If you’ve been involved in a personal injury case, you probably have dozens of questions running through your head. Should I hire an attorney? Do I deserve compensation? Who should pay for my injuries? These are questions everybody asks after they are injured due to someone’s negligence. Here are some answers to those and other questions from your personal injury Fresno attorneys to help you understand more about the process and what to expect.
What exactly is negligence?
In the course of a personal injury case, you’ve probably heard the term “negligence” at least a few times. In short, the law requires everybody to act with reasonable care. Although this is a vague term, the actual definition can vary between states and it can vary among situations as well. If someone doesn’t act with reasonable care and it leads to someone else being hurt or injured, that person is said to have been negligent. For instance, if you see someone crossing the street and you don’t slow down or take reasonable care to avoid hitting them, your actions could be considered negligent and you could be responsible for that person’s medical bills. Of course, your attorney may argue that the person crossing the street didn’t take reasonable care in crossing safely. So negligence can cover a wide variety of situations.
Is my case valid?
Another common question that people wonder about is the validity of their case. The best way to determine if you have a case worth litigating is to schedule a consultation with a personal injury Fresno attorney. They will go through your case and discuss the details with you to determine if it’s worth going to court. They will also help you negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company if you’d prefer to take that path to get your medical bills and other expenses paid for. And since most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, they won’t take your case unless they think you have a really good chance at winning.
What are punitive damages and compensatory damages?
There are two basic categories that your winnings fall into when you receive money from a personal injury case. The first kind is compensatory damages. This helps reimburse you for any expenses you had to pay as a result of the injury you received. Medical bills, pain medication, physical therapy fees and other things you had to pay for are considered with compensatory damages. Punitive damages are less common, but they are meant to punish the negligent person or company to discourage them and others from repeating the mistake that led to your injury.