7 Most Frequently Asked Questions About California Personal Injury Law

As a personal injury attorney, I get a lot of recurring questions. Here, are some of the most frequently asked questions I get asked. They should help toward unlocking the mystery of California Personal Injury Law.

How long does someone have to file a personal injury claim in California?

The person who is injured has 2 YEARS from the date of injury to file a claim. Make sure you talk to a qualified personal injury attorney to see if you have a valid claim!

Does California use any formula to calculate pain and suffering?

The short answer is NO. But you can recover from pain and suffering, even mental and economic damage. You just have to keep your records and show proof that you suffered harm. Or show proof that you WILL suffer harm in the future! 

What even IS a personal injury claim?

It can cover so much! It basically boils down to whether someone’s INTENTIONAL ACT or conduct causes you harm. Personal injury laws apply in cases where someone hits or harms you. These are called assault and battery cases. Inappropriate sexual conduct by a medical professional also applies here. Additionally, personal injury claims can be made for car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, defective products, and wrongful deaths caused at the hands of a doctor or medical professional. 

How long do these claims take?

Personal injury claims seldom settle quickly. Usually, a claim can be settled between a year and two years after the accident. However, most claims can be resolved through mediation. That can take a couple of days.  If your case demands a trial, the process could take up to two years because of the amount of evidence and preparation that is needed.

Can insurance rates be affected even if the accident was not my fault?

Unfortunately, yes. Insurance companies could raise your rates because they think you have a higher chance of future accidents. 

What damages are possible in personal injury?

Economic, noneconomic and punitive claims. 

What are Emotional Distress damages?

They compensate you if you’ve had a psychological injury, i.e. something that impacts your daily life experiences. You may be losing sleep, having nightmares, anxiety, unexplained shaking, feeling fearful, depression and loss of trust—things you need a psychiatrist to help you get through. 

Note that sometimes, emotional distress is not enough. Therefore, most claims need you to suffer from some sort of physical harm that leads to physical and emotional suffering.

A note about unlocking the mystery of California Personal Injury is this. If you or someone you know thinks they’ve endured emotional suffering, keep these signs in mind:

  • Any personality changes?  Is the person more angry?  Short tempered since the accident?
  • Have they withdrawn from family members and friends?
  • Do they appear hopeless or overly negative?
  • Have they stopped taking care of themselves?

Remember, if any of these signs are concerning, please immediately contact a professional. There are many psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you get through this distress.  Save all your records from these sessions, as that can help your case.

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