Posts tagged personal injury lawsuit

Should You Take Time Off Work After a Car Accident?

January 14, 2019 Auto Accidents

A car accident of any degree of severity can throw your life off track, and dealing with its aftermath can

 road accident scene

A car accident of any degree of severity can throw your life off track, and dealing with its aftermath can seem like a full-time job in itself. Before you make any major decisions, consider talking to a car accident lawyer. An experienced attorney can address all of your questions, like whether taking time off from work after the crash might affect your claim or compensation.

The onset of car crash injuries

It’s usually not a good idea to return to work immediately after an accident, especially if you haven’t seen a doctor yet. You may have injuries that you aren’t aware of. During an accident, your body releases a surge of adrenaline that can mask the symptoms of injuries, some of which may be serious. Another consideration is that some injuries are not evident until a day or two after the accident. One common example is whiplash, which might develop as late as 72 hours after the crash.

Because of the potential for late-onset symptoms and slow-developing injuries, you should receive a full medical evaluation before considering going back to work. You’ll also need to see a doctor to substantiate your legal claim. If you need to have medical bills reimbursed by the insurance company, or if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need those medical records to document your losses.

The advice of your doctor

You should always follow your doctor’s advice in the wake of an accident. You should also get that advice in written form. If your doctor suggests that you take time off work, ask her to write a note to that effect. Even if your employer doesn’t require a doctor’s note, you may need that written documentation to substantiate your legal claim.

Too many accident victims try to return to work too soon after being injured. They might worry about the burden placed on their co-workers or they may be concerned about the lost wages. But it’s not a good idea to return to work before you’re medically cleared to do so, especially if you have a physically demanding job. This could only slow your recovery. It may even worsen your injuries, which could complicate your legal claim.

Your legal claim

Keep track of the number of days you’re out of work. Your personal injury lawyer can add your lost wages to your compensation demand. You might be using up sick days or vacation days to recover from your car crash injuries, and you may still be entitled to receive compensation for them. The value of each sick day or vacation day is one full day’s wages. Let your lawyer know about the logistics of your time off, and he’ll do everything possible to help you recover compensation for those lost days.

Get customized legal guidance tailored to your situation

Thousands of car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, but no two car accident survivors are alike. After a crash, you need personalized legal guidance you can count on. You can turn to Sean Salamati, an accomplished car accident lawyer in Los Angeles. At the Salamati Law Firm, you’ll receive the personalized client care and the informed guidance you need to put your life back together after your accident. Call (213) 372-0218 or email [email protected] to request your confidential consultation.

Additional resources for car crash victims

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Anniversary of Las Vegas Shooting Marked with Memorials

October 5, 2018 News, Personal Injury Lawsuits, Wrongful Death Claims

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees

Group of people holding candle vigil

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Hundreds more were injured in the attack. People in and around Las Vegas marked the event with memorials. Meanwhile, investigations have still not revealed a clear motive for the massacre.

Shooting anniversary marked by memorials and homecoming

Officials throughout Nevada recognized the enormity of the anniversary. Governor Brian Sandoval ordered that all state and federal flags fly at half staff from sunrise to sunset. The Las Vegas Portraits Project, a display of artwork of the victims, is on display at the Clark County Government Center through October 19. A shooting survivor from Los Angeles, Dennis Guerrero, started a nonprofit called LoveWins and it is raising money to help the families left behind by the 58 who died.

Remarkably, just a few days before the anniversary, Rosemarie Melanson was released from the hospital. There were over 800 people injured in the shooting and Melanson was the last of the victims to remain hospitalized. She suffered bullet wounds to several organs and was placed on life support immediately after the shooting. Miraculously, she survived, and after nearly a year in the hospital, she finally returned home.

Federal court denies request of venue owner MGM

More than 20,000 people were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Since then, more than 2,000 people have either sued or threatened to sue those connected with the venue or the shooter.

Hundreds of victims have joined in five lawsuits in state courts in California and Nevada, naming as defendants MGM Resorts International for allegedly not having proper security procedures and trained staff; concert organizer Live Nation for allegedly not having adequate exits and trained employees; and the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock.

