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.

How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?

After an accident, you may face several obstacles as you fight to get back on your feet. Medical bills can add up quickly. The cost of replacing or repairing damaged property isn’t cheap. If your injuries are severe, you may even be forced to take time off from work as you recover. This can put you in a very difficult and stressful financial position.

Is someone else is responsible for your injuries? You may have the right to obtain compensation. You know that hiring an attorney will help you maximize your financial award. However, you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford the help you need. Attorneys are just too expensive, right?

Not necessarily. Most personal injury attorneys will handle cases on a contingency fee basis. Rather than paying your lawyer up front, you simply agree to give them a percentage of your financial settlement or award. You pay nothing until you recover something.

What Is a Contingency Fee Basis?

Personal injury lawyers understand that you’re in an impossible situation after your accident. We know that it’s tough enough taking care of your day-to-day expenses, let alone the costs generated by your accident. Money is tight, and it’s easy to understand why you might try to cut costs by pursuing a personal injury claim on your own.

However, you risk missing out on valuable compensation. There is a solution: contingency fees. You can hire an attorney without any up-front costs and get the legal help you need. Your attorney’s fee is contingent – or dependent upon – the success of your case. Your lawyer will only be paid if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

How Much Of My Award Will My Attorney Take?

Contingency fees are structured so that your lawyer receives a percentage of your financial recovery. There is no cut and dry answer for how big that percentage will be. However, most Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will represent you in exchange for between 30 and 40 percent of the compensation you receive.

Many factors can impact your attorney’s fee.

  • How complex or difficult is your case?
  • Does the attorney believe that your case will be successful?
  • Does the attorney have experience and success in handling similar cases?
  • How many cases does the attorney handle at one time?
  • How many years has the attorney been practicing law?
  • Where is the attorney located?

The answers to these questions will guide your attorney as they determine their fee.

Will Compensation Be Calculated Using the Gross or Net Award?

There are two ways to calculate your attorney’s fee. The first involves using the gross award, while the second involves using the net award.

Gross Award: The gross award refers to the full amount of compensation you receive. For example, if you receive a settlement for $100,000, your gross award is $100,000.

Net Award: The net award refers to the compensation you receive after costs and expenses are deducted. For example, let’s say your case has generated $20,000 in expenses. You receive a settlement for $100,000. Your net award is $80,000 ($100,000 reduced by $20,000 in expenses).

Why does it matter if your attorney’s fee is calculated using the gross award vs. the net award? The option that’s chosen will impact how much money you’ll walk away with when your case is complete.

Example: You’re injured in a Los Angeles car accident. Your attorney agrees to represent you in exchange for 30 percent of the compensation you receive. Costs and expenses related to your case (e.g., filing fees, investigation costs, expert witness fees) total $10,000. You ultimately agree to accept a settlement offer for $90,000.  

Here’s how the calculations work out when the fee is calculated using the gross and net awards:

  • Gross Award: Your attorney receives $30,000. (30% of $90,000). This leaves $70,000 left over.
  • Net Award: Your attorney receives $24,000. ($30% of $80,000). This leaves $56,000 left over.

With a gross award calculation, you will still need to figure out how costs and expenses related to your case will be paid. In most situations, those costs will be deducted from the remainder of your award. In the example above, the $10,000 in costs would be taken from the $70,000 that remained after your attorney took his or her fee. That would leave you with $60,000 for yourself.

With a net award calculation, costs and fees are taken care of at the beginning. Those expenses are deducted from your award before your attorney’s fee is calculated. In the example above, the $10,000 in costs is taken right of the top. Then your attorney’s fee is calculated using the net award. That leaves $56,000 for you.

Ask About Expenses and Fees

Always ask your attorney how expenses and fees will be handled during your case. Will you be responsible for covering any case-related costs? Will your attorney cover those costs and then reimburse themselves after securing an award on your behalf? Who is responsible for costs if your case isn’t a success?

The answers to these questions will help you to understand your attorney’s compensation scheme. You’ll be in a better position to identify how much of your award you’ll actually walk away with when your case is resolved. Hidden fees or responsibilities for costs can cut into your financial recovery. Make sure that your attorney is transparent and answers your questions to your satisfaction.

Disneyland Hotel Named in Los Angeles Bed Bug Injury Lawsuit

One tourist’s recent trip to Disneyland didn’t end the way she would have hoped. Ivy Eldridge allegedly sustained hundreds of bed bug bites across her body while staying at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. She’s filed a personal injury lawsuit against the hotel and the Walt Disney Company to recover compensation for the physical and emotional harm she’s suffered.

Common Bed Bug Injuries

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that survive on the blood of other creatures. They’re drawn to warm areas and carbon dioxide. As a result, they’re typically found in beds, couches, clothing, and other items that frequently come into contact with humans.

Bed bugs don’t necessarily bite. Instead, they burrow into the skin of warm-blooded animals, including human beings. Once they locate a blood vessel under the skin they begin to feed. The injuries caused by bed bugs can be relatively minor or quite severe.

Commonly reported bed bug injuries include:

  • Rashes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anemia
  • Infection, and
  • Tissue damage.

You’re not only at risk of physical injury when you suffer a bed bug bite. The consequences of a bite often have significant emotional and psychological consequences, as well. It’s not uncommon for bed bug bite victims to experience anxiety, depression, and fear. It can be difficult for victims to cope with their injuries and live a normal life.

