Downey Personal Injury Lawyer
From motor vehicle collisions to slips and falls on other parties’ premises, accidents and injuries can happen almost anywhere in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. Many accidents that result in serious personal injuries are the result of another party’s carelessness or wrongdoing. When another party may be responsible for your injuries, it is essential to find out more about seeking financial compensation for your losses. An experienced Downey personal injury lawyer at our firm is here to assist you.
What is Personal Injury Law in Downey, California?
Personal injury law is a broad area of the law that allows people who have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing to file a civil lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation for their losses. To be clear, personal injury law does not result in any kind of criminal penalties for the party or parties responsible for injuries, but instead, those responsible parties may be required to pay monetary damages to compensate injury victims for losses.
While personal injury law and wrongful death law in California are distinct from one another, it is important to understand that they are closely related areas of the law. While personal injury law allows the injured party to file a civil lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for causing his or her injuries, wrongful death law recognizes that the injured party is no longer alive and able to file a lawsuit. Instead, California law allows a surviving spouse, domestic partner, adult child, or another party to seek compensation on behalf of the deceased as well as for losses experienced by the surviving family members. In other words, with wrongful death claims, another party can step into the metaphorical shoes of the deceased to file a claim in cases where the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit if she or he had lived.
Common Types of Downey Personal Injury Cases Our Lawyers Handle
At Fisher & Talwar, our personal injury attorneys in Downey handle a wide range of cases, including but not limited to the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents and injury collisions, including car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, bus accidents, train accidents, and watercraft or boating accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents and premises liability lawsuits, including pedestrian accidents, slip, and fall accidents, construction accidents, elevator and escalator accidents, and swimming pool injuries;
- Product defect cases, including defective hip replacement devices and dangerous pharmaceutical drug claims;
- Bodily injuries, including brain injuries, broken bones, burn injuries, dog bite cases, electric shock injuries, and spinal cord injuries; and
- Wrongful death lawsuits.
Downey Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
If you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit in California, it is critical to know that you must file your lawsuit within a relatively short time from the date of the injury. Under California law, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury lawsuits is two years. The clock on the statute of limitations will begin ticking on the date of the injury, and from that point forward, you will have two years to file your lawsuit. If you do not file your claim before the clock runs out, you will end up with a claim that is time-barred according to California law.
Although the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is two years, some types of claims have a shorter statute of limitations, so it is essential to seek advice from a personal injury attorney in Downey as soon as possible. If you are considering a wrongful death claim following the loss of a loved one, you should know that the statute of limitations is also two years, but the clock will begin ticking at a different time. Rather than that two-year statute of limitations starting at the time of the injury, the two-year clock will begin ticking on the date of the deceased’s death. From that point in time, you will have two years to file a lawsuit.
Types of Damages in a Downey Personal Injury Case
Personal injury plaintiffs typically seek compensatory damages, which include economic and non-economic damages. Your damages award could include, for example, payment for:
- Hospital bills;
- Lost wages;
- Prescription medicine costs;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Your Downey personal injury lawyer can provide you with more information about the likely damages in your case.
How Comparative Fault Affects Downey Personal Injury Claims
What is comparative fault and how can it affect a Downey personal injury lawsuit? Comparative fault, which is also known as comparative negligence or contributory fault, is a defense strategy that the defendant can raise in order to avoid being liable for damages. Different states have their own comparative fault rules. In some contributory negligence states, plaintiffs are barred from recovery if they are found to be even 1 percent at fault for the accident that caused their own personal injuries. Other states follow what is known as a “modified” comparative fault rule in which a plaintiff can recover damages as long as that plaintiff is not 50 percent or 51 percent or more at fault, but the damages award will be diminished by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. After the 50 or 51 percent mark, the plaintiff is barred from recovery.
California has a pure comparative fault rule, which means that a plaintiff can recover damages whether that plaintiff is anywhere from 1 percent to 99 percent at fault. However, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by her portion of fault.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Downey
If you or somebody you love sustained injuries in an accident or because of another party’s reckless or intentional act, you should seek advice from one of our Downey personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to find out more about filing a claim for financial compensation. Our firm can assist you with a wide range of personal injury cases, and we can provide you with assistance from the start of an insurance claim to a personal injury trial. Contact Fisher & Talwar today to get started on your claim.