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Trial

Black’s Law Dictionary estimates that only four to five percent of personal injury cases ever make it to trial. Very few cases ever do make it into a courtroom. Most reach an out-of-court settlement. This is due to two things. First, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), about half of all civil cases lead to a positive outcome for the plaintiff. Second, it’s time-consuming. It can take months or even years to battle a personal injury case in the courts.

Even if you do go to court, it’s uncommon to win a large amount of money. The BJS estimates that about 4 out of 100 trials actually result in compensation of more than $1 million. The median award is around $28,000. Personal injury cases involving products tend to have better outcomes.

Does this mean you shouldn’t bother filing a personal injury lawsuit? Not at all. If you’ve been injured or harmed and it’s clearly someone else’s fault, you should never have to suffer financially. It’s important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation and see what the attorney has to say.

Continue reading “Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?”

Personal Injury California

If you’ve been injured in an accident, or on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. But US personal injury law is not consistent across all states. In fact, there’s nothing whatsoever in federal law about personal injury. Personal injury cases are decided on the basis of tort law, which varies by state.

So, what if you’ve been injured in the state of California? Or what if you’re being sued for personal injury? Here’s a quick guide to what you should expect.

California Tort Law is Based on Comparative Fault

In most states, tort law falls into two different categories: fault, and no fault. In a fault state, the person who is directly responsible for the accident is responsible for paying all related bills. For example, if someone is injured on your property in a fault state, you have to pay all their medical bills. Conversely, in a no-fault estate, a person’s insurance company is responsible for paying the bills.

California is a bit of an oddball. It’s a comparative fault state, which means that a judge or jury must decide what percentage of fault each person is responsible for. So, for example, if you’re in an accident, and the judge finds you 25 percent at fault, you will pay 25 percent of your medical bills, and the balance will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company.

California Insurance Companies Have Generous Deadlines

When you’re injured in an accident, you need to notify the other person’s insurance company. In the most common case, an auto accident, this would be an auto insurance company. The company will then have 15 days to acknowledge your claim. Within this period, expect to get a call from an actuary who will ask you questions about your claim. They will ask to record your answers, but California is a two-party consent state. You don’t have to let them record if you don’t want to.

The company will then have 40 days to either accept your claim or deny it. Most likely, they will offer you a settlement for less than your actual damages. To get a more fair payment, you should contact an attorney. The attorney can negotiate on your half to get a better deal. Either way, once a settlement has been reached, the company will have 30 days to pay you. In the event that you can’t reach an acceptable settlement, you’ll need to proceed with a lawsuit.

The California Statute of Limitations is Three Years

Not all injuries are immediately apparent. For example, a back injury such as a slipped disk can take months or even years to fully manifest. In California, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim. A court can waive this requirement under certain circumstances, but you’ll need a qualified attorney to get that done.

Your Odds are Better With an Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re filing a claim or being sued, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney. The fact is that insurance companies have staffs of high-powered corporate lawyers who know insurance law like the back of their hands.

Odds are, you don’t have the legal expertise to take on this challenge by yourself. You need a professional attorney, someone who knows tort law just as well as the insurance company’s team. By hiring the right law firm, like the KJT Law Group, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenge the big corporate teams can throw at you.

If you’re in need of assistance, contact us online for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can email us at info@KJTLawGroup.com, or call us at (818)-507-8525. Our team is ready and willing to help you can get the justice you deserve.

Personal Injury in California

Being injured, even relatively mild injuries can cause serious disruption to your life and overall wellbeing. Personal injury laws exist to help people make a claim against the costs and disruption caused by an injury when that injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness.

In some cases, omitting critical information that causes someone to be injured, or even come kinds of intentional acts that cause someone to be injured, can both fall under personal injury law.

Personal Injury cases aren’t criminal cases in California. Instead, Personal Injury laws provide a way for victims to press civil liability to recoup financial, physical, and emotional losses.

While a personal injury suit can’t help you heal faster or undo the damage, successfully pressing a personal injury case can help you get the resources you need for medical bills, and may also cover lost income and assign a monetary compensation for pain and suffering.

What Falls Under Personal Injury Law in California?

One of the most important things you need to know about personal injury law is what kinds of situations qualify for personal injury cases. There are many situations that might justify a personal injury case, and it’s likely that many people don’t receive adequate compensation because they don’t know that they have a good case.

Of course, every case depends on the details, which can be best evaluated by a lawyer. But if you find yourself in one of these situations, or a similar situation, it’s a good idea to contact us for a consultation to see if you have a good case.

