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Essential Information on Personal Injury in California

Essential Information on Personal Injury in California

Personal injury claims in the state of California can be complicated legal issues in many instances and collect financial compensation for damages can be difficult. The process will almost always require an attorney unless the injuries are the result of a mere accident where the fault is clearly assigned to one negligent actor. The essence of receiving an equitable settlement for personal injuries is always negligence, and the state also assesses the actions of the injured as well when damages are being considered.

California uses pure comparative negligence law, which means that anyone who is not 100% at fault for their injuries can receive some level of non-economic compensatory damages for injuries resulting from an accident. This is true in premises liability claims as well as car accidents, but the evaluation is directed at the personal assumption of risk of the injured claimant in most cases.

Initial Claim

The first step for collecting damages for a personal injury is filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company. The company then has the power to investigate the claim and make a decision on payment. While it is never a good decision to accept an immediate offer, talking to the claims agent can help an injured claimant realize how challenging the insurance company will be in negotiation.

If the agent is eager to settle a claim quickly, there is a real possibility it may be more valuable than the claimant realizes. This is always a good indication that an attorney could potentially negotiate a significant and equitable settlement.

Lawsuits

Sometimes insurance companies deny claims when they think they have a reason to defend. This can also be a stalling ploy to get a claimant to settle for less, which your California personal injury lawyer will assuredly understand. In a lawsuit, a plaintiff legal counsel must prove that an injury occurred to the claimant and that the defendant had a duty of care toward the claimant.

Also, your personal injury attorney must prove that the defendant failed in that reasonable duty of care responsibility. This breach of duty of care can occur either direct or indirectly.

Comparative Fault in California

All personal injury cases in California will include an assessment of all parties on the personal fault. The comparative fault percentage of the injured party is then used to discount the total amount of damages available to the claimant according to the ruling of the court.

This is a very contentious area of a settlement negotiation that insurance companies always use, and your personal injury lawyer can ensure that all evidence is evaluated properly for a maximum damage settlement.