CAR & MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
From fender benders to catastrophic highway accidents, we’re well-versed in all types of auto accident claims. If you’re hurt, consult with us about your case.
DANGEROUS DRUG INJURIES
A specific form of medical malpractice, dangerous drug injuries occur when doctors prescribe the wrong medicines or fail to disclose potentially harmful side effects.
BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Not all auto accidents involve two cars. When a driver fails to respect your safety as a bicyclist or pedestrian, you have every right to hold them accountable.
Head traumas can be caused by whiplash, slip and falls, or a number of other incidents. Talk to us about how best to approach your case.
NURSING HOME ABUSE & NEGLECT
Many senior citizens aren’t as well-looked-after as they should be. If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
OTHER SERIOUS INJURIES
Serious injuries — meaning those that have a lasting impact in your life — generally yield higher payouts. Our team is especially effective in handling these cases.
These are just a few examples of the types of personal injury cases our firm accepts in Orange County. Whenever we take a new case, we carefully review all the evidence and testimony available and listen closely to our client’s story. Our firm is ready to guide you through the various stages of your recovery process, from an initial insurance claim filing process if insurance is a recovery option to filing your civil suit and guiding you through settlement or litigation, if necessary.
PROVING LIABILITY FOR A PERSONAL INJURY IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Before you obtain any type of compensation from the defendant who injured you, you must be ready to prove exactly how they caused your injury. You must also prove the full scope of the damages their actions caused. The majority of personal injuries reported are the results of negligence, but it is also possible for a personal injury to arise from an act of intentional misconduct.
When it comes to proving negligence, there are four basic elements the plaintiff has to assert to succeed in their recovery efforts:
Duty of care. The plaintiff must identify the party they believe to be responsible for causing the personal injury and prove they owed the plaintiff some duty of care. For example, a driver has a duty of care to abide by traffic laws and operate their vehicle attentively at all times.
Breach of duty. Once the plaintiff has asserted the defendant’s duty of care, the next step in their case will be proving the defendant failed to meet this duty of care in some way. The defendant’s breach of duty may be a specific act, or it may be a lack of action when a reasonable party would have responded appropriately if they were in a similar situation.
Damage. You can only file a personal injury claim if you suffered actual harm or some level of tangible loss caused by the incident in question. State law allows plaintiffs to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, and your Orange County personal injury attorney will be invaluable for proving these damages.
Causation. Finally, the plaintiff has to demonstrate that their claimed damages are strictly due to the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and not something else. Your Orange County personal injury attorney will be essential when it comes to proving the defendant is fully responsible for the entire scope of your claimed damages.
In the event that your personal injury resulted from any intentional and illegal misconduct, the state is likely to open a criminal case against the defendant. You could be called to testify as a witness in their criminal trial, and the outcome of their criminal case could impact your recovery in various ways. If your personal injury was the effect of the defendant’s intentional misbehavior, your attorney will help you determine exactly how this could influence your final compensation.
COMMON TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA
When you need to hire legal representation for a personal injury case in Orange County, it is vital to select an attorney with a strong track record of successful cases similar to yours. Zwick Law has years of professional experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including:
Motor vehicle accident claims. Whether you were injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, we can guide you through the auto insurance claim process before helping you file a solid personal injury claim against the driver responsible for your injuries.
Premises liability claims. If you were injured on private property in Orange County, as long as you had permission to be present on the property when the injury occurred, the property owner is likely liable for your damages. All private property owners have a legal duty to ensure their properties are safe and free from foreseeable hazards that could injure lawful guests and visitors.
Catastrophic injury claims. A personal injury qualifies as catastrophic if it results in any level of permanent harm to the victim. If you were injured by another party’s negligence or misconduct and developed a permanent disability as a result, they are responsible for the full scope of your immediate and future damages.
Medical malpractice. While thousands of people trust medical professionals every day to deliver safe and effective medical treatment, the reality is that medical negligence is a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States. This type of personal injury case is subject to specific statutes, and you need experienced legal counsel to help you meet the procedural requirements of this type of case.
Zwick Law provides compassionate and client-focused legal counsel in every personal injury case we accept. The sooner you hire our firm to represent you, the sooner we can begin guiding you toward the fullest recovery possible from your damages.
POSSIBLE DAMAGES IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA
A personal injury may happen in many different ways, and every personal injury that occurs in Orange County will generate a host of damages for the victim and their loved ones. It’s possible for your personal injury claim to involve:
Physical injuries, such as broken bones, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. You should seek medical care immediately after any physical injury caused by another party. Your doctor can treat your condition and deliver a prognosis of future medical complications you are likely to experience because of the incident. The defendant who injured you is liable for any and all medical treatment you require to reach maximum improvement from your injuries. If this entails long-term rehabilitative care of any kind, they are liable for your immediate health care costs along with these projected future medical expenses.
Lost wages. Many people who suffer personal injuries are left unable to perform their work-related duties while they recover. If you are forced to remain home from work because of your personal injury, your attorney can help you hold the defendant accountable for the income you are unable to earn during this time. You also have the right to claim compensation for the value of vacation time or paid time off you were forced to use.
Lost future earnings. Unfortunately, some personal injuries cause permanent harm that impairs victims’ ability to work and earn income in the future. Under state law, the defendant responsible for causing a personal injury is liable for future damages as well. If you are only able to handle lower-paying work after your recovery, or if you are unable to work at all due to a catastrophic injury, a good Orange County personal injury attorney is a crucial asset to have on your side when it comes to proving the full extent of your lost future income and holding the defendant appropriately accountable.
