Injuries often happen when they are least expected. One moment you’re driving to work and the next, you are fighting for dear life en route to the emergency room. If you sustain injuries as a result of another person or entity’s reckless or unlawful actions, you may consider suing the liable party for the resulting damages.
To file a successful claim, however, you need to know how personal injury claims work. Here are two important laws that you need to understand when suing someone for car accident damages.
California negligence laws
Every state has a legal doctrine that outlines how fault is determined during a personal injury claim. In California, the court applies the doctrine of pure comparative negligence to determine fault and award damages. This doctrine applies to tort cases like car accidents and premises liability claims.
Per pure comparative negligence statute, each party in the accident is only liable for their percentage of fault. In other words, the ultimate award for damages will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For instance, if the court determines that you were 55 percent responsible for the accident, then you will only be entitled to 45 percent of the awarded amount.
California statute of limitations period
A car accident can leave you with devastating injuries. In fact, some injuries may take years to fully heal. However, if you plan on taking legal action, it’s important to understand that you cannot sue the liable party at your convenience. You must file your claim within the statute of limitations period; and in California, you have up to two years from the date of your injury to sue. Rarely is the statute of limitations bypassed, so it is in your best interest that you do not let it run out.
Protecting your rights
If you are hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice. Learning more about the laws that govern California’s civil claims can help you protect your rights and interests while suing the liable party.