Find answers to your questions below:
Why do I need an attorney?
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, whether it be a car, motorcycle, truck, or bike accident, or any other type of accident, you are well advised to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers we provide free, no risk case consultations to injured persons and their families.
What if I’ve already taken steps independently?
More often than not, our new clients have begun the claims process themselves and find it stressful and burdensome, or simply cannot afford to pay out of pocket for the medical treatment they need, and for that reason they seek our assistance. Once we are retained by a client, we immediately begin gathering the requisite information and immediately inform the insurance carriers to direct all communication to our office. It is our goal to alleviate as much stress as we can from our clients so they can concentrate on getting healthy again, both mentally and physically.
The insurance company said I don’t need an attorney—is that true?
It is important to remember that your interests and the interests of the insurance company are not the same. While it is illegal for a non-attorney, such as an insurance adjuster, to provide legal advice, they often do, and it usually is not very sound. You should always seek an opinion from a personal injury lawyer to get an unbiased legal opinion regarding your case and your rights. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers we provide free, no risk case consultations to injured persons and their families.
What damages am I entitled to recover?
This will depend largely on the type of case and the damages sustained. Our clients have suffered an injury and require medical treatment. Thus, past and future medical treatment is recoverable. As are all past and future lost wages. Also recoverable are ‘general damages’, which include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and inconvenience associated with the injury. In some cases, our clients are entitled to ‘punitive damages’, these are damages which are intended to punish the wrongdoer, when that wrongdoer’s actions were intentional or reckless. In auto collision cases, our clients are also entitled to recover the damage to their vehicle, as well as the ‘loss of use’ of that vehicle for the time the client was without the use of the vehicle because it was damaged.
Is my case big enough for a lawyer to handle?
The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers handle small, medium, large, and very large damage cases. Our injury cases range from soft tissue injury auto accident cases to catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. We are equipped to handle and all personal injury cases resulting from negligence. We are happy to review any case free of charge. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers we provide free, no risk case consultations to injured persons and their families.
Will the information I share with you be confidential?
Yes. The information you share with us is protected by the attorney-client privilege and will remain confidential. This protection will apply even when our legal representation terminates or if you do not retain our firm. Because your communications with us are privileged, it is important that you make full disclosure of all pertinent facts with respect to your personal injury claim (such as prior injuries) so that we can fully access your case. This is further important so the defense does not catch us by surprise in the middle of representation, which could be detrimental to your case.
How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
The timeframe that you have to file a lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your case will be forever barred. For most personal injury actions In California, such as auto accidents, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. However, with respect to claims against government entities or for medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is much shorter. Therefore, due to the time-sensitive nature of personal injury claims, you should immediately contact an attorney regarding your injury.
What should I bring with me for my meeting with a lawyer?
You should bring all documents in your possession that are related to your injury. For example, with respect to auto accidents, you should bring a copy of the police or incident report, a copy of your automobile insurance declaration page, photographs of your automobile, photographs of your injuries, copies of medical records for treatment related to the accident, correspondence from the insurance companies, estimates and repair records and receipts for your automobile, receipts for towing and car rental, and any wage loss information. During your meeting, we will make photocopies of all of your documents so that you can retain a copy for your records. We will also provide you with checklists for any other information that we may need from you.
How much will I have to pay Harris Personal Injury Lawyers at the conclusion of my case?
We only work on a contingency fee, meaning that if we do not win, we do not get paid. Injury victims cannot afford to pay an attorney by the hour. Our contingency fee is in line with other top-quality lawyers who handle serious personal injury matters. There are no up front costs or fees with us.
Do I have to pay for my initial meeting with Harris Personal Injury Lawyers?
No! Harris Personal Injury Lawyers never charges for client consultations. All client consultations to discuss a potential claim are absolutely free. If you feel you have a potential claim, please call our office at 760-231-9970 to set up your free consultation and case evaluation.
What types of cases does Harris Personal Injury Law Firm handle?
Serious Personal Injuries, Wrongful Death, Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Bus Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Boating Accidents, Dangerous Premises, Slip & Falls, Dog Bites & Attacks, Aircraft Accidents, Burn Accidents, Defective Products, Other Personal Injuries
Is it possible to sue a county or city?
Yes. Cities and counties are liable for their negligent acts as well as the negligent actions of their employees. However, claims involving cities and counties involve different statutes of limitations that , if missed, can forever bar your claim. Be sure to consult with an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to see if your claim involves a city or county. The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers deal with claims against the city or county on a regular basis and can help you recover compensation for any injuries caused by the negligence of the city or county.
Is it possible to sue a government?
Yes. It is possible to sue a government or governmental entity for their negligence as well as the negligence actions of their employees. The claims process involving government entities is very different and involves different statutes of limitations than other claims. Since the statute of limitations is different, be sure to consult with an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to find out if your claim involves a government entity of any kind and avoid missing these important deadlines that if missed will forever bar your claim. The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers deal with government claims on a regular basis and can help you recover compensation for any injuries caused by the negligence of a governmental entity.
I was injured through someone else’s carelessness, what should I do?
If you were injured through someone’s careless or negligent action, you may have a claim. It is important to consult with an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to determine if your injury was caused by the negligent actions of someone else. Be sure to see if there are any witnesses to the injury and document the incident with photographs. Also make sure to get contact information for the responsible party, as well as any witnesses. This information will help should you later present a claim for your injuries.
