Each year, millions of Americans are hurt in accidents. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental or unintentional injuries account for 24.5 million visits to the emergency department each year.
In many cases, these injuries aren’t anyone’s fault. But if you have been hurt because of another person’s carelessness or recklessness, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them. Through a lawsuit, you may recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
The Kuvara Law Firm represents clients throughout Northern California, including Marin County. We aggressively advocate for the rights of accident victims, working hard to get them the maximum compensation for their losses. Our legal team offers free initial consultations and handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis – which means that you never pay a fee unless we recover money for you.
Types of Cases We Handle
Personal injury law covers many different types of cases. Our law firm handles claims involving a wide range of torts (personal injuries), including:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and falls (premises liability)
- Truck accidents
- Uber accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Wrongful death
- Rollover accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Train accidents
- Dangerous and defective products (products liability)
- Boating accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Drunk driving accidents
- Airplane accidents
These accidents often cause serious or even catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Broken bones (fractures)
- Deep lacerations
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Strains and sprains
In situations where an accident victim dies as a result of their injuries, our Marin County personal injury attorneys will pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the survivors who lost their loved one.
Each of our cases starts with a free initial consultation, where we will listen to your story and explain your legal rights and options. If you decide to hire our law firm, we will get to work right away, investigating the facts of the accident, identifying all responsible parties, and performing legal research.
Next, we will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. A demand letter lays out the facts of the case, explains the legal reasons why their insured is liable and makes a demand for damages (compensation). This typically begins the negotiation process, with the insurance company making a counter-offer in response.
The majority of personal injury cases are resolved through settlement, without ever having to set foot in a courtroom. If the insurance company won’t offer you a fair settlement for your losses, however, our experienced personal injury lawyers will take the case to court and ask a jury to find it in your favor.
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case
Personal injury claims are typically based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Under California law, you must prove three elements in order to recover on a negligence claim:
- That the at-fault party (defendant) was negligent;
- That the injury victim (plaintiff) was harmed; and
- That the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Negligence can arise in any number of ways. A careless driver could be deemed negligent if they fail to yield right of way, causing a motor vehicle accident. A physician may be considered negligent if they don’t perform the tests that a reasonable doctor would, and miss a diagnosis as a result. A business owner may be found negligent in a premises liability case if they know about a dangerous condition, such as loose tile, and fail to fix it before a customer falls and gets hurt.
If you can prove that the at-fault party was negligent in some way, then you will be able to recover financial compensation from them for your losses. Under California personal injury law, damages fall into three categories:
- Economic damages, which compensate an injury victim for financial losses, such as property damage, lost wages, medical bills, future medical treatment, and reduced earning capacity.
- Non-economic damages, which compensate an accident victim for intangible losses, including pain and suffering, emotional trauma, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages, which punish a wrongdoer for their conduct and are only available in rare cases (such as drunk driving accidents) where the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to recover all or part of these damages through a personal injury claim. A skilled Marin County personal injury lawyer can fight for your right to fair compensation, taking on the big insurance companies so that you can focus on what is truly important: getting better.
Is It Worth It to Hire a Lawyer?
For most types of accidents, it makes sense to hire an attorney. Studies show that people who have legal representation recover 40% more than people who represent themselves. A personal injury attorney will act in your best interest, and fight to make sure that your legal rights are protected.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront to have high-quality legal representation. If you have been hurt in any type of accident, reach out to a Marin County personal injury attorney today to schedule a free initial consultation.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
There is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for pursuing a personal injury matter. In California, the statute of limitations is 2 years for most personal injury claims (except medical malpractice, which has a 1-year statute of limitations). Generally, the clock starts to run on this time limit when you knew or should have known of the injury.
For this reason, you should schedule a free consultation with a Marin County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. During this appointment, they will offer you legal advice on your claim, so that you can make a decision on how to proceed. If you choose to hire a personal injury law firm, they will make sure that all legal paperwork is filed on time.
What Is a Good Settlement Offer?
Because each case is unique, a good settlement offer will vary based on a number of factors, including the nature and severity of your injuries, whether you have suffered a permanent disability, the amount of insurance that the at-fault party has, and if a fault is clear. For example, a person who suffered serious burn injuries that will never fully heal will typically receive a higher settlement offer than a person who broke their arm in an accident and who will fully recover within a few months.
During a free consultation, a personal injury lawyer can give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. As the case proceeds, this estimate may increase or decrease. Throughout the process, your attorney will offer you legal advice on what fair compensation might be given the specific facts of your case.
Hurt in an Accident? Reach Out Today.
Being hurt in an accident can be devastating, causing physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial strain. For many people, the thought of pursuing a personal injury matter is overwhelming. Our law firm is here to help.
Based in San Rafael, Kuvara Law Firm has law offices throughout Northern California, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Vallejo, Fairfield, and Redwood City. For more than 40 years, our team has provided aggressive representation to injury victims, working hard to help our personal injury clients get the maximum compensation. To learn more or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a seasoned Marin County personal injury lawyer, give us a call at 415-479-7070 or fill out our online contact form.