Wrongful Death

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

If your loved one passed away because someone acted negligently, California law entitles you to financial recovery. Wrongful death lawsuits provide compensation to a person’s dependent family members. They also deter others from engaging in the same conduct. They are civil suits, not criminal. You’ll need to prove that the defendant acted wrongly, caused the death, and left the surviving family members with losses.  We understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one. Still, the law provides a way to recover from financial and emotional losses that occur with the loss of a family member. If you prevail in a wrongful death suit, the defendant must pay financial damages to the family members. Jail time is not a possible outcome. When you’re ready to find financial recovery after an accident, consider the Saeedian Law Group. We offer personalized representation and one-on-one attention to our clients. Our attorneys will bring their litigation experience to your suit and commit to maximizing the compensation that you deserve. Who Can Be a Plaintiff in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? The family members who file a wrongful death lawsuit are known as the “plaintiffs.” A lawsuit is a method for the surviving family to collect compensation for the financial losses associated with the person’s death. Therefore, the surviving spouse (or registered domestic partner), children, and grandchildren may file a suit. The law also allows a suit by a minor child who lived with the deceased and was dependent on them for half or more of their support for at least 180 days before the accident. Other people who were dependent on the deceased person’s income, such as a parent or stepchild, may also file. In addition, if the law entitled the deceased person to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent person before they died, the personal representative handling the person’s estate may be able to take up those claims on that person’s behalf. These are known as survival actions. In survival actions, the law limits compensation to the damage that the person sustained before death, including penalties or punitive damages. You cannot recover damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement in survival cases in California. Depending on the circumstances, a family member may bring both wrongful death and survival claims in the same suit.  Can a Sibling Sue for Wrongful Death in California? The law does not always allow a sibling to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. If the person died without surviving children or grandchildren, the law identifies family members who can sue following the state’s “intestacy” laws, which set the order for inheritance if a person died without a will. Under California’s law for intestate succession, when there are no surviving children, the law designates the parents as next in line, then the siblings. The law allows the siblings of the deceased person to file a wrongful death lawsuit only when the person has no surviving children and the parents have already passed.  In addition, a sibling can be the personal representative who handles the deceased’s estate. In that case, a sibling may be able to file a survival action on the person’s behalf, but any damages recovered would go to the person’s estate. It would then be distributed based on the directions in the person’s will or according to state law if they have no will. What Are Wrongful Death Damages in California? Surviving family members can receive economic and non-economic damages for wrongful death in California. You’ll need to provide evidence that the defendant caused you damage, such as financial loss, by causing the death of your loved one. After you present your case, the jury will decide the damages the law entitles you to.  Economic Damages Economic damages are things you can assign a dollar value to, including:  The financial support that the person would have contributed to the family; The loss of gifts or benefits that the plaintiff would have expected to receive from the deceased person; Funeral and burial expenses; and The reasonable value of household services that the deceased person would have provided. The jury will estimate the person’s life expectancy to determine the amount of financial support the person would have provided to the plaintiff over their lifetime. The courts recommend that the jury estimate life expectancy using the life tables in Vital Statistics of the United States, published by the National Center for Health Statistics. These reports contain summary tables on mortality, including crude, age-specific, and age-adjusted death rates. The jury may also consider the average life expectancy of a person of that age, as well as that person’s health, habits, activities, lifestyle, and occupation. Non-Economic Damages Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not have a fixed standard. Instead, the jury will decide a reasonable benefit based on the evidence and their common sense. Typically, a jury award non-economic damages to cover the loss of: The person’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support;  The enjoyment of sexual relations (if the plaintiff is the spouse); and  The person’s training and guidance (if a child or grandchild). The jury is not allowed to consider the plaintiff’s grief, sorrow, or mental anguish; the deceased person’s pain and suffering; or the poverty or wealth of the plaintiff. Rather, the jury may consider factors such as the closeness of a family unit and the depth of their love and affection. The law also allows them to consider the character of the person as kind, attentive, and loving. California Wrongful Death Damages Cap California does not have a universal cap on damages in wrongful death lawsuits. The law requires the jury to decide a “just” recovery under the circumstances. California does limit non-economic damages to $250,000 in medical malpractice suits. Because juries have leeway to determine damages in most cases, your best chance for a full recovery is to have a confident attorney present and argue your case. Saeedian Law Group: We Are Here to Support You […]

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Personal Injury

Average Whiplash Settlement in California

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 272,464 whiplash injuries occur annually. The greatest risk for whiplash injuries occur during rear-end auto collisions. These injuries cost the U.S. approximately $2.7 billion annually. Because every injury is unique, there is no way to calculate the average whiplash settlement in California. Online calculators do not work and will likely undervalue your claim.  The only way to determine the value of your accident is to consider the specific circumstances of your injury. For example, older people and those with conditions such as arthritis are more at risk of severe whiplash. Also, drivers of older cars are more likely to experience whiplash than those in newer cars with more safety features. The law requires the person at fault in an accident to pay for the damages they cause, including medical costs and property damage. If it is clear which driver caused the accident, you can file a claim with their insurance company. The insurance adjuster will contact you and offer you a settlement amount to cover your damage. However, it is not always so simple. Often multiple drivers share fault, or the insurance company disagrees that the insured was 100% at fault. Even if they agree that their insured was at fault, they may offer you a lowball settlement. In these cases, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you negotiate a fair whiplash and car accident settlement amount. What Do I Need To Receive a Whiplash Injury Settlement in California? For a whiplash settlement in California, you need to show that the other driver caused the accident and the extent of your injuries. Whiplash injuries can occur even at speeds as low as 5 to 10 miles per hour. When another vehicle strikes your vehicle, your seat moves against your body, forcing your spine to straighten and your head to rise. As the seat forces your torso in one direction, your head will lag behind. Your neck will form an s-shape and then bend backward. Finally, your head will snap forward to meet the rest of your body. The neck moves like a whip’s lash, injuring bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other tissues of the neck.  Sometimes whiplash symptoms appear immediately, but they often occur days or weeks after the accident. The signs and symptoms of whiplash include: Pain that worsens with neck movement; Loss of range of motion in the neck; Headaches, often starting at the base of the skull; Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms; Arm tingling or numbness; Fatigue; and Dizziness. In many cases, whiplash pain will go away on its own after a few weeks. But you should not wait to seek medical care. Resting can cause the muscles in the neck to stiffen and prolong the pain. The costs of medical treatment are included in the average settlement for whiplash. What Are Typical Whiplash Lawsuit or Settlement Amounts? Whiplash compensation payouts typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. After the accident, you may need a physical examination, x-rays, CT scans, or an MRI. If you have ongoing pain, a doctor may prescribe pain medication or physical therapy. The average settlement for whiplash should reimburse you for these expenses. For property damage, the policy should cover either the amount to repair your vehicle or the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). ACV means the dollar amount that a prospective, uncoerced buyer and seller are willing to pay. California law requires all drivers to have minimum insurance coverage limits of 15/30/5. This means that an auto policy must cover up to $15,000 for one person’s injuries. If two or more people are injured, insurance must cover up to a total of $30,000. The policy must cover at least $5,000 in property damage. These are the minimum requirements, but drivers may purchase more coverage. Considering that the average cost of whiplash injuries was $9,994 in 2002, the $15,000 limit may not cover all your medical expenses.  If your claims exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, your best option is to file a lawsuit. Amounts from a lawsuit may be higher than what you receive in a settlement. Can I Receive a Whiplash Settlement in California If I Am at Fault for the Accident? You can still receive compensation from another driver if your own actions were a substantial factor in causing the accident. When recovering damages after a crash, California recognizes the legal doctrine of pure comparative fault. Pure comparative fault means that you can still receive compensation even if you were 99% at fault for an accident. Your responsibility is not a bar to recovery.  First, the police, the insurance companies, or the courts will determine your percentage of responsibility for the accident. Then, they will reduce the amount the other party owes you by your percentage of responsibility. If they find you are 51% at fault for the accident, the other party will pay 49% of your damages from the accident. It’s important to remember that while you can still recover damages, your insurance rate may go up if your insurance company determines you are 50% or more responsible for the crash. Saeedian Law Group: Compassionate and Experienced Attorneys Our attorneys understand that you may feel scared, confused, or helpless after an auto accident. You may experience ongoing pain, even as the medical bills pile up and you are not able to work. While it doesn’t take much to get the average whiplash settlement in California, our firm has the experience to negotiate with large insurance companies. Our record shows that we aren’t afraid to press insurance companies to pay up to policy limits. In one case, the insurance company offered our client $12,000. We secured the client a payout of $1 million. Contact Saeedian Law Group for a free consultation, and you’ll receive personalized attention from an award-winning lawyer. In every case, we commit to winning the maximum compensation you deserve […]

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Personal Injury

How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits in California?

Being involved in an auto accident on California roadways can be devastating.  Many people suffer property damage to their vehicle that must be repaired, costing a great deal of money. And in more severe cases, auto accident victims may suffer personal injuries that can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses, countless hours in recovery, and mental anguish in the aftermath. Fortunately, insurance policies often provide a potential avenue to recover financial compensation. However, the auto insurance process is by no means a perfect system. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for the amount of damages resulting from an auto accident to exceed the applicable policy limits.  So, what do you do if this happens to you? And exactly how often do auto accident settlements exceed policy limits in California?  Use our guide below to learn more about auto accident settlements in California. When you have questions about how to navigate your car accident claim, the California personal injury attorneys at Saeedian Law Group will be standing by and ready to help.  California Auto Insurance Requirements: An Overview As a general rule, all motorists on California roadways must carry liability insurance coverage. This liability coverage helps you pay for property damage and injuries to others in an auto accident wherein you are at fault.  The minimum coverage limits are as follows:  $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person;  $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident; and  $5,000 for property damage.  You may, of course, purchase higher coverage limits. And in fact, many people choose to do so. However, these are the minimum coverage limits currently required by California law.   What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits? You might be wondering what happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits. If so, you are not alone.  A policy “limit” is just that—a limit on coverage. Essentially, if someone is at fault for causing an auto accident, the insurer will be required to pay out only up to the coverage limit. This is unfortunately true even where the actual expenses incurred by the accident victim far exceed the insurance policy limits.  However, this doesn’t mean that you must settle for the amount of the policy limit and nothing more. If the policy limit doesn’t cover all of your expenses arising out of an auto accident, you may also be able to sue any at-fault individuals personally in court.   What Happens If Someone Sues You for More Than Your Insurance Covers?  If someone sues you for more than the amount of your insurance policy limit, it’s important to stay calm and seek legal counsel. There may be a number of legal defenses available to help reduce the amount you owe personally.  Additionally, the rule of comparative negligence applies to liability in California car injury claims. This means that each party is only liable for damages in proportion to their percentage of fault. For instance, suppose Joe injures Jack in a car crash that resulted in $100,000 of damages for Jack. However, Jack is found to be 40% at fault for the crash and for his own injuries. This would mean that Joe is liable for only $60,000—not the entire $100,000 in damages.   So, How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits?  In short, it depends. When negotiations are with an opposing party’s insurer, settlements do not exceed policy limits very often. This is because, in most cases, the insurance company simply will not have any legal obligation to pay out more than the coverage limits under the policy.     However, if you decide to pursue a legal claim against one or more parties who caused your injuries, chances are greater that a potential settlement could exceed any single defendant’s applicable policy limits. For instance, suppose Joe, Jack, and Jerry all contributed to your injuries, and each only has $30,000 in coverage. Further, suppose that your injuries total $90,000. If you make a successful claim against each defendant, you could feasibly recover 100% of your damages by adding all three insurance limits together. What Damages Can I Recover? In most cases, you can pursue a legal claim for damages to help compensate for:  Hospital bills,  Rehabilitation costs,  Prescription medications, Lost wages,  Loss in earning capacity, and  Pain and suffering.  Recovering in the aftermath of a California auto accident can be costly. And in many cases, your actual expenses may very well exceed the applicable insurance policy limits.  If you’re not sure what damages you may be entitled to recover, contact an attorney today. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess your potential damages and fight for your rights moving forward.   How a California Auto Accident Attorney Can Help Navigating an auto accident personal injury claim can be stressful and time-consuming. It can be difficult knowing where to begin if you are unfamiliar with the complexities of the law. Thus, in many situations, it can be extremely advantageous to hire legal counsel to help you pursue your claims.  A well-versed auto accident attorney can help you:  Gather evidence to help you support your case;  Assess your claims and determine your potential damages and liability;  Negotiate potential settlements with opposing parties and their insurers and legal counsel; and Pursue a lawsuit when settlement offers, or policy limits are insufficient to cover your applicable damages.  Being involved in an auto accident can turn your world upside down. When you’re not sure how to move forward, contact a personal injury attorney to help.  Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Saeedian Law Group Today At Saeedian Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing fearless advocacy and personalized solutions for each and every one of our clients. We recognize that no two cases are ever the same and that each case deserves individual attention and personalized care. When you hire our team, that’s precisely what you’ll get.  Saeedian Law Group has a strong record of success, recovering millions of […]

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Personal Injury

Calculating Pain and Suffering in California

Being involved in an accident is never easy. And when physical pain and emotional trauma result, the toll on you can be even more devastating.   While the pathway toward recovery may not always be easy, know that you may have a legal claim for relief. In many cases, personal injury accidents result in severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment. And in some cases, you may also be able to seek damages to compensate for the pain and suffering you have experienced.  Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be scary. But with the right team in your corner, you can fight for the compensation you need and deserve. If you were involved in an accident in California, contact the personal injury attorneys at Saeedian Law Group to see how we can help you recover.  What Damages Can I Recover? After an accident, there are a number of expenses you may incur as a result. But exactly what types of expenses will you be able to recover?  Generally, a personal injury accident victim can recover what are called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for the harm you suffered in the accident and help make you whole.  Compensatory damages are separated into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things such as: Medical bills, Costs of therapy, Lost wages, Loss in earning capacity, and Costs of prescription medication. Typically, economic damages present little difficulty to calculate, as they are usually readily ascertainable dollar values. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to calculate.  Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, anxiety, and emotional distress. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don’t necessarily have any specific monetary value associated with them.  So you might be wondering, How is pain and suffering calculated? In California, pain and suffering calculation typically occurs in one of two ways: the multiplier method or the per diem method. These two methods for calculating pain and suffering damages in California are described in more detail below.  Multiplier Method One of the most common methods for calculating pain and suffering damages is the multiplier method.The multiplier method takes the total value of a plaintiff’s economic damages and multiplies it by a number between one and five depending on the severity of the injuries and suffering. The result is the estimated amount of pain and suffering damages the plaintiff may be able to recover.  Per Diem Method Another way to estimate your potential pain and suffering damages in California is the per diem method.   The per diem method assigns a dollar amount to each day the plaintiff experienced pain and suffering. The court will then determine how long the victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of the injuries caused by the personal injury accident. The dollar value is then multiplied by the number of days, resulting in the total estimated amount of pain and suffering damages owed to the plaintiff. Of course, it’s important to remember that there is no reliable pain and suffering calculator for California personal injury claims that will determine the exact amount of damages you may be owed with any certainty. However, these types of methods can help you obtain a realistic estimate of what you might be able to recover. Proving Pain and Suffering in California It’s also important to remember that there is never a guarantee of pain and suffering damages in any given case. Thus, you must be able to prove that such damages are proper. Because there’s no automatic formula for pain and suffering, the value depends on the extent of pain and suffering you can demonstrate to the court.  There are a number of different ways you can prove you endured pain and suffering in the wake of the accident. Though psychological issues aren’t required to recover pain and suffering damages, providing proof of a mental health diagnosis following the accident could bolster your claim.  Other ways you may be able to prove your pain and suffering damages include: Medical records detailing the extent of your injuries; Relevant photographs of your injuries; Journal entries; Social media posts; Testimony of friends and family; and Expert testimony about the extent of your suffering. Recovering the pain and suffering damages you deserve can seem like a daunting task. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can alleviate your worries by helping you determine the value of your personal injury claim and gathering crucial evidence to help you support your case. Limitations on Pain and Suffering in California There are a few notable limitations on the ability to recover pain and suffering damages in California.  First, California prohibits pain and suffering damages in workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, California limits the amount of pain and suffering damages available in medical malpractice claims. For medical malpractice claims, all non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, have a $250,000 limit. California Civil Code section 3333.4 also prohibits certain car accident victims from recovering pain and suffering damages, including: Individuals convicted of DUI in connection with the accident; Those who owned a vehicle involved in the accident that was uninsured or underinsured; and Anyone driving a vehicle involved in the accident that was uninsured or underinsured. If the driver responsible for the accident receives a DUI conviction stemming from the accident, this prohibition doesn’t apply and you can recover non-economic damages. Looking for a Pain and Suffering Calculator in California? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today While there is no reliable pain and suffering calculator in California, there are ways that you can determine what you might be able to recover.  Not all online damages calculators will be accurate. Often, the best way to get a sense of the potential recoverable damages in your particular case is to consult with an experienced legal professional.  At Saeedian Law Group, we fight each day for the rights of injury victims in need. With over a decade of experience and a proven record of success, know that you can trust […]

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Wrongful Death

Average Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements in California

Losing a loved one is inconceivable. When due to the negligence of another, the loss can be even more devastating. Although no amount of money can ever bring back your family, it may assist in easing your financial burden. As you consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be wondering about the wrongful death lawsuit settlements average in California. Any experienced personal injury attorney will tell you there’s no average amount, as each case presents its own unique set of facts. Learn what your case may be worth by speaking to a qualified personal injury attorney.    What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?  When a person dies due to the negligence or wrongful act by another, this gives rise to a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit in California is a type of personal injury claim brought by a deceased victim’s family. Wrongful death lawsuits seek to compensate surviving family members for their losses.  Wrongful death claims are not brought in criminal court, but civil court. This type of lawsuit seeks to hold a defendant civilly liable for a loved one’s death. If the victim’s family can prove that the defendant’s negligent or wrongful actions caused their loved one’s death, the court orders the defendant to pay the victim’s family a certain amount of damages.   Wrongful death lawsuits may be based on any type of wrongful act, including negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. Wrongful death claims may result from any of the following and many more incidents: Slip and fall accidents,  Car accidents, Abuse or neglect, Defective products, Drowning,  A fatal workplace accident, or Medical malpractice.  A wrongful death action is different from a survival action, which seeks compensation for the losses suffered by the victim prior to their death, such as medical expenses and lost wages.  Who May File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?  Under California law, the following parties may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:  Surviving spouse or domestic partner, Surviving children,  Anyone entitled to inherit from the victim under California laws of intestate succession, Putative spouse, Children of a putative spouse, Stepchildren, and Parents of the victim. This is the order in which surviving family members may bring a wrongful death action in California. A putative spouse and those below them on the list must show that they were financially dependent on the victim to file a wrongful death claim. A putative spouse is a person who was unaware that their spouse was already married and believed they were in a valid marriage.  Factors Affecting Wrongful Death Settlements in California  A personal injury attorney will never provide you with a wrongful death lawsuits settlements average. In California, multiple factors affect the value of a case. However, after a review of the facts and circumstances regarding your case, a personal injury attorney may be able to provide you with a range of values. California does not provide a damages cap, which would otherwise limit how much you could recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. Factors that influence wrongful death settlements in California include the following: If the victim was young at the time of death,  If the victim had numerous children or financial dependents,  The age of the victim’s children or financial dependents,  Whether the surviving spouse was financially dependent on the victim, The value of gifts that the victim’s loved ones expected during the victim’s life,  Circumstances of the victim’s death, and Whether the victim was involved in the community. These factors may also negatively affect the value of wrongful death settlements in California. For example, consider a circumstance where someone files a wrongful death lawsuit for an elderly man with no surviving spouse and no children. This man was also determined to be partly at fault for the accident resulting in his death. It is likely that a scenario involving a young victim with a surviving spouse and multiple young children would likely recover a much higher amount in a wrongful death lawsuit.   What Damages Can I Recover?  In a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members may pursue both economic and non-economic damages. An attorney reviews the circumstances surrounding the case in negotiating settlements with the defendant. Even though an average wrongful death lawsuit may not exist in California, surviving family members may reach an agreement without going to trial.  Economic Damages Economic damages seek to compensate the victim’s family for the financial support they expected to receive had the victim not died. Factors affecting economic damage awards include: The decedent’s age, The decedent’s income and earning potential, The decedent’s life expectancy, and The decedent’s health prior to the injury. The court typically considers the circumstances of the decedent at the time of their passing. Economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may include the following type of damages:  Funeral and burial expenses,  The loss of financial support to family members, Loss of gifts expected from the decedent,  Value of lost benefits, such as pension and retirement, and The reasonable value of household services the decedent would have provided. Economic damages represent tangible and quantifiable losses. They may be calculated from statements, records, medical bills, past expenses, expected future expenses, and projections of future lost earnings. Non-Economic Damages  Non-economic damages represent intangible and subjective losses that are difficult to quantify. Non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include: Loss of companionship and support,  Loss of affection, Loss of sexual relations, Loss of moral support, and Loss of training and guidance. There is no standard to determine what non-economic damages are worth. Therefore, they may amount to a large part of a wrongful death award.  Contact Us If you lost a loved one due to another’s actions, the knowledgeable attorneys at the Saeedian Law Group can help. Since 2009, the Saeedian Law Group has helped injured individuals and their families seek compensation from responsible parties. Serving clients throughout the Los Angeles area, we understand that each client deserves a tailored approach to their case. We are here to help you pick […]

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Personal Injury

Tractor Trailer Crash Claims in California

Being injured in a crash with a tractor trailer can be a very traumatic experience. While most auto accident injuries may be minor, truck accidents often end in serious or life-threatening injuries. After the crash, you may be overwhelmed and not know where to turn. At the Saeedian Law Group, our California truck accident lawyers help victims pursue the compensation they need to recover from severe injuries. Federal Trucking Regulations The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets hours of service regulations (FMCSA) for all trucking companies. Failing to comply with these regulations often results in tractor trailer crashes due to driver fatigue. Currently, property-carrying drivers may drive no more than: 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty, 14 hours in a 24-hour period, and 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days (depending on how many days a week the carrier operates). In addition to these requirements, truckers must take a 30-minute break every eight hours of work.  How Long Does It Take to Settle Tractor Trailer Crash Claims in California? Tractor trailer accident settlements may take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to resolve. It mostly depends on the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate, but other factors may come into play as well. For example, since the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years, you may end up filing your lawsuit a year or so into your claim. Taking the lawsuit to trial may also take additional time. For this reason, it’s important to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company and take the case to trial if necessary.  Tractor Trailer Accident Compensation Categories Under California law, there are different types of damages available to those injured in a truck accident. The first category, known as compensatory damages, has two types of damages: economic and non-economic. The second category is punitive damages, which the court applies only in rare circumstances. In a tractor trailer crash lawsuit in California, there are several losses you may pursue. Each of those losses fit under either the economic or non-economic categories mentioned above. Some of them may or may not apply to your specific case, so be sure to consult with a personal injury attorney. Economic Damages Special or economic damages are any losses sustained by the victim that have a calculable value. This typically includes medical treatment bills, hospital bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. However, in cases involving permanent disability, they may even cover accessibility conversions for your home/vehicle, future medical costs, loss of future earning potential, and even child care. Non-Economic Damages Non-economic or general damages are the less tangible losses sustained by the victim of an accident. While economic damages deal with calculable losses, non-economic damages refer to losses that are mostly subjective. Some examples include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and emotional distress. Attorneys usually calculate these losses either by multiplying total economic damages by a whole number or assigning a per day cost for pain and suffering. Punitive Damages While rare, punitive damages do apply in specific situations. The jury may award punitive damages in cases where the defendant intentionally harmed the victim or acted with extreme recklessness. These damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, do not compensate for any specific loss.  Factors That Affect Settlement Amounts For tractor trailer crash claims in California, there are two major factors that affect the settlement amounts: the severity of your injuries and your share of liability. These factors vary widely between cases, so it’s important to understand how they help determine compensation. Injury Severity In personal injury cases, injury severity plays a significant role in the overall value of a claim. Typically, more severe injuries command a higher settlement than minor injuries. For example, you may be able to pursue higher compensation if you receive a permanent disability since it requires lifelong care. Ultimately, if the injury is serious, it increases future medical costs, thus resulting in a larger potential settlement. Share of Liability In California, courts follow a pure comparative negligence doctrine. This means that a plaintiff may pursue compensatory damages even if they are 99% at fault for an accident. However, the court also reduces the plaintiff’s damages by their percentage of fault. For example, if you have $1 million in damages, but the jury finds you 25% at fault, the court reduces your award to $750,000. Should I Talk to the Insurance Company? No. Unfortunately, the goal of the insurance company is to reduce your settlement as much as possible. In many cases, the adjuster uses unethical tactics to get the victim to accept a low settlement. They may even go as far as using a single statement to outright deny your claim. Another reason why it might be best to avoid talking to the insurance company is that they have large legal teams. These teams also have several resources to fight your claim, including private medical experts, investigators, and more. A skilled California truck accident attorney knows how to combat these strategies used by insurance companies. This is why it’s essential you retain legal representation if you decide to submit a claim. Injured in a Tractor Trailer Accident? Call Us Now If you get into an accident with a tractor trailer, don’t rely on the insurance company to get you the relief you need. At the Saeedian Law Group, we fiercely negotiate with the insurance company and prepare your case to go to trial if necessary. With an Avvo rating of 10 out of 10 and over a decade of trial experience, Attorney Michael Saeedian uses a client-focused approach to advocate for clients. To schedule a free consultation or learn more about tractor trailer crash claims in California, contact us online or call us at 310-288-3000. We serve clients throughout Southern California from our offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Newport Beach, Riverside, Beverly Hills, and […]

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Personal Injury

I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver in California: What Next?

Being involved in an accident is a scary and frustrating experience. It can be worse when the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. You might be wondering how to proceed and what your options are for financial compensation. Many of our prospective clients start off the first meeting by saying, I was hit by a drunk driver in California. What do I do now? Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident in California Understandably, most people want to know what the compensation is when they are hit by a drunk driver. Settlements vary, which makes it impossible to come up with a total average amount. Every accident is unique. Even two accidents with similar injuries and circumstances could resolve for different amounts. It would be best not to rely on potential averages or online settlement calculators to determine your case value. Instead, you need to meet with an experienced California car accident lawyer who can help. At Saeedian Law Group, our legal team has over a decade of experience helping injured victims recover compensation after being hit by a drunk driver. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Let us review your case and help you determine a possible settlement range. Civil vs. Criminal DUI Cases There’s typically a lot of confusion around drunk driving accidents and criminal charges. The drunk driver will likely face criminal charges, but that does not preclude you from filing a civil lawsuit. These are two different legal causes of action with entirely different court procedures and varying burdens of proof. There is no requirement that the criminal court convicts the defendant of a DUI in criminal court for you to bring a civil case. Someone facing criminal charges for a DUI could lose their license, serve time in jail, pay a fine, or even pay restitution back to you. However, none of this reimburses you for your pain and suffering or other significant losses. That is why you bring a civil case against the drunk driver. Proving Liability in an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver Before collecting any compensation for your injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, you need to prove negligence. Fortunately, California has something called negligence per see. This law essentially means someone can be deemed negligent if they violate a particular law, such as: Driving under the influence of alcohol (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)); Refusing to take a DUI chemical test (California Vehicle Code Section 23612(a)); or Driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds California’s legal limit. The legal limits for BAC in California can vary depending on the circumstances. The main limits are:  Adult driving a non-commercial vehicle, 0.08%; Driver under 21 DUI “per se,” 0.05%; Driver operating a commercial vehicle, 0.04%; and Rideshare drivers such as a taxi, Uber, or Lyft driver, 0.04%. If you sustained injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, you could be eligible to collect compensation for your damages. Under negligence per se, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant, who must show they did not violate the statute in question or that the violation (driving drunk) was not the cause of your injuries. California also has a “zero tolerance” law for underage drivers. Breaking this law is not technically a DUI, but it is a legal violation to be behind the wheel of a vehicle with 0.01% BAC. Testing positive for any amount of alcohol in an underage driver’s system is a violation. If a driver violates the zero-tolerance underage policy, it’s an automatic revocation or suspension of their driver’s license by the DMV. While adults typically face only one charge for a DUI violation, minors can be charged with more than one offense. For example, someone who was impaired and had a BAC of 0.06% could lose their license under the zero-tolerance law and face criminal charges under the 21 DUI “per se” law and driving under the influence. Potential Compensation in a Drunk Driving Accident Your potential compensation in a personal injury accident is based on damages. You can separate your damages into two main categories—special or economic damages and general or non-economic damages. Your special damages include tangible losses that have a dollar figure attached to them. These include: Medical expenses to date, Future medical expenses, Lost wages, Future loss of earnings, and Property damage. General damages are more difficult to calculate, and they can make up a significant portion of your potential case value. Physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish are examples of general damages. There is no definitive number for your pain and suffering, which is why general damages are subjective. For example, someone with minor injuries that resolved after several months of physical therapy will likely have a lower case value than someone in the hospital for a month who needed rehabilitation to learn how to walk again after the accident.   With drunk driving accidents, you could also be eligible to receive an award for punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for specific scenarios only, usually those accidents involving intentional acts or gross negligence. Driving under the influence falls under types of accidents eligible for punitive damages in most cases. Courts don’t award punitive damages to compensate you, but more to “punish” the wrongdoer and deter them from drinking and driving in the future.   Wrongful Death and Survival Actions In the event someone in your vehicle passes away from their injuries, surviving family members might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death law in California allows for surviving family members of the deceased’s estate to pursue damages when a person dies because of another party’s recklessness or negligence. Wrongful death damages include the surviving family members’ losses rather than those of the victim.   A California survival action typically accompanies a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased’s estate can file this on behalf of the victim for any losses they suffered before their death. If someone lived for two […]

