Liability for injuries that occur on your or someone else’s property is a significant portion of our practice. We have represented tenants, landlords, owners, and visitors in lawsuits alleging personal injuries caused by dangerous or defective conditions in buildings or on land, actions seeking to abate nuisances that make people sick, cases involving assault and battery, “toxic torts” such as land contamination by oil leaks or chemical spills, and lawsuits seeking to hold the property owner liable for the condition of the property.
Personal injury cases are almost always about negligence by one person against another. A large number of personal injury or property damage cases have to do with vehicular accidents. If you own a vehicle, then you are familiar with negligence especially if you live in a “fault” state that allows you to legally pursue a claim against another party’s poor driving. The lawsuit will help the injured person claim for damages caused by negligence.
However, not all personal injury – property injury cases have to do with negligence. These kinds of cases all fall under the tort law which includes medical malpractice or intent to do another person harm, physical or otherwise, for personal gain.
Thus, aside from negligence, it is possible to file a personal injury case if:
Under the state of California, there is a 2-year statute of limitation for personal injury- personal property damage (Civil Procedure section 335.1). This is the period wherein you are allowed to file a personal injury case. Once the two years has passed, the case can no longer be pursued and will be thrown out of the court. With government agencies, the statute of limitation is much shorter at 6 months (Cal Government Code Section 911.2).
Many times, a personal injury-property damage suit is complicated by the shared fault laws of California. This means that the person you claim caused you personal injury may turn around and say that you have partial responsibility. If this convinces the court or during a settlement hearing, then your compensation will be compute based on “comparative negligence.”
Personal injury lawsuits are best handled by experienced lawyers because under California law, there are limits on the compensation amounts allowed. For instance, uninsured drivers cannot claim for non-economic damages regardless of the fault laws of the state but with a lawyer, it is possible to find the exception to this rule.
Also, if you want to negotiate for a settlement out of court, a lawyer representing you will always be able to protect your interests first and foremost. In many personal injury cases, one or both parties prefer to settle or pay an agreed amount to avoid going to court.
A few questions you can use to help you choose your legal representative are:
Compassion, experience, and skill is what you need to help you through this difficult period in your life. The person you choose to represent you should be dedicated, professional, and sharp.