Bird’s Eye View of a Personal Injury Case

If you have sustained injuries in a California accident that was caused due to the fault of another (individual or entity), then you may have a right of action against the defendant for damages. Personal injury lawsuits can be rather confusing for those who have no prior experience with litigation, however, so it's important to - at the very least - get a basic sense of what to expect after you contact a qualified attorney and begin the process of advancing your legal claims.

Let's take a look!

Investigating the Facts

After you've been in an accident (and contacted an attorney), your attorney will investigate the facts pertaining to your injuries. They may identify relevant witnesses, gather documentary evidence and photographic/video evidence of the incident, work with experts to conduct a basic reconstruction of the accident, and evaluate the potential for multiple liable parties.

During this time, your attorney will develop a basic strategy for the case and help you tease apart the actionable claims relevant to your lawsuit. For example, if you have been involved in a car accident where there was a multi-car pileup, your attorney will investigate the facts and determine which drivers involved in the accident acted negligently and contributed to your injuries (thus making them potentially liable).

A thorough investigation is critical to putting forth an effective and comprehensive case for damages. Failure to do so could cause delays later on in your case, and could undermine your arguments.

Filing a Lawsuit

Once a proper theory of the case has been developed, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the defendants in the courts of the applicable jurisdiction. It's important to note that personal injury plaintiffs - in California and elsewhere - do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit. In fact, there is a statute of limitations that is imposed on every injury claim in California. The statute of limitations sets a deadline by which you must file a lawsuit, or else your claims will be abandoned (and will no longer be actionable under the law).

In California, standard personal injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations period that begins to run from the date of injury. For example, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on March 29, 2017, you would have until March 29, 2019 to file a lawsuit against the liable defendants.

Fortunately, certain exceptions may apply depending on the circumstances. In California, the discovery rule will put your statute of limitations on "pause" until you know or reasonably should know about your injuries. For example, if you are involved in a slip-and-fall accident, but your injuries are hidden (and are not revealed until three years later), then your deadline period would not begin to run until the date of discovery, thus preserving your claims.

Negotiating a Settlement Compromise

Before trial, you'll likely want to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant to secure the compensation that you're looking for to cover your losses (before trial gets underway). Negotiating a settlement allows you to avoid the emotionally difficult, time-consuming, and burdensome nature of trial litigation.

Negotiation is not one-dimensional, however. Generally speaking, you can maximize your leverage during settlement negotiations by performing comprehensive evidence discovery and developing a winning argument - the defendant will be aware that you are more likely to not only "win" at trial, but also likely to secure substantial compensation, and will negotiate in a manner more favorable to your demands.

Trial Litigation

Sometimes, negotiations falter. In such cases, trial litigation will be necessary to resolve the dispute. Trial litigation can be extremely complex, hostile, and challenging, and many firms are simply ill-equipped to successfully handle a trial. Given the fundamentally difficult nature of trial litigation, it's important that you work with an attorney who has adequate experience navigating through the ups-and-downs of personal injury litigation.

Here at the Law Offices of Brian J. O'Grady, we have litigated numerous claims in California courts, and have secured maximum compensation for our clients through favorable jury verdicts.

Request a Free Consultation with an Experienced Mountain View Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another party, then California law may entitle you to sue and recover damages for your losses (which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.).

It's important to note, however, that litigation is not always simple or easy. In many cases, you may find that the process is complicated by evidentiary issues, strong defense arguments, and more. Given the likelihood that your case will be more challenging than you might initially predict, it's critical that you seek the assistance of a proven California litigator who knows how to secure maximum compensation on behalf of injured clients.

Attorney Brian O'Grady has decades of experience representing the interests of the injured in a variety of personal injury disputes, from motor vehicle collisions to slip-and-fall accidents, and more. We are a results-oriented firm, and pride ourselves on our comprehensive advocacy in pursuit of compensation - we work closely with clients from the beginning of the litigation process to better understand how to position them advantageously and to more effectively counter the defenses asserted by opposing counsel.

Interested in learning more?

Call (650) 318-6131 today to request a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with an experienced Mountain View personal injury attorney. We will evaluate your claims and help you understand the next steps towards recovery.