If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it is within your rights to file a personal injury claim to cover the losses you have suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the entire legal process and work to maximize the compensation you receive, whether you were injured in a car accident, by a dog bite, or because of medical malpractice.

The Sacramento personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw have been successfully representing cases just like yours for almost 20 years. During that time, we’ve recovered over $3.5 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our approach is simple. We’ll listen to your story and take the time to understand the challenges you’re facing. And from that point on, our entire focus will be on meeting your goals and needs.

Following an injury, your first priority should be your recovery. A skilled personal injury attorney can handle every detail of your case, from the investigation of the accident to the aggressive negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. We care about our clients, and we’ll work tirelessly to get the results you deserve.

Let our team take the stress of managing a complicated legal case off your plate. Contact us online or call us for a no-cost consultation to learn how we can help you through this challenging time.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you suffered an injury as a result of someone’s careless or reckless actions, you may be struggling with pain and expensive medical bills. At the same time, your injuries may prevent you from going to work to earn an income. It can be difficult to know how to move forward after a serious accident, but a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you do just that.

It is important to understand that insurance companies are for-profit companies and, as a result, it’s always in their best interest to minimize their payout or deny claims, when they can. It’s not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to ask you to make a recorded statement in hopes that you might say something they can use to refute your claim.

When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, you’ll have a staunch advocate by your side who can protect you from the tactics insurance companies use to minimize claims. Your attorney will handle all of the communication with the insurance representatives, and they’ll have the skills to negotiate aggressively and strategically for the compensation you need.

When you decide to hire an attorney, one of the first things they’ll do is launch an investigation into the accident that injured you. They’ll work meticulously to gather compelling evidence to support your case, such as video footage from security or traffic cameras, statements from eyewitnesses, and opinions from expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction experts.

Building a strong case is not the only thing your law firm will do. An established, dedicated law firm will work to help you recover in other ways, too. For example, at OnderLaw, our legal team can help you find the best medical specialists for your needs, help you find transportation options if you’re unable to drive, and help protect you from debt collectors seeking medical bill payments.

The attorneys at OnderLaw have helped clients with many different types of personal injury cases in Sacramento. Examples include:

Steps to Take After an Accident

Accidents are frightening events. When you’ve just suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do first. There are a few steps you can take, however, to protect both your health and your legal options for recovering compensation. We suggest the following:

  • First, tend to any injuries that you or anyone else has suffered and then call 911 to report the accident and ask for emergency assistance.
  • Get the contact information from any witnesses of the accident.
  • Gather every piece of visual evidence you can by taking pictures or videos of the accident scene.
  • For auto accidents, get contact, insurance, and driver’s license information.
  • For accidents that take place on premises, such as residences, businesses, or public properties, report the accident to the property owners or staff and get their insurance information.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. This may help get you back on your feet faster, and it will provide vital documentation to your case.
  • Do exactly as your doctor says. Make every appointment and take every scheduled prescription. The most important thing in this is your health, and following your doctor’s orders may shorten your recovery time.
  • If you speak to anyone about the accident, speak only about the facts. Do not apologize, take blame, or blame anyone, especially when talking to other lawyers or insurance representatives. Doing so may harm your case.
  • Do not post anything related to your case on social media. Even seemingly harmless information that you post could potentially be used against your case.
  • Call a Sacramento personal injury attorney. They will assess your case, guide you through all of the steps that need to be taken, and do everything they can to secure the financial recovery you need.

What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?

Following the accident, your law firm will conduct a thorough investigation of the case in order to gather evidence that proves fault and also shows the extent of the injuries and losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. Following are some of the steps attorneys will take to conduct an exhaustive investigation:

Take statements

Investigators will take statements from the parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses who were present to create a detailed account of the accident.

Gather evidence

Investigators will gather photos and videos of the accident scene, which may help to indicate the cause of the accident. They will also gather documentation related to the accident, such as the driving records and cell phone records of anyone involved in the accident, medical records to show the extent of your injuries, pay stubs and tax forms to demonstrate the loss of income, and more.

Reconstruct accident scene

Investigators will sometimes reach out to a specialist in accident reconstruction to recreate the scene of the accident to help determine fault.

Determine what laws were violated

Investigators will leverage their detailed knowledge of the law to determine if any local, state, or federal laws were broken.

Determine liability

Investigators will look at the whole sum of their findings to help determine who was at fault.

What Compensation Is Available for Injuries?

Your attorney will help you determine the value of the compensation you’re owed based on the extent of the damages, or losses, you suffered as a result of the accident. Damages are divided into three categories. There are economic damages, non-economic damages, and in rare cases, punitive damages.