Common Personal Injury Claims:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Bike Accidents
  • Dog bite cases
  • Medical Malpractice (may also fall under other legal categories, depending on the case)
    • Medical malpractice suits also have strict reporting requirements. If you suspect you might have been a victim of medical malpractice, you must contact a lawyer as quickly as possible.
  • Manufacturing defects that caused injury to the consumer
  • Negligence directly resulting in injury
  • Slip and Fall accidents (in public and private spaces)
  • Construction accidents
  • Etc…

These kinds of claims aren’t cut and dry. While you might have a situation that looks like a personal injury case, there might be mitigating circumstances that change the situation.

For instance, dog bite cases might be harder to pursue if the victim was actively antagonizing the dog immediately before being bitten. If you’re bitten by a dog on a property with guard dog signs or other warnings of a potentially aggressive or anti-intruder trained animal, that may also affect your case.

Here’s another example. Your friend is renovating their house and knows that one area of the floor is weak and can’t be walked across yet. You come over to visit, walk across the damaged section of floor, and it gives way. You fall and are injured in the process. Your friend might be liable if they didn’t tell you the floor was weak.

But if your friend told you, and you walked across the floor anyway, they probably aren’t liable for the injury.

That’s because your friend might be considered negligent if they didn’t tell you, but if they did, it’s likely that they would be considered to have taken reasonable precautions to prevent the injury from happening.

Understanding Negligence:

California uses a pure comparative system of negligence. That’s because there are different levels of fault in different personal injury cases. Sometimes the defendant may be deemed 100% liable for the injury.

But if multiple parties were negligent, liability is spread between them according to how responsible each individual was for the injury.

The person who is injured in a personal injury suit can also be considered partially liable if they didn’t listen to warnings or posted signage or ignored obvious indicators of risk.

The Statute of Limitations:

California has a 2-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. Some, like medical malpractice claims, have much shorter periods, and you’ll need to move faster in those cases.

Also, if the defendant is a government entity, under California state law you only have six months to file an injury claim and may have to follow additional procedures to press your claim.

California also protects you if you don’t immediately realize that you’re injured. If you discover an injury later, and that delay makes it difficult to file your injury claim within the statute of limitations, you may qualify for an extended statute of limitations. In that situation, you have up to 1 year after discovering the injury to file your claim.

Getting a Trusted Opinion:

Personal injury cases are many and varied, and if you don’t have the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer it can be almost impossible to know if you have a good claim. KTJ Law Group offers free case evaluations specifically to help you decide if you want to move forward with a case.

Having an experienced and professional team will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve and help clear the roadblocks along the way. Call us at (818) 507-8525, or email info@KJTLawGroup.com to get started with a case evaluation.

The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can help.

Wrongful Death

The wrongful death of a family member can feel debilitating, scary, and stressful. The comfort of your loved one is gone and so is their financial and emotional support.

However, in your case fits the criteria for wrongful death under California law, you may be entitled to compensation.

The California wrongful death law, (under Civil Code of Procedure 377.60,) allows particular family members of the deceased to collect damages in the case that the deceased passed due to someone else’s wrongful actions.

This law is similar to that of action taken due to “loss of consortium,” which is an action taken when a spouse or legal domestic partner is left without the intimacy, companionship, and livelihood of a partner who is still living, but unable to provide those features due to someone else’s wrongful act.

In case of a wrongful death action, the surviving family can request to have damages recovered. These damages can include funeral expenses, income the deceased would have provided the surviving, and compensation for loss of companionship to the surviving.

Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death Under California Law?

Continue reading “California Wrongful Death Law”

Self Driving Car

You may have heard the news: An Uber Technologies Inc. autonomous vehicle was involved in an accident in Arizona. A human driver in a Honda CRV turning left at a yellow light hit the self-driving Volvo as it was crossing the intersection. Though the Volvo flipped onto its side after hitting a pole, no serious injuries were reported.

Accident investigators found the human driver to be at fault. The artificially intelligent (AI) vehicle was traveling just under the speed limit, and the employee “behind the wheel” stated he saw the Honda driver but did not have time to react.

Continue reading “Yes, Fully Self-Driving Cars Are Coming To California”

Truck Accident

Despite what you may have heard or read, all motor vehicle accidents are not treated equally by the law. A truck accident is defined as vehicle crashes involving 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles that cause personal injury and/or property damage.

