Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney

Your personal safety, health, and well-being are your responsibility. Many people go to great lengths to make sure that they always remain safe and try to protect themselves from any risks that may arise. Unfortunately, we cannot always control our own health and safety. No matter how much we try to protect ourselves, other people’s actions can put our safety, security, and well-being in jeopardy.

If you get hurt by someone else, it is natural to feel frustrated and upset. It may feel as if you are paying the price for the other person’s poor decisions, while they do not have to face any consequences for what they have done. Fortunately, you can hold them accountable for the suffering that you have experienced through a personal injury claim in Los Angeles, CA.

Personal injury cases are common in the legal world and can be extremely beneficial for those who have been hurt. These claims allow victims to properly heal both physically and mentally from their injuries. With the help of a qualified Los Angeles personal injury attorney, you can move on from your accident and receive the compensation that you deserve.

The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt: Your Los Angeles Personal Injury Law Firm

For over 24 years, our team at The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt has been serving injured victims in Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding areas. We understand the pain and frustration that occur after an accident, especially if the accident was not the victim’s fault. Therefore, we work diligently to earn our clients the settlements that they deserve following a personal injury. Our firm can build a strong, reliable argument in your favor.

No other Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will fight harder for you than our team will. We are relentless in the courtroom, and we are not afraid to use every asset at our disposal to build your claim. We have no patience for those who harm others through negligence or ignorance, so we do not rest until we have done everything that we can to ensure that justice is served.

Although we are often intimidating in the courtroom, we are sensitive to your vulnerable position. We know that asking for legal help can be intimidating and can make you feel exposed. We do everything that we can to put you at ease and to show that you can trust us with your story. When we work with clients, we create an environment of kindness, understanding, patience, and empathy.

No other area firm can support you as well as we can at The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt. We are the best choice for your Los Angeles personal injury case.

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury is a wide area of the legal system, and therefore all cases look different. Essentially, personal injury claims are cases in which one person’s negligence caused another person’s injury. There are many different examples of this.

Although some accidents are no one’s fault, others are caused because someone neglected their responsibilities. For example, if the driver of a car begins to text while driving, they are breaking the law and therefore neglecting their responsibilities as a driver. This blatant disregard of their driving obligations means that they are being negligent and are liable for any damage that occurs as a result. No one should be able to break the law or neglect their responsibilities at the price of someone else’s health and safety.

Another person’s negligence is the key factor in personal injury claims, and your attorney will need to prove that negligence has occurred to win your case. If an injury occurs because you were doing something wrong, an act of nature occurred, or because of a mutual mistake, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a personal injury claim.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

As noted, there are many different types of personal injury claims. Any situation in which someone neglects their responsibility and harms someone else in the process may be eligible for personal injury compensation. However, there are some common examples of personal injury claims that we have experienced during our time in this area. By understanding these categories, you may be able to better identify a personal injury case if one should happen to you.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are perhaps the most common form of personal injury claim, because most people drive or ride in a car every day. This means that there are more opportunities for negligence to cause a car accident than any other type of personal injury case.

Car accidents can result in personal injury claims if the individual who caused the accident was neglecting their obligations as a driver when they triggered the accident. Common examples of negligence while driving a vehicle include:

  • Texting, talking on, or otherwise using one’s phone.
  • Eating or drinking.
  • Turning to engage with passengers, children, or to look at something in the car.
  • Focusing on landmarks, people, signs, or other things on the side of the road.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
  • Indulging in road rage or other dangerous driving behaviors.
  • Speeding, illegally maneuvering, or stopping suddenly without cause.
  • Ignoring signs, signals, or road rules.

Any time a driver does not follow all road and driving laws, they are being negligent. When that negligence causes an accident, the driver can be held responsible for the damage that has been caused.

Motorcycle Accidents

Although they can be very fun, motorcycles are dangerous machines. Thousands of motorcycle accidents happen every year, and many of them are lethal. Those who ride motorcycles should be extremely careful when riding their bikes. Negligent motorcyclists can cause accidents by:

  • Zipping around cars or in and out of lanes.
  • Speeding.
  • Failing to pay attention to the road.
  • Neglecting road rules and signals.

However, motorcyclists are not the main cause of these collisions. Car and truck drivers often cause motorcycle accidents, putting riders in a vulnerable position. A car or truck driver may cause a motorcycle accident by:

  • Failing to properly check their blind spot before changing lanes or making a turn.
  • Speeding or dangerously maneuvering around motorcycles.
  • Crowding motorcycles or not giving them enough space.

