Personal Injury: Filing a Claim v. Filing a Lawsuit

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Personal Injury: Filing a Claim v. Filing a Lawsuit

When you are injured as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Chances are, the at-fault party has insurance that will ultimately compensate you for your property damage and the injuries you have sustained. But in order to get the money damages you deserve, you need to hire an experienced accident attorney and pursue your case.

Most accident victims think the best way to get compensation for their injuries is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or trying to negotiate a settlement. However, it is important to understand that a personal injury claim and personal injury lawsuit are separate and distinct from one another. It is important to understand which one best applies to your specific situation.

(We use the example of a car accident, but the information in this article applies to all types of personal injury cases, including slip and falls, dog bites, bicycle accidents, etc.)

Difference Between a Claim and Lawsuit

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is between you and the at-fault motorist’s insurance carrier, before any lawsuit is considered. The claims process involves a series of negotiations between your accident attorney and the insurance carrier’s claims adjuster. Most accident claims are resolved during the negotiations process and result in a compromised settlement payment, where both parties are satisfied.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the negotiations process breaks down and a compromise cannot be reached, your attorney will need to file a personal injury lawsuit. A breakdown in the negotiation process generally occurs because the insurance adjuster denies their insured was at-fault or does not agree with the severity of the injuries you are claiming from the accident and the amount your attorney is demanding. When claim negotiations are not fruitful, the next step is to file a lawsuit.

Deciding To File a Lawsuit

Technically, you can file a lawsuit anytime, starting from the first day of the accident to the last day the statute of limitations runs (which is generally two years after the date of accident). But for most minor accidents, a lawsuit is a last resort. Filing suit is only considered when negotiations break down, and other methods of resolving the case have failed.

A negotiated settlement is in most cases the best result because it avoids the expensive costs and lengthy process of litigation. You may not initially be satisfied with the amount of money you are offered. However, before you refuse, you should consider the expense and time needed to file a lawsuit.

Injuries Serious Enough to Merit a Trial

Threshold injuries are very serious injuries. In order to fall into this category, the injuries you suffered in the accident must have caused significant damage. The injuries should also either be permanent or limit your ability to engage in your normal, daily activities for a specific amount of time.

Some common threshold injuries include:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Loss or significant limitation of a body organ
  • Torn muscles or ligaments

Consult with a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate today at 818-745-2974 or toll free at 1-800-BUT-4-LAW.

 

 

 

 

 

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Legal Help for Rainy Day Accidents

 

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Legal Help for Rainy Day Accidents

California has experienced one of the worst droughts in history. After a record rainfall and wet season, we are on our way out of the drought. Unfortunately, as good as the rain has been for ending the drought, it has also resulted in many tragic car accidents and will continue to do so as long as it rains.

By now, we should all know what dangers a rainy day holds for drivers. However, most Californians simply do not understand the dangers of a wet road. Although it is always a great experience to enjoy the rain while at home, we have to be more cautious and pay more attention while on the road.

Recognizing the Dangers Of a Wet Road

The dynamics of driving change dramatically when the roads are wet. This means that you have to change your driving habits as well. During rainy and stormy conditions, it is more difficult to see other cars, road signs, and the road itself. When the road is wet, it takes a longer time to accelerate and even longer to come to a stop. It is much easier to lose control of your car.

As such, it is important that you consider the following important tips when driving in the rain:

  • Slow down – it takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather
  • Keep proper following distance – the 3 Second Rule for proper following distance is even more important when it’s raining
  • Be more alert – you should especially watch out for brake lights in front of you
  • Do not drive through moving water – your car could be swept off the road
  • Know how to control a skid – if your car starts to skid, it is important not to panic and not to slam on your brakes
  • Pull over – if it is raining hard or there is a heavy spray from other vehicles, just stop driving

When an Accident Is Unavoidable

Even if you are the most vigilant driver in rainy or stormy conditions, some accidents may simply be unavoidable. Taking the right steps after an accident is important to protect your legal rights, especially if the accident was due to another party’s negligence.

After an accident, you should:

  • Call the police to the scene of the accident to prepare a report
  • Seek medical condition, even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured
  • Get contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Consult with an experienced San Fernando Valley car accident attorney

Call Us

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the legal team at the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate will fight for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys, please call us at 818-745-2974 or visit us at http://www.sfvlaw.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

411 About The Seat Belt Defense

 

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411 About The Seat Belt Defense

Do you often forget to wear your seat belt? You may not think about what can happen if you don’t wear a seat belt. But if you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident, the seat belt is the one thing you will wish you had not forgotten to wear.

