If you or someone you love has sustained a neck injury because of another person’s or another entity’s fault, then you may be entitled to compensation in California. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help you understand what options are available to you. We don’t charge legal fees unless we successfully settle or win your case. For a complimentary case evaluation, contact us at 1-800-208-3538.
California Personal Injury LawCalifornia is a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. This means that you are entitled to recover damages sustained through the fault of another person or entity, even if the other’s fault is as little as 1 percent or as much as 100 percent. What this also means is that if you contributed to the accident in any way, then your compensation will be reduced according to the proportion you are deemed at-fault. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages, but you were 10 percent at fault, then you would be able to recover $90,000 (and would be deemed responsible for $10,000 due to being 10 percent at-fault, and therefore bear the financial responsibility for your contribution to your injury)
You would be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party, and this could be any number of people or entities depending on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, if you were in a car and were struck by a commercial truck, both the truck driver and his or her employer could be liable for your neck injury (as well as any other injury you sustain from the accident). If you are at work and fell due to a defective ladder, then your employer could be held liable if it failed to maintain equipment in good working condition, or the maker of the ladder could be held liable if the design of the equipment was faulty. And therein lies the key to who is responsible for compensating for your neck injury: negligence. Who is the negligent party?
br> There are four components that must be present to prove negligence, and they are explained below:
- Duty of Care. Did the person or his/her employer owe you a duty of care? For instance, all motorists owe a duty of care to fellow drivers, and this duty of care includes the duty to obey traffic laws as well as to be alert and drive responsibly.
- Breach of Duty. Was that duty breached in some way, shape or form? For instance, if you were in an accident caused by another driver, did the other driver failed to stop at a red signal, or was the driver speeding? If so, then the at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care owed to you. If, however, it was a defect in the design of the automobile (maybe the brakes were defective) that caused the accident, then the driver would not have breached a duty if he or she adhered to all laws and rules.
- Causation. Did that breach cause your injury? Using the same car accident example, was the accident the direct and proximal cause of your injury? For instance, if you felt fine and got out of the car to inspect the damage and then slipped on ice, only to fall and break your wrist, the accident did not cause your injury. Your injury must emanate from the accident.
- Damages. Is your injury monetarily quantifiable, in other words: is there a dollar value to your injury? Bruised egos are not compensable. If you are in an accident and sustain no injury, then you are not eligible to recover from the personal bodily injury. You could, however, still recover from property damage.
What Type of Compensation is Available?If you sustained a neck injury through the fault of another person’s action or omission to act, then California allows you to seek compensation. Compensation for your damages comes in two forms:
- Economic Damages. These damages allow you to seek reimbursement for such things as medical expenses, therapy, property damage, lost present and future earnings, loss of earning capacity.
- Non-economic Damages. These damages include compensation for such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment.