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California Personal Injury Law Basics

Personal Injury California

If you’ve been injured in an accident, or on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. But US personal injury law is not consistent across all states. In fact, there’s nothing whatsoever in federal law about personal injury. Personal injury cases are decided on the basis of tort law, which varies by state.

So, what if you’ve been injured in the state of California? Or what if you’re being sued for personal injury? Here’s a quick guide to what you should expect.

California Tort Law is Based on Comparative Fault

In most states, tort law falls into two different categories: fault, and no fault. In a fault state, the person who is directly responsible for the accident is responsible for paying all related bills. For example, if someone is injured on your property in a fault state, you have to pay all their medical bills. Conversely, in a no-fault estate, a person’s insurance company is responsible for paying the bills.

California is a bit of an oddball. It’s a comparative fault state, which means that a judge or jury must decide what percentage of fault each person is responsible for. So, for example, if you’re in an accident, and the judge finds you 25 percent at fault, you will pay 25 percent of your medical bills, and the balance will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company.

California Insurance Companies Have Generous Deadlines

When you’re injured in an accident, you need to notify the other person’s insurance company. In the most common case, an auto accident, this would be an auto insurance company. The company will then have 15 days to acknowledge your claim. Within this period, expect to get a call from an actuary who will ask you questions about your claim. They will ask to record your answers, but California is a two-party consent state. You don’t have to let them record if you don’t want to.

The company will then have 40 days to either accept your claim or deny it. Most likely, they will offer you a settlement for less than your actual damages. To get a more fair payment, you should contact an attorney. The attorney can negotiate on your half to get a better deal. Either way, once a settlement has been reached, the company will have 30 days to pay you. In the event that you can’t reach an acceptable settlement, you’ll need to proceed with a lawsuit.

The California Statute of Limitations is Three Years

Not all injuries are immediately apparent. For example, a back injury such as a slipped disk can take months or even years to fully manifest. In California, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim. A court can waive this requirement under certain circumstances, but you’ll need a qualified attorney to get that done.

Your Odds are Better With an Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re filing a claim or being sued, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney. The fact is that insurance companies have staffs of high-powered corporate lawyers who know insurance law like the back of their hands.

Odds are, you don’t have the legal expertise to take on this challenge by yourself. You need a professional attorney, someone who knows tort law just as well as the insurance company’s team. By hiring the right law firm, like the KJT Law Group, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenge the big corporate teams can throw at you.

If you’re in need of assistance, contact us online for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can email us at info@KJTLawGroup.com, or call us at (818)-507-8525. Our team is ready and willing to help you can get the justice you deserve.

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The 5 Most Dangerous Intersections in California

Any number of situations can lead to an auto accident. Distracted driving, speeding, and equipment failure are just a few of the reasons car crashes occur. Sometimes, the design of an intersection also plays a part in auto accidents.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California?

Between 2015 and 2016, many statistics for car accidents in California saw increases. The number of fatalities related to accidents went up by 7 percent. Fatalities involving impaired drivers, motorcyclists, and passengers not using seat belts all increased. Even fatalities involving cars vs. bicycles, cars vs. pedestrians, and teen drivers increased.

I Was Injured by a Drunk Driver. What Should I Do?

Drunk driving is still a leading cause of death in vehicle crashes. Per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, every 48 minutes a person dies as a result of a crash involving a drunk driver. If you’re involved in a crash with a drunk driver, call the police and seek medical care. You might feel fine, but adrenaline can mask the pain and discomfort for a few hours.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Black’s Law Dictionary estimates that only four to five percent of personal injury cases ever make it to trial. Very few cases ever do make it into a courtroom. Most reach an out-of-court settlement. This is due to two things. First, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), about half of all civil cases lead to a positive outcome for the plaintiff. Second, it’s time-consuming. It can take months or even years to battle a personal injury case in the courts.

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

When you’re in an accident on your bicycle, call the police. Of course, if you’re badly injured, you’ll have to rely on a witness to do this for you. If you feel fine, you still must call the police. You might find more damage to your bicycle than you first thought. You don’t want the driver to leave without having a way to get hold of that driver down the road.

Motorcycle Accidents – 5 Statistics That Will Leave You Shocked

In 2015, approximately 8.6 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S. That same year, motorcycle riders suffered 88,000 reported injuries, and 5,029 fatalities were reported. When you’re on a motorcycle, there is very little protecting you from serious injury during a crash. Cars have a harder time seeing you. If there’s a crash, the clothing and helmet you wear are the only protection you have between the ground and other solid surfaces. Here are five shocking statistics about motorcycles and motorcycle accidents.

Hit By A Car Crossing The Street? Here’s What To Do Next

Did you know that most pedestrian accidents occur between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.? About 3 out of 4 accidents where a car hits a pedestrian take place in the dark. This is why it’s so important to wear bright, reflective clothing. If possible, wear flashing lights that can be seen from different angles.

Understanding Personal Injury Law in California

Being injured, even relatively mild injuries can cause serious disruption to your life and overall wellbeing. Personal injury laws exist to help people make a claim against the costs and disruption caused by an injury when that injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness. In some cases, omitting critical information that causes […]

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