Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may have a claim for personal injury. Whenever you have suffered harm due to another person’s fault, you have the right to just compensation from that person or their insurance company.
Legally Queer is an LGBTQ+-friendly plaintiff’s law firm, here to help you get the justice you need and the compensation you deserve after a personal injury. No matter what type of injury you have suffered, we are here to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.
Negligence, Liability, and Damages
A personal injury case involves negligence. Negligence means the other party had a responsibility (or “duty”) to behave in a certain way, and failed to do so, causing you injury.
When someone behaves negligently, they become liable for any harm they cause. Liability is a legal way of saying they are at fault and can be required to pay for the injury, either with their own money, or with insurance.
Damages refers to the monetary compensation you may recover following an accident. When your attorney talks about “damages,” they don’t mean the damage to you or your property. An injury is what you suffer; damages are what you recover.
In California, you are allowed to recover three types of damages.
- Economic damages refers to the monetary costs of an injury. Medical bills, including rehabilitation, lost wages, future care, and other billing costs, are part of your economic damages.
- Non-economic damages are those less easily quantified but just as traumatic. These include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, post-traumatic issues, and loss of consortium.
- In especially egregious cases, the judge has the discretion to award punitive damages. These are not part of a claim but may be awarded where the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or outrageous.
Personal Injury Practice Areas
Most people think of car accidents or slip-and-fall injuries when they refer to “personal injury” cases. At Legally Queer, we can help you with those types of cases. But there are many other injuries that fall into the personal injury attorney’s area of expertise. We can help you with claims in any of these areas:
- Automobile Accidents. Los Angeles freeways are famous for traffic and accidents. Injury claims may involve multiple drivers, commercial vehicles, or even CalTrans. Having an attorney is critical for negotiating these complex claims.
- Bar/Night Club Injuries. Whether it was an overenthusiastic bouncer or an overserved patron, bars and nightclubs are responsible for injuries inflicted by people under their roof. Premises liability is a separate claim, when the property itself is dangerous.
- Bicycle Accidents. Everyone likes clean transportation. Unfortunately, bicycles share the roads with drivers who aren’t paying attention, on lanes that aren’t as wide as they should be. Like car accidents, bike accidents may involve multiple parties and competing claims.
- Brain Injury. Among the most devastating of injuries, brain injuries range from concussion to major head trauma. Effects of brain injury may not appear for days or weeks after the accident. You need someone on your side who can help you get compensation for these subtle and lasting injuries.
- Catastrophic Injuries. Life-altering injuries are things nobody wants to think about. Major accidents can leave you or loved ones in bed or in a wheelchair for life. Long-term costs of these injuries require additional payments from insurers and responsible parties.
- Dog Bite Injuries. Careless people raise unpredictable dogs. When one of those dogs bites, the owner should be held liable for the pain and suffering their pet causes others.
- Elder Abuse. When we put our aged relatives in the care of others, we expect them to be treated properly. If they are not, both the caregivers and the facility or agency who hired them are liable for the harm done.
- Electric Scooter Accidents. Bird and Lime have become as common as ridesharing around the city, and people depend on the scooters for quick transportation. However, if one of them causes an accident, the company and the rental agency could be liable for your injuries.
- HIV Drug Lawsuit. Whether you have an individual case or need to join a class-action or a mass tort, you need legal advice before filing a claim against a major drug manufacturer. Check in with Legally Queer if you think you’ve got a medical claim for an HIV drug injury.
- Pedestrian Accidents. Jaywalking may be legal in California (as of January 1, 2023), but that doesn’t make it safe. Pedestrian injuries after car accidents are always serious. If you’ve been hit by a vehicle, you need legal advice right after you see a doctor.
- Premises Liability. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors and residents. If unsafe conditions lead to injury, the property owner can be held liable for the harm done to you.
- Slip and Fall Accidents. Whether it is a workplace accident, a fall on the stairs, or a slippery floor in a shop, slip and fall accidents are no laughing matter. Injuries can range from minor to fatal. You deserve compensation for any type of fall regardless of the cause.
- Toxic Mold Cases. Black mold is the most famous toxic mold, but there are more than a dozen types of toxic spores that can be found in walls and beneath houses. Symptoms depend on the type of mold, but all require extensive remediation. You should not have to suffer because a landlord refuses to admit to the problem.
- Wrongful Death. A death caused by the negligent actions of another is said to be a wrongful death according to California law. If you believe a loved one has died because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may have a case for wrongful death.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Many personal injury cases seem simple. Fill out the forms, attach the bills, and wait for the insurance company to pay you. However, it isn’t that easy. Insurance industry statistics show that most rejected claims are sent back for simple paperwork errors, such as improperly completed forms or missing supportive documents.
Having an attorney check your claim before sending it in can help you avoid costly litigation. Your attorney will review the claim, ensure you have all the documents the insurer wants, and help get additional police and medical reports if necessary.
Deadlines and Limitations
Another reason claims get denied is missed deadlines. Insurance companies have strict requirements for when forms must be sent in. These deadlines vary by agency but can be as soon as 30 days after the accident. Once a claim has been filed, other deadlines come into play.
In California, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for a personal injury case is two years from the date of the accident, not the date of the claim denial. This means that if you were arguing with the insurer over the claim, the statute could slip past while waiting for them to get back to you.
There are exceptions to the statute, but the best way to avoid the cutoff is to have an attorney who knows when it is time to file.
Getting Help from Legally Queer
If you’ve been injured in any type of accident and believe it was due to another person’s negligence, you need to discuss your rights and options with a knowledgeable LGBTQ+-friendly attorney.
Legally Queer is here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our goal is bringing zealous legal representation to the LGBTQ+ community, and helping you recover from your injuries and pain and suffering.