In a liability case, there may be two types of damages awarded: compensatory and punitive. The names make clear what each type is all about. We have previously discussed compensatory damages, which allow a plaintiff to receive compensation for loss. Now we will discuss what punitive damages are and how these may help others from being harmed in the same way you have been.
Punitive damages are punishment for negligence. In the case of a business, it may be negligence in failing to fix a trip hazard on their property or in failing to recall a product that was known to potentially cause harm. In the case of individuals, negligent behavior could be driving distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
While a plaintiff may receive compensatory damages to cover medical bills and missed workdays, punitive damages are put in place to punish the entity or individual for wrongdoing. This is meant as a deterrent to keep the wrongdoer from repeating the indiscretion and possibly harming more people. As a result, these damages may far exceed the actual monetary loss of the individual bringing the case to court.
One thing to keep in mind is that an insurance company is unlikely to admit fault in an initial settlement. Therefore, you may not even have all of your tangible losses covered, let alone deterring the wrongdoer from committing further negligence.
Getting the Help You Need for Personal Injury Cases in Southern California
Petrov Law Firm is here to help you maximize the settlement you receive from the insurance company after a personal injury. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 so that we can help you get what you really deserve.
California is a fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, a percentage of fault is assigned to each driver. How does this affect personal injury claims? It has to do with a term called pure comparative negligence.
How Pure Comparative Negligence Works
When someone is 100% at fault for an accident, the other party can receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle damages, lost wages, and more. But what if the drivers share responsibility for what happened? Consider this example.
Let’s say you are driving down the road when a driver who was distracted by texting slams into you. That seems pretty cut and dry. It is illegal to text and drive. The other driver was distracted and hit you. But what if you were speeding at the time? Now you may share a percentage of blame. If you were driving the speed limit, the distracted driver might have missed you. Therefore, you may only get compensation for 70% or 80% of your losses instead of 100%.
Car Accident Attorneys in Southern California
If you have been in an accident, you need the best car accident attorneys in order to maximize your settlement, especially if you bear some fault. Petrov Law Firm – located in San Diego, North County, and Chula Vista – can help. Our expert personal injury attorneys can assist you to determine what your real losses are and how much of the blame can be placed on the other driver. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
If your children are more active in the community during the summertime, it is important to teach them about the dangers of wandering onto someone else’s property without permission. The best way to deal with injuries is to avoid them in the first place. However, if your child has been injured on another person’s property, here are a few things you need to know.
Laws Dealing with Negligence that Apply to Children
Some California laws have changed regarding liability when it comes to trespassers. In the past, California laws about trespassers who suffer injuries didn’t apply to children, especially if the court deemed that the situation that the child was drawn toward as something particularly attractive to children (a friendly looking pet, a pool with no fence, etc.).
Those laws were done away with many years ago. However, landowners are still expected to foresee potential dangers, even one’s that may affect a person with no business being on their property. The courts apply this even more so when a child is involved. As a result, injuries on private property are handled on a case by case basis.
Getting Help in a Personal Injury Case
That means it more important than ever to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side when dealing with such situations. The compassionate attorneys at Petrov Law Firm hate to hear about any child suffering from an injury, and we are happy to help families seek the compensation they deserve. To learn more, please call 619-344-0360.Read More
The summer months are some of the most dangerous for drivers. What do you need to know so that you can keep yourself and your family safe? Here are 3 things to think about when getting behind the wheel during the sunny summer months.
#1 Vacationing Drivers
You can’t expect drivers during the summer months to know where they are going. That vacationing driver doesn’t know the usual traffic patterns and may not even be familiar with all of the local driving laws.
#2 High School Drivers
One of the reasons that accidents spike during the summer months is that teens who are off from school are on the road a lot more. You have to be aware of inexperienced drivers who may be paying more attention to their passengers or a smartphone than the road.
#3 Road Construction
Workers take advantage of the dry summer months to get additional road projects done. That means you may run into more construction than usual on your daily travels or summer road trips. Keep an eye out for rapidly changing traffic patterns.