MGM, the owner of Mandalay Bay, took a highly unusual step and filed a federal lawsuit naming about 2,000 people who were have sued or threatened to sue the company, requesting that the court issue a declaratory judgment stating that MGM is not liable, and requesting that all of the lawsuits against it be pooled together in multi-district litigation (MDL). Earlier this month, MGM’s requests were denied, allowing existing and future lawsuits against it to proceed in state courts without being transferred to an MDL docket.

Fighting for rights of injury victims in California

Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati understands the legal battle that the shooting victims and their families face. The Salamati Law Firm has dedicated the past two decades to fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in LA and around Southern California. If you have been injured and believe someone else bears legal responsibility, call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional resources on Las Vegas shooting updates:

  1. Bloomberg, MGM Resorts Can’t Centralize Mass Shooting Lawsuits Panel Rules, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-03/mgm-resorts-can-t-centralize-mass-shooting-lawsuits-panel-rules
  2. Fox News, Las Vegas shooting: Memorial events mark 1-year anniversary as massacre motive still shrouded in mystery, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-shooting-memorial-events-mark-1-year-anniversary-as-massacre-motive-still-shrouded-in-mystery
  3. Fox News, Las Vegas massacre survivor leaves hospital year after shooting, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-massacre-survivor-leaves-hospital-year-after-shooting
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When Is Surgery Necessary for a Neck Injury?

July 20, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Your neck is a complex structure of spinal bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Any one of those components

Doctor checking neck brace of his patient in medical office

Your neck is a complex structure of spinal bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Any one of those components can sustain damage in a fall or a motor vehicle accident, leading to severe acute or perhaps even chronic pain. And in some cases, patients need ongoing medical interventions, which may occasionally include surgery. The decision to have surgery is not one to make lightly. In addition to the practical considerations (medical costs, hospitalization, and lost time at work), there are potential health and safety risks associated with every surgery. Only a qualified surgeon can tell you if surgery might be a good option for you.

When your symptoms are debilitating

Neck injuries can range from mild to severe. If you suffer from mild to moderate symptoms, you might not be a good candidate for surgery. Be specific when describing your symptoms to your doctor. Your doctor may find it helpful to know if you generally have a low or high pain tolerance.

Another consideration is the extent to which your symptoms interfere with your daily activities. Tell your doctor if you’re unable to work, perform self-care tasks, do tasks around the house, or play with your kids or grandkids.

When you’ve already tried conservative treatment options

Surgery is almost always considered a last resort option. Talk to your doctor about the treatments you’ve already tried. Most patients with moderate to severe neck injuries try over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, heat and cold therapy, and gentle stretching. If you haven’t yet worked with a physical therapist, your doctor may ask you to schedule some sessions before considering surgery. Chiropractic care can also be very helpful for neck injuries, particularly whiplash.

When there is an identified anatomical cause of your pain

Before determining whether you’re a good candidate for neck surgery, your doctor will ask you to undergo some imaging studies. They may include x-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. One of the things your doctor will look for is whether there is an anatomical cause of your symptoms. If so, then you may benefit from surgery. For example, you may have suffered disc herniation during the accident. In this case, the surgeon may remove the herniated portion of the disc to relieve your symptoms.

When is it time to pursue a personal injury claim in Los Angeles, CA?

You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim if your neck injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle crashes are all common causes of neck injuries, as are slip and fall incidents. In all of these types of accidents, there’s a possibility that someone else may be held accountable for your injury.

There is a deadline to filing a neck injury lawsuit, so talk with a lawyer right away. Sean Salamati has served residents of LA and throughout southern California for two decades. Our firm takes on complex cases, and we have a long track record of successful legal advocacy services. Call us today for your free consultation at 855-544-0776. We can improve your chances of recovering compensation for your missed time at work, medical expenses, and poor quality of life because of your neck injury.

Additional resources for neck injury patients

  1. Everyday Health, When Surgery Is Needed for Neck Pain, https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/neck-pain/surgery.aspx
  2. WebMD, What Surgeries Help with Neck Pain? https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/surgeries-neck-pain#1
  3. Spine Universe, Cervical Spine Surgery: Will You Need Surgery for Your Neck Pain? https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/neck-pain/cervical-spine-surgery-will-you-need-surgery-your-neck-pain
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How an Expert Witness Can Help Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

March 21, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Expert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful,

Witness swearing on the bible telling the truth in the court roomExpert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful, and often crucial, in a personal injury lawsuit.