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Personal Injury

Calculating California Car Accident Settlements

When another person’s negligence behind the wheel causes you injuries, it’s understandable you want to hold them accountable. You might be researching whether to hire a California car accident lawyer and how much your case is worth. If you find an online California car accident settlement calculator, you should not use that to reference what your claim is actually worth. Every personal injury case, including a car accident claim, is unique. If you have questions about your potential settlement value and whether you have a strong case, speak with a skilled California car accident lawyer at Saeedian Law Group. We have over a decade of experience representing injured victims like you and have a proven record of success in recovering compensation for our clients. Give us a call at (310) 288-3000 or send us an online message today for a free consultation. What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in California? We understand that you want to know how much to expect from a car accident settlement in California, but there is no average amount or range. No two people have the exact same circumstances in a car accident, which is why you should not rely on averages or settlement calculators. Instead, you want to maximize your own potential case value and discuss how much your case is potentially worth.   When you retain the Saeedian Law Group to represent you, we will sit down and discuss your case together. We want you to understand why we estimate your case to be worth a particular amount. Various factors impact the value of your claim, which is why we recommend scheduling a meeting with an experienced California auto attorney as soon as possible. Factors That Impact Your California Car Accident Claim Value Before you can begin calculating your potential car accident settlement, you need to look at what factors impact your claim. Some of the most significant ones include injury type and severity, liability, the total amount of damages, and available insurance coverage. Injury Type and Severity To start, we look at what injuries you sustained in the accident and how severe they are. The worse your injuries are, the higher your claim value will likely be. For example, consider a victim who sustained minor whiplash in a rear-end collision. This person sought treatment from a chiropractor for eight weeks and was back to their pre-accident condition. Compare that person with someone who sustained multiple fractures and a significant brain injury that left them in a coma for a week. The first claim likely has a much lower value than the second example. Liability Liability can significantly impact your case value, even when you have two people with similar injuries. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means that you can still collect a portion of your damages, even if you are primarily at fault for the collision. If your case goes to trial and a jury determines you are 20% at fault, you could collect 80% of your damages. If the jury feels you are 90% at fault, you will still receive 10%. That is why we point out that even two cases with similar injuries could resolve for vastly different amounts depending on the percentage of liability. These variables are why online settlement calculators don’t work. They cannot take these subjective and complex variables into effect. Total Amount of Damages The defendant’s insurance company will want a formal demand package consisting of your total calculated damages. We reach a demand amount by totaling your financial losses. Damages can be broken down into several broad categories, including special and general damages. Special damages are your tangible losses, such as lost earnings, medical expenses, property damage, etc. They are losses that can be calculated and have a fixed monetary value associated with them. Your general damages are more subjective in value. They include items such as your physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and more. Someone with more severe injuries will likely have a significantly higher total for general damages. In very limited cases, you might be eligible to receive a punitive damages award, which could alter your case value. California law reserves punitive damages for cases involving intentional acts and gross negligence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you per se but are intended to “punish” the defendant and deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Available Insurance Coverage Your settlement is possibly dependent on how much liability coverage is available in your case. If the other driver carries low liability limits, it might not be enough to cover your special damages, let alone your general damages. Your case could be worth more than $100,000, but if there’s only $15,000 in coverage, you aren’t likely to recover the total value unless you have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage under your own policy. How Do I Calculate My Car Accident Settlement? Hopefully, now you understand why we do not believe online California car accident settlement calculators work. However, you might still be wondering how to calculate a car accident settlement. If you retain an attorney, you won’t need to worry about calculating a value on your own. We will handle all the complicated legal aspects for you, including negotiating with the other side.  What’s important is taking the proper steps to maximize your claim value. Before retaining an attorney, your actions can impact your case and potentially reduce the overall value. For example, avoid giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without attorney representation. They are looking for you to say something that hurts your case, which will allow the insurance adjuster to conclude your case is worthless. We look at your special damages and injuries to reach a potential value for your general damages when calculating your case value. If you are eligible to receive a punitive damages award, we will include that in our auto accident settlement calculations. Contact a […]

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Personal Injury

Average Payout for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in California

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, chances are you’re researching possible settlement amounts for your claim. While it’s not possible to figure out the exact average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California, there are a few ways to estimate your claim. Here is everything you need to know about calculating settlements and how a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help. What Is the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car? Since every case has unique circumstances, there isn’t an accurate average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. One of the reasons it’s difficult to determine an average is because many case results are confidential. Even if you calculated an average based on every published settlement on the internet, the amount wouldn’t represent most scenarios. In addition, some state laws may limit certain damages in a settlement. If you want to know what the average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California is, your best bet is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Factors Affecting Pedestrian Accident Settlements in California When it comes to pedestrian accidents, there are several factors that may affect a claim’s settlement value. However, the aspects of your case that affect the final settlement the most are the severity of the injuries and liability.  Injuries Generally, cases involving serious injuries have a higher settlement value than those with minor injuries. This is because many severe injuries require either a long recovery or long-term care. For example, if your injury causes a permanent disability such as paraplegia, you may need future medical care for the injury. You may even need a lifelong care provider to assist you with basic tasks. This makes it possible to pursue compensation for not only future medical expenses but also pain and suffering.  However, there are instances where a comparatively minor injury may result in a high settlement amount. A good example of this is if a professional pianist loses 10% of the use of their fingers. While this would have some negative effect on anyone, it could have a devastating effect on the pianist’s career and enjoyment of life. This example shows the importance of context in a personal injury case and why an average doesn’t tell the full story. Liability Liability is another huge factor in determining the value of a pedestrian accident claim. California follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine, which means that plaintiffs may recover damages even if they are 99% at fault. However, the court reduces the plaintiff’s total damages by their share of fault. This is why it’s nearly impossible to determine the average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California. Pedestrian Hit by Car Compensation Types In California, there are three types of damages that may apply to a personal injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive. While economic damages are the basis of each claim, non-economic and punitive damages often make up a higher portion of the total.  Economic damages, also known as special damages, are the tangible losses suffered by the plaintiff due to their injuries. For the most part, economic damages include things like medical bills, property repair/replacement costs, and lost wages during recovery. However, they may also include future medical treatment expenses and any necessary accessibility conversions. Non-economic damages are the subjective, intangible losses experienced by the plaintiff. Unlike their economic counterparts, non-economic damages don’t have a standard monetary value. Typically, this includes things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of life’s enjoyment, disfigurement, disability, and hardship. In pedestrian accident cases, California doesn’t impose limits on the amount of non-economic damages. Punitive damages are much rarer, but they may be applicable depending on the circumstances. The court usually reserves these damages for cases where the defendant acted with wanton disregard for the safety of others. They may also apply in cases of intentional harm. Overall, the goal of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and discourage others from emulating their behavior.  Will I Need to File a Pedestrian Hit by a Car Lawsuit? While it’s not always necessary to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim, there are a few signs that it may be a good option. It may come as no surprise that many pedestrian accident claims end up in court. This is because these cases often involve serious injuries that the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for. As a result, they find any excuse they can to reduce or deny your settlement. They may do this by denying their policy holder’s liability outright or by using something you said against you. Generally, if your claim involves serious injuries, you should hire an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help build your case. Pedestrian Hit by a Car: Lawsuit Settlement Example Consider the following example of California’s pure comparative fault doctrine in action: Jonathan gets hit by a car that runs a stop sign while walking in the middle of the road. As a result, he has paraplegia and cannot walk anymore. Jonathan’s attorney determines his economic damages to be $300,000 and his non-economic damages to be $1.2 million. His total damages are around $1.5 million. In court, the jury determines Jonathan is 20% at fault for walking in the middle of the street, while the defendant is 80% at fault. This reduces Jonathan’s total damages by 20% to about $1.2 million. As you can see from this example, the liability of each party involved in the accident has a great impact on the value of the claim. The share of fault assigned to the plaintiff reduced their damages, but they still received a substantial settlement. However, if the plaintiff was 80% at fault, the court would have reduced their damages to only $300,000. This is one of the reasons why settlements vary so greatly in California for personal injury claims. Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today Pedestrian accidents cause some of the most devastating personal injuries. Between the intense physical […]

