LOS ANGELES
ACCIDENT CENTER

Get the latest accident news in Los Angeles County

Request a Free Consultation

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.

Los Angeles Settles Sidewalk Injury Case for $3 Million

In 2014, a Los Angeles woman was seriously injured on New Year’s Eve when she fell and hit her head on a sidewalk in Hollywood. She promptly notified the city and demanded compensation for her injury. After more than four years of litigation, the city has finally agreed to pay the woman as much as $3 million.

Can You Sue the Government for an Injury?

In most situations, the government (and government employees) will enjoy immunity from civil lawsuits. However, this immunity does not always apply. The California Tort Claims Act allows injured accident victims to pursue compensation from the government in limited situations. One such situation is when the government’s negligence (or the negligence of a government employee) causes a victim to suffer an injury.

Negligence and Dangerous Conditions

The Los Angeles woman’s lawsuit alleged that the city sidewalks she tripped on were in dangerous condition. Specifically, she argued that she tripped over “a pattern of defects on the sidewalk. According to her lawsuit, there were no signs warning her of the uneven pavement and the defects were reportedly covered by fallen leaves.

The government is responsible for maintaining all avenues of transportation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all travelers. This does not only apply to roads, bridges, and tunnels. Sidewalks must also be regularly maintained for pedestrian safety.

When roads and sidewalks are in dangerous condition, a government agency responsible for repair can be held liable for damages. Liability exists when a government knew or should have known about a hazard that posed a threat to the public but failed to take steps to fix the situation. Knowledge can be actual (e.g., they were explicitly told about the dangerous sidewalk) or constructive (e.g., realizing that many accidents happen at this specific location).

Government Claims Must Be Filed Quickly

In California, civil personal injury lawsuits must typically be filed within two years of the date of an accident or injury. When a lawsuit involves a government agency, victims have even less time to file a claim.

Special Administrative Claim

In order to recover damages from the government, an accident victim must file a special government administrative claim within six months of an accident. This claim is filed directly with the government agency itself, rather than in a civil court of law. The government has 45 days to review the administrative request for damages.

How Can the Government Respond to a Claim?

The government can do one of four things after receiving the claim:

  1. Approve the request and pay the victim
  2. Approve the request, in part, and deny the rest
  3. Deny the request in full, or
  4. Ignore the claim altogether.

If the administrative claim is approved, the victim recovers compensation and the legal process ends. If the administrator is denied, the victim must file a claim in civil court within 6 months of the denial. If the government fails to respond to the claim, the victim has two years to file a claim in civil court.

Shifting Blame to the Victim

In any personal injury lawsuit, the defendant will likely try to shift some of the blame to the victim. In the Los Angeles sidewalk case, the government did just that. In its response to the claim for damages, the government argued that the victim was negligent and responsible for her own injuries. They pointed to the fact that it was New Year’s Eve and that she had been carried piggyback style through the city streets shortly before her accident.

Since the injured woman was demanding compensation, it is her responsibility to prove the government was to blame. In civil cases, plaintiffs must be able to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, a victim’s argument must simply be more likely true than not. The finder of fact (usually a jury) will take all evidence into account when making its decision, including any arguments proposed by the defendant.

Most Lawsuits Settle

Like more than 95 percent of all civil cases, the Los Angeles woman’s sidewalk injury case did not go to trial. Instead, the Los Angeles City Council voted to end the legal battle and settle the case for as much as $3 million. In exchange for accepting the settlement offer, the woman would be required to drop her lawsuit.

Injured in Los Angeles? Call a Lawyer for Help

Suffering an injury can be incredibly overwhelming. If another person or the government is responsible for your harm, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. During your free consultation, we will review your case and answer any questions you have.

Three Injured in Los Angeles School Bus Crash

A Los Angeles school bus with 30 children on board was recently involved in a Reseda crash. Fortunately, no one involved in the school bus crash was killed or suffered life-threatening injuries. However, at least three people – including passengers of other vehicles – were transported to a local hospital for immediate medical care.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Anyone who suffered an injury in the car crash may be entitled to an award of monetary damages from whoever is ultimately responsible for the incident.

Liability for School Bus Accidents

Who could potentially be held responsible for injuries suffered in a Los Angeles school bus accident? California law operates under the rule of comparative fault. This means that anyone who contributes to the cause of an accident or injury can be held financially responsible for damages. When more than one person/party is to blame, each is held liable to the degree they contributed to the crash.

School Bus Driver

In order to operate a school bus, drivers must obtain a special Commercial Driver’s License with special authorizations. This license can only be obtained by those individuals who complete certain training measures. Once the license is obtained, school bus drivers have an obligation to “do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight” can reasonably do under the circumstances to prevent harm to passengers. This duty goes above and beyond the level of care that must be demonstrated by other drivers on the road.

When a school bus driver acts negligently, they may be held financially responsible for injuries sustained by his/her passengers or others involved in a crash.

School/Employer

The school bus driver’s employer has a legal obligation to ensure that the driver is properly trained and supervised. Schools must keep a close eye on their drivers, have routine meetings to address any concerns, and do everything in their power to hire the best possible candidates. Failure to ensure that drivers can do their jobs safely can result in liability.

Bus Manufacturer

What happens if an accident is the result of a vehicle malfunction? Perhaps the driver did everything in his or her power to prevent a crash, but a defect in the bus was too much to overcome. Companies that are responsible for putting vehicles on the road can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by defects in those vehicles. This applies to companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and/or sell buses.

Third Party Drivers

Some drivers become very aggressive when they share the road with a school bus. Drivers become impatient and try to sneak ahead of the bus to avoid getting “stuck” behind the large vehicle. These third-party drivers frequently cause school bus accidents. Buses do not have the ability to stop on a dime or navigate as swiftly as smaller vehicles. As a result, accidents happen. These third-party drivers can be held responsible for school bus accident damages.

Government Agencies

The government is responsible for maintaining its roads and highways. When roads contain hazardous or dangerous conditions, accidents are more likely to happen. If a government knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, but failed to resolve the hazard, it can be liable for damages.

Injured in a Bus Crash? We Can Help.

Have you been injured in a Los Angeles bus accident? Have you recently lost a loved one because of an unexpected school bus accident? Contact the Los Angeles Accident Law Center for help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you get the money you deserve after an accident. The financial award you recover can help to pay for costly medical bills, make up for lost wages, and compensate for the emotional toll of the accident.

You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so do not hesitate to call us now.

Earlier this month, two Los Angeles-area teenagers were killed when they were involved in a fatal rollover crash in Tustin. According to early reports, the two 17-year-old boys were in a car with five other passengers. The car, which was only intended to seat five passengers, veered off of the road and struck a cement pole. One teen was announced dead at the scene and another died from his injuries at an area hospital. The other five teens all suffered a variety of non-fatal injuries.

The families of the two deceased teenagers may be thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the wake of the tragic accident.

Wrongful Death Claims in California

When families lose a loved one unexpectedly, they may be forced to deal with significant emotional and financial issues. California allows family members to file wrongful death lawsuits to recover monetary damages to compensate for these (and other) harms. Wrongful death basically means that another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct caused a fatal accident.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

In order to successfully recover compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit, a family member must prove:

  1. The defendant had a duty to protect the victim from harm
  2. The defendant breached with duty in some way, and
  3. The victim’s death was caused by the defendant’s conduct.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

In California, only those people who have an established relationship with a victim may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A victim’s spouse, partner, or children have the first right to pursue damages.

If there is no spouse, partner, or child to file a lawsuit, the state permits other parties to pursue damages. Stepchildren, parents, and individuals who can establish that they relied on the victim for financial support are permitted to file wrongful death claims.

What Damages Can Be Recovered From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits limit the type of damages family members can recover. In most cases, family members will be prohibited from recovering damages that the victim would have been entitled to had they lived. However, those damages can be pursued by the victim’s estate in a survival action.

In a wrongful death claim, family members are permitted to recover damages for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Value of financial support the victim would have provided
  • Value of household services the victim would have provided, and
  • Loss of gifts or benefit that the family could have expected to receive from the victim.

Family members may also be entitled to recover compensation for the loss of the victim’s comfort, companionship, care, protection, and moral support.

When Do Families Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Families generally have two years from the date of the fatal accident or their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. If you do not file a legal claim for damages before the statute of limitations expires, you will be prohibited from recovering compensation for your loss.

Can a Victim’s Own Negligence Prevent His Family From Recovering Compensation?

Maybe. In California, anyone who contributes to the cause of an accident or injury can be held financially responsible in a lawsuit. This includes victims who sustain an injury in an accident. When a victim dies, the amount of money their family members can recover may be limited.

The fatal Tustin rollover crash involved 7 teenagers. The two victims knew (or should have known) that the car could only safely transport 5 passengers, including the driver. When they got into the overpacked car they put themselves in harm’s way. If they had not been in a car that was over capacity, their injuries may not have been fatal. Since they may have aggravated their injuries, their families may not be able to recover the full extent of any damages they have.

If the boys are considered to be 10 percent at-fault, their families will only be able to recover 90 percent of their damages.

Get Help After a Los Angeles Car Accident

Have you lost a loved one in a Los Angeles car accident? Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center to learn about your legal options. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand why filing a wrongful death claim can be important and help you navigate the complex legal process. Call us today to request a free consultation. We can help you get the money you deserve after your loved one’s unexpected death.