These practices are dangerous and neglect the driver’s responsibility. Therefore, the motorcyclist has the right to make a personal injury claim against the driver for failing to share the road. Similarly, if a motorcyclist causes an accident, the car or truck driver can file a personal injury claim if necessary. However, in motorcycle collisions, the motorcyclist is usually the individual who suffers the most damage, while vehicle drivers and passengers are often unscathed. For this reason, it is uncommon for car drivers to file personal injury claims against motorcyclists.

Truck Accidents

Semi-truck drivers provide a vital service to our communities. Without these drivers, we would be unable to get the food and supplies that we need to survive. Applicants for semi-truck driving jobs must go through rigorous training and screening before they are allowed to drive such a large vehicle. Because these people are so highly trained, many people believe that they are incapable of causing accidents. This is far from the truth.

Although they have significant training, trucks can cause accidents by:

  • Failing to check mirrors and surroundings before changing lanes or turning.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Failing to pay attention while driving.
  • Driving for long hours without stopping to rest.
  • Driving at high speeds or in areas where trucks are prohibited.

If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck, you have likely suffered serious damages. The size of these vehicles can make the aftermath particularly gruesome. Do not let the driver’s training and experience convince you that you do not have a claim. Even the most trained drivers can cause serious accidents.

However, car drivers can easily cause truck accidents as well. Car drivers often cause truck accidents by:

  • Speeding to get around semi-trucks.
  • Cutting too closely in front of a semi-truck.
  • Driving in a semi’s blind spot for extended periods of time.

If a car driver causes a truck accident, they can be held liable for their negligence through a personal injury claim.

Bicycle Accidents

According to California law, cars and trucks must share the road with bicyclists. Bicycle lanes, signals, and other infrastructure help to keep bicyclists safe. However, many drivers fail to look for bicycles and cause serious accidents. If a car driver fails to properly search for bicyclists and causes an accident, they can and should be held accountable for their negligence on the road. Some ways that drivers can cause bicycle accidents include:

  • Crossing or driving in bike lanes.
  • Changing lanes without checking for bikes.
  • Failing to stop or yield to bikes when appropriate.
  • Speeding in areas with many bicyclists, such as those near parks and trails.

Although bicyclists can also cause accidents by failing to wear reflective gear, ignoring road rules, or neglecting signals, bicycle accidents are often the fault of the driver rather than the bicyclist. If a driver breaks the law and causes an accident, the bicyclist can file a personal injury claim.

Pedestrian Accidents

Many people choose to walk instead of riding a bike or using a car. Although this should be a safe option, drivers often forget to account for pedestrians and can easily hit them. If a driver hits a pedestrian because they failed to stop at a crosswalk, did not check for pedestrians before turning, or drove onto the sidewalk or pedestrian walkway, they can be held liable for their actions through a personal injury claim.

Pedestrians must watch for cars and follow laws, but in most cases, drivers are the cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers are supposed to look for pedestrians and yield the right of way on most occasions. If you have been hit by a car, a personal injury claim is likely a reasonable response.

Dog Bite Injuries

Many dogs are friendly, wonderful pets. In fact, most families consider their dog to be a regular member of their family. However, no matter how friendly a dog may be, the owners have the responsibility to control their pet in certain ways. If they fail to do so and their dog bites someone, they must be held accountable for neglecting their responsibility as a pet owner.

Dog owners must keep their dogs on leashes in public places, unless otherwise noted. This law helps to ensure that owners have control over their pets when strangers or other animals are nearby. As these things can cause stress or anxiety for a dog, it is important that owners control their pet with a proper leash and harness. If they let their dog off the leash or allow them to run free in a stressful situation, the owner can be liable for the damage if the dog bites someone. In fact, almost all dog bites result in the owner’s liability in a personal injury claim. The only time it is appropriate for a dog to bite someone is if:

  • The individual is provoking them.
  • The individual is trespassing in the dog’s domain.

In all other scenarios, the law expects owners to control their pets. When they do not, they must be held liable through a personal injury claim.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a large facet of the personal injury system and sits in a different category than car accidents or dog bites. Premises liability encompasses situations in which the owner or manager of a building or business does not properly maintain a public facility. The business owner is responsible for any injuries that occur due to their failure to keep the facility up to code.

