What Types Of Personal Injury Cases Does Your Firm Handle?
The short answer is all kinds. My firm handles a lot of traffic collision personal injury cases. Under that broad term, there are car crashes, pedestrian injuries, motorcycle collisions, truck collisions, and bicycle collisions. We also handle cases that involve cars hitting something in the road that fell off of another car or truck, usually from an unsecured load. We handle more traffic collision cases by volume than anything else. Aside from traffic collision cases, we also take up a good number of premises liability cases. Those are cases in which someone gets injured due to a dangerous condition in a property, typically slip and falls or trip and falls.
Equally important to the manner in which an injury is sustained is our skill and experience handling the types of injuries our clients suffer. So, my practice includes experience and expertise in proving the nature and extent of serious and life-changing injuries such as burns, electrocutions, brain injuries, spinal injuries, fractures, vertigo and inner ear injuries, to name only a few.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations To File A Personal Injury Claim In California?
A statute of limitations is a law or rule that sets a deadline on the time available to take action to file a claim or lawsuit. This can include deadlines to file a lawsuit or notify a governmental entity that you intend to bring a claim and why. If you do not take the necessary action by the deadline, your right to pursue your claim is terminated. Therefore, it is extremely important to be aware of the statutes limitations and claims deadlines. Depending upon the type of claim that you’re making, the statute of limitations varies. In California, a bodily injury claim, car accident, trip and fall, dog bite, or any sort of bodily injury claim caused by someone else, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. The statute of limitations requires that if your case is not settled within two years, you must make sure that a lawsuit is filed before the two-year anniversary.
If you do not settle your claim, and you do not have a lawsuit filed within two years, your right to pursue a bodily injury claim vanishes. There’s almost nothing you can do about it. I say almost because there are some exceptional circumstances that allow you to get around it, and I’ve done that for clients. But, don’t count on it.
If you have a libel or slander claim, the statute of limitations is one year. If you have a medical malpractice claim, it is typically one year from the date you knew or should have known that you have been the victim of malpractice. Understandably, when you “should have known” that you were the victim of malpractice is not always clear cut. If a minor was injured under the age of 18 is injured, the statute of limitations is different. For a non-medical malpractice case, a minor has two years from his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit for bodily injuries. In a medical malpractice case, if the minor is under the age of eight, you generally have three years, but there are exceptions to that. And in any event, regardless of the deadline, delaying until the end is always a bad idea. Most lawyers will not take a case where the client has delayed so long that it creates a potential legal malpractice problem for a lawyer.
One very important statute of limitations involves government entities. If you’re going to be suing a city, state, or governmental subdivision in California, you must file a claim form with the correct government entity within six months of the incident. If you don’t comply with the six-month period, you could be out of luck. Once you file the government claim, you have to wait for them to either accept or reject it because that triggers other deadlines to file a lawsuit. It is an absolute minefield, and you really need to consult with an experienced lawyer to find your way through it without falling into a trap. Sometimes it is very difficult to know if you’re dealing with a government entity. Hit by a government vehicle or a government employee acting in the course and scope of his job? That requires a government claim to be filed.
What Can I Expect To Happen Once I Have Filed A Personal Injury Claim?
If you file a claim, that usually means that you’re reporting it to the responsible party, and/or the insurance company. In terms of that initial act, you need to follow up with your medical care and document everything that you can in terms of both liability and damages. Taking pictures at the scene of the incident; getting the names of witnesses; seeing your doctor; complying with your doctor’s instructions; documenting and proving liability or fault; and following up and getting police reports are all part of the process. These are the things that need to be done to successfully move forward with your claim.
In terms of filing a lawsuit to on your claim, you need to get the lawsuit filed in the correct court. There are deadlines when it comes to serving the lawsuit in a timely fashion. You also have to make sure that you’ve identified all of the correct defendants. All of those things are going on at the same time, and when you already have a busy life, have family matters, work matters, and are now required to deal with your injuries and take care of these deadlines, it can all be overwhelming. That’s another reason why you should at least consult with an attorney to determine if the best way to move forward and protect your interests, because, I guarantee you that if you do not look out for your interests in all of these respects, or retain an experienced attorney to represent you, neither a defendant nor his or her insurance company will do it for you.
For more information on Personal Injury Cases Handled In California, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (818) 530-1770 today.