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Can you sue over a broken leg?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Suffering a broken leg can be a life-altering experience, leading to pain, immobility, and a slew of medical expenses. But when does an unfortunate accident turn into a legal matter worthy of compensation? Welcome to the latest blog post from J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, where we dig into the intricacies of personal injury law and explore the conditions under which you can sue for a broken leg.

Whether your injury resulted from a vehicular accident, a slip and fall, or a workplace incident, understanding your legal rights is crucial. In this post, we’ll outline the key factors that determine the viability of a personal injury lawsuit and offer guidance on how to navigate the often-complex legal landscape. From establishing negligence to quantifying damages, we’re here to provide you with the essential information you need to make informed decisions about your case.

Join us as we break down the legal process, step by step, and shed light on what it takes to secure the compensation you deserve. Whether you’re currently suffering from a broken leg due to someone else’s negligence or simply seeking knowledge, you’re in the right place.

Can you sue someone over a broken leg?

Yes, you can sue someone over a broken leg if the injury resulted from another party’s negligence or intentional actions. In legal terms, if someone else’s failure to act with reasonable care directly leads to your injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some scenarios where this might occur:

  1. Vehicle Accidents: If your leg was broken in a car, motorcycle, or bicycle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, you might have a claim against that driver.
  2. Slip and Fall Accidents: Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe. If you broke your leg due to slipping or tripping on someone else’s property because they failed to maintain it properly or warn of dangers, you could potentially sue for damages.
  3. Workplace Accidents: If your leg was broken at work due to unsafe working conditions or lack of proper safety equipment, you might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim or, in certain situations, a personal injury lawsuit against third parties.
  4. Assaults and Intentional Acts: If someone intentionally harms you, leading to a broken leg, you could sue the assailant not only for medical costs but also for punitive damages.

In any personal injury case, including those involving a broken leg, you would need to prove that the other party was at fault due to negligence or intentional harm and that this directly resulted in your injury. You could potentially recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the injury.

However, personal injury laws vary by state, and there may be specific requirements and limitations, such as time limits for filing a lawsuit (statute of limitations). Therefore, it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and the viability of your case.

California requirements for suing for a broken leg

In California, if you’re considering suing for a broken leg, the case would typically fall under personal injury law. Here’s a general overview of what’s required:

  1. Statute of Limitations: In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date when the injury occurred.
  2. Negligence: You would need to prove that the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. This involves demonstrating that the party you are suing owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your leg to break as a result.
  3. Causation: You need to show that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injury. This means connecting the defendant’s actions or inaction directly to your broken leg.
  4. Damages: You must have suffered damages as a result of the injury. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  5. Filing a Claim: Before suing, if your injury was related to a car accident or occurred on government property, there might be special procedures or shorter time limits for notifying the responsible parties.
  6. Medical Documentation: It is crucial to have medical documentation of your injury and treatment. This documentation will support your claim of having suffered a significant injury and the costs associated with it.

It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney like us at J&Y Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your case and to ensure that all legal requirements and deadlines are met. An attorney can provide guidance tailored to the specifics of your situation and help you navigate the legal process.

Specifics of filing a claim in California

If you’ve suffered a broken leg in a car accident in California and are looking to file a claim, here are the specifics you should be aware of:

  1. Statute of Limitations: For personal injury claims in California, including those arising from car accidents, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil courts (California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1). If you’re only claiming property damage, the statute of limitations extends to three years.
  2. Report the Accident: If the accident resulted in injuries, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you must report it to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days using the SR-1 form.
  3. Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical attention for your broken leg. Not only is this crucial for your health, but medical records will serve as important evidence for your claim.
  4. Fault and Financial Responsibility: California is a “fault” state regarding car accidents, meaning the person at fault for the accident is responsible for the damages. However, California also follows the rule of “comparative negligence,” which means that if you were partly at fault for the accident, your compensation might be reduced by your percentage of fault.
  5. Insurance Claim: Initially, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. California requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance: $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage.
  6. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.
  7. Documentation and Evidence: Collect and maintain detailed records and evidence related to the accident and your injuries. This includes police reports, medical records and bills, proof of lost wages, photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, and witness statements.
  8. Legal Representation: Consider hiring a personal injury attorney experienced in California car accident claims. An attorney can help navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure your rights are protected. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.
  9. Small Claims Court: If your total damages are $10,000 or less, you can opt to file your claim in California Small Claims Court, where you can represent yourself without an attorney.

Remember, dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings can be complex and challenging, especially when you are injured. Therefore, it’s beneficial to seek professional legal advice to ensure your rights are fully protected and you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and related losses.

How do you establish negligence to quantify damages of a broken leg?

Establishing negligence in the context of a personal injury case, such as a broken leg, involves proving four key elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Here’s how each element relates to your situation:

  1. Duty of Care: First, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In the context of a car accident, this is generally established by the law itself, as all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to avoid harming others on the road.
  2. Breach of Duty: Next, you must prove that the defendant breached this duty of care. This could involve demonstrating that the defendant was driving recklessly, speeding, distracted (e.g., texting), under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise acting in a manner that a reasonable person would not under similar circumstances.
  3. Causation: You must then show causation, meaning that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injury. For example, if the defendant ran a red light and collided with your vehicle, leading to your broken leg, this would establish the causal link between their breach of duty and your injury.
  4. Damages: Finally, you need to quantify the damages resulting from the injury. In the case of a broken leg, damages could include:
    • Medical Expenses: Costs for emergency services, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical care related to your injury.
    • Lost Wages: Income you lost while unable to work due to your injury, as well as any loss of earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work in the future.
    • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury. This can include compensation for loss of enjoyment of life if your ability to engage in hobbies or other activities is impaired.
    • Property Damage: If applicable, the cost to repair or replace any personal property damaged in the accident (like your car).

To establish these elements, you would typically gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, proof of income loss, photographs of the accident scene, and expert testimonies such as medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, etc.

It’s important to meticulously document all aspects of your injury and its aftermath to build a strong case for negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney like us at J&Y Law Firm can help you navigate this process, gather the necessary evidence, and present a compelling case to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.


As we’ve explored throughout this post, the answer to “Can you sue over a broken leg?” is a resounding yes, provided that your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence. Understanding the nuances of personal injury law, particularly in the context of California’s legal landscape, is essential for anyone considering taking legal action for a broken leg sustained in an accident.

At J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, we are committed to guiding our clients through the complexities of the legal process with compassion, diligence, and expertise. Our goal is not just to advocate for your right to compensation but to ensure that you receive the support and resources necessary to facilitate your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one has suffered a broken leg due to someone else’s negligence, remember that you are not alone. The path to justice and healing begins with just a conversation. We invite you to reach out to us for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and explore your legal options. At J&Y Law Firm, your well-being is our priority, and we are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Remember, time is of the essence due to the statute of limitations in California, so don’t hesitate to take the first step towards securing your rights and your future. Call us anytime at 323-202-2305. Our phone lines are open 24/7. Let us help you navigate the road to recovery and justice.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.