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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.

8 Los Angeles Bicycle Laws You Need to Know

Riding a bike is an increasingly popular way to get around Los Angeles. California has certain laws on the books that are intended to keep cyclists safe. Whether you are riding a bike, walking, or driving on Los Angeles roads, it is important to understand these laws. Knowing your rights and obligations will help to reduce the number of bike accidents in the city.

Here are the most important bike laws you need to know if you bike, walk, or drive in Los Angeles.

Ride With the Direction of Traffic

Bicyclists must ride with the flow and direction of traffic. For example, if you are traveling south you must ride alongside vehicles that are also traveling south. Keeping the direction of traffic consistent helps to reduce accidents. Bicyclists are more likely to be injured if riding against the flow of traffic.

[California Vehicle Code 21650 VC]

Use Bicycle Lanes Whenever Possible

Los Angeles has recently embraced the growing demand for bicycle infrastructure. Many roads are now equipped with lined and/or dedicated bicycle lanes. If you are riding a bicycle on a street that has a bike lane, you are required to use it. You can exit the lane and drive alongside vehicles if it is necessary to avoid a hazard, pass slower bicyclists, or make a left-hand turn.

[California Vehicle Code 21208]

Don’t Stop In the Middle of a Bike Lane

Bicycle lanes are there to keep cyclists safe while traveling alongside larger vehicles. If you stop and take a break in the middle of a lane you put other riders at risk. If you must stop or park, you are required to find a safe space away from the road and bike lane. If necessary, you can move to a nearby sidewalk.

[California Vehicle Code 21211]

Don’t Ride on Freeways

Bicycles are prohibited on certain roadways in Los Angeles. Major freeways were designed to accommodate high-speed traffic and can be incredibly dangerous for bicycle riders. Prohibitions on bicycles can also extend to motor-assisted bicycles. When you are mapping out your route, try to stick to back roads with dedicated bike lanes and those with the least amount of traffic.

[California Vehicle Code 21960]

Minors Must Wear a Helmet

Anyone under the age of 18 riding a bicycle in Los Angeles is required to wear a helmet. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of suffering a catastrophic or fatal injury in the event of a crash. While adults are not legally obligated to wear a helmet, it is encouraged. Your ability to recover compensation could be jeopardized if you could have prevented your injury by wearing safety gear.

[California Vehicle Code 21212]

Don’t Ride Under the Influence

You cannot legally drink and ride in Los Angeles. State law prohibits riders from sharing the road while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Riding a bike while intoxicated significantly increases the risk of a serious accident. If you are under the influence while riding, you may not be able to recover compensation for any accident-related injuries.

[California Vehicle Code 21200.5]

Bicyclists Must Yield to Pedestrians

When you ride a bike in Los Angeles, you will often find that you are riding alongside pedestrians. Things can get complicated when bike lanes and pedestrians walkways intersect. State law requires bicyclists to yield the right of way to pedestrians in most situations. If a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk or roadway, you must stop and allow them to cross. However, pedestrians cannot jump out in front of bicyclists and create an immediate hazard. Everyone sharing the road must use caution and care.

[California Vehicle Code 21950]

Bicycles Must Be Outfitted With Reflectors and Lights

Bicycles can be hard to see at night. California state law requires bicycle riders to wear and/or install certain safety features on the bikes to increase visibility.

The following reflectors must be visible on a bicycle after dark:

  • Red reflector visible from the back of the bike.
  • Yellow or white reflectors on each pedal and/or a rider’s shoes.
  • Yellow or white reflector visible from the front of the bicycle.

The following lights must be visible on a bicycle after dark:

  • Solid or flashing red light visible from the rear of the bicycle (in addition to or instead of red reflectors).
  • White headlamp visible from the front of the bike (installed on the bike or worn on a helmet).

If your bike is not equipped with the proper safety devices you may not be able to recover all damages you suffer in a crash. Contributing to the accident can hurt your ability to recover compensation.

[California Vehicle Code 21201]

Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers

As a Los Angeles bicycle accident victim, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Los Angeles Accident Center for help understanding your legal rights.  Our lawyers will review the details of your accident and determine who is to blame. We will fight to get you the money you deserve even if you contributed to your own injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

In August 2015, a 70-year-old woman was struck and severely injured by a tour bus while crossing a Los Angeles street. According to reports, the woman was being driven by her son to a doctor’s appointment when they got stuck behind a local tour bus. Fearing she would be late, the elderly woman got out of the car and began to power-walk to her destination.

She approached the intersection when there were still 7 seconds remaining on the flashing pedestrian crossing sign. After pausing to allow other pedestrians to enter the sidewalk, the woman entered the crosswalk and began to make her way across the street. At this moment, the tour bus made a right-hand turn and struck the woman while in the intersection.

As a result of the pedestrian accident, the elderly woman suffered multiple injuries, including severe leg injuries, degloving injuries, and the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). She filed a personal injury lawsuit against the tour bus driver and demanded compensation for her injuries.

Despite the fact that the woman crossed the intersection in violation of California state law, a Los Angeles jury decided that the tour bus driver was at-fault and awarded her more than $6 million in damages.

Comparative Fault of the Victim

The defendant in the case, the tour bus driver, argued that he should not be held responsible for the victim’s injuries because she was not supposed to be in the intersection when he turned the bus. In 2015, a California law prohibited pedestrians from entering an intersection after the crossing signal began to flash red. The victim in this case admitted that she violated California Vehicle Code §21456 by entering the crosswalk while the signal was flashing. (Note: California recently amended this law.)

