Personal injury claims are among the most common, particularly for first-time plaintiffs who might not otherwise engage the litigation process. Though your personal injury claim may seem “straightforward” at first glance, there are a multitude of complexities and challenges that you are likely to encounter as litigation advances — for example, you may struggle to impose liability on multiple defendants who each disclaim responsibility for the injuries at-issue.
If you have a potential injury claim in California, we can help.
Here at Banafshe Law Firm, we are patient, compassionate litigators who are well-aware of the challenges faced by plaintiffs as they pursue their claims. We strive to simplify the issues and keep our clients engaged throughout the process so that they are always informed about their litigation strategy and subsequent case developments.
Ready to discuss your case? Contact an experienced attorney at our Los Angeles personal injury law firm today for a comprehensive evaluation.
Product liability claims are based on injuries caused by defective products, though there are several different theories underlying such claims: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Though California law does confer certain advantages to product liability plaintiffs in the form of the strict liability doctrine (i.e., the plaintiff need not prove that the manufacturer was negligent in creating a defective product, only that the manufacturer created a defective product that caused injury), these disputes can be quite challenging. Manufacturers tend to have significant resources at their disposal and are often aggressive in defending against product liability suits, as they may find it more valuable in the long-term to discourage other plaintiffs from coming forward.
Airlines and railroads are “common carriers,” which means that they have the highest duty of care towards their passengers. This gives prospective plaintiffs ample opportunity to litigate claims that might otherwise seem borderline.
Cruise ship companies are multi-billion dollar global enterprises that routinely handle personal injury claims brought by passengers, employees and injured third-parties. As such, they have developed sophisticated mechanisms for minimizing liability, from creating significant procedural barriers (i.e., choosing favorable choice-of-law and legal venues in the ticket contract, etc.) to investing substantial resources towards a defense to discourage claims from other similarly-situated plaintiffs. This, in conjunction with the unique complexity of maritime law issues, can make cruise ship injury lawsuits quite difficult — it’s therefore critical that you work with a team of Los Angeles personal injury law firm attorneys that have the experience necessary to successfully navigate the murky legal waters associated with cruise ship disputes.
Swimming pools must be properly supervised, and during closed hours, must be fenced off or otherwise guarded against child entrants. Failure of a property owner to adequately construct, maintain and supervise their swimming pool (thus leading to an injury or death) could lead to an actionable claim.
Most people do not expect to be injured at an amusement park. The “fear” of an accident is supposed to be an illusion — part of the fun. Complicated ride machinery must be properly designed and maintained, or they could pose a serious threat of injury to visitors.
In the amusement park context (as is common with other recreational activities), tickets may include a disclaimer of liability. It’s important not to resign yourself to this setback. In many cases, the disclaimer is not enforceable.
Construction accidents may impact both workers and third-parties who are unlucky enough to be in a “zone of danger” at the wrong time. In construction accident disputes, workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation (and thereby prohibited from bringing a related injury lawsuit except in specific circumstances).
As a general rule, construction accidents can also be complicated by the presence of multiple, potentially liable defendants. For example, if you are passing by a construction site and are injured by a falling brick, then you might have a lawsuit against the contractor responsible for laying the bricks, the premises owner and even the cement manufacturer.
Being aware of the statute of limitations is critical to successful litigation. In California and throughout the United States, the applicable statute of limitations regulations imposes hard deadlines on injury claims. Failure to bring an action before the deadline passes could lead to an automatic dismissal should you attempt to litigate the claim at a later date.
For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver. You intend to sue the defendant-driver for negligence. After the accident, however, you delay in seeking legal assistance. In fact, you wait two years before finally contacting a qualified Los Angeles personal injury law firm attorney to evaluate the underlying claims. At that point, however, it might be too late to pursue your claims. California imposes a two-year statute of limitations that starts on the date of your injury.
It’s worth noting that there are several exemptions from the statute of limitations, so you should consult a Los Angeles personal injury law firm attorney before “giving up” on your claims, even if you have delayed for an excessive period of time. In California, for example, plaintiffs can make use of the Discovery Rule to extend their statute of limitations period — the Discovery Rule ensures that the statute of limitations period does not begin to run until the date that the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered. If you sustained a hidden and asymptomatic injury that doctors failed to diagnose until a later date, then you would likely be entitled to make use of the Discovery Rule.
Injured? Make sure to get in touch with Banafshe Law Firm as soon as possible. The earlier you contact our Los Angeles personal injury law firm, the more time and care can be invested in developing the case and filing proper actions promptly.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, then you may be wondering what sort of damages the accident entitles you to recover under the law. It’s important to understand that (except a punitive award), damages are meant to compensate you for actual past and future losses. As such, successful recovery requires that you be able to prove that you have suffered the actual losses on which your damage assertion is based.
These can be split into several categories.
Economic damages include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Economic damages are a measure of your “financial” losses resulting from the accident.
Non-economic damages include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Non-economic damages are somewhat more challenging to measure than economic damages, as they are a measure of the physical and psychological burdens brought by the accident. This can make it an area of high-opportunity and challenge — for example, the defendant is likely to argue that your physical pain and suffering is minor, and as such, that your recoverable damages should be low. If you can introduce medical diagnostic records and expert testimony supporting your argument that the physical pain and suffering of your post-accident condition is significant, then your Los Angeles personal injury law firm can counter the defendant and make a persuasive claim for high damages.
Punitive damages are quite a bit different from economic and non-economic damages on a fundamental level. Economic and non-economic damages are “compensatory,” which means they are meant to cover the losses suffered by the plaintiff due to the negligent or wrongful misconduct of the defendant. By contrast, punitive damages are meant as a modifier to the compensatory damages amount, to discourage the defendant (and others who are similarly situated) from engaging in similar misconduct.
Confused? Here’s an example:
Suppose that you are injured in a car accident by a defendant-driver who was going through a fit of “road rage.” Your damages total $100,000. Simply put, the defendant was angered that you did not let them merge into your lane, and as such, they rammed the back of your car, causing you to crash and sustain significant injuries as a result. Under such circumstances, the court might find that the defendant’s conduct was sufficiently willful and malicious to justify an award of punitive damages.
Another example is if a driver who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident, their conduct may be regarded as malicious thereby resulting in punitive damages.
The court may exercise their discretion in awarding punitive damages (though they may not award more than seven times the compensatory damages amount). The jury might say that the circumstances are such that a punitive award equivalent to three times the compensatory damages should be imposed. This would give a total of $400,000 in recovery ($100,000 compensatory damages and $300,000 punitive damages).
By creating such an enormous recovery, the court further punishes the “road rage” or drunk driver for their misconduct, and discourages other potential road-ragers from acting in a similar manner and putting others at risk.
It’s worth noting that courts do not often award punitive damages, as the recovery allows plaintiffs to secure a monetary award that is in excess of their actual losses. To secure a punitive damages recovery, you must persuasively argue that the defendant engaged in willful and malicious conduct — even then, however, the court may exercise its discretion in choosing to award punitive damages.
If you have been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, then California law may entitle you to a right of action for damages. It’s important that you consult a qualified Los Angeles personal injury law firms as soon as possible. Here at Banafshe Law, our team is standing by to help guide you through the litigation process. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation meeting.