Hartunian Law Firm
PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM
Frequently Asked Questions
What does “no recovery, no fee” mean?You see this phrase on many personal injury lawyers’ sites. No recovery, no fee is a universal way of saying that if we do not obtain compensation for you by way of a settlement or verdict, you do not owe your attorney a fee. We also call this a contingency fee, in which the lawyer’s fee is contingent on the outcome of your case. The contingent fee allows you to hire a lawyer without being required to pay anything up front.
What is comparative negligence?In general, “negligence” is when someone else, be it a person or company, commits some form of wrongdoing by acting in a careless or reckless manner concerning your safety and well-being. A prime example is texting while driving, running a red light as a result, and injuring a pedestrian in the crosswalk. “Comparative negligence” takes into account each party’s blame for the accident. If you were five percent at fault, for example, your compensation is reduced by five percent. Comparative negligence is the law in California.
What is the statute of limitations on personal injury cases in California?statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file a personal injury complaint in court. Statutes of limitations for different types of cases differ from state to state and depend on the area of law, for example, medical malpractice cases have a one year statute of limitations both in California and Nevada whereas most personal injury cases are two years but there are exceptions. If you were injured, it is important to call me as soon as possible to make sure the limitation period does not expire.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?AIt depends on the severity of the injuries and the complexity of the case. Some cases can settle within a few months others can take several years. Generally speaking the bigger the case the longer it takes to resolve but this depends upon whether fault is disputed, whether the injuries are disputed or where everything is clear cut and undisputed. Some large cases can settle quickly if there is no reasonable dispute as to who is at fault and what injuries are suffered by the plaintiff.
What to do after an accident?Do not admit fault for the accident regardless if you think you may be partially at fault and do not make any statements to any insurance adjusters or representatives.
Seek medical attention immediately. Although you think you may feel fine or that your injuries are not serious, some symptoms, particularly head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can initially involve dizziness and no loss of consciousness. If you have a head injury with the concussion diagnosis you should have, at a minimum, a CT scan at an emergency room. They may do an MRI later to determine the full extent of the trauma. Soft tissue injuries may appear several days following the crash. If you wait too long to seek medical attention the insurance company will argue that any delay is evidence that you really were not injured. My experience is that insurance companies glob onto any fact they can to argue that the injury is not serious or that they’re not responsible.
Take photographs. Most people have a smart phone so this is easy. Even though years ago, it was unusual to see parties photograph their vehicles at the scene. First, take photographs before the vehicles get moved. Also, it is important that you take photographs of your injuries. Some injuries may heal quickly, the sooner you take a photograph, the easier it is to prove the injury.
Take detailed notes regarding both your injuries and the crash. Try to obtain as much information as you can about witnesses including their telephone numbers and addresses. There may be individuals in the car that hit you so it is important that you get their names and addresses too. Obviously if they don’t want to release that information then you cannot force them to, but at least make the effort.Inspect the crash scene for any potential dangerous conditions such as an intersection with poor visibility due to inadequate lighting, malfunctioning traffic lights or stop signs that may not be clearly visible. There may have been a history of prior accidents at the location of the accident, if so, it is potentially a case involving a dangerous condition of public property which may be the primary reason for the accident. There are statewide databases that have a wealth of information about the history of accidents at particular intersections, including SWTTRS.
Speak to a lawyer as soon as you can, because having experienced and knowledgeable representation is vital in protecting your rights. This may seem obvious but obtain the insurance policy information, the name and driver’s license number and license plates of other vehicles involved including their make and model and approximate year.
We represent injured persons in various accidents including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, buses and passengers in limousines, taxicabs, Ubers and Lyfts. Even if you do not have insurance or a driver’s license and think that you may be not entitled to make a damage claim, you still have rights. The right to a claim is available to those who are either not at fault or are partially at fault if you are injured. Call me today and I can explain these rights to you.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Awarded in a Personal Injury Case?Compensation for past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages. In addition to these amounts you can also recover damages for pain and suffering, inconvenience, stress, loss of consortium, and in some cases punitive damages. Pain and suffering are considered general damages which also include recovery for the mental anguish, physical pain and emotional distress.
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Los Angeles: (310) 552-0007
Palm Springs: (760) 327-5555