| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in California?

Suppose you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. In that case, it’s understandable that you want to know the typical car accident settlement amounts for California claims. However, there is no specific car accident settlement amount we can share with you. Every car accident is different and will resolve for a different settlement amount. Even in cases with similar facts, no two settlements are identical. Speak with a Los Angeles car accident attorney at Joseph Farzam Law Firm to learn more about your individual case value. Determining Your Damages in a California Car Accident Your damages have a significant impact on what your potential settlement might be. Your claim consists of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that you can calculate. There is a financial loss associated with these types of damages. Examples of economic damages include: Medical expenses, Lost wages, and Property damage. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify. While some insurance companies determine the extent of non-economic damages by multiplying economic damages, there is no specific car accident settlement calculator. Non-economic damages are more subjective than economic ones. Examples of non-economic damages include: Physical pain and suffering; Emotional distress; Loss of consortium; and Loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages often make up the most considerable portion of California’s typical car accident settlement, especially in cases involving severe injuries. How Liability Impacts Your Settlement Amount Liability is one of the other major factors that can impact your overall settlement amount. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still collect a portion of your damages. However, your overall settlement amount is reduced by your percentage of liability. For example, if a jury finds you 25% at fault, you could collect 75% of your overall damages. If the jury places 75% fault on you, you would be entitled to collect 25% of your damages. Remember, comparative negligence works both ways. If you collect 75% of your damages, it means the defendant can get 25% of their damages from your insurance company. Liability disputes can impact how long it takes to resolve your case as well. Because California is a pure comparative state, the defendant’s insurance company will work tirelessly to assign as much blame on you as possible. The more liability they can place on you, the less exposure they have. No matter how friendly or helpful the defendant’s insurance company tries to get you to believe they are, they are not on your side. Instead, they are looking for any statements or pieces of evidence they can use against you. That is one reason why retaining an experienced California car accident attorney is so crucial.   How Long Does an Auto Accident Settlement Take? The timeframe for resolving a car accident case will vary. While many cases settle out of court, some car accident cases do end up going to trial. The same factors that affect your case value can affect the amount of time it takes to resolve your claim. Disputed liability and disagreements over the severity of your injuries or the amount of treatment are some of the variables that can affect how long it takes to resolve your case. Available insurance limits can also impact your claim. If you have severe injuries and the at-fault party has low liability insurance limits, their insurance company may pay out the claim relatively fast. For example, consider a plaintiff with $300,000 in medical expenses and the defendant’s insurance liability limits are only $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury. Even if the plaintiff  were mostly at fault for the accident, the defendant’s insurance limits would be exhausted. Therefore, they may settle the claim early on since there is no benefit to keeping the file open.   Statute of Limitations When filing a personal injury claim, it’s essential to understand that you must adhere to legal deadlines in all cases. Like other states, California has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases. This date is the deadline you have to file a lawsuit with the proper court in California. For injury auto accidents, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Property damage only claims have a three-year statute of limitations. Two years may seem like a long time to bring a lawsuit, but it’s not. If your injuries are severe, you may still be undergoing treatment over a year after the accident. If you inadvertently miss the deadline, the court will likely throw your case out, and all chances of recovery are lost. Even if you were in the middle of negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company, they are under no obligation to pay you anything after the statute of limitations has run. Why risk your entire claim by handling it independently? Instead, hire a skilled California car accident firm like Farzam Law Firm. When you retain us to handle your personal injury claim, we will handle all the tedious legal tasks, including filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Your primary goal should be to concentrate on your recovery and get your life back on track. Choosing Farzam Law Firm for Your California Car Accident Claim You have thousands of law firms and attorneys to choose from, so you may be wondering what sets us apart. We believe in putting all clients first. You are more than a case number or file on a desk. When you work with some law firms, you won’t get the personalized service you will get when you hire Farzam Law Firm. We have a successful track record of recovering compensation for our clients. To date, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in countless personal injury claims, including car accident cases. To learn more about how we can help you fight for the financial compensation you deserve, contact Farzam Law Firm. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our skilled Los Angeles car accident lawyers. We will sit down...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

What’s the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California?

