Personal Injury

Personal injury law deals with individuals who are injured as a result of someone else’s wrong-doing or due to an accidental situation. In most cases, the individual must prove that the other party was at fault for what occurred. A competent lawyer will be able to work for you to tackle even the most difficult cases, going up against insurance companies to obtain compensation for you for pain and suffering, lost wages, and payment of medical bills.

The statute of limitations in California for personal injury cases is 2 years. This means that you must bring a case against the other party within 2 years or your claims may be barred forever. California is a comparative fault jurisdiction. This means that if a plaintiff is partially at-fault for his or her own injuries, then a plaintiff’s recovery of damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is devastating and bringing a lawsuit only serves to make it more complicated and upsetting. A good attorney will be compassionate in regard to your situation and will try to make the process as smooth as possible.

Wrongful death cases arise due to the negligence or wrong-doing of an entity or another person. It is a civil lawsuit brought by the deceased individual’s family, survivors of the deceased, or a representative of the estate. The wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the individual’s death. Damages that can be recovered in wrongful death cases include funeral and medical expenses as well as a monetary figure for the loss of the deceased individual’s services as well as loss of their society, love, and companionship. A wrongful death plaintiff may also recover for lost present and future economic support that they would have received from the deceased individual.

Car Accidents

After someone has been involved in a car accident, he or she can file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company or can file a lawsuit against the responsible party and prove their damages in court. In many instances, settling out of court is the preferable option due to time and monetary concerns. If the other party does not admit to being at fault and the matter proceeds to court through the filing of a lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to show that the defendant was negligent in some manner (i.e., not paying adequate attention while driving), thus, causing the accident. The plaintiff also has the burden to prove injuries and damages.

It is extremely important to have car insurance when driving any vehicle in California. If you are injured in a car accident as the driver of a vehicle and do not have car insurance (or the car you were driving was not insured), California law prevents you from obtaining damages for pain and suffering, even if the accident was not your fault.

Damages awarded are based on the injuries that arise as a result of the auto accident. In California, the minimum required insurance limits are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage. If you are involved in an auto accident and the responsible party’s insurance limits are not enough to cover your injuries (or the responsible party has no insurance coverage), you can file a claim through your own insurance carrier under what’s called “uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage” in order to receive additional compensation for your pain and suffering and medical expenses. Note that you are not required to carry “uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage” under California law, however, it is prudent to have this coverage on your policy.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as a disruption in one’s normal brain functioning due to a jolt, bump, blow or a penetrating head injury. This can be caused by an automobile accident, fall, assault, or being struck against or by objects, among other causes. A TBI can result in a concussion, or something more severe such as amnesia, permanent disability, and even death.  There are approximately 1.7 million TBI’s each year in the United States, which is a staggering statistic.

An individual who suffers a TBI due to another party’s fault may bring a legal claim. The medical expenses in a TBI case might be astronomical as the individual suffering from TBI may require a substantial amount of future medical care and assistance with daily living.

Since TBI has costs totaling $76.5 billion yearly in the United States, there have been state and federal programs and services created to help TBI patients. California has established a Department of Rehabilitation for individuals affected by TBI.

Slips and Falls

A Slip and Fall case involves an injury that occurs from an individual slipping and falling as a result of the negligence or wrong-doing of another party. Like other personal injury cases, you have to file a lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the incident. When it comes to filing a claim against a governmental entity in California (i.e., slip and fall as a result of a sidewalk defect), you have to file a claim for damages with the government entity within 6 months of the date of the incident.

Proving liability in a slip and fall case can be tricky and challenging because the law requires the plaintiff to prove that the responsible party had notice of the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall and failed to react to the dangerous condition in a reasonably timely manner.

Dog Bites

The California dog bite statute makes the owner of a dog “strictly liable” for the injuries that occur as a result of their dog biting an individual who is either in a public place or lawfully in a private place. “Strict Liability” means that the owner can’t argue that he or she did not know that their dog would bite someone or behave in an aggressive fashion. There may, however, be barriers to recovery if you are a dog bite victim. For instance, you may not be able to recover damages if you were trespassing on private property at the time of the dog bite incident.