Under current California law a person filing a case in Small Claims court may demand a maximum of $7,500.00 in damages. Effective January 1, 2012, the jurisdictional limits for many cases filed in Small Claims Court will increase from $7,500 to $10,000.
The revisions to California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 116.221 and 116.224 contain an important exception for personal injury victims whose injuries were caused by a driver with automobile insurance. Plaintiffs injured by negligent drivers who have auto insurance will have to wait until January 1, 2015 before the Small Claims Court limits increase from $7,500 to $10,000.
While Small Claims Court is a great option for some injured parties, be aware that if you win your claim in Small Claims Court, the other side can appeal to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court. If an injured person loses in Small Claims Court then they cannot appeal. It is wise to speak to an attorney even if you think your case is small. We are here to help.