Today’s #QuestionOfTheDay On #SmallClaimsCourt comes from Verletz A. can you sue for negligence in #SmallClaimsCourt and if so how much SK?
Thank you for your #QOTD on #SmallClaims #Court, I am not sure if you are referring to personal injury or property damage from a car accident so I’ll explain both to you and go into much detail as I can for you.
In a negligence case in which you suffer personal injury or property damage because of the defendant’s negligence, you may also be able to recover money for “conscious pain and suffering,” depending on how badly you were hurt, in addition to lost wages, medical expenses. Most of the time cases for personal injury are not heard in #SmallClaims court because small claims is money damages.
Establishing pain and suffering is a more difficult undertaking than establishing a cut-and-dried monetary “Money” claim. You must produce medical records and medical testimony as well as establish documents of how much pain you suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Even than you still may not win your case as #SmallClaims court was designed to sue for money damages so it is hard to prove up pain and suffering in the small claims court system. For example in a auto accident case you can sue for property damages to your vehicle also if you missed work and medical expenses you can proof money loss for but just pain and suffering you can’t put a price tag, which why small claims court is not the place to sue for pain and suffering.
Truthfully, the only personal injury cases I have seen go into small claims court are those where the plaintiff doesn’t have a lawyer because:
· The plaintiff is a difficult client — to put it politely.
· The defendant’s liability is difficult to prove.
· The injuries to the plaintiff are so inconsequential that no lawyer wants to waste time taking the case.
Medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs are easy to prove if you have the proper documentation, but loss of enjoyment of life and other similar damages are harder to evaluate and prove in a court of law in the #SmallClaims court system..
Can you sue in #SmallClaims for Loss of enjoyment of life? This is a whole another claim and court. A civil complaint for money is a separate complaint than physical or mental pain and suffering. It refers to any damages that result in the plaintiff being unable to participate in activities or pleasures of life as he could previously. For example, a person who is paralyzed after being hit by a drunk driver can claim loss of enjoyment of life because he can no longer play with his children and is bedridden and stuck in a wheelchair there equality of life is gone. Small Claims court is not the court to sue for loss of enjoyment of life in.
For instance, if a dog bites you, it’s normal to be afraid of dogs. Bringing that statement into court will only result in a minimal damage award, for instance the medical costs incurred and the monetary value of the scar resulting from the bite or the stitches you received any value money damages you can proof in reason to the judge from the dog biting you.
Is Your case as a result after a car accident?
Damage to personal property also has it own rules and amounts you can sue for. If your car is damaged in an accident, then the amount of damages is the cost of repairs. You aren’t getting a new car from the accident; you’re only getting the value of the car on the date of loss.
Several things can happen after a car accident:
· You accept the defendant’s insurance company’s estimate, and take the money it determines it will cost to have the car repaired. In this case, you do not need to involve the court. This is what insurance is for.
· You reject the insurance company’s estimate, pay for the repairs out-of-pocket, and take the defendant to small claims court for the difference. You reject the insurance company’s estimate but can’t afford to pay for the repairs until you collect from the defendant.
· The cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle Personal property damage
Trying to prove the value of old items of personal property is difficult. What you paid for it is not the measure of damages, nor is what it costs today to replace it. If you have a great deal of personal property damaged, it pays to hire an insurance adjuster to prepare a statement as to the value of the property on the date of loss, called actual cash value.
I hope I was able to answer your question. Small Claims court rules and laws are much different than most thing and the court room is not like judge Judy. It important to hire someone who knows what they are doing because each court in California the rules and regulations are much different in each court.
If you need help with a Small Claims lawsuit please visit our website or call our office and we be more than happy to assist you.
Our office number is (909) 986-0883 9AM-6 PM
Top Small Claims Specialist in California