It was reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “accidents that involved large commercial trucks accounted for 287,000 property damage claims, 77,000 injuries and 4,321 deaths over the course of a single year.” Comparably, medium to large trucks are responsible for a very small segment of the accidents that take place on highways; but their large size causes more serious damage and the accidents are more likely to be catastrophic. Motor vehicles that collide with large trucks see much more damage to their vehicle. Another big difference is in terms of settlements after an accident. The amount of effort and costs associated with investigating and pursuing the remedies in a trucking accident are more complex and more expensive.

Continue reading “Truck Accidents Versus Auto Accidents What You Need to Know”

what-do-i-do-after-ive-been-in-a-truck-accident

Looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics, light and large trucks accounted for a high number of crashes in 2016.

  • Fatal Crashes – 24,282
  • Injury Crashes – 1,639,000
  • Property Damage Only – 3,849,000

The cause of a truck crash varies. For smaller passenger trucks it could be just about anything from an impaired driver to speed. For large trucks (tractor-trailers), these five reasons were most common:

  • Brake issues
  • Not driving for the road/weather conditions
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Problems with the roads
  • Over-the-counter medications

This covers any crash with a tractor-trailer. When it comes to crashes between a passenger car and tractor-trailer, the most common causes are:

  • Sudden traffic flow changes
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Not seeing vehicles in blind spots
  • Speed
  • Illegal maneuvers

What do you do if you’re in a crash with a truck? There are three important steps to take straight off. Get the other driver’s information, take plenty of photos, and seek medical treatments. Those are just three of the things you need to do. Here are others.

File an Accident Report

Damage in a truck crash can be extensive. You probably need to call the police, but if you didn’t, make sure you file an accident report. You can do this at a local police station or some states allow online reports. You’re required to by law if the damage if over a certain amount. Repair costs can add up fast. According to Insurance.com, these are the five most common auto body repairs and their costs:

  • Bumper repair – $350 to $450 on a small sedan
  • Deep scratches – $1,000 to $3,500
  • Rear bumper replacement – Up to $10,000 if the frame is also bent
  • Suspension repairs – Up to $5,000 depending on what is damaged
  • Windshield replacement – $300 to $400 for most cars, upwards of $4,000 for some luxury vehicles

Even what seems like a minor repair can quickly put you up to the monetary limit that makes an accident report required. If your state’s laws require you to file an accident report if the damage is $1,500 or more, the cost of a new tire, rim, and bodywork to the side fender could easily put you up over that amount.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

Start the claims process by calling your insurance company. They often handle the preliminary negotiations with the other driver’s insurance. Expect a call from that insurance company who will ask for your side of the story.

During the call, you’ll be asked to share the details of the accident, the accident report number if you have it, the name of the officer and any injuries. You’ll give out the other driver’s name, contact information for any witnesses, and the other driver’s insurance information. You also need to know where your car is now. A claims adjuster will want to look at your car and determine the damages.

Keep Track of Everything

When possible, try to interact with claims agents via the email. You’ll have written documentation to help you know exactly what’s been said. Plus, it makes it easy to send photocopies of bills that get added to the claim.

Hopefully, you managed to get photos of the accident scene. If you have dash cam footage, that’s also helpful. Store that on a separate thumb drive and in a cloud-based storage option like Dropbox or Google Drive. If you have the files stored in a couple of places, you’re less likely to lose anything. It also makes it easier to share with agents and attorneys if you decide to sue.

Keep a journal of who you’ve talked to over the phone and take notes during the call. The more information you have, the more helpful it is if you need to file a personal injury claim.

Should You Sue?

Court trials take time. You shouldn’t let this keep you from getting a fair settlement. Insurance companies base their settlement offer on the value of your vehicle, your medical bills, lost wages or time from school, and sometimes pain and suffering. That offer may not look into the anxiety you feel weeks or months later that prevents you from driving. It may not consider the amount of time you have to take off work for therapy to deal with PTSD following a crash.

What you should do is talk to an attorney with expertise in truck crashes. KJT Law Group offers free case evaluations. We’ll give you an honest assessment and tell you if the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair or if you have a valid personal injury case. Call us today (818) 507-8525.

Sources:

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief

https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/coverage/insurance-for-auto-body-repairs.html

Semi Truck Accident

Looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics, light and large trucks accounted for a high number of crashes in 2016.

