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Accidents can happen unexpectedly, leaving families grappling with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. In California, understanding personal injury claims is crucial for families seeking justice and fair compensation in the aftermath of an accident. Here’s what you and your family should know.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim arises when an individual suffers harm due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party. Common scenarios include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, or defective products. Families affected by such incidents may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses.

Steps to Take After an Accident

The moments following an accident are very important. Families should prioritize the following steps:

  1. Seek Medical Attention. Ensure everyone receives immediate medical care and document injuries.
  2. Report the Incident. Notify law enforcement and relevant authorities about the accident.
  3. Gather Information. Collect names, contact details, and insurance information of involved parties and witnesses.
  4. Preserve Evidence. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, or any contributing factors, such as weather and road conditions.

Comparative Negligence 

California follows a comparative negligence system, which means that even if a family member shares some responsibility for the accident, they may still recover damages. However, the amount of compensation may be reduced based on the degree of fault assigned. This means that if someone suffers $10,000 in damages, even if they were 99% at fault for the accident, they can still recover $100 (1% of the total damages).

Types of Compensatory Damages

Families may be eligible for various compensatory damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses 
  • Lost Wages 
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage

Wrongful Death Claims

In cases where a family member loses their life due to someone else’s negligence, California law allows for wrongful death claims. Eligible family members may seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering.

Statute of Limitations

It’s important to be aware of California’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Generally, families have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, certain circumstances may alter this timeframe, making prompt legal action essential.

Insurance Claims vs. Lawsuits

Many personal injury cases are resolved through insurance claims. Families may negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to reach a settlement. If negotiations fail, filing a lawsuit may be necessary to pursue compensation through the legal system. It’s important to discuss any offers before signing anything or making any statements.

Navigating a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, but understanding the process is the first step toward recovery. 

The Attorneys at Ardalan & Associates, PLC Help Those in California Who Have Suffered a Personal Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the potential legal remedies available to you. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate for justice and to hold those responsible accountable. 

At Ardalan & Associates, PLC, our qualified California personal injury attorneys will help to walk you through the process every step of the way. We will protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
P. Christopher Ardalan has been a champion for the people since becoming an attorney in 2000 and establishing Ardalan & Associates, PLC. His practice, rooted in Southern California, emphasizes personal injury law where he, alongside a formidable team, tirelessly advocates for his clients. A Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Law School where he also graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif, Ardalan's early legal acumen earned him the moniker “The kid with the golden tongue.” His accolades include numerous mock trial victories, prestigious memberships, and high-profile awards such as being a Litigator Award® recipient and an inductee into ABOTA and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Recognized by both his peers and prestigious legal associations, Ardalan’s relentless pursuit of justice is fueled by a lifelong dedication to learning and a heartfelt commitment to his clients. With a reputation as a seasoned trial lawyer and a compassionate advocate, he finds the greatest fulfillment in making a positive change in his clients’ lives, honoring his role as their voice for justice.