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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?”

Bike Accident

When you’re in an accident on your bicycle, call the police. Of course, if you’re badly injured, you’ll have to rely on a witness to do this for you. If you feel fine, you still must call the police. You might find more damage to your bicycle than you first thought. You don’t want the driver to leave without having a way to get hold of that driver down the road.

That said, the very second thing that should be done is to be checked by paramedics. Remember that you’re going to be filled with adrenaline following an accident. You could have serious injuries and not realize it because the adrenaline is masking the pain.

Bicycle and vehicle collisions are not uncommon. In just Los Angeles County, 4,139 bicyclists were injured or killed in traffic collisions in 2016. That’s just one county. If you look at a few other counties and cities, Orange County had 1,156 injuries and deaths, Sacramento County had 665, and San Francisco had 597. If it happens to you, there are steps you should follow immediately after the accident.

Continue reading “What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?”

Motorcycle Accident

In 2015, approximately 8.6 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S. That same year, motorcycle riders suffered 88,000 reported injuries, and 5,029 fatalities were reported. When you’re on a motorcycle, there is very little protecting you from serious injury during a crash. Cars have a harder time seeing you. If there’s a crash, the clothing and helmet you wear are the only protection you have between the ground and other solid surfaces. Here are five shocking statistics about motorcycles and motorcycle accidents.

#5 – 35% of Riders Don’t Use a Helmet

Since 2000, protective helmet use has declined. In that year 7 out of 10 riders wore a motorcycle helmet. In 2016 and 2017, 65% of motorcycle drivers have worn a helmet. The year with the lowest usage was 2005 when only 48% wore one. This is shocking as the NHTSA and General Accounting Office report that riders wearing a helmet decrease the chances of dying in a crash by more than 70 percent.

Helmet usage is essential to your safety when riding a motorcycle. That helmet has to meet safety criteria and needs to be certified for safety. Many riders purchase novelty helmets thinking it will protect them from traumatic brain injury in a crash. That’s not the case.

If possible, look for helmets that have been certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation. While it’s not required of a helmet company, Snell Memorial Foundation tests look at:

  • How well a helmet performs when it hits different types of surfaces at varying speeds.
  • How much force is needed to damage the helmet’s outer shell?
  • If the helmet stays in place when it hits the ground or another surface.
  • If the helmet’s jaw piece stays in place when it’s impacted.
  • If the visor/face shield remains intact when an air pellet is fired at the visor from different distances.

Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) helmets must pass similar tests in order to gain the FMVSS218 certification. The difference is the levels at which pass/fail criteria are met. Snell requires helmets to withstand more force than the D.O.T. does. If your helmet doesn’t have certification from either of these agencies, your helmet is not safe enough.

After dropping your helmet or being in a crash, you need a new helmet. It’s recommended that you replace your motorcycle helmet at least every five years. This is to avoid normal wear and tear that can reduce a helmet’s ability to protect you. It’s also ideal as helmets continue to improve thanks to new safety features and technological advancements.

#4 – The Majority of Accidents Happen Between 3 and 9 p.m.

Just under 22% of fatal motorcycle accidents take place between 6 and 9 p.m. It’s dusk or dark at those hours, which can make motorcycles harder to see. Alcohol usage is also a reason for more crashes and fatalities at night.

For non-fatal motorcycle accidents, the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. are the riskiest with 23.1% of all accidents taking place. Busier roadways during rush hour and glare from the setting sun can impact driving in the late afternoon.

#3 – Most Crashes Occur in Intersections or on Curves

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation asked 100 motorcycle riders to record their mileage driven and accidents that occurred over a period of 2 months to 2 years. Of those 100 riders, 30 of the motorcycle accidents occurred on a curve. In multi-vehicle crashes, 37 of them involved being rear-ended.

Intersections and curves are the most common site for a motorcycle accident. A car coming around a curve that’s over the line is one issue. Motorcycles are better off avoiding being near the center of the lane when approaching and going around a curve.

Intersections are also problematic. Drivers may not notice you and start to make a turn in front of you. Make sure you’re visible to the car ahead of you by being in a visible location and not in a blind spot. Bright colors and reflective clothing will improve your visibility.

#2 – Older Riders Are More Likely to Be in a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

You might think of motorcycle accidents as being most common in younger riders. That’s not the case. Of the 4,976 fatalities in 2016, 36% of them were 50 or older. Riders 29 or younger were the second highest group and accounted for 29% of fatal accidents.

One belief is that older riders are more likely to have other health issues that increase the risk of complications following a motorcycle crash. Older riders are more likely to have high blood pressure, thinner bones related to aging, and less muscle mass.

#1 – Lower Extremities Are the Most Common Body Injury After a Motorcycle Crash

Whether a crash involving a motorcycle involves another vehicle or not, injuries to the lower extremities (legs, knees, feet, and ankles) are the most common area of injury. The upper extremities and neck take second and third place.

