How To Help Your Personal Injury Lawyer Win Your Case

personal injury

Were you injured in Glendale in an accident involving another person’s negligence? This article describes how a personal injury attorney could help your case, including potentially receiving compensation for your injuries. If you have additional questions, our Glendale personal injury lawyers can help today.

They Can Educate You About Your Rights

If you are like many personal injury victims, you may have more legal rights after an accident than you think. You should not rely on the other party’s insurance company to tell you the damages you could be entitled to. For example, in California, you could still be entitled to damages in a car accident if you were partially at fault. Your attorney at Ourfalian & Ourfalian will detail your rights and how they could affect a claim or lawsuit.

They Can Hire Expert Witnesses To Prove Liability

In some personal injury claims – auto accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability – expert witness testimony could be essential to prove liability. Experienced Glendale personal injury attorneys have established relationships with many professional expert witnesses who can help at both the settlement table and in court. They will hire an expert witness to provide convincing testimony about your case when needed.

They Can Investigate The Claim

In the initial consultation, the attorney will listen to your version of events and ask questions about the accident. They will investigate the claim and search for evidence to prove liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the evidence to search for and what is admissible in court.

For instance, a police report is often inadmissible, but any social media posts you make about the accident could be. Your attorney knows the details of the California Evidence Code, so they know what can prove and hurt your case.

They Will Negotiate With The Insurance Company

One of the ways that personal injury victims lose claims is by not hiring an attorney and settling for too little. Remember, insurance adjusters are trained, professional negotiators who aim to get injured parties to settle for as little as possible.

An experienced Glendale personal injury attorney will take charge of insurance negotiations and ensure you get what you deserve.

They Can Represent You In Court

Many accident claims are settled out of court; neither side usually wants to go through the time, expense, and uncertainty of a trial by jury. However, the insurance company sometimes will not offer enough money for someone’s injuries. In that case, a trial could be inevitable.

Most injured parties should not go to court against an insurance company if they do not have an attorney. Your lawyer has years of trial experience and can represent your rights vigorously, arguing passionately for your case before a jury of your peers.

They Will Work Within The California Statute Of Limitations

All states limit how long you have to file a claim in court after you suffer a personal injury. This is called a statute of limitations, and there are various deadlines depending on the type of claim.

In California, you have only two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, the clock starts when the accident happened. Your attorney will know the statute of limitations and ensure that all legal documents are filed promptly.

However, note that the statute of limitations only applies to court cases. Most injured parties initiate an insurance claim within a few days or weeks of the accident. But you should always remember the two-year statute of limitations to have plenty of time to sue.

They Will Draft Legal Documents On Your Behalf

You require a well-written settlement agreement if the claim is settled outside of court. A formal complaint and possibly motions must be filed if the case goes to trial. Just one wrong word or misunderstanding of California law can negatively impact your claim, so your attorney’s job here is of paramount importance.

Will Comparative Negligence Rules Affect Your Claim?

California courts must follow the state’s laws on comparative negligence when the case goes to trial. However, things can go differently when you deal with an insurance company during negotiations. It is not unusual for insurance adjusters to attempt to use the comparative negligence rule against you during settlement talks. But your attorney will fight vigorously to prove the other party was negligent. Thus, this is another strong reason to have an experienced litigator representing you.

Caps On California Personal Injury Claims

California does not have a universal cap on the damages you can receive in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some specific situations where limits are in place that your attorney is aware of.

For example, California law does not allow most uninsured drivers to receive non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) after an auto accident. This is true even if the other driver was 100% at fault.

Also, there are limits on damages in certain medical malpractice cases. The law sets a $350,000 cap for non-economic damages in most of these lawsuits, but the cap increases annually.

Large Claims Require An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

The bigger the accident and injuries, the more the at-fault party and their insurance company will contest it. California has comparative fault laws, so the defendant will attempt to blame you as much as they can.

When so much is at stake, you should have an attorney representing you in negotiations or in court. Most personal injury attorneys are paid a contingency fee, so they will only take your case if they are confident they can win. So, it is to your benefit to have an attorney review your case. If your case is weak, they will let you know. But if there is strong evidence another party is liable, you could be entitled to compensation.

Speak To Our Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Being injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence is upsetting, but you have legal options. If negligence can be proven, you could be eligible for compensation in a lawsuit, and a skilled personal injury attorney can be an invaluable resource. Please contact our Glendale personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550-7777.

