Whenever one party’s actions harm another party, the injured party can seek accountability through civil action. A personal injury claim is a civil suit demanding compensation for losses caused by another party’s negligence or misconduct. Personal injuries can happen in many different ways, and every personal injury claim will involve unique variables that will require the attention of experienced and reliable legal representation.
Experienced Legal Representation for Personal Injury Claims in Santa Ana
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has a strong professional record of successful personal injury claims in Santa Ana and surrounding communities. Attorney Kenneth Sigelman has extensive experience as both a doctor and an attorney. This means our team is uniquely qualified to handle any personal injury claim involving complex medical issues, catastrophic injuries, or medical malpractice. Our experience allows us to handle a wide variety of personal injury claims for Santa Ana clients, and our goal in every case is maximum recovery for our clients in the shortest time possible.
Defining Personal Injury
Personal injuries can happen unexpectedly in a variety of ways. If you are unsure whether a recent experience qualifies as a personal injury, you must determine whether another party is responsible for causing it and if so, you must assess the damages resulting from their behavior. You can only file a civil claim for damages if you suffered actual harm or some measurable loss directly resulting from another party’s actions.
“Negligence” is a legal term used to describe any failure to use reasonable care and caution in a specific situation or a failure to uphold a certain duty of care. For example, as a driver, you have a duty of care to heed posted speed limits and traffic signals. Causing a car accident due to distraction behind the wheel or a moving violation would be a breach of this duty of care. If your personal injury results from any form of negligence, you must be ready to prove that the defendant was negligent in a manner that directly caused your damages and then prove the full extent of those damages.
It is also possible for a person to suffer a personal injury through an intentional act of violence, criminal action, or some other form of willful misconduct. Driving under the influence (DUI) is one such example, and a DUI driver faces criminal charges alongside a civil claim from the party responsible for their injury. If your injury resulted from another party’s intentional misconduct of any kind, you would need an experienced attorney to explain how this will influence your final compensation and what to expect as your proceedings unfold.
Personal Injury Claims We Represent
Personal injury is a broad area of civil law encompassing many types of cases, and it is essential that you find an attorney experienced with cases similar to yours if you want the best chance of success with your recovery efforts. The attorneys at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates provide client-focused personal injury representation in various types of cases, including:
Motor vehicle accidents. The first step in recovering from a car accident is typically an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. However, this process is often more difficult than the average person expects, and a successful insurance claim may not fully cover their losses. We can guide you through the insurance claim process and help you build your personal injury case if necessary to ensure the fullest recovery possible.
Medical malpractice. Kenneth M. Sigelman holds both a JD and an MD, leaving him uniquely positioned to handle complex medical malpractice claims on behalf of clients in Santa Ana. While a medical malpractice case technically falls within the purview of personal injury law, there are several unique statutes that apply specifically to medical malpractice. To succeed in this type of case, you must prove the medical professional you have identified as the defendant failed to meet the standard of care your condition required and directly harmed you.
Premises liability claims. If you slipped and fell or suffered any other type of injury on someone else’s property in Santa Ana, they are likely responsible for your damages under the state’s premises liability laws. You must be ready to prove the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard that caused your injury.
Catastrophic injury claims. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or any other serious personal injury resulting in permanent damage, it is crucial to have a Santa Ana personal injury attorney experienced with this type of case. Our team excels at representing clients who have experienced life-changing injuries, and we are often able to secure more compensation than they initially expected by assessing the full scope of their immediate and future damages.
No matter how your personal injury happened, it is crucial to speak with a reliable Santa Ana personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you address your immediate medical needs. The more time your legal team has to compile your case, the more likely you are to reach a positive conclusion to the recovery efforts you attempt. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has the tools and experience necessary to help you prove liability and secure maximum compensation for your losses.
Proving Liability for Your Personal Injury in Santa Ana
Your Santa Ana personal injury attorney can assist you in several ways when it comes to building and filing your claim. The first step is identifying the defendant or defendants responsible for causing the injury. If you have no recollection of the incident in question due to the severity of your injury, your legal team can provide invaluable guidance when it comes to identifying and locating the party responsible for injuring you. Once you have identified the defendant, the next step is proving they directly caused your claimed losses through negligence or misconduct.
Most of the personal injury cases filed in Santa Ana revolve around acts of negligence. When intentional and/or illegal misconduct causes a personal injury, this will lead to more complex legal proceedings, including a more challenging civil case and a criminal case filed by the state. Your legal team will help you gather physical evidence and witness testimony to support your case. If necessary, they can consult various expert witnesses to provide professional insights into the most complex and technical details of your case.
