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Suffering a personal injury can have a devastating impact on your health, lifestyle and finances. It seems like one moment you are thinking about your future and the next you are thrust into uncertainty about rising medical bills, lost wages, mobility and employment. It is fundamentally unfair that you should have to deal with this stress and loss due to someone else’s negligence. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At the Ledger Law Firm, our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
One of the biggest misperceptions that many people have about the legal system is that the average civil case ends up in court in front of a jury. It’s not hard to form such an impression when every case depicted on television legal dramas ends up in court. The reality, however, is quite different. In fact, approximately 95% of the Orange County personal injury accident cases handled by The Ledger Law Firm’s headquarters located in Newport Beach are settled without the need to step foot in a courtroom. Of course each situation presents a different set of circumstances and therefore it is impossible to know with certainty whether your case will require a trial or not until the team at The Ledger Law Firm has evaluated your specific case. Take comfort, however, in the knowledge that there is a good chance that your case can be resolved to your satisfaction without every appearing in court. Orange County personal injury accident cases are generally based on the tort of negligence. What that means is that in order for your to be entitled to compensation for any injuries you have suffered, the defendant must have been “negligent”. Negligence is a legal term that is loosely used to mean “fault”. In order to prove that the defendant was negligent, you must prove four elements. You must first show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. The duty of care element is considered on a case by case basis, but in some situations the duty of care has been well established. For instance, courts have long held that the operator of a motor vehicle on a public roadway has a duty of care to the other people on the roadway.
Once you have established that the defendant owed a duty of care, you must prove that he breached the duty of care. Again, facts are important but in general if the defendant did not use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent harm to the victim then he likely breached his duty of care.
The last two elements are causation and damages. As the name implies, causation requires the victim to show that the defendant’s breach of his duty of care was the cause of her injuries. Damages is a legal term that refers to injuries-both economic and non-economic.
When the team at The Ledger Law Firm evaluates your personal injury accident case they will carefully consider whether they feel that all four elements can be met in order to obtain compensation for your injuries. With over a decade of experience handling Orange County personal injury cases, the team at Ledger & Associates have the knowledge and expertise to determine whether your case can be won. As a result, most cases that are handled by The Ledger Law Firms are able to be resolved by an out of court settlement saving victims the time, expense and stress of having to endure a lengthy court battle. If however, your case is not able to be settled out of court, rest assured that you will have a nationally recognized personal injury accident attorney at your side and fighting for the compensation that you rightly deserve.
What Is A Personal Injury?
There are a wide range of causes that constitute a personal injury. The underlying idea is that someone acted in a careless or negligent fashion that resulted in you suffering a loss. A personal injury can be an overt act such as drunk driving or a failure to meet a reasonable duty like putting out a wet floor sign in a business. These are some of the more common instances.
- Automobile Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Pedestrian Injuries
- Dog Bites
- Slip and Falls
- Wrongful Death
These types of personal injury cases often result in losses that include long- and short-term medical expenses, lost wages, lowered earning capacity, property damage, loss of a loved one and damage to one’s community reputation among others.
What To Do If You Are Injured
If you are injured in any way, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your health, well-bring and document the incident. These are four fundamental steps you should consider.
- Get Medical Attention: Regardless of whether you are in a serious car accident or hit your head after slipping on a wet floor, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention. In many cases, people feel the effects of a hard impact hours and sometimes days after the incident. A physician can provide a clear assessment of your health.
- Document Everything: From police reports to photos of the scene of the accident or incident, each piece of evidence you can gather makes a difference in proving the other party was in the wrong. Medical bills, receipts, lost wages, property damage estimates and other financial expenses may be reimbursable. Keep a thorough accounting.
- Do Not Negotiate With Big Insurance: These companies are in business to make a profit. Your injury and claim represents a red mark in their ledger. They will often try to pay you off quickly to avoid full and fair compensation.
- Call The Ledger Law Firm: Our experienced Orange County personal injury attorneys can provide you with legal counsel about important next steps and set up a case consultation. We will put insurance carriers and negligent parties on notice that you expect rightful compensation for your loss.
California Personal Injury Laws
California personal injury law is quite complicated and everyday people are likely to make costly missteps without the help of an experienced lawyer. These are some of the important factors that come into play when resolving a personal injury case.
- Shared Fault: It is common for negligent parties to point the finger at injured ones and claim it’s your fault. California operates under the “shared fault” or “comparative negligence” policy. For practical purposes, that encourages the other side to push blame to you in hopes of lowering their percentage of financial responsibility.
