California Personal Injury Laws and Information

Personal injury law is very similar in most states with very few exceptions. Primary differences in injury claims across the states are usually the various methods of comparative negligence assessment. Comparative negligence is the concept that many times as accident is caused by multiple negligent parties, with the injured party being included as well when causation is considered. This legal doctrine means that injured parties cannot collect damages for the portion of their injuries that they caused themselves, and all injury claims will be reduced by the personal comparative fault percentage assigned to the claimant by the court. This can easily be the most controversial component of a damage settlement negotiation as well as a primary area of focus for all personal injury attorneys.

Initial Proceeding

Some cases are obvious valid claims, but many insurance companies will still attempt to limit the claim. But, if insurance companies deny their client is responsible for an accident, it is incumbent on the plaintiff attorney to prove that an injury occurred to their client and the injury was the actual fault of the respondent’s negligence. Also, the attorney must prove that the respondent had a reasonable duty of care responsibility to ensure the safety of the injured plaintiff.

Assessing an Accident Injury

Depending on the material case factors, all individuals involved in an injury claim are evaluated for negligence based on their personal actions. The question revolves around their actions being what a reasonably prudent individual would do in a given situation regarding the assumption of personal risk. In short, how much did the injured party contribute to the injury by their actions? This assessment is applied in both premises liability cases and automobile accident cases. Personal injury attorneys will focus intently on this part of a negotiation because the comparative negligence percentage issued by the state will be used to discount the total amount of damages a claimant may receive.


California law sets a two-year statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim, with the time beginning as soon as the injury occurs or is realized by the injured party. In automobile cases, individuals who are 100% at fault for an accident are usually barred from receiving any personal injury compensation. Also, uninsured drivers in an accident have a similar restriction, but both situations can be exempted if one of the drivers involved in the accident is convicted for driving under the influence. Limitations on personal injury claims can be very complicated and having an experienced personal injury attorney ensures all rights to financial damages will be observed.