Ways expert witnesses can help your case

There are a couple of ways that expert witnesses can help a personal injury victim prove a case. The testimony of some experts is used to help jurors understand complex concepts. Other experts are offered because they are necessary to establish some standard of care (that is, what actions a reasonably skilled and competent professional in a given industry would take under the circumstances in question).

In practice, here is what this can look like.

  • A woman brings a claim against a nursing home for bed sores and other injuries that her mother has suffered in its care. She must work with an expert witness who can testify what actions a reasonable and competent nursing home would have taken to avoid those injuries.
  • A man injured in a traffic accident files a lawsuit against the driver of a truck who struck his car. The man will have a stronger case if he hires an expert in biomechanics to explain to the jury how the impact of the vehicles transferred energy to his body inside the vehicle to cause the precise injuries alleged.

Types of expert witnesses

Experts can come from all sorts of backgrounds. A trained legal eye can evaluate a case and determine what topics would be especially helpful if supported by the testimony of an expert witness. Some types of experts and the topics of potential testimony include:

  • Accident reconstructionist to explain how the accident happened
  • Biomechanic to explain how the injuries occurred
  • Traffic pattern expert to determine factors affecting the flow of traffic
  • Expert in human factors to explain how people perceive and interact with items and environments
  • Technical experts like mechanics and engineers to determine whether factors like improper equipment maintenance is at fault
  • Doctors to discuss the extent of injuries
  • Economists to establish the long-term financial impact of the accident
  • Vocational rehabilitators to help jury understand the plaintiff’s loss in earning capacity

Putting together your winning California legal team

Maximizing a personal injury claim requires skill, experience, and collaboration. Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati has litigated personal injury claims in state and federal courts throughout California and knows how to present a solid case.

Our team prides itself on our firm commitment to meeting clients’ needs. We communicate early and often so our clients always know what is going on in their case. We also work with a skilled team of experts carefully chosen to effectively convey complex issues to judges and juries.

Call 1-888-259-4060 today to schedule a consultation. Remember, we never collect a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Expert Witness Resources:

  1. Justia, 2009 California Evidence Code Section 720-723: Article 1. Expert Witnesses Generally, https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2009/evid/720-723.html
  2. American Bar Association Journal, Choosing Expert Witnesses, http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/choosing_expert_witness
  3. American Bar Association, A Pragmatic Approach to Retaining and Presenting Expert Witnesses: Picking All-Stars and Avoiding Busts, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/litigation/materials/sac_2012/45-1_a_pragmatic_approach_to_presenting_expert_witnesses.authcheckdam.pdf
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“Bump Stock” Controversy Sparks Debate and Lawsuits

November 2, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

In the aftermath of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the term

Group of people holding candle vigilIn the aftermath of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the term “bump stock” became a household word and national point of contention. As legislators scramble to find ways to regulate the use of the firearm device, the manufacturer of the bump stock used in the Las Vegas massacre, Slide Fire Solutions, is facing a growing number of personal injury lawsuits filed by victims and the families of the deceased.

Were you or a loved one among the hundreds of unsuspecting victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1? Here at The Salamati Law Firm, our hearts go out to you at this terribly difficult time. No one should have to experience a tragedy such as this, but here in its aftermath our firm is dedicated to pursuing justice for those whose lives have been irreversibly altered by this terrible event.

Our personal injury lawyers are providing free legal consultations to victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their families. We’ll help you sort through your legal options so that you can make an informed decision about the best course of action for you and your family.

If you choose to file a lawsuit, liable parties may include the hotel owner, the concert organizers, the estate of Stephen Paddock — and the bump stock manufacturer. Please contact our dedicated, compassionate attorneys today to learn more about how we can help.

Las Vegas shooter relied on bump stock firearm device

On October 1, 2017, an unassuming man named Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel with an arsenal of firearms. From a window of his suite, the 64 year old opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. In the few minutes between 10:05 and 10:15 PM (PDT), Paddock fired hundreds of rounds. Almost 550 concertgoers were injured. Fifty-eight were killed.

Paddock – who killed himself – has reignited the gun law debate that has held us captive for decades. But this time there has been a focus on bump stocks.

What is a bump stock?

