Farar & Lewis LLP is a top rated, Los Angeles personal injury law firm, that helps victims of accidents get the compensation they deserve. Our team of trial lawyers has over 30 years of combined experience, fighting on behalf of victims all over the state of California. Every single one of our attorneys is recognized, as a leader in the field – both by the media, and lawyer ranking platforms. You can trust our experience.
Lack of negligence: The defendant may argue that they were not negligent in creating the condition that caused a person to trip or slip, or were not negligent in correcting the condition before injury occurred. For example, the owner of a grocery store may claim that the banana that a patron slipped upon had been dropped on the floor only moments ago by another patron, and that, in the exercise of due diligence, a typical store owner acting with reasonable care would not have had time to discover the danger and take steps to mitigate the danger.
You become the plaintiff in the case and the person who injured you becomes the defendant. Lawyers for each side (and for the insurer) typically begin gathering facts through exchange of documents, written questions (interrogatories) or depositions (questions that are asked in person and answered under oath). This process is called discovery. After discovery, many cases get settled before trial. Only a small percentage of personal injury actions ever go to trial.
Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury case can become formalized through civil court proceedings that seek to find others legally at fault through a court judgment or, as is much more common, such disputes may be resolved through informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed:
You may find this process frustrating, and even exasperating. However, the more information and documentation you provide to the insurance company, the more likely you are to receive fair compensation from the insurance company for all of your damages. Remember, the insurance company is not required to reach a settlement agreement with you. The insurance company may say at some point, “This is the best offer we’re going to make – if you want more money, then file a lawsuit.” (More: When Injury Settlement Talks Fail.)
This process of discovery and intermittent court appearances can take months and even years, with the trial date frequently being set back. Eventually, once the discovery process appears to have proceeded as far as it can, the defendant may ask the judge to throw out the case on “summary judgment” because the plaintiff cannot possibly win at trial (these motions lose more often than not).
Most personal injury cases settle, especially when companies see that they’re going up against us. Morgan & Morgan has the resources, track record of success, experience, and talent to bully the bullies, and insurance companies and other parties know this. So they are often more than willing to give our clients what they need and want. We’ve been at this for 30 years and have seen it all, and use that to your advantage.
For wrongful death cases in California, people qualify to claim damages if they are the following: (1) the deceased person's surviving spouse; (2) the deceased person's domestic partner; (3) the deceased person' s surviving children; or (3) if there is no surviving person in the deceased person's line of descent, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone "who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession," which can include the deceased person's parents, or the deceased person's siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the deceased person's death. (California Code of Civil Procedure section 337.60). Otherwise a plaintiff will have to prove that financially dependency on the deceased person.
If you answered “yes” to each of the questions discussed above, you may have a valid personal injury lawsuit or claim. Because filing a personal injury lawsuit can have serious legal and financial consequences, and requires a thorough knowledge of the laws and legal system, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before considering doing so.
A personal injury claim seeks to make a plaintiff “whole” again after an injury caused by negligence. Once a plaintiff accepts a settlement or receives a case award, he or she is basically stating that the award makes him or her whole again. This means the defendant should not be liable for another claim for the same damages, and a “release of liability” generally puts this into writing.
The only way to sue after a settlement negotiation is to back out before accepting the opposition’s offer and instead move to a trial. The risk is greater, but so is the potential reward. The trial value of a personal injury claim is almost always higher than the settlement value, and the plaintiff could secure much more compensation; however, trials take longer and will generate more legal fees for the plaintiff.
Many personal injury claims, especially ones involving car accidents, are resolved before a lawsuit is filed. As your attorney negotiates with the insurance company representing the party who injured you, a monetary offer may be presented to your attorney to settle the case. If a settlement offer is made, your attorney will inform you about the offer and give his or her opinion on whether you should accept it. You ultimately decide if the settlement is acceptable. Click here to learn about how much your personal injury case is worth.
Contact a personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one was injured in a personal injury accident, the first critical step is contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you get the medical treatment that you need, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, advise you of your legal rights and options, and fight to get you maximum financial recovery.
If you're considering filing a personal injury lawsuit over a car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of injury, you may be wondering "What is my case really worth?" The answer comes down to "damages" -- figuring out what your injuries have cost you monetarily, physically, and mentally (and, in some cases, whether the defendant's conduct should be punished).
George Salinas and his team are very helpful and took care of my case in a time that was very stressful and scary for me… and my family. They made sure that I received a fair settlement, and always kept me informed on my case. I never felt like I was in the dark and always felt his team was honest with me. My case was long and stressful but they got me through it. I would recommend his law office to everyone.more »
In cases where the defendant's conduct is deemed particularly egregious or outrageously careless, a personal injury plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages on top of any compensatory damages award. Punitive damages stem from a rationale that is quite different from the justification tied to compensatory damages, which attempt to "make someone whole."
Some of these damages are economic, such as medical bills and lost wages. Others are noneconomic, such as pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Economic damages are generally easy to calculate. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate, and you may need to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to make reasonable estimates.
Motions Phase. The defendant can file a motion before or after discovery is complete to get the Court to take action on their behalf. The motion can ask the Court to dismiss one or more of your claims or even the entire case. Your attorney typically has 28 days to file a written response in opposition to the motion. Sometimes a hearing is held so that the Court can consider both sides of the arguments.
Emotional distress. Usually linked to more serious accidents, emotional distress damages are meant to compensate a personal injury plaintiff for the psychological impact of an injury -- including fear, anxiety, and sleep loss. Some states consider emotional distress as part of any "pain and suffering" damage that is awarded to a personal injury plaintiff.
If you have been injured in this way, first consider that it is a normal part of living for things to fall on or to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Also, some things put in the ground -- drainage grates, for example -- serve a useful purpose there. So a property owner (or occupier) cannot always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance on a floor. Nor is a property owner always responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person should expect to find there or should see and avoid. We all have an obligation to watch where we're going.
Fraudulent automobile accidents occur more frequently in urban areas where there is a greater volume of vehicles, and also in wealthier communities because drivers there are perceived to have better insurance companies. Criminals often target new, rental, or commercial vehicles because they tend to be well-insured. Further, criminals prey upon women driving alone and senior citizens, as they are thought to be less confrontational at accident schemes.
This section is designed to provide clients with the answers to common questions about the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit and different stages of the typical personal injury lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed a typical accident case takes anywhere from 8-18 months to get to trial. However, most cases settle out of court and do not go to trial even if a lawsuit is filed, cases can settle at any time during the process. Complex products liability or medical malpractice cases take about twice as long as the average car accident case.
Unlike other lawyers, personal injury lawyers don’t charge an hourly rate. Instead, they accept a percentage of their client’s compensation for punitive damages as payment. In high profile cases, personal injury lawyers may earn as much as 40% of their winning client’s compensation. Payment is made on a contingency basis meaning the plaintiff only pays if the lawyer recovers money on his behalf.