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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.


Last month, Californians were mesmerized when the latest SpaceX rocket was launched over southern California. Unfortunately, the launch gained the attention of some of the drivers on Los Angeles freeways. As a result, there was at least one accident at the time of the rocket launch. The victims who were injured in the crash could be entitled to compensation from the driver who became distracted by the rocket launch.

A Driver’s Standard of Care

Drivers who embark out on Los Angeles roads have a responsibility to drive safely. This means having a valid driver’s license, obeying the rules of the road, and operating the vehicle in a manner that does not put others at an increased risk of harm. When a driver does not uphold this duty they may be considered negligent. Negligence can occur when a driver commits an act or fails to act. Specifically, a driver will be considered negligent when he or she:

  1. “does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation,” or
  2. “fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation.”

When the SpaceX rocket was launched in December, at least one driver diverted his attention from the road to watch the scene unfold. Moments later, the car was involved in a three-vehicle accident on a Los Angeles freeway. While no one was seriously injured, some victims did suffer minor injuries. Others suffered property damage as a result of the crash. Was the driver’s conduct negligent?

In order to determine if the driver was negligent, we must determine if that driver breached his duty of care. The standard of care requires that drivers do not put others at an increased risk of harm. In order to determine if the conduct was negligent, we must determine what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation. Would a reasonable person have also taken their eyes off of the road to watch the launch, or would they have avoided the temptation to watch the spectacular event unfold? The answer to this question will determine if the driver breached his duty of care.

If a reasonable person would have been startled and taken his eyes off of the road to check for danger, the driver may not be considered negligent. If, however, a reasonable person would have kept his eyes on the road no matter what distraction occurred, the driver would likely be considered negligent. If the driver is considered to be negligent, he may be liable for damages suffered by the accident victims.

Negligence Must Also Cause Harm

It is not enough to prove that a driver was negligent. A victim must also be able to prove that the driver’s negligence also caused that victim’s injuries. Specifically, the driver’s negligence must have been a substantial factor in causing the victim’s harm. This does not mean that the driver’s negligence must be the only cause of the victim’s harm. There can be multiple factors that contribute to a victim’s harm. In California, more than one person can be held financially responsible for a victim’s harms. In fact, the victim’s own conduct can even contribute to their harm. However, the driver’s negligence must still be a substantial factor in causing that harm. If the victim would have been harmed anyway, regardless of the driver’s negligence, the driver’s conduct will not be considered a substantial factor.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

The victims who were injured in the Los Angeles freeway crash may be entitled to compensation. In order to determine liability and the best course of action, the victims should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. As attorneys, we thoroughly review and investigate accidents in order to maximize the compensation our clients recover. We search for all potentially liable parties and gather facts to support our client’s case. This process allows us to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

If you have been injured in a Los Angeles car accident contact the Los Angeles Accident Law Center for help. Insurance companies may be quick to offer you a settlement, but the amount they give you will not be enough to cover the full extent of your damages. Hiring an attorney will increase the chances of maximizing the compensation you receive. Call our Los Angles personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.

Los Angeles Motorcyclist Injured By Freeway Bridge Jumper

Earlier this week, a Los Angeles motorcyclist was injured when he crashed into a man who had jumped from a bridge over the 101 Freeway. The jumper, who was dead at the time of the crash, reportedly stepped off of the bridge to take his own life. The motorcyclist suffered a gash in his leg and other minor injuries as a result of the accident. Even though the man was killed on contact after jumping from the bridge, his estate could potentially be liable for damages suffered by the injured motorcycle rider.

Negligence in Los Angeles Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury claims are based on the theory that one person’s negligence caused you to suffer an injury. As a result, the negligent party can be held financially responsible for any injuries and harm that you sustain. In California, negligence occurs when:

  1. One person has a duty to act in a certain way;
  2. The person breaches this duty; and
  3. The breach of duty causes you to suffer an injury.

As a general rule, we all have a duty to act in a way that minimizes the threat of harm to others around us. Walking on a pedestrian bridge or pausing to take in the Los Angeles scenery is perfectly fine, as long as it is done safely. Jumping from a bridge, and plummeting to a busy road below, however, is not fine. Jumping from a bridge, knowing that you are likely to land in the middle of a busy freeway, breaches the duty of care pedestrians have when they are on the road. This behavior puts others on the road at an increased risk of harm.

The motorcycle rider who was injured by the Los Angeles jumper will have to establish that the jumper had and breached a duty of care and, as a result, he suffered injuries.

Liability for Los Angeles Accidents

In most cases, an injured accident victim can recover compensation from the at-fault party. What happens when the person responsible for your accident and injuries is dead? Are victims out of luck and unable to recover much-needed compensation? In California, accident victims can pursue compensation from an at-fault party’s estate if that person has died. This is true for situations like the present case, where the at-fault party died at the time of the accident, or for times when a defendant dies before a personal injury case is finalized.

The most important thing to remember if you are pursuing compensation from the estate of an at-fault party is that you must act quickly. The statute of limitations is accelerated in situations like these. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases involving bodily harm is two years from the date of the accident. When the at-fault party is deceased, the statute of limitations is reduced to one year. This means that in order to recover compensation at all, the injured motorcyclist has one year, rather than two years, to file a claim for damages. If he does not file a claim with the jumper’s probate estate within one year of the jumper’s death he will not receive the money he may need.

Limitations on Recovering Compensation From an At-Fault Party’s Estate

In addition to the accelerated time frame for filing a claim, victims may encounter additional limitations when pursuing compensation from a negligent party’s estate. In California, you cannot legally sue a dead person. Instead, claims are filed with that person’s probate estate. Recovery is often limited to the assets and property owned by the decedent prior to their death. In many cases, the total amount of these assets is not sufficient to cover the costs of personal injury claims. In some cases, including those for injuries sustained in Los Angeles traffic accidents, may be able to rely on insurance proceeds to pay necessary damages. However, in situations like the present case, there is likely no insurance policy to compensate for the motorcycle rider’s injuries. As a result, he will probably be limited to the assets of the jumper’s estate.

However, the motorcycle rider will probably not be the only person/entity filing a claim with the jumper’s estate. Creditors – basically anyone the jumper owed money – will likely file claims to recover what they are owed. The probate estate is used to pay creditors for their claims. However, the estate can only pay out what it has. As a result, many claims are not paid in full. In some cases, certain creditors will never receive anything, at all.

While the ability to recover compensation may be limited when the at-fault party is deceased, the money can still be incredibly helpful while you are recovering from an unexpected injury. If you would like to know more about filing a personal injury claim against an at-fault party’s estate, see our guide on finding a good personal injury attorney. Our attorneys know that this is a difficult time in your life and will fight to maximize the compensation you receive. Call us today to set up a free consultation and learn more.

 
 

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.