FAQs About Personal Injury Cases

If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one due to someone else's actions, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. At the Pasadena law firm of Ball & Bonholtzer, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have a case. If so, we can also fight for the maximum amount of compensation available. Call us at 626-817-6453 or email us to set up a free consultation.

Following are a few frequently asked questions about personal injury cases in California:

Q. Can I collect money even if I'm partly responsible?

A. Generally, whoever caused the injuries is responsible. However, in the state of California, if the injured person is partially responsible for the accident, the damages are prorated. This is because California adheres to a "comparative negligence" standard. If you are 99 percent at fault, you can still pursue money for the 1 percent that the other party was at fault.

Q. What's the difference between intentional injury and negligence?

A. Intentional injury occurs when someone clearly means to cause harm. If your child has been bullied — emotionally or physically — that's intentional. Negligence occurs when there's an ordinary, required responsibility on the part of a person or company to not cause harm.

Truck drivers, for example, have a responsibility to pay attention on the road. If a trucker fails to pay attention and causes an accident, it would be considered negligence.

"Strict liability" means the liability exists regardless of whether the injury was intentional or negligent, such as in a workers' compensation case.

Q. Can I get compensation for emotional suffering?

A. Possibly. In California, you may receive reimbursement for lost wages, medical bills and prescription medicines, hired help you require due to the injury and damage to property. You may also be entitled to compensation for intangible damages such as pain, suffering, emotional difficulties and damage to your reputation. In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages meant to punish the offender and set an example for potential future offenders.

Q. What is the statute of limitations?

A. California imposes different limitations for different offenses, but typically you must file a claim within one or two years. One of our personal injury lawyers can explain the exceptions.

Q. Do claims have monetary limits?

A. There is no cap on reimbursement for economic damages, but they must be documented. Other damages, including emotional distress, are capped at the amount of economic damages times a multiplier of one to nine. If the economic damages are $10,000, noneconomic damages would be $90,000 or less depending on the multiplier used in your case.

Each personal injury claim is different and exceptions apply in many cases. Therefore, it is critical that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you've been injured.

Q. What does it cost to hire a lawyer?

A. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that if our lawyers recover money for you, they receive a certain percentage as their fee. If they don't recover compensation for you, they don't get paid. You don't owe us anything up front. To learn more, schedule a consultation today: 626-817-6453.