A personal injury claim is when someone takes legal action because of harm experienced due to another person’s actions or failure to act. These claims fall under a type of law called tort law, which helps protect people and their belongings from harm. When a court looks at a personal injury case, they consider different things, but one common factor is negligence.  

In California, someone harmed by another person must show they have the right to bring the claim to court. The right to bring the case before the court is called legal standing. Once there is legal standing, the court looks at the facts to see if there was negligence (or wrongdoing) and if the plaintiff deserves compensation. 

What Is Negligence?

Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, which means something like “carelessness.” In negligence cases, the person who caused the harm didn’t mean to do it. However, the court may not consider their actions or lack of action reasonable. So, in personal injury cases involving negligence, a plaintiff must prove all components of negligence to receive compensation for the harm they suffered because of the defendant’s behavior.

If you’re in a situation like this in California, it’s important to understand the components of a personal injury case, the relevant laws, and the steps you should take to protect your rights.

Proving Negligence

Suppose someone seeks compensation for injuries due to someone else’s carelessness. In that case, they must prove specific requirements to prove the person acted negligently. 

Here are the requirements in a personal injury claim to show negligence.

  • Duty of Care: People are legally responsible for acting reasonably and not harming others.
  • Breach of Duty: This occurs when someone fails to fulfill their obligation to be careful and causes harm to another person. To win a personal injury case, you must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
  • Causation: There must be a clear link between the plaintiff’s injuries and the defendant’s breach of duty. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries wouldn’t have happened without the defendant’s actions.
  • Damages: Refers to the compensation the plaintiff asks for to cover their losses, including economic damages and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Oftentimes, only one or two of these elements will be in dispute. However, the personal injury victim must bring evidence in support of all of them in order to win.

Rules for Personal Injury Cases in California

In addition to proving negligence, California has specific laws and regulations for personal injury claims. It’s important to understand these rules to build a strong case.

  • Statutes of Limitations: There are time limits for filing a personal injury claim. You have two years from the injury in California to file a lawsuit.
  • Comparative Negligence: California follows a rule called pure comparative negligence, which assigns fault for an accident. In California, even if a plaintiff is partially at fault, they can still get compensation if the court finds the defendant negligent.
  • Potential Damages: In California, compensatory damages are allowed. These damages help plaintiffs recover losses like lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are available as well, but only in rare cases.

An attorney can guide you through the process and ensure your best interests are represented.

Getting Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims can be complex, so consulting with a personal injury lawyer is a good idea. They can help you increase your chances of getting fair compensation. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so you can reach out for some initial legal help at no charge.

Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the Vista personal injury law firm of Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas:

Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Vista, CA Office
380 S Melrose Dr. Ste. 201
Vista, CA 92081

(619) 344-0360

Petrov Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Oceanside, CA Office
702 Civic Center Drive Ste. 105
Oceanside, CA, 92054

(619) 678-1016