If you experienced any harm from another party’s actions recently, it is important to understand what a Stockton personal injury attorney can do for your recovery efforts. A personal injury can describe any situation where one party inflicts harm on another through an act of negligence, carelessness, or intentional misconduct. Thousands of personal injury claims are filed in Stockton and surrounding communities of California each year.
Though any personal injury can be devastating, suffering one from another’s negligence or disregard can compound an already difficult situation. An experienced attorney can help you understand your next steps and ensure you are treated fairly and with compassion.
Experienced Personal Injury Representation in Stockton, CA
When you believe any other party is responsible for harming you in the Stockton area, it is crucial to know your rights in terms of seeking compensation for your damages. Under the state’s personal injury laws, the party responsible for causing your injury is responsible for all damages, and a Stockton personal injury attorney can guide you and help you hold them accountable.
The team at The Ward Firm has years of professional experience in personal injury law, and our firm has successfully helped many past clients with all kinds of personal injury claims. We develop individualized case strategies for each client we represent because we know that no two personal injuries are exactly alike. When our firm accepts your case, you can expect personalized, keen attention to detail through every step of your proceedings.
What to Expect from a Personal Injury Claim
Our goal for every client in Stockton is maximum compensation in the shortest possible timeframe. Once you secure our firm’s representation, we will waste no time in gathering the evidence you will need to prove fault for your damages, and we will carefully examine every potential route of recovery available to you to improve your case award. We’ll attempt to settle your case outside of court if possible, but we are prepared to litigate for you if necessary.
If you want to hire a Stockton personal injury attorney, it is important to not only judge their overall experience level but also the experience they have handling cases similar to yours.
Kinds of Personal Injury Claims We Represent in Stockton
The team at The Ward Firm has successfully resolved many different kinds of personal injury cases for our clients, including:
Vehicle accidents. Any type of vehicle accident has the potential to inflict life-changing injuries and expensive economic losses on those involved. Our team can help prove the exact cause of your recent accident and guide you through the insurance claim process. If this does not yield full compensation for your damages, we will help build a personal injury suit against the person who injured you.
Premises liability claims. Whenever a person sustains an injury on somebody else’s property, the owner of the property could bear fault for the resulting damages under the state’s premises liability laws. As long as the victim was present there legally, the owner of the property is liable for any harm caused by a safety issue they should have seen and addressed.
Dog bite claims. Dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend and are popular pets across the country. However, any dog can bite or otherwise injure a person unexpectedly. California enforces strict liability for injuries caused by pets, meaning a pet owner is fully responsible for all harm their pet causes. We can help you assert strict liability and hold a dog owner accountable for your damages.
Claims for catastrophic injuries. Any personal injury that results in permanent harm is a catastrophic injury. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and severe burns are some of the most commonly cited catastrophic injuries in Stockton. These cases tend to involve substantial damages, so it is important that you find a Stockton personal injury attorney with the experience necessary to improve your recovery.
Wrongful death. When a person dies because of another party’s negligence or illegal misconduct, this can form the foundation of a wrongful death suit in lieu of the personal injury claim they could have filed if they had survived. If you have lost someone in your family due to another party’s negligence or illegal misconduct, The Ward Firm will assist you in holding them accountable.
No matter what kind of personal injury you have, it is important to have legal counsel you can trust on your side for the proceedings ahead of you. Every case is unique, and every client will face different challenges as they seek compensation for their damages. Additionally, you have a limited time in which to file your personal injury suit under the state’s statute of limitations. You need to find legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible.
Proving Negligence in Your Personal Injury Claim
Most personal injury claims filed in Stockton arise from negligence, or failure to exercise appropriate care in specific situations. For example, a driver must use care and operate their vehicle attentively, and distracted driving would be a breach of this duty of care. If your personal injury happened because of negligence, you must be prepared to prove:
The defendant had a duty of care in the situation.
The defendant breached or failed to meet this duty of care in some way.
The defendant’s breach caused actual harm, meaning you suffered some measurable loss.
The damages cited in the claim are the direct results of the defendant’s negligence and not any other cause.
Your Stockton personal injury attorney can assist you with gathering the evidence you need to build your case. Depending on how your injury happened, this may include physical evidence from the location where the incident happened, various forms of digital records, security camera or traffic camera footage, and testimony from eyewitnesses who saw your injury happen firsthand.
In some personal injury claims, the plaintiff’s attorney can call on experts to provide unique professional insights into complex aspects of the case. For example, an accident reconstruction expert can explain the exact cause of a vehicle crash and the forces in play in the event. This can help the plaintiff establish liability for the accident and prove that their claimed losses resulted directly from the accident and not any other cause.
Addressing Personal Injuries Caused by Illegal Misconduct
It is possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to result in a personal injury. A few of the most common examples of this include reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, and violent crime. If you were injured by another party’s illegal misconduct, you not only have grounds for a personal injury suit against them, but they will face criminal prosecution as well.
If this applies to your situation, your attorney can advise you as to how the illegal nature of the defendant’s actions may influence your recovery efforts. For example, a judge handling your civil case may award you punitive damages at their discretion. It is also possible for the judge handling the defendant’s criminal case to include restitution to the victim as part of the defendant’s sentence.
How Does One Claim Economic Damages in a Personal Injury
The point of a personal injury case is for the victim to receive compensation for the damages the defendant caused. Your personal injury claim could enable you to recover compensation for economic damages, which are the direct financial losses you suffered because of the incident. These economic damages are typically proven with the appropriate documentation, and they may include:
Property damage. When a defendant has damaged or destroyed the plaintiff’s property, the defendant is responsible for all repair and replacement costs. Some of these losses could be recovered through insurance, depending on the type of personal injury you suffered. However, any remainder not covered by insurance must be recovered through your personal injury action.
