Suzanne: I've been doing personal injury work for about 20 years. I represent plaintiffs exclusively and think one of the most critical things in this area of the law is listening to the injured party. Often, people going through the personal injury or wrongful death process come to us because they need someone to hear their story and help them understand how they can get the most out of their situation. The best way to do that is to listen to them, know where they are coming from, and identify how the injury has affected them.
Russell: I've been practicing personal injury law for over 35 years. Our firm specializes in personal injury cases, including everything from car accidents to dog bites, premises liability cases, slip and falls, trip and falls, and wrongful death cases. Personal injury is a subset of tort law. Tort law can include many other damage claims, such as those for property damage, employment discrimination, or damage to other rights, such as privacy or reputation. Since we limit our cases to bodily injury cases, we know what kind of damages to look for and how to calculate them.
What Do You Want Readers To Gain From Reading Your Book?
We want our injured clients and readers to understand what's necessary to prove each of the elements of damages. Our clients need to know how they can help us build their cases. Hopefully, this book will show them the types of documentation they need to gather and the witnesses who can help them. With that information in hand, we will be able to assist them effectively. Clients come to see us because they want us to maximize their recoveries. That means getting them the most dollars possible for what they've endured. They don't always know what sort of compensation they are entitled to receive. Therefore, we want this book to help them make sense of the elements of damages that they can turn into dollars and cents.
Why Is It Important For Your Clients To Have An Understanding Of What Their Damages Are In A Personal Injury Or Wrongful Death Claim? What Does This Process Entails?
Our clients need to understand what we can do for them and what we need from them to prove compensation elements. If our clients know what we are out to prove, it'll be much easier for us to represent them fully. The largest item of damages for which an injured person is entitled to compensation is known as “non-economic” damages or, in older parlance, “general” damages. Most clients are not very familiar with the process of proving non-economic or general losses.
Determining appropriate non-economic damages requires thinking outside of the box. For example, within the context of wrongful death, the loss of care, comfort, and society with the person who passed away is not something that can be valued from paper files or medical documentation. Instead, you'd want to look at the relationship that the people had before the incident occurred. That is a way to help the client figure out how to best portray the elements of loss for these big-ticket items, such as pain and suffering, loss of care, comfort, and society. Our job as our client's attorney is to make sure that the client is “made whole.” To be “made whole” means that our clients obtain the fair value of that taken from them, including compensation for their economic damages, such as lost earnings and medical expenses. If we have done our job well, then the scales of justice are balanced by securing the fair value of all elements of our client's losses.
Many people don't understand what they are entitled to receive as compensation. For example, an injured employee paid for time off work through sick leave is still entitled to recover for that time off work from the party that caused them to miss work. This concept under California law is not a principle that would ordinarily occur to somebody. Most people don't know that they can receive compensation even though their employer already paid them. That's just one example of how a knowledgeable lawyer can help an injured client.
For more information on Experience In Practicing Personal Injury Law, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (760) 710-0190 today.