How much can I get from my car accident in California?

This article is by Joseph Sokolove, a well respected Los Angeles car accident attorney with Farar Law Group, who has over 20 years of experience handling personal injury claims. If you were in a car accident where someone else’s negligence caused serious injuries, you are entitled to be compensated for economic and noneconomic damages. Your injuries could be a minor whiplash or cuts and bruises. Or, you may have more serious injuries such as internal bleeding, broken limbs or severe soft tissue strains.

Either way, the at-fault driver is responsible for making you financially whole. Furthermore, if the driver does not have car insurance, you still have a right to sue to recover damages.

If he or she is insured, your lawyer will work with a claims adjuster from the insurance company to reach a settlement. You might need to file a lawsuit to get a fair settlement from the insurance company.

The exact amount of your award will depend on multiple factors related to your claim.

Evaluating Your Claim

Typically, the adjuster will evaluate your personal injury claim based on procedures established by the insurance company. While some factors may differ among insurance companies, there are basic similarities.

Evaluating your claim to determine how much it is worth is not unusual. In fact, the lawyer you hire will do the same, although for different reasons. The adjuster primarily wants to see if you share part of the blame, while your lawyer wants to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Getting Basic Facts of the Accident

Evaluation of your claim begins with gathering the basic facts on what caused the accident. The adjuster will consider what happened and the speed that you and the other driver were traveling at the time of the crash.

Additionally, the adjuster will want to know if anyone else was involved and which laws were broken. If the police were called to the scene and issued a citation, the adjuster will need that as well. Any detail that may point partial negligence towards you could justify the insurance company’s denial of your injury claim.

Determining Fault

As stated, the adjuster has to evaluate the claim before making a settlement offer. This is not that difficult if liability is clear from the fact gathering process. However, there are some accidents where assigning fault is not a clear-cut decision. For instance, if your crash occurred at an uncontrolled intersection or if one party made a left turn when a speeding car was entering the intersection.

In some cases, it takes the help of accident reconstruction experts to evaluate what might have caused the accident. All of this information helps to determine liability. If it is determined that you and the other driver were negligent, California law requires apportioned fault.

Determining Severity of Injuries

Expect the adjuster to request medical information to determine the extent of your injuries. Usually, the adjuster asks for the diagnosis and prognosis from a physician who treated you after the accident.

Using their experience, with a watchful eye for a fraudulent claim, they want to determine if the treatment you received was necessary and reasonable for the type of injury you sustained. Questions about your time off from work are also part of this stage in the process.

Calculating Expenses from the Accident

Expenses are very important in determining how much you could receive from a car accident. Tallying what you have spent on medical bills, lost wages and any other accident related expenses will become part of the official record.

Supportive documentation will be needed. The adjuster will ask for copies of medical statements, paystubs, prescription receipts and other expenses. In addition to your physical injuries, the adjuster will also need repair estimates on the damages to your vehicle.

Making a Settlement Offer

Once the adjuster has all the documentation necessary to evaluate your personal injury claim, he or she begins a subjective process to decide what to offer. They may start with the lower end of a value range since there is no set formula. Also, they hope you will accept the first offer without realizing the amount is too low compared to your level of injuries.

Negotiating around that first offer is easier if you have a lawyer representing you to recognize what is fair. Remember, a lawyer working on your behalf evaluated your case with the same documentation that the adjusted used.

Receiving Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer

Keep in mind that insurance companies are in the business of protecting their bottom line, not life for you after a crash with their negligent driver.

However, an experienced personal injury will work for you to negotiate a settlement for what she believes your case is worth. Whether a settlement offer or jury award, you have a stronger chance of receiving fair compensation.


Car Accidents

This article is by Bruce Paige, a personal injury and NYC divorce lawyer. With all of its beauty, New York brings a lot of traffic from tourists and residents alike. Unfortunately, car accidents happen which result in significant personal injuries. When a person is injured in a car accident, there may be remedies available under the law to help compensate financially for those injuries. While not every case qualifies for financial compensation, car accident lawyers can review your accident and discuss with you the available legal remedies.

In a car accident, if the other driver was careless, reckless or otherwise negligent in some manner, this may give rise to a claim for money damages. In order to successfully recover money damages, you must be able to show evidence that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances and that this failure caused your injuries. Some examples of negligent behavior may include:

  • Inattentive driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • Failure to properly signal
  • Following too closely
  • Texting while driving
  • Speaking on the phone while driving
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Failure to obey traffic signals
  • Driving inappropriately for the current conditions
  • Failure to yield

If you believe your accident and injuries were the result of another person’s negligence, you should contact a car accident lawyer for legal advice as soon as possible. By contacting a car accident lawyer soon after the accident, you will improve your chances of having a successful claim for money damages. A lawyer can help you preserve evidence that may be crucial for your claim. If you wait too long, some evidence may be lost or difficult to track down.

