Van Nuys Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you’re shopping at your favorite grocery store, driving home from a long day of work, or strolling through your local park, even the most mundane tasks present at least a little risk in Van Nuys and elsewhere. You could slip and fall on a puddle of spilled milk at the store, get hit by a drunk driver, or even be on the receiving end of a dog bite at the park. You just never know. When another party is at fault for your injuries, however, you’ll want to get in touch with an experienced Van Nuys personal injury lawyer at Walch Law. Simply put, we know how to win these cases and the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer can mean big bucks. Robert and Gary Walch have over 45 years of experience winning these types of cases and getting our clients the most for their injuries and the impact these accidents have on their lives.
Personal injury law helps maintain a certain amount of order in society by holding people accountable for careless or even intentional acts that cause injury. After all, injuries can be expensive and sometimes lead to lifelong issues that lessen your quality of life. But getting the full value of your claim often depends on having the right legal representation.
The following is a primer on personal injury claims, how fault is determined, the different types of damages you may claim for your losses, the importance of working with an attorney, and more.Who’s at Fault for Your Van Nuys Injury?
Some accidents can’t be avoided; that’s just the nature of life. But when someone acts in an unreasonable manner given the circumstances—such as speeding through a red light or texting while driving—they may be considered negligent for any injuries they cause as a result. In legal terms, parties owe a certain duty of care with regard to others. This means they have a legal responsibility to act in a manner consistent with how a reasonable person would act, whether it’s actively doing something (cleaning up a spill in your shop) or avoiding something (not checking your phone while driving).
There are other ways parties may be held liable for another party’s injuries but negligence is by far the most common in personal injury claims. When someone is negligent, they may be held financially liable for any losses the injured party (or plaintiff) sustains, which are referred to as damages.
The plaintiff must prove the following elements in order to prevail in a negligence claim:
- Defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- Defendant breached that duty (failed to act in a reasonable manner)
- 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
- Plaintiff has suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury
Even though you’ll be pursuing a legal claim for damages, you typically won’t take your claim to court. Most injury claims are settled beforehand. But in order to get the most leverage for your claim and get a fair settlement, it’s helpful to work with a skilled Van Nuys personal injury lawyer.Beyond Negligence: Intent and Strict Liability
Parties may still be held liable even if your injuries didn’t result from their negligence, namely through what are called intentional torts or strict liability. If someone intentionally harms you, for example by hitting you with their fists, you may have a valid claim for assault and battery (which is also a crime). Another intentional tort is defamation, the act of harming someone’s reputation with false information, whether it’s libel (written) or slander (spoken/broadcast).
If you’re injured by a product that has a design or manufacturing defect, you may file a claim for strict liability. You don’t have to prove negligence (or intent), but you do have to show 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
The term damages is used in the context of the monetary claims you make for losses from another party’s liability. Some of these are fairly straightforward, such as the cost of emergency care, but others are less obvious.
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)
The hustle and bustle of Southern California presents many risks but you shouldn’t have to suffer financial losses for your injuries when another party is at fault. You have the right to seek compensation when someone else is to blame. Contact the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation today and get expert help with your claim. Don’t think you can afford a personal injury lawyer? You can when it’s Walch Law—we take all our cases on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay a thing until we get you PAID. Call us today to learn more, get your questions answered and get started!