Get Help with Your California Personal Injury Case
When you’ve been injured through a third party’s negligence, it can be hard to know where to turn. You may be losing income, incurring medical bills and unable to fully engage in your usual activities. That’s a frightening place to be and, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know how best to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation from the person or company responsible for your injuries.
Talking to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible will help you to avoid pitfalls and ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines or the opportunity to preserve valuable evidence.
Common Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can arise in a wide range of circumstances, but some of the most common include:
- Car accidents, including drunk driving accidents
- Slip and fall incidents on someone else’s property
- Dog bites
- Boating accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
The basic elements of a personal injury claim based in negligence are:
- A duty of care
- Breach of that duty
- Causation; and
An automobile accident provides a simple illustration. Traffic laws impose certain standards of care on drivers—for example, the obligation to drive at or below the posted speed limit. When a driver fails to observe the speed limit and drives at an unsafe speed, he has likely breached that duty of care. If the driver hits a pedestrian with his car because he was traveling too fast to stop when he noticed her in the intersection, his breach of the duty has caused her injury. If she is in fact injured, suffers pain, requires medical treatment or loses income due to the injury, damages have resulted from the breach.
Preserving Your Personal Injury Claim
When you’ve been injured, it’s important to begin preserving evidence immediately. Some of the steps you should take from the very beginning include:
- Making a police report, if applicable;
- Making an incident report if relevant (for example, if you slip and fall in the grocery store);
- Seek medical care immediately—if you wait a day or two, it may be difficult to tie your injuries to the incident;
- Keep copies of all medical records and bills;
- Take names and contact information from any witnesses to the accident;
- Exercise extreme caution in communicating with insurance companies—the representative maybe friendly, but his or her job is to minimize your recovery; and
- Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, and then don’t communicate with anyone about the accident without his or her advice.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Your Injury
When you’ve been injured through someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and associated losses. Although every case is different, compensation is commonly awarded for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Other expenses incurred as a result of injury-related limitations
- Property damage, such as damage to your car in an automobile accident
If you’ve been injured through someone else’s negligence, you’ve suffered enough. You shouldn’t have to foot the bill as well.
Time Limits for Personal Injury Cases
In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. That means that if more than two years elapse from the time of the accident, you may be forever barred from recovering for your injuries. There are exceptions as well. For example, the statute of limitations may be as short as one year for medical malpractice claims.
Even if you are well within the statute of limitations, timing matters. The longer you wait to contact a personal injury attorney, the more difficult it may be to assemble the necessary evidence to pursue your claim. Don’t delay.
Contact a Long Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve suffered an injury through someone else’s fault, get the help you need to get the recovery you deserve. Just click on the button below or call us at (562) 257-6576.