Personal Injury

California Products Liability Statute of Limitations Overview

Every day, product liability rules protect us as consumers. The function of these rules is to ensure that manufacturers of consumer products only sell goods that are safe to use or consume as intended. The intended use of all products is not the same, so different product liability laws apply to different products. For example, the product liability standard that applies to packaged food is not the same as the one that applies to televisions. Regardless of the product, however, California’s product liability statute of limitations governs the amount of time you have to file a legal claim after a product injures you. How Product Liability Rules Protect Consumers No matter the good, if a defect injures a consumer when they use that good as intended by the manufacturer, product liability rules typically hold the manufacturer liable for damages that the defective good causes. If you suffer damage due to a product defect, chances are you are considering legal action to recover damages. After all, why should you bear liability for damage you suffer that is not your fault?  When you plan on taking legal action to recover damages, you always want to keep the relevant statute of limitations in mind. Failing to account for a statute of limitations can doom a legal claim from the start. When considering legal action for product liability, then, you might consider the question, What is the products liability statute of limitations in California? Knowing the answer is crucial to the success of your legal claim. What Is a Statute of Limitations? A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time interested parties have, after a given event, to initiate legal proceedings related to the event. Once the statute of limitations expires in a product liability case, you can no longer file a legal claim. Statutes of limitations play an important role in our legal system. They help to ensure that the basis of all legal decisions is clear evidence. Evidence deteriorates over time and becomes less clear. Thus, the more time passes, the harder it is to assess the facts and evidence as they existed at the time of the event in question. A statute of limitations limits the amount of time that evidence has to deteriorate before someone initiates legal proceedings over a given event.  What Is California’s Product Liability Statute of Limitations? The length of the products liability statute of limitations in California depends on the type of damage a consumer suffers due to the product’s defect. If a consumer product injures someone in California, the statute of limitations set by California’s Code of Civil Procedure is two years from the date of the injury. If someone does not discover an injury right away, the statute of limitations is one year from the date that they discover the injury (but no less than two years from the date of the injury). A separate statute of limitations applies when a defective product causes property damage. In that case, the statute of limitations is three years from the date that the property damage occurs. If both property and personal injury damage occur in the same event, it is important to be aware that both statutes of limitations apply. If you suffer both types of damages and wait two-and-a-half years to initiate legal proceedings, courts will reject your personal injury claim. Are There Exceptions or Extensions to the Product Liability Statute of Limitations in California? California law does have certain extensions or exceptions to its statutes of limitations. With respect to product liability, the number of exceptions is very limited. The main exception to California’s product liability statute of limitations is known as the discovery rule. According to the discovery rule, which we noted earlier, a person who suffers a personal injury due to a defective product and is not aware of the damage right away has one year from the date that they discover the injury to initiate legal proceedings. This sort of thing may happen, for example, with respect to prescription drugs. The damage that defective or dangerous prescription drugs can cause typically does not manifest itself immediately. Sometimes it can take years to discover an injury caused by a prescription drug. Still, a person who suffers personal injury through no fault of their own should not be liable for that damage. With this in mind, the discovery rule exception to the personal injury statute of limitations is essential in upholding the spirit of product liability rules. Do Not Let the Product Liability Statute of Limitations in California Pass You Up The best thing you can do to ensure that California’s product liability statute of limitations does not jeopardize your legal claim is to retain the services of a product liability attorney as soon as possible after an accident.  Sometimes, in an attempt to avoid liability, parties will try to make negotiations take as long as possible. You may inform a manufacturer that their product injured you, and they may respond by asking for proof. Such a situation can turn into a back and forth between you and the manufacturer where every time you submit evidence, they string you along, asking for more or different proof. In another situation, they may accept your evidence but repeatedly give you lowball settlement offers. The idea behind this tactic is to take up as much of a statute of limitations as possible. They hope that it will be too late to initiate legal proceedings by the time you hire a lawyer.  If you immediately hire an attorney, however, you can avoid this. Knowing that you have an attorney on your side and can initiate legal proceedings whenever you need to, the opposing party will take your claim seriously and try to resolve it as soon as they can.  Do You Need to File a California Products Liability Claim? If you are considering filing a product liability claim in California, don’t let the statute of limitations jeopardize your case. Instead, hire an […]

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Personal Injury

California Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Overview

The California personal injury statute of limitations requires injury accident victims to file a civil lawsuit within two years of the date of their injury, in most cases. If you fail to take legal action within the prescribed period, you could lose your right to recover compensation for your damages. Although you might have some options for extending this deadline, you should take legal action as quickly as possible after a car accident or any other type of personal injury. In Los Angeles and throughout California, the experienced personal injury lawyers of the Saeedian Law Group work hard to protect the legal rights of injury accident victims. We help ensure that you don’t miss any critical deadlines, preserving your right to recover compensation for your medical treatment costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other damages you incurred. Our attorneys are compassionate and knowledgeable, and we put the full power of our firm’s resources to work for you. Contact us today to learn more about how the CA personal injury statute of limitations might affect your claim. What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in California? Every state, including California, legally limits the time during which injury accident victims can pursue legal action. As set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure, victims must file a lawsuit for personal injury not later than two years after the date of the accident in which the injuries occurred. For medical malpractice, you must file within three years or within one year of having discovered your injury. These limits, which might seem overly restrictive for many injury accident victims, actually serve several important purposes. Statutes of limitations compel injury accident victims to promptly bring their claim forward to be heard by the court. By discouraging delays, the court system can run more efficiently and best serve the interests of the people who want to have their cases heard. More importantly, these legal time limitations provide plaintiffs—in this case, the injury accident victims—with an increased chance of getting the justice and fair compensation they deserve. Over time, witness memories can fade. Evidence can be lost or destroyed. By bringing your case promptly, you have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Defendants also benefit from these laws. Statutes of limitation help ensure that any evidence against them is fresh and relevant. Further, defendants won’t have to worry about facing legal action for events that occurred years in the past. Are There Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in California? In some cases, you can pause the statute of limitations from running. This practice, known legally as “tolling” the statute, effectively extends your deadline to file a lawsuit in civil court. Some options for tolling the statute are as follows. Delayed Discovery In some cases, personal injury victims sustain injuries that they aren’t aware of. Under the statute of limitations for personal injury in California, you can file your lawsuit within one year of the date you discovered or should have been able to discover a previously unidentified injury. Lack of Majority If a victim has not yet reached the age of 18, known as their majority, the statute of limitations tolls until the victim reaches his or her majority. Lack of Legal Capacity If an accident victim lacks mental competence or capacity, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until or unless the victim becomes legally competent. Absent Defendant If the defendant is out of state or cannot be located, the clock won’t start running until such time (if any) that they return to California. Government Entities Another important exception involves defendants that are government entities. You must notify any government entity of your intent to pursue legal action within six months of the injury accident. Even if you are well within the statutory limitation period, you cannot file a lawsuit against a government entity without having provided this notice. After filing your notice, the governmental entity must respond to your claim within 45 days. If the entity does not respond, or if it denies your claim, you must file a lawsuit within six months. Although these exceptions do exist, it is important that you understand whether they apply to you and, if so, how they might affect your claim. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your legal right to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Compelling Reasons to Act Quickly After an Injury Accident Although you might believe that you have ample time to take legal action under the statute of limitation for personal injury in California, it is in your best interest to act as quickly as possible after an injury accident. Pursuing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. In most cases, your attorney will pursue a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company first. Negotiating a settlement gets a check in your hand more quickly than filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court. However, if the insurance company won’t settle, you might already be well into the timeframe established in the statute of limitations. Contacting an attorney immediately after a California car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or another type of personal injury helps your lawyer build the strongest possible case for you. Investigators will have the ability to interview witnesses while their memories are fresh and gather evidence before it deteriorates or is destroyed. Seeking Help from a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles In LA and throughout southern California, the personal injury attorneys of the Saeedian Law Group provide aggressive, compassionate legal representation to injury accident victims. Our experienced litigators have helped thousands of clients to date, recovering millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Don’t take chances with your future. Call 310-288-3000 now or contact us online to learn more about how your case might be affected by the statute of limitations for California personal injury.

