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About Los Angeles Accident Center

Los Angeles Accident Center was created to provide useful information for anyone who has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California. Author and attorney Sherwin Arzani and his team have over 17 years of personal injury experience. If you have been injured in accident, you will find useful information to assist you during this difficult time.


How to Find a Good Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney

Have you recently suffered an injury in a Los Angeles accident? You may be able to recover much-needed compensation by filing a personal injury claim for damages. The chances of being fairly compensated for your accident-related injuries increase when you hire an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney to represent you. There are thousands of personal injury attorneys in the Los Angeles area; how can you decide which one is best suited to handle your case? The attorneys at the Los Angeles Accident Center have created a list of suggestions to consider when you are searching for a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.

Do an Online Search

The internet can be a wealth of information for accident victims. There are hundreds of different sites that offer information about local Los Angeles personal injury lawyers. While many of these websites can be great, some can prove to be more confusing than helpful. Try to stick to search engines, legal directories, and the California State Bar website when narrowing down your choice of attorney.

Search Engines

Search engines like Google and Yahoo can be a great way to learn about personal injury attorneys in your Los Angeles neighborhood. Use a search engine to conduct a broad search for terms like “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer,” “good personal injury lawyer near me,” or simply “Los Angeles accident lawyer.”

For even better results, try including the type of accident you were involved in and your personal neighborhood. If you were in a car accident in Glendale, try “Glendale car accident attorney.” If you were injured on the job in Ventura, try “Ventura worker’s compensation attorney.” The more specifics you include in your search, the more relevant the results will be.

Legal Directories

Legal directories are great, because they are generally easy to navigate and contain a lot of information about attorneys, including education, experience, publications, and contact information. Many of these directories have incorporated rating systems, which allow you to get a sense of what prior clients think about an attorney. Take the time to read these reviews, they can provide a lot of information that will be extremely helpful in narrowing down your search. You may feel great about an attorney’s background and education, only to find out that prior clients have been disappointed with his/her representation. Great legal directories for finding a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer include:

Los Angeles County Bar Association

The Los Angeles County Bar Association website can be great if you need help finding an attorney. The website has a referral system to match clients with prescreened and qualified attorneys. The process, which is fairly easy to use, requires you to:

  • Choose the type of attorney you need to hire;
  • Indicate your preferred language;
  • Provide contact information; and
  • Explain your legal issue.

The referral service will then match you to relevant attorneys in your area.

California State Bar

Always check the California State Bar website for information about an attorney you’re thinking about hiring. This is where you can find official information about an attorney’s education, experience, and areas of specialization.

Request a Free Consultation

Most Los Angeles personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation for prospective clients. Once you have narrowed your search for an attorney down to a few you should ask to meet with them in person. During a free consultation the attorney will begin by giving you an overview of their experience and try to explain why they are well-suited to represent you. You will have an opportunity to explain why you want to pursue a legal claim and listen to their candid thoughts about your case.

Prepare For Your Free Consultation

Don’t walk into a free consultation without doing a little bit of homework. This includes checking out the attorney online and reading up about your type of accident injury case. The more information you have walking into the consultation, the better equipped you will be to have a frank conversation about your legal needs.

Ask Questions to Learn More

During your free consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask the attorney you are meeting with a series of questions. The questions you ask should help you to determine if you would be comfortable and confident hiring that attorney. Questions that you should be prepared to ask during a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney include:

  • How long have you been practicing as a personal injury attorney?
  • Do you practice personal injury law exclusively?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by the California State Bar?
  • Have you handled other cases like mine?
  • How many jury trials have you handled?
  • Are you confident in the courtroom or do you prefer to negotiate cases before trial?
  • What verdicts and settlements have you recovered in the past?
  • How much do you think my case is worth?
  • How much are your legal fees?

Consider What is Important to You

What is the most important characteristic of the attorney you hire to handle your Los Angeles personal injury claim? Is there a specific factor that will lead to you hire one attorney over another? There are many things to consider when you are hiring a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, and you will have to decide which are most important to you. This answer will help you decide which attorney is best-suited to handle your case.

Personality

You don’t have to be best friends with your attorney, but you do have to trust them. It is important to choose an attorney who you would feel comfortable confiding in. Details can make or break a case, so it is important to be as detailed as possible when discussing your case with your attorney. When you are meeting with an attorney during your free consultation try to assess whether you feel comfortable and confident when speaking with them.

Cost

Most Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will take your case in exchange for a percentage of any compensation you recover. However, this is not always the case. Even when it is, this percentage will vary from case-to-case. Many times, this percentage can range anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of your compensation. A personal injury attorney will consider the type of case, complexity of the case, and value of the case when deciding the percentage they will take in any given case. Ask the attorney you meet with to give you a firm offer and to disclose any hidden fees (e.g., court costs, deposition fees, etc.) that may be linked to your case.

