Posted about 3 years ago. Applies to California, 2 helpful votes
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Personal injury law as practiced by lawyers in California consists primarily of auto accidents, car accident insurance disputes, motorcycle cases, truck settlements, pedestrian injury representation, bicycle accident claims and wrongful deaths. For the experienced attorney, this field of law is rewarding. For the novice attorney, it's a quagmire of quick sand, insurance company traps and hazards at every corner.
A personal injury is just one of many types of torts in California. There are negligent torts which encompass the typical vehicle accident, intentional torts such as assault, and strict liability torts which can include products liability injuries and dog bites.
Clients who have been through previous accident claims know that it matters more than you think who you call for your car accident or other legal matter. When it matters most, it's imperative to call a law firm with decades of experience in personal injury law.
In car accident cases where an auto accident victim has sustained a serious injury, there is typically a vehicle accident report completed by the local police department, sheriff's department or highway patrol. A police report is not required in order to pursue a claim against the insurance company that insured the party at fault or, if that party had no insurance, against one's own insurance company under the uninsured motorist coverage provisions. However, having a police report that puts the fault for the accident on the other party, is certainly helpful.
In the event there is no police report assigning blame for the accident, it is all too often that a party who accepts fault at the scene of the accident, changes their story later. An insurance company for such a party often finds it difficult to accept responsibility when their own insured is claiming to be innocent despite earlier statements to the contrary.
In the event both parties are partly at fault, the situation falls within the bounds of comparative negligence in California which allows the insurance companies to apportion the blame for the accident.
Not every case is a big one but it takes experience to recognize what makes a good one. A law firm or a personal injury lawyer who has years of experience can and often will obtain outstanding results in cases other attorneys haven't even been interested in.
When a tort has been committed intentionally, insurance companies will often deny coverage or responsibility to pay damages. However, in cases of strict liability, such as with a dog bite injury, so long as the insurance policy has not excluded the specific dog, any dog or that specific breed of dog from the policy of the homeowner, the insurance company will assume responsibility and pay damages to the victim fo the dog bite.
As with car and motorcycle accident claims, it's still very important to hire a personal injury attorney with years of experience who can obtain the maximum amount of damages for a victim and guide a person through the maze of dealing with insurance company tactics.
It says a lot when you can find a law firm that receives referrals of big cases from other attorneys. Often such a law firm has a record of obtaining extraordinary results over decades.
The statute of limitations for auto, truck, car, bicycle, pedestrian, bike and motorcycle accidents and wrongful deaths can bar a person's right to file a claim or lawsuit or receive payment for their injuries, damages, pain and suffering, wage loss and future medical expenses if a person waits too long. For this reason, you should hire a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible moment to ensure not only that vital evidence is not lost, such as photos of car damage and skid marks, but also to ensure that a victim does not lose the right to be compensated for their losses.
Although the general rule in California is that a person injured in an accident has two years in which to file a lawsuit, there are exceptions to the rule. The time period is different for minors, for example, and a person can have as little as six months to file a claim if a government entity is involved, which occurs more frequently than people realize.
Remember, it matters more than you think who you call for your personal injury accident. When it matters most, call an experienced personal injury lawyer who can obtain the compensation you're entitled to when you've been seriously injured in an auto, motorcycle or truck accident or when you've lost a loved one in a wrongful death.