In California, victims who contribute to the cause of their accident and injury are generally not barred from recovering compensation. As long as someone else is also to blame, victims can recover damages. However, the amount they can recoup will be reduced by their own degree of fault. Since the victim’s case went to trial, it was up to the jury to decide:

  1. If the woman contributed to the cause of her accident and injury; and
  2. If so, how much of the blame should be placed on her shoulders.

The jury in this case apparently believed that the majority of the blame should rest with the tour bus driver. When deciding the case, the jury seemed to believe that the woman’s actions were not a “substantial factor” in her injuries.

Instead, they firmly believed that the tour bus driver executed a turn that was simply unsafe. In depositions prior to the trial, the tour bus driver was adamant that he executed a proper and safe turn. However, at trial, the driver was forced to admit that he used several unsafe techniques to make the right-hand turn through the intersection. He also admitted that if he had made the turn properly he would have clearly seen the woman and been able to avoid the crash.

Damages Awarded

The jury not only determined that the tour bus driver was at-fault, but also decided that he should be liable for damages suffered by the victim. As a result, the awarded the woman more than $6 million. Specifically, the jury awarded $6,298,237 in damages, including those for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past general damages, and future general damages.

Medical Expenses

Since accidents that result in serious injuries often require extensive medical care and treatment, medical expenses are one of the most commonly sought after damages in personal injury lawsuits. In California, medical expenses are a specific type of special (or economic) damage.

In this case, the injured woman was awarded $898,237 in past medical expenses and $1,400,000 in future medical expenses. The past medical expenses were likely very simple to calculate using verifiable medical bills.

Future medical expenses can be more difficult to assess. Generally speaking, future medical expenses can be awarded based on reasonable calculations and projections of costs that will likely be incurred because of an accident. These can include costs for rehabilitation, surgery, and medication.

General Damages

General damages, which are also known as non-economic damages, are awarded to compensate victims for injuries and harms that do not necessarily have a direct financial cost. While these injuries are hard to value, they are no less devastating. General damages can be awarded to compensate for chronic pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In this case, the woman was awarded $2 million in past general damages, as well as $2 million for future general damages.

Los Angeles Accident Attorney

Have you been injured in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident? If so, you should consider speaking with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. While you may be able to recover some compensation on your own, the chances of maximizing your recover increase significantly when you hire an attorney. Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center to find out how our legal team can help you get the money you deserve after your accident. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call us now.

You probably wouldn’t expect to be hit by a car while doing your weekly grocery shopping inside a Los Angeles store. However, this is exactly the story that four Los Angeles people can now share with their friends and families. Earlier this month, a man backed his car into a Lomita grocery store and drove away. At least four people were injured in the Los Angeles hit and run accident. Police are still searching for the hit and run driver.

When you’re injured in an accident in Los Angeles and someone else is to blame, you have the right to file a lawsuit against that person. An unexpected accident can cause injuries that are extremely painful, emotionally training, and financially debilitating. The damages awarded because of a personal injury lawsuit can help to minimize these harms.

Statute of Limitations

Accident victims have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. However, California law limits the amount of time in which a claim can be filed. This time limit, known as the statute of limitations, helps to ensure that all legal matters are pursued within a reasonable amount of time after an accident.

The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims is two years. In other words, you have two years from the date of your Los Angeles accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will not be able to recover the money you really need and deserve.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations imposed by California law will apply in most personal injury cases. However, there are certain times when extenuating circumstances or factors can allow you to extend the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. This is known as “tolling” the statute of limitations.

Tolling Factors

California law provides that if certain “tolling” factors are relevant to your case, the statute of limitations may be extended. Why would the state let you extend the statute of limitations? When these special factors are present, the state believes that it would be unfair to punish you for circumstances out of your control. However, you will have the burden of proving that one of the following tolling factors affects your ability to file a claim within the traditional statute of limitations.

Minor: Victims who are injured as children can have the statute of limitations tolled if they want to file a lawsuit for damages. In these cases, victims will generally have one year to file a lawsuit from the date they turn 18 years old. Any legal proceedings must be initiated within that year in order to lawfully recover damages.

Reasonable Delay: Sometimes accident-related injuries aren’t identified right away. You may be able to toll the statute of limitations if there is a reasonable delay is the discovery of an injury caused by your accident. You’ll generally have one year from the date you discover your injury to file a claim.

Defendant Missing: Police are still searching for the hit and run driver who injured four people in a Los Angeles grocery store. Those victims have the right to file a lawsuit for damages against the hit and run driver. What if police aren’t able to identify and/or capture the hit and run driver before the two-year statute of limitations expires? What if the driver is jailed and unable to defend himself in a civil lawsuit?

If the defendant in a civil matter is incarcerated or cannot be located, the statute of limitations can be tolled. In other words, the statute of limitations is put on hold until the “tolling factor” no longer prevents the plaintiff from filing a legal claim. This protects victims from being penalized for circumstances that are very much out of their control.

Statute of Limitations For Government Claims

In California, accident victims may have valid reasons to file a personal injury lawsuit against the government. For example, dangerous road conditions may contribute to or cause an accident. The government agency responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of that road can be on the hook for damages. The process for filing a lawsuit against the government is unique.

Claims against the government must be filed within 180 days, or 6 months, of an accident. Rather than filing a traditional claim in court, victims must submit this claim to the government agency itself. The agency then reviews the claim and decides whether or not it will accept liability for the accident. If the agency denies the claim, victims have an additional 6 months to file a lawsuit in court. If the agency fails to respond to the claim, victims have two years to file a lawsuit in court.

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you recently been injured in a Los Angeles car accident? The best way to ensure that your claim is filed on time is by contacting an experienced attorney as soon as you can after your accident. Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center for help today. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you file a lawsuit and maximized the compensation you deserve. We offer a free case evaluation, so do not hesitate to call us now.