Can a Hotel Be Responsible for Bed Bugs?

Absolutely. Hotels are a prime location for bed bug infestations. It just takes one hotel guest to bring bed bugs into the room. The more people who use a hotel room, the greater the chance of infestation. Hotels have an obligation to keep rooms as clean as possible to prevent infestations and injuries.

California law imposes specific legal responsibilities on hotels in the state. Hotels must ensure that beds, mattresses, sheets, blankets, and bedding “shall be kept in a clean, dry, and sanitary condition free from…the infection of lice, bedbugs, or other insects.” Once a guest checks out of a room, the hotel also has a legal duty to clean it and change the bed sheets.

However, hotels can only be liable for bed bug injuries if they were aware (or should have been aware) of the infestation. Knowledge can be actual or constructive.

Actual Knowledge: The hotel was explicitly told about the infestation and/or bed bugs have been personally observed by hotel staff.

Constructive Knowledge: Hotel property shows signs of a bedbug infestation. This could include holes in sheets, curtains, or furniture in the room.

Hotels can be liable for injuries suffered by guests if they knew or should have known about the bed bugs but didn’t take the proper steps to solve the problem.

What Compensation Can Bed Bug Bite Victims Get?

Bed bugs are small, but they can do a lot of damage. Bite injuries can require extensive medical care. Those medical bills can add up quickly. If bites are severe, victims may have trouble dealing with disfigurement, scarring, and other changes to their bodies. These physical and/or psychological injuries can keep victims from enjoying their lives or going to work. Filing a lawsuit can help to limit the financial stress imposed on bed bug bite victims.

In California, victims of bed bug bites may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional and psychological trauma
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.

Negligent hotels can be held fully responsible for damages caused by bed bug injuries.

 

Have you suffered injuries because of bed bugs in Los Angeles? Is a negligent landlord or hotel to blame? Do not hesitate to contact the Los Angeles Accident Law Center for immediate legal assistance. Our attorneys are prepared to help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

Miles Teller, Uber Sued in Connection With 2016 Car Accident

In 2016, actor Miles Teller was involved in a multi-vehicle car accident in Studio City. At least one of those other vehicles was being operated as an Uber at the time of the crash. Nearly two years later, a passenger who was injured in the accident has filed a personal injury lawsuit. She is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from Teller, Uber, and another unspecified party.

Los Angeles Car Accidents Involving Ridesharing Vehicles

There are hundreds of car accidents in Los Angeles every day. Many of these collisions involve vehicles that are being driven for popular ridesharing services, including Uber and Lyft. When these cars are involved in an accident, victims have the right to seek compensation from:

  1. the Uber driver

  2. Uber

  3. other negligent third parties; and/or

  4. relevant insurance policies.

Uber Driver’s Insurance Carrier: All drivers in California must purchase and maintain a valid car insurance policy. This includes anyone who uses their vehicle to drive for a ridesharing company. When you’re injured in an Uber accident, you may be able to recover compensation from a negligent Uber driver’s insurance company. However, most insurance companies refuse to cover accidents that occur while a driver is engaged in commercial activity – such as driving for Uber. Unless the driver has purchased a special commercial policy or wasn’t engaged in commercial activity at the time oft he accident, you may be out of luck.

Uber Driver: Has the Uber driver’s insurance company refused to approve your claim because the driver was engaged in commercial activity at the time of the accident? You always have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. If you can prove that the driver was negligent in some way, you may be able to recover compensation directly from them.

Uber Insurance Carrier: Uber is required to carry at least $1 million in insurance coverage for all active trips. Coverage kicks in when a driver is logged into the app and accepts a ride request. Coverage terminates when the passenger exits the vehicle and the ride is terminated in the app. This insurance policy can be used to compensate victims – including vehicle passengers – who are injured in an accident, regardless of the driver’s fault.

Uber: Uber is doing everything it can to limit its own liability for accidents involving its drivers. The company regularly attempts to classify drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. This can sever the vicarious liability that’s typically extended to employers. It’s also asked the state to not classify the service as a common carrier, which comes with an increased responsibility to passengers. However, it’s Uber’s status remains unclear. As a result, lawsuits filed directly against the company may be successful.

Third Parties: Anyone involved in an accident can potentially be sued for damages. Miles Teller, for example, is being sued by one of the Uber passengers who was injured in the crash. Teller maintains that the Uber cut him off and that the accident was “unavoidable” as a result. However, if there’s any indicator that his own negligence contributed to the accident, he can be held partially responsible for the victim’s damages.

What Happens If Insurance Doesn’t Pay Enough?

Insurance policies are typically the first source of compensation after an accident. However, insurance payouts will be capped at a driver’s policy limits. In other words, an insurer will only pay as much as a driver’s policy covers. So, if a driver has only purchased $15,000 in bodily injury liability, their insurance company will pay a maximum of $15,000.

Just because an insurer caps payouts doesn’t mean that an accident victim can’t recover money elsewhere. In many cases, victims decide to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages that exceed what they were able to recover from an insurance company. The lawsuit is a tool that allows the victim to hold the driver or other at-fault party personally responsible for the harm they’ve caused. The fact that they’ve already recovered money from an insurance company or another third party cannot be used to prevent or reduce recovery in that lawsuit.

 

Have you or someone you love been injured in a Los Angeles car accident? You need to fully understand your legal rights and options. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We’ll help you fight for the money you deserve.