Property damage. A personal injury claim may include damage to the plaintiff’s home, vehicle, or other property. It is also possible to file a civil suit for damages strictly for property damage, even if the defendant did not physically injure the plaintiff. Property damage claimable in your personal injury suit may also include lost business value or lost profits if the defendant harmed your business in any way or if the injuries they inflicted prevent you from operating your business.
Ultimately, your claimable economic damages could be far more than you initially expected when you account for both immediate and future damages. With your attorney’s assistance, you can also recover compensation for your pain and suffering.
CALCULATING PAIN AND SUFFERING
The pain and suffering a person experiences from a personal injury may seem too subjective to translate into an appropriate monetary figure. However, California law allows the plaintiff in a civil suit to hold a defendant accountable for the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma they endured because of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct.
There are two main methods used to calculate pain and suffering in civil suits, and your Orange County personal injury attorney will determine which is more suitable for your condition:
The multiplier method is better suited to plaintiffs who have suffered tremendous injuries resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities. With this method, the attorney multiplies their client’s total economic losses by a factor that represents the severity of the plaintiff’s condition. For example, if you sustained significant economic losses and developed a permanent disability, your attorney could seek five or more times the total economic damages in pain and suffering compensation to reflect the impact of your personal injury on your life.
The per diem method is more suitable for plaintiffs expected to make full recoveries from their personal injuries. With this method, the attorney determines a suitable amount of compensation for each day the plaintiff spends recovering from their injury. This amount is then multiplied by the number of days it takes the plaintiff to reach maximum medical improvement from their injury.
You might be surprised to discover that your pain and suffering compensation forms the bulk of your total recovery. When you have experienced legal counsel representing you, you are far more likely to maximize this aspect of your case award than you would be if you attempted to handle your case alone.
INSURANCE CLAIMS FOR PERSONAL INJURIES IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA
In the state, every driver must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. If your personal injury arose from a vehicle accident, filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver could be an essential first step toward recovering your losses. However, it is important to understand that no insurance company has any incentive to help you. In fact, most of them will look for all the reasons they can use to justify denying your claim or offering the lowest possible settlement. Their job is to pay out as little as possible.
When you have an Orange County personal injury attorney representing you, you are far less likely to encounter such mistreatment from an insurance company. Once the insurance company representative assigned to your case realizes that you have an attorney advising you, they will be more inclined to process your claim in good faith and quickly. Your Orange County personal injury attorney can review the terms of the defendant’s policy and verify that your settlement offer is fair and reasonable per the terms of the policy in question.
If any issues arise concerning the insurance company’s handling of your claim, your attorney will be positioned to handle such issues on your behalf. When you pick Zwick Law to help you recover from a personal injury and insurance is an initial recovery option, we have years of experience handling insurance claims filed to the largest insurance companies in the state, and we know the tactics they often use to deny claims or reduce settlement offers as much as possible. We’ll help you maximize your insurance claim settlement and address any unethical handling of your case, and when insurance alone can’t compensate your losses, you can count on our team to help you build your personal injury claim.
FILING YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA
After your attorney helps you recover as much as possible through an insurance claim, the next step in your recovery process will be a civil suit filed directly against the defendant responsible for your injuries. Your Orange County personal injury attorney will be an essential asset for gathering the evidence needed to prove liability, and this is a critical first step for both an insurance claim and a personal injury claim after a personal injury.
You must submit your complaint to the Orange County civil court, and the court will serve the appropriate papers to the defendant, providing them the opportunity to respond. If the defendant is clearly at fault for your damages, it behooves them to seek a swift settlement. The settlement process enables both the plaintiff and the defendant to privately negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution to the case. As long as both sides are willing to compromise, they can both avoid the stress and expense of protracted civil litigation.
An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney is important to have on your side through settlement negotiations. They will leverage the evidence and testimony in play to ensure the defendant agrees to the fairest possible settlement terms. Remember that when you decide to settle, the plaintiff may need to agree to less than they could potentially win at trial, but the tradeoff is that they save time and money they would otherwise spend in court. Similarly, the defendant may need to agree to a larger settlement than what a judge may determine, but they also avoid the investments required of litigation.
If, for any reason, settlement negotiations are fruitless and the parties involved in the case cannot reach mutually acceptable terms, the case may need to be resolved in court. The litigation process is notoriously stressful and time consuming, and there is no guarantee for either party that the judge will see things their way. When you take your personal injury case to court, the judge has the final say regarding liability for the damages in question and how much compensation the plaintiff is legally entitled to receive from the defendant.
COMPARATIVE FAULT IN ORANGE COUNTY PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
California is a US state that upholds a pure comparative negligence law. This means that when a plaintiff bears partial liability for causing the claimed damages, they can still recover some compensation regardless of their level of fault. Some states bar plaintiff recovery at 50% fault, but no such limitation exists under the state’s pure comparative negligence statute.
When pure comparative fault comes into play in a personal injury case, the judge overseeing the case will assign the plaintiff a fault percentage. This fault percentage is how much will be deducted from the plaintiff’s final award. For example, 30% fault would mean losing 30% of the case award. Depending on your fault percentage and the total value of your case, comparative fault of any level could result in a significant loss of compensation. Working with an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney helps ensure the most optimal outcome for your case, especially if you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your claimed damages.
CONTACT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA TODAY
At the Law Offices of Steven Zwick, our sole priority is offering outstanding legal counsel and personal support to Orange County families who have been victimized by personal injuries. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our five locations (in Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Hills, and Aliso Viejo) to get the legal guidance you need.
It’s important to start your civil claim filing process as soon as possible. Once you have addressed the immediate aftermath of your personal injury and received medical attention, it’s wise to contact experienced legal representation as soon as possible. If you are ready to explore your options for legal recourse after another party has injured you, contact Zwick Law today and schedule your consultation with a compassionate and reliable Orange County personal injury attorney.