Every day, people throughout California experience personal injuries of all kinds, often with little to no warning. When a personal injury occurs, the victim and their family are likely to have many pressing legal questions. These questions usually revolve around how the economic aftermath of this experience will be handled. Calculating the total losses from a personal injury accident can be incredibly difficult for anyone to navigate, especially if you were seriously injured. This could leave you with little recollection of the events leading up to the injury you sustained.
Compassionate and experienced legal counsel is an invaluable asset for anyone in a complicated legal situation. The sooner you seek legal counsel, the sooner you can begin recovery efforts to secure compensation for your losses. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates’ law office has the professional legal experience, resources, and skills you may need. These skills can be key in handling your personal injury case, just as they have handled a wide range of personal injury cases on behalf of other Irvine, CA clients. We’ll help you determine liability for your damages and seek the maximum recovery possible under California law.
Benefits of Legal Counsel in Your Personal Injury Case
It’s understandable to wonder whether you need to hire an attorney to file a personal injury claim in Orange County. You can file a civil claim for damages on your own. There is no legal requirement for you to hire an attorney. However, the right Irvine personal injury lawyer can make a significant difference in the quality of your recovery efforts. When you have experienced legal counsel handling your case proceedings, you can rest and recover with peace of mind.
An experienced Irvine personal injury attorney can provide a wide range of legal services in this challenging situation. You may need help determining liability for your damages, assessing the full scope of damages, or proving the range of long-term effects you face from the injury. The right attorney can help you handle the challenges of your case with confidence. Once you have legal counsel handling your personal injury case, you can focus on your medical needs and household obligations. Your attorney can be the one to keep you updated on your case’s progress.
Attorney Kenneth Sigelman holds a Doctor of Medicine degree in addition to his law degree. This means he provides clients in Irvine with the professional counsel of both a medical doctor and a personal injury attorney. This unique level of legal representation has enabled many of our past clients to secure better outcomes for their claims. These outcomes can even turn out to be much greater than what our clients had initially expected. When you choose our law office to represent your case, we can help you through every phase of your claim. You can expect us to give you personalized, compassionate, and responsive counsel every step of the way.
The potential cost of hiring legal counsel is a very real concern for many people facing legal issues. Filing a case on your own can be complex. It is important to recognize that if you file a case on your own, you could wind up losing more than you would save on legal fees. Any procedural mistakes or omissions in your court filings, or missed deadlines, can negatively affect your ability to recover your damages. When you choose an experienced Irvine personal injury attorney to represent your case, what they could make in your final recovery can easily compensate for the cost of hiring them.
Types of Personal Injury Claims We Represent in Irvine, CA
When you are in need of an Irvine personal injury attorney, it’s of crucial importance to verify the attorney you’ve chosen has experience handling cases that are like yours. The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates law office can provide meticulous and compassionate legal counsel for a plethora of personal injury claims. Some of these claims include:
- Medical malpractice. As both a medical doctor and an attorney, Kenneth Sigelman is uniquely positioned to offer robust legal representation for medical malpractice cases. Though these claims technically qualify as personal injury suits, there are special rules for medical malpractice claims in California. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates law office can offer experienced legal counsel for birth injury claims, surgery error lawsuits, and many other types of medical malpractice claims.
- Car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the country every year. California reports some of the highest vehicle accident rates in the country and has a very high rate of uninsured drivers. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, their car insurance policy may not cover the full amount of your losses. There is also no guarantee that filing an auto insurance claim could even be an option after the accident. When you hire the right car accident lawyer, they can help you file your auto insurance claim and maximize your settlement before proceedings.
- Premises liability. When you suffer a fall on someone else’s property, the property owner could be liable for your damages under California’s premises liability statutes. A property owner has a duty of care to ensure that lawful visitors and guests do not face foreseeable safety risks. If they fail to address a hazard that could happen in the near future, this could result in a lawful visitor suffering an injury. This would result in the victim having the ability to file a premises liability suit to recover their damages.
- Catastrophic injuries. A “catastrophic” injury is any injury that results in permanent disability, a permanent loss of function, or any other long-term harm. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and damage to internal organs are just a few examples of acute injuries capable of causing permanent damage. An experienced Irvine personal injury attorney can be crucial for accurately assessing immediate and future losses likely to result from this level of personal injury in California.