We hope you’re never in a motorcycle crash, but if you are, hire an experienced personal injury attorney. If the accident was the result of another driver’s error or poor road conditions that should have been repaired, KJT Law Group can help you get compensation for your motorcycle repairs or replacement and medical bills. Contact us for a free case evaluation today!

Pedestrian Accident

Did you know that most pedestrian accidents occur between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.? About 3 out of 4 accidents where a car hits a pedestrian take place in the dark. This is why it’s so important to wear bright, reflective clothing. If possible, wear flashing lights that can be seen from different angles.

Children only account for 21 percent of fatalities and 9 percent of pedestrian injuries. People in the age range of 20 to 24 have the highest rate of pedestrian injuries. Fatalities happen the most in pedestrians between the ages of 50 to 54.

These are all statistics, but it’s become personal. You or someone you care about has been hit by a car while crossing the street. You need advice on what to do next.

Continue reading “Hit By A Car Crossing The Street? Here’s What To Do Next”

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”

Wage Theft

In a proper employer/employee relationship, your employer should be expected to pay you your earned wages and overtime payments on time. Moreover, your employer should be expected to provide you with proper rest periods during your shift and allow you to report expenditures made out of your pocket on the business’ behalf.

 

But unfortunately, not every employer is willing to play by these rules. When an employer in California fails to abide by these worker protection standards, they commit what is known as “wage theft.” Through both small and large actions, wage theft can severely impact an employee’s ability to earn their rightful pay as well as work in an environment that respects their work-based contributions.

 

Wage theft is more common than you might think in California. In fact, you may have already been a victim of wage theft without ever noticing it. That kind of injustice need not stand. Under California law, you are protected from wage theft through special legislation. In addition, victims of wage theft in California have the right to bring legal action against their employer with the support of skilled workers’ rights litigators.

 

Whatever path you choose, it is important that you fully understand wage theft and the California laws associated with it. Read on to learn more about this pernicious practice and the effects it can have on a worker like you:

 

What is Wage Theft?

 

In essence, “wage theft” can be described as the willful denial of wages (or any form of earned payment) or employee benefits that are owed to an employee overtime. Wage theft can take on many forms, including the failure the pay overtime wages and the misclassification of employees. Forcing an employee to work “off the clock” also constitutes wage theft in one of its most pervasive forms.

Continue reading “Wage Theft in California and You”

Slip and Fall Accident

Just because you’ve fallen while visiting a local business does not automatically qualify you for compensation in a civil claims court. Since the process of hiring an attorney and establishing a case can be costly and time-consuming, you need to know how slip and fall injury claims work to build a successful case.

Use this guide to the types of slip and fall injuries to understand how the cause of your fall can change who is responsible for the damages. By being able to decide negligence in your slip and fall injury case, you and your attorney can take the best possible course of action to get you the compensation you deserve.

Maintenance issue

If your injury was caused by a lack of maintenance in a key area of the store or property you were visiting, the manager or property owner could be liable.

If a loose carpet, floorboard, tile, platform, or step caused you to slip and fall, your attorney can easily make the case that a lack of maintenance reveals negligence on the part of the property owner and should prove your case. This also applies to ruts and potholes on a property, provided the area was intended for customer use.

On that note, this idea of intention is important in all aspects of a slip and fall injury case since going somewhere that was not intended for customer use will void your claim. You cannot be compensated for slipping and falling in an employees-only area if it was clearly marked.

Wet floor injuries

Continue reading “A Guide to Slip and Fall Injuries”

Worker’s Compensation Claims During COVID-19

The current pandemic has left many employees in ambiguous situations. While some essential workers are still required to report to their physical place of work, others have taken up working at home to still meet their deadlines and bring in income. After all, many Californians have been ordered by recent laws to shelter in place to avoid spreading COVID-19.

At first glance, many businesses might think they will have to handle fewer workers’ compensation claims because fewer individuals are physically reporting to the office. Many employees might also believe they can no longer file claims for the same reason. In fact, the potential for a decrease in claims influenced the decision of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s Order of April 13, 2020. The Order requires insurers to refund certain business and individual premiums.

But will there be a decrease in claims, and what can you, as an individual do if you experience a work-related injury at home?

Read on to find out.

The Current Legal Standard

Throughout the majority of the state of California, an employee must suffer an injury or disease that causes disability or creates the need for medical treatment while at work or while completing tasks for work. The employee does not need to prove their employer was negligent. Injuries or diseases could be caused by single incidents or from long term exposure or repetitive traumatic injury. Usually, a non-occupational disease is not compensable – such as a cold or flu. It is also important to note injuries at work may not be compensable if the employee is intoxicated, self-inflicted the trauma, engaged in a physical altercation, sustained the injuries during a felony, or were participating in a voluntary off-duty activity like an office football match.

Continue reading “Worker’s Compensation Claims During COVID-19”

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