When you suffer injuries in a car accident, you should make sure to receive medical treatment for your injuries. A thorough physical examination by a licensed physician will provide information about the full extent of your injuries, even those that are not always apparent. Medical providers can help provide you with necessary treatment for recovery. They will also provide assistance with a claim for money damages by providing records and opinions about the veracity of your injuries. Be sure to seek out immediate medical attention after a car accident and to schedule followup appointments to monitor your progress.

A car accident lawyer can represent you in a claim for money damages. They will file all of the necessary paperwork and documents to proceed with a claim. Throughout the process, they will strive to ensure that your claim complies with all of the legal requirements, to prevent the case from being dismissed on a technicality. A lawyer will work closely with insurance adjusters and attorneys from the other party to try an achieve a result that will adequately compensate you for your injuries.

A car accident lawyer will have knowledge of the laws specific to car accident claims. Although the claims process can be quite complex and time consuming, a car accident lawyer will be able to keep you informed about the process and can help you understand what is occurring. Your car accident lawyer will act as an advocate for your interests, and will work to protect your interests.

The amount of money damages that may be recovered in a car accident case depends on the particular circumstances of your case. Some factors that may have some bearing include:

  • Extent of your injuries
  • Your age
  • Your health
  • Your occupation and earning capacity
  • Whether you have family members affected by your injuries
  • The egregiousness of the negligent behavior
  • Extent of required treatment

In most car accident cases, a car accident attorney works on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney receives a percentage of any recovery. This type of arrangement can be beneficial, because it means the lawyer only gets paid if money is recovered. Also, the higher the amount of damages, the more the attorney earns. This gives an incentive for your lawyer to work diligently on your case.


Hiring a Criminal Lawyer vs a Public Defender

This article is by Steven Raiser, a premier personal injury lawyer and criminal defense attorney. When an individual has been arrested, he or she has the right to an attorney. Defendants can choose to hire a criminal lawyer or be represented by a public defender who is appointed to them. If an individual is arrested, then it is imperative that he or she attain a trusted attorney who can represent them to the fullest.

What is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney is a licensed lawyer who is hired to provide legal representation to individuals who are facing a criminal charge. A criminal defense attorney offers individuals who have been arrested the opportunity to have their case dismissed or charges lessened.

What is a Public Defender?
A public defender is also a licensed attorney who is assigned to provide legal representation to individuals who are arrested and facing criminal charges. Public defenders are provided to individuals who are facing criminal charges that are not able to afford to hire a private, retained lawyer.

There are different approaches mandated by jurisdictions to provide legal representation to criminal defendants who are not able to afford an attorney. Public defenders are government salaried employees because public defender offices are agencies of the local, state, or federal government.

What’s the Difference Between a Criminal Defense Attorney and a Public Defender?
The primary difference between a private criminal attorney and a public defender is the caseload. In most circumstances, public defenders are not able to provide their clients with the attention they need because they have so many cases to handle. There are some instances where a public defender’s caseload will reach 300 cases per year. Public defenders are also on tight budgets, so an individual may not be provided with valuable investigative resources and experts that individuals who hire criminal defense attorneys have access to.

A criminal defense attorney will make a client his or her priority. Private criminal attorneys are able to maintain a well-balanced caseload because they are not assigned to clients. They are not appointed by the court. Clients will seek their help for legal representation.

The Benefits of Hiring a Private Criminal Attorney
When an individual has been arrested and is facing a jail or prison sentence, it is imperative to carefully consider who will represent him or her in court. Many individuals may ask “Is a private criminal attorney better than a public defender?” Although they are both licensed attorneys, private criminal attorney have better resources and more time than public defenders.

According to a study that was published by the New York Times, the average sentence for individuals who are represented by public defenders is nearly 3 years longer than individuals who hire private criminal attorneys to represent them.

There are many advantages an indiviudal has when hiring a private criminal defense attorney, which include:

Private criminal attorneys can intervene early in the process and provide the prosecuting attorney with a defendant’s explanation of what occurred.

Caseloads are controlled by private criminal attorneys, so they are able to balance caseloads that enable them to provide clients with the attention that is needed for each case. A private criminal attorney will have more one on one time with clients as opposed to public defenders. The additional time private attorneys have with clients means they are able to get acquainted with their clients and can learn information that can help with the defense.

Expert witnesses can be attained by private criminal attorneys to explain important aspects of a case. A private criminal attorney can also hire a private laboratory to conduct tests on any evidence that may be used against a defendant during trial.

Private attorneys often have additional staff, such as paralegals and associates, who can help with the case. By having additional individuals working on a case, an individual has a better chance of having a solid defense.

