Understand Personal Injury Law in California

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Understanding personal injury law in California is important if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence and are considering pursuing a legal compensation claim. Remember that personal injury law can be complex and varies based on the specific circumstances of your case. Consulting with our Pasadena personal injury attorney at McNally Law Office, specializing in personal injury cases, is typically the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Statute of Limitations

In California, there is a time limit within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, you have two years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. It’s crucial to be aware of this deadline, as failing to file within the prescribed time can result in losing your right to seek compensation.


Personal injury cases in California are primarily based on the concept of negligence. To establish a personal injury claim, you must demonstrate that the defendant (the person or entity responsible for your injury) owed you a duty of care, breached that duty through their negligence, and caused your injuries as a direct result of their negligence.

Comparative Negligence

California follows a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%.


In personal injury cases, you can seek various damages, including economic and non-economic damages. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, etc. In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Insurance Requirements and No-Fault Insurance

California law requires all drivers to have liability insurance. This insurance is meant to cover the costs of injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. Minimum insurance requirements exist, but drivers may opt for additional coverage. California follows a fault-based system, not a no-fault system. This means that the at-fault party’s insurance typically covers the damages, and you can file a claim with their insurer. However, you may also seek compensation from your insurer if the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.

Strict Liability

In some cases, strict liability may apply. This means that you can seek compensation without needing to prove negligence. For example, product liability cases involving defective products often follow a strict liability framework.

Expertise in Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal injury cases can be complex, and it’s often in your best interest to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

If you’ve been injured and believe you have a personal injury claim, it’s important to consult with our qualified personal injury lawyer in Pasadena. We at McNally Law Office can provide legal advice specific to your situation and guide you through pursuing a claim. Get a free consultation with our lawyers by calling (626) 584-5744.


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