Losing a loved one is an awful experience that too many California families go through every year. And while the at-fault party may end up facing criminal charges, this doesn’t help the family cope with the short- and long-term costs of losing that person. California law recognizes this through the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, more commonly known as the wrongful death statute.  When someone dies due to a negligent or wrongful act of another, this law allows their surviving family to seek compensation in civil court. But like most causes of action, there is a specific time frame for filing this lawsuit. It is important to know what this limit is and how it can affect a family’s right to recover damages. Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California The legal term “statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time a plaintiff has to file their lawsuit before they are barred from doing so. Most of the time, this clock starts ticking down from the date of the accident or incident in question. In California, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit is two years from the date of the decedent’s death. But there are a few exceptions. Exceptions to the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in California There are some situations where the normal two-year California wrongful death statute can be either extended or shortened. Whether one of these applies depends on the circumstances and specific facts unique to each claim. The Discovery Rule The discovery rule allows the court to extend a statute of limitations when the plaintiff doesn’t know of (or could have reasonably discovered) their injuries and other damages until after the incident date. For example, this rule might apply if an auto accident victim suffers latent injuries that could only be discovered weeks or months after the incident. For wrongful death, it is invoked when the victim’s family could not have reasonably found out about their death until some time afterward. The statute is then paused until the date they learned of (or discovered) the decedent’s passing.  Medical Malpractice If the family member died due to negligence by a doctor or other medical professional, the filing timeline is a bit different. For the wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, the family must bring the claim within three years of when the malpractice occurred or, if it is discovered later, within one year of the date when the malpractice should have reasonably been discovered.  Lawsuits Against Government Entities While some exceptions extend a filing date, this one shortens it. The California wrongful death statute applied a shorter limitations period when a state or local government entity or employee caused a wrongful death. The California statute of limitations in these situations is only six months from the date of death. How Can a Lawyer Help with a Wrongful Death Claim? Knowing how, when, and where to file a wrongful death suit is stressful, especially when grieving the loss of a loved one; This is where a California personal injury attorney can help. We can help you navigate the claims process all while keeping an eye on California’s wrongful death statute of limitations. In addition, an experienced attorney knows what kinds of financial compensation you are entitled to seek and how much. We also know to calculate those damages so that you have the best shot at full and fair compensation. You can never replace a loved one after a wrongful death. Still, a compassionate and dedicated attorney can help you seek compensation to cover the costs and losses that losing a family member brings. Lose a Loved One in California? Call the Farzam Law Firm Today If you have suffered the loss of a family member due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, we offer our deepest condolences. At the Farzam Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience helping Californians through tough times. Our personal injury team provides compassionate and dedicated representation for our clients, whether through negotiation or trial. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 310-226-6890 or contact us here.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

How to Prove Fault in a Wrongful Death Case

Losing a loved one in an accident can be extremely difficult. While no monetary amount can compensate you for the sudden loss of your family member, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you deal with the financial challenges you are facing. Here, we will discuss how to prove fault and other wrongful death elements. What Is a Wrongful Death Case? Wrongful death is a cause of action that arises when someone’s negligence or other wrongful action causes the death of another person. If one of your relatives died as a result of a negligently caused accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Wrongful death is a civil claim. The goal is to obtain damages to compensate yourself and your family. This is different from a criminal case in which the goal is punitive towards the defendant. Since wrongful death is a civil claim, the State does not file the case as it would in a criminal proceeding. Certain people with a particular relationship to the deceased person must file a wrongful death claim. Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case? In California, only certain relatives of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can be brought by: A surviving spouse; Domestic partners; Surviving children or grandchildren;  Other relatives, such as siblings or parents who could inherit property from the deceased because of a blood relation; or  Surviving parents, stepchildren, or a putative spouse who can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased. A putative spouse is someone who believed that their marriage to the deceased was valid when it was in fact void for reasons such as a pre-existing marriage. Children of the putative spouse who were dependent on the deceased also have standing to bring a claim. Contact a wrongful death attorney if you are not sure whether you have the standing to bring a wrongful death claim. Even if you are unable to file a lawsuit, one of your family members may be able to do so. Proving Fault for Wrongful Death Proving fault in a wrongful death case is similar to proving fault in any other personal injury lawsuit. The person bringing the suit, also called the plaintiff, has to show that the defendant was negligent and that the negligence caused the death of the plaintiff’s relative. Negligence can be broken down into several elements. Duty of Care As the plaintiff, you must establish that the defendant owed the deceased person a duty of care. This is one of the wrongful death elements that an attorney will be able to help you with. The law recognizes certain duties of care that people owe to other people. For example, the owner of a grocery store owes a duty to the people who shop in the grocery store to maintain the premises in a safe condition. Certain people, such as doctors and other professionals owe specific duties to their patients or clients. Duty is not general, so you will have to prove that the defendant owed a duty specifically to your relative. Breach You must also prove breach of the duty of care. Breach means the defendant failed to act in accordance with the duty of care that they owed to the deceased person. A breach is a negligent action itself, such as failing to stop at a red light or allowing a dangerous condition to exist. Causation The defendant’s breach must be a direct and proximate cause of death. If an intervening event aside from the defendant’s negligence caused the accident, then the defendant may not be responsible. While causation sounds like a simple element, it can be deceptively difficult to prove. A skilled personal injury attorney will understand how to establish causation in a wrongful death claim. Damages in a Wrongful Death Case Damages in a wrongful death claim may be somewhat different than in a different type of personal injury case. Wrongful death damages can include compensation for both financial and non-financial losses.  Pecuniary damages cover the financial losses you incurred as a result of your loved one’s death. This can include the cost of medical bills incurred prior to death, funeral expenses, and the value of your relative’s lost wages. Courts use various approximation methods for estimating lost wages. Non-pecuniary damages compensate you for losses that do not have a direct dollar equivalent. For example, you can recover a sum of money that represents the loss of your spouse’s affection and/or moral support. Other aspects of a relationship that may be covered by non-pecuniary damages are loss of the guidance of a parent or loss of household services. Since there is no actual monetary value that adequately represents these losses, the jury provides an estimate based on the facts and circumstances of the situation. Wrongful Death Attorneys If you recently lost a loved one in an accident, you should talk to a wrongful death attorney. While the wrongful death elements described above may seem straightforward, there are many confusing aspects of the law. Wrongful death attorneys are familiar with the elements of negligence and the various defenses that a defendant may raise. In addition, a lawyer will know how to gather the strongest possible evidence to support your claim. If the responsible party in your case is an employer or another large entity, it is especially important to have good legal representation. A corporation will likely have a team of attorneys and deep pockets with which to defend its claim. You may be at a significant disadvantage if you try to represent yourself. Call Our Office Farzam Law Firm has been serving clients in the LA area for over two decades, and we are here to answer your wrongful death questions. We have experienced trial lawyers who are not afraid to fight for your rights in court. Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. The Farzam Law Firm handles every case with compassion and professionalism to...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: < 1 minute | Blog

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Auto accidents are caused by numerous factors. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents on California’s roads are provided below. If you or a loved one have sustained serious injuries due to an auto accident and seeks answers to any legal questions, feel free to contact our law offices toll-free at 888-999-9394. Distracted Driving According to numerous studies, distracted driving is the most common cause of motor vehicle collisions. Common distractions while driving on the road include Use of mobile phones Eating Applying makeup Talking to other passengers and using hand held devices (text messaging). Driving While Sleepy  – Drive Fatigue Driver fatigue is most likely to stroke individual drivers between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am.  If you are feeling tired and your eyes start to feel heavy, it is advisable to refrain from driving altogether and find a different mode of transportation. Driving Under the Influence Driving under the influence of alcohol and or other narcotic substance is one of the most common causes of car accidents amongst young drivers.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