Experience

Some Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have decades of experience under their belt. They have handled thousands of cases and know the Los Angeles court system like the back of their hand. Maybe they’ve been practicing for so long that they have earned a reputation with local insurance companies and judges. This can be of great value to you when you hire that attorney to represent you.

However, this experience may also come at a cost. Established attorneys may charge more than attorneys with less experience. Just because an attorney does not have a significant amount of experience does not mean that they are not qualified to handle your case or that they will be any less effective. You will have to weigh the importance of experience when deciding which attorney is best for you.

Contact the Los Angeles Accident Center

Have you been injured in an accident in Los Angeles? Contact the Los Angeles Accident Center today to find out if you have a viable legal claim for damages. We will review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have. You have a limited amount of time to act after an accident, so do not hesitate to call us today.

What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

It can happen anywhere, at any time: you’re walking along at a grocery store or even a friend’s backyard barbecue and suddenly you slip and fall.  If you are hurt and may need to file a lawsuit later, there are a few immediate steps you can take that can make all the difference in the future. 

Steps You Should Take After A Slip And Fall

Here’s what you should do if you’re injured in a Los Angeles slip and fall accident.

Seek Medical Attention

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you should immediately seek medical attention. Not only is treating your injury important for your health, but getting help quickly can help your personal injury lawsuit. Before you can recover compensation, you first have to prove that you were injured. A doctor’s medical report is a good way to achieve that.

Collect Evidence

Second, it’s important to collect as much evidence as you can immediately after the accident. Take a look around you and see if there is any obvious reason for your fall. Examples include slippery pavement or an object you tripped over. If such conditions exist, take photographs or video of the area and also identify any witnesses who would be able to testify about your fall.

File a Report

Third, if your injury occurred at a business, file an official report with the company. You should also request contact information for the owner, manager, or other important person in charge of the property. If it is a private property, make sure the owner is aware that you are injured.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney Near You

Finally, if you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident you should consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. California’s statute of limitations for a slip and fall is generally two years. With the help of the medical report and evidence you’ve collected, your attorney can start the process to filing a lawsuit against the owner of the pool, usually without any money paid upfront

Who Is Responsible For My Slip And Fall Accident?

Both private property owners and business have the legal obligation to ensure that individuals on their property are safe. Failure to do so can result in the owner being held liable for the victim’s injuries.

To be successful in your premises liability claim, you need to be able to prove that the owner of the premises owed you a duty of care, that the conditions of the premises were unreasonably dangerous, that you were injured, and that the owner’s negligence was at least partly at fault for your injuries.

Additionally, there are a few key legal terms that will help determine who is liable for your slip and fall.

First, the court will have to determine what your status as a user was at the time of the accident. User status can be broken into three groups: invitee, licensee, and trespasser. 

Generally, invitees are individuals who are either directly or indirectly invited onto the premises by the owner typically for business purposes. If you were an invitee at the time of the accident, you are owed the highest duty of care. This means that the owner has the duty to reasonably inspect the premises to ensure it is safe.

An injured invitee can hold a business owner liable for slip and falls involving conditions that the owner wasn’t even aware of. For example, they failed to reasonably inspect the premises and are therefore liable for any injuries that occur.

Licensees, on the other hand, are individuals who are present on the premises for social purposes. Licensees are usually friends, relatives, and other guests of private property. Owners who invite licensees onto their premises have a duty to repair or warn guests of dangerous conditions, but not a duty to inspect for danger. 

Lastly, trespassers are individuals who are on the premises without the consent of the owner. Generally, an owner has no duty to make their premises reasonably safe for trespassers. The exception is if the trespasser is a child or the danger constitutes an attractive nuisance.

Imagine that it’s a typical day and you’re enjoying a walk on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. All of a sudden, you trip over a patch of uneven pavement and slam your knee on the concrete. The amount of pain you experience tells you that the injury is serious and you call 911 for help.

Fast forward six weeks and your life has completely changed. You are unable to return to work or perform daily tasks for yourself while the medical bills for your treatment pile up because you are unable to pay them. Out of money and in need of even more medical treatment, you consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to sue the city for your injuries.

If you’ve been injured on a city sidewalk, it seems fair that you would be able to sue the city for compensation, right?

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to sue the government for sidewalk injuries, and Los Angeles can be particularly difficult. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back.

