If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of another, Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are prepared to protect your rights against the insurance company’s best interests. As your advocate, we are here to seek the highest possible recovery on your behalf. Our team offers a high level of professionalism, efficiency, and compassion—let us help you navigate this challenging time and fight for the justice you deserve.
Understanding California Personal Injury Laws
Like other states, California protects the rights of injured individuals under its personal injury statutes. These laws seek to hold negligent parties accountable and provide a means for victims to recover damages after a serious accident or injury.
If you were injured due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another, there are several things you should know:
- You Have a Limited Amount of Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit: Personal injury lawsuits in California are subject to a “statute of limitations,” or deadline. In most cases, this deadline is two years from the date of injury. In other words, you typically only have two years from the date you were injured (or, in some cases, the date you discovered your injury/your injury was reasonably discoverable) to sue the liable party. If the statute of limitations expires and you have not filed a lawsuit, you will not be able to sue the at-fault party for damages.
- You Have the Burden of Proof in Your Personal Injury Claim: This means that, as the person bringing the claim or lawsuit (known as the “plaintiff”), you are the one responsible for proving your case. Typically, you will need to prove that the other party (known as the “defendant”) owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and thereby caused your injuries and/or damages. It is important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you gather evidence, interview witnesses, obtain expert testimony, and put together a strong case.
- You Can Still Seek Compensation If You Were Partly at Fault: California’s pure comparative negligence rule allows you to file a claim or lawsuit against a liable party even if you were partly at fault for your injuries. As long as you can prove that the defendant was at least one percent to blame, you may have a case. However, if you are found partly at fault for the injury-causing event, the amount you are seeking in damages will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. So, if you are found to be 25 percent to blame, you may only recover 75 percent of the total.
- Some Non-Economic Damages Are Subject to Maximum Limits: Although there are no caps (or limits) on economic damages in personal injury cases in California, some types of cases may be subject to non-economic damage caps. Specifically, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) imposes a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice and negligence cases in California. Additionally, uninsured motorists typically may not recover any non-economic damages after an accident, even if the other driver was entirely at fault.
Another important thing you should know is that you have the right to work with an attorney after an accident or injury. Although it is not required that you hire a personal injury lawyer, doing so can greatly increase your chance of a successful recovery. Many studies show that people who hire personal injury attorneys tend to receive better settlements in less time than those who try to resolve their cases on their own.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is twofold: first, it allows the victim to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Secondly, it provides a means for injured victims to recover monetary compensation for hardships they have endured as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence.
There are two types of damages you can recover in a personal injury case in California:
- Compensatory Damages: These are damages meant to compensate victims for specific losses related to their injuries, such as medical expenses or emotional distress.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages focus on the defendant’s wrongdoing and are meant to punish them rather than compensate victims for actual sustained losses.
Additionally, there are two types of compensatory damages:
Special Damages: Also known as “economic damages,” special damages are losses
that have a specific monetary value. Examples include:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital costs
- Surgeries and other treatments
- Medical equipment and devices
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages and other income
- Future lost earnings
- Costs associated with modifying a home
- In-home assistance and care costs
General Damages: General damages, or “non-economic damages,” are losses that
do not have a set cost but are, instead, intangible in nature. Examples include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost or reduced earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, we seek maximum recovery for our clients. Our goal is to recover the fair financial compensation you need to manage unexpected medical bills, make up for lost wages, and move forward from the physical pain and emotional suffering associated with your injuries.
With decades of combined experience, our attorneys are well-versed in a wide range of personal injury matters. We assist clients with all types of cases, including those involving car accidents, brain injuries, bus accidents, drunk drivers, motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, rideshare crashes, slip and falls, spine injuries, large truck collisions, and more. We also assist surviving family members and loved ones in bringing wrongful death claims following fatal accidents and intentional misconduct.
After a serious accident or injury, the insurance company for the liable party will likely dispute or even deny your claim. You need a legal team that can stand up for you and protect your best interests. At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, our Brentwood personal injury attorneys know how insurance adjusters operate. We know the tactics they use to contest claims—and we know how to fight back. We will handle every legal detail so that you can focus on healing.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, we truly care about helping you get back on your feet. We are prepared to fight for every cent you are owed, even if that means taking your case to trial. When you work with Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, you do not pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you. We invite you to reach out to us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with our team.