Bakersfield personal injury attorney Mickey Fine focuses his practice on assisting victims of traumatic injury get justice. Traumatic injuries are those that will result in significant medical expenses, long-term lost wages, home and lifestyle modifications, and untold amounts of personal pain and suffering. These type of injuries demand legal action as economic damages alone can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. They also deserve the full attention of Attorney Fine, limiting his ability to take on claims involving less serious injury.

It is important to know when to hire a personal injury attorney and when to take your case to small claims court. As a general rule, injuries that will not interfere with your daily life for an extended period of time and whose treatment and recovery will not exceed $7,500 in out of pocket expenses are best dealt with through a small claim. Not only is this process faster, it is considerably less expensive, making it better for many personal injury victims.

How to File a Small Claim

Small claims in California are filed in through the court in the county where the injury took place. To file your claim, you will visit your county courthouse to speak with the clerk and obtain the paperwork required in your district. This can vary from county to county, making it important that you speak to the court clerk in the county where the claim will be filed.

Once the paperwork has been completed and the proper fee paid, you will be responsible for notifying the defendant. In order for your claim to proceed, the court will need a Proof of Service form. If you are uncomfortable serving the defendant, you may hire someone else to do it, but the Proof of Service form will be necessary before your case can proceed.

After the court has all of the necessary paperwork, a date will be set for your hearing. Remember to bring all of your documentation including:

  • Pictures
  • Medical records and bills
  • Witness accounts
  • Police reports

The more documentation you can provide, the better your chances of securing full compensation. If you need assistance with filing a small claim or have questions about the process, your local court will be able to provide you with additional information.

If you live in or around Bakersfield and have been seriously injured in an accident, please contact the Law Offices of Mickey Fine online or by calling (661) 333-3333 to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Fine serves victims of serious injury throughout California from his offices in Bakersfield and Manhattan Beach, but can come to you if your injury prevents travel.