A bump stock is a device one attaches to an existing semi-automatic rifle. Replacing the weapon’s built-in stock, it adds a spring to the firearm. Pressed into the shooter’s shoulder the bump stock literally bounces, or jerks, the rifle forward with each release of ammunition. This means the shooter does not have to pull the trigger as the trigger will move in his hand. The resultant rapid release of ammunition is akin to that of a machine gun.

Legislators try to address regulation of bump stocks

Before the shooting, bump stocks were known mostly in the firearm community. Now, the device is on everyone’s lips, from Congress to the NRA and anti-fun factions, right down to the couple standing behind you at Starbucks.

Everyone is wondering why a bump stock would be legal and easily acquired. According to special agent Jill Synder at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “The classification of these devices depends on whether they mechanically alter the function of the firearm to fire fully automatic. Bump-fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law.”

What we have here is a thin line of legality. While Washington has stated they are reviewing the bump stock classification, the fact is that the ATF did so in 2010 and decided the bump stock was a part, not a weapon, and ineligible for enforcement by the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act.

Legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, Kristen Rand says, “The ATF can’t do anything about bump stocks without a change to the statute. Basically, all they can determine is whether or not a device causes a gun to fire in fully automatic mode, and it’s banned, or it does not, in which case it can’t be regulated.”

Salamati Law Is a Resource for Victims and Families

Salamati Law will continue to zealously advocate on behalf of all victims of gun violence. If you or a loved one were a victim of the Las Vegas shooting in October, or any other instance of gun violence, please contact our dedicated lawyers for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Additional “Bump Stock Lawsuit” Resources:

  1. CDC, Firearm Mortality by State, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm
  2. Huffington Post, Here’s A List Of All The Gun Control Laws Congress Has Passed Since Newtown,  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-control-congress_us_566ec8dce4b011b83a6bc0cd
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How Much Does It Cost to Die in California?

October 26, 2017 Wrongful Death Claims

Other than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the

Headstones in a cemetary with many red tulipsOther than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. Over the past decade, the average cost of a funeral has spiked nearly 40 percent, pushing some families, who are already mourning the loss of a loved one, into dire economic straits.

When a death is sudden and traumatic, families often make buying decisions based on pure emotion, wanting to purchase the finest casket and grandest service for their relative, without thinking about the bills.

Then there are those who suffer from protracted illnesses or degenerative diseases, tallying up massive bills for hospital stays, doctor visits and treatments before they pass. The underlying problem is that people don’t like to talk about their own mortality. It’s a depressing, morbid topic that tends to be avoided until it’s time to call the funeral home and make arrangements.

Given that every person must eventually face this difficult part of life, the costs of dying should not be overlooked. One of the best ways to ensure your loved ones don’t have to make these decisions during periods of tremendous emotional distress is to plan ahead.

It can also help save money. Cremation or burial? What type of flowers, casket or car service? How much does a burial plot cost in southern California?

By understanding the costs associated with dying, families can plan and budget accordingly.

Costs of dying in California

  • Transfer of remains to the funeral home: $200-$300
  • Cremation: Roughly 70 percent of Californians chose cremation over burial. This generally equates to lower costs, compared to other states. The median cost for a “basic” cremation in Los Angeles County ranges between $550 and $2,000.
  • Immediate burial (not including casket cost): Transfer to the funeral home, placement into the casket, and transfer to the grave site without formal viewing. From $650 to more than $4,300.
  • Casket: Funeral homes make big profits on caskets, marking them up nearly 300 percent above cost. The least expensive wood caskets average about $600, while metal caskets sell for between $1,500 and $4,000.
  • Funeral transportation: Use of a service car or hearse will cost between $150 and $320.
  • Embalming:  Embalming is necessary for open-casket funerals and usually costs between $500-700. Additional cosmetics, hairdressing or preparations will cost an extra $200-$400.
  • Viewing and ceremony:  Funeral homes charge, on average, $420 for viewing, and $500 for the funeral ceremony.
  • Burial plot: land scarcity in CA is driving up prices. At Whittier’s Rose Hills Memorial Park, plot prices start at $3,500 and go up. A crypt in Inglewood Park Cemetery comes with a price tag of $10,000.
  • Gravestone: Between $800 and $3,000 depending on size and adornment.
  • Clergy honorarium: Between $200 and $300
  • Basic service fees charged by funeral home: Includes filing paperwork, ordering death certificate, proper storage of the remains and overhead fees: $1,000 – $2,500
  • California death certificate: $14

According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral today costs between $8,000 and $10,000. In 2013, California Senate Bill 658 was passed, requiring funeral homes to post detailed price lists online. Those without websites are legally required to present all options and price points to consumers.

