FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY CASES

The Law Office of Curtis Floyd specializes in personal injury law in the Bakersfield and throughout California. We help victims of defective products, fraud, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, plane crashes, and more pursue their legal right to compensation. It doesn’t matter who caused the injury – a large corporation, the government, or an individual – your Bakersfield personal injury attorney team will hold them accountable for their negligence and help win you fair compensation.

WHAT IS PERSONAL INJURY LAW?


Personal injury law is a legal framework that provides a means for injured people to recover compensation for their injuries and seek justice. Also referred to as Tort Law, personal injury law covers cases involving accidents, intentional acts such as sexual assault, defective products and defamation. Every Bakersfield personal injury case has two core issues - liability and damages. Was someone liable for the injury or damages and what were the nature of the damages? Accident cases involve the concept of neglience. Negligence is a failure to excercise the care that a reasonable person would do in the circumstances relating to the accident. In order to establish negligence, four elements must be shown: 1. Duty Duty is a legal obligation requiring that individuals or companies excercise a standard of reasonable care while performing actions that could harm others. This can encompass many things, such as a doctor providing care, or another motorist driving their car. The defendant does not have to know the plaintiff to owe them a duty. 2. Breach Breach is a violation of that duty. The defendant breached that duty by failing to act as a “reasonably prudent person” should. In other words, the defendant should have known that their actions would likely cause injury to others. 3. Causation Causation is the link between the breach of duty and the injury or harm sufferred. For negligence to established, the injury must be a result of the breach. 4. Damages Damages refer to acutal injuries caused by the breach of duty.




HOW MUCH DOES A BAKERSFIELD PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY CHARGE?


At The Law Office of Curtis Floyd, our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we never charge any fees unless we secure compensation on our client's behalf - there are absolutely no out of pocket fees when we take a case. Once we are successful, we charge a percentage of the recovery.




HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A CLAIM?


While it’s not the only requirement, the injury needs to have been someone else’s fault, and caused by their negligence. Physically visible injuries are not necessary for a personal injury case; attacks of defamation, emotional distress, or the expectation of harm would all be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against that person. Another thing to consider is whether the injury created compensatory damages, such as medical bills or lost wages. If all of these things are true, then you have a personal injury case. It is recommended that you speak with one of our skilled Bakersfield injury lawyers immediately.




WHO CAN FILE AN INJURY CLAIM?


When the willful or negligent act of another person or entitles cause someone to suffer an injury, that person may file a claim under personal injury law. Each state has different laws detailing what qualifies as a personal injury. For example, workers’ compensation covers any injury that occurs at work. To better determine whether your situation qualifies under California law, contact the Bakersfield personal injury lawyers at Law Office of Curtis Floyd to schedule a free consultation.




CALIFORNIA PERSONAL INJURY LAWS


California is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence laws provide a means to divid fault and assign fault between all involved parties. Under these laws, a plaintiff can be awarded damages even if their own negligence contributed to the accident. In a lawsuit, a plaintiff's damages would be reduced based on their share of fault - for example if you are found to be 25% at fault in a $100,000 settlement, you would receive $75,000. An example of this would be a drunk driving defendant proving negligence on the part of the plaintiff because they had a tail light out. California also follows the pure comparative fault rule, which means that even if the defendant is found to be 99 percent at fault, they can still collect on damages.




IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON FILING A CLAIM?


California law requires a victim to file a claim or lawsuit within a predetermined amount of time from the date of injury. Thes are known as a “statute of limitation” and differ according to the type of personal injury. Here's a breakdown of the maximum timreframes you can file in Bakersfield, CA. Injury to Person – 2 years Libel/Slander – 1 year Trespassing – 3 years Fraud – 3 years Damage to Personal Property – 3 years Professional Malpractice: Legal – 1 year from discovery; maximum of 4 years from the act Medical – 1 year from discovery; 3 years if injury is known Veterinary – 1 year from injury/death of animal




HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?


The value of a personal injury case varies based on the amount of damages the injuries you have incurred. Damages can be awarded for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, medical bills - both present and future, among others. In certain circumstances, courts may award punatitive damages. Punative damages are awarded when the wrongful behavior of the defendant was particularly reprehensible. Additionally, the Los Angeles personal injury law firm you choose can have a huge impact on the amount you recover. The Law Office of Curtis Floyd is considered to be one of the top plaintiff’s law firms in the country and we regularly receive referrals from other personal injury lawyers because of our track record of getting very large settlements and verdicts.




HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?


Every personal injury case is different, some can settle very quickly while others may take years to complete. This often depends on defendant you are dealing with. If you are dealing with an insurance company, they will often try to pay you as little as possible to resolve your claim and offer pennies on the dollar for what your case is actually worth. Other defendants, especially in defective product, dangerous drug and medical device cases, may need to go to trial to be settled. It is vitally important to work with a Los Angeles personal injury law firm that will not settle your case for less than it's worth just to get a quick result. If a company is not dealing fairly with you, taking them to trial may be the only way to secure just compensation for the harm you have suffered. At The Law Office of Curtis Floyd, we have significant experience taking cases to trial against large companies and winning. We have secured millions of dollars for our clients in the last three years.




HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO RECEIVE THE COMPENSATION?


In general, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months for you to receive your settlement check. This variance in time results from several factors, including how long it takes for the attorneys to negotiate the final settlement paperwork, if you have medical liens that need to be negotiated and how long it takes the defendant and/or its insurance company to process the payment.





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