Encino Personal Injury Lawyer
You don’t have to go into L.A. to enjoy the best the area has to offer. In fact, there are a lot of fun things to do right here in Encino, such as Los Encinos State Historic Park, the unique shops and restaurants of Encino Commons, and—for the more adventurous—the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. But with every adventure comes the risk of injury. When you willingly take on risks, that’s one thing. But when another party’s negligence or even willful act causes your injuries, it can be downright infuriating.
Good thing you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries when another party is at fault, but it’s not automatic. You have to prove your case, back it up with evidence, and navigate the legal system when filing a personal injury claim, even when it doesn’t go to trial. That’s why it’s always best to work with a skilled Encino personal injury lawyer instead of just winging it yourself.
The basics of personal injury claims, including the meaning of negligence and how damages are claimed, is discussed below.Who’s at Fault? Encino Personal Injury Claim Basics
Personal injury attorneys serve an important function in civil society, holding parties responsible for their negligence (or worse) when it results in injuries to others. When someone is negligent, it means they did something or failed to do something in a manner inconsistent with that of a “reasonable person,” resulting in injury. For example, shopkeepers that know of certain hazards, such as spills or rotten floorboards, are legally required to take care of these problems as soon as they’re aware of them. If they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, they may be found liable for injuries resulting from their negligence.
The plaintiff (the injured party) filing a negligence claim must prove the existence of the following elements in order to have a winning case:
- Defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (to clean up spills, fix rotten floorboards, etc.)
- Defendant breached that duty (failed to take care of known problems)
- Plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- Defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning they wouldn’t have occurred if not for the negligence of the defendant (it was obvious that their failure to fix these known problems resulted in the injuries)
- Plaintiff has suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury
To owe someone a “duty of care” means you have a legal obligation to act in a way that’s consistent with that of a “reasonable person.” Since a reasonable person would see that a customer could fall through a heavily trafficked rotten floorboard, they had a duty to fix it as soon as possible. Since the plaintiff wouldn’t have been injured had the floorboard not been rotten, and since they suffered actual damages, the shopkeeper is liable.Other Types of Liability: Intent and Strict Liability
Sometimes the defendant neither acted negligently nor intended the injury to occur but still is liable. If that is what happened to you, don’t worry there is a legal theory that allows you to recover for these types of common accidents. This is often the case when a manufacturer or retailer makes or sells something that is defective. Your Encino personal injury claim will be able to help you determine liability and properly file your claim.
For a strict liability claim, you would need to prove the following elements:
- Product was unreasonably unsafe or dangerous when it was designed, manufactured, or sold
- Seller expected and intended that the product would reach the consumer without changes to the product
- Plaintiff was injured by the defective product
Of course, someone also can be held liable for injuries they meant to incur. For instance, someone may be arrested for the crime of assault and battery and also held liable for damages resulting from that same act of assault and battery. These are referred to as “intentional torts.”Claiming Damages in Your Encino Personal Injury Claim- How Much is Your Case Worth?
Damages are the monetary claims associated with your injuries that resulted from another party’s liability.
Personal injury damages may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Life without adventure is boring, which is one of the reasons you enjoy Southern California (and Encino) so much. But it’s no fun getting injured because someone else failed to pay attention or act in a reasonable and safe manner. If you’ve been injured in Encino because of another party’s negligence, then you owe it to yourself to call the legal experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation. The sooner you call the talented team of lawyers the sooner we can get you paid. We have over 45 years of experience winning these types of cases and will work hard to get you the most money following your accident.