Have you ever suffered a slip and fall or faced any issues with property damage? What about getting injured while on the job in California? Personal injuries are common, and unfortunately, they can also be costly. Therefore, many victims of personal injury in San Francisco and Sacramento, California seek to build a case against the party at fault. When another person or entity infringes upon an individual’s rights, it can be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Suppose you have been injured or have suffered property damage due to someone else’s negligence. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a form of healthcare coverage purchased by individuals and families to help cover medical expenses resulting from car accidents. PIP may be required by state law or optional coverage you can add to your car insurance policy.
In the United States, a personal injury is any physical or emotional harm that results from the negligence of another party. This includes car accidents, slips, falls, medical malpractice, and more. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent (that they breached their duty of care to others) and that this carelessness caused their injuries.
Statute Of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the law that sets a deadline for when a lawsuit must be filed. You will lose your right to sue if you do not submit your case on time. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is determined by the kind of harm and the location of the accident:
- For injuries suffered in California: 2 years from the date of injury (or when you discovered the injury or negligence on the other party’s part)
- For injuries sustained outside of California: 2 years from when they occurred
Damage Caps On Personal Injury Cases
A cap limits the amount of money you can recover in your case. For example, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, their insurance policy covers $1 million. Even if you suffer $2 million in damages, your claim might be limited to the $1 million available under their policy.
The law also allows for some exceptions to caps:
- If there is more than one defendant (or party) responsible for your injury.
- If someone died due to their actions.
- If there are multiple causes of action.
- If it involves property damage or destruction of property.
California has two types of caps: general limits on damages and personal injury caps that apply specifically to medical malpractice cases involving non-economic losses (pain and suffering). The specific details vary by state but generally follow similar guidelines to those listed above. For example, in New York State, punitive damages cannot exceed three times compensatory damages otherwise awarded by a jury. Alternatively, in North Carolina, there is no limit on punitive damages if they’re determined necessary by the judge presiding over an appeal hearing after the trial has ended.
Property damage can occur in various ways, from minor to catastrophic. Property damage is not the same as personal injury, so it’s essential to know the difference before filing a claim with your insurance company.
Property damage does not include damage to your car or any other vehicle involved in an accident. It does not include loss of use of your vehicle or any other vehicle involved in an accident. Additionally, property damage does not include the loss of use of any buildings or structures that are damaged due to an accident. In short: property damage is just what it sounds like—damage done to something that isn’t another person (you).
If someone else’s negligence has caused harm to your home, belongings, or property value, they owe you money for those losses! The bonus is that determining who is at fault will help you get back on track financially by reducing money spent on medical bills and lost wages due to injury caused by someone else’s mistake (negligence).
Property Damage Claims
If another driver causes an accident and damages your car, they are likely responsible for paying for repairs. Property damage claims are usually resolved through insurance companies. If you have an auto insurance policy, your own company will cover the costs of any damage to your vehicle up to a certain amount per claim.
However, suppose someone else damages your property or causes injury on their property (e.g., slips and falls). In that case, you may need to take legal action against them to receive compensation for medical bills or losses from damaged property.
How Is Liability Determined In A Property Damage Lawsuit?
Liability in a property damage lawsuit is determined on a case-by-case basis. The court will examine whether the defendant (the person being sued) acted with reasonable care or negligence in most cases. Suppose you have been injured by someone else’s property damage and believe that they were negligent. In that case, it is essential to discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after discovering the damage done to your home or vehicle.
Negligence is when someone fails to act with reasonable care and causes harm or injury to another person or their property. Negligence can be any number of things, including:
- Failing to act after learning that there was a dangerous condition on your property
- Failing to warn others about dangerous conditions on your property where people are likely to be injured if they do not take steps themselves
- Working on electrical wiring without taking proper precautions such as shutting off power sources
What Sort Of Evidence Will You Need To Present For Your Case?
The first thing to do is gather as much evidence as possible. The most important thing is to photograph the accident scene, taking pictures of any damage to your property and any other people’s property that might have been involved in the accident. If there were witnesses to this incident, try to get their contact information so that they can be called upon later if necessary. Suppose you’re dealing with a severe injury case. In that case, it may also be worth contacting an attorney before filing a claim with your insurance company. Many personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to determine whether their services will benefit you before committing.
What Are Some Examples Of Cases The Courts Have Treated Differently?
In California, the courts treat personal injury cases differently from property damage cases. In an individual injury case, the person who caused your injury may be responsible for paying you money to compensate you for your injuries. For example, suppose someone hits you with their car and injures you. In that case, they may be required to pay money to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
However, in a property damage case, only certain property types are covered by insurance policies. For example, suppose a tree falls on your house or car due to natural events (like an earthquake). In that case, it is unlikely that your insurance company will provide coverage for the damage as such events are considered “acts of God.” However, there are some instances where property damage claims have been found when homeowners did not have insurance coverage. Suppose this happens to you and you don’t have insurance coverage at the time of loss (or have inadequate coverage). In that case, your homeowner’s policy might provide compensation for any losses.
There are a few cases where the court found that one party was liable for property damage even though they did not cause the damage.
- A Chautauqua County woman sued Syracuse University after suffering permanent injuries from tripping and falling on a walkway at the Schine Student Center. While walking down, she tripped over some loose bricks and fell hard on her arm. The fall caused bruising to her arm and shoulder and sprained tendons in both arms. The woman sued the city for medical costs (she had broken bones) and lost wages (her doctor recommended surgery on both arms). In this case, even though the defendant tripped and the injuries can be believed to be due to carelessness, California courts had a different take. The courts found that by allowing someone else’s negligence into your home or personal space (even if it’s unintentional), you are still responsible for any damages incurred because of their negligence.
The Evidence Used To Determine Liability In A Property Damage Case Will Vary By Situation
While the evidence needed to determine liability in a property damage case will vary by situation, generally speaking, you should be prepared to provide:
- A police report or accident report.
- Witness statements.
- Photos or video of the scene (if applicable).
With the information above, you should be prepared to pursue a claim for personal injury or property damage in the state of California. If you or someone that you love has been a victim of these claims, it is essential to have an attorney by your side who knows how to navigate through the legal process. Work with a lawyer to achieve maximum compensation today.
Get In Touch With A California Personal Injury Attorney
Suppose you or someone close to you has suffered a personal injury and property damage in California. In that case, it is crucial to contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Getting a lawyer immediately increases the likelihood of recovering compensation for your injuries. It gives the attorney time to gather evidence and build your case before memories fade.
When contacting an attorney, be sure to have the following information on hand:
- The identities of any witnesses who were present at the time of the incident (and their contact information)
- The names and phone numbers of medical providers treating you for your injuries and any other relevant medical records (including X-rays)
- Police reports and any other documentation related to your accident
We Can Help
Hopefully, we’ve given you some valuable information about how California’s injury and property damage cases are handled. We help people obtain total compensation for personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been injured or a third party has damaged your property, our lawyers can help you win damages.
We didn’t attempt to give a comprehensive list of all the details you might want to know about these cases; instead, these articles focus on critical issues. But if you do need to know more specifics or have additional questions, please contact our experienced Phoong Law personal injury lawyers in Sacramento and San Francisco.