Personal injury lawsuits cover a wide range of incidents where a victim is hurt because of someone else’s negligence or intentionally harmful actions. Even if the liable party’s action (or lack of action) was due to carelessness, the victim may still have cause to pursue a personal injury claim.
California law allows individuals to pursue compensation for injuries caused by the harmful or negligent actions of another. For example, personal injury cases can be related to car accidents or defective products.
At the Scott Carr Law firm, we are dedicated to serving injured clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout California. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed by another person or company’s negligence, schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You can reach the San Francisco office at 415-799-2229.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Many personal injury claims in San Francisco and throughout California are related to motor vehicle collisions:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
Pedestrians and cyclists can also get into collisions with vehicles, leading to personal injury claims.
California law also allows victims to pursue personal injury claims for other types of incidents:
- Dog bites
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Slip-and-fall accidents
If the victim of an accident or defective product is killed, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
What Kind of Damages Can You Sue For in California?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to show that the defendant’s negligence or intentionally harmful action caused your injuries. If you can prove this, then you can seek financial damages.
There are two types of damages that you may be awarded by a California court: non-economic and economic. Non-economic damages are based on intangible consequences of the injury:
- Loss of affection or companionship
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Injury to reputation
- Loss of consortium (e.g loss of sexual affection)
Because the “value” of these things is subjective, a jury decides the amount of non-economic damages. Unlike other states, California does not have a cap for non-economic damages, except in the case of medical malpractice ($250,000).
You can also sue for economic damages. The amount is based on the actual financial cost of the incident:
- Medical bills for emergency care, diagnosis, treatment, and medications
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
California law does not place a cap on the amount of economic damages you can be awarded.
California Laws That Affect Personal Injury Cases
There are several California laws that can affect your personal injury lawsuit:
- Comparative negligence: The state’s “pure comparative negligence” laws mean that every party involved in the incident is assigned some percentage of fault. For example, if a speeding car hits a cyclist who ran a stop sign, both the driver and the cyclist may be considered partly at fault. Your percentage of fault affects the amount of non-economic damages you can collect. If you are 10 percent at fault and the judge awards $10,000 in non-economic damages, you can only collect 90 percent ($9,000).
- Statute of limitations: In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years. Usually, the clock starts running when the incident occurs. In cases when injuries do not appear right away, you may have two years from when you realize you were injured.
These laws can affect the outcome of your personal injury case, including the amount of compensation you receive.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer?
California’s comparative negligence laws can complicate personal injury cases. To recover damages, you must be able to prove that the liable party was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury.
You are not required to hire an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. However, many You are not required to hire an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. However, many people find that hiring an attorney makes the process more streamlined and less stressful. A personal injury attorney can listen to your story and help you understand what options are available to you to pursue compensation. At the Scott Carr Law Firm, we work on a contingent-fee basis. This means we don’t get paid until we successfully resolve your case.
Get Expert Legal Support for Your Personal Injury Case
One person’s negligence can lead to devastating consequences for victims of dog bites, car accidents, falls, or defective products. For many victims and their families, the liable party’s initial insurance setOne person’s negligence can lead to devastating consequences for victims of car accidents, falls, or defective products. For many victims and their families, the liable party’s initial insurance settlement doesn’t cover medical bills and property damage, much less emotional suffering and lost wages.
At the Scott Carr Law Firm, we have the experience and expertise to help you pursue compensation for your personal injury case. When you schedule a consultation, you can tell your story and get expert advice on your legal options. Call our San Francisco office at 415-799-2229.