Personal injury disputes arise when one person is harmed in a situation where another party may be legally responsible for that harm. Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the government to prosecute individuals who have violated the law, personal injury cases, also known as civil lawsuits, are initiated when private citizens file a complaint against another entity in connection with an incident that caused harm or injury. If you have been harmed and you feel you need to consult a personal injury attorney in Northridge, here are some things you need to know:
- There must be an injury. Property damage can be recovered in a lawsuit, but is not considered personal injury. No injury, no case.
- There must be legal fault. The most important job of a personal injury attorney is to prove fault. The harm and injury experienced by a plaintiff must be the direct result of the negligence of another party, giving rise to legal fault. The demonstrable link between negligence and injury is what makes a personal injury case.
- Personal injury claims have time limits that begin at the time of the injury. In legal terminology, these fall under the statute of limitations. Each type of injury has a different time limit specific to its nature. It is critical that you act quickly to consult an attorney to make certain that your case is filed within the legal time limits.
- Personal injury attorneys are not paid a retainer. They take cases on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you get paid. Upon settlement of a case, your attorney will collect a percentage of the amount recovered.
- Most personal injury cases settle out of court. In fact, over 95% of all personal injury cases settle with no trial. Taking a case to trial is rare and risky, as juries find for the plaintiff only about 50% of the time.
If you have been injured and another party is clearly at fault, do not hesitate to consult a personal injury attorney in Northridge.
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