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The Bay Area Personal Injury Claims Process

Plaintiff Suffers From Negligence

If you were involved in an accident or suffered from the ramifications of gross neglect, the first thing you should do (if able) is seeking immediate medical treatment for those injuries. If cognizant, record all evidence around the scene of the accident, and be sure to corroborate those details to a police officer or other first responder. The liable party’s insurance company might try to contact you with a settlement offer, but don’t agree to anything. Likewise, only provide them as minimal information as possible before appointing a qualified personal injury lawyer who’s more experienced at handling those negotiations.

Plaintiff Hires An Attorney

The services of an attorney can be provided at a low cost or free of charge under the U.S. constitution. That said, private attorneys typically have more experience and a lesser caseload than ones who work on a public, pro-bono basis. After you arrange a free initial consultation, you should discuss the terms of the case, the representation, and their payment process. Most work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you’ll only have to pay them a portion of the reward if you win the case.

Complaint Is Served to Defendant

If the attorney representing you feels that your case warrants a lawsuit, they will then prepare a notice and complaint to file the suit in civil court. Under California law, these claims must be filed within two years after the incident, or at least six months if the negligible party was a government entity. Often, these claims can be settled pretrial before any further action is necessary, but regardless, it’s important to have a representative guide you through the litigation process, regardless of whether or not it moves any further than litigation.

Pretrial Litigation with Defendant

After the initial demand letter is sent, the defendant’s attorney will usually prepare a response, after which your attorney will initiate the processes of investigation and discovery. This entails gathering all relevant information, evidence, conducting witness testimonies, and performing pretrial motions if necessary. They will use this information to encourage a favorable settlement agreement, and if one still can’t be reached, then that’s when things proceed to trial, with all necessary preparations conducted accordingly.


When things move to trial, both parties will have to present their case in front of a jury and presiding judge. Your liability and presented claims may be challenged, which is why it’s crucial to have solid, A+ personal injury representation in your corner. Your attorney will navigate every facet and term surrounding the trial, and after deliberations have been held, the judge and/or jury will reach a verdict. 


The jury will rule determining how much the defendant is liable (or if they’re liable at all) and how much settlement you should receive (if any). California is a state with comparative negligence statutes, meaning that there can be a determination that both parties are somewhat at fault. Even if the defendant is determined to be 99 percent at fault, you could still be liable to compensate for the other one percent. That’s why robust, top-notch personal injury representation is so crucial, and our firm offers some of the best in the Bay Area. 

If you need help with the personal injury process, contact Bogaards Law for help. Get in touch today to learn more.

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