As veteran wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles, the team at Salamati Law encourages families to plan ahead and discuss their wishes for burial or cremation, before you’re confronted with a crisis situation.

Additional Resources on Cost of Dying in California:

  1. Orange County Register, What’s the price of death? In Orange County, funeral prices vary widely http://www.ocregister.com/2015/11/02/whats-the-price-of-death-in-orange-county-funeral-prices-vary-widely/
  2. HuffPost, This Is How Much An Average Funeral Costs https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-does-a-funeral-cost_us_5804c784e4b0f42ad3d264de
  3. US Funerals Online, Arranging a Funeral or Cremation in California http://www.us-funerals.com/funeral-articles/funerals-and-cremations-in-california.html#.WfD4z2hSxPY
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How to Appeal a Personal Injury Case

September 13, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Most people associate the appeals process with criminal law matters. In criminal trials, it is only the defendant who has

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtMost people associate the appeals process with criminal law matters. In criminal trials, it is only the defendant who has grounds to appeal a judgement, but in civil lawsuits, both parties have the right to appeal a personal injury verdict.

In California, as in all states, an appeal must be predicated upon a reversible error in law. It is not enough that the plaintiff disagrees with the jurors’ decision or believes they are entitled to a larger damage award. Instead, they must provide a specific infraction or misinterpretation of the law that prejudiced the appellant (the person filing the appeal) in some way. For instance, your attorney may file an appeal if jurors disregarded courtroom instructions, or an expert witness was unjustly barred from offering crucial testimony. In California, it is not uncommon for appellants to list multiple grounds for appealing a personal injury decision.

An appeal is a legal process in which a higher court examines perceived mistakes or misconduct during the trial proceedings. If the appellate court finds that the law was misapplied or evidence of procedural errors, it has the authority to overturn the verdict or mandate a new trial. 

How does the appeals process work?

In a personal injury trial, jurors are tasked with examining facts and evidence to determine which party is liable for damages. The appeals process does not involve a jury, but rather a panel of judges who review an appellate brief provided by your legal counsel.

It is up to your personal injury lawyer to submit a thorough, compelling appellate brief that details which laws were incorrectly interpreted or other errors committed. The defendant’s counsel will provide their own appellate brief that demonstrates the law was applied correctly and the lower court’s decision was indeed correct. After both sides present oral arguments to the judges, the court renders a decision. Usually, this process takes at least a couple of months but more complex cases may last upwards of a year.

It is left to the appellate judges to determine whether procedural steps were strictly followed and if the verdict will be upheld.

If the appeal is granted, there are several possible outcomes. The court may vacate the personal injury verdict entirely, remand the case back to lower court for a new trial, or the damage award may be revised.

Grounds for appealing a personal injury case

According to California’s Code of Civil Procedure, a new trial may be granted under a number of circumstances:

    • Error in law, occurring at the trial (§ 657(7)
    • Misconduct of the jury (§ 657(2)
    • Excessive or inadequate damages (§ 657(5)
    • Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party, or any order of the court or abuse of — discretion by which either party was prevented from having a fair trial (§ 657(1))
  • Lack of evidence to justify the damage of the verdict and that such verdict is against the law (§ 657(6)

Personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles

Partnering with a talented personal injury attorney is imperative for pursuing justice to fullest extent of California law. Whether you are interested in filing a claim or believe that the verdict in your personal injury trial was unfounded, The Salamati Law Firm is poised to help.

Contact us online or call our office today to schedule a complimentary case review with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who is committed to client success.

Additional Resources on “Appealing a Personal Injury Case in California”:

    1. California Courts, Courts of Appeal, http://www.courts.ca.gov/courtsofappeal.htm
  1. American Bar Association, Steps in a Trial – Appeals, http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/appeals.html
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What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Case?

August 19, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Once you have decided to meet with an attorney to discuss the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit, one of

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtOnce you have decided to meet with an attorney to discuss the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit, one of your first questions is likely to be: “How long will this process take?” Understanding the steps in a personal injury case can help you get a feel for what is to come. When you contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at The Salamati Firm, you can expect the highest degree of communication every step of the way, so you always feel like a priority and never just a number!

