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Q
I was just in a car accident, what should I do?
A
After any auto accident, the first thing you should do is focus on your health and safety. Get to a safe place and call the police immediately. Next, get medical attention as soon as possible. Never underestimate how easily you could be injured in an accident.
Q
My insurance company made me an offer, but it seems low. Should I accept it?
A
You should never accept an insurance offer without first carefully examining your insurance policy. If the offer seems low, or will not compensate you for your medical expenses or property damage, contact an attorney before accepting any offer. Your insurance company may be offering you the bare minimum.
Q
I was injured in an auto accident, do I have a personal injury case?
A
To decide if you have a personal injury case, you need to establish that someone else was negligent. It is your burden to prove to the court that the other party was at fault, and that their acts or omissions caused the harm you suffered. You must also prove that the negligence that caused your injuries also caused damages.
Q
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
A
In California, there is a statute of limitations – or deadline – of two years from the date the injury occurred, or was realized. After that two years has passed, you will likely be unable to pursue legal action.
Q
Who can file a wrongful death claim in California?
A
Section 377.60 of California Code of Civil Procedure states that any of the following parties can file a wrongful death claim: 

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving domestic partner
  • Surviving children
  • Party who would be entitled to the estate if the deceased did not have a will
  • A minor who has resided with the deceased for at least 180 days, and who was dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support
  • A personal representative, such as a power of attorney or named executor, of the deceased
Q
What is the difference between “economic” and “non-economic” damages?
A
Economic damages are damages that can be calculated, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, or income the deceased would have earned based on his or her occupation. Non-economic damages are damages that are not as easily quantified, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and the emotional toll experienced by surviving family members.
Q
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
A
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means that you are not required to pay any costs upfront. If the case is resolved in your favor, then any fees you would have owed will be subtracted from the award amount. That takes the pressure off of you and your family while you fight for justice.
Q
Who is responsible for keeping public places safe and free from hazards?
A
The owner of any property is responsible for keeping the property safe. That includes making sure that the property itself is structurally sound and properly maintained, as well as ensuring that there are no hazards or immediate dangers to anyone who visits.
Q
Who is responsible for an accident on private property?
A
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining a safe property for any guests that enter the property. Homeowners must tell visitors if there is a hazard on the property, or should correct it before having visitors. A prime example is that of the often-publicized deck collapses that injure many people. The homeowner is liable for the injuries sustained by visitors if he or she failed to keep the deck up to code and properly maintained.
Q
I slipped and fell on wet flooring at a hotel, can I sue the hotel for my injuries?
A
If you slipped and fell on wet floors that were unmarked, then you may be able to sue the hotel for your injuries. If the hotel staff should have known about the danger, or did know and failed to take precautions to prevent an accident, then they may be liable for your injuries and related losses.