Updated: Sep 4, 2020
People who file a personal injury claim in Los Angeles must know the different limitations of personal injury claims in the state of California. Knowing this information is helpful to monitor the progress of your case as it moves along the legal system. It also provides you with a general idea of the civil procedures in California law.
California Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims
A statute of limitations is the period of time that a victim of a personal injury has to file a legal claim to seek compensation. If the person who has suffered the injury does not file a claim in Los Angeles county through his or her personal injury attorney, he or she will lose the right to seek monetary compensation for their injuries.
According to Sections 335.1 and 340 of California’s Code of Civil Procedure, a person who has suffered bodily injuries as a result of an accident must generally file a lawsuit within 2 years after the accident. In some special cases, if the person didn't immediately find out about their injuries, then it's two years after finding out about their injuries. For example, some internal injuries may not be immediately apparent after an accident. If an injury is discovered by your physician 10 months after the accident, that's where the clock starts ticking.
Like in any lawsuit, documentation is key to prove your claim. All supporting documentation provided by your medical professional that helps support your legal claim will make your case stronger to prove in court. Personal injury claims that are poorly documented and/or filed outside their statute of limitations can backfire. The lawyer for the defendants can file a countersuit and make you pay for legal fees.
Damages Cap on Personal Injury Cases Filed in Los Angeles
Another limitation on personal injury claims that victims seeking compensation must be aware of is the cap on damages. This is probably the single most important variable when seeking compentent legal representation for personal injury cases. A personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will take this into consideration when offereing legal services ON CONTINGENCY (no win/no fee).
Personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles will determine the probabilities of winning a personal injury claim along with the cap on a specific personal injury case in order to make sure that they get compensated when the claim settle. This is the reason why there are many TV and radio commercials from personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles claiming that if they do not win the case, no legal fees are paid.
Someone who files a personal injury claim in Los Angeles is subject to maximum caps on their claims. They can receive an award that is not restricted to a cap and that is based on the amount the person who is a victim of an accident needs to be healed both physically and mentally after their injuries.
Monetary damages include medical bills, such as hospital visits, any type of treatment, medications, rehabilitation and any future medical expenses. Economic damages also include loss of work present and future as well as compensation for any disability as a result of the accident. In some cases, any home renovations that are necessary to adapt your every day living to your injuries will also be included. For example, if you are confined to a wheelchair, then a ramp needs to be built at home.
It's important to keep in mind that personal injury claims filed in Los Angeles California have a limit related to the non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering, mental implications, depression, and the inconvenience of having suffered an injury. In the state of California, personal injury victims are limited to receive a single-digit multiplier of their personal injury award.
For example, if a personal injury victim is awarded $90,000 in economic damages, the maximum amount of non-economic damages is $810,000 since the number 9 is the single-digit multiplier that is used to calculate the award thus (9 x $90,000) = $810,000
Seeking Legal Assistance For Personal Injury Claims In Los Angeles
People who are victims of an accident and wish to file a personal injury claim must also be aware that hiring a competent, honest, and reliable personal injury attorney is the key to a successful outcome. Most people who need a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles have the impression that all attorneys are ethical.
This is not true, in fact, the county of Los Angeles has the highest number of attorney complaints and disciplinary actions taken against attorneys who commit crimes. Visit the attorney discipline section to find out more about attorney discipline in California. The best way to find a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles is to conduct due diligence on your own or request a referral to a pre-screened Los Angeles personal injury attorney in your area.