Liability, Personal Injury, and What Californians Need to Know

California is a big and beautiful state. It’s home to roughly 40 million people who, just like anywhere else, can wind up in conflicts. When that happens, the state’s tort laws govern the spat when individuals and organizations can sue each other.

Among the most common forms of legal discourse, are personal injury lawsuits. Unfortunately, such lawsuits are widely misunderstood and it’s not clear why. Americans have long dealt with lots of public misinformation about personal injury law.

Take the hot coffee lawsuit, for instance – the infamous case widely believed to have been frivolous, despite the horrific truth that it involved an elderly woman horribly scalded by coffee being served at a terribly unsafe heat. Like this case, it’s important for Californians to cut through the nonsense and understand the reality of personal injury law.

How should this stuff really work? Do you know what what you can and should do if you find yourself in a tough spot?

What it takes to get sued

In a personal injury case, a few elements should be present. First, the party suing will need to prove damages – personal and financial costs that they want to be reimbursed for. The case must prove, however, that these damages were caused by the accident in question. Furthermore, the case must prove that the accident in question was caused by another party’s negligence.

In other words, avoiding legal calamity is as simple as living within your civic responsibilities. If driving, you need to drive safely and obey traffic laws. If you’re the owner of a building or one of the many homes of distinction here in California, then you need to know what you’re responsible for – things like the condition of the sidewalk, for instance.

If you’re negligent in these sorts of areas, you’re at risk of being sued. If not, then you aren’t responsibly (by and large, anyway – and you shouldn’t lose any case brought against you).

When you need to file a lawsuit

Hopefully, most of us will never find ourselves on either end of a lawsuit. While it’s reasonably easy to be avoid being sued ourselves, there’s only so much that we can do in order to avoid the consequences of other people’s negligence. When someone else’s negligence costs you dearly, you need respond with action quickly and use any legal option available to protect yourself, your family, and your future.

The damages that you could suffer due to someone else’s negligence can be devastating. After an accident, you could be faced with mounting medical bills and lingering health issues. You could find yourself unable to work, and could lose wages, your job, or even your entire career.

You must fight back, say personal injury attorneys Santa Monica. You should collect all of the information you can, including medical bills, police reports from the accident, and other documentation that you have access to. Call up a local California attorney and set up an initial consultation. Show up and explain your case, focusing on the facts and trying not to get emotional. From there, your attorney will lay out your legal options.

California’s statutes of limitations cap the amount of time that certain legal situations and options last, so you must act fast. Personal injury lawsuits are no exception, and you only have a certain amount of time to file suit. On top of that, delaying will allow evidence to erode away and weaken your case.

With the proper representation and the right case, California’s personal injury laws can be on your side, and help you get the justice that you deserve.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.