| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or from other types of negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior, you’re entitled to collect compensation from the responsible parties. How much you can collect will vary with the severity of injuries, the respective fault of all parties and how much insurance coverage applies. The best way to get an understanding of the value of your case is to consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney who can apply the facts to the law.   Insurance Coverage For Car Accidents In California The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires owners of private passenger vehicles to carry the following minimum coverage: $15,000 for injury/death of a single person; $30,000 for injury/death of all involved; $5,000 for property damage.   Commercial vehicles have higher mandatory minimums. For example, rideshare drivers must carry $50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident coverage. Minimum coverage for trucks varies, increasing with the weight of the truck being insured. The heaviest vehicles, weighing over 10,000 pounds must carry $750,000 single limit policies. If your accident was caused by a municipal vehicle such as a police car or a vehicle owned by a major corporation, the amount you can collect is virtually unlimited. If insurance coverage is insufficient, it’s sometimes possible to make a claim for underinsurance against the policy of the car you’re in.   How Are Settlements and Verdict Calculated Insurance companies make offers to settle cases based on what they believe they might be worth at trial, hoping to save money by offering something less than what a jury might award. It’s usually worth it to accept a settlement because even though a jury could award something astronomical, they could also rule against you and award nothing, so it’s always risky to let a case go to trial. Sadly, this means that even if you sustain very serious injuries, you may only be able to recover the minimum policy limits. It’s also important to remember that even if you’re hit by a vehicle with millions of dollars of coverage, a fender bender case with a sprained ankle that heals quickly, isn’t worth big money. Most cases fall in between these two extremes, with sufficient coverage for the injuries sustained.   California Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve sustained a serious injury, and it’s somebody else’s fault, it’s important to call an experienced California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Speaking to a personal injury attorney is the best way to find out how much your case is worth. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

What You Need To Know About Hit and Run Accidents in California

More than six million people a year are involved in car accidents, with half of those accidents causing injuries. Hit and run accidents are becoming more and more common, and usually happen because a driver is under the influence, doesn’t have a license, or is uninsured. When cars flee the scene of the accident, it’s often still possible to collect compensation for victims, but it’s a complicated case. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced California hit and run accident attorney that knows exactly what to do to get you the highest amount of compensation possible for your hit and run accident case.   Hit and Run Is A Crime in California To avoid being charged with the misdemeanor or felony that California calls Leaving The Scene Of An Accident, it’s important to understand California hit and run law. Here’s what constitutes the crime: Leaving the scene of an accident; Without properly identifying yourself and People were injured, or property was damaged, as a result.   It’s always better to stay until the police arrive, or at least provide identification, because the other party might claim injuries or property damage that wasn’t obvious to you.   What To Do After A Hit and Run Accident Call 911 immediately after the car leaves the scene, providing as much detail as possible about the vehicle and it’s driver: Make, model, and color of the vehicle; Identifying features such as dents and bumper stickers; License plate number (if you were able to get it); Driver’s appearance; How the accident happened.   While you’re waiting for the police, it’s a good idea to scour the scene for evidence such as paint from the car that hit you or a piece that might have fallen off. It’s also a good idea to see if anybody nearby witnessed the accident and get their name and phone number.   Insurance Coverage For Hit and Run Accidents If the offender cannot be found or does not have insurance, you can file a claim against your insurance company under the uninsured motorist coverage that is mandatory in California. It will be a complicated process to prove that you meet the requirements for an uninsured motorist claim. These are the complications that can arise: Insurance company claims you did not report the accident to the police in a timely manner; Insurance company claims that there was insurance in effect because the hit and run driver’s insurance company did not properly cancel the policy; Even though the offending vehicle left the scene, the accident was your fault.   In order to ensure that you collect the compensation you’re entitled to for a hit and run accident, it’s important to hire a California attorney with experience handling hit and runs.   California Hit and Run Accident Attorney Hit and run accidents can raise complicated issues and have tight deadlines for filing forms. That’s why it’s important to call an experienced California hit and run accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

When To Hire A Broken Bone Attorney

If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, your full recovery depends very much on access to state of the art medical treatment, therapists, and facilities. Getting the best care can be extremely expensive, especially if you need long term rehabilitation or multiple surgeries. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced California broken bone attorney that can help you get the highest amount of compensation possible from the responsible parties.   What Types of Accidents Cause Broken Bones? When somebody’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act causes you to sustain broken bones, you can sue them for financial compensation. These are the most common types of accidents that cause broken bones: Traffic Accidents: Pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, and SUV rollover accidents. Construction Accidents: Explosions and falls from heights. Premises Liability: Falls, attacks due to poor security, and ceilings in disrepair.   Types of Broken Bones Some fractures are more serious than others. Some simple fractures will heal on their own, whereas more serious fractures may require setting, rebreaking, or surgery. The length of recovery will also depend on your age, with children healing much more quickly than older people. Here’s an overview of the types of broken bones: Stable fractures: The bones are barely out of place and line up. Open, compound fracture: The fracture causes the bone to pierce and break the skin. Comminuted fracture: The bone is shattered into three of more pieces.   It’s important to get the best medical treatment possible for your broken bones so that you can regain your ability to work and exercise as soon as possible.   Compensation For Broken Bone Injuries These are some of the types of compensation that an experienced and skilled California broken bone attorney can help you collect: Medical Expenses Lost Earnings Lost Future Earning Capacity Pain and Suffering Mental Anguish   Medical expenses, lost earnings, and lost future earning capacity are capped at their actual cost or loss, but compensation for pain, suffering, and mental anguish is subjective and uncapped. That’s why top California broken bone attorneys can collect very large amounts of money for sympathetic victims with broken bones.   California Broken Bone Attorney If you’ve sustained a broken bone in a accident, and it’s somebody else’s fault, it’s important to call an experienced California broken bone attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Why Is It Important To Receive A MRI After An Injury?

When you’re injured in an accident, you’re entitled to compensation from the parties that caused you harm. To get the most money possible, you need to prove how severe your injuries are with credible evidence. Some serious injuries like broken bones and dislocations can be diagnosed with x-rays, but many other types of injuries can only be seen with more sensitive tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI.) If the hospital tells you that you don’t have fractures or dislocations, but you’re still experiencing pain, it’s important to have an MRI that can properly diagnose and document your condition. An experienced California injury lawyer can help you get the largest amount of compensation when you aggressively seek treatment for your injuries.   What Is An MRI? Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic test that uses magnets and radio waves to produce a detailed picture of the inside of your body. It can detect traumatic soft-tissue injuries such as bulging and herniated spinal discs, tendonitis, bursitis, and other soft tissue injuries to the joints and tendons. This can help your doctors and therapists customize your care plan, and will also help your California injury lawyer prove how severe your injuries are. Victims with soft tissue injuries always collect substantially more compensation when they get MRI’s.   Are MRI’s Dangerous? MRI’s, unlike X-rays and Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, do not expose patients to dangerous ionizing radiation. That’s why it’s possible to get an MRI if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Millions of pregnant women have had MRI’s over the last 30 years without any evidence whatsoever of harm to the baby. Your doctor might suggest that you get an MRI for every part of your body that’s experiencing pain, such as your neck, back, knees, ankles, elbows, and hands. You can feel comfortable getting as many MRI’s as necessary, knowing that they will cause you no harm.   California Injury Lawyer If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ll collect the highest amount of compensation by working with an experienced California injury lawyer. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

When To Call A Burn Injury Lawyer

Severe burn injuries can be devastating to the victim and their entire family. Some burn injuries are catastrophic, requiring multiple surgeries and causing long term or permanent disability and disfigurement. Getting state of the art treatment is expensive, but will help victims achieve the best results possible. No-fault insurance is usually insufficient and health insurance limits what doctors can be seen and has co-pays and deductibles that must be satisfied. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced California burn injury lawyer that can help you get the highest amount of compensation possible from the responsible parties.|   Types of Burn Injury Claims There are many types of accidents that cause burn injuries due to negligence, recklessness, or an intentional act. These are some common types: Failure to provide proper fire exits Failure to use proper safety protocols at a worksite Motor vehicle crashes Defective appliance and other products Failure to keep water below a burning temperature   Types of Burn Injuries There are many different types of burn injuries including: Friction burns such as road rash and carpet burns Frostbite Thermal burns caused by contact with scalding liquids and flames. Chemical burns from strong acids or solvents Electrical burns caused by contact with electrical current.   How Severe Is The Burn? First Degree Burns are red and painful, but don’t blister. They only impact the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis and usually heal on their own. Second Degree Burns are red and blistered. They impact the dermis layer of the skin and can cause permanent scarring. Third Degree Burns are also known as full thickness burns and they completely cover both layers of skin. They usually appear black, brown, white, or yellow and can require a large amount of treatment, including skin grafts. Scarring is pronounced and permanent. Fourth Degree Burns are life threatening because they cause damage to bones, muscles and tendons. In addition to permanent disfigurement, they can also cause long term or permanent disability.   California Burn Injury Lawyer If you’ve sustained a serious burn, and it’s somebody else’s fault, it’s important to call an experienced California burn injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

When Can you Sue Your Employer for a Work Related Injury?

The basic rule in California is that collecting workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for workers injured on the job. That said, there are plenty of exceptions that will allow workers to sue their employers. Too many workers lose out on the large amount of compensation they can collect for pain, suffering and mental anguish when they meet the requirements for an exception to workers compensation as an exclusive remedy. So, if you’ve been injured at work, it’s important to speak to an experienced work injury attorney to discuss your legal rights to monetary compensation by suing your employer.   Exemptions To California Workers Compensation As An Exclusive Remedy Intentional Assault: An employer can be held liable for assaulting an employee. You can also sue your employer for an assault by another employee, if the employer ratified the attack. Dual Capacity: This exception allows workers to sue their employer when they are harmed by , but not in the course of their employment. For example, a nurse that’s being treated as a patient at the hospital is not performing her duties at the time and can sue the hospital for negligence or malpractice. It can also apply if a worker slips and falls while off duty or is injured by a product that was manufactured by the employer such as a malfunctioning hair dryer that’s used at home. Fraudulent Concealment: If the employer tries to cover up an accident and injury, and this cover up causes the injury to be aggravated or worsened, the employer can be sued for the additional harm the fraud and concealment caused. Power Press Guard Failure to Install or Removal: This is a very specific law in response to employers not installing or removing guards to increase productivity. Employers can now be sued for injuries sustained if they engage in this conduct. Uninsured Employer: When an employer fails to provide workers compensation insurance, they can be sued for injuries sustained by workers on the job.   California Worker Injury Attorney The best way to find out if you can sue your employer for a work related injury is to speak to an experienced California worker injury attorney to discuss your legal rights to monetary compensation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Healthcare Insurance

Why Do I Have To Pay Back My Health Insurance Company If I Win Or Settle My Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury cases take time to resolve, so health insurance is often needed to obtain immediate medical treatment for injuries caused by somebody else’s negligence. In such cases, California law allows health insurance companies to collect back what they’ve paid out from the responsible party (subrogation) and requires claimants to cooperate with these efforts. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they’ll make sure that the subrogation on your case is handled so that you collect as much money as possible from your settlement or award.   California Code 3040 and Health Insurance The money that’s owed to your health insurance company must be taken into consideration before settling your personal injury case. In most cases, your health insurance company is limited to collecting what they actually paid out for accident related care or one-third of the total settlement – whichever is the lesser amount (Common Fund Doctrine). It’s important to make sure that the money that’s owed to the health insurance company is accounted for in the breakdown of your settlement before you agree to sign a release.   The Made Whole Doctrine The made whole doctrine can be helpful for cases where there is very limited insurance coverage for a loss. For example, lets say your health insurer paid out $50,000 for your medical care, but there is only $15,000 in coverage. In such cases the made whole doctrine may preclude the health insurance company from collecting back what they paid out, paying out $10,000 to you and $5,000 to your attorney. It’s important to know that some health insurance companies have language in their contracts that can override the made whole doctrine by giving the insurance company all rights of recovery to the extent of its payment.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