Patent Law Damages: Reasonable Royalty

After a finding of infringement has been established, the analysis shifts to the appropriate scope and nature of damages.  Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a patent holder whose patent is infringed is entitled to at least a reasonable royalty.  Absent sufficient proof supporting a claim for lost profits, the patent holder is entitled to a reasonable royalty for all infringing sales.  See Lucent Techs., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc., 580 F.3d 1301, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2009); Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., 56 F.3d 1538, 1554 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc). What Is A Reasonable Royalty? In the context of patents, a royalty can be defined as payment(s) made to a patent holder in exchange for the right to make, use, or sell the claimed invention.  A reasonable royalty is the amount of royalty payment that a patent holder and the infringer would have agreed to in a hypothetical negotiation taking place at a time prior to when the infringement first began.  See, e.g., Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 632 F.3d 1292 (Fed. Cir. 2011); ResQNet.com, Inc. v. Lansa, Inc., 594 F.3d 860 (Fed. Cir. 2010); Lucent Techs., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc., 580 F.3d 1301, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2009), cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 3324 (2010). In considering this hypothetical negotiation, the focus remains on the expectations of the patent holder and the infringer had they entered into an agreement for a valid and enforceable patent, assuming that both parties would have acted reasonably in their negotiations. See Golight, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 355 F.3d 1327, 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2004); Maxwell v. J. Baker, Inc., 86 F.3d 1098, 1108-10 (Fed. Cir. 1996); Mahurkar v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 79 F.3d 1572, 1579-81 (Fed. Cir. 1996). In determining the reasonable royalty, courts consider all the facts known and available to the parties at the time the infringement began, and, specifically, the following factors (known as the Georgia-Pacific factors): The royalties received by the patentee for the licensing of the patent-in-suit, proving or tending to prove an established royalty. The rates paid by the licensee for the use of other patents comparable to the patent-in- suit. The nature and scope of the license, as exclusive or nonexclusive, or as restricted or non-restricted in terms of territory or with respect to whom the manufactured product may be sold. The licensor’s established policy and marketing program to maintain his or her patent monopoly by not licensing others to use the invention or by granting licenses under special conditions designed to preserve that monopoly. The commercial relationship between the licensor and licensee, such as whether they are competitors in the same territory in the same line of business, or whether they are inventor and promoter. The effect of selling the patented specialty in promoting sales of other products of the licensee, the existing value of the invention to the licensor as a generator of sales of his non-patented items, and the extent of such derivative or convoyed sales. The duration of the patent and the term of the license. The established profitability of the product made under the patents, its commercial success, and its current popularity. The utility and advantages of the patented property over the old modes or devices, if any, that had been used for working out similar results. The nature of the patented invention, the character of the commercial embodiment of it as owned and produced by the licensor, and the benefits to those who have used the invention. The extent to which the infringer has made use of the invention and any evidence probative of the value of that use. The portion of the profit or of the selling price that may be customary in the particular business or in comparable business to allow for the use of the invention or analogous inventions. The portion of the realizable profits that should be credited to the invention as distinguished from non-patented elements, the manufacturing process, business risks, or significant features or improvements added by the infringer. The opinion and testimony of qualified experts. The amount that a licensor (such as the patentee) and a licensee (such as the infringer) would have agreed upon (at the time the infringement began) if both had been reasonably and voluntarily trying to reach an agreement. See Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. U.S. Plywood Corp., 318 F. Supp. 1116, 1120 (S.D.N.Y. 1970); see also Interactive Pictures Corp. v. Infinite Pictures, Inc., 274 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2001); Trans-World Mfg. Corp. v. Al Nyman & Sons, Inc., 750 F.2d 1552 (Fed. Cir. 1984). No single Georgia-Pacific factor is dispositive.  Rather, all factors must be considered and weighed in light of the facts of each case.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