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Personal Injury

Will a Car Accident Settlement Cover My Chiropractic Treatment?

Medical experts often recommend going to a chiropractor after a car accident. This is especially true if an injury accident victim has (or suspects) spine or neck injuries, nerve damage, or other injury to the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care is a proven, non-surgical treatment approach that can benefit injury victims of all types. Chiropractors help injury victims recover from serious injuries without invasive surgeries or potentially addictive pain medications. Unfortunately, injury accident victims often lack the financial resources to pay for these effective but potentially costly treatments. The good news is that in most cases, Los Angeles car accident settlements do cover the cost of chiropractic medicine and related therapeutic treatments.  Being the victim of a car accident can leave you with myriad questions and concerns. To get the information and answers you need to take the next step, talk to a Los Angeles car injury attorney at the Saeedian Law Group.  What Can a Chiropractor Do for a Car Accident Victim? More than 22 million Americans seek chiropractic care each year in the U.S. This treatment approach combines manual manipulation of the joints with a variety of physical therapies and other treatments. The goals of chiropractic care are to reduce pain, increase strength, and restore function and range of motion. The treatment plan recommended for you will depend on the type of injuries you suffered in the accident. When you go for your first appointment, your chiropractor will evaluate you thoroughly, typically taking x-rays and performing a comprehensive exam. The doctor will take down your medical history and ask you a variety of questions to determine what type of symptoms you may be suffering. Your chiropractor will then perform manual adjustments as necessary, which is often followed by one or more therapeutic treatments. Some of the most common therapies include ultrasound, stretching, spinal traction, and manual therapy of soft tissue. Most patients leave their appointment with a noticeable and lasting drop in discomfort. Over time (often just a few weeks), chiropractic treatment can help patients recover from painful car accident injuries. Should I Go to the Chiropractor After a Car Accident? After a serious motor vehicle collision, the most important consideration is your safety and the safety of others who were involved.  It’s a good idea to get checked out by EMTs at the scene of the accident. If no emergency medical technicians were there, go directly to the emergency room, urgent care, or another qualified medical treatment provider for evaluation, even if you don’t believe you were seriously injured. This helps ensure that you do not have any undetected internal damage or other injuries that require treatment from a medical doctor. Getting seen by a doctor immediately also provides critical medical records that your lawyer will need when building a case for you. Next, you need to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Waiting until you start experiencing neck or back pain could potentially worsen any soft tissue damage you sustained. Delaying treatment could also potentially weaken your legal claim. The insurance company could assert that since you didn’t seek chiropractic care immediately, you obviously weren’t hurt that badly.  Although chiropractic treatment is safe for most accident victims, it is always a good idea to clear any type of accident injury treatment with your primary treatment provider. This is especially important if you have preexisting spinal injuries such as a slipped or herniated disc, osteoporosis, or other issues with the musculoskeletal system. If you do not know any treatment providers or chiropractors, contact a car accident attorney from the Saeedian Law Group. We may be able to refer you to highly qualified treatment providers in your area who are willing to wait for payment until your case is settled. Can I Get a Car Accident Chiropractor Settlement? If your accident was caused by someone else, the at-fault party is liable for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. If your injuries require treatment from a chiropractor, you should be able to include those costs in your settlement demand to the insurance company. In addition to chiropractic care, you could be entitled to recover compensation for other medical treatment and care, lost income and benefits, emotional trauma, and other damages you sustained. Whether you will need to see a chiropractor after a car accident settlement will depend on how your recovery is progressing and what your chiropractic doctor recommends for your optimal health. If you will require ongoing treatment, your attorney may include the estimated cost of future treatment in your settlement amount. Do Personal Injury Settlements Pay for Chiropractic Care? The best way to determine whether you can recover compensation for a chiropractor car accident claim is to speak with a qualified attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands how to build the strongest possible case. Your attorney may have to prove that your injuries required chiropractic care. Look for a law firm that has a wealth of resources that it can put to work for you. Your lawyer may need to call on a medical expert to provide a statement or to testify regarding your need for comprehensive chiropractic care. Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles Today for Help In California, the personal injury attorneys of the Saeedian Law Group provide compassionate legal representation for victims of car accidents and other personal injuries. We have a wide variety of resources that we put to work for you, helping you get the best possible outcome for your case. If you would like to discuss the benefits of seeing a chiropractor after an accident, talk to one of our LA car accident lawyers today. We offer a free consultation, and we never charge any legal fees until we settle your claim. For your safety and convenience, we offer telephone and video consultations, as well as in-person consultations at your location or one of our five California offices. Contact us now to learn more about the possibility of a car accident chiropractor settlement.