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Personal Injury

Average Settlement for a Herniated Disc Car Accident in California

If you suffered a herniated disc or another type of back injury in a California car accident that someone else caused, you deserve justice. You could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. It’s natural to wonder how much of a settlement to expect for a herniated disc injury. The best way to get an accurate answer is to speak to an experienced California car accident lawyer. At the Saeedian Law Group, our attorneys understand what you’re going through. We know you need a compassionate advocate on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve. We will do everything in our power to get the best possible outcome in your case. What Is a Herniated Disc Injury? The nature of motor vehicle collisions makes neck and back injuries unfortunately common, especially in the case of rear-end collisions. Spinal disc herniation, also known as a herniated disc injury, is one of the most common types of car accident-related back injuries. Discs are round, rubbery cushions that separate spinal vertebrae. Each disc is filled with a gelatinous substance contained within a rubbery exterior shell. Injuries can cause discs to become partially displaced from between vertebrae or cause them to become pinched by a misaligned vertebra. If the disc’s exterior shell ruptures and some of the jelly-like substance leaks out, the disc is considered to be herniated. Herniated Disc Symptoms and Treatment Some victims of these injuries do not experience any significant symptoms. However, when the disc comes close or directly into contact with a nerve, the pain can be debilitating. Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the immediate area and/or in the arms or legs, depending on the location of the herniation. For many herniated disc sufferers, the pain can be truly debilitating. Over time, nearby muscles can grow weak. This can lead to problems walking, lifting the arms, and grasping and carrying objects with the hands. Left untreated, victims can become effectively disabled or experience even more serious complications, including a loss of bladder or bowel control and paralysis. Treatment depends on the specific issues you’re experiencing. It could include physical therapy, pain medication, or invasive spine surgery. What Is the Average Settlement for Herniated Disc Car Accidents? Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to identify any average settlement for herniated disc injuries. Your injuries are as unique as you are, and for that reason, you deserve to know specifically what your claim might be worth. Beware of any online herniated disc injury settlement calculators. Without having every detail of your claim, no one can give you an accurate estimate of your claim’s potential value. Automated car accident settlement calculators simply cannot substitute for the expertise of a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney. How Is Your Herniated Disc Settlement Amount Calculated? To determine the value of your claim, an attorney considers multiple factors. First, your attorney will consider the value of the following items as they relate to your claim. Current and future medical treatment costs, Current and future lost wages and benefits, Pain and suffering, and Emotional trauma. Beyond these damages, your attorney will also consider how your injuries will affect your life in the future. For example, if you won’t be able to go back to your prior job duties, you could be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity. If you can no longer enjoy sports or other activities you previously participated in, you could pursue compensation for diminished quality of life. Another factor that can increase the value of your claim is the treatment your injuries will require. If you require surgery or painful spine injections, it can increase the value of your pain and suffering. To support your claim, your attorney will use medical records, opinions from subject matter experts, accident reconstructions, photographs of the accident scene, police reports, and any other evidence that might be necessary to build a persuasive case. How Can You Get the Maximum Herniated Disc Car Accident Compensation? To get the maximum possible compensation for your back injury, trust one of our experienced attorneys to handle your case. We have a variety of resources to help investigate and document your claim. We identify all of your damages and carefully document them to maximize your claim value. We provide highly personalized legal representation with a results-driven approach. Ours is a small, boutique law firm, allowing us to provide one-on-one interaction and highly proactive communication. In most cases, we can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. However, our experienced litigators never hesitate to file a lawsuit and fight for you in court. We do whatever it takes to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. We know that the insurance company doesn’t want to pay you the full value of your claim, but we are prepared to fight tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. We offer a free consultation, and you never owe any legal fees until we recover compensation in your case. Talk to a California Car Accident Lawyer Now Any type of car accident injury can be frightening and upsetting. However, back injuries can feel truly overwhelming. Between the physical pain and emotional trauma, you might have no idea where to turn. The good news is that the Saeedian Law Group is here to help. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome in your case. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards for our clients. We push to get the fastest possible resolution for your claim. However, we never compromise in our quest to get you every possible dollar. Call 310-288-3000 now or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and case analysis. We have five convenient office locations in southern California. However, we can come to your location or even conduct your consultation via phone or video conference. Contact us now to discuss your potential herniated disc in-neck car accident settlement.

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