of their claimable damages. The plaintiff must remember they may only claim compensation for damages that directly resulted from the defendant’s negligence. For example, if you had a preexisting injury before a car accident, you could not claim compensation for any medical expenses related to this injury. However, if the accident worsened this injury, you could claim compensation for your increased medical costs.
- Causation. The plaintiff must prove their claimed damages resulted from the defendant’s breached duty of care and not some other cause. This is typically accomplished by asserting material evidence and eyewitness testimony. Essentially, your personal injury attorney must prove that your claimed damages would not have occurred but for the defendant’s breached duty of care.
If your Orange County personal injury attorney can successfully establish these four elements of negligence on your behalf, success with your personal injury claim is likely. Depending on how your personal injury occurred, you may need several types of evidence to successfully establish the defendant’s negligence. For example, if you are suing for a car accident, your attorney may need to obtain traffic camera footage from the area around the accident to identify the driver responsible for the crash and prove they were negligent in some way that directly caused the crash. Your attorney can also obtain statements from eyewitnesses and even contact expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, engineers, and medical professionals to help you prove the full extent of your claimable damages and establish liability for those damages.
Damages and Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to claim compensation for all damages resulting from the defendant’s negligence. Unfortunately, it’s common for personal injury plaintiffs to underestimate the full extent of their claimable damages before obtaining legal representation. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer can help their client accurately calculate the full extent of their claimable damages, ensuring the plaintiff maximizes their recovery. Some of the most commonly cited damages in California personal injury claims include:
- Medical expenses. A personal injury plaintiff can claim compensation for all medical expenses incurred by a defendant’s negligence. This includes immediate expenses for medical treatment following an accident, such as ambulance fees and hospital bills, as well as long-term treatment costs. For example, if you suffer a severe bone fracture and require multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy, you can include all these medical expenses in your personal injury claim.
- Lost income. Many personal injuries prevent victims from working while they recover. You have the right to recover any wages lost due to your injury. This includes lost future income if your personal injury causes a disability that prevents you from working in the future. Your Orange County personal injury lawyer will help you calculate how much income you would have reasonably expected to earn in the future until retirement age if a defendant’s negligence leaves you unable to work anymore.
- Property damage. If your personal injury involved damage to any personal property, you could claim repair or replacement costs in your lawsuit. For example, property damage could include vehicle repair costs, home repair costs, or the cost of replacing personal items such as jewelry or a smartphone.
- Pain and suffering compensation. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover monetary compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma caused by a defendant’s negligence. Your attorney will help you determine a fair amount to include with your lawsuit based on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you will experience long-term negative effects from them.
When you secure legal counsel from a reliable Orange County personal injury lawyer and begin calculating all these damages, you may discover that your claim is worth far more than you originally anticipated.
It’s also important to know that some personal injury claims may involve punitive damages. Unlike economic damages and pain and suffering damages, punitive damages are not directly claimed by the plaintiff. Instead, the judge overseeing the personal injury case awards them at their discretion to punish the defendant’s behavior. For example, if the judge determines that the defendant’s behavior exceeds the standard definition of negligence, or if the defendant caused the plaintiff’s personal injury in the course of committing a crime, the judge may award punitive damages to punish the defendant. The amount paid in punitive damages typically hinges on the overall wealth of the defendant. It is also possible for a defendant to face criminal prosecution for causing a personal injury. The judge handling their criminal case may sentence them to restitution to the victim in their ruling.
What Happens If a Personal Injury Victim Dies?
Unfortunately, not all personal injury victims survive these incidents. If you lose a loved one due to the negligence of another party and your loved one would have had the right to file a personal injury claim if they had survived, you and your family can pursue a wrongful death claim instead. This type of claim is functionally similar to a personal injury lawsuit, with a few notable exceptions. First, California law restricts the right to file a wrongful death claim to those who would have valid legal claims on the deceased’s estate through California’s laws of intestate succession. Typically, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are first in line for the right to file wrongful death claims.
Second, California also limits the types of damages available in a wrongful death claim. The plaintiffs can seek compensation for their own personal loss, reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and financial compensation for the lost economic support provided by the deceased. In addition, if the defendant’s actions caused damages to the deceased’s estate, then the plaintiffs may also file a survival action against the defendant. This can allow them to recover the deceased’s final medical expenses, lost future income, and the pain and suffering the deceased experienced between their final injury and their death.
What to Expect From Your Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
Any personal injury claim has the potential to escalate into a very complex legal battle without the right legal representation on your side. An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney can be invaluable to your case, no matter the reason behind your personal injury claim. A good attorney will help their client obtain all the evidence they need to establish liability for their personal injury and assist them in collecting documentation to prove the full extent of their claimable damages.
When you choose Chris and Frank to represent you as your Orange County personal injury lawyers, we will exhaust every available channel of compensation to help you maximize your recovery. Our team has years of experience navigating the most complicated personal injury claims in California, and we can apply this experience to your case. Whether you require extensive fact-finding, expert witness testimony, or guidance for settlement negotiations, you can rely on us for responsive legal counsel throughout every phase of your case.
California state law provides a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. This time limit begins on the date an injury occurs or the date that the victim discovers the harm done by the defendant. This may seem like plenty of time to handle your personal injury case, but the sooner you act, the better your chances are of succeeding with your claim. The team at Chris and Frank is ready to assist you with your personal injury claim. If you are ready to talk about your legal options with a reliable and experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
Actual Client Testimonials
“This is the best firm to go to. They will fight for your rights to be compensated. I have a loved one that used them. They treat you like you are one of their own family members. I highly recommend them. To be honest I wouldn’t use any other firm.” Jeff E.
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