Because elements of California personal injury law are different from other states, when it comes time to hire a lawyer to help you gain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, you need to make sure you get an attorney who specializes in California law.
You also need to find a lawyer who has expertise in handling cases involving your type of accident. For instance, Nadrich & Cohen injury lawyers, who are located in Los Angeles, have experience in a variety of personal injury lawsuits, including road accidents, dog bites, and slip and fall injuries, to name just a few.
Now, let us take a look at the four things that are unique about Californian personal injury law to illustrate just why you need a lawyer on board.
1. California Is a Comparative Fault State
You could have fault insurance or no-fault insurance for your car.
The latter means your insurance company covers the cost of medical expenses and damages after an accident. The former means the individual responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying the costs.
California is a comparative fault state. That means the person responsible for an auto accident is responsible for paying a proportion of the damages.
For instance, if you cause an accident, you could be responsible for 20% of the damages while your insurance company is responsible for paying out the other 80%.
2. There Are Time Limits for Filing Lawsuits in California
When it comes to filing a lawsuit for medical expenses or for the cost of damage to your property, California law states you must file the lawsuit within three years from the time of your accident.
In rare circumstances, you may be able to get an extension, such as if the at-fault driver leaves California and does not attend the summons or if your injuries are not initially apparent.
As for claims against a Californian city, county, or government agency, you have only six months to file a personal injury claim. You must also stick to rigid procedural rules when your lawsuit is filed against a city, county, or state government entity in California.
3. There Is No One-bite Rule for Dogs in California
In lots of states, dog owners are often protected from injury liability the first time their dog harms someone. That is referred to as the one-bite rule.
But in California, Civil Code section 334 states that the owner is strictly liable. That basically means, as a dog owner, you are responsible in most situations in which your dog bites someone, regardless of whether the injury happens in a private or public place.
4. California Follows the Comparative Negligence Rule in Shared Fault Cases
It helps to have a lawyer on board in a personal claim lawsuit for numerous reasons.
One scenario in which an attorney can be very helpful is when the case involves the defendant claiming the injured person was to blame for causing the accident. A good lawyer is needed to fully investigate the situation and persuade a judge or jury in court.
If you are injured but end up sharing some of the liability, it will probably affect the amount of total compensation you are entitled to.
In Californian shared fault injury cases, a pure comparative negligence rule is followed. That basically means that the level of compensation you can receive is reduced by the amount that equals the percentage of the accident’s cause that you are found responsible for.