Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident in El Cajon? If so, you may be entitled to recover monetary compensation from the person who is responsible for the accident. Contact Citywide Law Group to schedule a free consultation and learn more. Our skilled El Cajon personal injury lawyers have more than 20 years of combined legal experience and can help to get you the money you need and deserve after your accident.
Should I File a Personal Injury Claim After an El Cajon Accident?
We understand the the time after a serious accident can be incredibly stressful. You may be overwhelmed and faced with significant and unexpected financial burdens. Accident injuries can be incredibly expensive, especially if you suffer bodily injuries that will require extensive medical attention and rehabilitation. One study found that the average cost of medical expenses for a car accident victim was more than $15,000.
Most Americans do not have enough money saved away to pay for these unexpected costs. In fact, most do not have more than $500 in savings for an emergency. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover the compensation you need to pay your accident-related damages. Contact our skilled El Cajon personal injury attorneys to learn more about filing a personal injury claim.
What Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The most common question asked by accident victims is “what can I get in a lawsuit?” In California, victims of personal injury accidents can be eligible to recover two different types of compensation.
You can recover economic damages if you have financial losses and expenses related to your accident and injury. Economic damages are awarded to compensate you for the costs related to your accident that you would not have had if the accident had never happened. They basically put you back in the financial situation you were in prior to your accident and injury. Economic damages can be awarded to pay you for:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription medications
- Nursing care
- Property damage
- Lost wages, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
Since economic damages are paid to fix a financial disaster you didn’t ask for these damages are generally not taxable. This means that you will not have to report them on your income tax return.
You can recover non-economic damages if you suffer emotional, mental, or psychological harm because of your accident and injury. Non-economic damages are not paid to compensate you for financial losses, but rather to compensate you for the trauma you have suffered. It can be difficult to put a monetary value on things like pain and suffering or emotional distress. We all process things differently and suffer in different ways. This is why awards of non-economic damages can vary significantly from case to case. Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate you for:
- Emotional distress;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of interest in life or sex;
- Disfigurement; and
Since non-economic damages are not related to your financial situation they are generally fully taxable. Awards of non-economic damages must be reported on your income tax return.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
It is important to act quickly after you are injured in an El Cajon accident. Failing to do so could prevent you from recovering any compensation at all in the future. In California, personal injury accident victims generally have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim. There are some limited exceptions to this rule. The statute of limitations can be tolled if:
- You discover an accident related injury after the statute of limitations has expired;
- You are under the age of 18 when the accident occurs; or
- The person who caused your accident and injury is incarcerated or out of the state.
If the government is responsible for your injury you must file an administrative claim with the government within six months of your accident. The government will review your claim and, within 45 days, either approve or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, you have six months from the date of that denial to file a personal injury claim in a San Diego County court.
What Happens After I File a Personal Injury Claim?
We will begin to work on your case the moment you decide that you hire us because want to maximize the amount of money you get in a settlement or award. The skilled legal team at Citywide Law Group has developed a tried-and-true process for handling complex personal injury claims. This process allows us to find key information and leverage at-fault parties and insurance companies into paying you the money you need and deserve.
The initial consultation will allow us to get a feeling for your case and the best way to move forward. We will ask you to recount the accident that caused your injuries in great detail. The information you provide will be the baseline for our in-depth investigation. The more you can tell us about your accident and injuries, the better we can help you. This consultation will also allow you to understand what is involved in filing a personal injury claim. We encourage our clients to ask questions about the law and our legal experience. We want you to be fully comfortable with the decisions you make in this process.
Our skilled legal team will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident that caused your injuries. This investigation will provide the information and evidence we need to devise a legal strategy and argument to get you the money you need. Our investigation may include:
- Reviewing police reports, photographs of the scene, and medical evaluations;
- Finding and interviewing witnesses to your accident;
- Analyzing evidence; and
- Consulting with expert witnesses.
Using the results of our investigation, we will create a powerful and persuasive legal argument explaining why you should be compensated for your injuries. We will present this argument to the at-fault party and their insurance company and attempt to agree to a settlement. We will not allow you to accept a lowball offer and will fight to ensure that you are properly compensated for their mistake.
Litigation (If Necessary)
95 percent of all personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, if the insurance company or at-fault party refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. We are award-winning trial attorneys and thrive in the courtroom. Most insurance companies know how persuasive we are in front of a judge and jury and will be eager to settle.
Award Winning El Cajon Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in an El Cajon accident do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The decisions you make immediately following an accident will affect your ability to recover compensation in the future. We know that an accident and injury can be overwhelming, and that it may be difficult to think about the added stress of a personal injury claim. We also know, however, that your chances of recovering meaningful compensation will increase when you have an attorney handle your case.
We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis. You do not have to pay us unless we recover compensation on your behalf. This allows you to focus on your personal recovery while we handle the complicated legal issues. We will fight to make sure that you are well compensated for your injuries. Contact our El Cajon personal injury attorneys today to set up a free consultation. Remember, you have a short window after your accident in which you can file a claim. It is important to act quickly, do not hesitate to call us today.