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If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence in California, you may be entitled to compensation. This blog will offer you an overview of personal injury law and the process for seeking damages in the state. 

broken arm


Understanding your legal rights is crucial if you’ve been harmed by someone’s negligence or reckless behavior. Let’s start by answering a simple question: What is personal injury?


What Is Personal Injury?


Personal injury protection refers to any harm inflicted on a person’s body, emotions, or reputation, distinct from damage to property rights. Personal injury claims can be based on three grounds:

  • Negligence: The most common basis for personal injury claims. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act with the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances. For instance, a hunter who carelessly shoots towards others is negligent.
  • Strict Liability: This holds a defendant accountable for their actions regardless of intent or mental state. For example, if a defect in a product causes injury, the manufacturer is liable even if they did not act negligently or intend to cause harm.
  • Intentional Wrongs: These arise from deliberate actions by the defendant. Common intentional torts include battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.


Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Protection Claim


Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: Cover costs for hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical care related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery, including future earning capacity if the injury affects long-term employment.
  • Property Damage: Covers the costs to repair or replace any property damaged due to the incident.


medical expenses


Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury, considering the severity and duration of suffering.
  • Loss of Consortium: Provides compensation for the impact of the injury on relationships with spouses or family members.
  • Punitive Damages: Awarded in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.


Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

When negligence leads to a tragic loss of life, surviving family members have the right to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. This compensation typically covers:

  • Funeral Expenses: Including costs for the funeral service, burial, and related arrangements.
  • Financial Support Loss: Compensation for the income and financial support the deceased would have provided to their family members.
  • Loss of Companionship: Recognizing the emotional toll of losing a loved one, compensation may be awarded for the loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium.


How Can You Prove Liability To Your Personal Injury Claim

To prove liability in a personal injury protection claim in California, you typically need to establish that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care: This means they had a legal obligation to act reasonably to avoid causing harm to others.
  • The defendant breached that duty: You must show that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care by acting negligently, recklessly, or intentionally.
  • The breach caused your injury: You need to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly resulted in your injury or damages.
  • You suffered actual damages: This involves proving the extent of your injuries, including physical harm, emotional distress, and financial losses.


By gathering evidence such as witness testimonies, medical records, accident reports, and expert opinions, you can strengthen your case and establish the defendant’s liability.


personal injury law


Statute of Limitations: Personal Injury Claims


In California, personal injury claims must be filed within specific timeframes known as the statute of limitations:


  • For most personal injury cases like car accidents or slip and falls, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim.
  • Medical malpractice claims must be filed within one year from the date you discovered the malpractice, but no more than three years from the date of the malpractice.
  • Wrongful death claims due to negligence must be filed within two years of the date of death.


It’s crucial to adhere to these deadlines, as missing them could result in the loss of your right to compensation. An attorney, like Kirakosian Law, can help determine if any exceptions apply to extend these limitations.


Personal Injury Protection – Kirakosian Law


Looking for a trustworthy personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles? Look no further than Kirakosian Law. Our team is dedicated to assisting you every step of the way, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies. If your case goes to trial, count on our skilled attorneys to vigorously advocate for your rights. We strive to ensure that personal injury victims receive the maximum compensation and justice they deserve.


personal injury settlement


Specializing in personal injury cases, Kirakosian Law offers expertise and reliability. We’re here to address all your legal concerns and provide clear guidance throughout the process. Our goal is to make the legal journey transparent and stress-free for our clients.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and take the first step towards obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to.