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Personal Injury

Filing a Lost Time Claim After an Injury or Accident

If you’ve suffered an injury due to an accident, one of your biggest concerns likely relates to the lost time after your accident. When you suffer a loss of time working due to your injury, your earning capacity is greatly diminished. However, this inability to work does not eliminate your mounting medical expenses and other financial burdens. If you’ve sustained injuries due to a lost time incident, you may be able to recover compensation for the period you were unable to work.   What Is a Lost Time Accident?  A loss of time injury simply refers to the amount of time you could have worked but were unable to due to your injury. Also referred to as lost wages, this is the money you could have earned from your employer from the date of your injury to the date of settlement or judgment for your injuries. Additionally, you may have been able to work in a diminished capacity, such as shorter hours, and subsequently earned less than you would have without your loss of time injury.  To recover damages for a lost time claim, your injuries must be caused by your accident. Evidence of Lost Time After an Accident  Evidence proving your lost time after an accident requires careful record-keeping or your past earnings and earnings after suffering your lost time injury.  Pay Stubs and Tax Returns  If, before your accident, you enjoyed regular employment, the easiest way to prove lost wages is through evidence of pay stubs and tax returns.  As a general rule, it’s best to retain your pay stubs for at least one year and until you receive your W-2 from your employer. However, don’t worry if you failed to keep all of your pay stubs. In this situation, after filing your personal injury claim, your personal injury attorney may obtain copies of your past pay stubs through the discovery process.    Letter from Employer Additionally, you may request a letter from your employer outlining the amount of time you were unable to work after your accident. A letter from your employer would provide the following information:  Your job title;  The date you were hired;  Confirmation that you were working for the employer at the time of your accident; The number of hours you worked before the accident; Your rate of pay;  Your overtime pay rate; The loss of time, such as the number of days or hours of work missed due to your injury;  If you used sick or vacation time for missed work due to your injury; Any expectation of unearned overtime pay due to the injury; and  Any perks or benefits you missed due to your injury. This type of letter serves as strong evidence to support your claim for loss of time after an accident.  Other Lost Benefits Other lost benefits you may have missed earning due to your lost time injury include commissions, bonuses, and overtime pay. Although this type of income is generally very speculative and dependent on several factors, certain evidence may be presented to support this lost time after your accident. This type of evidence includes:  Pay stubs reflecting earnings of overtime pay or bonuses;  An employment contract from your employer;  Company policy or handbook for overtime pay, bonuses, and commission earnings;  A letter from your employer providing overtime pay, bonuses, or commissions you would have earned but for your lost time injury; and  Proof that you would have qualified for overtime pay, bonuses, or commissions if your lost time injury had not occurred.  Your personal injury attorney works with you to obtain this type of evidence in support of your lost time claim.  What if I’m Self-Employed? You may be concerned if you are one of the 2.2 million self-employed workers in California. How do you obtain a letter from your employer if you are your own employer? You may use similar documentation that an employer would provide. For example, the following evidence of lost time worked supports your accident claim:  Your tax returns from prior years; and  Billing statements before your injury. In some situations, your personal injury attorney may advise hiring a forensic accountant to analyze your financial records. A forensic accountant works with your lawyer to ensure all the necessary data is considered in your case enabling you to recover lost earnings after filing your lost time claim.  Contact Us Since 2009, The Saeedian Law Group has helped individuals seek financial recovery after an accident. We understand that each of our clients is unique and that your case requires our careful analysis. We know the financial burden you may be experiencing and work diligently to provide effective and reliable solutions to your legal matters. You may access your attorney throughout every stage of your lost time claim process and ensure you understand your legal rights through every point in your legal process. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn how we can help you! 

