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The basics of personal injury claims in California

People who are injured in an accident probably have a lot of questions about their case. Sure, they may know that an accident caused by the recklessness or careless behavior of another person may entitle them to seek damages, but often they may only have a vague understanding of what this means in the legal context, or what kind of damages they may be able to pursue.

In California car accident cases as well as many other types of personal injury actions, the standard for liability is negligence. Negligence means that a person failed to exercise the required amount of care when doing a certain task, or in some cases failing to do something. For example, a person who speeds at 65 miles per hour in a school zone and runs into a school bus is probably going to be found negligent, since driving that fast when kids are present is an inherently dangerous activity. Another example would be a shop owner who piles up boxes in front of the emergency exit in the back of his store. If a fire breaks out and a customer or employee is unable to escape due to the blocked exit, this would be a fairly clear cut case of negligence.

People who are injured in accidents that they believe were caused by another's negligence may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss the incident and decide whether it is appropriate to proceed to filing a lawsuit. If the facts of the case show that another party's negligence was the cause of an injury, then a lawsuit could lead to potential damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering and other monetary sums.

In some cases, the other party or their insurance company may try to settle out of court, eliminating the need for a trial. But of course, every situation is different, so people should consider discussing their particular case with a local Temecula attorney.

Source: American Bar Association "Personal Injury Claims" accessed Aug. 30, 2015

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