It is important to remember that California upholds a pure comparative negligence rule that applies in any personal injury case in which the plaintiff bears partial responsibility for their claimed losses. There is no threshold of fault that bars plaintiff recovery, unlike in states that enforce modified comparative negligence rules that prohibit plaintiff recovery if they bear 50% or more fault. If you are assigned any fault percentage, you will lose this percentage of your case award. Having an experienced Santa Ana personal injury attorney represent you is one of the best things you can do to defend against allegations of comparative negligence.
Compensation for Personal Injury Damages in Santa Ana, CA
California’s personal injury laws enable the plaintiff in a personal injury claim to seek various forms of compensation from the plaintiff, typically divided into “economic damages” and “non-economic damages.” The former is straightforward and generally easy to prove with the appropriate documentation. The latter can be more challenging to define, as the non-economic damages available in a personal injury case pertain to the victim’s pain and suffering.
The plaintiff in a personal injury case has the right to seek full repayment of all the economic losses the defendant caused. Immediate economic damages in most personal injury cases include property damage, medical expenses, and lost income following the incident in question. However, the plaintiff also has the right to claim compensation for anticipated future economic losses, such as ongoing medical care expenses and lost future earning capacity, if they are left permanently disabled in any way.
Pain and suffering are more challenging to calculate, and the state only limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. If you seek pain and suffering compensation in a medical malpractice suit, state law limits this aspect of your recovery to $250,000, regardless of the severity of your condition. For all other types of personal injury cases, there is no upper limit to the amount the plaintiff can seek from the defendant. Your Santa Ana personal injury attorney can provide invaluable guidance when it comes to determining a suitable amount that reflects the severity of your experience.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates provides individualized legal counsel to every client we represent. We will take time to learn as much as possible about your situation, the impact your personal injury has had on your life, and the total scope of damages you can potentially claim from the defendant. It’s natural to be daunted by the scope of the legal proceedings you face as you work toward recovering your losses, but our team will provide the ongoing support and reassurance you need in this difficult time.
Personal Injury Attorneys FAQs
Q: What Percentage Do Most Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyers Take?
A: When you hire an attorney with a contingency fee agreement, you will need to part with a percentage of your final case award to pay for their services. However, you will not be responsible for any upfront or ongoing legal fees as your case unfolds, nor will you be responsible for any legal expenses if your attorney fails to win your case. Most personal injury attorneys in California will charge between 25% and 40% of the client’s case award. Verify your potential attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case in California?
A: Most of the personal injury claims filed in California end with privately negotiated settlements. If a defendant is clearly at fault for a personal injury, it behooves them to settle the matter as quickly as possible, and both parties can avoid expensive legal fees with a settlement. In the event a personal injury claim must be resolved through litigation, this process can potentially take months to resolve.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney?
A: It’s a common misconception that hiring a personal injury attorney would cost more than the compensation the attorney could obtain for the client. Contingency fee billing prevents this, ensuring an attorney can only take a percentage of their client’s case award, and only if they win their case. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can significantly improve the final outcome of your impending personal injury case, even after accounting for their legal fees.
Q: What Can a Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney Do to Strengthen My Claim?
A: The average person may be able to immediately identify noticeable economic damages like medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages from time spent home from work. However, if they sustained any extensive long-term damages, they will need an attorney to help them accurately calculate their total value. A Santa Ana personal injury attorney can potentially reveal options for recovery the client would have missed on their own, and they can streamline the client’s case proceedings significantly.
Q: How Soon Should I Hire a Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney?
A: If you are struggling with an injury caused by another party in Santa Ana, address your immediate medical concerns and then reach out to an attorney you can trust as soon as possible. Ideally, you should have legal representation before discussing any insurance claim settlements or any type of privately arranged resolution with the party who hurt you. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the more likely you are to reach a positive outcome in your civil case.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates provides an unmatched level of personal injury representation to clients in Santa Ana and surrounding communities. Our team will carefully review the events that led to your injury, assist you in building a compelling civil claim, and guide you through the proceedings necessary for holding the defendant fully accountable for the damage they’ve done. If you are ready to learn more about your options for legal recourse after experiencing a personal injury, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney from Santa Ana.
Kenneth M. Sigelman and Associates possesses an exceptional and thorough knowledge of California law, decades of legal experience and a commitment to achieve justice and obtain fair compensation for victims. Click below to learn more about our team of San Diego, CA attorneys.
KEN SIGELMAN J.D., M.D.
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