Personal injury claims can stem from various accidents, such as car collisions, slip-and-falls or workplace incidents. Injuries resulting from these accidents may lead to compensation claims if someone else’s negligence caused the harm.
You may be eligible to seek different types of compensation through a personal injury claim. Understanding applicable laws and which damages you qualify for gives you a better idea of how much your payout might be.
California’s negligence laws
Negligence in personal injury cases refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, leading to harm. It involves actions or omissions that a reasonable person would avoid, resulting in injury to another. You must prove negligence to establish liability and pursue compensation for injuries and associated damages.
California operates under a pure comparative negligence system, allowing you to seek compensation from other parties even if you are partially responsible for your accident.
The percentage of fault assigned to each party directly influence the compensation amount, considering factors such as medical bills, lost earnings and lasting impact. The higher your degree of fault, the lower your compensation can be.
Types of compensation
In personal injury cases, economic damages cover quantifiable financial losses like medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. These damages are tangible. You can calculate them using records of bills, invoices and receipts for accident-related expenses.
Non-economic damages encompass intangible losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are subjective and challenging to quantify. You will typically receive more non-economic compensation if the adverse affects on your quality of life are significant.
While economic damages aim to reimburse for monetary losses, non-economic damages seek to compensate for the emotional toll and reduced quality of life resulting from the injury.
Who foots the bill
Insurance companies typically handle compensation in personal injury cases. However, insurers may dispute liability, contesting the degree of fault or arguing that their policyholder is not at fault. Coverage issues can also lead to denials if the injury falls outside the policy coverage.
Insurance companies may make low initial settlement offers to reduce what they pay to people making claims.
You can negotiate
In personal injury claims, negotiating settlement offers is a common practice. Rather than accepting the initial offer, individuals have the right to engage in discussions with the insurance company to reach a fair resolution.
Negotiation can ensure that the compensation aligns with the extent of injuries and related losses. Injured parties can advocate for a more suitable settlement that adequately addresses their specific circumstances and needs.
Understanding the dynamics of damages and negligence in California’s personal injury landscape empowers individuals seeking compensation.