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2024 California Personal Injury Laws – All You Need to Know

The term “personal injury” applies to any situation in which someone suffers physical harm and/or economic losses due to the actions of another party. Most personal injury cases arise from negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care, but they may also occur from illegal misconduct. If you or a loved one recently suffered a personal injury of any kind, it is essential to know the state’s laws for resolving these cases and what you can expect in terms of your recovery.

A Beverly Hills personal injury lawyer is an ideal resource to consult in the aftermath of another party’s negligence or misconduct. You are likely to have many important legal questions in this situation, and while it is technically possible to pursue a civil claim on your own, you are far more likely to succeed if you have legal counsel you can trust advising you.

How to Build Your Personal Injury Case

The objective of your personal injury claim is to hold the party who caused the injury accountable for your losses. You have the right to seek full compensation for any and all damages they caused, and it is possible that your case could be worth much more than you initially expected. However, you must meet the statutory rules for personal injury claims if you hope to succeed with your case.

Before you can recover your damage, you must prove how it occurred. You need to identify the party or parties at fault for your personal injury and prove that they caused the injury through some type of negligence or intentional misconduct. Your personal injury attorney can assist you with gathering evidence and witness testimony that you may need to firmly prove negligence, and if the defendant caused your injury through illegal misconduct, they face criminal prosecution from the state.

California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for the economic losses they suffered. If, for example, you suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the defendant’s actions, you can hold the at-fault party accountable for your immediate and future medical expenses for treatment of the injury. You can also seek compensation for the money you cannot earn because of their actions and repayment of any property damage they caused.

State law also permits you to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant, and there are no upper limits to how much you can claim, with the exception of medical malpractice. If your personal injury suit falls within the scope of medical malpractice, state law limits the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can claim from the defendant, regardless of your injuries’ severity.

Success with your personal injury claim requires swift legal action and legal counsel you can trust. Working with a seasoned attorney offers the greatest chance of success with any personal injury case, as they can assist you in meeting the procedural requirements of your claim and maximizing your compensation.

FAQs About California Personal Injury Laws

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in California?

You have a limited time in which to file a personal injury claim against another party. The state requires you to file your complaint within two years of the date your personal injury occurred. This means if you were hurt on January 1, 2024, you would have until January 1, 2025, to file your personal injury claim. Do not assume this is plenty of time to file your case as you face several procedural obligations you must fulfill, and you always have the greatest chance of success when you start the claim filing process as soon as possible.

What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Car Insurance?

Every driver in the state must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements for property damage and bodily injury. However, not all drivers meet this obligation. If the driver who hit you does not have insurance, you can file a claim against your own policy if you have purchased uninsured driver coverage. Otherwise, you will need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

What Can I Do if My Family Member Died From a Personal Injury?

If you lost a family member from a fatal personal injury, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim in place of the personal injury suit they could have pursued if they survived. A wrongful death claim is procedurally very similar to a personal injury case. However, while a personal injury claim aims to provide compensation to the victim of another party’s negligence or misconduct, a wrongful death suit seeks compensation for the victim’s family.

Can I Still Claim Compensation if I Am Partially at Fault for My Personal Injury?

The state follows the pure comparative negligence statute. This means a plaintiff may still claim compensation for damage and injuries even if they hold some blame for their personal injury. Under this rule, the judge overseeing the case would assign each liable party a portion of the total fault for the accident in question. The plaintiff’s fault percentage is taken from their case award as a penalty, and they keep the remainder. If, for example, you are found 10% at fault, you lose 10% of the total damages claimed from the defendant.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for a Personal Injury Claim?

California law does not require you to hire legal counsel to file a personal injury claim against another party. However, handling your claim alone is likely to be far more challenging and costly than you might expect, and the right attorney can provide invaluable support while increasing your chances of success with your case. Additionally, your attorney will know all the various forms of compensation you can claim from the defendant, enhancing your case award beyond what you likely could have managed on your own.

The attorneys at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, have the professional resources, skills, and experience you need on your side to recover from your personal injury as fully as possible. The sooner you connect with our team, the sooner we can begin guiding you toward the recovery you legally deserve. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to learn more about the legal services we offer and how we can help you recover from your personal injury.

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