How To Recognize Symptoms Of A Brain Injury

brain injury

One of the most severe injuries in an accident is a traumatic brain injury or TBI. If this injury is not taken seriously, it can lead to severe injury or even death. Learn how to recognize symptoms of a brain injury below. In addition, if you or a loved one was hurt in a recent accident, our Glendale personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can review your case and offer legal assistance.

What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury usually occurs when the head receives a violent blow or is suddenly jolted in an accident. Also, an object penetrating the skull and brain can cause a brain injury.

A mild brain injury can affect the brain tissue temporarily, while a more severe brain injury can cause long-term or permanent damage. In either case, it is essential to have immediate medical evaluation and treatment to improve the outcome.

Who Gets Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Anyone can have a brain injury, but statistics show that 80% of the injuries involve men. Those over 65 also are more likely to have brain injuries because they are more likely to lose their balance and fall. However, even babies can have brain injuries from falls or even abuse. Those involved in certain activities and professions also have a greater risk of TBIs, including athletes, members of the military, law enforcement, and construction workers.

Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of a brain injury depend on how severe it is. The most obvious sign of a serious brain injury is a loss of consciousness from the impact or blow to the head. Others may feel dazed for several minutes or dizzy.

Those with a mild brain injury may notice various symptoms, most of which happen immediately after the injury or within a few hours or days. Common signs of a brain injury are:

  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to smell and light
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision or dilated pupils
  • Agitation or restlessness

If you suspect you or a loved one has a brain injury, immediate medical treatment is necessary. Go to the ER right away for a medical evaluation. Delays in treatment can lead to more severe injury or even death.

Top Causes Of Brain Injuries

Falls cause about 50% of all ER visits for brain injuries. People over 65 and under 17 comprise most of the fall-related brain injuries. Other causes of brain injuries are:

  • Car accidents
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Domestic violence and assault
  • Sports, military, and work injuries

How Is A Head Injury Diagnosed?

A complete medical examination and diagnostic tests can only determine the full extent of the head injury. During the examination, your doctor will obtain your medical history and inquire how the injury happened. Some of the tests that may be used to arrive at a diagnosis are:

  • X-rays: Uses electromagnetic energy to produce images of organs, bones, and tissues onto film.
  • CT scan: Uses X-rays and computers to produce detailed images of the body, including the head and brain. These images are more detailed than X-rays.
  • EEG: Records the electrical activity of the brain with electrodes that are attached to your scalp.
  • MRI: A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses radiofrequency, large magnets, and computers to obtain high-resolution images of the brain and body.

Why File A Lawsuit For A Brain Injury?

If you were injured in an accident in Glendale because of someone’s negligence, you should talk to a personal injury attorney. This is especially critical if you have a serious head injury. Many serious brain injuries require months or years of care and rehabilitation.

Few people have the financial resources to afford this type of care and rely on receiving compensation in a personal injury lawsuit to get the care needed. Many brain injury claims settle for over $100,000, and some settle for $1 million or more, but your case result could be more or less than these amounts.

Your Glendale personal injury attorney will evaluate the accident and determine if another party is responsible. If they accept your case and are successful, you could receive compensation for the following:

Medical Expenses

Medical care for brain injuries is expensive, with many patients needing ongoing care, tests, surgery, medication, imaging scans, and more. Your attorney will use your medical bills and records to obtain a settlement that accounts for your medical needs, now and in the future.

Decreased Ability To Earn A Living

A severe brain injury can make it difficult or impossible to earn a living. So how will you provide for your family and keep a roof over your head? Compensation for decreased earning ability can replace lost income for years as you recover.

Property Damage

If you had a brain injury in a car accident, your vehicle could be seriously damaged or totaled. You may be entitled to receive compensation to repair your vehicle or purchase a new one.

Pain And Suffering

Many brain injury victims suffer serious headaches and pain for the rest of their lives. No matter your pain level, you should be compensated for your discomfort after a brain injury. Talk to your attorney and doctor about your pain so that you can receive adequate compensation for your pain.

Reduced Quality Of Life

Many people with a brain injury have a reduced quality of life. If your injury prevents you from doing things you enjoy, you could be entitled to additional compensation.

Mental Distress

Research on brain injuries shows a link between mental health problems and brain trauma. Your Glendale personal injury attorney can ask for these damages if you were diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder after your brain injury. The money you receive can assist you with getting more treatment and dealing with the psychological aspects of your injury.

