California Personal Injury Attorneys
Dependable Brain Injury & Auto Accident Lawyers
People who sustain injuries in an accident caused by another person or company’s negligence may have legal recourse to pursue damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims often stem from things like car crashes, Uber accidents, truck crashes, and crashes caused primarily by a defect of the vehicle, known as product liability cases.
Injured victims (in litigation, referred to as Plaintiffs) can recover damages for medical bills, lost wages or income, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical disability, severe emotional distress, and pain and suffering. If a defendant’s actions were with reckless disregard of the safety of other, much less malicious, an injured person may be awarded punitive damages. Total compensation for a personal injury case can potentially be in the millions.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your accident and build a strong case to maximize your compensation. The injury attorneys at Wisner Baum have decades of experience holding defendants accountable for causing preventable accidents. With over $4 billion recovered on behalf of our clients across a wide variety of practice areas, we know what it takes to win your case and obtain justice for you and your family.
How Much is My Injury Case Worth?
This may not be the first question clients ask when they inquire about filing an injury claim, but it usually comes up during the initial consultation. And for good reason—people need to know what they can expect by retaining a lawyer to pursue justice for them in an injury claim.
The value of your case will be determined by (among other things):
- The circumstances surrounding the crash that injured you, especially the conduct of the person or persons responsible.
- The severity of your injuries.
- The insurance policy limits for all responsible persons and entities.
- Where the crash occurred and where you live, as the law is often different state to state.
While these determining factors may not immediately spell out a dollar amount, they do give us a starting point for estimating damages, which dictate the available compensation in your injury case.
Compensation in a Personal Injury Case
The amount of compensation a person can receive in an injury case depends largely on the severity and extent of their injuries. For example, a person in a car crash who sustains whiplash that resolves after several months would have fewer claims for damages than someone who is paralyzed. Damages can be economic (money you are forced to spend on medical care after an accident, past and future, lost income and earning capacity, for instance) or non-economic (compensation for the impact the injuries have had, and will have, on your life). Common damages in a personal injury case can include:
Past and future medical bills – You have probably already paid or are in the process of paying for your medical care following an accident. In a personal injury lawsuit, medical bills are considered economic damages because they are an expense that you would not have had to pay if you were not injured. In some cases, you may be able to seek damages for future medical bills, as many accident victims will continue to seek care for their injuries in the weeks, months, and in some cases, years after an accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you gather the necessary documentation to demonstrate that more medical expenditures are expected in time. The medical bills you have incurred and might incur in the future can be an important factor in determining the value of your case.
Lost wages for missing work after an accident – Lost wages include all money that you would have earned if you would not have been injured. This includes your hourly rate of pay or salary, but may also include applicable overtime pay, sales commissions, bonuses, paid time off, and other benefits.
Lost earning capacity – This arises when injuries are so severe that the victim becomes disabled or cannot engage in their work as they did before they were injured. For example, a victim who works construction severely injures their neck or back, forcing them to find a new, perhaps lower-paying, job because they cannot perform the tasks of the construction job. Proving lost earning capacity can be difficult, so working with an injury lawyer with experience retaining medical and occupational experts will be key to building a strong case. Not all states allow plaintiffs to sue for lost earning capacity.
Loss of consortium – This is when a person who was injured cannot give a spouse or close family member the same love, affection, services, and companionship they provided before an accident. A plaintiff that has lost the consortium of their wife or husband or domestic partner may be eligible to pursue damages as determined by a jury. While there is no standard for damages for loss of consortium, generally, the more severe and long-lasting the injury, the larger the award. Not all states allow victims to sue for loss of consortium.
Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering damages are for physical pain, mental and emotional distress and anguish, and suffering that you endure because of your injuries. An example of pain and suffering would be a person who sustains a painful face laceration as a result of an accident that leaves them permanently disfigured. This person may be eligible to recover damages not only for the pain, but also for the disfigurement and the suffering that can continue into the future. The pain and suffering type injuries to the immediate victim of the crash, and loss of consortium that a loved one, such as a spouse, are both considered non-economic damages in that they are not based on economic losses, like medical bills and lost earnings. Also, both are intended to compensate injured victims with losses, like psychological trauma associated, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life caused by the crash. To receive an award for pain and suffering, the victim and his or her personal injury lawyer will need to collect as much evidence as possible documenting the impact the crash had on their life.
Punitive damages – These are damages designed to punish the defendant and serve as a deterrent to others that may engage in similar wrongful or dangerous behavior. Punitive damages can be substantial if an injury attorney proves that a defendant’s behavior was recklessly indifferent to human life or safety, or malicious. In 2019, our firm won a jury verdict that included $2 billion for punitive damages. While the verdict was later reduced, it sent a strong message to the defendant and helped pave the way for settlement agreements worth billions for thousands of plaintiffs with the same injury.
What is a Personal Injury?
The legal definition of personal injury is an injury to a person’s body, mind, or emotions. While personal injury cases generally involve catastrophic injuries caused by physical trauma that are painful, disabling or disfiguring in nature, others involve defective products that leave plaintiffs with injuries like cancer or neurodevelopmental disorders.
The most common personal injury cases our lawyers work on include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Burn injury
- Crushing injuries
A personal injury can be whiplash (which can range from mild to severe) from a car crash or it can be severe and cause lifelong painful, emotional, physical, and financial problems. Even injuries that do not appear life-altering at the time of an crash can force a person to leave the workforce or require specialized care for a long period of time. Others who suffer amputation or paralysis, or other permanent physical disabilities, may require lifelong care. Any of these situations can cause financial distress, especially when coupled with the high medical costs associated with lengthy treatment.
Personal Injury Claims We Handle
The accident lawyers at Wisner Baum have decades of experience holding negligent companies accountable in personal injury cases. Since 1973, our attorneys have recovered billions for victims injured in the following types of cases:
- Bicycle Accident
- Boating Accident
- Bus Accident
- Car Accident
- Consumer Product Liability
- Helicopter Crash
- Medical Device Product Liability
- Military Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Pharmaceutical Product Liability
- Plane Crash
- Train Accident
- Truck Accident
Some of our noteworthy personal injury settlements and verdicts include:
- $2 billion jury verdict won for a California couple in consumer product liability case.
- $105 million settlement reached for a multi-client pharmaceutical injury case.
- $17.5 million settlement reached for the wrongful death of a passenger in a major US aviation accident.
- $15 million settlement reached for a fatal accident involving a major truck company.
- $12 million settlement for a passenger injured in a helicopter crash.
- $10 million settlement for a school bus crash.
- $8.5 million verdict in a truck accident trial.
- Hundreds of verdicts and settlements worth $1 million or more.