Every year, thousands of people are injured in severe car crashes in the United States. The survivors of these accidents often sustain serious, life-threatening injuries that can require costly medical treatment and surgery. Fortunately, car accident victims have the right to file a claim against the liable parties to get the compensation they deserve. However, car accident victims have a limited amount of time to submit their claims to the court. Our Ventura car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth, PLC, invite you to keep reading as we discuss how much time you have to file your car accident claim in California.
Do I Have a Limited Time to Sue for a Car Accident in California?
If you were injured in a car accident in California, it is essential to understand that there is a limited time to file your claim. The limited time individuals have to file their personal injury claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” Under California’s statute of limitations, you have up to six months from the moment of your accident to file your personal injury claim. Car accident injury victims who do not file their claim within this timeframe may lose their chance to obtain compensation or damages.
Six months may seem like a long time to file your claim. However, it would be best if you considered the time you may need to invest in investigating the accident and gathering all of the data that may be used to support your claim. Therefore, it is essential to act quickly after your car crash, truck collision, or motorcycle accident.
Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents in California
Car accident victims can sustain different injuries depending on the circumstances of the crash. Some of these injuries can be mild and require a short recovery period. Others, may suffer from severe, life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common injuries a car accident victim can sustain include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
TBI is one of the most common types of injuries people can sustain during a car accident. Head trauma is among some of the most serious, life-threatening injuries any person can suffer. Generally, TBI happens as a result of a heavy blow to the head. However, direct damage to the brain caused by sharp, foreign objects can also lead to severe head injuries. Common symptoms of TBI include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fogginess, and loss of memory, among other debilitating symptoms.
Depending on the severity and extent of the head injury, a car accident victim may need to go through costly surgery and require continuing medical attention. Your recovery process may take a long time which can impact your ability to generate income, and provide for your family.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Spinal cord injuries or “SCI” are also common in car accidents. These injuries are particularly dangerous as they can affect bodily function from the site of the injury down. During a car accident, a person can sustain catastrophic injuries in the back area. The spinal cord, a bundle of nerves distributed throughout the body and protected by the spine, can be severed during a crash. Paraplegia and quadriplegia are common examples of conditions stemming from a SCI. Victims suffering from a spinal cord injury may need to go through extensive recovery and multiple surgeries, which can cause their medical bills to skyrocket.
Whiplash is a discomforting type of injury affecting the muscles on your neck. Whiplash injuries commonly happen as a result of a sudden, forceful back-and-forth movement of the head. Whiplash can also affect other parts of your body, such as your shoulders, arms, and hands. Generally, whiplash injuries can take weeks or months to fully heal.
Compensation may provide you with the opportunity to cover things such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, this requires prompt action from the victims to avoid risking damages due to the statute of limitations.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident in California
Filing a personal injury claim can provide victims with the opportunity of obtaining compensation for their losses. Personal injury claims are based on negligence theory, which requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence caused their losses. As such, you, the plaintiff, must prove all the elements in your claim.
First, you will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. The duty of care is the behavior expected from a prudent, reasonable person in a given situation. For instance, all drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles safely. Once you have established that the defendant owed you a duty to drive safely, you can go to the second element of your claim.
The second element you will need to prove with the court is the breach of duty. The breach of duty is nothing more than the defendant’s failure to comply with their duty of care. You can demonstrate the defendant’s breach of duty by establishing that the defendant was reckless behind the wheel.
The third element requires establishing causation. Causation is the linking nexus between the defendant’s negligent actions and your subsequent injuries. Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered losses as a result of your accident and injuries. Your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are typical examples of compensable losses during an accident. Your car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and make informed decisions from start to finish.
Personal Injury Attorneys Handling Personal Injury Claims in California
Dealing with a severe personal injury can be extremely stressful for the victims and their families. At The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth, PLC, we understand the difficulties associated with a car accident and the complications that follow a crash. That is why our Ventura personal injury attorneys dedicate their efforts to provide you with quality legal representation during your car accident claim. Let us put our skills, dedication, and experience to work for you during this difficult time. Call our law offices today for a free, confidential consultation at (805) 643-5555.