With 314 million citizens living in the U.S. alone, it’s inevitable that people are going to get hurt. But what if you’ve been injured not through bad luck or the whims of fate, but negligence on the part of another? If this is the case, you might qualify for compensation under personal injury laws.

Here are just a few types of accidents and mishaps that can warrant a lawsuit:

– Car crashes
– Slips and falls
– Dog bites
– Defective products
– Daycare negligence
– Exposure to asbestos and other harmful materials

How do you know if your particular injury might lead to a settlement? Consider the following factors.

<b>Time Limits</b>

In California, you have anywhere from six months to two years to file a personal injury claim. Exceptions can be made if you only discover an injury after the statue of limitations has passed; for example, if you hurt your spine on the job but aren’t made aware of it until you visit a chiropractor, you have one year after the date of discovery to make your case.

<b>Claims Court</b>

If you ask for $5000 or less, the matter will be handled by California’s Small Claims Court, a fast and yet notoriously unreliable process. You won’t have the benefit of a lawyer, and judgements are final, meaning you have only one chance to make your case. You’ll have to do a risk-benefit analysis to figure out if a small claim is the one you want to make.

If you’re suing for $10,000 or more, your claim automatically goes to the Superior Court. This is where the multimillion dollar suits bear fruit, but it’s also a long, lengthy process with no guarantees of success, so beware.

<b>What To Expect</b>

Here are just a few questions that might be asked of you during the course of your lawsuit.

– How were you injured?
– Why do you blame someone else for your injury?
– Could <i>you</i> have been responsible for your accident?
– Why are you asking for X amount of money?

Prepare your answers in advance so you won’t find yourself tongue-tied in front of the other side’s lawyers. Remember, if you’re suing a corporation or government entity, they’ve had plenty of previous experience in a courtroom. They want to scare you into dropping your claim. They’ll try to fill your head with visions of juries and frowning judges, but in reality, most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court for undisclosed amounts of cash.

If you or someone you love has been injured at work or through no fault of their own, contact your local Hesperia personal injury lawyers today. They can help you fight for the compensation that’s rightfully yours.