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What Are The Reasons Some Personal Injury Cases Get Huge Damages Awards?

What Are The Reasons Some Personal Injury Cases Get Huge Damages Awards?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“One of the issues I want to help correct…the misconception that the public has, and that is derived from that infamous McDonald’s coffee case. I always wanted to bring this up and get a perspective from an attorney. Because that has skewed so many of the general public’s opinion of…’what am I going to get out of this case? What can I do? Go to McDonald’s and have them spill hot coffee on me?’ Now, you’re going, of course, to confirm this, but I know that the appellate court overturned that award, but how did it get there in the first place?”

Andrew Dósa – Personal Injury Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Well, the thing that’s significant to remember is that the person did get a settlement of that case. There was a litigation and it was a significant fight. But what was significant to me was, among other things, McDonald’s had settled more than 600 claims by people who were burned because the coffee was too hot. So, in response…”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“There was a pattern.”

Andrew Dósa – Personal Injury Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“There was a pattern of behavior. Most people don’t remember the McDonald’s case. It’s for those of us, like you and me, that are a little older and more mature. But there’s another case that’s a good example. And that’s the Ford Pinto case.

Ford engineers determined that they could make more money selling that Pinto without a $12 part. And that $12 part had such an impact on the profit line, that they chose not to put that $12 part in there. Which would have saved several people from danger. But the simple cost of that part, spread over the sales of the hundreds of thousands of Pintos, they calculated that even if there were death claims, they would spend more than paying the claims of those people that were harmed or were bringing a claim because of a death caused to a loved one, than they were going to have to pay if they had purchased that $12 part.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Now, wait a minute. Did that actually come out in the case? That that was their decision?”

Andrew Dósa – Personal Injury Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“That came out. That came out on the part. It was a calculated decision by somebody wearing a white suit, using a slide rule in some darkened room somewhere…”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That is insane.”

Andrew Dósa – Personal Injury Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“It is insane. You can’t grow a whole lot of affection for a corporation that’s willing to recognize that its product is going to harm some people, and its costs is going to be greater if it would solve the harm. It would buy a part, and add a part that would reduce that harm, the possibility of harm….I mean, it just boggles the mind.”

Accidents happen. But when they do, it’s important to have a good attorney on your side who can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Personal injury law is one of those areas where there are so many variables involved – from medical bills and lost wages to emotional distress and pain and suffering. It’s difficult for an individual to determine how much money he or she should be seeking in damages without legal representation by an experienced personal injury attorney.

Personal injury law allows an injured person in California to file a civil lawsuit in court and seek compensation for losses due to an injury after an accident. This law aims to provide compensation for the injured person after the stress and harm they have suffered because of another person’s negligent or intentional conduct.

What are the common kinds of personal injury cases?

Car Accidents

Car accidents are the most common personal injury cases in the U.S. When a car accident usually happens, it is because someone didn’t follow the traffic rules. A reckless driver can be held liable for the injuries caused by the accident.

However, California follows shared fault laws or the “pure comparative negligence” rule. In basic terms, this means that the compensation an injured person will receive will depend on their shared fault in the accident.

For example, you were in a car accident where another driver beat the red light and hit your car. However, you were also driving a few miles above the speed limit, so you might share a small percentage of the blame for the accident, say 15%. Under California’s pure comparative negligence rule, your total compensation is reduced by 15%, representing the total percent of your fault in the accident. So from $10,000, you will only receive $8,500 after deducting the 15%.

Slip and Fall

A slip and fall case is another common type of personal injury case. Landlords, or sometimes even tenants, have the legal responsibility of keeping their property safe and hazard-free to avoid any individuals from being injured. Of course, not all injuries or accidents inside the property premises are against the property owner.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a special type of personal injury case. These types of claims are brought against nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals or even hospitals when their treatment falls below medical standards, leading to a patient’s injury or death. However, it is essential to remember that not all bad treatment outcomes mean that your health care provider has committed medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely complicated, so you need legal experts on your side.


Defamation is a false statement about you that someone gives. It can appear as fact, and it aims to harm your professional or personal reputation. Libel and slander fall under defamation law. Libel is defamation in writing, and slander is verbal defamation. When charging for slander or libel, you just usually have to prove that someone made a false statement against you and that it caused harm or financial loss.

Dog Bites

In many states, dog owners are protected from injury liability if their dog injures someone for the first time or if they have reason to believe that the dog isn’t dangerous. In California, California Civil Code section 3342 makes the dog owner strictly liable, which means that the dog’s owner is legally responsible for injuries caused by their dog to someone. The statute reads:

“The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

Battery, Assault, and Intentional Torts

Compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits, intentional torts aren’t accidents caused by carelessness but rather when someone intentionally harms someone. Cases like these can usually involve criminal charges against the perpetrator. For instance, when someone physically attacks another person, they face criminal charges. The victim can also file a personal injury lawsuit in court and demand compensation for injuries caused by the attack. If you have experienced physical harm caused by someone, don’t hesitate to press charges.

Andrew Alexander Dósa is a trial attorney with more than 36 years of experience in civil/business litigation, criminal defense, personal injury claims, and estate planning. Mr. Dósa received his law degree from the University of San Francisco and his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He is admitted to practice in all California Courts and the U. S. Northern and Eastern District Courts in California, and he is a member of the California State Bar, Alameda County Bar Association, and Christian Legal Society.

As an Alameda CA trial attorney, Andrew has a record of over 15 jury trials, 60 court trials, more than 60 arbitrations and mediation sessions, and handling of all aspects of litigation involving criminal, real estate, business, tort, and trust/probate law. Significant legal research, analysis, and writing. Extensive experience appearing before state and federal courts, administrative boards, and agencies.

Contact Attorney:

Phone: 510-241-4165
Andrew Alexander Dósa is a trial attorney with more than 36 years of experience in civil/business litigation, criminal defense, personal injury claims, and estate planning.


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