- Statute of Limitations: The state allows injured parties two years from the date of the incident to file a civil lawsuit or one year after the injury is discovered. If your claim involves a government entity, you only have six months. There are also unique procedural rules that must be met.
- Limits on Injury Damages: State law imposes limits on what damages you can recover. For example, losses that do not have a direct dollar value such as pain and suffering or disfigurement may not be recoverable from uninsured motorists unless they were driving while impaired in some way. The state also caps non-economic damages in cases such as medical malpractice at $250,00 .
If you have sustained a personal injury, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney immediately. Insurance companies often seek quick settlements that may limit you from gaining the full and fair compensation you are entitled to under California law.
What people are saying
I called the Ledger Law firm hours after I was T-Boned driving in Irvine and never had another worry. I went in the very next day for my initial intake, sat down with an attorney and case manager and went through every detail of the accident. They took the time to not only understand how the accident happened, but also asked me how I was feeling and immediately set me up with a chiropractor to help with my back pain as well. After that initial meeting, I received phone calls or emails routinely updating me on my case . Within that phone call or email, I was always asked how my treatment was going, how I was feeling and if there was anything else I needed for my case. My matter was resolved within a couple of months and I was extremely happy with the settlement. THANK YOU Ledger Law firm for getting me through my terrifying first accident and taking care of me every step of the way!
– Alex C., Newport Beach, CA via Yelp
How The Ledger Law Firm Can Help You
As experienced Orange County personal injury attorneys, the Ledger Law Firm helps everyday Californians settle cases on a daily basis. There are three basic arguments that we employ on your behalf, depending on the facts of your case.
- Intentional Harm: Things like assault and other criminal behavior are meant to injure you. If someone deliberately causes you a loss, we’ll file a civil lawsuit on your behalf and make them pay.
- Negligence: Everyone has a community-based duty to act with reasonable care. Whether that’s paying attention while driving or clearing debris from a business’s stairwell. When people fail to do so, you deserve to be fairly compensated for their carelessness.
- Strict Liability: These are cases where people and corporations are held financially accountable. Harm from faulty products and dog bites, among others, fall under the strict liability rule. Even if the party was not negligent, they are still responsible.
By reviewing the circumstances of your case, we can put together an actionable claim or file a lawsuit to help you recuperate current and future losses.
What Are The Advantages to Hiring An Attorney?
If you have recently suffered injuries as the result of an Orange County, California personal injury accident you may be in the process of making the difficult decision to hire an attorney or handle the matter yourself. Each victim arrives at a decision regarding legal representation in her own manner and based on factors that are important to her. There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney nor is there a magic formula that can help you decide whether you need one or not. Hiring an attorney is a very personal decision and one that only you can make after weighing the pros and cons. There are, however, a number of advantages to hiring an Orange County personal injury accident firm to represent you in your case that you should consider before making your decision.
The first advantage to hiring an attorney is that you will not need to communicate at all with the defendant or his insurance company from the moment you retain counsel. Many victims think that talking to the insurance adjuster is harmless. After all, you are just telling your story as it happened right? Unfortunately that is not always the case. Remember that the job of the insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company money – not to pay you money. Having an attorney on your side means that you will not need to communicate at all with the insurance company and therefore you don’t have to worry about what you say or how you say it.
If there is any question at all about negligence (fault) then having an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney handle your case can be the difference between recovering compensation for your injuries or recovering nothing. In some accidents, negligence is clear and the defendant readily admits that he was completely at fault. A large percentage of the time, however, the defendant is not willing to admit fault, or at least not complete fault, for the accident. When negligence is an issue, the knowledge and experience of an attorney becomes necessary.
When it’s time to negotiate a settlement having an attorney becomes a huge advantage. Studies have shown that victims overwhelmingly receive more compensation from a personal injury accident settlement when they are represented by an attorney than when they represent themselves. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to value your case giving you a better chance of receiving a compensation amount that truly reflects the extent of your injuries. Additionally, when a victim is not represented by an attorney, the defendant may offer less compensation feeling secure that the victim cannot proceed to trial without an attorney and therefore has no other choice but to accept the offer. When you have a nationally recognized attorney like Emery Ledger on your side the defendant knows that you can, and will, take the matter to trial if the compensation offered is inadequate.
If you would like to schedule your free and detailed evaluation with The Ledger Law Firm, please contact the team by calling (949) 442-4333. Our Orange County office is located at: