The State of California imposes certain specific laws and regulations that can influence the manner in which a personal injury lawsuit or settlement is carried out after an accident. One of the most important is the statute of limitations, the time during which a claimant can make his case. Other laws influence the amount of compensation payable by the plaintiff and even dictate strict liability.
Our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you make your case, negotiate with the party at fault and file a lawsuit if you were injured in an accident that occurred in California.
Time limits for filing lawsuits in California
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years after the date of the accident. The injured party can initiate a trial during these two years. Any claims made after this date will most likely not be taken into consideration in court and the injured individual will lose the right to claim compensations.
Claims made against the Government have a shorter statute of limitations and in some medical malpractice cases, the individual can take the case to court after he became aware of an existing injury (the discovery rule).
You can watch the following video for information on the state laws in California:
Limitations on compensations in personal injury cases
While individuals are entitled to compensations both for economic and non-economic damages, in practice, the amount of compensation obtainable after a personal injury can be limited. According to law, uninsured drivers in California cannot claim non-economic damages after a vehicle accident.
California also has a limitation on the amount of compensation obtainable by the victim in medical malpractice cases: the limit is 250,000 $. This applies to non-economic damages and it governed by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act.
You can use our settlement calculator to find out what damages you can ask for and what would qualify as a reasonable amount of monetary compensation for your injuries.
Shared fault and strict liability laws in California
According to the California Civil Code, dog owners have strict liability in dog bite and/or attack cases. This means that the owner of the dog is liable for his pet’s actions even if he was not aware that the animal is aggressive.
In some personal injury cases, the law allows for shared fault between the two parties. The pure comparative negligence rule reduces the amount of compensation a party is entitled to according to the percentage of fault for the accident. If you do have some level of fault for the accident, then the defendant will use the shared fault laws to reduce the total amount of compensation he is due to pay for the injuries. For example, if you are 10% to blame for a vehicle accident, your share of the compensation will be reduced by that amount (if you were due 10,000 $ for your injuries and damages, you will only receive 9,000$).