Speak to Our Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation if another party was responsible. Contact our Glendale personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550-7777 to determine if you have a case.

What Are the Most Common Serious Injuries In Car Accidents?

car accidents

A car accident is always stressful and upsetting, but sometimes, there are serious injuries that can turn your life upside down. If someone hits you and you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Some of the most serious auto accident injuries are described below. If you need legal assistance after an accident, please contact the Glendale personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries are often challenging to diagnose. Any impact to the head in a crash can be life-altering and even fatal. Because passengers and drivers are usually not ready for a crash, it is difficult to protect your head in a split second.

A mild TBI may cause headaches, dizziness, slurred speech, etc. traumatic head injury can cause long-term cognitive and motor problems. If you injure your head in an accident, you may need hundreds of thousands in compensation. A Glendale personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Internal Bleeding

Lacerations and bruising are relatively easy to see after an accident. However, internal bleeding can be challenging to detect. If you think you are ‘fine, you may have a life-threatening internal injury.

Internal bleeding may start slowly after a severe accident. You might not notice anything until it is too late. Internal bleeding after car accidents often occurs in the spleen, liver, pancreas, and intestines. You need to have this type of injury addressed immediately or your life could be a risk.

Broken Bones

Broken arms, legs, hips, ribs, hands, and feet are common car accident injuries. Fortunately, many broken bones heal well after a car accident. But some can take months to recover, such as with a fractured hip.

Broken bones are easy to prove, so your attorney may have an easier time with this injury to compensate you for your losses.


Serious burns are another common car accident injury that can change or even threaten your life. Third and fourth-degree burns may happen if there is a car fire. These are burns deep enough to damage bones and muscles. Even a first-degree burn can be fatal if it affects more than 50% of your body.

Spinal Cord Injury

A severe, sudden impact can cause significant damage to the spine and nerves. The resulting injuries are some of the most severe auto accident injuries. In addition, damage to the spinal cord may lead to partial or complete paralysis. If you are paralyzed, you will need costly life-long medical care.

Some estimate lifetime care expenses for spinal cord injury victims are millions of dollars. If you have a spinal cord injury, you should work with the best personal injury attorney in southern California you can find. They will work to obtain every dime they can for your needs, pain, and suffering.

Loss Of Limb

Some car accident victims lose an arm, leg, or hand during the collision. Others lose limbs during medical procedures related to an auto accident. For example, your leg could be crushed in a crash. The surgeon will try to save the limb, but amputation may be the only option if they cannot.

How Much Compensation Can You Get?

When you have a severe car accident injury, a common question is how much money you can get for it in a claim or lawsuit. This depends on many factors, for example:

Whether You Were At Fault

California has a comparative negligence system for determining fault. This means your compensation is reduced according to your level of responsibility. For example, if you have $100,000 in losses for your broken hip and leg and were 10% responsible, your award is reduced by $10,000.

Your attorney will try to prove the other party was at fault as much as possible. However, if you were partially to blame, you would receive less compensation. If you were mostly at fault for the crash, your attorney will probably tell you there is no case.

How Strong The Case Is

It is not enough to say the other driver caused the accident. To receive compensation, you need to prove it. Your attorney’s job is to gather evidence to prove the driver’s liability.

Whether You Settle Or Go To Court

The choice of whether to settle or file a lawsuit or not is one of your most important decisions. Most car accident cases end in a settlement because it is advantageous for both sides to avoid a lawsuit.

However, if you take a settlement, you agree to take less money than you could receive in a lawsuit. While you could get more money in court, nothing is certain, and lawsuits take months or even years.

Most injured parties settle to avoid legal expenses and long court battles. But if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your attorney may recommend going to court.

Your attorney will lay out the advantages and disadvantages of going to court or settling. In the end, it is up to you, though.

California Has A Two-Year Statute Of Limitations

As you decide on legal steps after an accident, remember that California has a two-year statute of limitations. This means you have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit from the accident date. Therefore, you should contact a Glendale personal injury attorney as soon as possible, so there is plenty of time to build a case.

Contact Glendale Personal Injury Lawyers

Most people need to drive to live their lives in Glendale. Whether you are at Brand Park, Glendale, Galleria, or The Americana At Brand, a car accident can happen at any time. You may be entitled to compensation when it does, and someone else caused it.