The City’s Battle Over Sidewalk Repair

According to the Bureau of Street Statistics, only 60% of Los Angeles’ sidewalks are currently in good condition. Los Angeles’ sidewalks are so notoriously bad that the city was sued for $1.3 billion under the Americans with Disabilities Act because the poor condition of the sidewalks prevented individuals protected under the Act to use them. 

In response to the lawsuit, the city of Los Angeles created the Safe Sidewalks LA program which, among other things, reimburses property owners for half of the cost of sidewalk repair, up to $10,000.

The real struggle is between the property owner that the sidewalk fronts and the city: each claims that the other is at fault for the damaged pavement and insists that the other pay for repairs. 

Who is Responsible For Sidewalk Accident Injuries?

It’s not always clear who is liable for the sidewalk accident-related injuries: is it the fault of the property owner or the city? The answer is extremely complicated and varies greatly depending on the unique circumstances of your slip and fall accident. 

Under state law, property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in front of their property in a safe and usable manner. Generally, if the property owner failed to make repairs or contributed to the unsafe conditions in some manner (like spilling a slippery substance on the pavement) then they will be held liable.

On the other hand, to win a case against the city, you must show that the city had notice of the poor condition of the sidewalk and failed to repair it. It is often difficult to prove that the city has been given proper notice of the sidewalk needing repairs and, without notice, the city can’t be held liable for failing to repair it. 

It’s also important to note that California is a comparative negligence state. This means that the defendant (either the city, the property owner, or both) is only liable for a percentage of the injury, equal to their fault in causing it. 

Also, accident victims only have a very limited amount of time to file a lawsuit: when suing a city, the potential plaintiff only has 6 months from the date of the accident to file.

How Much Compensation Will I Get If I Sue For My Injuries?

Just like any other personal injury lawsuit, there are a number of different types of compensation for which you may be eligible. This compensation includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Compensation for your past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of wages and loss of future earning capacity
  • Money designed to compensate you for the impact the injury had on your life, such as loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other damages determined by the court

Again, because California is a comparative negligence state, the amount of compensation you receive also depends on the percentage of liability you had in the accident.

Act Quickly If You’ve Gotten Hurt on a Los Angeles Sidewalk

If you’ve been injured in a sidewalk accident in Los Angeles, it’s imperative that you act within the six-month statute of limitations. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation from the city, the property owner, or both.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

You can’t always prevent a car accident. However, you can prepare for what to do if you have one. In 2016 44,207 people were injured or killed in car accidents. Knowing what to do after an accident can help you stay safe, get the help you need, and possibly avoid legal problems. 

Pull Over 

Never leave the scene of a car accident. You must stop somewhere near the site of the accident. If you are on a dangerous highway with no shoulder, and you are still able to drive your car, carefully drive your car to the next exit and stop at the safest place possible. If there is no shoulder and you can’t drive, stay in the car, and wait for a police officer.

Make Yourself As Safe As Possible

If it is dark and you have flares now is the time to use them. If your hazard lights are working, keep them on. Stay in your car until a police officer arrives at the scene. Call the police if they haven’t shown up.

Create an Accurate Record of the Accident

Give the police an accurate report of what happened. If there are details you don’t know, just say so, but don’t embellish or give facts that you don’t know. Any misstated facts can become a problem for you down the road.

You can use the camera on your phone to take photos. Take photos of the scene of the accident if it is safe to do so. You can take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle, and details of the surroundings that could be relevant. Don’t interfere with the police officer’s investigation.

You can also take photos of any injuries you may have. You can take photos immediately after an accident and then later. Some bruises may get larger and darker with time. When you take photos of a bruise, hold up a quarter to the injury to get an accurate perspective of the size.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

If a police officer shows up, the officer will take down both parties’ contact and insurance information. If law enforcement never shows up, you can ask for the other driver for this info. If you feel a police presence is necessary, then call them.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Most insurance companies require that you report a car accident as soon as possible. You can get useful information from them at that time, such as what medical expenses will be covered, and how to proceed with car repairs.

Seek Medical Attention

You may not feel the worst pain from an injury immediately after the accident. This can lead you to underestimate how badly you are hurt. It is always safest to get to a doctor or hospital right away to get a proper diagnosis of your injuries. Medical professionals can start medical care as needed and tell you what symptoms to watch out for.

Save Important Records

You will want to obtain a copy of the police report. Get contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Start a log of your medical care and treatment. You can also write down any pain and symptoms and keep track of how long they lasted.

Contact an Attorney

Contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can guide you about what to do and what not to do after an accident. Sometimes crucial mistakes are made immediately after an accident.

Being guided by an attorney early on can help you prepare and organize so that you have a favorable outcome if you choose to file a lawsuit or need to protect yourself from one.