Wearing a seat belt is not only important for safety reasons. Not wearing one can have legal consequences as well. If you are caught, you may face a serious fine. However, a monetary consequence may be nothing compared to the negative impact on your personal injury claim.

California’s Seat Belt Law

In California, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires that every passenger, including the driver, riding in a private car to wear a safety belt. When it comes to limos and taxis, the law only requires the front seat passengers to wear seat belts. However, these vehicles will still need to provide seat belts for back seat passengers.

California seat belt law states that a driver is responsible for any passenger 16 years or older in the car to secure himself. The driver also has the responsibility to tell all passengers to buckle up. If there are passengers under the age of 16 riding without their parents, the driver must also ensure that they are wearing their seat belt. However, if the children’s parents are in the car, they are responsible to securely belt their child.

What Is the Seat Belt Defense?

In the event of an accident the seat belt defense law can provide the motorist who caused the accident a defense. For instance, let’s say that you were rear-ended by another car while on the freeway, causing your head to slam into the steering wheel. You suffered a head injury, neck injury and cuts and bruises. The other driver and a witness noticed that you were not wearing your seat belt at the time of the accident.

If you file a legal claim or lawsuit, the defendant (the occupant or owner of the car that caused the rear-end accident) can argue that your head would not have slammed into the steering wheel if you had been wearing your seat belt. This is a clear demonstration of the seat belt defense.

Using the Seat Belt Defense In California Car Accident Claims

Not all states accept the seat belt defense. However, California is one of the few states that allow the defense. As such, it is important for you to always wear a seat belt when riding in a car in California, regardless of whether you are the driver or a passenger.

The seat belt defense can reduce the amount of damages you can recover in your car accident claim. This is why you need an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who is well versed in personal injury law to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf.

Call Us

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the legal team at the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate will fight for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys, please call us at 818-745-2974 or visit us at http://www.sfvlaw.com.

California Has the Most Pedestrian Related Accident Fatalities

 

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California Has the Most Pedestrian Related Accident Fatalities

 California boasts relatively fair weather year round, which allows us to be outside and walk the streets more than most other states nationwide. Unfortunately, California also claims one of the highest pedestrian related fatalities in the Untied States.

According to a recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, California leads the nation in pedestrian-related fatalities. This report reminds us that we need to be mindful when we are a pedestrian on the roadway and a driver on the streets.

In 2015 alone, there were nearly 5,000 pedestrian deaths in the United States, 700 of which were in California. Although pedestrians have some responsibility to be watch out for cars on the road and cross only at appropriate sidewalks, drivers have the ultimately responsibility not to hit pedestrians.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pedestrian accidents are the cause of over 70,000 injuries and 4,400 deaths each year. There are multiple factors which result in a pedestrian accident. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Failure of a vehicle to make a proper stop at a stop sign or intersection (commonly known as rolling stops)
  • Speeding while driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Inexperience in driving a motor vehicle
  • Distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the top causes of pedestrian accidents. Common distractions while driving including:

  • Texting or emailing
  • Talking on the phone
  • Changing radio stations
  • Talking to other passengers in the car
  • Putting on make up
  • Eating or drinking

What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you are a pedestrian that has been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, below are some important steps you should take:

  • Make sure you and those around you are safe
  • Do not attempt to talk with the other party regarding who is at fault or apologies
  • Immediately contact the local police department
  • Obtain the contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Seek immediately medical treatment, even if you don’t think you were seriously injured – certain symptoms may not surface until several days or weeks after the accident
  • Hire an attorney who specifically handles pedestrian accident cases

Call Us

If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle, it is important to immediately contact an attorney to protect your legal rights.

At the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys can help you better understand your legal rights and options. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call us at 818-745-2974 or visit us at http://www.sfvlaw.com.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Sexually Abused or Harmed

 

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What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Sexually Abused or Harmed

As parents and caregivers, we do whatever it takes to protect our children – especially from the nightmare of sexual abuse and assault. When you suspect that you child is a victim of sexual abuse or assault, you will do whatever it takes to help him or her. However, as much as we may want to help our injured young ones, we may also not be sure what to do or how to respond to the situation.

Sexual abuse and assault of children often goes undetected. Regardless of what your caregiving role may be – mother, father, grandparent, or aunt and uncle – you have the power to make a positive difference in your child’s life.

Below are three tips you should consider if you believe your child is subject to child abuse.

