What Is a Personal Injury?

Have you been in an accident in California in 2019? You may wonder what your legal options are regarding compensation. Under California law, residents have the right to recover damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. However, not all injuries qualify for compensation under these lawsuits.

The Definition of Personal Injury

According to California law, a personal injury is a type of injury inflicted on a person, as opposed to property or reputation. To qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, the cause of your injury must be due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. You must suffer tangible and non-tangible losses, known as damages, to receive compensation.

Personal injuries can encompass a wide variety of accidents and incidents that can lead to harm to you or your loved ones. Personal injuries can involve motor vehicles, improper medical techniques, dangerous products, and more.

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Birth injuries
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slips and falls on unsafe premises
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites and attacks
  • Defective and dangerous products

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

When you suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or other responsibility, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in California civil court. Many lawsuits may involve more than one at-fault party, including individuals, workplaces, government entities, and corporations.

You and your personal injury lawyer will need to prove the following factors for the successful litigation of a California personal injury lawsuit.

  • First, you will need to prove that the at-fault party should have maintained a legal duty of care to you. This duty can include a responsibility of other drivers to operate their cars safely on the road, a doctor to provide a certain level of medical care, or a building owner’s responsibility to keep his or her premises safe.
  • Next, you must prove that the at-fault party violated its duty of care to you. For example, if a driver ran a red light and crashed into your car, the driver breached his or her duty of care.
  • Then, you must prove that the breach of duty of care caused your injuries. If you suffered injuries due to a car accident caused by the other driver’s negligence or breach of traffic laws, you can prove this element.
  • Finally, you must prove that you suffered tangible and non-tangible damages as a result of your injuries and the at-fault party’s breach of duty of care. For example, medical bills due to injuries suffered in a car accident could be damages that you can claim.

The Statute of Limitations and Potential Damages in California Personal Injury Lawsuits

In California, you have to adhere to the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit successfully. The statute of limitations sets a deadline by which you must file your case in civil court. In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to begin your lawsuit process. If you do not file within this period, the court will likely refuse to hear your case.

It is important to file within the two-year time period so that you do not lose your right to financial compensation. Under California law, you can claim damages for economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. You can also claim damages for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional trauma.

Do You Need an Attorney for Your California Personal Injury?

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in California can be a lengthy and complicated process. If you are struggling with recovering from severe injuries or dealing with mounting bills, meeting deadlines and collecting evidence would add undue stress to your circumstances. For best results, hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to file your personal injury case without errors and within the correct time frame, as well as conduct a thorough investigation.