Personal Injury

Average Settlement for Truck Accidents in Los Angeles

Truck accidents have the potential to be much more devastating than other auto accidents. As a result, many victims in California have long-lasting injuries with severe complications. From this, it’s easy to understand why victims and their families want to know the average settlement for truck accidents in Los Angeles. Here’s everything you need to know about the factors that affect settlement values and how our California truck accident attorneys can help. What Is the Average Settlement for an 18-Wheeler Accident? Generally, any average payout for a semi-truck accident listed on the internet isn’t a true representation of many claims. This is because most settlements and verdicts for truck accidents are confidential. As a result, many websites try to calculate an average based on published amounts only. Unfortunately, this not only adds to the confusion but also implies that every case is the same. This simply isn’t true. In fact, since case values vary from a few thousand dollars to several millions, averages are incredibly misleading. If you see an average settlement posted on the internet, chances are it doesn’t represent your unique circumstances. Why Online Settlement Calculators Aren’t Accurate To get a better understanding of their claim, many victims use online calculators to estimate their settlement. However, even these resources are flawed, because most settlement calculators take only economic losses into account. This means that if you have any damages in the form of pain and suffering, a calculator won’t include them. For this reason, it’s essential to consult with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney at Saeedian Law Group. They will not only take your non-economic damages into account but also identify any future losses associated with your injury that may be included. Potential Damages in Los Angeles Truck Accident Settlements For truck accidents, there are two categories of damages that may apply to your case: compensatory and punitive. Under the compensatory category are economic and non-economic damages. These are losses directly related to your injuries. On the other hand, the punitive category includes punitive damages, which apply only in rare cases. Here’s a breakdown of each damage type and what they include. Economic Damages Special or economic damages consist of the actual, tangible losses related to your injury. In other words, these losses are easy to calculate using bills, receipts, or paychecks. Typical losses covered under economic damages include: Medical treatment costs, Property or vehicle damage, Lost wages during recovery, Loss of future earning capacity, and Accessibility expenses. So how might these losses apply to a truck accident case? Consider the following example. John gets hit by a negligent truck driver and sustains two broken arms, both of which require surgery. His new car is totaled and he has to miss work for three months to recover from his injuries. Over the course of recovery, John has $25,000 in medical costs, $40,000 in vehicle damage, and $10,000 in lost wages. This means John has a total of $75,000 in economic damages. Non-Economic Damages General or non-economic damages are much more difficult to calculate and vary widely between claims. The main reason for this is that they comprise the intangible losses resulting from an injury. Unlike other losses, they don’t have a “cost” or economic value associated with them. Some examples of non-economic damages in truck accident cases include: Pain and suffering, Permanent disability, Disfigurement, Reduced quality of life, Loss of companionship, and Loss of consortium (for a spouse). Let’s use the previous example to show what types of non-economic damages might be applicable. Due to his injury, John can no longer participate in his local hockey league, which was his favorite hobby. In addition, the doctor says he most likely won’t regain the full use of one of his arms. Because his injuries have significantly impacted John’s life, John’s lawyer multiplies his economic damages by three, estimating his non-economic damages at $225,000.  Keep in mind that every attorney has their own way of calculating non-economic losses. This example uses the multiplier method, which is a popular basis for many practices. However, some attorneys may use a version of the per diem method. This calculation involves a per day cost that the victim incurs during their recovery. Ultimately, the calculation used for non-economic damages depends on the situation, so we encourage you to discuss this with your lawyer. Punitive Damages While the average big rig accident settlement doesn’t include punitive damages, the court may award them in a few cases. Generally, the court awards punitive damages only in cases of wanton or intentionally negligent actions, such as habitual drunk driving or recklessness. Instead of reimbursing the victim for losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage them from their reckless behavior. In addition, if the court decides to award punitive damages, the jury often decides the amount. How Comparative Negligence Can Affect the Average Settlement for Truck Accidents in Los Angeles While total damage amounts give a basic overview of your losses, they don’t necessarily represent your potential settlement or judgment. If you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, this could affect the amount you will be able to recover in a settlement.  The state of California follows what’s known as a pure comparative negligence rule. This means that even if the victim is 99% at fault, they may pursue damages. However, the court reduces the total damages by the victim’s share of fault. For example, if you have $100,000 in total damages but the jury determines you are 20% at fault, you may receive only $80,000. Injured in a Truck Accident? Saeedian Law Group Is Here to Help If you or a loved one sustains an injury in a truck accident, don’t put all your trust in an average settlement published online. You need an attorney with the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for the full extent of your damages. At Saeedian Law Group, we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our personal injury clients. We are committed to […]

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Personal Injury

Average Settlement for a Rear-End Collision in California

According to the NHTSA, rear-end collisions are the most frequently occurring type of car accident. Of all drivers experiencing a crash in 2000, 36% were involved in rear-end crashes.  After someone unexpectedly rear-ends you, you may feel frightened and unsure how to pay your bills. Understand that you are not alone. A personal injury attorney will listen to your situation and expertly evaluate your claim.  Every accident is different, so looking for the average settlement for a rear-end collision in California isn’t practical. Rest assured, your personal injury attorney will take every step to secure the maximum financial recovery for you. At Saeedian Law Group, our attorneys are dedicated to the rights of injured Californians and will give you the individualized attention and care you deserve. What Is an Average Settlement for a Rear-End Car Accident? After a car accident, you should first report the accident to law enforcement. The law requires drivers to report accidents involving injuries to the city police or California Highway Patrol within 24 hours. You must also report the accident to the DMV within 10 days. Then you should seek medical care.  Injuries like whiplash are common in rear-end collisions and often do not appear until days or weeks after a crash. Your health insurance should help with emergency care until the at-fault party is identified. Next, California law requires the driver who failed to drive with reasonable care to pay for the damages they caused. The police, the insurance companies, or the courts decide each driver’s share of the responsibility. When you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, they will likely offer you an amount to settle out of court.  Every California auto insurance policy must include liability coverage of up to $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person, a total of $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident, and $5,000 for property damage. If your costs exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, you can sue them for additional costs. The insurance company’s settlement offer should compensate you for all the damages caused by the at-fault driver but will not often exceed the policy limits. What Should the Average Settlement for a Rear-End Collision Cover? Before accepting any insurance settlement, you should consider what damages you can recover if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The law allows you to receive compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you sustained in the accident. Economic damages typically include compensation for: Past and future medical expenses; Lost earnings (if you take time off work because of your injuries); Lost earning capacity (if you cannot work at the same capacity as before the accident); Loss of ability to provide household services; Damage to personal property (costs for vehicle repairs); Loss or destruction of personal property; and Loss of use of personal property (when your vehicle is being repaired). The compensation for damage to your vehicle can be either the amount necessary to repair the vehicle or the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), depending on the policy. You may also experience other losses that are not as easy to quantify, called non-economic damages. Non-economic damages should compensate you for any: Past and future physical pain,  Mental suffering,  Loss of enjoyment of life,  Disfigurement,  Physical impairment, Inconvenience,  Grief,  Anxiety,  Humiliation, and  Emotional distress.  If the settlement offer does not fairly compensate you for these damages, you should not accept it. Instead, you should contact an attorney with experience to negotiate with the insurance companies. You are entitled to a fair settlement.  What If I’m Partially at Fault for an Accident? Any driver that fails to drive with reasonable care can be at fault for an accident. California law follows pure comparative fault when it comes to responsibility. Pure comparative fault means that you can still recover damages caused by another driver even if you are partially at fault. Your percentage of fault will reduce the amount the other party must pay. For example, consider your damages from the accident are $100,000. If you are 10% at fault and the striking driver is 90% at fault, the striking driver will pay only $90,000 of the damages. Keep in mind that if your insurance company determines that you are 51% or more at fault, your premium may go up when you renew your policy.  How Long Do I Have to Consider a Settlement Offer? You can decide to take the first settlement offer you receive, but your damages are likely still accruing. If you have filed a lawsuit and the insurance company offers a settlement, the offer will expire within 30 days or on the day of trial. If you have not yet filed a lawsuit, California requires you to file a claim for personal injury within two years of the accident. Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot change your mind. The insurance company then has 30 days to pay you the agreed-upon amount. How Can the Saeedian Law Group Help After an Accident? The true value of your damages is likely more than the average settlement for a rear-end collision in California. Only an experienced attorney can advise you on the value of your claim. Nonetheless, you have the right to recover fully for the damages you sustain in an accident. At Saeedian Law Group, we refuse to sell any case short. We recognize that every client’s case is unique and deserves individual attention and care. Our record shows millions of dollars in verdicts & settlements recovered for our clients, including convincing insurance to pay policy limits. Call us for a free consultation today, and let us negotiate with the insurance company while you focus on healing.

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Personal Injury

California Medical Lien Law & Common Questions Asked

If you’re injured because of someone’s negligence, you may be wondering how you will pay your medical bills. Whether you were injured in a car accident or by a defective product, you should seek medical care right away. If another person or a company is responsible for your injuries, you may have the right to have the bill paid from your judgment or settlement. This method of deferred payment is known as a medical lien in California. There are two forms of medical liens in California: statutory liens and contractual liens. If you’re unsure whether you’ll need a medical lien, consider consulting an experienced personal injury attorney to explain your options. What Are Statutory Medical Liens in California? California medical lien law allows hospitals and Medicare to place a medical lien. With a medical lien, the provider or payer will recover the costs from the liable third party rather than insisting on payment upfront. California enacted medical lien laws so you can obtain emergency care after an accident without worrying about costs. For a hospital lien to be effective, the hospital must provide written notice of the charges to the liable party. Then, the hospital has one year from when you receive compensation to recover the cost of the medical care. If the state’s Medicare program pays, the hospital has the right to recoup the costs through a Medi-Cal lien in California. When Medi-Cal places a lien for the costs of your injuries, the California Department of Health Care Services may file a lawsuit against the liable party on your behalf. Whether you or Medi-Cal receives a judgment, the Medi-Cal program will receive a portion of your award to cover its costs. How Can I Negotiate a Contractual California Medical Lien? You may negotiate a contractual medical lien if you need medical care outside of a hospital or health facility. A contractual medical lien is a contract between you and your provider to pay their bill from your judgment or settlement amount. You and your provider can freely negotiate the terms. Standard terms to include in such a contract include: Priority of payment once you receive a settlement or judgment; How the doctor will be paid if you do not win your case or if your award does not cover the total amount; and How you will handle disputes. Doctors will often have standard terms. However, hiring a lawyer to help draft the medical lien can help you obtain favorable terms and avoid unwanted outcomes. To use a medical lien, you may need to shop for a doctor who will accept this form of “credit.” Your personal injury attorney can help with this process. What Is the California Medical Lien Statute of Limitations? California has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. You have two years from an injury to file a lawsuit against the liable party. The statute of limitations for medical liens varies slightly depending on the type of lien. As noted above, once you receive a judgment or settlement, a hospital has one year to enforce its lien. If Medi-Cal places a lien, it has three years to file a lawsuit against the liable third party. With a contractual medical lien, the provider has four years from the date you fail to pay under the contract. If your agreement specifies that the amount is placed in trust for the provider, there is no statute of limitations, and the provider can sue for recovery at any time. Is It a Good Idea to Hire a Doctor on a Lien Basis in California? A medical lien should be used as a last resort if you cannot pay your deductible or do not have insurance. Often, your insurance company has negotiated a lower rate than you would pay with a lien. If you do not have insurance, a hospital or Medi-Cal can automatically place a lien on your judgment. However, with contractual liens, you can negotiate the terms with your provider. Although you may need to search for a provider who will agree to a medical lien, it is one way to get the medical care you need while waiting for a judgment or settlement payment. If you sign the contractual agreement before the hospital or Medi-Cal places its lien, you must pay the contractual lien first. Nonetheless, you must remember to pay all medical liens from your settlement or judgment before taking any amount home. What if I Don’t Win My Case? Occasionally you won’t win a lawsuit, or your award won’t be enough to cover the amount of the lien. In that case, you will be responsible for paying the remaining amount. However, medical providers are often willing to work out a payment plan rather than suing patients for repayment. An experienced attorney can help negotiate favorable payment terms so that the doctor will get paid and you’ll have some compensation left over for your ongoing care. How Can Saeedian Law Group Help with My Medical Lien in California? Once you seek emergency care after an injury, your next call should be to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will listen to your situation and guide you on your options for paying your medical bills. If someone else injured you, you deserve for them to pay the bills you incurred from their negligence. An attorney can negotiate with the liable third party or their insurance company so they’ll cover your medical care. If they don’t negotiate, your attorney will know when to bring your case to a jury. Meanwhile, your attorney can help you negotiate contractual liens with individual providers. They’ll also ensure that the hospital and Medi-Cal place their liens equitably.  At Saeedian Law Group, our attorneys have successfully guided thousands of injured clients and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. We have the skill and experience to negotiate with medical providers and insurance companies to maximize the recovery you can receive. You shouldn’t worry about medical debt after an accident—let your […]

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Personal Injury

California Bodily Injury Statute of Limitations Overview

When you get hurt, the last thing on your mind is how long you have to file a lawsuit. But it is something you need to be aware of because you have only a limited amount of time to file a bodily injury claim in California. Like all states, California limits the amount of time you have to file different kinds of claims. The “statute of limitations” is the legal name for this filing window. If you fail to file your claim within this timeframe, you will likely be barred from filing the claim at all. The statute of limitations differs according to the type of claim being filed. It also depends on other factors such as the ages of the parties involved, whether they are in-state, in prison, or able to face a jury. We have created this short guide on the California statute of limitations for bodily injury claims to help you decide when the right time is to file your claim. How Much Time Do You Have? The statute of limitations for bodily injury in California is two years from the date of the injury. A person injured in a car wreck, for example, generally has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. But what if you don’t discover the injury soon after the accident? The Delayed Discovery Rule Let’s say you were in a car accident, but you felt fine afterward. You even got an x-ray, and everything seemed normal. But as time went on, you started to feel weak and lethargic. You suspected it might have something to do with the lingering effect of the accident. A trip to the hospital reveals a rupture that has slowly been causing you to lose blood. In this case, the delayed discovery rule might come into play.  The delayed discovery rule pauses (the legal term is “tolls”) the running of the statute of limitations until the injury is reasonably discovered. It is important to note, however, the rule applies only to certain delays. Specifically, the rule applies only if you did not know of the facts leading to the injury or about the injury itself. The key here is that the delay has to have been reasonable. So if you should have discovered the injury, but did not do so, you may not be able to argue that the statute of limitations should be tolled.  Another example. Let’s say you get injured on the job. Your ankle begins to swell, but you ignore it. As time goes on, your ankle swells more and more, but you don’t seek medical help. You finally seek medical attention when you can no longer walk. It is hard to argue that the statute of limitations should be tolled in situations like this when you should have known you were hurt. There are other reasons for the tolling of the statute of limitations. The statute is tolled until minor defendants turn 18. It may also toll if the defendant is out of state, in prison, or legally insane. Claims Against the Government Claims against government entities have their own statute of limitations. You usually need to file bodily injury claims against a California governmental agency or employee within six months. For example, if a police officer negligently discharged his firearm and hit you in the arm, you have only six months from the date of the injury to file your claim. Waiting too long will probably bar your claim. Wrongful Death Wrongful death claims also have a two-year statute of limitations. These claims are usually subject to the same tolling limitations as personal injury claims. The surviving relatives or the estate may bring a wrongful death claim. So if your spouse or relative were killed in an accident, you would have two years to file the claim. Like injury claims, wrongful death can be tolled under certain circumstances.  Medical Malpractice Medical malpractice claims are a bit different. The statute of limitations for these claims is one year. Like bodily injury claims, the delayed discovery rule may apply. But even then, waiting too long to get an examination can affect your claim. You can toll a medical malpractice claim for up to three years. Cases involving fraud, intentional concealment, or possibly the presence of a foreign body in the victim may have a longer tolling period. Claims on behalf of a minor under the age of six should be filed before the minor’s eighth birthday. Property Defects Known (or “patent”) defects to real property are those that should be reasonably discovered. If you would not have reasonably discovered the defect, it may be latent. You have two years to file a claim relating to a patent defect. Latent defects should be brought within 10 years. Are Statutes of Limitations Fair? The restrictions on when you can file a bodily injury claim in California may seem unfair. While this is understandable, there are reasons for a statute of limitations. These restrictions are typically put in place because waiting too long can make claims murkier and harder to prove. Still, the tight restrictions on medical and government claims can be frustrating. It’s a good idea to file your claim sooner rather than later to avoid running past the California bodily injury statute of limitations. Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney Today The California statute of limitations for bodily injury claims is shorter than people expect. Waiting too long can cost you dearly. Don’t assume that you have years to file your claim. In some cases, you only have months. You have gone through enough already, don’t let your claim pass you by. An experienced personal injury attorney can help. The Saeedian Law Group wants to help. Our staff understands the intricacies of personal injury claims. And we know how to get results. Our accident attorneys know how to work within the confines of the California bodily injury statute of limitations. Clients come first at our firm. That’s why our compassionate team […]