When an indiviudal chooses to hire a private attorney, he or she has the power to select the attorney that will represent them in court. A public defender is appointed to an individual by the court, so an individual does not have the opportunity to choose who will represent them. If the public defender does not satisfy the defendant, then it is usually difficult to have another public defender appointed.

When an indiviudal is accused of a crime, there are many things at stake, which include family, reputation, and employment. The outcome an individual receives in the criminal justice system is dependent on the knowledge and expertise of the criminal defense lawyer that represents him or her in court. An experienced private criminal attorney will have less cases and will be able to devote a substantial amount of time to a clients needs, which will provide them with the best results.


Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

This article is by Nima Haddadi, a leading dui lawyer in los angeles and Personal Injury Attorney. When someone has been injured in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer usually isn’t the first thing on their mind. For many people, this would seem like one more stress factor to have to deal with. Under normal circumstances, in such a situation, a person will be more concerned with seeking immediate medical treatment; subsequently, they will want to focus on their recovery. Friends and loved ones are also most likely to be primarily concerned with their welfare and their well-being.

Unfortunately, the situation is rarely that simple. Whether an injury is from a car accident, a work-related incident, or even falling down a flight of stairs in a commercial building, the paperwork begins to accumulate immediately. There are forms to be filled out for the hospital, local law enforcement agencies, and any involved insurance companies. It’s unlikely that anybody is going to want to worry about finding a personal injury attorney at such a time, but that is exactly when one is needed. There are many different reasons why this is the case; here are a few of the highlights.

Injury Claim Assessment

A personal injury lawyer can assess an injured person’s circumstances, and tell whether or not they are likely to be eligible to receive damages. This step is critical in determining whether or not legal action ought to be taken. This initial consultation is often free, and should be taken advantage of as soon as is reasonably possible. Bills and expenses related to medical treatment and recovery will begin to pile up almost immediately; it is important to avert a situation wherein the victim of an accident, which is due to another party’s negligence, ends up swamped by medical debt for something that wasn’t their fault.

Simplification of the Injury Claim Process

Many people are surprised to find out that involving a personal injury lawyer can actually simplify the process involved in filing a claim, but that is exactly what the attorney’s services are intended to do. A personal injury attorney will know when and where to file the appropriate paperwork related to a victim’s claim. They will know how to expedite the process, through their own extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies and other lawyers. A personal injury lawyer may also be able to reach a settlement out of court, which averts a lengthy and stressful trial. Such an eventuality allows the victim’s recovery to continue uninterrupted, but is statistically unlikely to occur without the services of an experienced attorney.

Hiring a Lawyer Makes Sound Financial Sense

This is another factor which is rarely considered by the accident victim, but the hiring of a personal injury lawyer is a wise move financially. Most attorneys in this field of law will work on the basis of a contingency fee; they only receive payment if the victim receives damages. To that end, many personal injury lawyers are successful ninety-seven percent of the time or more. This is achieved through the use of a skilled investigative team, as well as a sound understanding of personal injury law. There are many viable factors which contribute to damages owed, including pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of spousal companionship and more. Through the hiring of a personal injury attorney, the victim of an accident is more likely to receive compensation that is suitable to the challenges and expenses which have been unfairly placed upon their shoulders.

Courtroom Experience is Important

A courtroom is an imposing setting, and many victims already feel as though they are being unfairly judged. People react to this in different ways, such as through anger, anxiety, or a simple desire to “get it over with” as quickly as possible. These are not objective decisions; actions taken in haste, such as an agreement for a settlement which is smaller than that to which the victim was potentially entitled, may lead to future consequences which will hinder and impede the victim’s recovery.

A Personal Injury Lawyer is On the Victim’s Side

Finally, despite the presence of loving family and dedicated friends, the victim of an accident due to another party’s negligence often feels isolated and alone in their circumstances. A personal injury attorney offers compassionate and understanding support, provided by a caring team of professionals who have some experience with what the victim is going through. This moral support can be an unexpected source of strength and resolution, which will help the victim maintain their resolve to see legal proceedings through to the most constructive and favorable end.

Injury recovery is never easy, nor is it a pleasant experience, but it doesn’t have to be a permanently devastating one. Through the hiring of a personal injury attorney, it can be achieved more quickly, with less difficulty, and with greater personal and financial support available to the victim.


What is a “personal injury” case?

In the legal world, the term “personal injury” describes almost any kind of damage to a person’s physical body as well as their emotional and mental well-being. In most cases, the victim of an accident or altercation files a injury claim to secure compensation for medical expenses and earnings that were lost due to damage they sustained. Personal injury claims do not include loss of personal property, like a home, car or other possessions.

Who Should File a Claim for Personal Injury?

Slipping on ice in a store’s parking lot, being maliciously harassed by another person or suffering nerve damage in a car accident are all scenarios involving personal injury that could be eligible for a claim. While modern homes, cars and workplaces are designed and regulated to preserve the safety of the occupants, there are still many ways that you can become seriously hurt at no fault of your own.