Glendale personal injury lawyers Ourfalian & Ourfalian have the experience and skill to safeguard your rights after a car accident. Our attorneys handle cases in Encino, Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, El Monte, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Van Nuys, and other communities in Southern California and the San Fernando Valley. Please contact our attorneys for a complimentary consultation at: (818) 550-7777.

Are There Limits To Personal Injury Awards In California?

personal injury

People injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your case is successful, you could be compensated for your medical bills, property damage, loss of earnings & loss of future earnings capacity, and pain and suffering.

While California does not have limits, there are exceptions and pending legislative changes to be aware of. Learn more about limits to California personal injury awards and related information. Contact Encino personal injury lawyers Ourfalian & Ourfalian if you have questions.

The Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages

In a lawsuit, damages are what you allege you suffered because of the other person’s recklessness or negligence. Economic damages refer to the compensation you may receive for:

  • Medical bills
  • Medical co-pays
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medication costs
  • Car repair or replacement
  • Rental Expenses
  • Loss of Earnings
  • Other related expenses

These are considered economic damages because you had to pay out of your pocket for them. The idea behind a claim or lawsuit is to recover these expenses. These damages are generally easier to obtain in a claim than non-economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated by adding up medical bills and other hard, countable expenses.

The court may also award non-economic damages, but they have no objective value. For example, the jury cannot review the objective costs of the pain and suffering from your injury, but they can assign a value and award that to you.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula to decide how much pain and suffering damages should be. Some insurance companies assign a number between 1-5 to a victim’s pain and suffering and multiply that figure by the person’s economic damages. Your attorney will review past pain and suffering awards in the area to estimate what your case could be worth.

What Is a Damage Cap?

A damage cap limits the compensation you can receive in a lawsuit. In cases where a cap is in place, it always involves only non-economic damages (pain and suffering).

Medical Malpractice Damage Cap

California has no limits on economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. However, California has put a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap is $250,000, so the jury cannot award more than that. In 2023, Governor Gavin Newsome signed Assembly Bill 35 (see below).

The $250,000 limit on non-economic damages for medical malpractice has been controversial because of the following factors:

  • There is no adjustment for inflation. One estimate found the $250,000 limit put in place in 1975 would be $1.3 million if adjusted for inflation
  • The $250,000 is lower than most states that have passed a similar cap
  • The damage cap was put in place because of tort reform effects by doctors and insurance companies
  • The cap prevents some medical malpractice victims from getting their deserved compensation
    They also cannot provide compensation above $250,000 for any other non-economic damages, such as:
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of intimacy (loss of consortium)
  • Emotional pain for disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life because of a disability

The jury can award punitive non-economic damages if the defendant was especially reckless or engaged in intentionally harmful and dangerous conduct. However, punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases in California.

In one case, there is a cap on damages for convicted felons in California. The convicted criminal cannot recover financial damages for injuries they incurred in the commission of their crime. A common situation is a driver arrested for DUI after hitting another vehicle. The DUI suspect may be injured but they cannot sue for damages.

Governor Newsome Signs AB 35

The passage of AB 35 in 2022 will bring changes to the compensation of victims for certain personal injury cases. The limit for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases has been only $250,000 since 1975. The following changes will be enacted on Jan. 1, 2023:

Increases in the non-economic damages cap for personal injury cases, including medical malpractice. The new amount will be $350,000 for 2023 and will increase by $40,000 annually for 10 years. The amount will increase by 2% per year after 10 years.

Increases in the non-economic damages cap for wrongful death lawsuits. The amount will be $500,000 in 2023 and will be increased $50,000 per year for 10 years. The amount will increase 2% per year after 10 years.

The possibility of the cap to be stacked up to three times if there was negligence by healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, or separate negligence of facilities or providers at separate institutions.

For example, a medical malpractice victim could theoretically receive $350,000 stacked three times in 2023 and beyond, which would be $1,050,000. This significant increase would provide improved compensation for personal injury victims.

The noneconomic damages cap also will go up every year. Notably, the year the claim is resolved will determine the cap, not when the victim reports the claim. This is a critical difference in medical malpractice cases because they tend to be complex and take years to resolve.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in California remains at two years. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident, it is vital to speak with an Encino personal injury attorney as soon as you can. It may take months to build a strong case that results in compensation.