  1. Recognizing the Signs of Sexual Abuse

The signs of sexual abuse are not always clear. As a parent or guardian, it is important that you learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse. Some common warning signs include:

  • Behavioral signs: These signs include shying away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behavior like wetting the bed, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to take showers, or engaging age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, nightmares.
  • Verbal signs: These signs include using words that are “too adult” for the child’s age, suddenly becoming less verbal, or becoming alarming silence.
  • Physical signs: These signs include bruising and swelling around the genital area, blood on undergarments, or physical scars.
  1. Communicating With Your Child

If you suspect that your child is a victim of sexual abuse or assault, you need to keep the lines of communication open with him or her. When initiating or engaging in conversation with your child, you should:

  • Initiate conversation at a time and place where your child feels comfortable
  • Use a tone that makes your child feel comfortable enough to open up to you
  • Use words that your child understands
  • Intently listen to your child’s words and his or her body language when speaking
  • Never blame your child or come across as judging him or her
  • Be extra patient with your child
  1. Reporting The Sexual Abuse

As soon as your child admits that he or she has been sexually abused or assaulted, it is important that you immediately report it. This is not an easy task, and can be emotionally draining. However, as your child’s guardian, you need to take this important step to get your child the help he or she needs. Reporting the sexual abuse can also prevent the abuse from happening to another innocent child and hold the abuser liable for his or her actions.

Holding the Right Parties Liable

In child sexual abuse cases, the person who did the abusing may not always be the only party you can hold liable. Child sexual abuse often involves people other than the abuser – especially when the abuse happens at the hands of a school employee.

When you drop off your child at school, you trust the school and it’s employees to keep your child safe. When this promise and trust is broken and a school employee or another student attending the school abuses or assaults your child, the school may also be responsible for their acts.

Call Us

If you suspect that your child or a loved one has been abused or molested, it is important to immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate, our Los Angeles sexual abuse attorneys can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our compassionate attorneys, please call us at 818-745-2974 or visit us at http://www.sfvlaw.com.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Truck Accidents

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More than 8 million registered trucks are involved in serious and even deadly accidents each year in the United States. Other motorists on the road stand little to no chance when involved in an accident involving a truck that is significantly bigger in size and weight. As such, even the lightest impact with a truck may lead to a devastating injury or death.

Truck accident victims and their loved ones have certain legal rights that must be immediately protected. Truck accident cases are often complicated because they involve different rules and regulations and more parties than simple car accident cases. As such, it is imperative that you immediately consult with an experienced San Fernando truck accident attorney.

5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that every 16 minutes an innocent party is seriously injured or dies in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle. Truck accidents can significantly impact all aspects of a victim’s life and the lives of their loved ones.

Most factors that are involved in the cause of truck accidents are similar to those of motor vehicle accidents. However, the susceptibility of the trucking industry to unsafe practices makes it a culprit for the following common causes of truck accidents:

  • Traveling at a reckless or unsafe speed
  • Road rage or aggressive driving
  • Not seeing other drivers or losing them in the truck’s “blind spots”
  • Driving while fatigued in order to meet unreasonable deadlines
  • Driving under the influence of over-the-counter medications that may cause drowsiness

 Getting the Right Legal Help

When it comes down to it, the sheer size of semi and big rig trucks makes every accident a shattering accident. Serious injuries can be expensive, life altering, and often involve a long road to recovery. Serious injuries may impact not only the life of the victim, but also the lives of their loved ones.

If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a truck accident, it is important to immediately consult an experienced San Fernando truck accident lawyer to help you get the full extent of the compensation that you and your family deserve.

Contact an Experienced San Fernando Valley Truck Accident Attorney

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with truck accident attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat, please call the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate at 1-800-BUT-4-LAW or 818-745-2974. Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat and her legal team are ready to fight for you.

Congratulations to Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat On Being Listed Among Lawyers of Distinction

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The legal team at the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate is honored to announce that Personal Injury Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat has been certified as a member of the Lawyers of Distinction.

The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to the top 10% of attorneys in the United States. Members are accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney’s qualifications, license, reputation, experience, and disciplinary history.

About Ghazal Amy Vahdat

Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat is the managing attorney and founder of Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate. Her long-standing reputation for providing premium service and outstanding results with a compassionate attitude towards her clients and staff has made Ms. Vahdat personally and professionally successful.

About the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate

The Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate serves all residents of Central and Southern California. The legal team at this firm is dedicated to assisting clients with legal claims arising from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and other personal injury cases. The firm also represents clients who have construction, real estate, and general business legal issues.

Contact an Experienced San Fernando Valley Accident Attorney

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat, please call the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate at 1-800-BUT-4-LAW or 818-745-2974. Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat and her legal team are ready to fight for you.