Car Accident Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to deal with insurance companies and at-fault drivers. You may be eligible to receive a settlement to compensate you for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 before accepting any kind of settlement.
Whether a person can no longer work due to injuries or the situation is that of a wrongful death case, one of the primary considerations in determining damages would be the potential future earnings lost. However, proving lost wages requires the right documentation. Here are some things you should know.
Documents that Prove Lost Earnings
The right documents can make determining an amount of lost wages a much easier process. For example, some paperwork that could prove a person’s earnings include:
- Income Taxes
- Pay Stubs
- Direct Deposit Transactions
- Business Receipts
These documents help to put an exact figure on what a person earned in the past and could expect to earn in the future.
Factors that May Affect Loss of Earnings Settlements
The biggest no-no, in this case, would be getting paid off the books. If someone took payments in cash and never reported them or paid taxes on them, a judge may eliminate the value of lost earnings as part of the case. Other issues may arise if a person was self-employed. He may have made $100,000 a year in revenue, but if $30,000 in business expenses meant he only paid taxes on $70,000 a year, that smaller figure would be used to determine earnings.
Setting the Right Figure in Loss of Wages Settlements
Whether you are facing a personal injury case of a wrongful death case that is costing your family future income, the compassionate lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you to provide the right documentation to establish wages and maximize the amount you are entitled to. Money can’t replace your loss, but it can help ensure that financial issues don’t compound your grief. Call 619-344-0360 to discuss your situation with one of our experienced attorneys.Read More
State-by-state car insurance works either under the presumption of fault or no-fault. What is the difference, and which regulations apply in the state of California? Read on for some important info if you are ever injured in a car accident.
What Is At-Fault Insurance?
At-fault insurance means that every accident will have a driver who is deemed the one to blame for the incident. Even if one driver is considered 51% in the wrong and the other 49%, someone has to be chosen as the at-fault driver. This means one driver’s insurance will be responsible for the other driver’s injuries. Your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s injuries if you are at fault, and your insurance will only cover your injuries if you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance will cover his or her own injuries regardless of who caused the accident. In these states, PIP is mandatory (except in KY, NJ, and PA where a person can opt-out in writing). If you cause an accident, your liability coverage will still pay for the other driver’s car, so the no-fault coverage really just applies to injuries.
What Kind of State Is California?
Only 12 states have no-fault insurance, and California is not one of them. The good news is that if you are in an accident and the other person is at fault, your insurance premiums should not increase (in no-fault states, both drivers are affected). The downside is that the at-fault driver’s insurance may contest their driver being at fault, which could delay a payout.
Getting Help in an At-Fault Insurance Case
Whether the at-fault driver’s insurance is dragging their feet paying damages or offering way less than you should be receiving, Petrov Law Firm can help. Out personal injury attorneys specialize in car accident cases, so you can be confident of getting compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the like. Just call 619-344-0360 to schedule your consultation.Read More
Summer makes people want to be outside having fun in the sun. That means more trips to the beach, local pools, or maybe even to a lake. However, there are a number of dangers that lurk in association with water recreation. Here are a few ways to keep you and your family safe.
Avoiding Common Water Injuries
Here are a few things you can do to stay safe and keep your fun activities from quickly becoming dangerous:
- Avoid water that isn’t properly treated – If you get some kind of parasite from pool water that hasn’t been cared for properly, the owner will likely be held responsible for medical expenses. However, if you are at some random lake or pond, it’s tough to know if the water is safe, and you will be swimming at your own risk.
- Use caution around power watercraft – Someone on a jet ski should be looking out for swimmers, but it is better to use caution and stay out of the line of watercraft than to get hurt, even if it’s not your fault.
- Watch out for shallow water – Diving into water that is too shallow can lead to serious injury and even death. Pools should be properly marked as to depth and whether diving is safe, but always check the water depth yourself first just to be certain.
