If you have been injured in a personal injury accident in Rancho Cordova, you may be wondering what damages you can seek for the injuries you sustained and if there is a limit on how long you can wait to file your lawsuit. Personal injury cases in California are a common occurrence due to the large population in cities and surrounding areas. You have the right to seek justice if someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries.
Put an experienced Rancho Cordova personal injury lawyer at Triumph Law to work for you. We are available to assist you in seeking damages for your injuries, medical expenses, and property damage. California limits the amount of time you can file a legal claim, so it is crucial that you do not wait too long to begin the process, or you may lose your chance to do so.
You Can Seek These Damages If You File Your Personal Injury Claim in Rancho Cordova on Time
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your personal injury, there are a variety of damages your attorney can help you seek compensation for. Injuries caused by a car accident typically include high expenses for repair or replacement of vehicles. Injuries sustained from a slip and fall due to the property owner’s negligence can result in severe brain and spinal damage.
There are three types of damages you can seek compensation for. The first is economic damages meant to replace the actual financial losses incurred from your injuries. The second is the non-economic damages that compensate for the non-tangible damages, such as pain and suffering, and the third is punitive damages.
Economic damages cover the tangible expenses you incurred and can include the following:
- Doctors visits
- Ambulance rides
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medications
- Lost wages (including tips, wages, and bonuses)
- Lost future earning capacity
- Home modification expenses
Your attorney can help prove the non-economic damages you suffered. While these damages are intangible, they make up for a large part of your personal injury claim. These damages can include the following:
- Pain and suffering (this includes emotional and physical)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (unable to enjoy previous activities and hobbies)
- Loss of consortium (awarded to families in wrongful death cases)
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability
In cases where the defendant acted in a way considered to be malicious, fraudulent, or oppressive, the plaintiff can recover punitive damages. A defendant who makes an innocent mistake would not be required to pay punitive damages. When deciding the validity of a punitive damages claim, the court will consider the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff, the reprehensibility of the defendant’s actions, and the harm suffered by the plaintiff.
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Statute of Limitations in Rancho Cordova
A statute of limitations is the time limit placed on injury victims to bring forth a lawsuit. If you do not go to court to file your lawsuit before the deadline passes, it is likely that you will lose your right to bring a lawsuit over the accident. An attorney with Triumph Law, P.C., can help you file your lawsuit and ensure you meet all deadlines.
The figurative clock generally begins ticking on the day of the accident that caused your injuries. Two years is the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensatory damages or punitive damages. Under California’s “discovery rule,” this statute of limitations begins once you reasonably should have realized that you were injured, in cases where injuries took a longer time to manifest.
Why a Time Limit for Filing?
This statute is important for several reasons. It is important to make note of the timeframe allowed so that you can seek proper compensation for your injuries. Placing a time limit on personal injury claims prevents injury victims from suing the negligent party after an extended period of time.
Filing within the time limit also ensures that evidence is not lost or corrupted, eyewitness testimony can change, or memories can be lost over long time periods. Personal injuries can be complicated, and your attorney will need as much time as possible to gather evidence, speak with eyewitnesses, and review your medical records. You should begin the personal injury claim as soon as possible to ensure you receive full compensation for your damages.
Exceptions to the Two Year Limit
Most personal injury cases are bound by the two-year statute of limitations. There are certain exceptions to this time frame. These exceptions include:
- Property damage- 3 years
- Wrongful Death- 6 years
- Medical Malpractice- 1 year
- Asbestos Exposure- 1 year
The statute of limitations temporary pauses or tolls if the plaintiff in the personal injury case is either:
- Under 18 years of age,
- Living outside the state of California
- Dies within six months of the accident
- Currently in prison (state, not county jail)
- Does not have a sound mind
When the above conditions leading to tolling come to an end, the statute of limitations can resume.
Lawsuit vs Insurance Claims
The California statute of limitations deadline applies to a personal injury victim filing a lawsuit in court. Insurance policies typically apply to the underlying accident in most injury cases. Filing an insurance claim generally precedes a victim filing a lawsuit but can have deadlines as short as days after the accident.
The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. However, it is crucial that you allow yourself enough time to use the court system when settlement negotiations with the insurance company are not going well. This will ensure the preservation of your legal right to compensation.
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Contact a Rancho Cordova Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
Suffering a personal injury can turn your life upside down. Between the pain you endured, medical expenses that are piling up, and the possibility of being out of work for an extended period of time, tremendous stress can be placed on individuals and their families. The person responsible for your injuries should be held liable for the damages they caused.
Contact a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer with Triumph Law today. We can discuss the details of your personal injury claim and more specific deadlines when you request a free, no-obligation consultation. Use our online form or call us to get started today.