  • Fatal Crashes – 24,282
  • Injury Crashes – 1,639,000
  • Property Damage Only – 3,849,000

The cause of a truck crash varies. For smaller passenger trucks it could be just about anything from an impaired driver to speed. For large trucks (tractor-trailers), these five reasons were most common:

  • Brake issues
  • Not driving for the road/weather conditions
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Problems with the roads
  • Over-the-counter medications

This covers any crash with a tractor-trailer. When it comes to crashes between a passenger car and tractor-trailer, the most common causes are:

  • Sudden traffic flow changes
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Not seeing vehicles in blind spots
  • Speed
  • Illegal maneuvers

What do you do if you’re in a crash with a truck? There are three important steps to take straight off. Get the other driver’s information, take plenty of photos, and seek medical treatments. Those are just three of the things you need to do. Here are others.

Continue reading “What Should I Do After A Truck Accident?”

Auto Accident Attorney Los Angeles

You may think you have a valid complaint against a business or person. Yet, you’ve called a personal injury attorney and they didn’t seem interested in your personal injury case and recommended someone else. You’re surprised. Don’t be. It’s not as uncommon as you’d think. There are several reasons why law firms refer out personal injury cases.

There’s a Conflict of Interest

One of the common reasons for a lawyer to refer out personal injury claims is due to a conflict of interest. It can be as simple as the person you want to sue for damages is a regular client of the attorney you’re trying to hire.

The Restitution Isn’t Enough to Justify the Time They’ll Spend

The legal fees for many personal injury cases are paid only if the lawyer you hire wins the case. In the U.S., American Tort Reform says the average contingency fee is 33.3%.

Say your lawyer wins the case, but you only end up receiving $1,000. The lawyer would get around $333 of that. If it’s taken days of preparation and hours in the courtroom, $333 isn’t really enough money to justify taking the case.

The Complexity of the Case is Too Much for Their Lawyers

Continue reading “Top Reasons Why Law Firms Refer Out Personal Injury Cases”

Auto Accident Checklist

Under California’s Fair Claims Settlement Regulations, you should hear from an insurance company within 15 days of filing a claim. The company must accept or deny the claim within 40 days after fathering the proof. If you’re waiting on a settlement payment, this can seem like an unbelievably long period of time.

In order to understand why it can take so long, it’s important to look at the things that go into a settlement. Here’s a step-by-step look at what happens after a car crash.

Immediate Steps to Take

Continue reading “How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?”

Doctor Cheeck Up after car accident

Every day in the U.S., approximately 6,438 drivers and passengers are injured in car crashes. Another 102 or so are killed in car crashes. Car accidents occur all the time, but when you’re in one, panic takes over and often keeps you from rationally thinking about what you need to do.

 

One thing that people overlook is the importance of a trip to the hospital after a car accident. Some worry about the cost. Remember that auto insurance pays for medical care after a car accident. Don’t let that keep you from seeking medical care. You may feel okay and think it’s a waste of time and money. It’s always best to go to a hospital, and here’s why.

 

There May Be Hidden Injuries

Continue reading “The Importance Of Going To The Hospital After A Car Accident”

Auto Accident Checklist

You’ve collided with another vehicle. No matter who is at fault, there are several steps you should take immediately after the crash. They are:

 

  1. Do not admit fault. Let an experienced accident investigator look at the conditions and impact and determine if you, the other driver, the conditions, or a mix of issues led to the crash.
  2. Take photos of your vehicle, other vehicles that were involved, the road conditions, and the area around you. If there is a busy intersection, take photos of the design, lights, and signage.
  3. Call police to have them complete an accident report.
  4. Ask to be seen by paramedics.
  5. Get the other driver’s insurance information.

Continue reading “When To Call An Attorney After A Car Accident”

Emergency Room after an Auto Accident

Every hour, there are around four fatal vehicle crashes in this nation. That’s just crashes involving fatalities. Of the almost 7.3 million crashes in 2016, only 34,439 of them were fatal. More than 2.1 million of these crashes caused injuries that range from mild to severe.

When the crash is not your fault, the stress, time away from work, medical expenses, and cost to replace your car add up. Crash prevention is key, but some crashes are hard to avoid. Whether it’s a single-vehicle crash or a multi-vehicle crash, people can sustain serious injuries. If you’re in a car accident and don’t feel any discomfort, you may wonder if you should really go to the hospital. Yes, you should!

While there are many reasons you should seek medical care, four main reasons stand out.

Four Reasons Why You Immediately Need to Go to the Hospital

Continue reading “Should I Always Go To The Hospital After A Car Accident?”

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