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Personal Injury

Who Pays For Medical Bills After a Personal Injury Settlement?

Once you receive a settlement for your personal injury case, it is not over. Your medical bills still have to be paid. It is important to understand where that money is coming from and who is actually responsible for those expenses. Personal Injury Settlement in California  A successful personal injury case is one where you receive adequate funds to cover all of your medical and property expenses related to the accident, including loss of wages and ongoing medical treatment.  Ideally, your settlement will also cover any non-economic damages. These are things like pain and suffering, depression, and mental anguish; all of which you would not have experienced if it was not for the action that caused the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve and avoid allowing you to settle for less than what you are entitled to.  At-Fault State California is an at-fault state which means that the party deemed responsible for your injuries is also responsible for your medical bills. If you are partially responsible for your injury, your settlement may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the negligent party may or may not be personally responsible.  Do You Have To Pay Your Medical Bills From a Personal Injury Settlement? Payment or reimbursement of payment for medical bills is a component of any settlement or personal injury lawsuit. This includes medical bills that you have already paid, have already been paid by your insurance company, and future medical treatment payments. A health insurance provider who has already paid for some of your medical costs may place a lien on your settlement in order to be reimbursed. This is important to note, so you understand that some of the compensation you receive may already be spoken for. Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Personal Injury Settlement? To get your medical bills paid after a personal injury settlement you may receive compensation from multiple resources including: The responsible party directly;  Government health insurance; Private health insurance;  Workers’ compensation; or Healthcare providers willing to work on a California “medical lien” basis. There are several factors that determine who pays for medical bills after a personal injury settlement. One of the biggest factors is whether or not the person has adequate insurance to cover your expenses.  Paying Medical Bills Before The Settlement One big concern for many people going through a personal injury lawsuit or waiting on the completion of settlement negotiations is paying medical bills before the settlement is finalized. This is where your own personal insurance is likely to be most helpful. Private health insurance often requires a copay prior to treatment, or you may be billed at a later date. If you are uninsured, you may be able to get government assistance such as medicare or medicaid. Some California health care providers may also work on a medical lien basis to cover expenses.  Once the parties reach a settlement or you win an award at trial, your health insurance provider is reimbursed for costs they have covered so far. This concept of reimbursement with court winnings is called subrogation.  Types of Medical Bills There are many types of medical bills you may incur depending on the type and severity of your injury. These may include: Doctor visit invoices; Hospital bills; Ambulance costs; Rehabilitation invoices; Long-term care expenses; Prosthetics, wheelchairs, and similar equipment expenses; Ongoing future medical costs; Mental health costs; and  Medications. It is important to take into consideration future medical costs associated with your injuries. Insurance companies will often try to downplay the extent of your injuries. So recovery may require statements from a medical professional who is familiar with what your body has endured. Proving Your Medical Costs  When negotiating your personal injury medical bills settlement, it is important to have proof of your actual costs. Make sure you keep thorough records of every injury-related expense. This includes invoices, receipts, records of travel, time off from work, and records of other associated costs.  Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney If you are concerned about paying medical bills after settlement, the best thing you can do to ease the process is consult an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at Saeedian Law Group understands how important it is to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We would love the opportunity to help you navigate the legal system and negotiate with insurance companies to manage your medical expenses. Contact us today for your free legal consultation. 

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