Economic damages are the monetary losses you suffered due to the accident and your injuries. These may include:

  • Medical care – Any medical expenses related to your injuries. Examples include medical bills, hospital stay expenses, copays, prescription costs, or more. To track these effectively, you should gather your medical records, medical bills, and any receipts of transactions for prescriptions or therapy costs.
  • Lost money/missed work – Any missed income if you were unable to work due to your injuries. These losses can be documented with pay stubs, punch cards, tax forms, and documented appointment times.
  • Damaged property – The value of any property damaged or destroyed in the accident or incident, such as the cost needed to repair or replace your vehicle or replace your watch or cell phone.

Non-economic damages include intangible losses that are subjective and more challenging to measure. These may include:

  • Pain and suffering – Any physical pain and emotional distress you experience as a result of your injuries.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – The loss of the ability to find joy in things you used to be able to do.
  • Emotional trauma – The lasting emotional effects after the accident, including any anxiety or fear that resulted from the accident.

Non-economic damages are less clear-cut in terms of their costs. However, that does not mean they are any less important. An effective way to show the extent of your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages is to keep a running record of your feelings and pain in a journal or notebook. Doing so will document how your injuries have affected you and changed your life.

Punitive damages – Punitive damages are awarded in rare instances when there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice.” Punitive damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim but are rather intended to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior and to deter others from engaging in similar actions.

Common Causes of Sacramento Accidents

We have seen accidents that are caused by any number of reasons at our law firm. Following are some of the most common causes of accidents that we see in Sacramento:

Automobile accidents:

  • Driving while drunk
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs
  • Driving while distracted
  • Fatigued while driving
  • Speeding
  • Disregarding traffic lights/signals
  • Inexperienced
  • Operating a vehicle with faulty parts/mechanics

Premises liability accidents:

  • Poorly made stairs
  • Faulty handrails
  • Insufficient security staff/systems
  • Loose flooring
  • Slippery flooring
  • Toxic chemicals or materials
  • Unleashed dogs
  • Moving, falling, or flying objects

Worker’s compensation accidents:

  • Strains and repetitive motion
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Poor training
  • Violence/ conflict at the job site
  • Dangerous chemical exposure

Nursing home abuse accidents:

  • Poor staffing
  • Overworked staff
  • Low pay rates
  • Poor staff training practices
  • Negligent facility leadership
  • Negligent hiring methods

Common Types of Accidents in Sacramento

Accidents happen every day, and they all have their unique characteristics. However, these are the types of accidents our Sacramento attorneys see most frequently:

Automobile accidents:

  • Head-on accidents
  • Rear-end accidents
  • T-bone accidents
  • Single-car accidents
  • Multi-car accidents
  • Rollovers
  • Rideshare accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents

Premises liability accidents:

  • Job/construction site accidents
  • Fires
  • Slip and falls
  • Insufficient security
  • Recreational swimming pool accidents
  • School accidents
  • Escalator accidents
  • Elevator accidents
  • Theme park accidents
  • Dog bites

Worker’s compensation accidents:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Flying objects
  • Falling debris
  • Being struck by flying objects
  • Being struck by falling debris
  • Slip and falls
  • Operating heavy machinery accidents
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes
  • Job-related conflict or violence

Nursing home abuse accidents:

  • Misdiagnosed illness/injuries
  • Delayed diagnosis for illness/injuries
  • Neglected illnesses or infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Slip and fall
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Abandonment
  • Neglect

Common Injuries Suffered in Sacramento Accidents

Accidents cause injuries, and while sometimes they are minor, quite frequently, they are life-changing. These are the injuries that we most often see as a result of the accidents or incidents that occur in Sacramento:

Automobile accident injuries:

  • Bruises and lacerations
  • Concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Internal injuries
  • Burning
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones

Premises liability accident injuries:

  • Head/neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Sprains/strains
  • Dog bites
  • Drowning
  • Hazardous chemical exposure
  • Burn injuries

Worker’s compensation accident injuries:

  • Soft-tissue sprains
  • Soft-tissue strains
  • Burn injuries
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limb(s)
  • Amputation
  • Back injuries
  • Slip and fall

Nursing home abuse injuries:

  • Choking/asphyxia
  • Hotspots/bed sores
  • Excessive force/constraints
  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Slip and fall
  • Psychological abuses
  • Physical abuses
  • Medication overdose
  • Fractured bones

What Is the Cost of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

We respect and understand that some people are hesitant to work with an attorney because they are worried about costs. They are already paying exorbitant medical bills and potentially struggling with lost wages. How can they pay for an attorney on top of that?

We strongly believe that the size of someone’s wallet shouldn’t affect the quality of the representation they receive. Our attorneys at OnderLaw work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Once we secure a settlement or award for you, we’ll take a percentage of the compensation as our payment. This means you never have to pay out-of-pocket fees.

That also means you can expect to get our absolute best effort because our success is tied to yours.

California Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, statistics underscore just how common certain types of personal injury accidents and incidents are in California, such as motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, and falls.

  • The Centers for Disease Control reported that accidents caused 15,116 deaths in California in 2019.
  • The California Office of Traffic Safety documented 2018 traffic accident fatalities that showed:
  • Drunk drivers killed 1,069 people.
  • Among the drivers who were tested, 42% of all drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes tested positive for legal or illegal drugs.
  • There were 488 motorcycle fatalities.
  • There were 893 pedestrian fatalities.
  • There were 155 bicycle fatalities.
  • The Centers for Disease Control also reported 40 people per 100,000 over the age of 65 died from falling-related accidents in 2018.
  • The State of California Department of Industrial Relations reported 451 workers were killed while working in 2019.
  • Another California DIR report showed that 483 workers were injured on the job in 2019.
  • According to a Dogsbite.org report:
  • There are 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year
  • Nearly 27,000 dog bite accident victims required reconstructive surgery.
  • In 2017, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported 488 dog bite accidents in California, making it the highest-rated state for dog bites in the country.

California Personal Injury Laws

It’s important to take note of specific laws in California that could affect your personal injury claim or lawsuit. These laws include:

Motor vehicle laws:

  • All in-use electronics devices must be hands-free while driving.
  • All motorcycle drivers and riders must wear a helmet while riding.

Laws regarding dog bites:

All California dog owners carry full liability if their dog is found to be responsible for a dog bite accident.

California comparative negligence rules

The comparative negligence rule can affect the amount of compensation a victim can recover. Comparative negligence says that the victim’s compensation can be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault in the accident. So, for example, if the victim of an accident is found by a jury to be ten percent at fault for the accident that injured them, their compensation would be reduced by ten percent.

Statute of limitations in California

The statute of limitations determines the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit in a court of law. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations for your case, you may lose the right to pursue compensation for your losses. The statute of limitations in a given state may vary depending on the type of case that’s being pursued. In California, the following statutes of limitations are in place:

  • In personal injury cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
  • In medical malpractice cases, you have three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date the injury was discovered, or should have reasonably been discovered, to file a claim.
  • In injury cases involving a government agency, you have six months from the date of the accident to file a claim.

Caps on personal injury damages

Uninsured drivers are ineligible to collect non-economic damages, such as “pain and suffering.” An exception to this is if the uninsured driver’s accident was caused by a driver driving under the influence.

Non-economic damages awarded in a medical malpractice case cannot exceed $250,000.

Accident Claims Process

Every personal injury case will have its own unique set of circumstances that distinguishes it from other cases. However, most personal injury cases will generally follow the basic steps below:

  • Immediately following the accident, your personal injury attorney and their law firm will conduct an investigation of your case to prove fault, and also to determine the extent of the losses you suffered as a result of the accident and your injuries.
  • Your lawyer will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. This will detail your damages and proposed compensation.
  • Next, your attorney will leverage the strength of the case they build to negotiate assertively for the full compensation you’re owed.
  • Once negotiations are complete, you and your lawyer will review the final offer from the insurance company.
  • If you agree with the final offer, the claims process will be complete. You may receive a lump-sum payment or a series of payments over a period of time.
  • If you do not believe the final offer is fair, you may choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in the court of law. Your attorney will fight skillfully and vigorously for the verdict or judgment you need.

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Sacramento

If your case goes to court, it’s helpful to be familiar with the general process involved in a lawsuit. The steps of a lawsuit include:

Filing – Confirm which court you will need to file in and do so accordingly. If your injury occurred on the job, you will be advised to file with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If the claim is less than $10,000, you will be able to file in small claims court. If the claim is more than $10,000, you will be able to file in civil court.

Summons – Your lawyer will help you draft a formal declaration of the lawsuit to be sent to the at-fault parties and file it with the court. This will outline the facts of the accident, the damages you have suffered, and the amount you believe you are owed.

Discovery – The summons will trigger follow-up investigations where both your lawyer and the opposing parties’ lawyer(s) will be allowed to review the evidence and take statements. Both parties may also attempt to resolve the case through mediation outside of court. In cases where an agreement cannot be met, the case then goes to trial.

Trial – Your lawyer will present your case before a judge and possibly a jury of your peers. At the closure of arguments, the judge or jury will deliver a judgment or verdict and determine the outcome of your case.

High-Quality Legal Representation in Sacramento

If you or someone close to you are recovering from a serious accident, you may be hurt, mad, scared, and uncertain about the future. The attorneys at OnderLaw have served countless cases just like yours, and our warm, caring, and committed staff are standing by, waiting to take your call.

You have a limited time to take legal action, so don’t waste another minute. Call us today or visit our contact page to begin your free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you understand your legal options and help you move forward.