Posted On November 27, 2019 San Bernardino

What Are the Requirements for a Personal Injury Case in San Bernardino?

When you’ve been injured in an accident, do you automatically have the basis of a successful personal injury claim? Not necessarily. If you are talking to a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, in order to recover damages, your lawyer must first prove three things.

Three Basic Requirements for a Personal Injury Case in San Bernardino

Your lawyer must prove that:

The people responsible for your accident behaved carelessly or negligently.

For example, the driver of a car who speeds through a red light and rear-ends your vehicle could be considered negligent because they ignored a traffic light.

The other person’s negligence or carelessness caused your injury.

Sustaining broken bones and later suffering from migraines after your crash are injuries directly caused by the other driver’s carelessness.

Those injuries resulted in harm, also known as compensatory damages.

Using the same example, your broken bones and frequent migraines will likely result in lost wages, pain and suffering, and of course, many hospital bills.

Because these expenses wouldn’t be necessary if you hadn’t been in an accident (that was caused by someone else’s negligence), you deserve to be compensated.

Did you suffer a personal injury or property damage in San Bernardino?

Property damage and personal injury are separate cases. If your crash was very minor—such as a fender bender that caused very light damage to your car, but no damage to your body or psyche—then you probably don’t have a personal injury case.

In these situations, you may be able to seek help from the insurance company or a small claims court, but legally, you have no basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

What is “a preponderance of evidence?”

To build a successful personal injury case, your lawyer must offer a “preponderance of evidence” that the person responsible for your injuries acted careless or negligent, which relies on four pieces:

  • Duty: The other person had a legal duty to behave in a certain way in the given circumstances (stopping at a red light).
  • Breach: The defendant breached their duty by either failing to act, or acting otherwise (not stopping at the red light).
  • Causation: The other person’s action (or inaction) created the circumstances of your injury.
  • Damages: Your injury caused you expenses that can be taken care of with monetary compensation.

What are recoverable damages?

Not all damages can be remedied by monetary compensation, but those that can are called recoverable damages. Some examples of recoverable damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Disability accommodations
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of companionship or support

Some types of damages have a precise cost associated with them and are easy to calculate, like medical bills. Others—like loss of companionship—may require consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to truly calculate.

Of course, your ability to recover these damages also comes into play. If you were struck by a driver with no assets and no job, it may be hard or impossible to recover any kind of meaningful damages—unless an alternative defendant is found, which is possible with a skilled attorney.

Do I have a case?

If you think you have a case, don’t hesitate to contact us right away. We’ll help you go over your injury and figure out the best way to recover the maximum payout you deserve.

And remember, the clock is ticking. Every second you delay is another moment California’s statute of limitations could prevent you from recovering any damages for your injury.

If you have a need for a personal injury lawyer in the Inland Empire anywhere feel free to reach out and find our location nearest to you!

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