Our team can take the time necessary to learn each client’s story. We can listen to your recollection of the events leading up to your personal injury. We can carefully evaluate how the experience’s effects have impacted your life and your family. Any personal injury has the potential to be a life-changing experience. However, having experienced legal counsel advising you can make a real difference in your outcome. A team like the one at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates law office could significantly improve the chances of you reaching a fair outcome in your recovery efforts.
Proving Liability for a Personal Injury in California
The first step to success with your Orange County personal injury claim is identifying the party (or parties) responsible for causing your personal injury. More than one party can bear fault for the damages in your civil suit, and partial fault could fall on a plaintiff. California enforces a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that when multiple parties share liability for civil damages, each party receives a fault percentage. This percentage reflects their respective level of responsibility for causing the damages. If a plaintiff is found partially at fault, their fault percentage is taken from their final case award. For example, if a case is worth $400,000, and the plaintiff is found 20% at fault, they lose 20% of their final case award. This would be $80,000 lost from $400,000, which is a significant chunk of the plaintiff’s final compensation.
You may have some concerns about bearing partial fault for your personal injury. In this case, you should speak with an experienced Irvine personal injury attorney. Even if you may have no recollection of how your personal injury happened, an experienced Irvine personal injury attorney like those at the law office of Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can still help you. Speaking with them as soon as possible after a personal injury accident happens could be a significant improvement for you in the long run. Establishing fault for your damages and/or disproving allegations of comparative negligence could require compelling evidence, witness testimony, and input from expert witnesses.
Intentional Misconduct and Punitive Damages
Most personal injury claims filed in California pertain to acts of negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care and caution in certain situations. However, a person can suffer a personal injury from an intentional act of violence or willful misconduct. When a defendant has harmed a plaintiff, they face liability for the victim’s civil damages. If they caused the injury through a willful criminal act, they are likely to face even greater financial liability and/or criminal prosecution.
The defendant in a personal injury case could display damaging behavior that exceeds the scope of standard negligence. If this is the case, a judge is likely to include punitive damages for the plaintiff as part of their ruling. Punitive damages punish a defendant for egregious negligence or misconduct. The amount they pay typically hinges on their overall financial statute. Wealthy defendants pay much more in punitive damages than those who only have limited assets.
A defendant could be prosecuted for criminal offenses relating to your personal injury. Your attorney can advise you as to how this may influence your civil case. You may be called as a witness by the prosecution. The defendant could also face restitution for your damages in addition to other penalties assigned at the discretion of the court. Whenever statutory damages, punitive damages, or restitution could come into play, it’s best to consult your attorney for a clearer picture.
Damages and Compensation for Irvine, CA Personal Injuries
Hiring legal counsel you can trust can improve your chances of successfully establishing fault for your damages. They can also maximize your final recovery. California’s personal injury statutes enable plaintiffs to seek full compensation for all the economic losses they suffer because of a defendant’s actions. The plaintiff also has the right to recover compensation for their pain and suffering.
A personal injury claim could pertain to a specific physical injury or illness. In this case, the defendant is liable for all medical expenses the plaintiff incurs for treatment. When a plaintiff claims compensation for medical expenses, they must be prepared to show proof of their accident. This proof needs to show that their claimed medical expenses resulted solely from the defendant’s actions. A plaintiff can seek compensation for preexisting injuries made worse by the defendant’s actions, such as a previous back injury aggravated by a car accident.
If the personal injury you experienced caused you to miss work for any extended period, the defendant can be liable for the wages you lost. If you were forced to use accrued vacation time or other paid time off, the defendant can be responsible for this lost value. Unfortunately, some victims of personal injuries are unable to work due to the severity of the harm they suffered. If a defendant has caused a permanent disability that leaves you unable to work and/or live independently, an attorney could help calculate the future income you would earn.
Many personal injury claims pertain to property damages, lost business, and damaged reputation. If a defendant’s misconduct or negligence results in damage to your personal property, you can include these losses in your civil suit. Having an experienced Irvine personal injury attorney could significantly improve your chances of recovering all economic damages claimable under California law.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
One of the most challenging aspects of your recovery may be calculating appropriate pain and suffering compensation. These are abstract concepts that many people can find difficult to calculate in monetary terms. An experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer can help their client maximize this aspect of their recovery. However, there are some limitations if your personal injury claim falls within the scope of medical malpractice. The state law limits the pain and suffering compensation from the defendant to $250,000.
