Accidents that result in severe injuries can happen suddenly, creating an intense emotional and financial strain on both the victims and their loved ones. When the harm is caused by the carelessness of another party, it may be in your best interest to try to hold that party legally responsible. Injury lawyer Vann H. Slatter has dedicated his practice to helping people in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities pursue compensation for the negligence of others. We are a boutique firm proud to build sincere and honest relationships with our clients, with our Los Angeles personal injury team giving their cases the individualized attention that they need while aggressively advocating on their behalf.Taking Legal Action through a Negligence Claim
A personal injury action is essentially a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff against a defendant alleging that the defendant is legally responsible for the victim’s injuries. There are many kinds of these cases, ranging from car accidents and dog bites to wrongful death claims. They are usually brought under the legal theory of negligence, which recognizes that a person or entity may be held responsible for careless actions that result in foreseeable harm to others. In California, personal injury actions usually must be brought within two years from the accident, or one year from the date that the harm was discovered, although there may be exceptions that apply in certain situations. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you still have time to file your lawsuit.
Although the facts of each personal injury case are unique, the plaintiff will have the burden to establish the same four basic elements of any negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence. The first element, duty, requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty of care under the circumstances surrounding the accident. In general, each person has a duty to conform to a standard of conduct for the protection of others against unreasonable risks. Depending on the details of the case, this standard may vary if there is a special relationship between the parties, such as landlord-tenant, or in certain factual situations.
The victim must then provide evidence that the defendant failed to conform to that standard of care, or breached the duty to the victim. In some instances, such as dog bite cases, the law imposes strict liability on a certain type of defendant. A plaintiff does not need to prove that a pet owner was negligent if his or her dog bites someone in a public place or while the victim is lawfully in a private place. To establish the element of causation, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions directly led to the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
A plaintiff can usually recover economic damages, such as past and future medical expenses, lost income, and other damages awarded for the actual financial loss incurred by the plaintiff. Non-economic damages also may be available, like compensation for pain and suffering. In some instances, damages may be limited by the rule of comparative negligence in California. Under this rule, if the victim is partially to blame for an accident, damages may be reduced by an amount proportionate to his or her share of the fault. Describing the facts of your case to an experienced attorney may be beneficial in understanding the types of compensation that you may be able to seek.Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
Your accident case is a serious and personal matter that requires diligent, thoughtful legal representation. Our knowledgeable legal team has decades of experience advocating for people in your position. If you have been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, or another preventable event, the team at Slatter Law Firm can answer any questions you may have about your legal rights. If you have a claim, he can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Our office also serves residents of Bellflower, South Gate, Norwalk, Long Beach, Downey, and other Southern California communities. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (310) 444-3010 or complete our online form.