CA injury claimIf you have suffered a personal injury at work, home, on your commute, or otherwise in your daily life in California, you are surely adjusting to a slew of unexpected short and possibly even long-term challenges. There are medical bills to be paid, rehabilitation to undergo, and the prospect of being partially or totally limited in your ability to perform your job duties, family responsibilities, and other obligations.

Fortunately for California personal injury victims, state law allows for financial damages to be sought from the individual, business, or institution responsible to account for the harms and losses suffered. The purpose of this article is to explain the most common sources of personal injury claims and the timeframe in which they may be brought in California.

Five Common Bases for Personal Injury Claims

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CA injury attorneyAutomation is remaking the world. Siri, self-driving cars, and Google Assistant are but a few examples of ways in which artificial intelligence is being integrated into day-to-day life. Importantly, just as humans have a responsibility to act in accordance with laws and norms, so do the companies and individuals who manufacture, design, or direct automated products. This is the case in every sphere of life in which artificial intelligence is utilized, including transportation, sanitation, security, and the service industries. If you are harmed by an automated product, as was recently the case in Tempe, Arizona when a pedestrian was struck and killed by a self-driving car, you may rightfully seek legal damages from the owner, operator, or designer, depending on the nature of event and injuries.

Automation-Related Accidents May Be Caused By Design or Negligence

When a human injures another human, the legal cause of action that is created is typically either negligence or intentionally wrongful conduct (e.g. assault). Negligence is the breach of a duty owed that actually and proximately causes damages. This legal doctrine may still be applicable when an automated product injures a human being, but the context is one of products liability rather than personal conduct. Obviously, it does not make sense to subject a robot, self-driving car, or other embodiment of artificial intelligence to civil or criminal liability.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_227581717.jpgWhen you are injured in a car accident, your first thoughts naturally go to the health and safety of yourself and any passengers – especially any children present in the vehicle. If physically able to safely exit the vehicle, a secondary consideration is exchanging insurance information with the other driver(s) and communicating with law enforcement and emergency medical technicians on the scene. While it may not become apparent in the trauma of the moment, the most lasting and consequential damage suffered may be your very ability to work. This is a devastating outcome for people who depend on their physical well being to earn a living. When a car accident changes your position in the world from one of strength to one of vulnerability in a split second, know that the law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation for not just medical bills, but also lost income due to missed work.

Types of Compensation Available to Car Accident Personal Injury Victims

While it is true that the world is becoming more automated (e.g. drones, self-driving cars, travel booking), many occupations still require traditional manual labor. Construction, athletics, landscaping, retail, and the service industries all require able-bodied individuals of good health and with ample energy to perform physical tasks. When a car accident causes injuries, whether temporary or permanent, to a manual laborer, he or she may no longer able to move or lift objects. This outcome is especially detrimental to non-salaried individuals – workers who earn income dollar-by-dollar, hour-by-hour. Fortunately, the law allows for car accident personal injury victims to seek compensation for lost income due to missed work from the individual and/or business responsible for the injury-causing accident.  This compensation is in addition to the monetary damages awarded to cover the cost of medical bills, pain and suffering, and consequences flowing from any short or long-term disabilities resulting from the accident.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_561396394.jpgThe loss of a loved one from an event other than natural causes is a deeply traumatic experience. It is natural to feel profound sadness, anxiety, and even anger – especially if the loss would not have occurred but for the negligent or intentionally wrongful conduct of an individual, business, or institution. Besides these already upsetting emotions, panic may creep in with regard to financial matters, especially if the lost loved one occupied the valuable role of a primary or co-equal income earner. While nothing can undo the trauma of losing a loved one, California’s wrongful death law does offer survivors of a wrongful death victim the opportunity to seek financial compensation from those responsible for the wrongful death and its consequences.   

Types of Deaths Considered Wrongful Under California Law

 The word “wrongful” speaks to both moral and legal culpability for a breach of the duty of personal liberty and bodily integrity owed between all members of society. When this duty is breached so egregiously by intentionally wrongful conduct (e.g. physical violence) or negligence (e.g. drunk driving) that a death results, the death is “wrongful” because the conduct that caused it is wrongful. Specific examples of negligent or intentionally wrongful conduct that constitute bases for wrongful death claims in California include:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_730813042.jpgWith spring weather coinciding with crowds of people flocking to California’s patio and garden bars to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament and other sporting events, the combination of alcohol, tension, and competing team loyalties can lead to verbal and even physical altercations. People often lose sight of the fact that there exists no perceived slight or indignity relating to an event in the sports world that is grounds for assaulting another person.

When flared tensions produce personal injuries or even emotional distress in some instances, there are consequences – in both the state’s criminal courts, and if a personal injury victim so choose, civil courts. If you have been injured in a physical altercation in a California bar or restaurant, whether as an intended victim or mere bystander, you possess the legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the harms that you have suffered.

Battery is Both a Crime and a Tort

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Willett Law Firm

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