San Bernardino Personal Injury Lawyer

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San Bernardino Personal Injury Attorney

Those who have suffered an injury as the result of a botched medical procedure, vehicle accident, intentional tort, or from some other party’s negligence are entitled to recover damages by seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. A San Bernardino personal injury lawyer will offer the most help in understanding your case, guiding you through the claims process, and fighting on your behalf for the most favorable outcome.

Personal injury cases can be challenging due to legal complexities, defense opposition, and undermining tactics by insurance companies, making recovery difficult despite being rightfully owed damages.

A qualified and skilled personal injury attorney will have extensive experience handling similar cases and will understand how to build an effective claim given the specific details of your case. It is important to hold responsible parties accountable, and your personal injury lawyer can help you do that.

Personal Injury Representation in San Bernardino, CA

At Duque & Price, we help injured accident victims battle against insurance companies, so that they can obtain the compensation that they deserve. As you know, insurance companies aren’t always eager to pay out claims to accident victims. This is even more true when an accident victim has been severely injured, and the damages escalate. You have the right to seek fair compensation for your damages, which can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, time off of work, and damages for your family members.

We handle all types of personal injury cases, including motorcycle, car and bicycle accidents, construction accidents, tractor trailer accidents, workplace injuries, and wrongful death cases. The initial consultation is free and is the time when we will evaluate the merits of your case and you have a chance to get to know us before hiring us to represent you. If we choose to work together, you pay no legal fees until we win a financial recovery for you.

What Are Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury claims are filed against negligent parties that directly caused harm or injury against an individual. Claims represent legal attempts to hold responsible parties accountable for the financial obligation they owe to the injured party.

If you’ve suffered physical, emotional, mental, or financial harm or some combination of these, you are entitled to recover damages from the at-fault party. Successful personal injury claims legally obligate the negligent party to pay these damages to cover losses and injuries.

There is an extremely wide range of incidents that can potentially lead to personal injury, including car accidents, medical malpractice, elder care abuse, and construction accidents. When injury or harm happens as a result of an individual, business, or entity’s action or inaction, this is considered negligence.

It is important to understand a few basic components that make up personal injury law, especially if you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim against another party. The essential concepts that make up personal injury cases are as follows:

  • Negligence. As mentioned, negligence covers any action or inaction that demonstrates a failure to exercise reasonable care toward another. Negligence requires that the other party owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and directly caused injury or harm as a result. Most injury cases will hinge on this legal concept.
  • Damages. There are several types of damages, including compensatory and punitive damages, provided as compensation intended as redress for the loss and harm experienced.
  • Liability. This refers to the legal obligation a person or entity has to provide the above damages. Many cases involve several liable parties, as one party rarely bears the sole blame for an injury. Proving liability will rest on establishing fault, demonstrating negligence, and providing substantial evidence in your case.
  • Statute of limitations. There is a definitive amount of time during which you have to file a claim against another party for a personal injury. Failing to bring your case forward by the legal deadline will result in having your case automatically thrown out. It is essential that you work closely with your lawyer to ensure you are able to legally begin your claim.

Your personal injury attorney can offer legal guidance and counsel, helping you understand all the concepts and considerations at play in your case. Our team at Duque & Price offers a free consultation in which you can discuss the details of your case and receive answers to your questions, including how much your case is potentially worth.

What Should I Do to Prepare to File a Personal Injury Case?

There are several necessary steps to follow if you have suffered a personal injury for which you intend to seek damages:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. Your health and safety should be prioritized above all else. If you haven’t done so already, seek medical attention so you can ensure you receive the appropriate care you need to treat any and all of your injuries. Not all injuries immediately manifest themselves, and you don’t want to risk missing an injury because you neglected to get examined.Additionally, maintaining thorough medical records that indicate the extent of your injuries will prove essential as your case progresses and ensure you are appropriately covered by your settlement.
  • Speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. While you are not legally required to hire a personal injury lawyer in order to file a case against another party, it is highly recommended you do so. In fact, outside of seeking medical attention, involving your attorney in your case is one of the most important steps you can take and should be done at the earliest possible time.This affords your lawyer the greatest opportunity to access necessary evidence, including eyewitness testimony, while it is still available. Your lawyer can expedite the legal process, take on the burden of the case, and ensure all steps are done legally and properly
  • Establish the details of your case. Before bringing a personal injury case against any party, you should determine from whom you will be seeking damages. This will help determine in what county you will file, as this depends on where the defendant resides, where you live, and where the incident occurred. Once again, your attorney can be a useful asset in determining these details.

What Should I Do When I’m Ready to File?

