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Orange County Lawyers Discuss California Personal Injury Laws

By Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie on March 28, 2017

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For anyone living in California, it is crucial to educate yourself on what happens to you in the case of a personal injury. Unexpected injuries can happen at any time and often they occur due to the negligence of others, causing you pain and suffering both physically and mentally.

If you are a California resident, there are strict personal injury laws you should be aware to protect you and your family and it is very important you understand the basics of these laws. In the article below, we’re going to take a “deep dive” and review each of these personal injury laws and the affect they could have on you and those you love.

Time Limits for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Every state has varying time limits regarding the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after an injury occurs. This is something called a statute of limitations and this law is in place to ensure that the personal injury case is valid.

In the case of California, the statute of limitations is two years after the injury occurs. This means if you are injured in the State of California, you have up to two years to either settle your case or to file your lawsuit in a court of law. If you fail to get to the courthouse within the two-year period, you will be waiving your rights.

If your injury occurs as the result of the negligence of a governmental entity the statutes are much shorter and you should consult with a personal injury attorney for these special filing time limits.

Shared Fault Laws

In California there is another law to be aware of called Shared Fault Laws or Comparative Liability, this type of law allows the defendant to claim that you, the injured person, is actually partially at fault for the accident for one reason or another.

If the court finds you were at fault for the injury, along with the defendant, then you risk losing part of your potential compensation because of that fact. The compensation would be reduced by a similar percentage to the percentage of fault you own in the accident. This will be completely determined by the court, as each case will be unique and different.

“Strict” Liability for Dog Attack Cases

In many states, dog owners are protected during the first case of their dog-biting or attacking someone else, if they truly believe their dog didn’t pose a threat. In other words, this is a “one bite” rule, but after the first bite, the personal injury charges will go into effect.

However, this isn’t the case in California. In this state, if your dog were to bite someone else, no matter if it’s the first time or not, the dog owner will be held liable. Here is the statute and what it says exactly:

“The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

Limits on Injury Damages

There are a couple of different cases in California in which there is a limit set on the amount of injury damages that can be given out. The first is: No non-economic pain and suffering damages for uninsured drivers. The law in California (Proposition 213) states that uninsured car drivers are not allowed to recover personal injury compensation for “non-economic” damages after an accident. These would include pain and suffering, dismemberment, and other physical/mental damage. The only exception to this rule is if the uninsured driver is injured by a person found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The other law is a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. There is a $250,000 cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be claimed in such cases, as per California law.

If you experience personal injury anywhere in Orange County or throughout California, our team of lawyers provides effective representation of personal injury victims. Our lawyers at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie offer a free consultation at 949-752-7474.

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