Torrance Personal Injury Attorney
The aftermath of any accident is overwhelming. As you recover from your serious injuries, you will also have to face the personal injury claims process. You will have to identify the at-fault party, prove they were at fault for the accident, and possibly even defend against claims that you contributed to it. All of this is extremely difficult when you are trying to recover and if you are unsure of the laws that govern your case. A Torrance personal injury lawyer will know how to handle your claim and will give you the best chance of success.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
There are many different types of accidents that can result in a personal injury claim. The most common of these are as follows:
- Auto accidents: Perhaps the most common type of personal injury claims filed in Torrance are those involving auto accidents. Unlike no-fault states, California is a fault state, meaning accident victims must file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company to recover compensation.
- Construction accidents: Construction sites are very dangerous places, and an accident will result in some of the most catastrophic injuries. The aftermath of a construction accident is also very complex. A Torrance personal injury lawyer can advise when a workers’ compensation claim is appropriate or when you may have to file a personal injury claim against the liable party.
- Product liability accidents: People use products every day in Torrance. They use a coffee machine in the morning, get in their car to go to work, and might even take certain medications. No one ever expects to become hurt by the products they use, but sometimes, they are defective and cause serious injury. In these cases, you can file a claim against the manufacturer. Manufacturers are held strictly liable, which means you do not have to prove negligence.
- Premises liability accidents: Premises liability accidents involve injuries that occur on someone else’s property. Slip and falls are some of the most common types of premises liability accidents. When property owners are negligent, and you become hurt as a result, you can file a claim against them for compensation. These claims can become incredibly complex, however, so it is important to seek legal advice.
- Wrongful death: After a fatal accident, family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party that caused the death. Wrongful death claims are intended to compensate family members for their losses, including funeral and burial expenses, contributions to the household, and the income the deceased earned that they are dependent on.
Determining Fault After an Accident
Sometimes, determining fault is fairly easy. For example, if a drunk driver crashes into you after they run a red light, it is fairly clear that they are at fault for the accident. Other times, though, determining fault is not as easy. For instance, if you slipped on a spill in a grocery store, you may think the store owner is automatically liable. However, this may not be true. In order to determine someone else was at fault for your accident, you must prove four elements of your claim. These include:
- Duty: You must establish that another person owes you a duty of care. This is often relatively straightforward, as everyone is obligated to keep other people reasonably safe.
- Breach: You must prove the at-fault party breached their duty of care. In other words, you must show that they acted negligently. This is often a very challenging element of proof.
- Causation: You must show the direct link between the negligent act and your accident.
- Damages: Personal injury claims are intended to provide compensation that can make a person whole again. If you were in an accident but did not incur injuries or other losses, you do not have a personal injury claim.
Time Limits on Personal Injury Lawsuits
All personal injury cases are governed by a time limit known as the statute of limitations. If you do not file your claim within this time, you will lose your legal right to claim any compensation at all. In Torrance, as throughout the rest of California, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident. In the case of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the death.
While there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, they are quite limited. One of the most common is the discovery rule. If you were injured in an accident and did not discover your injuries immediately, the statute of limitations maybe two years from the date you discovered your injuries.
Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Lawsuits
State law follows a pure model of comparative negligence in California. Under this law, injured individuals can still file a claim even if they were 99% at fault for the accident. However, any damages they are awarded will be reduced by the same percentage of fault. Liable parties will often argue innocent victims contributed to the accident so they can reduce the amount of damages they have to pay. A lawyer can refute these arguments so your damages are not impacted.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Torrance Can Assist with Your Case
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Torrance personal injury lawyers have the necessary expertise to help you through the claims process and ensure you receive the full and fair damages you deserve. Call us now at 866-349-6129 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.