The Basics of California Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve been in a car accident through no fault of your own, there will be many factors to consider. Even if the damage to your vehicle seems fairly manageable, you’ll want to assess your physical wellbeing, as well. It’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel immediate pain.

If you find yourself hurt after an accident, a doctor might want you to take some time away from work. This could lead you to worry about making ends meet. On top of that, medical bills will ultimately start to stack up. In such a case, it may be time to consider starting a personal injury case.

What is personal injury?

While the legal jargon surrounding personal injury might come across as a bit complex, it typically boils down to one general concept: someone was injured and, legally, another party is at fault. Though it isn’t always that simple, that’s one of the guiding principles of a personal injury case. However, each state has their own guiding principles on how personal injury cases proceed and California is no different.

In the state of California, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. Typically, the sooner you file the better, as your inaction could be used against you during legal proceedings. If you’re filing against a city, county, or state agency in California, the statute of limitations is only six months. A qualified legal representative can tell you whether or not these shortened statutes apply in your case, but more often than not, they won’t.

Proving negligence

One of the more difficult aspects of a California personal injury case is determining fault. Luckily, if you were in an automobile accident and contacted the proper authorities, the responding officer likely made an assessment of fault at the scene of the accident. But, if the police weren’t contacted or didn’t file a report that explicitly mentioned blame, it might be a bit more difficult. Often, the burden falls on whichever party expressed fault at the scene, though without witness statements, this can quickly devolve into a “he said, she said” situation.

In these cases, the party that accepted fault will often change their story to avoid any legal recourse. Insurance companies often find it difficult to accept any responsibility should this happens, which makes acquiring the financial reimbursement you need that much harder. Also, if both parties are partly at fault, California has specific shared fault laws that could make you both liable for damages. If this is the case, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help navigate your claim.

Seeking legal assistance

Even if it seems like you have an open and shut case on your hands, it’s typically unwise to file on your own. If the party you file against retains legal counsel, you’re going to find it very difficult to prove your case against a qualified attorney. Even so, insurance companies have quite the habit of trying to get personal injury claimants to settle for the bare minimum so they’re not out much money.

If you’re interested in pursuing a personal injury claim, contact the California personal injury experts at Avrek Law to discuss the specifics of your case as well as next steps in the filing process. By retaining legal counsel, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at received the damages you’re due in a timely matter so your life can move forward.

Moving forward

While personal injury cases can easily disrupt your life, the right lawyer can help you get it back on track. If you’ve been in an accident or have been hurt in a slip and fall injury, it’s important that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible to make sure your case progresses smoothly. California personal injury law can be complex, but the right lawyer can break down all of the legalese and help you start to heal and move forward.