What if I was also at fault for the accident, which caused my amputation?
- March 29, 2017
Needing an amputation after an accident is a serious situation. Not only will your amputation change your entire life forever, but it will have caused much pain and suffering to you and your family, and likely, the experience will have accrued numerous medical bills and expenses as well. Needing an amputation means missing work, losing wages and possibly making it difficult or impossible for you to find further employment in the future. All of these things can cause much distress for you and your family.
Even if you were partly responsible for the accident that resulted in your amputation, you may be eligible for damages from the other party who was responsible for the accident. As someone who has had to go through this horrible experience, you deserve compensation, and the state of California will protect you in this, even if you were partly responsible.
Comparative fault law
In the state of California, even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you can still sue someone else who was also partially at fault for the accident. You simply need to prove that the other person was at fault. Even if they were only slightly at fault, you can still sue for damages.
This is because California is a comparative fault state. This means that the judge or jury who evaluates your personal injury case will look at your fault in the accident compared to the defendant’s fault in the accident and reward damages based on percentages.
For example, if your amputation and medical bills cost thousands of dollars, and you also lost thousands of dollars in lost wages, you may make a claim for $15,000. But if you were partially at fault for the accident, a judge or jury will evaluate what percentage you were at fault. They may decide that you were 10 percent at fault for your accident. If they do this, the damages you receive will be your claim of $15,000 minus 10 percent. In other words, you would receive damages in the amount of $13,500.
Retaining a personal injury attorney
It is essential to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after your accident. An amputation is a serious injury, and not seeking legal counsel to help you with your claim is a mistake. Not only will the legal system be difficult to navigate if you don’t know anything about it, but you’ll also need the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you thoroughly investigate the scene, talks to eyewitnesses, gather evidence and examine exactly what happened.
Furthermore, all of this investigating takes time, and the paperwork necessary to file a court case takes even more time. With this in mind, using the services of a professional and experienced personal injury lawyer will be greatly advantageous because you will need to make sure that you file your case before the statute of limitations is up.
California statutes of limitations on amputation cases
The statute of limitations is a law which dictates exactly how long a plaintiff has to make a claim after a serious accident and personal injury has occurred. In the state of California, the statute of limitations on personal injury accidents is two years, which means that you have exactly two years after the date of your accident to make a claim for damages. This time will go quickly, and you will need the help of a professional personal injury attorney to aid you in assembling your claim and filing it appropriately.
If negligence and carelessness resulted in your accident and subsequent amputation, you deserve damages for your pain, suffering and expenses. With that being said, many individuals who have been in serious accidents and needed amputations wonder whether they have a legitimate case to bring to court when it comes to suing for damages. That’s because it’s not uncommon for the plaintiff to have partial fault in the accident.
But it’s important to know that you can sue for damages even if you were partly responsible for the accident. Contact a reputable lawyer near you who has experience in personal injury law so that you can bring your case to court and receive the damages you deserve for your expenses, pain and suffering