Contact Encino Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you were injured recently in an accident, you are likely facing a pile of intimidating medical bills, thousands in lost earnings, and an uncertain future. How will you pay for your recovery and the rest of your monthly bills?

Encino personal injury attorneys Ourfalian & Ourfalian have 35 years of experience representing people who were hurt in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

Ourfalian & Ourfalian represent injured clients in Encino, Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, El Monte, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Van Nuys, and the rest of Southern California and the San Fernando Valley. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation at: (818) 550-7777.

Why You Should Never Settle a Personal Injury Claim Without an Attorney

personal injury

It is human nature to seek a quick fix and move on as fast as possible when we get injured. This is part of our fight or flight response, and it can last longer than the few minutes following a car wreck or embarrassing slip and fall. Additionally, you have medical bills to pay now, and the bill collectors do not care that you are injured and out of work. For these reasons, insurance companies will often try to settle a personal injury claim quickly, before you have a chance to hire an attorney. But beware: this settlement offer is far lower than what you are owed.

That Quick Settlement Offer is Worth Much Less Than Your Damages

California has the highest hospital costs in the country, according to The average daily cost for hospital care in California is $3,726. If you have to stay overnight, the cost quadruples to a national average of $12,600. And, of course, if you have to undergo complicated surgery or stay in an Intensive Care Unit, the cost is even greater. As you can see, even a few days in the hospital can easily amount to between $50,000 and $100,000 in medical bills, depending on what you are treated for.

Pain and suffering (often the largest damage in a personal injury claim) is calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. This “multiplier method” multiplies your medical damages by a number between 1 and 5 (with 5 being the most severe injuries) to calculate your pain and suffering.

As such, your pain and suffering damages for an injury that costs $50,000 in medical bills could well be two or three times greater ($100,00 to $150,000 in pain and suffering alone). In addition to pain and suffering, you must also take into account your lost wages, lost earning ability, property damage, emotional distress, and other damages. You will never be offered this type of fair compensation by an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in Encino and Why You Need a Lawyer For Each

  • Traffic Collisions—Tens of thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are injured in traffic collisions each year. For some age groups, driving is the most likely way in which an individual will die. The at-fault party’s insurance company will use every trick in the book to devalue your claim. This can include blaming you for causing the crash, attempting to poke holes in your story, and claiming that your injuries are less substantial than they really are. The average disabling traffic crash has an economic cost of over $100,000, according to the National Safety Council, which does not take into account non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering.
  • Premises Liability Claims—All businesses and property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for all invitees (people who are allowed on the property legally). Slip and falls and trip and falls are the leading cause of premises liability claims. Other types of liability claims include dog attacks, negligent security (specifically for a bar, nightclub, or parking lot/parking structure), and swimming pool injuries and drownings. It is impossible to receive fair compensation for your damages in a premises liability claim if you do not work with an attorney. For example, an attorney will instruct you to keep the shoes you were wearing at the time of your slip and fall as evidence, they will procure video surveillance footage of the incident, and an attorney will pour through the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
  • Product Liability—Manufacturers, designers, distributors, and other companies can be held liable for dangerous or defective products that lead to a consumer’s injury or death. The easiest way for a company to get out of trouble when it comes to a product liability claim is to argue that the consumer was using the product improperly, or that they did not adhere to the safety warnings on the package or label. An attorney can help disprove these claims to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Medical Malpractice—Physicians and hospitals must meet a specific standard of care when it comes to treating injuries and illnesses, as well as diagnosing said injuries and illnesses. A diagnostic error can lead to late-stage cancer that would have otherwise been easily treatable. A surgical error can lead to prolonged suffering and pain. A birth error may cause permanent disability for a child. These medical mistakes are always fervently denied by the hospital or physician clinic. And, with such large insurance policies at stake, the insurer will do everything in their power to minimize your personal injury claim.
  • Wrongful Death Claims—Tragically, insurance companies will use all of the above-mentioned tactics to deny or reduce liability in wrongful death claims. It does not matter to them that your loved one perished because of a careless driver, negligent property owner, corner-cutting manufacturer, or unskilled doctor. As the deceased victim’s surviving spouse, child, or parent, you need to work with an attorney to be taken seriously.

Call an Encino Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were recently sent an offer to settle, do not take it. In fact, do not even discuss your injuries or your case with the insurance company or the at-fault party because anything you tell them can be used against you to devalue your claim. An attorney will help you gather evidence, determine the at-fault party’s policy limits, and negotiate a fair settlement.

