Santa Barbara Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury is a category of civil law in which a citizen files a legal claim against another person or entity. Personal injury is a way for individuals who have incurred injury to gain compensation against the responsible party. With the help of a Santa Barbara personal injury attorney, injured parties may file claims against:

  • Private individuals
  • Businesses and corporations
  • Government entities

Types of Personal Injury Claims

There are many circumstances that may reasonably lead to a personal injury suit, but some are more common than others. Some of the most common types of personal injury claims are mentioned below. If you have found yourself in one of these situations, call a Santa Barbara personal injury attorney immediately for legal representation.

Elder Abuse & Neglect

Elder abuse is defined as any intentional or negligent behavior by a caregiver or other individual that results in the harm or serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. This abuse often occurs at nursing homes and other treatment settings. If a loved one has experienced any type of elder abuse, contact a Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer immediately to learn what legal actions you can take.

Elder abuse affects approximately 11% of elder persons each year in the United States, according to the Department of Justice. America is home to more than 40 million persons 65 years old or older, meaning there are at least 4 million elders abused each year in the US alone.

Much of the abuse, 90% according to the National Council on aging, is carried out by family members such as adult children or spouses. Abuse in nursing homes has been a large problem in America as these institutions often are run by inexperienced individuals and often don’t undergo as much inspection as they should.

When people think of elder abuse, they may think of impatient caregivers physically striking the elder individuals who depend on their care. However, there’s much more to it than that. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there are seven general categories that define most forms of elder abuse, such as:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Financial exploitation
  • Abandonment
  • Self-neglect

Abuse can take a variety of forms and it’s always best to consult with an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer as it pertains to your situation.

Negligence

This is the common charge made against individuals who are responsible for car collisions and other such instances in which the liable individual behaved negligently, resulting in the plaintiff’s injuries. This relies on the fact that each of us has a general duty of ordinary care that we will act reasonably given certain circumstances. This is a very broad area of personal liability and centers around the negligent party acting unreasonably and causing injury to another individual.

Defective Products

Injuries caused by defective products are related to product liability – the responsibility of the designers, manufacturers, distributors, and other individuals involved in the process of creating a product and getting it in the hands of consumers to do so safely. In these cases, it must be shown that the plaintiff received injuries due to the product that was defective as sold. Obviously there are many individuals who could be responsible for this injury and often large companies that may make it difficult to pursue legal action. For that reason, it’s highly encouraged to speak to a Santa Barbara personal injury attorney.

Premises liability

Business owners or managers have a duty of care for all individuals who enter their property. Leaving their property in a manner that may result in injury is a negligence on the part of the responsible party and the cost of any subsequent injury should be their liability. Details include:

  • The foreseeability of harm
  • Whether it is reasonable to expect an individual on the property
  • Exactly who is responsible for the state of the property

Private property owners are not out of reach, and some circumstances may give the right to personal injury claims even to trespassers.

Medical Malpractice

Doctors have a responsibility to their patients. They are required to exercise a degree of skill, knowledge, and care in their treatment of patients. This is the case not only for surgeries, but for prescriptions and even diagnoses. Because these cases are quite complicated, it’s best to seek legal advice from a highly skilled Santa Barbara personal injury attorney. A medical malpractice case can include the following details:

  • That doctors are required to behave in a similar manner to other members of their profession in similar conditions and circumstances.
  • Informed consent is required and informed refusal must be made with full knowledge of the risks
  • Standard of care includes the reasonable disclosure of other therapeutic options and dangers inherent in each
  • Scope of disclosure requires physicians to inform their patients of as much relevant information as necessary to make an informed decision

Assault & Battery

To have a strong case against an individual for assault and battery, the following must be shown:

  • Proof of the instance of assault or battery – assault is essentially attempted or threatened force while battery is the execution of that force in the form of offensive contact. The contact does not need to be severe or particularly damaging to be considered battery; California state law merely requires the contact to be unwanted or offensive.
  • Intent – accidentally bumping into someone at a crowded bar does not qualify as battery. Intentionally pushing someone because they accidentally bumped into might as the action was done on purpose, though on dubious grounds.
  • Ability – the accused individual must have actually been physically able to execute the battery for a reasonable case to be brought. If an individual swung a bat at the defendant but the bat was made of foam, there wasn’t the ability to cause actual harm.

Types of Compensation

There are various types of compensation that may be sought in a personal injury claim, such as:

  • Medical bills – This can include medications, surgery costs, general hospital bills, physical therapy, etc. Future medical bills that may be reasonably anticipated may also be sought.
  • Lost wages – Lost future wages due to a continued injury may also be sought when reasonable.
  • Lost earning potential – If an injury causes a significant, permanent change to an individual’s capacity to earn a wage, the plaintiff may seek to be compensated for this.
  • Loss of quality of life – If a significant change has occurred due to the incident in question, changing the plaintiff’s ability to enjoy life as he or she once did, there is reasonable basis for compensation.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship – In the case the was a wrongful death and the claim is being pursued by a loved one

Statute of Limitations

Generally, individuals are permitted to file personal injury claims no later than 2 years after the incident causing the injury for which the plaintiff seeks compensation. This may seem like a lot of time, but the reality of how expensive medical bills often doesn’t occur to individuals immediately. Additionally, the process of determining fault and making a case take time and effort. In some cases, injuries are not obvious at the time of the incident and only appear weeks or months later, especially in brain injury cases.

There are several exceptions to this general 2-year rule, such as for claims against government entities, claims involving minors, incidences when the plaintiff is incapacitated for example due to a coma, etc. Most cases only allow 2 years (6 months for government defendant cases) for action to be taken. For this reason, it’s very important to seek legal representation from a Santa Barbara personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may not like the first attorney you speak with. Your case may be very complicated and require a lot of research. There are many reasons for a case to be delayed, and if you’re trying to cover medical bills, those costs add up quickly! Be sure to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the potential of moving forward with your case.

Call a Santa Barbara Personal Injury Attorney If You’ve Suffered Any Type of Injury

Drury Pullen Law consists of professional, hard working attorneys who make a personal commitment to their clients on getting the best possible outcome. Working closely with you, we’ll help you throughout the entire process to ensure your in good hands. Give us a call at (805) 879-7523 to speak to an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury attorney.