Personal Injuries

Personal Injuries

Personal injuries usually happen when a third person or party is negligent. Negligence is when someone:

  1. has a legal duty to another person in particular circumstances
  2. breaches that duty by acting or failing to act in a particular way
  3. the act or failure to act actually caused or contributed to that other person’s injury
  4. that other person suffered harm or injury as a result of the act or failure to act.

The most common example is an auto accident: A driver has a duty to other drivers to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. A driver breaches that duty when she rearends the car in front of her at a stoplight. The breach causes or contributes to an injury to the victim’s neck. The victim experiences damages such as medical expenses, pain and loss of income. All four elements of negligence are met.

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The example above is only one of an unlimited number of types of conduct that may be negligence. If you believe that you have been the victim of negligent conduct by some other person, I recommend that you contact my office for a free initial consultation, either by telephone or in person.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most attorneys handling personal injury cases, including my office, have free consultations. If we accept your case, we take it on a ‘contingent’ fee basis which means that we do not earn a fee unless you receive money from a settlement, award or verdict. The amount of the fee is a percentage of the money recovered. Typically, we also advance and pay all of the costs of the case which will be repaid out of the settlement, award or verdict money in addition to the fee.

The amount of time, called the Statute of Limitations, may vary depending on the kind of negligence and the defendant responsible. California has different limitation period for different kinds of negligence. For example:

  • Medical Injury - 1 year from the date you discover the negligence, e.g.when a doctor, nurse, hospital causes an injury
  • Personal Injury - 2 years for ordinary negligence cases like auto or motorcycle accidents and slip/trip and fall accidents.
  • Injury to Personal Property - 3 years

There are a number of different ways to get treatment depending on the facts of your case.

If you do not have private health insurance or health insurance through work, our office has access to many different medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, therapists and diagnostic imaging and laboratories, that will examine and treat you on a “Lien” basis. This means that you will receive their services without having to pay at the time of service. Instead, you will sign an agreement with the doctor or facility that you will pay them for their services at the end of your case. In exchange for waiting to be paid, the Lien provides that you agree to pay them out of the money you recover through your case. The attorney will also sign the Lien and is responsible for ensuring that the doctor or facility gets paid.

Your attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of any case. In fact, the State Bar of California, which licenses attorneys, prohibits attorneys from making such guarantees. What I can guarantee is that I will work aggressively and diligently to get the best results possible for you.

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Richard Laden, Los Angeles Attorney