Once you’ve sought medical attention, hired a personal injury attorney, and established the details of your case, you are ready to begin a personal injury claim. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Draft a demand letter. Your attorney can help you draft a demand letter to be sent to the defendant or the appropriate insurance company. In the letter, your attorney will outline the details of the incident that occurred, demonstrate evidence for presumed fault and liability, what injuries or losses were incurred, and the amount being sought in the case for total damages.Sending a demand letter makes you the proactive party to whom the defense will be responding. This is a much more effective tactic than waiting for the other party to offer an initial settlement, as it gives your side the opportunity to establish the basis for the case.
  • Negotiate with the other party. In most cases, the demand letter will initiate the negotiation process. Negotiations can often lead to a favorable settlement, and it is in everyone’s interest to settle the case out of court, as it saves both parties from incurring expensive court fees.Despite any attempts to undervalue the claim, the other party will nevertheless be motivated to settle during this phase. However, if no agreement can be reached, your case will proceed to a formal petition for a personal injury claim.
  • File a personal injury claim. Your attorney can assist in completing the necessary documents to officially bring your personal injury case to the appropriate court. Both sides will then enter into a discovery phase, in which information and evidence are gathered together. It is likely that both sides attempt alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation, in a final attempt at coming to a settlement before the case goes to court
  • Take your case to trial. Most personal injury claims can be resolved outside of court up until this point. However, many cases still require a court case in order to reach an appropriate settlement. When defendants challenge the claims made in the case or deny responsibility for the injuries, settlement attempts will more likely fail. In the event your case goes to court, your attorney will represent you throughout the entire process.

The final step is to collect the settlement award if you and your attorney win your case. If the claim is against an insurance company, you can typically receive your award within 30 days of the verdict.

How Can I Prove Negligence in My Personal Injury Case?

In order to successfully win your case, you must be able to prove that the other party is liable for your losses. In most cases, this is done by proving negligence. Establishing fault through negligence requires substantially demonstrating the following:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care.You and your attorney must establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care in some way. Depending on the circumstances, this may be simple or challenging to demonstrate.

    For example, medical professionals show their patients a duty of care to provide accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Drivers owe others a duty of care on the road to operate their vehicles in a reasonable and safe manner and to observe all traffic laws.

  • The other party breached their duty of care.You and your attorney must establish that the defendant breached the duty of care they owed you in some way. In many cases, committing a crime or violating a law without adequate excuse is enough in itself to establish negligence. In other cases, you can establish that a duty of care was breached if the defendant failed to reasonably act in a given situation that led to your harm.
  • You experienced actual harm or loss.You and your attorney must establish that you incurred actual harm, injury, or financial loss in the incident. Representing the “personal injury” part of your case, medical records, receipts, repair estimates, and other evidence of incurred costs will demonstrate the extent to which you were harmed.
  • The defendant’s breach of duty of care directly caused your injuries.Finally, you and your attorney must establish causation in your case. This means demonstrating that the breach of duty of care directly caused the incident in which you sustained your injuries or experienced harm. Adequately proving the direct connection between the defendant’s negligence, the incident, and your subsequent injuries will be the primary arguing point throughout your case.

Demonstrating these four points can establish the defendant’s liability in your personal injury case. This presents the opportunity to hold the at-fault party financially accountable to cover the damages they owe in your case.

What Damages Can I Recover in My Personal Injury Case?

Despite the wide range of differing kinds of cases, there are certain types of damages that will generally be available to you in any personal injury case. Nevertheless, it should be noted that no two cases are exactly the same, and the details of your claim will be particular to you. Your lawyer will understand what kinds of compensation are appropriate in your unique situation. Generally, they will include some combination of the following:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages seek to restore victims back to a state of “wholeness” through financial compensation. This can be provided through cost reimbursement and redress for injuries and harm suffered. There are two types of compensatory damages:

  • Consequential damages. Some losses are more easily quantifiable in terms of their monetary value, such as medical expenses, property loss, lost wages, and the loss of earning capacity experienced as a result of the accident. Consequential damages are relatively easy to evaluate if you keep careful records of all injury-related bills.
  • General damages. Other losses are less easily quantifiable. However, the non-economic losses experienced in your case are equally recoverable and should be sought in your claim. These include any pain, suffering, discomfort, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, or loss of consortium you experienced as a result of the accident. Your attorney can help you determine the value of these non-material losses.

Punitive Damages

Sometimes, a defendant is deemed to have acted with gross negligence or blatant disregard for the lives of others or for the consequences of their actions. In these cases, a judge may opt to impose harsher penalties on the at-fault party as a means of punishing the defendant rather than in an effort to restore the victim. Punitive damages attempt to dissuade others from engaging in similar behavior.

Ascertaining exactly how much your case is worth is a challenge, but your personal injury lawyer can provide you with a reasonable estimate during your initial consultation.

Should I Accept Any Initial Settlement Offered to Me?

Following your injury, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster intent on resolving the case as soon as possible. Most people will begin accumulating medical bills, missed income, and other expenses that make accepting an initial settlement offer tempting.

However, these initial offers rarely represent a fair assessment of your losses or the full extent of what your claim is worth. For this reason, it is imperative that you begin partnering with a personal injury attorney from the beginning in order to protect yourself against attempts to undervalue your claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims?

