In an increasingly busy modern world, the amount of challenges and obstacles we navigate on a daily basis continue to grow. With so much to do in so little time, accidents are bound to occur and the injuries that result from accidents can be incredibly taxing. A personal injury can drain your wallet, your emotional wellbeing, and your physical health.
Thankfully, there is legal recourse available to victims of negligence. A personal injury lawyer can investigate your accident and help you build a case to ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover.
Meaningful Results In A Wide Variety Of Personal Injury Cases
Megeredchian Law specializes in helping injured victims get back up on their feet. Our firm represents victims involved in a number of different types of personal injury accidents.
Over 400,000 car accidents occur in California each year. In Glendale alone, there have been over 14,000 car accidents in the last five years. Car accidents occur for a number of reasons. Common accident causes include distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding. The car accident attorneys at Megeredchian Law can help you settle with the insurance company, get your medical bills paid, and obtain long-term care.
The Golden State is a paradise for motorcycle riders. With miles of scenic routes and warm weather throughout the year, it’s no wonder California has the largest volume of motorcycle riders in the nation. There are over 800,000 registered motorcycles in the state.
Of course, the roads are not always a paradise for bikers. Many drivers do not share the road respectfully with motorcycle riders. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you recover if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver.
The beautiful thing about Glendale is that there’s never a bad time to go for a walk. The unceasing warm weather and sunshine provides a great incentive to get out and travel by foot. Nevertheless, pedestrian safety can easily be compromised by aggravated or disrespectful drivers.
When a 4,000 pound steel vehicle collides with an unprotected walker or jogger, the resulting injuries are almost always severe. Contact the pedestrian accident attorneys at Megeredchian Law to explore your legal options.
Slip & Fall Accidents
Whether they know it or not, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are free of dangerous hazards and defects. If you’ve slipped and fallen as a result of an unsafe property hazard, you may be entitled to compensation. Our slip and fall lawyers can help you defend your rights and earn compensation for your injuries.
Uber & Lyft Accidents
Believe it or not, Uber & Lyft accidents differ from other types of car accident cases. The source of recovery differs depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Thus, it’s important to obtain legal representation from an Uber or Lyft lawyer who understands rideshare liability and has experience successfully handling Uber or Lyft accident claims.
Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend, but not every dog encounter will be friendly. Victims of dog attacks may sustain serious injuries and often require extensive medical attention. A dog bite can transfer harmful diseases and bacteria, which can lead to life-altering injuries. A dog bite lawyer can help you recover from a traumatizing dog attack.
How Do I Prove Someone Was To Blame For My Injuries?
Earning compensation for injuries sustained in an accident revolves around successfully proving that another individual, company, or group of individuals were responsible for your injuries. Negligence can be proven by illustrating that the following elements are all true:
Every successful injury claim requires the existence of a legal duty. The person or business who is being blamed for the injury must have some type of duty that needed to be fulfilled. For instance, drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists on the road. Duty of care for drivers would include obeying traffic laws, avoiding driving after drinking, and refraining from texting while driving.
Breach of Duty
In addition to showing that there was a duty that needed to be filled, you must also show that the duty had been breached when the defendant failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care.
Cause in Fact
Once the breach of duty has been identified, the breach of duty must be proven to be the cause or a partial cause of the accident. Another component of cause is whether or not the defendant could have foreseen the outcome of his or her negligence. It’s possible that if the accident was out of scope, they will be held to a lesser degree of responsibility for the negligence.
Finally, it must be proved that damages in the form of physical pain or suffering were caused as a result of the accident. Damages are ultimately what a personal injury victim will be compensated for.
What Kind of Damages Might I Be Entitled To Receive?
Reimbursements for medical expenses are the most common damages requests in personal injury claims. Medical expenses include hospitalization, prescriptions, medical equipment, and surgery. You may be entitled to receive compensation for past medical expenses, as well as, all future medical expenses related to the accident injury as well.
If your property was damaged in the accident you can recover compensation for property damages. Property damage is typically measured by comparing the market value of the asset before and after the accident. In some cases, restitution for property damage may not fully equate to the amount lost. The plaintiff will often receive fair market value for an asset and the fair market value may be less than what the plaintiff owes on the property.
Your injuries can prevent you from being able to attend work. You may be entitled to compensation for the wages you lost as a result of missed work. You can generally also recover lost wages for any personal, sick, or vacation time you were forced to use while healing.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Your ability to work may be diminished or completely eradicated in a case where an injury is long-lasting or permanent. If you can no longer work or are limited in the amount of work you can do, your attorney can help you seek loss of earning capacity and future earnings. Compensation for loss of earning capacity will be largely dependent on a physician’s diagnosis of your condition.
When a loved one dies in an accident, there are provisions under the law that allow surviving family members to pursue compensation. Wrongful death damages could include restitution for medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages, and more.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium can be claimed when a loved one is injured or killed. Damages can be sought for a loss of love, comfort, affection, companionship, or sexual relations that the injured or deceased victim can no longer provide. Loss of consortium is typically reserved for death or severe and enduring injuries such as amputation, paralysis, or incontinence.
Some courts award punitive damages for certain types of injury claims. Unlike the other forms of damages, punitive damages aren’t awarded for a loss or expense incurred as a result of an accident. Rather, punitive damages are awarded as punishment for the wrongdoer to deter others from similar conduct.
How To File A Claim
All personal injury cases start with an accident. Whether a car crash, a motorcycle crash, a pedestrian accident, a dog attack, an Uber/Lyft accident, or a slip and fall incident, the timeline for cases remains consistent. Victims should start by seeking medical treatment immediately after an accident.
