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Know Your Personal Injury Legal Rights

In the state of California if you are injured because of the negligence of a third party you are protected under the law. You may be entitled to exercise your legal rights to seek compensation for both property damage and bodily injury. The courts of California provide that: You must prove the person who caused the injury was negligent. That is, he didn’t use reasonable care. In California, you must prove:

  • The person who caused your injury owed you a duty
  • The other person broke or breached that duty
  • You suffered damages
  • The other person’s failure caused your injury

Under California’s comparative negligence law, if your carelessness or negligence helped cause your injury, the amount you may recover is reduced by your degree of fault. Under California’s joint and several liability rules, everyone responsible for your injury is liable for all of your economic damages. These include medical expenses and lost wages. Each person may be forced to pay all of your damages regardless of their degree of fault.

It’s different for noneconomic damages. These include pain and suffering and emotional distress. These damages are split between those who caused your injury according to their degrees of fault. If you’ve been injured by a consumer product, the manufacturer or seller may be responsible under strict liability law. Generally, it makes some people responsible for damages caused by their products, regardless of their “fault.” Under California law, you need to prove:

  • The product was in a defective condition, and unreasonably dangerous even if you used it in the way it was intended to be used
  • The defect caused your injury
  • You suffered damages
  • The danger wasn’t “open and obvious,” such as a sharp knife

What Is My Claim Worth?

Under California law, the person who injured you is responsible for:

  • Past, current and future estimated medical expenses
  • Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy
  • Any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle
  • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you couldn’t do them
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression and any interference with your family relationships
  • Any other costs that are a direct result of your injury

How Long Do I Have to File a Legal Claim?

California Law requires that legal actions must be commenced within certain time limitations, or you will lose all your legal rights. Depending on the responsible parties, your time limitations may be as little as six months to two years from the date of your injury. Contact a Fresno personal injury lawyer today to discuss the specifics of your case and explore your legal options.