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 someone to be injured, or even come kinds of intentional acts that cause someone to be injured, can both fall under personal injury law.

Personal Injury cases aren’t criminal cases in California. Instead, Personal Injury laws provide a way for victims to press civil liability to recoup financial, physical, and emotional losses.

While a personal injury suit can’t help you heal faster or undo the damage, successfully pressing a personal injury case can help you get the resources you need for medical bills, and may also cover lost income and assign a monetary compensation for pain and suffering.

What Falls Under Personal Injury Law in California?

One of the most important things you need to know about personal injury law is what kinds of situations qualify for personal injury cases. There are many situations that might justify a personal injury case, and it’s likely that many people don’t receive adequate compensation because they don’t know that they have a good case.

Of course, every case depends on the details, which can be best evaluated by a lawyer. But if you find yourself in one of these situations, or a similar situation, it’s a good idea to contact us for a consultation to see if you have a good case.

Common Personal Injury Claims:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Bike Accidents
  • Dog bite cases
  • Medical Malpractice (may also fall under other legal categories, depending on the case)
    • Medical malpractice suits also have strict reporting requirements. If you suspect you might have been a victim of medical malpractice, you must contact a lawyer as quickly as possible.
  • Manufacturing defects that caused injury to the consumer
  • Negligence directly resulting in injury
  • Slip and Fall accidents (in public and private spaces)
  • Construction accidents
  • Etc…

These kinds of claims aren’t cut and dry. While you might have a situation that looks like a personal injury case, there might be mitigating circumstances that change the situation.

For instance, dog bite cases might be harder to pursue if the victim was actively antagonizing the dog immediately before being bitten. If you’re bitten by a dog on a property with guard dog signs or other warnings of a potentially aggressive or anti-intruder trained animal, that may also affect your case.

Here’s another example. Your friend is renovating their house and knows that one area of the floor is weak and can’t be walked across yet. You come over to visit, walk across the damaged section of floor, and it gives way. You fall and are injured in the process. Your friend might be liable if they didn’t tell you the floor was weak.

But if your friend told you, and you walked across the floor anyway, they probably aren’t liable for the injury.

That’s because your friend might be considered negligent if they didn’t tell you, but if they did, it’s likely that they would be considered to have taken reasonable precautions to prevent the injury from happening.

Understanding Negligence:

California uses a pure comparative system of negligence. That’s because there are different levels of fault in different personal injury cases. Sometimes the defendant may be deemed 100% liable for the injury.

But if multiple parties were negligent, liability is spread between them according to how responsible each individual was for the injury.

The person who is injured in a personal injury suit can also be considered partially liable if they didn’t listen to warnings or posted signage or ignored obvious indicators of risk.

The Statute of Limitations:

California has a 2-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. Some, like medical malpractice claims, have much shorter periods, and you’ll need to move faster in those cases.

Also, if the defendant is a government entity, under California state law you only have six months to file an injury claim and may have to follow additional procedures to press your claim.

California also protects you if you don’t immediately realize that you’re injured. If you discover an injury later, and that delay makes it difficult to file your injury claim within the statute of limitations, you may qualify for an extended statute of limitations. In that situation, you have up to 1 year after discovering the injury to file your claim.

Getting a Trusted Opinion:

Personal injury cases are many and varied, and if you don’t have the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer it can be almost impossible to know if you have a good claim. KTJ Law Group offers free case evaluations specifically to help you decide if you want to move forward with a case.

Having an experienced and professional team will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve and help clear the roadblocks along the way. Call us at (818) 873-0181, or contact us to get started with a case evaluation.

The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can help.

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