1) Seek Medical Treatment
No matter what kind of accident occurs, the most important thing to do is seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you should still seek a medical evaluation. Injury symptoms don’t always appear immediately after the accident. This is especially true of injuries sustained in a traumatic incident.
It is important to keep all documentation of the medical expenses, as they will be necessary for your claim. You’ll also want to document any visual injuries like cuts, bruise, and scrapes with photos. These photos can play a crucial role in pursuing your claim. Once you’ve received medical attention, you should call the police if you have not called them yet. Make sure to get a copy of the police report. Get the contact information for the other party as well as any witnesses.
2) Hire An Attorney
To many, natural intuition might be to wait for a diagnosis or an initial offer from the insurance company before contacting an attorney. However, calling an attorney should fall much earlier on the timeline, because an initial consultation is free.
An attorney will not take a case that does not require an attorney, so you have nothing to lose. At best, you’ll walk away with a settlement that much greater than you would have received on your own. At worst, you’ll receive some much-needed advice at no cost. There are many ways obtaining legal counsel can help you with your claim.
Ways a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help:
There are many little details you might think are insignificant. With a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side, however, it’ll be much harder to slip up on those little things. Receipts and bills that might seem trivial could help you get a bigger, better compensation.
Preparing your case
Having an ally to help prepare your case is vital when filing a personal injury claim. You want to make sure that you are as equipped as possible, and any kind of support, both professionally and emotionally, is helpful.
Negotiating with insurance companies
Insurance companies are sneaky. Large insurance companies are ruthless. Having a personal injury lawyer who knows the rules of the game as well as your potential compensation will prevent an insurance company from swindling you.
Assessing eligibility for compensation
An experienced personal injury lawyer has years of experience with all kinds of personal injury cases. This experience is invaluable in assessing the potential compensation that you can receive from your claim.
3) Conduct An Investigation
Once you’ve hired an attorney, he/she can begin to investigate the claim and review your case. There are a number of important details and documents your attorney will need for your claim.
Documentation required for your claim:
- Police reports
- Witness accounts
- Photographs of the accident
- Medical records and bills from injury treatment
During this process, it’s important you maintain an open and honest dialogue with your attorney. If you have large debts, previous injuries, or pre-existing medical conditions, your attorney will want to know beforehand to avoid any surprises later on. Lying or hiding any of these details could ultimately jeopardize your case.
4) File A Claim
Before a lawsuit is filed, an insurance claim will first be filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In certain instances, a personal injury case can be settled at this step in the process without ever having to reach a courthouse. A good attorney will utilize the threat of a lawsuit to their advantage in dealing with the insurance company. When you receive an initial offer from the insurance company, your attorney will advise you on the costs and benefits of accepting a settlement at this stage. If you are unhappy with your offer, your attorney can commence with a lawsuit.
The Value of Your Claim
The exact value of your compensation is not something that can be guaranteed, and any possible compensation varies case-to-case. Details and the extent of your injuries and damages can impact the outcome. For example, because of California’s share fault laws, your compensation will be reduced if you are found to share part of the liability.
Time Limits on Your Claim
In California, there is a time limit for how long you can file a claim after an injury. You are able to file a personal injury claim for up to two years after the injury takes place. If you are filing a claim any time after that, there is a high chance the courts will not hear your case. An exception to this is if you are filing a claim against a government entity. Then, you only have six months to file the claim.
California’s Shared Fault Laws
In certain accident cases there may be multiple parties responsible for an accident. If you share part of the responsibility you may admit partial liability or the defendant may claim it as part of his or her defense. In these cases, your compensation will be deducted by your share of the liability. For instance, if it is deemed that you are 35% responsible for the accident, then 35% will be deducted from your final settlement.
5) Begin A Lawsuit
If the insurance company refuses to pay the true value of what a case is worth, then it’s time to file a lawsuit. The initiation of a lawsuit commences the litigation phase in the timeline of a personal injury claim. From this point on your attorney will be dealing with defense counsel instead of an adjuster from the insurance company. The lawsuit will begin with discovery.
In the discovery process both parties will investigate what the other party’s legal claims and defenses are. Parties will be able to make requests for production and admission. A request for production gives parties the ability to request documents relating to the other party’s claims and defenses while a request for admission provides the ability to ask the opposing party for admission of certain facts pertaining to the incident.
Once the information from discovery has been collected, lawyers will generally try to reach a settlement amongst themselves outside of the courtroom. This process, also known as alternative dispute resolution, may lead to an agreement without the need for trial. If an agreement cannot be made, the case will go to trial.
Trial marks the last step in a personal injury case. All of the information gathered through discovery will be presented to a jury for them to decide on the settlement amount. Physical evidence, depositions, photos, witness testimonies, and interrogatories, will all be provided for the court. At the end of the trial a settlement will be reached.
Where Do I Begin With A Personal Injury Case?
Accident victims often make the mistake of talking with their insurance or the other party’s insurance adjuster as a first step. However, insurance companies will use unfair tactics to reduce or deny your claim and what you say to either party could harm your case.
It’s important that you begin pursuing a personal injury claim by first contacting a personal injury attorney for legal advice. A personal injury attorney knows the personal injury claims process inside and out and can help you navigate around any legal pitfalls to obtain a fair settlement.
Megeredchian Law has helped recover millions for injured accident victims throughout Glendale and California. Alex Megeredchian can investigate your accident, arrange medical treatment, explain your legal rights, determine liability, and pursue a personal injury claim. Contact Megeredchian Law today to schedule a free initial consultation. Fill out a form, or call (888)243-2050.