How Attorney Contingency Fee Agreements and Cost Advancements Work

California personal injury attorneys understand that accident victims usually don’t have funds available to pay attorney’s fees. That’s why most personal injury attorneys in California work on a contingency fee and advance costs for the cases they retain. Hiring an attorney to represent you after an accident will help you obtain the highest amount of compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they’ll collect more money than you ever would on your own, even when you factor in their fee.   What’s a Contingency Fee? A contingency fee means that the attorney will get paid a percentage of your settlement or court award once your case is completed, and will not get paid at all if they lose. That’s why personal injury attorneys will turn down cases they don’t feel are strong, either because the fault is not clear enough or the injuries are minor. If an attorney is willing to take your case, this means they believe it has merit and is worth the investment of their time and resources. Most California personal injury attorneys charge a fee of 1/3 (33.33%) to 40% (if a lawsuit is necessary) of what is collected with their legal cost advancements subtracted from the total. These legal cost advancements include filing fees, processing fees, expert witness fees, court reporters, investigation, medical record retrieval, etc. For example, if your case is settled for $100,000 the breakdown might be as follows:   – Medical Bills/Health Insurance Subrogation: $10,000 – Client: $56,667 – Legal Costs: $1,000 – Attorney Fee: $33,333   It’s important to keep in mind that the farther along the case goes in litigation, the higher the legal costs will be. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the advice of your California personal injury attorney about the best time to accept an offer to settle your case.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

What You Post on Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

If you’re claiming to be terribly injured in an accident, it wouldn’t make a very good impression on a jury to see you dancing the night away on your Instagram story. That’s why it’s so important to think before posting anything on social media while pursuing a personal injury claim. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they’ll carefully review your case and advise you about how social media can undermine your case.   Avoid Posting On Social Media During a Personal Injury Case Most California personal injury attorneys will recommend that you not post anything on social media as seemingly innocuous postings may contradict your testimony. For example, if you’re claiming that you are unable to work due to your injuries, posting about attending a wedding or birthday party will imply that you’re mobile, even if you don’t post any photos of the event. You certainly don’t want to mention or post photos of a vacation while you’re collecting disability benefits. Posting pictures of your children hiking implies that you were also there to take the picture.   Social Media Posts Are Admissible In Court Social Media posts are considered admissible as written evidence in personal injury cases under California law. It’s important to know that not only are your posts admissible, but posts about you by family and friends could also be used against you. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask them to refrain from posting anything about you or uploading any pictures of you while your personal injury case is pending. Limiting posts to only friends will not protect you because defense attorneys can obtain information from œmutual friends or request disclosure without informing you. Your California personal injury attorney is working very hard to help you collect the largest amount of compensation possible for your injuries – don’t undermine your case by using social media irresponsibly.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

PTSD After A Car Accident

Many victims of car accidents sustain both physical and psychological injuries. Serious car accidents can cause victims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD,) with symptoms such as nightmares, intrusive thoughts, or reluctance to drive. PTSD can cause long term disability and require many years of expensive treatment. That’s why it’s important to speak to a California personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights to monetary compensation.   Common Symptoms of PTSD After a Car Accident The first course of treatment is usually for the physical injuries sustained in an accident, especially if those injuries are life threatening. As you recover, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of PTSD so that treatment can be commenced in a timely manner. These are the most common symptoms of PTSD after a car accident:   Arousal: This is an extreme feeling of alertness that can lead to sleep problems, hyper-vigilance, and sometimes paranoia. Intrusion: Recollections of the accident make it difficult to concentrate on tasks or to fall asleep. Avoidance: Avoiding reminders of the accidents. This can lead to the refusal to drive or even to be a passenger in a car. Numbing: Distancing oneself from friends and family can lead to a feeling of hopelessness or major depression.   These symptoms can be very subtle at first, but can increase rapidly into full blown cases of debilitating PTSD. That’s why it’s important to identify and treat symptoms promptly. Treatment with medication and therapy has been shown to greatly improve the outcome for victims suffering from PTSD and early diagnosis can improve the likelihood of a full recovery.   Compensation For Victims of PTSD After A Car Accident If you’re suffering from PTSD after a car accident that isn’t your fault, you can make a claim against the negligent parties to recover money for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are reimbursement for medical costs, lost earnings and other out of pocket expenses. Non-economic damages are for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. The best way to find out how to collect a large amount of monetary compensation is to speak to a California personal injury attorney who can apply the facts of your case to the law. Filing deadlines can be short, so it’s important to make an appointment for a consultant as soon as possible after your accident.

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