Torrance Personal Injury Attorney


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“Personal injury” cases are legal disputes that arise when a person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and another person might be legally responsible or “liable” for that harm. Although there are various types of personal injury cases, the most common types are motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall injuries.

It is important to keep in mind a legal rule known as the “statute of limitations, which requires any lawsuit that arises from an accident or injury to be filed within a certain time period or the injured person’s legal claim will be barred and his or her right to sue will be lost. It is important to seek legal advise for your personal injury dispute, to protect your rights to resolve the matter before the Court.

When you’ve been injured by someone else’s carelessness, it’s important to take some initial steps toward making sure your injury claim can be settled fairly and as quickly as possible:

  • Write down everything you can remember about how the injury occurred, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses, police officers, insurance company representatives ( or company or workers’ compensation representatives if it was a work injury)
  • Talk to a California personal injury lawyer before making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance company adjusters or representatives Let anyone you think may be responsible for the injury know right away that you’re intending to file a claim against them
  • Take steps to protect any evidence you may need to prove your injury, such as your totaled car, photographs of an accident or injury scene, clothing you were wearing, damaged personal belongings, and so forth.

HOW DO I FIGURE OUT WHO IS AT FAULT?

In most cases, in order to collect on an injury claim in California, you must prove the person who caused the injury was “negligent” – careless and neglectful. In California, you must prove:

  • The person who caused your injury owed you a duty not to injure you, but didn’t live up to that duty
  • There was a connection between the other person’s duty to you and your injury
  • You suffered damages

If you were careless, and your carelessness contributed to your injury, the amount you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your carelessness, under California comparative negligence law.

California’s joint and several liability rules also make each and every person who was responsible for your injury liable for the entire amount of your “economic” damages- such as medical expenses and lost wages- regardless of each person’s proportion of fault for your injury. “Noneconomic” damages- such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and damage to your family relationships- are split between the people who caused your injury, according to percentage of fault.

If you’ve been injured using a consumer product, the manufacturer of the product may be responsible under a “strict liability” legal theory if the product was unreasonably dangerous. Under California law, you’d need to prove that:

  • 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
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and any interference with your family relationships
  • Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LEGAL CLAIM?

*In California, you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. If your lawyer hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you’ll definitely want to file a lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations runs out.


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