I injured my spine when I fell down slippery steps, can you help?
Whenever you are injured because of a dangerous condition on someone’s property, you may have a claim to recover compensation for those injuries. Landowners have a duty to warn of dangerous conditions on their property and to make their property safe. As with any personal injury claim, the most important thing you can do is find an experienced attorney to help you preserve your evidence and protect your rights. Often a delay in retaining an attorney can adversely affect your claim.
I was hurt by taking a prescription drug, what should I do?
If you have taken a prescription drug (or over-the-counter medication) and believe the product has caused you to experience serious adverse side effects or serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury. The first thing you should do is preserve all evidence. This means keep all medical records, receipts, prescriptions, packaging and anything else related to the drug, including whatever is left of the drug itself. Do not give the remaining drug or packaging to your doctor, pharmacist, drug manufacturer or insurance company. Secondly, you should contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to evaluate your case and guide you through your options in bringing a claim.
My baby was born with a serious injury, do I have a case?
You may have a case. The most tragic injuries can happen during a birth. Sometimes the injury is caused by negligence or malpractice. When this is the case, the pain and suffering and financial burden it causes can be eased by an award that compensates you for the full consequences of the injury and its long-term effects. In most cases, both the baby and the parents have the right to compensation. The first step when dealing with a tragedy like this is to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Who brings a claim on behalf of children that are hurt?
Typically, it is the parents or guardians of that child. We have extensive experience with injury cases or wrongful death claims involving children and understand the complexities of negotiating and these types of claims.
I was involved in an automobile accident, what should I do?
1) Get treatment if needed. If you are in pain, go to a medical doctor, chiropractor, urgent care or ER as soon as possible. Your health is extremely important. Be proactive about getting a proper diagnosis and obtaining medical treatment for your injuries. Do not delay! 2) Next, you should open a claim with your auto insurance carrier and the other driver’s insurance carrier. If the other driver’s insurance company calls, which they will, wanting a statement—do not give them one. You are not obligated to. If you have been injured, first seek the representation of an attorney before providing a statement to the other person’s insurance company. 3) Finally, call Harris Personal Injury Lawyers for a free, no risk case consultation.
I don’t want to go to court, can you still help me?
Absolutely. In fact, most clients want to avoid going to court. We do our very best to come to a reasonable settlement before filing a lawsuit.
How do you determine the value of my claim?
It is based on a consideration of the totality of circumstances. The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers have successfully negotiated thousands of claims and rely on their vast reserve of knowledge to ensure our clients obtain a maximum recovery.
Will the person who caused my injury be punished?
The person who caused the injuries typically is not punished. Defendants in civil actions for personal injury do not receive jail time or criminal fines as punishment. Those are common criminal sentences, and personal injury cases are civil actions which do not include jail time. However, in some cases, juries and courts can award what are called “punitive damages,” which are designed to punish defendants who have behaved recklessly or intentionally against the public’s interest. The goal in ordering the payment of punitive damages is to discourage such defendants and others from engaging in the same kind of harmful behavior in the future. One of the most common situations where punitive damages may be available is when a person is injured by a drunk driver.
What if I can’t prove someone’s negligence caused my injury? Is there any other basis for personal injury liability besides negligence?
Yes; when defective products or dogs cause harm, persons or companies may be held “strictly liable” even if they have not acted negligently or with wrongful intent. Under strict liability, a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product, for instance, may recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent. The theory behind imposing strict liability on those conducting such activities is that these activities pose an undue risk of harm to members of the community. The people who create certain risks are held accountable for the harm they cause. The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers deal with strict liability claims on a regular basis and can help you recover compensation for any injuries caused by defective products or dangerous animals.
What is “negligence?”
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. A person is negligent if he or she does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation. We have represented thousands of individuals who have been injured by the negligence of others in automobile accidents, slip/fall accidents, dog bites, accidents that occur on someone’s property, defective products, and medical malpractice. If you have been injured by another’s negligence, contact our office for a free, no-hassle consultation.
What if a person dies before bringing a personal injury lawsuit?
This type of loss is referred to as a wrongful death. Spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents can have a claim for wrongful death against the responsible parties. The relationship with the decedent will dictate the priority of the claim. The types of damages that can be sought depending on that relationship are: Financial support that the survivor(s) would have received, Value of household services that would have been provided by the decedent, Loss of companionship, affection, love, care, comfort, society, Loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the surviving spouse, Funeral and burial expenses. Because the loss of a loved one can completely alter the life of the surviving family, it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to recover the just compensation you deserve. We have handled wrongful death cases with great success and compensation for our clients.
Do I still have a claim if my health insurance paid my medical bills?
Absolutely, what most injured persons do not realize is they are entitled to the full value of their medical treatment—the actual cost of the treatment, not just their co-pay or deductible. Often times, insurance carriers attempt to reduce an injury victim’s damages by offering to just pay their ‘out of pocket’ expenses, which leaves the injured person less than whole.
Can my health insurer file a lien against my case?
Not in all cases, but often time yes. Health insurer liens are subject to complicated reimbursement laws. If there is a lien from a health insurer when the case concludes the attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers will determine if your health insurer is entitled to reimbursement and will request a waiver or negotiate reduced payment of the lien pursuant to the laws protecting injury victims.