sonja-langford-eIkbSc3SDtI-unsplash-copy-300x200Many people are hesitant to file a lawsuit because they envision a long and drawn-out legal battle in the courtroom. Not all personal injury cases take a long time to resolve, however. Even when they do, they are worthwhile for accident victims to pursue. These claims are often the only way to obtain compensation that can help with medical expenses, lost income, and more. So, if you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence and wish to file a personal injury claim, how long will it take? That is a difficult question for anyone to answer, even after evaluating the facts of your case. However, there are a few guidelines below you can follow to determine how long it will take before your case is finalized. 

Settlement Negotiations

You may receive your first settlement offer from the other side’s insurance company shortly after the crash. Often this happens just days after an accident while you are still in the hospital. Truthfully, these negotiations can take anywhere from a week to several years. This is because negotiations never really stop until your case is finalized and has been closed. 

tom-pumford-254867-unsplash-copy-300x185If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim, a survival claim, or both. Wrongful death and survival claims are similar to each other, but they also have distinct differences. It is important to understand what these are, so you know what you and your family are entitled to under each. No matter which type of claim you are filing, each has its own complexities. For this reason, it is important to speak to a San Francisco wrongful death attorney before filing a claim.

Wrongful Death

The California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 377.60 allows personal representatives of a deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is either outlined in the deceased’s will, or is the deceased’s surviving spouse, child, or other family member. 

kyle-jewell-623849-unsplash-copy-300x200California follows tort law in car accident claims, meaning that accident victims must prove another driver was at fault for a crash when they are trying to claim compensation. Evidence is crucial to prove this fault, but many accident victims do not know what type of evidence they need. If you have been in a car accident that was the fault of someone else, below are a few types of evidence that will greatly help with your claim. An experienced San Francisco car accident lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. 

Photographs and Video of the Scene

Everyone has a smartphone on them these days, making this type of evidence fairly easy to obtain. Take videos and pictures of the scene right after the accident happened. If you are too injured to take pictures or video, ask someone nearby to take them for you. 

ferdinand-stohr-652260-unsplash-copy-300x200When it comes to evidence of a car accident, photos taken at the scene are some of the most important. Eyewitnesses are not always present at the accident scene. Without photographs, there is sometimes little reliable evidence to be collected from the scene aside from the police report. Photos of the scene are so important that this step is listed on every single list of what to do after an accident. However, what should you take pictures of after a crash, exactly? Below you will find, according to San Francisco car accident lawyers, the most important items to document, and tips for taking pictures after a car accident. 

Take a Picture of the Whole Scene

You will want pictures capturing the entire scene to depict exactly what happened. Take a few steps back and take several photos from different angles. Make sure all vehicles involved are in the picture, as well as objects such as guardrails or trees that might be relevant. You also want to show the positions of the vehicles, as this can help determine which driver was negligent

harlie-raethel-516092-unsplash-1-copy-300x187There are many reasons people do not file personal injury claims, even when they are eligible for compensation. One of those reasons is simply the fear of the unknown. They do not know what to expect from a lawsuit, what steps to take, or what will be expected of them. If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, it is important that you do not let this fear keep you from the compensation you deserve. Becoming familiar with the process can make it less stressful, and help you feel more confident about your claim. 

Finding the Right Attorney

If you have been hurt in a slip and fall, or any other accident that allows for compensation under the California Civil Code, you need to first speak with an attorney. An attorney will guide you through all the steps in a lawsuit and tell you what is coming next. Your lawyer will also review your claim and explain the California laws that pertain to it. If  your attorney determines that you have a case, he or she will start collecting evidence and building your claim. 

tim-mossholder-1077640-unsplash-copy-300x200It was in April when the Los Angeles Dodgers played their longest regular-season game in franchise history. The game went on for 13 innings, a total of six hours and five minutes. At the end of it all, the Dodgers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Needless to say, at the end of the game the fans were spirited, and some were angry. A man was attacked in the parking lot by another man and is now suffering from serious brain injuries.

The attack shocked Californians across the state, particularly considering this is not the first time something like this has happened at Dodger Stadium. It also has many wondering, who is liable for injuries that happen at a sports stadium?

When Stadium Owners are Liable

soren-astrup-jorgensen-206084-unsplash-copy-300x200In California, everyone must carry the minimum amount of insurance required by state law. When you get into an accident with a negligent driver, you will have two insurance companies to deal with — your own, and that of the other driver. While this may sound fairly straightforward, it is not.

The insurance company, particularly the one for the other driver, is not your friend. They will try anything they can to get you to admit fault, or take your words out of context so you look like the negligent party. Many drivers are not familiar with their tactics. As such, they get tricked into providing things not required of them by law, or signing away their rights. Below are a few of the strategies these companies use to ruin your claim.

They Show Up Immediately

saneej-kallingal-696189-unsplash-copy-300x200Leaving Neverland, the documentary outlining the sexual assault two young boys experienced at the hands of Michael Jackson, aired for two nights on HBO this past week. In the documentary, the boys recounted how Jackson not only abused them, but threatened them with the prospect of jail if they were to tell anyone. The boys were 7 and 10 at the time the abuse took place.

The documentary was graphic, sparing no detail, and was difficult to watch. It was an important documentary though, as hopefully it now gives sexual assault victims the voice they need to come forward and to know their story will be believed. It is important that any victim of sexual assault understands that they too, can come forward, even if not to pursue criminal charges. In California, it is also possible to file a civil lawsuit to claim compensation for this type of abuse.

Types of Sexual Assault

deonny-rantetandung-115900-copy-300x200According to State Farm Insurance, California has more dog bite claims than any other state. Much of the time, dog bites are minor and do not require any treatment. Other times however, dog bites and attacks are serious and require extensive medical treatment. In some instances, they even cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.

When a person suffers these and other serious injuries from a dog bite, he or she often wonders if there is any available recourse. In California, there is.

California Law on Dog Bites

abdiel-ibarra-249884-unsplash-copy-300x169If you are a driver in the San Francisco area, you likely have some stories about the distracted drivers you have seen around you. You can often see drivers eating, talking on the phone, texting, reading, and even putting on clothes or makeup. It is certainly scary to watch, especially knowing that they are behind the wheel of what is essentially a two-ton weapon moving at speed.  Many of us often say to ourselves, “That person is going to hurt or kill someone if they do not pay better attention to what they are doing!” The question then, is what happens when they actually do hurt or kill someone?

Motor Vehicle Accidents and Distracted Driving Statistics

In 2017 (the last year for which statistics are available), motor vehicle accidents were responsible for 37,133 fatalities in the US. According to The Office of Traffic Safety, California accounted for 3,602 of those. 858 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in California, as well.  Nationwide, 3,450 people were killed by distracted drivers as well as 562 pedestrians and bicyclists. This accounts for almost 10% of total fatalities. In California, which has some of the most strict distracted driver laws, there were more than 178,000 cell phone use convictions and more than 31,000 convictions for texting while driving (these numbers are for 2016, the most recent year for these numbers). Californians ranked texting while driving and talking on a phone (either with hands or hands-free) as the two largest dangers while driving and over 62% of those surveyed said they had either been hit or almost hit by someone using a cell phone.  Clearly, distracted driving is a serious issue and is causing a substantial number of injuries and deaths that are potentially avoidable.