What kind of damage compensation can victims access in San Diego legal action?

California – July 24, 2022

A personal injury lawsuit is when a victim who has suffered loss or harm at the hands of another person files a claim in court to access fiscal compensation for their losses. In California, this type of legal action must be initiated within 2 years from the damaging occurrence.  Personal injury claims can stem from a California motor vehicle, premises liability, medical malpractice, and worker’s on-the-job accidental injury.  An experienced accident attorney can pursue economic, and non-economic damages for victims. Insurance companies are experts at denying liability to minimize compensation for victims.

Recoverable damage type.

There are multiple classes of damages that accident victims can recover in California, based on their case. Personal injury accident insurance settlements and jury awards will attempt to place dollar amount to include:

Compensatory damages.

In California personal injury compensatory damages are not subject to a cap, except for those injuries that occur because of medical malpractice where the cap is $250,000 for non-economic damages in accordance with the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) which was passed in 1975

  • Economic damages for present and future loss of earnings, medical bills, current and future medical care, household expenses, and
  • Non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of consortium or companionship.

Punitive damages.

Under California law, it is rare that punitive damages are considered and will be based on occasions where an individual’s actions were found to be reckless, intentional, egregious, and harmful, resulting in the injury. California does not cap the punitive amounts that a judge or jury can award to victims  in a personal injury case. The California Civil Code 3294 allows a jury to award punitive damages in a personal injury case, but the plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct was intentionally harmful.

Hire an attorney.

Seek legal counsel immediately after a personal injury accident that causes harm or results in fatal injury.  Consultation with an experienced accident lawyer who understands the impacts of harmful injury and property loss and the intricacies of insurance law in California is beneficial to victims.  Associates at the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates will work with insurance companies and named parties to legal action toward personal injury compensation for injured accident victims or surviving loved ones.


Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation

501 West Broadway, Suite 1650

San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-233-8021

Fax: 619-233-3730


  1. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=20001
  2. Law section (ca.gov)


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