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When you sustain a personal injury, in Santa Rosa, or Sonoma County, you may not know how to proceed. You may need to stay in the hospital for a few days or even weeks, missing time at work. Insurance company adjusters may call you and offer a quick settlement for much less than you deserve. When you call the Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyers, you only need to think about your healing. We take care of the rest, including communicating with medical bill collectors, insurance companies, and the defendant’s attorney. You can just focus on recovering while we do what we do best: fighting for compensation for your damages.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
Any time you suffer a personal injury, you should contact us immediately to find out if you have grounds for a legal claim. At North Bay Legal, we offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We’ll listen to the details of your accident and give you our honest, professional opinion. You’ll work one-on-one with one of our lead attorneys—not a junior lawyer, or other staff member. If we believe that you have a case against one or more defendants, we’ll inform you of the next step. We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning our fees always come out of your settlement and never out of your pocket.
The legal system allows victims of negligence-based personal injury accidents to pursue a claim against the responsible party. If the victim (plaintiff) can prove the other party (defendant) was responsible for the accident that caused the injury or property damage, the court will award compensation to the plaintiff. Proving negligence is the most important aspect of any personal injury case.
There are four main elements to a negligence claim:
1. Duty. The defendant owed you a legal duty of care under the circumstances. This may be a physician’s duty as your health care provider, a fellow driver’s duty to pay attention to the road, or a property owner’s duty to keep his or her premises safe.
2. Breach. The defendant failed in the duty he or she owed to you. The court decides whether the defendant breached by comparing the defendant’s actions at the time of the accident with what a “reasonably prudent person” would have done under the same circumstances. If the defendant acted or failed to act in a way that was reasonably prudent for the situation, then he or she breached a duty owed to you.
3. Causation. It’s not enough to prove that someone breached his or her duty to you. You must show that this breach caused your injury. If you can’t show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injury, then there’s nothing a personal injury case can compensate. If your injuries resulted from another unrelated act at or around the same time as the accident, the court won’t find the defendant liable.
4. Damages. Damages are the harms (economic and non-economic) that you sustained from the accident. They may relate to property damage, physical injury, or mental or emotional distress. The court must be able to compensate you monetarily for the damages you incurred. Damages vary case by case, but they may include property repair, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
California law mandates how and when citizens can file a personal injury claim with the courts. The personal injury statute of limitations sets how much time you have to file a claim. The sooner after an accident that you speak with an attorney, the better your chances of obtaining compensation.
Our competent and capable Santa Rosa personal injury attorneys know how to efficiently pursue a personal injury case using hard evidence. We’ll access police records, interview any witnesses and security tape footage when possible. We’ll hire an expert witness, usually a doctor, to describe your injuries to a judge or jury. North Bay Legal has the resources to give you the best chance at proving a defendant’s negligence in your accident.