Personal Injury Law
Personal Injury Law Questions? Ask Personal Injury Lawyers.
Hello, I am a personal injur defense attorney and I believe that I can provide you with some assistance with your issue. First off, depending on the severity of your injuries, disfigurement, and pain and suffering, you may not want to pursue this claaim in small claims court. It may be worth trying to find a personal injury attorney who will take your claim. Often times the bar association in your state can refer you to an attorney. Here is California's bar association website. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx.
However, if you wish to proceed in California Small Claims court, there are certain things you should be aware of. First, there is a limit of $10,000, wish is higher than many states, but may not fully compensate you, again depending on the extent of your injuries. Second, proceeding pro se (without an attorney) is not always advisable as Redken will hire, through its insurance carrier, experienced defense counsel to defend against your claim and look for every and any technicallity to get it dismissed. Small claims courts tend to be more consumer friendly, but they do enforce procedural rules. Along that line, in a product liability case where you're injured, you need to find out if the store where you bought the product belongs to a chain, and you need to find out who made the product. You may need to sue the store where you bought the product, the parent company that owns the store where you bought the product, the store chain if the store where you shopped is part of a franchise, and the manufacturer of the product. You need to figure out who owns each of the businesses. If you sue only an individual or 1 party and leave out the others, those who are sued can blame your injury on someone else and you may lose your case if the court finds a nonparty to be responsible. For a coporation, write the exact name of the corporation or limited liability company, as you know it, on the claim form. You need not name the individual owners of the corporation or limited liability company. Example: "Fourth Dimension Graphics, Inc., a corporation." If the corporation operates through a division, corporate subsidiary or fictitious business name, both should be listed. Example: "Middle Eastern Quality Petrol, a Delaware corporation, individually and doing business as Fast Gas, and Fast Gas."
Fourth, remember a statute of limitation will bar your claim if not filed within correct period of time. You have two years from the date of injury to file a products liability claim in California. Make sure you hit this deadline. Even once you file, you will have to have it served on the defendant. You can have court do so by certified mail, you can have it personally served by a constable or there are alternative services as a last resort.
Use the following websites for a wealth of information regarding a small claim suit in CA. Educate yourself and do it the rirght way if you are proceeding without an attorney. If you do it the wrong way, you may have your case thrown out. http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm. http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/file.shtml#name
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