Californian Laws for Personal Injury Cases You Should Know About

There are certain laws protecting the rights of personal injury victims in California. Individual injury cases are lawsuits that arise from accidents caused by the negligence or careless actions of another. Personal injury cases are divided into negligence, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Modesto to discuss your case. A qualified attorney can help with the complex legal issues of individual injury cases.


Judge Dan Hinde


Negligence can be defined as an unintentional wrongful act or failure to act. In this case, the plaintiff suffered harm or damage as a result of the defendant’s act or failure to act. In California, an example of a negligence case could be causing injury to another person while driving under the influence.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

This is when a deliberate act, or failure to act causes severe emotional pain to another person. The defendant was aware of the plaintiff’s risk of harm and distress. In California, an example of intentional infliction of emotional distress could be rape.


This deliberate act or threat places another person in reasonable fear of being physically injured. Assault is any touching done in a rude, insolent, or angry manner. In California, an example of assault could be derogatory words used against another person with the intent to cause harm or emotional distress.




It is an act or threat of force to another person. The definition of battery varies by state. In California, battery is the intentional touching or striking of another person against their will.

Laws That Help Protect Personal Injury Victims

If you are injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you may file for compensation. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may recover different types of damages.

Compensatory Damages

These are monetary payments provided by the defendant to the plaintiff to reimburse any expenses and loss of income incurred due to an accident or injury.

Examples of compensatory damages in California could be:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are monetary compensation paid by the defendant to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are given in addition to compensatory damages and are meant as a punishment for the defendant. However, these are awarded only for particularly severe cases.

How to Recover Damages

California laws provide a certain amount of time within which you must file a personal injury case. This time depends on the type of individual injury case and applicable statute(s).

California has an administrative deadline for filing any civil action, including malpractice claims. It means that a personal injury case must be filed in court typically within two years after the date of the accident or “reasonable discoverability” when the injury should have been discovered.

If the plaintiff is injured due to medical malpractice or defective products, California law has a standard one-year statute of limitations, the statute of repose. The rule of regulations also applies to negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress cases.

It is important to note that there are certain exceptions that may apply to a personal injury case. If you qualify, you may have more time to file than the standard allotted time.

You can file a personal injury case in a California court. Cases are often filed in state court because most states have a unified, statewide court system. All instances heard within a particular state belong to the same jurisdiction and are listened to by the same courts.

Final Thoughts

If you are involved in a personal injury case, you must know about the laws protecting your rights and how your lawsuit may proceed. Victims have a right to seek justice from the defendant and compensation for the injuries and damages they suffered.

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