Our attorneys have been assisting the Orange County and Southern California communities for over 35 years.
The Law Office of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo have more than 30 years of experience with all types of work accident and personal injury cases in California, and our dedication to comprehensive and compassionate representation for all our clients has established a reputation for success. We firmly believe in protecting the legal rights of any individual who has been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, and we are committed to providing thorough representation for any personal injury claim. We do everything in our power to make our clients’ lives easier during difficult times so they can focus on recovering instead of fighting a legal battle.
In any personal injury case, proving negligence is crucial to obtain a just settlement. There are three basic factors to proving negligence:
- The offending party had a duty of care to act in a reasonable manner, and consider the health and safety of the public, their customers, or the people around them.
- The duty of care was breached. The offending party acted in a manner that violated their requirement to act in a safe manner.
- The breach caused your injuries. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s unsafe, illegal, irresponsible, or careless actions, then you have grounds to claim negligence.
Proving negligence is not always an easy task, but the legal experts DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo know how to navigate any type of personal injury case. Our experience and dedication ensure our clients that we will explore every possible avenue for compensation on their behalf.
Types of Compensation Available to Personal Injury Plaintiffs
A plaintiff in a personal injury case can receive two types of compensation: compensatory damages that exist to repay a plaintiff for his or her losses resulting from a defendant’s negligence, and punitive damages the court imposes to punish severely negligent or intentionally dangerous defendants. While some compensatory damages are straightforward and simply repay losses, others are more difficult to calculate.
Types of Compensatory Damages:
- Lost income. If an injury forced you to miss work in order to recover, you can claim compensation for the wages lost at that time.
- Medical expenses. A plaintiff can claim compensation for all expenses related to medical treatment resulting from a negligent act. It’s crucial for the plaintiff to have proof that his or her medical expenses resulted from the defendant’s actions and not some other cause.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s negligent act damaged or destroyed the plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can sue for the costs of replacing or repairing those items.
- Pain and suffering. The jury will consider testimony from expert witnesses and the overall state of the plaintiff following his or her accident to award an appropriate amount to compensate physical pain, mental distress, and emotional suffering resulting from a defendant’s negligence.
Depending on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, these damages can be substantial. Although there is no hard and fast rule for calculating pain and suffering damages, they are generally greater than the victim’s medical expenses proportionate to the severity of the injury. For example, a plaintiff who suffered a broken wrist will receive far less in pain and suffering damages than a plaintiff who suffered a broken spine and subsequent paraplegia.
If you were recently injured in an accident and are looking to learn more about what types of compensation you may be owed, speak to an Orange County personal injury attorney today.
Statute of Limitations and Other Requirements for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Orange County
California has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, beginning on the date the injury in question occurred. In cases involving injuries that do not manifest symptoms immediately, the statute of limitations begins on the “date of discovery,” or the date the plaintiff should have reasonably been able to discover his or her injury.
Comparative Negligence in California
California follows a pure comparative negligence law that allows plaintiffs to still recover damages even if they are partially to blame for those damages. For example, a pedestrian is walking and decides to quickly jaywalk, passing between two parked cars, when a passing driver hits him. The court would likely assign some fault to the pedestrian for jaywalking unsafely, but the driver would likely absorb the lion’s share of the liability for the incident. In California, a plaintiff may still recover damages even if he or she is 99% at fault for the incident in question; his or her case award simply reduces by his or her percentage of fault. Find out if you are partially liable for your accident by speaking to an Orange County personal injury attorney today.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Orange County
Workplace injuries are very common in California and injured employees should know their rights to workers’ compensation. In California, every employer must carry workers’ compensation coverage, even if the company only has one employee. Workers’ compensation offers relief to injured employees by providing immediate medical expense coverage, as well as, weekly benefits until the employee is healthy enough to return to work. The workers’ compensation system is complex, and a personal injury attorney can be a fantastic asset who will help you navigate the claims process. If you encounter any issues with your workers’ compensation claim or your benefits don’t fully cover your losses after an injury, your attorney can help you decide your next best options.
In some cases, an injured employee may have the option of taking legal action against a negligent employer or supervisor who allowed a dangerous condition to persist in the workplace. In other cases, a third party may be to blame for the injured employee’s damages. For example, a construction worker heading to a job site suffers serious injuries when another driver hits his car. In this case, the injured worker would still qualify for workers’ compensation since his injury occurred within the scope of his job duties, but he could also take legal action against the at-fault driver for additional compensation.
Whether you’re looking for legal guidance on a personal injury case or trying to determine whether or not you want to file a workers compensation claim, the attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo can help. Schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today.