The keys to succeeding in any personal injury lawsuit are to prove that the defendant was liable for the incident and that the incident caused financial harm to you. In order to establish liability, the plaintiff must prove that the other party either did not fulfill their responsibilities or were a knowing participant in the incident that caused the injury. This is when a professional attorney with strong courtroom presence is a great asset for making the best case possible.

How Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Resolved?

Personal injury claims are always considered civil cases, so they take place through the appropriate court system and civil arbitration. While some cases make it all the way through the court process as a formal lawsuit, many of them are resolved before that point. Deciding whether to press your lawsuit or pursue an alternate resolution is a complex choice, so consult closely with your attorney to understand all of the implications involved.

An informal settlement, also known as “settling” your case, is an agreement between all parties involved in the legal dispute. The agreement is a negotiated offer that addresses that usually finds a compromise that satisfies both the plaintiff and defendant. Alternatively, the plaintiff and defendant can agree to seek arbitration or mediation from another party.

How do I Prepare to Make a Personal Injury Case?

It’s always a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you sustain any kind of bodily or mental harm. Every state in the US enforces a statute of limitations on this kind of claim, so you have between 1 and 10 years to file depending on local law. Most state’s allow victims to file injury claims for 2 or 3 years after the date of the incident.

Even fender benders and other seemingly minor accidents can have lasting repercussions on your health, so it’s important to prepare yourself for a claim even if you don’t currently intend to pursue it. Collect testimony and documents that may serve to support your claim, including correspondence between the parties involved, relevant financial records and medical evaluations. It’s easier to make a strong case if you have plenty of material evidence to back up your claims, especially if it is years after the incident occurred.

Working With Professional Personal Injury Attorneys

The Lamber Goodnow law firm specializes in personal injury cases, so you can rely on our seasoned attorneys to help you navigate every aspect of the legal process. Although we can’t guarantee the results of your case with absolute certainty, we have an excellent record of winning compensation for most of our clients through formal court proceedings and settlements.

Contact us to learn more about how personal injury lawsuits work and how we can help you move forward with your claim. Our attorneys can offer insight and guidance throughout the complex legal process to give you the support you need to make a great case. Our dedicated legal experts are ready to help you recover from financial loss so you can move on with your life.

This article was by Richard Mercurio, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Farar & Lewis LLP of Los Angeles.


Why You Need a DWI Lawyer

This article is from Joseph Seraph – a premier Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. You can visit his website at On any given day in the United States, over 300,000 drive while intoxicated, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 3,200 people in the country are arrested on a daily basis for DWI, or DUI.

If you end up facing a charge for DWI, you are hardly alone. Even if this is your first time charged with DWI, you cannot treat the case lightly. You need to get a capable, experienced DWI lawyer. There are a number of key reasons why you must retain a qualified DWI lawyer to represent you in your case.

DWI Penalties are Progressive

You may find yourself debating spending money on a DWI lawyer if this is the first time you have been charged with intoxicated driving. Stop debating.

DWI penalties are progressive. By that it is meant that if you should be unfortunate enough to get a second DWI charge at a future date, the penalties associated with that subsequent case can be significant. Those penalties are built upon what happens with your current, first-time DWI case.

First-Time DWI Penalties are Not Minimal

Although they are not as severe as in subsequent DWI cases, the penalties associated with a first-time DWI case are not minimal. The penalties do vary from one state to another. However, likely penalties in a first-time DWI case can include at least some jail time and a fine. According to NYC DWI Lawyer Aaron Wallenstein, most first time DWI penalties are moderate – assuming no one was hurt.

In addition to possible jail time and a fine, you also face the prospect of attending an alcohol education or even treatment program, depending on the circumstances of your case. You may be required to place an interlock device on your car that monitors your blood alcohol level before you are permitted to start your vehicle.

There are administrative penalties as well, associated with a first-time DWI charge. These include suspension of your driver’s license for a specified period of time.

The reality is that if a court ever has any flexibility when it comes to a DWI case, it is when a person is charged with the crime for the first time. The prosecuting attorney may be willing to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement. The judge may be willing to accept such an agreement.

Negotiating a favorable settlement depends upon having the representation by a skilled, experienced DWI attorney. Negotiating a favorable plea is not something the vast majority of people with no legal background can do on their own. A favorable plea not only benefits you in the case of a first-time charge, but protects you in the future if you face a subsequent DWI case.

Subsequent DWI Charges

The penalties upon a second, third or subsequent DWI conviction are severe. Jail sentences can be long. Fines can be large. A conviction can completely upend your life.

A primary objective in a subsequent DWI case is minimizing the penalties, if at all possible. An experienced DWI attorney, who understands the law and the system, is in the best possible position to protect your rights and interests when charged with a second, third or subsequent DWI.