Some basic building codes that managers must maintain include:

  • Keeping floors clean, dry, and clear of obstruction or clutter.
  • Ensuring that railings, handrails, stairs, elevators, and other building basics are secure and up to date.
  • Lighting dark pathways and illuminating common areas.
  • Clearly marking dangerous or off-limits areas.
  • Securing any hanging signs, decorations, or infrastructure that could fall and hurt someone.

There are many other building codes that managers must maintain to adhere to the law. If you are injured in a public place such as a restaurant, theater, store, or government office because of something in the building, consider talking to an attorney about a premises liability claim.

Wrongful Death

Sadly, personal injury claims do not always end in injuries. In some cases, the victim dies from the accident, leaving their family in a state of sudden grief and financial vulnerability. Few families can afford to lose a member suddenly, especially if that individual was a major breadwinner in the home.

Although no amount of money can undo the pain that occurs, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent individual or business. To win, the family’s attorney must show that someone caused their loved one’s death through negligence.

If the family wins their case, the settlement may account for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost income.
  • Medical bills that the deceased incurred after the accident but before they died.
  • Pain and suffering, in some cases.

This settlement will not necessarily resolve the situation, but it can help the family cover vital expenses and focus on their grief.

Personal Injury Settlements

If you win your personal injury claim, the settlement can be significant for you and your family. Although settlement amounts vary from case to case, the compensation amount usually covers:

  • Medical bills associated with the injury.
  • Compensation for the time you must miss from work to recover.
  • Any retraining or accommodations you need at work because of the injury.
  • Pain and suffering if the person’s actions were egregiously negligent or malicious.

Your compensation will depend upon your unique scenario and the severity of your injuries. If you suffered minor scrapes and bruises, for example, you would receive less than you would if you suffered from a traumatic brain injury. When you work with a personal injury attorney, they may be able to give you a more specific estimate of your personal injury settlement.

Personal Injury Claims and Insurance Companies

When you are navigating your injury, the perpetrator’s insurance company will want to speak with you. Although many people believe that insurance companies exist to help people, in reality, they simply want to maintain their financial bottom line. As such, these companies will go to extreme lengths to avoid taking responsibility.

Insurance adjusters will try to get you to admit fault or say that your injury is not so bad so that they can avoid paying for your treatment. They may even have you sign documents that give away your right to file a personal injury claim. In some scenarios, they even have private investigators follow victims to see if their daily activities match up with their injury claims. They will interpret these observations in any way that can rid themselves of responsibility. They are experts at this, and many people give away their right to a case without even knowing it.

The best thing you can do is direct any insurance calls to your attorney. Although the company may try to tell you that a statement from you is mandatory, you are under no legal obligation to speak with them. Do not answer any of their questions. Instead, tell them that your attorney will handle all further correspondence. This is the best way to preserve your case.

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

When you bring a case forward in court, you are the prosecuting party. The objective of the prosecution in a personal injury case is to prove that the person who caused your injury acted negligently. It can be difficult to understand how this works, especially if this is your first foray into personal injury law.

Proving negligence means that you must prove that the other person broke the law or shirked their responsibilities in some way. The best way to do this is by:

  • Showing photos of the injuries.
  • Showing video or CCTV footage of the accident.
  • Displaying medical records and doctor’s notes associated with the incident.
  • Recording eyewitness accounts.
  • Showing photos of the damage and the scene of the accident.
  • Interviewing those involved.

Your attorney is responsible for determining which pieces of evidence are relevant in your case and obtaining the necessary evidence to display in court. In many situations, it is difficult to obtain this information if you are not an attorney. Many business owners are wary of releasing video footage or photos to individuals who are not law enforcement or legal representation.

What to Do After an Accident

If you get into an accident of any kind, there are several steps that you can take right away to help build your case. Although your first priority should always be your own safety, if you are able to safely follow these steps, your attorney can build a stronger case for you.

When you are in an accident of any kind, do the following:

  • Check yourself for injuries. If you are unable to move, have lost consciousness, are underneath heavy debris, are bleeding profusely, or cannot feel parts of your body, remain where you are until medical help arrives.
  • If you can safely do so, exchange information with the individual responsible for the injury.
  • Take photos of the injury, as well as any damage.
  • Photograph the surrounding area, including any broken or missing equipment that caused the accident. Take note of any signs, signals, or cones in the vicinity.
  • Take the names and information of any witnesses.
  • Do not apologize, forgive anyone, or speak about the accident other than stating vital, factual information.
  • Call your attorney.

