Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Santa Maria

personal injury attorney in Santa Maria

The Frederick Law Firm in Nipomo, California has been representing personal injury victims along the central coast for over three decades. We understand how hard it can be to juggle physical and mental recovery while simultaneously pursuing legal action after an accident. Our firm offers aggressive representation to help you move forward and relieve your financial burden. Contact us today.

Reasons to Choose a Santa Maria Personal Injury Lawyer

A Santa Maria personal injury lawyer can help you get the most out of your personal injury claim. You do not have to navigate the complex California legal system alone. The Frederick Law Firm has served clients throughout the communities of Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Santa Maria, Nipomo, the Five Cities, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and beyond. We can guide you through every phase of the claim and litigation process.

At the Frederick Law Firm, you will get the personal attention only a small firm with a dedicated and compassionate team can provide. We take the time to get to know you and the facts of your case so that we can work together to get you the best result. The attorneys at Frederick Law Firm have earned a reputation as committed advocates who are deeply invested in helping our clients recover from their injuries. Our team has decades of experience handling all types of cases, including personal injury cases. Let us put our years of experience at the negotiating table and in the courtroom to work for you.  

Fair compensation 

It is important to understand that ineffective representation can leave you with less compensation than you need. That can mean you’re left footing the bill for injury-related medical expenses or having to meet your financial needs without recovering lost wages. Do not leave your future in the hands of just anyone. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you fight for all of the compensation you are eligible to receive. The Frederick Law Firm is dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. 

Legal strategy

If you have been injured, you need a strong advocate who will create a legal strategy that is tailored to the facts of your case. To properly evaluate and build a case, an experienced lawyer will conduct an investigation, gather evidence, represent you during negotiations, and, if need be, take your case to trial. We have a track record of success and are committed to pursuing a prompt and effective settlement or verdict for your personal injury case. 

Attorney Jacqueline Vitti Frederick

Attorney Jacqueline Vitti Frederick is a fierce advocate with more than 30 years of experience. She also serves as a neutral mediator, arbitrator, and judge pro-tem in order to assist parties in resolving their disputes outside of court. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. 

Common Personal Injuries in Santa Maria

Personal injury is an area of law that involves injuries caused by the negligent or intentional behavior of a person or party. Here are some common types of personal injury claims in Santa Maria:

There are plenty of other situations where personal injury could occur. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, around 31 million people are injured across the United States each year and require medical treatment. Nearly 2 million of these injuries are severe enough to require some form of hospitalization, and 162,000 of these injuries are fatal.

Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

In order to bring a successful personal injury case, the responsible party must have acted negligently. Negligence is an act or failure to act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances. In California, a person is responsible for their willful or careless acts that cause injury to another person. 

An injury must have been the result of the negligent or willful act of another person or party for you to recover compensation. There are four elements of negligence: 

  • Duty—the person responsible for the accident owed you a legal duty of care when your injury occurred, such as the duty to obey traffic laws;
  • Breach—the person did not fulfill that duty;
  • Causation—the breach of duty caused your injury; and
  • Damages—you suffered damages as a result of the breach of duty and injury. 

Your Santa Maria personal injury attorney can examine the facts of your case to help you evaluate your legal options.   

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

The value of your personal injury claim depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and the unique circumstances of your accident. The knowledge and skill of your Santa Maria personal injury lawyer can also impact your settlement or award. In many cases, an injured victim can seek both economic and noneconomic damages. 

Economic damages

Economic damages compensate the injured party for expenses associated with their injury. This includes costs such as medical bills, medication, treatment, physical therapy, lost wages, and property damage. 

Noneconomic damages

Noneconomic damages reflect the mental and emotional hardships caused by the accident. These damages can be a significant source of compensation that helps injured victims get back on their feet. Because these damages are subjective and are different for every person, they can be hard to place a monetary value on and prove without a skilled attorney. Examples of noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and loss of consortium. 

Punitive damages

In certain situations, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages, which are also called exemplary damages, serve to punish the wrongdoer and set an example for others. These are granted only when the liable party is guilty of malice, fraud, or oppression. 

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

It is important to file your case as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to obtain evidence and contact witnesses. Under California law, your personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date that the injury occurred or was discovered. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file before this deadline can prevent you from receiving compensation. There are a handful of exceptions to the statute of limitations that may allow you additional time. These exceptions include the following: 

  • The victim was under 18 at the time the injury occurred; 
  • The injured person could not reasonably suspect or discover the cause of harm in the allotted time; or
  • The defendant left the state of California. 

Consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more about how the statute of limitations applies to your case and for help with filing your claim within the deadline.

What Factors Could Influence a Personal Injury Settlement?

Several factors can influence the outcome of a personal injury settlement. It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident will play a significant role in determining the settlement amount. Here are some key factors that can influence a personal injury settlement:

Severity of Injuries:

  • The extent and severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff are crucial. More severe injuries often result in higher settlement amounts.

Medical Expenses:

  • The total cost of medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, can impact the settlement amount.

Lost Wages:

  • If the injured person has missed work due to their injuries, the lost wages and future earning capacity may be considered in the settlement.

Property Damage:

  • If the personal injury case involves damage to property (e.g., a car accident), the cost of repairing or replacing the property may be factored into the settlement.

Liability and Negligence:

  • The determination of fault and the degree of negligence on the part of the responsible party can significantly influence the settlement. Clear evidence of liability strengthens the injured party’s case.

Insurance Coverage:

  • The amount of insurance coverage available, both from the at-fault party’s insurance and the injured party’s insurance, can impact the settlement. If the at-fault party has limited insurance, it may limit the potential recovery.

Pre-existing Conditions:

  • The presence of pre-existing health conditions can complicate the assessment of damages. The settlement may be adjusted based on whether the injuries aggravated pre-existing conditions.

Pain and Suffering:

  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, can significantly impact the settlement amount. These damages are subjective and may vary based on jurisdiction.

Legal Representation:

  • The quality and experience of legal representation can play a role. A skilled attorney may negotiate a more favorable settlement.

Jurisdiction:

  • Laws regarding personal injury vary by jurisdiction. The location where the lawsuit is filed can impact the potential settlement amount.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence:

  • Some jurisdictions follow contributory or comparative negligence rules, which can affect the settlement amount based on the injured party’s degree of fault.

Statute of Limitations:

  • The time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed (statute of limitations) can impact the settlement. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit may result in a case being dismissed.

It’s important for individuals involved in a personal injury case to consult with a qualified attorney who can assess the specific details of their situation and provide guidance tailored to their circumstances.

Can Social Media Impact My Personal Injury Claim?

Yes, social media can have a significant impact on your personal injury claim. Insurance companies and opposing attorneys often investigate claimants’ social media profiles to gather information that may be used against them in court. Here are some ways in which social media can influence your personal injury claim:

Evidence of Activities:

  • Insurance companies may look for posts, photos, or videos on your social media accounts that depict you engaging in activities that could be inconsistent with the injuries you’ve claimed. For example, if you’re seeking compensation for a back injury but post pictures of yourself participating in physical activities, it could be used to challenge the severity of your injuries.

Statements and Comments:

  • Your own statements or comments on social media can be used against you. Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault or downplaying the extent of your injuries.

Timeline of Events:

  • Social media posts can create a timeline of events surrounding the accident and your recovery. This timeline may be compared to your official account of the incident, and any inconsistencies could be used to question the credibility of your claim.

How to Protect Your Claim on Social Media

Be Cautious with Posting:

  • refrain from discussing the incident, injuries, or the case; avoid statements that may be used against you.

Adjust Privacy Settings:

  • Review and limit the visibility of your social media content, but be aware of potential discoverability.

Consult Your Attorney:

  • Discuss social media usage with your attorney for guidance on what is advisable and potential pitfalls.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Your chances of getting the compensation you deserve are better when you have a Santa Maria personal injury lawyer representing you. Many personal injury cases begin with an insurance claim. Insurance companies will almost always try to get you to settle for less than what your claim is worth. 

A Santa Maria personal injury attorney can help you determine what a fair settlement will be given the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to reach a settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you will have someone with litigation experience to represent you in court. This includes gathering evidence, preparing documents, advocating for you at trial, and being there to support you and answer questions throughout the process. 

Contact Us 

At the Frederick Law Firm, we pride ourselves on offering clients throughout the central coast aggressive, yet caring, representation. We can guide you through every step of your personal injury claim and give your case the attention it deserves. If you need professional legal representation in Central California, or if you need a personal injury lawyer in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, or Lompoc, please contact the Frederick Law Firm today for your free case consultation.