Need Help After an Accident in California?
Our Woodland Personal Injury Lawyers Explain Your Legal Options
After suffering a personal injury, many parties will try to take advantage of your vulnerability. For example, an insurance company may reject your claim or present you with a low settlement offer. While you may be tempted to take their initial offer, it is important that you stand up for yourself. However, many people are unfamiliar with settlement negotiations and do not know how much their claim is actually worth. As a result, injured victims often accept preliminary offers from insurance companies that will never cover the full extent of incurred costs. If you were involved in an accident, then you will need the support of an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can determine the true value of your claim and will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf for rightful restitution. Although you might be tempted to shoulder the legal burden yourself, our attorneys understand every aspect of personal injury claims. We will work hard to ensure that no party takes advantage of you while you are injured.
At Wells, Call, Clark, Bennett & Clawson, our attorneys know the physical and financial harm that a personal injury can cause to people and their families. For example, your injuries could force you to take time off from work. Your declining finances, combined with high rehabilitation costs, could compel you and your family to make severe lifestyle changes. While the insurance company is supposed to help pay for your medical expenses, they often only provide minimal support. In these situations, it is important to hire an attorney who focuses on protecting personal injury victims. Our firm has litigated a variety of personal injury cases and will fight to protect you throughout the legal process. By contacting our Woodland personal injury lawyers, you can potentially recover damages and help maintain your financial independence.
How Is Fault Determined in a California Personal Injury Case?
After filing a personal injury claim, the defendant may argue that you are partially responsible for the accident in question. Under California law, shared fault injury cases follow the “pure comparative negligence rule”. This means that the compensation you receive will be reduced by an amount that equals your percentage of fault. If you are found partially liable, then it will minimize the total amount of compensation that you can potentially receive. For example, you could be driving on Interstate 5 and get involved in a motor vehicle accident. The other driver might be clearly to blame for the accident. However, if it is shown that you were driving ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit, then the jury might determine that you are 25 percent to blame for the accident and that total damages amount to $75,000. Under California’s pure comparative negligence rule, you would receive $56,250 in awarded damages.
While many California personal injury cases determine fault by using the pure comparative negligence rule, others operate using different rules. In many states, dog owners are protected from injury liability through the “one bite” rule. This means that if a dog injures someone for the first time, then the owner could escape any blame for the accident. However, California dog owners are not protected from injury liability through the “one bite” rule. California Civil Code section 3342 makes the owner “strictly liable” after his or her dog bites another person. This means that the dog owner is legally responsible when his or her dog attacks someone else. No amount of fault or negligence needs to be shown when strict liability is the legal standard being used. Our attorneys can help you determine how fault and liability are assessed in your specific personal injury case.
Are There Any Limitations on Damages in California Personal Injury Cases?
In California, there are certain limitations placed on recovering damages in personal injury cases. For example, an uninsured driver cannot recover non-economic damages after a car accident. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement. If the other driver is 100 percent responsible for the accident, then an uninsured driver is still unable to recover non-economic damages. This rule is designed to deter drivers from driving without insurance. This is one of the many steps that California lawmakers have taken to make our roads safer. However, there is one exception to this rule: If a driver involved in your accident was under the influence, then you can recover non-economic damages. The driver must be convicted of a DUI, however, in order for an uninsured driver to claim non-economic damages.
Along with uninsured drivers, there are also caps on non-economic damages in California medical malpractice cases. Under California Civil Code section 3333.2, you cannot receive more than $250,000 in non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases. This statute is known as the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975. It was enacted by the California Legislature in 1975 and was recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The law is designed to lower medical malpractice insurance premiums for healthcare providers by decreasing their potential tort liability. Only two other states, Kansas and Montana, have similar caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys will remind you of any damage limitations that affect your personal injury or medical malpractice claim.
Personal Injury Questions? Contact Our Woodland Personal Injury Lawyers Today
With over 59,000 residents in Woodland, California, accidents will inevitably occur. While you could file your own personal injury claim, hiring an attorney will increase your likelihood for legal success. Our Woodland personal injury lawyers understand the California legal system and will fight to hold any negligent parties accountable.
If you are suffering from a personal injury, then you should contact Wells, Call, Clark, Bennett & Clawson today at (530) 771-6920 and schedule a consultation. You can also contact us online and send us a message about your case. We promise to review your information and look forward to meeting with you at our Woodland office.