California, being as large as it is, has its fair share of accidents and personal injuries. Perhaps it was you who experienced a life-changing injury. Maybe it was a friend or family member who now needs a support system. Either way, you could use some help and guidance. If you or someone you know is bringing a personal injury suit in the state of California and needs more information, Enjuris has answers.
California Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
California statutes online
This is where you’ll find the civil code of California. There is a lot of other information available on California's website, such as the penal code, fishing and gaming code, and more, so try not to get confused. Stick with the civil code for personal injury law information on how long you have to bring a case, damage caps, and other information.
The initial consultation for a personal injury attorney is usually free of charge. (Keep in mind that other legal fields, such as patent law or traffic law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that their office will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus office expenses.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be taken aback if your lawyer suggests something different.
These are some important Supreme Court cases that came out of California in the past century:
California Motor Transport Co. v. Trucking Unlimited, 404 U.S. 508 (1972): This case involved anti-trust law and the ability to petition the government under the First Amendment, which clearly states that people have the ability to do so for "redress of grievances." The Justices ruled that using lawful means to achieve unlawful restraint of trade was not protected.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898): This decision became important precedent because of the Citizenship Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Wong Kim Ark was a cook who lived in San Francisco. He went on a trip abroad and was denied reentry into the United States under a law restricting Chinese immigration, despite the fact he was born on U.S. soil. He challenged the law and won, as the Justices decided that the Fourteenth Amendment's language encompassed the circumstances of his birth.
Regents of University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978): This decision upheld affirmative action, allowing race to be one of a series of factors used to determine school applications. However, the use of racial quotas was impermissible.
Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966): This was a criminal case in which the Justices held that forced extraction of bodily fluids (e.g., blood) is not compelled testimony; as such, it does not violate the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. This case also clarified that these intrusions into the human body do require a search warrant, but that an involuntary blood sample taken without a warrant could be justified under the Fourth Amendment's "exigent circumstances" exception because blood alcohol can be destroyed by the human body's metabolic processes before a warrant can be obtained. Many legal scholars felt this would violate civil rights, and this ruling has echoed across the country since it was handed down by the Justices.
Data and statistics
Here is some intriguing data about the state of California.
California Department of Health Care Services: Statistics
There are many issues you can solve on your own, without the help of an attorney. And if you don't know where to start, a law librarian will be available to help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online sources like LexisNexis or Westlaw.