Step 1: Meet with an LA personal injury lawyer.

California allows up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most of the time, the law is meant to be interpreted as “two years from the date the injury occurred,” but in some cases, the extent of the injuries take time to manifest, or the negligent acts / parties are initially unknown. It is free to speak with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, so the sooner the better! You will need to sign a release form that allows the lawyer access to your medical records, police reports, and other information related to the case.

Step 2: Initiate court papers.

If the Salamati Firm’s personal injury lawyers feel you have a substantial case, we’ll agree to represent you and you’ll have the option to sign a contract with us that spells out what legal fees are owed if we secure a successful settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. We formally submit a complaint on your behalf and the judge will issue a summons to inform the other party of the litigation proceedings. The defendants have up to 30 days to respond to your complaint. They may admit to negligence, deny any wrongdoing, or argue there is insufficient evidence. Nearly a third of defendants never respond. In rare instances, a counterclaim may be filed against the plaintiff. All of this must be sorted out by the judge.

Step 3: Begin fact-finding and discovery.

Discovery may include written interrogations, sworn statements, requests for information, and the assembly of medical records, police reports, and other documents pertaining to the case. Through more than a decade of fighting on behalf of injured plaintiffs, we know the right questions to ask to get the information we need and poke holes in any possible defense.

Step 4: Hear motions to resolve before trial.

Summary judgements dismissing the case can come from the bench in the earliest stages of litigation if there is:

  • Lack of subject matter
  • Lack of jurisdiction
  • Improper venue
  • Insufficient service of process
  • Failure to state a proper claim

Step 5: Negotiate a settlement.

Here is a shocking statistic: Only 4-5 percent of personal injury cases in the United States go to trial. In other words, 95-96 percent of personal injury lawsuits are settled prior to trial. The majority of defendants prefer to settle before enduring the expense and public humiliation of a court trial. The Salamati Firm will never settle just to get another win. We only agree to the settlement terms when they are good for you and in line with what we think your case is truly worth.

Step 6: Go to trial.

In most cases, a jury is selected and three to five days of court hearings are necessary. In rare cases, a trial may take longer, from several weeks to months.

Step 7: Collect money following a successful judgment.

Winning is not always a slam-dunk. Collecting the money can be particularly tricky if the defendant does not have a lot of money or plans to appeal. Experienced LA attorneys come in handy in ironing out wage garnishment, assets liquidation, bankruptcy filings, or collection proceedings when you are not promptly paid what is owed to you. Many states allow up to 10 years for a defendant to pay on a judgment.

Step 8: Appeal an unsatisfactory decision or judgment.

The losing side always has the option to file an appeal. A panel of judges review the trial documents to determine if sufficient justice was served. If an appeal is lost in state or federal court, there is still an option to file an appeal with the Supreme Court if a federal or constitutional right may have been violated.

Contact the Salamati Firm to start your personal injury claim in California.

Every case is unique, but the Court Statistics Project found that 13.7 months is the median lawsuit processing time. Nearly half of all personal injury lawsuits are disposed within one year. By two years, three quarters of the cases get resolved. Sometimes cases take longer if the facts surrounding the case are complex and disputed, if the amount of money you seek is extremely large, or if you are still in a state of recovery, where it’s particularly challenging to estimate the extent of your losses. Product liability, medical malpractice, and toxic substance cases tend to take longer (two years).

The Salamati Firm’s Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are standing by to take your call, should you wish to learn more about filing a lawsuit in California.

More resources for “personal injury lawsuit timeline”:

  1. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Tort Cases in Large Counties, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/TCILC.TXT
  2. The Law Dictionary – Pre-trial Settlement Percentage: Statistics on Personal Injury Settlements, http://thelawdictionary.org/article/pre-trial-settlement-percentage-statistics-on-personal-injury-settlements/
  3. NY Times, The Longest Trial – A Post-Mortem; Collapse of Child-Abuse Case: So Much Agony for So Little, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/24/us/longest-trial-post-mortem-collapse-child-abuse-case-so-much-agony-for-so-little.html
  4. NY Times – Study Finds That Settling Is Better Than Going To Trial, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/business/08law.html
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