Medical costs. Most injury cases relate to physical injuries, and the defendant responsible for inflicting those injuries is responsible for all medical expenses. The defendant who caused your injury must pay for all reasonable immediate medical costs in addition to future rehabilitative costs if you suffered a serious injury that demands ongoing care.
Lost wages. Many people who have suffered personal injuries cannot work and earn income for their families. Some are forced to use vacation time and accrued paid time off after their accidents. If this applies to your case, your Stockton personal injury attorney can help secure compensation for any such losses.
Lost future earning potential. Some victims of personal injuries cannot work and earn an income due to the severity of their injuries. If the injury disables you permanently in a way that reduces your ability to earn income for the rest of your life, your Stockton personal injury attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for these projected economic losses.
You may have some grasp over the immediately recognizable damages you suffered because of the defendant’s actions, but accurately calculating the total of your economic damages will be difficult without an attorney’s help. Once you have The Ward Firm handling your case, you may be surprised to discover the true potential value of your claim. However, your recovery does not end with your economic damages.
Claiming Pain and Suffering Compensation for a Personal Injury
Beyond economic damages, in the personal injury case, the plaintiff has the right to hold the defendant accountable for the intangible damages the plaintiff suffered because of the defendant’s actions. California law does not enforce any limit on pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury cases, so this could form the bulk of your total case award depending on the type of injury you sustained.
The average person may find it difficult to assign monetary value to intangible damages like physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma. Your Stockton attorney can assist you in determining an appropriate amount by assessing the overall severity of your injuries and the extent of long-term or permanent losses you face because of the personal injury you experienced.
The Multiplier Method for Personal Injury
Your attorney may use the multiplier method to determine suitable pain and suffering compensation if you suffer catastrophic injuries. This method entails adding the total of your economic damages and then multiplying this amount by a factor of one to five to reflect the severity of your condition.
If you should recover fairly quickly, your attorney may be more inclined to calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation on a daily basis. This involves coming up with a daily amount for reasonable compensation and multiplying the number of days it should take you to achieve maximum medical improvement from your injuries by that amount.
Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Claims
While the total value of your claim may increase due to multiple factors you may not initially notice, it could also diminish under certain conditions. Specifically, if the plaintiff bears any partial fault for causing their claimed damages, this will result in them losing a percentage of their total case award.
Under the pure comparative fault rule, every party found liable for contributing to the damages cited in a personal injury suit will have a fault percentage assigned by the judge handling the case. If a plaintiff is found partially liable, this will not prevent them from claiming compensation, but it will result in them losing a percentage of the total compensation won from the case.
For example, if a plaintiff is 10% at fault, they lose 10% of the total case award. If they are 20% at fault, they lose 20%, and so on. There is no threshold of fault that would prohibit the plaintiff from claiming compensation, so it is theoretically possible for a plaintiff to be found 99% at fault and still recover 1% of the damages claimed from the defendant.
If you have any reason to worry about comparative fault in your case, your Stockton personal injury attorney can help mitigate any fault percentage assigned to you to preserve as much of your case award as possible.
How to Resolve Your Personal Injury Suit in Stockton: Settlement Versus Litigation
As you compile your personal injury claim in Stockton, you may have concerns about the courtroom proceedings ahead of you. However, the vast majority of personal injury claims filed are resolved outside of court through private settlement negotiations. During the settlement negotiations, the plaintiff and defendant meet with each of their legal counselors to negotiate ways to resolve the claim.
When a defendant is clearly to blame for a personal injury, it behooves them to seek a swift settlement so they can save money on legal expenses. However, a settlement requires both parties to be willing to compromise for it to be effective. If a personal injury claim cannot be resolved privately, the case must go to court.
During litigation, a judge will consider evidence and testimony presented by all parties involved in the case and then deliver their ruling. They will decide liability and the extent of the compensation owed to the plaintiff. Settlement is not only private, but it also typically requires far less time to complete than litigation. If you settle privately, this may only require a few weeks, whereas litigation can sometimes take several months or even years to resolve.
What to Expect From Stockton Personal Injury Lawyers
When you have the right Stockton personal injury attorney handling your case, you are not only more likely to succeed with your claim but also more likely to improve your total award. Your attorney can handle all the procedural requirements and court filing deadlines ahead of you so you can work on recovery.
As your case unfolds, your attorney can provide consistent updates on your claim’s progress. If any unexpected issues arise, your legal team can be ready to address them effectively and update you about any potential changes in the forthcoming proceedings. When you choose The Ward Firm to represent your personal injury claim in Stockton, we will aim to settle your case privately if possible, but we are equipped to represent you in litigation if required.
When it comes to the cost of your legal representation, do not assume that the legal counsel you will need is prohibitively expensive. The Ward Firm accepts personal injury clients on contingency, so our client only pays our firm a fee if and when we win the case. Additionally, they do not pay anything unless and until we win a case award for them, and our fee will be a percentage of the total compensation recovered from the defendant.
Experienced Stockton Personal Injury Attorneys, The Ward Law Firm
Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of success with your impending personal injury claim when you have an attorney you can trust on your side. You have a limited time in which to file your case, so it’s vital to act as quickly as possible to secure reliable counsel. Contact The Ward Firm today and set up a consultation with us to learn how we can assist with your recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation
At your free initial consultation, you will meet directly with Justin, and he will explain how he can best help you with your case. If you decide to work with us, we will immediately get started on creating a strategy that protects your interests.
To get more information, call our office at 916-443-2474 or send us an email using our contact form. We are available by phone 24 hours a day. Se habla español.
The Ward Firm is open and actively assisting clients with personal injury, criminal, and employment related matters, and we do not anticipate any interruption in representation. However, please understand that all appointments will be telephonic as we observe the CDC's recommended social distancing.