When someone suffers mental or physical harm owing to the carelessness of another, they may file a claim for personal injury. This area of law in the United States is enormous and diverse, ranging from accusations of medical malpractice to intentional harm.

There are certainly more common occurrences, but a complete catalog would be impossible. After all, almost anything has the potential to end in disaster. Slip-and-fall incidents, car accidents, birth injuries, wrongful death actions, defective product claims, and injuries sustained on the job are all examples of potential grounds for a personal injury claim across the country and in Orange County.

Personal injury lawsuits vary widely in complexity, but one constant will always remain: the need for legal representation to guarantee one’s rights and interests in court.

What is the Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury?

There is no uniform time limit because each individual state establishes the statute of limitations. In most cases, the statute of limitations is between two and six years. Depending on the nature of the claim, this could be a shorter or longer time frame.

For instance, it may be one year in some circumstances and ten years in others. Consult a lawyer for help with determining deadlines; missing one could have serious consequences for your case. Always consider California’s statute of limitations when deciding whether to pursue legal action.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

Unsurprisingly, auto accidents are a leading cause of personal injury lawsuits. For example, California has the third-highest annual death toll from traffic accidents.

However, submitting a claim for injury will follow the same fundamental processes and procedures in California, no matter what precipitated it.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Orange County

Another one of the most frequent causes of injury is a slip-and-fall accident. These incidents often occur because of uneven or slippery flooring in a public place. Other causes of slip-and-fall incidents include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lack of lighting in passageways
  • Broken floor tiles, potholes, shredded carpeting, and other damaged flooring
  • Uncollected, potentially harmful debris or scrap, such as broken branches
  • Icy or snowy areas that aren’t cleaned via salting or shoveling
  • Uncleaned spills in institutional settings like hospitals, nursing homes, and so on
  • Neglecting to post warning signs or restrict/limit access to potentially dangerous areas with any hazardous conditions
  • Other dangerous or slippery areas of walkways during snowstorms and rainstorms due to a lack of storm drains, gutters, or anti-slip devices

Medical Malpractice as a Personal Injury Claim

Malpractice in the medical field occurs when a doctor or other healthcare provider breaches their duty of care to properly treat a patient. Common examples of malpractice suits in the medical field include:

  • Misdiagnosis, such as when a medical professional doesn’t review the patient’s symptoms or even provides the wrong diagnosis
  • Errors in medication or treatment, like when a doctor gives the patient too little or too much of a drug
  • Birth injuries caused by negligence or carelessness during labor and delivery
  • Accidental injury or death caused by a surgeon’s error during surgery

Do Workplace Accidents Fall Under Personal Injury?

Accidents that happen at work can cause bodily harm or mental trauma to workers. Workers can get hurt and need medical attention if health and safety laws aren’t followed.

You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in California if you’ve been hurt on the job and need medical care, coverage for lost wages, and assistance getting back to work. However, damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages are not covered by workers’ compensation.

In other words, workplace accidents often fall under the realm of personal injury when an injured employee wants to seek compensation for emotional trauma or can prove that their employer was guilty of fraud or malice in their injury.

What Are Punitive Damages?

The court may award punitive damages under California law if a plaintiff can show that an injury was caused directly by the defendant’s malice, oppression, or fraud.

This typically refers to instances of either deliberate injury or excessive carelessness. Damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and similar things are typical forms of compensation, but punitive damages are separate. Essentially, a punitive damages judgment requires proof that the defendant acted willfully, with gross negligence and disregard for the victim’s health or well-being.

Instead of compensating for actual financial harm done to the plaintiff, punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) are awarded proportionately to the defendant’s behavior and financial means.

Moreover, punitive damages are intended primarily to punish the culprit and deter similar behavior in the future.

What Can You Expect During a Personal Injury Case?

You may be curious about the general process and timeline of a personal injury case if you’ve recently been hurt in an incident that appears to be the fault of another party.

While the specifics of your case will determine how long your personal injury claim takes to resolve, you can anticipate certain milestones along the way:

  • After suffering injuries in one of these incidents, consulting with a personal injury attorney is a good first step toward obtaining justice. These lawyers are well-versed in various areas of injury law, as well as insurance law. They can ensure that an insurance company thoroughly investigates a claim and compensates the client fairly.
  • Remember that most cases involving personal injury are resolved out of court, and no lawsuit is ever filed. What’s more, there is flexibility in the timing for settling a personal injury claim.
  • Personal injury lawyers can also investigate insurance claims for you, in addition to navigating the court system and filing paperwork or negotiating effectively on your behalf if a claim is not settled.

Call a Personal Injury Lawyer in Orange County

Our Orange County personal injury attorneys at Beckerman Anderson are here to help you through the aftermath of your accident and the legal proceedings that will follow.

At Beckerman Anderson, our team is well-versed in auto accident cases, slip-and-fall claims, medical malpractice, and much more. Call 949-409-4242 to speak with one of our Orange County accident lawyers and have your case evaluated at no initial cost to you and yours.