If your personal injury case does not fall within the purview of medical malpractice, there is no legal limit to how much pain and suffering you can seek from the defendant. If you are expected to make a complete recovery from your injury, your attorney may argue in favor of compensation for every day you spend in recovery. Your attorney can determine fair pain and suffering compensation by multiplying your total economic damages by a factor that reflects the severity of your condition.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates’ law office understands that you probably have lots of questions and concerns about the potential financial implications of your personal injury. Our goal is to provide the responsive guidance you need to make informed decisions about your legal efforts. We can help you file your insurance claim. If filing an insurance claim isn’t an option or it doesn’t provide full compensation for your damages, we can represent you in a personal injury suit.
Resolving Your Personal Injury Case in Irvine, CA
Most of the personal injury claims filed in Irvine can end in private settlement negotiations. It typically behooves all parties involved in a personal injury case to settle the matter as quickly as possible. During private settlement, the parties involved can meet to determine mutually acceptable terms for resolving the claim. If a defendant refuses to settle, denies liability, or contests the damages sought by the plaintiff, the case may then need to proceed to litigation.
When you choose the law office of Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to represent you in an Irvine, CA personal injury case, you can have a greater chance of securing compensation as swiftly as possible. Whether we can resolve your case in settlement discussions or must take your claim to court, you can rely on our team to guide you through your case efficiently.
If you’re unsure whether you have grounds for legal action after another party has injured you, it’s vital to consult an attorney as soon as possible. They can review the details of your recent experience, which helps you determine the best approach to recovering your losses. Whatever your case may entail, Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can ensure you have access to the legal counsel you need. Our team can help you navigate your case proceedings until you reach a positive outcome.
Time is a critical factor for anyone intending to file a personal injury action in California. The sooner you meet with an attorney about your claim, the better your chances of recovering as fully as state law allows. By connecting with legal counsel, you give your legal team time to prepare a more compelling case. Your attorney can also be more likely to uncover all available avenues of compensation, which ensures you receive as much compensation for your damages as California law allows.
Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
Q: Do I Really Need to Hire an Irvine Personal Injury Attorney?
A: There is no legal requirement for you to hire legal counsel if you wish to file a civil claim for damages against another party in Irvine, CA. However, the average person with no legal training can overlook key aspects of their case, settle for less than they legally deserve, or make filing errors that compromise their ability to recover damages. The right attorney can significantly improve your chances of success after a personal injury.
Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Irvine Personal Injury Attorney?
A: Many personal injury attorneys understand that most people cannot shoulder the cost of hourly legal representation on top of the damages they suffered from their personal injury. These attorneys can offer contingency fee billing. This only charges their clients’ legal fees after they win compensation for their damages. When a contingency fee is utilized, you compensate your attorney an agreed-upon percentage of your final case award. Make sure you understand a prospective attorney’s billing policy before you agree to their representation.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Obtain for My Personal Injury?
A: California law enables you to seek full repayment of all your economic losses and fair compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced. The total potential value of your claim depends on the severity of the economic losses you suffered and whether you face long-term or permanent harm from the defendant’s actions. If so, the right attorney can potentially help you secure much more compensation than you initially anticipated.
Q: How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Personal Injury Claim in Irvine, CA?
A: Most of the personal injury claims filed in California end relatively quickly through a private settlement negotiation. When a defendant is responsible for a plaintiff’s damages, it is usually in their best interest to seek a settlement as quickly as possible to avoid protracted and costly litigation. Your Irvine personal injury attorney can provide an estimate of how long the settlement could take to complete. They can also help prepare you for more time-consuming litigation.
Q: Is it Worth Hiring an Irvine Personal Injury Attorney?
A: While you may have some grasp of the scope of your damages from a personal injury, the legal process to hold a defendant accountable is likely to be far more challenging than you initially expect. You need legal counsel you can trust to guide you through this difficult type of case. Hiring the right attorney can not only improve your chances of success with your claim but also can increase the chances of fully maximizing your recovery as much as possible under California law.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can offer a unique approach to California personal injury law that very few attorneys in the US can match. The professional resources and experience of an accomplished medical doctor and an attorney on your side can give you the confidence you need to approach any personal injury case with ease. To speak with an Irvine personal injury attorney about your options for legal recourse, contact Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates today. We would be happy to speak to you about your personal injury and schedule your free consultation with our team.