Following these steps can ensure that vital evidence is not destroyed before your case begins. If you wait too long, evidence can be deleted, destroyed, or otherwise compromised.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Some people believe that they can go through their personal injury claim without an attorney. Although this is technically legal, it is never a good idea to do this. Personal injury claims are complex, and it is easy to lose your claim without an attorney. This can have grave consequences for your finances, as few families can afford sudden medical bills and time off work. Without a settlement, you could face financial insecurity for months or years to come. With such high stakes, it is important to allow a professional to help you navigate your case.

You should also consider your own health and well-being when you hire an attorney. While your case progresses, you will be healing physically and mentally from the traumatic event that caused your injury. If you take on the stress of building your own case, you can slow down or reverse your healing process. Added stress is bad for your health and can cause additional problems. Allowing an attorney to handle your case helps you to avoid making your condition worse.

Finally, it is important to understand that you can receive a higher settlement if your case is strong. To build a strong case, it is important to have an attorney. When you hire an attorney, your settlement will likely be higher than it would be if you tried to build a case on your own. Added compensation can help you pay your bills, see specialists, and properly heal from your injury.

The Cost of Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles, CA

Many people want to know how much an attorney will cost before they begin the personal injury process. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to tell how much an attorney will charge, as every firm has different fees and policies. While some attorneys charge hourly, others charge a percentage of the settlement. Some attorneys only collect fees if you win your case, while others charge no matter what. Because there is so much variation in these policies, it is extremely important that you discuss rates with potential attorneys before you hire them.

If you do not speak with your attorney about their fees before you hire them, there is a chance that you will lose your legal representation if you find that you cannot afford it later on. If this happens during your case, it can ruin your chances of earning your much-needed settlement. To preserve your case and increase your chances of earning the support that you need, you should always discuss finances with potential attorneys.

Most attorneys are accustomed to these discussions and will be straightforward with you. If you find that an attorney is not being open or honest in these discussions, you should look for alternative legal representation.

Civil vs. Criminal Court in a Personal Injury Case

Most personal injury cases fall under civil court jurisdiction. In civil court, one individual or business (the prosecution) brings a case against another individual or business (the defense). In this case, you are the prosecution and are bringing a case against the person who caused your injury, who is the defense. This is distinct from criminal court, in which the government brings a case against an individual or business for violating the law.

In civil court, you can often drop the charges if you wish to do so. If you find that your case is going poorly, or you do not have enough evidence to convict the defense, you can choose to end your case. This is often impossible in criminal court, as the government is acting as the prosecution to uphold the law.

In some situations, there is overlap between civil and criminal charges. For example, if another driver is driving while drunk and hits you, causing an injury, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against them. However, DUIs are considered criminal cases, and the government may file separate charges against the individual for breaking the law.

If you are concerned about how your civil case may trigger or intersect with a criminal case, speak with an attorney. These situations are far more common than many people believe, and they can walk you through the details so that you can better navigate your claim.

FAQs About Los Angeles, CA Personal Injury Law

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out in California?

In most cases, the insurance company that covers the responsible party makes a check to the victim’s attorney. The attorney takes their portion, if applicable, and then passes the remaining sum to the victim. After the case is settled, you should receive a check between two weeks and two months after the settlement date.

How Long Do You Have to Sue Someone for Personal Injury in California?

The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is 2 years. However, it is best to file the case as soon as you believe that you have one. If you wait, key information and evidence can easily be lost, which jeopardizes your likelihood of getting a proper settlement. If your injury has delayed symptoms, file your claim as soon as you realize that you are injured.

How Can a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?

A personal injury attorney helps you gather evidence and prove that the other person’s negligence caused your injury. Building a strong personal injury claim is difficult and requires a significant amount of time and effort. By allowing an attorney to do this, you can ensure that it is done correctly and that you have time to relax and heal from your injuries.

What Percentage Do Most Personal Injury Lawyers Take in Los Angeles, CA?

The average is 33%, but all attorneys are different. Some charge a percentage of the settlement, while others charge an hourly rate. To best manage your finances, you should always discuss costs with potential attorneys before you hire them, so that you can be sure that you can afford their services for the duration of your claim process.

Contact The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we can help. Contact The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt online today for more information.

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