If such an agreement cannot be reached, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will try the lawsuit in court so that you get the compensation you deserve. Remember, you have options, and you do not have to take a settlement before you discuss the matter with one of our Encino personal injury lawyers. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.

How Is The Amount Of A Personal Injury Award Determined?

personal injury

The world of personal injury can be a confusing place, fraught with misinformation and false guidance. Falling at the local Home Depot, for example, may not “entitle” you to millions in compensation. Similarly, experiencing a poor outcome from a medical procedure is not always a clear case of medical malpractice.

When and how a personal injury verdict is awarded takes a high level of knowledge, including both past precedence and current law. Knowing how much to award a victim can be even more confusing. While there may be guidelines set forth for injury awards, such amounts can vary substantially based on numerous factors. The type of injury, how it occurred, whether it will completely heal and more are all factored into the decision of an award.

When negligence is a factor that causes an injury event to take place, it may be possible for victims to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Securing the most compensation from a claim is critical. In California, the Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can assist you with your California personal injury claim. Even though most personal injury claims settle outside of court, the talented California personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian will be prepared to see your case through to the end and be ready to litigate should you end up in front of a judge and jury.

The Keys For Personal Injury Award Decisions

There are multiple types of damages that may be awarded. For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on compensatory damages. These are damages that may be awarded to the plaintiff in order to make them “whole.” Put simply, compensatory damages are provided to make it as if the injury never occurred.

There is no set formula for how a jury may award damages. In order to make the plaintiff whole again, the jury may need to award both past, present, and future damages. These damages may include hospital and treatment bills, lost wages if unable to work and even future wages if going back to work may take time if it happens at all. The specific facts of each case will be considered and are part of the decision-making process.

Two Types Of Compensatory Damages

There are two different types of compensatory damages that may be awarded. There are “general damages” as well as “special damages.” The general damages pertain to the non-economic part of the case. These damages may be viewed as pain and suffering damages.

Special damages, on the other hand, take into account all of the necessary economic factors. These factors may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, Rental expenses, and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the injury.

Medical expenses can become quite expensive. Special damages include medical costs both for the past as well as the future. This means that medical expenses could include costs for both emergency room visits as well as ongoing physical therapy. Whatever the treatments may be, the injured must show them to be necessary due to the injury and reasonable in regards to their expense. Claiming $250,000 in medical costs for a splinter, for example, is not likely going to be considered reasonable.

To recover for future medical expenses, the injured must show that they are reasonably priced, reasonably needed, and reasonably certain to be needed in the future. Medical expert testimony will be necessary to award future expenses.

The awarding of general damages may depend on several factors. General damages are awarded for the non-economic part of the case and are calculated by human judgment. These damages can be awarded for such issues as:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Quality of Life
  • Permanent Disability or Impairment
  • Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement
  • Mental Anguish

How much is awarded is based on the facts of the case, with every case being different. Jurors are instructed by the courts in California to use their judgment to determine a reasonable amount based on the case evidence and using their common sense. Needless to say, this may leave a lot of wiggle room.

If the defendant in the case has paid out for similar injuries before, they may not be taking the issue seriously. Multiple injuries sustained due to defendant negligence may be awarded larger sums as a means of punishing the defendant. A defendant with no history of being at fault for an injury may be required to pay a smaller amount as they have not made it a habit. (In CA punitive damages are not awarded for personal injury cases as insinuated herein)

A plaintiff that is scarred may be awarded based on the size and specifics of the scarring. Total scarring of the face, for example, may cause more emotional distress to the injured compared to a scar on the bottom of the foot.

Putting a fair and reasonable value to a victim’s personal injury claim is not always an easy task. But it is critical to ensure that a victim does not accept a settlement that is far below the damages they suffered. To increase the potential that the highest amount of compensation is agreed to, working with an attorney is advantageous. The legal team at Ourfalian & Ourfalian has more than 35 years of successfully representing victims of injury accidents and fighting to protect their rights and get the compensation they deserve.

The Bottom Line

When considering the potential awards for an injury, there are many factors that are taken into account. The key to obtaining a larger award may be in knowing all of the factors involved and how to demonstrate them to a jury.

If you have been injured and are seeking compensation, you are best off consulting with an experienced California personal injury attorney licensed in the State of California. The right attorney can make all of the difference, potentially assisting you in winning very large sums of money for your suffering.