For most personal injury claims, California has a two-year statute of limitations that begins on the date the injury-causing incident occurred. If, for some reason, the injury was not discovered until later, the victim will have at least one year from the date on which the injury could have reasonably been discovered. Claims to recover losses of property damage have a three-year statute of limitations.

Claims made against a government entity, whether for personal injury or property damage, must be filed within six months following the date of the incident. This includes claims against public transportation agencies, cities, local municipalities, or other government agencies. Working with an attorney as soon as possible is, again, highly recommended because some cases may have a very small window during which you are able to pursue a claim.

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Charge?

Nearly all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This fee structure eliminates many of the potential barriers to entry for individuals to receive qualified and highly skilled legal counsel.

The contingency fee structure means that your attorney will receive compensation for their legal services through a percentage of your net settlement amount, as opposed to billing the client directly by the hour. Most attorneys will receive about 33% of the award, though this may differ based on the experience of the attorney and the complexity of your case.

In addition to providing the lawyers with the freedom to engage in any means necessary for securing a favorable outcome, as the client will not be billed for each individual task, this fee structure can highly motivate your lawyer to secure the maximum possible settlement in your case. After all, receiving payment for your case is contingent on winning a settlement.

The team at Duque & Price can provide you with all the applicable details regarding fees and services during a free consultation. This can afford you the opportunity to find answers to questions you have regarding the case and for our lawyers to hear the details of your case and discern the extent to which they believe you are owed damages.

What Types of Personal Injury Cases Do We Represent?

San Bernardino CAR ACCIDENTS

When you are involved in an auto accident, the effects can change your life in a moment. A careless or distracted driver can cause devastating and life-altering results.

San Bernardino Drunk Driving Accidents

Despite the increase in awareness campaigns and the probability of jail or prison time, drunk drivers are frequently the cause of motor vehicle collisions in San Bernardino. If you’re hit and injured by a drunk driver, any case that you might have against them is a civil case for damages.

San Bernardino WRONGFUL DEATH

Following the death of a loved one, a wrongful death action may be the only way to obtain justice after the loss of a loved one. For many of our San Bernardino clients, their ultimate goal in pursuing a lawsuit is to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence, wrongful actions or recklessness.

San Bernardino MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

At the law offices of Duque & Price, we know that the general attitude toward bikers is unfair. As San Bernardino motorcycle accident lawyers, we know that an accident victim involving a biker does not mean that he or she is necessarily at fault.

San Bernardino TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

A commercial truck or big rig easily weighs over 75,000 pounds. These trucks, by their sheer weight and size, can be extremely difficult to manage and maneuver, presenting quite a hazard for those sharing the road with them and all too often leading to catastrophic injuries.

San Bernardino DOG BITES

Dog bites are a common problem and young children are especially prone to becoming dog bite victims. According to the American Humane Association (2014), over 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, and more than half of those are children.

San Bernardino PREMISES LIABILITY

The theory of premises liability is a legal concept in which property owners and residents are liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. The types of accidents that may result in premises liability claims can range from slip and fall injuries to an injury suffered on an amusement park ride.

San Bernardino CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS

Construction is happening at a rapid rate in San Bernardino and accidents to employees and bystanders can happen daily as a result. Construction place accidents account for thousands of workplace injuries and deaths nationwide. In a constantly growing area like San Bernardino, with construction on the freeways, new buildings and houses going up all the time, accidents occur far too often.

San Bernardino SPINAL CORD INJURY

A back or spinal cord injury can affect the rest of your life. Spinal cord injury (SCI) results from any type of trauma or injury to the nerve fibers attached to the spinal cord. Such injuries are a result of falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and other violence to the spine.

San Bernardino BURN INJURY

Burn injuries can happen quickly and they can be among the most severe an individual will suffer in his or her lifetime. Such injuries are not only extremely painful but can also require years of surgery, recovery, and convalescence. In severe burn injury cases, damaged tissue and skin can take years to heal.

San Bernardino BRAIN INJURIES

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results when the head sustains a violent blow or even a sudden jolt. Since the brain is actually floating in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) inside the skull, it is vulnerable to extreme collisions within the skull itself, such as those that occur in automobile accidents (whiplash). Have you been involved in a whiplash injury?

Your San Bernardino Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter what injuries or losses you’ve suffered, you deserve fair compensation and a just settlement award. Working with a qualified and skilled personal injury attorney is the most effective way to ensure you obtain the maximum amount to which you are entitled. The attorney team at Duque & Price can help you understand what your case is worth.

To begin the process of securing a favorable settlement outcome, contact the law office of Duque & Price. Our diligent representation can help you obtain a full recovery in your case.

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Brain Injuries

Brain Injuries

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Car Accidents

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Construction Accidents

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Dog Bites

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Motorcycle Accidents

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