Car accidents, truck accidents, product defect injuries, medical malpractice, slip & fall accidents, dog bites – These are all examples of personal injuries. If someone who owed a “duty of care” (like a surgeon doing surgery or a driver driving on the road) was negligent in their action, they are liable for your injuries and losses. California is a fault state, which means you can file a personal injury claim asking for compensation, which will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Working with a top-rated Los Angeles, CA injury lawyer can help recover a fair settlement. In this post, we are simplifying California personal injury laws for you.
The statute of limitations
For the uninitiated, the statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing an injury lawsuit after an accident or incident. Every state has its statute of limitations. In California, you have two years to pursue a civil lawsuit for most cases. For instance, if you want a wrongful death lawsuit after losing someone you love in a road accident, you have a two-year deadline from the date of death, not from the date of the accident. If you want to sue a state government agency or government entity, you have six months to take action. The rules are also different.
Shared Fault in California
What happens if you have a share in fault in causing the accident? Contributory negligence laws are used in such circumstances. California follows the pure comparative negligence system, where you can claim compensation for your injuries even if you are more at fault than the other party. However, your eventual settlement will be reduced by your fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault for a road accident and were given $1,00,000 in a settlement, you can only recover $80,000.
Why do you need an injury lawyer?
Ideally, you should hire an injury lawyer immediately after the accident. As someone who suffered injuries because of the other party’s mistake, you have your rights. A skilled lawyer can evaluate the worth of your claim and offer a realistic overview of the circumstances. You can also expect the attorney to negotiate with the insurance company and the other party on your behalf. If things are not settled as expected, they can file a lawsuit and take the matter to trial.
In your best interests, consider talking to an injury lawyer to know what you can do to maximize your settlement.