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Personal Injury

How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California

The accident is over, but the journey has just begun. Over the next few days, you hear a lot about “soft tissue” and “discs.” The stress and anxiety keep you up at night. You ask yourself tough questions like, Am I going to be okay? Can I afford another car? and How can I possibly pay for all this? The person who caused the accident and their insurance company may want you to handle all this by yourself. But the truth is, you don’t have to. If another’s negligence or misconduct caused your injury, you may have a claim. In this guide, we will go over some of the basics of how to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. Step 1: Document Everything It’s a good idea to start taking pictures of the accident scene as soon as it is safe to do so. If you’re not able to take pictures, you might be able to ask a witness to do so for you. Speaking of witnesses, try to collect their contact information and ask them for copies of any pictures they took. If the police come to the scene, they will make a report of the accident as well. Finally, take some time to jot down your memory of the accident, and be as detailed as possible. Step 2: See a Doctor Injuries are not always readily apparent. It can take days or even weeks for some injuries to manifest. It’s important to talk to a doctor after an accident. You might need an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to determine what injuries you have. If something feels off, make sure you mention it. Treatment varies depending on your injury but could include physical therapy, medication, or surgery. Step 3: Talk to a Lawyer Filing a California personal injury lawsuit can get complicated. Throw in doctor’s visits, anxiety, and replacing damaged property, and it can feel impossible to do anything else. An experienced personal injury attorney can take much of that burden off your shoulders. The situation that feels so foreign and overwhelming for you is often something a personal injury attorney deals with on a regular basis.  Step 4: Determine Standing Your lawyer will probably go over the case with you and help you determine if you have standing. Standing refers to the right to be able to file a lawsuit. If you were not a party to the accident or you waited too long then you might not have the standing to file the lawsuit. Step 5: Figure Out Who Is Responsible A personal injury claim is not always black and white. It can be difficult to determine who the responsible parties are. For example, if you are hit by a commercial vehicle, you would probably file suit against the driver. But what about their employer? They may also be responsible, especially if the driver has a poor safety record. The driver and the company should also have an insurance policy to cover damages from a wreck. These are all important factors in determining liability. It’s also important to be honest with your attorney about your own responsibility. If you think you may have contributed to the accident—by speeding for example—be sure to let your attorney know. Step 6: File an Insurance Claim You might need to file an insurance claim after an accident. The business or person responsible may have an insurance policy that covers accidents and injuries. Don’t assume the insurance company will pay right off the bat though. You and your lawyer may need to send a demand letter or file a lawsuit to get adequate payment for your damages. Step 7: Determine Where to File Your Lawsuit The venue is the place where you are filing a lawsuit. When you file a personal injury lawsuit in California it needs to be in the proper venue. Normally, this can be the place where the accident occurred, where the defendant lives, or where you live. Your attorney can help you determine which venue is proper. Step 8: Check the Statute of Limitations You will need to know how long you have to file a personal injury claim. You have only a limited amount of time to file your personal injury lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the time the accident occurs. However this date can be extended in limited circumstances. Step 9: Send a Demand Letter It may be possible to resolve your claims without filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer may send a demand letter to the insurance company and the responsible parties. Demand letters give a brief overview of the claims and how much is being asked for. There could be some back and forth before everyone agrees on a settlement amount.  Step 10: File a California Personal Injury Lawsuit If settlement talks break down, then it may be time to file your lawsuit. You will need to have an idea of what happened, what damages were done, who the responsible parties are, and when and where the suit will need to be filed. Fortunately, if you have followed the above steps and discussed them with an attorney, you will likely have what you need.  Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Today The Saeedian Law Group can help you file your personal injury lawsuit in California. Our team has worked with accident victims since 2009 and is committed to helping you get fair compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been in an accident, you’ve already suffered enough. Let us guide you through the personal injury process, so you can focus on getting better. Contact us today at (310) 288-3000.

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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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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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