Personal Injury Law in California & Statutory Rules

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be trying to decide if you should sue. The decision can be a difficult one because it can often take a couple of months before injuries related to the accident become apparent. Back pain and mobility issues can take an especially long time to surface. There are certain statutory laws and rules that one should take into consideration before filing any lawsuit.

Statutory laws are laws that are created by a legislative body. Statutory laws pertaining to personal injury lawsuits are decided by both the United States Congress and individual state legislatures. Statutory rules, also known as, statutory instruments, specify the actions that must be taken by the individuals to whom the law applies.

Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit

If you live in the state of California, you have two years to sue for damages in a personal injury case. If you wait longer than two years to file a suit, there is a good chance your case will be rejected. You have three years to file a lawsuit for property damage.

As with any law, there are certain exceptions. Sometimes the statute of limitations can be, “tolled” or suspended, due to certain circumstances. For example, if the person who hit you is in a coma or goes to prison, your case may be tolled until they wake up or get out of prison.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident or suffer an injury that is due to the structure or architecture of a building, you may be able to file a lawsuit for, “known apparent problems” or “patent defects.” You have four years from the time the structure was finished to file this kind of lawsuit.

Statutory rules can be complicated, and it is always a good idea to enlist a qualified personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles to represent you.

What to do if you have been Injured

If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to act quickly. After you make your statement to the police, you must call your insurance company right away. Remember to maintain all records of medical appointments and money paid out for medications and alternative healing treatments related to your accident. It is also a good idea to document any time that you have lost from work.

Deadlines for insurance claims

There is not a legal set time limit to file your auto insurance claim, but almost any insurance agent will tell you to call as soon as possible. There are, however, strict time tables for insurance companies in California.

The insurance company must comply with the Fair Claim Handling Regulations. According to these regulations, an insurance company has up to 15 days to begin investigating a claim after it is filed. They then have 30 days to pay any amounts on the claim that is not in dispute. They must also tell you if your claim has been accepted or denied within 40 days. They must contact you once a month as long as your case is open.

If your car is totaled and you need to buy a new car, the amount of settlement money should be enough to buy a comparable vehicle. If the amount of the settlement money does not cover the purchase of a comparable car, you have 35 days to reopen the claim and try to get the difference.

When filing any lawsuit, it is always a good idea to get your paperwork in long before the statute of limitations expires.

When to Hire an Attorney

If an insurance company will not pay your claim or you feel they have not paid the money to which you are entitled, you need to get an attorney. The attorneys at Bauman Law are experienced in personal injury law and have the staff and resources to get you the money you deserve.

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