If You or a Loved One Has Suffered a Water-Related Injury
There are many times that water injuries could have been avoided with proper caution. A failure to properly treat a pool can lead to serious medical conditions. An incorrectly marked pool can result in paralysis from diving into the shallow end. A boat may strike a swimmer due to the careless operation or because a person wasn’t properly licensed or trained.
The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to seek due compensation if an injury has resulted in medical bills, missed work, or mental suffering. To learn more, call 619-344-0360.Read More
The fact is that the great majority of personal injury cases result in settlements, and that’s not a bad thing. However, there are times to settle and times to go to court. Plus, there are times when rejecting an initial settlement may lead to a better offer without the need for a court battle. Here are a few things you should know about settling personal injury cases out of court.
Situations Where You Shouldn’t Accept a Settlement
Here are a few times to avoid accepting a settlement or a when settlement may not be possible:
- The insurance company or lawyer won’t give you time to consult with your own attorney.
- The settlement amount seems too low.
- The statute of limitations requires a suit.
Getting the Settlement You Deserve
By acting within the appropriate amount of time and consulting with a personal injury attorney, you can help to ensure that you receive an adequate settlement. In the meantime, it is important to avoid signing anything or accepting compensation that would disqualify you from seeking further damages. You also need to contact the right attorney to receive compassionate assistance backed up by experience and expertise in personal injury cases.
The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm have the knowledge and experience to help you recognise a fair settlement offer. While it is always up to you to determine if you will accept an offer or not, our lawyers can help you to make an educated decision. To learn more and to schedule a consultation, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
When a defective product comes off the line, goes through the chain of distribution, reaches a consumer, and causes an injury, the manufacturer is at fault. In fact, if it can be shown that the manufacturer knew that some products were defective, negligence may result in a number of lawsuits. Here are 3 steps you should take if you have been injured by a defective product.
#1 Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health is of primary concern, so the first and foremost item of business should be getting the proper medical attention. Make sure you keep copies of all of your medical records related to the injury, including bills and any pictures or x-rays taken of the injury.
#2 Keep the Defective Product
Unless it is dangerous for you to store the item that caused your injury, hanging onto the item can allow you to show how the product caused your injuries. At the very least, you should try to take a number of photographs that show the defect in the product and how the injury occurred.
#3 Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t sign anything before speaking to an attorney, even if the manufacturer has offered you a settlement. In most cases, if you accept any kind of compensation, including a refund for the item or a replacement item, you may affect your ability to collect further compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help ensure that you receive the compensation you are due in the case of injury caused by a product defect. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to learn more.Read More
If you think for one second that an insurance company you have a claim against isn’t browsing your public social media profiles – guess again! What are they looking for? Here are some social media mistakes to avoid that can hurt the value of your personal injury settlement.
What Social Media Posts an Insurance Company Hopes to See
When an insurance company is browsing your social media profiles, the goal is to find something they can use to force you to take a smaller settlement. Let’s look at a few hypothetical examples of how this might work.
- Evidence of a Faked Injury – If you are on crutches or wearing a neck brace in the courtroom but not in all of your social media pictures, opposing counsel may try to use this as evidence that your injury is being faked. Don’t think you can get away with it simply by making all of your accounts private. A judge may require that you turn your account names and passwords over to the insurance company as evidence.
- Evidence of a Less Severe Injury – You may claim that your injury is keeping you from being able to work, but what if you have pictures out partying, playing sports, or enjoying a vacation that flies in the face of how injured you claim to be? It will be tough to explain to a judge that you were able to play ball for an hour just because you were feeling good on that one particular day. It’s better to sit out until the case is settled, and certainly don’t post pics if you do anything that might make you seem healthier than you are.
Avoiding Damaging Social Media Mistakes During a Personal Injury Case
If you have suffered a personal injury, seek the assistance of the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. We can help you to avoid making critical errors that might get your claim denied or a settlement cut. To maximize your claim and receive the monetary damages you deserve, call 619-344-0360 right away.Read More