How To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be a daunting task.  Not only are you forced to cope with the perils associated with your accident and injuries, but you have to hire an individual who you not only trust, but also feel confident in their abilities.  For most people who have never had to go through the litigation process, they simply do not know where to start.  Fortunately, there are several steps you can take before hiring your attorney that can help you rest assured in the decision making process. You have to remember that civil lawsuits often take years to settle.  For better or worse, you will be connected to your attorney for the better part of this time.  Although it is always possible to sub out an existing attorney, it is always better to make the right decision the first time.  Below is a list of checkpoints to consider before hiring a personal injury attorney 1. Ask to meet with the attorney face-to-face.  In today’s fast pace world, attorneys are often found and signed without even an in person exchange.  While this can be successful, you are better off meeting with your attorney in their office in order to get a better idea of who you are hiring. 2. What have they done in the past?  Past victories do not always portend to future success, but it certainly can be an indication of how well they have done.  It is important to see not only how much the attorney was able to procure in past settlements, but also whether or not he or she has handled a similar case in the past.  Some attorneys specialize in only certain types of personal injury, such as medical malpractice or dog bites.  Make sure you find one that knows your case well. 3. Communicate.  Far and away, the number one complaint client have about their attorneys is the failure to communicate.  Within this failure are two types of complaints: (1) failure to respond or return phone calls and (2) failure to update the client on the progress of the case.  This can be extremely frustrating for clients, as they are often left in the dark.  Before you hire your attorney, call their office.  Do you get connected directly to the attorney, or are you simply going back and forth with a secretary.  Attorneys are busy, dealing with deadlines, court appearances and other issues, therefore they cannot always respond to your questions right away. However, they should be able to return your call within a short period of time. 4.  Look at reviews.  Online reviews can be misleading.  Often, the reviews are done by someone hired by the attorney to give them positive feedback (this is highly unethical, but undoubtedly done nonetheless).  However, sometimes it is possible to decipher between a genuine review and one artificially manufactured.  Look to see what people have to say. 5. Read the retainer.  Society in general has a bad habit of signing contracts without reading them first.  Many attorneys will charge hidden fees, leaving there clients in the cold once the settlement is disbursed.  Make sure this does not happen to you. 6.  Ask questions.  Lastly, ask as many questions to your attorney as necessary to make you feel comfortable.  For example, you should ask: How much are your fees? Why should I hire you? What is your background?  What are your special credentials? Who is primarily responsible for handling my case? Can I have your cell phone number? Will you update me on my case? Ultimately, there is no sure way to ensure that you will hire the best possible attorney to handle your case.  But by doing your due diligence, you can at least minimize the risk.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Blog

Contract Negotiation Tips

1.     Put It In Writing.  You have nothing to lose by putting your agreement in writing.  Make sure to properly document all agreed-upon terms in writing even during the negotiation process, whether by way of a formal contract or a short email. 2.     Be Prepared. Before beginning any negotiation, you should know your goals and the desired outcome.  You should also identify items that are non-negotiable.  Ideally, before any negotiation, you should do research and find out as much as possible about the other side’s current situation, goals, desires and non-negotiable terms. 3.     Be Prepared To Make Some Compromises.  To ensure compliance with the terms of an agreement, it is important that both sides feel as though they have made a good deal.  Because you may need make acceptable concessions, in general, you do not want to start the negotiation process by offering your absolute bottom line.  Rather, leave room to negotiate, allowing the other side to feel that he/she has also achieved a good result.  4.     Stay Focused On Long-Term Goals.  While it may be alluring to get as many concessions as possible, stay mindful of your long-term goals.  Sometimes, conceding a small point may actually be more beneficial if it encourages the other side to compromise on an issue that is more important to you.  Stay focused on the long-term repercussions of each concession/compromise made or offered. 5.     Focus On The Positives.  Instead of focusing solely on the parties’ points of disagreement, it is important to remind yourself (and the other side) about all the issues on which you have reached agreement.  This approach also requires that you compartmentalize the key terms of your agreement, discussing and negotiating the terms separately instead of adopting an “all or nothing” approach.  This way, the parties can readily realize the progress they have made by way of a series of agreements rather than focusing on one impasse. 6.     Know When To Stop.  Negotiation is a process that requires time, effort and patience. If you reach an impasse, be willing to end the meeting and reconvene later.  7.     Consult An Experienced Attorney.  Even for the simplest of contracts, enlisting the help of an experienced attorney may help you secure the best results at the outset, avoiding potential pitfalls down the road. Don’t hesitate to consult an experienced attorney before and/or during negotiations.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Blog

Lemon Law Basics

Lemons: A Common Occurrence Auto defects are a common occurrence.  Each year, car manufacturers buy back an estimated 100,000 lemons.   It is important to note, however, that in the vast majority of those buybacks, the consumers pursued his/her lemon law claims by retaining an attorney.  As such, to get the compensation you deserve, you should consult with an experienced Lemon Law attorney. Common Defects California Lemon Law provides for refund or replacement of vehicles with problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.  Whether the defect actually impairs the use, value or safety is an objective test. “Use” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s components must do what they are supposed to do.  For example, the door locks must secure access to the vehicle.  The temperature control settings must allow control over cooling/heating in the car. “Value” as used above generally covers any value-impairing defects.  This could be, for example, problems with the paint on the body of the car. “Safety” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s stated safety measures/components must work as intended.   There is no requirement under Lemon Law that a defect actually put the owner in danger.  Rather, it is sufficient that, as a result of the defect, the foreseeable use of the vehicle would be unsafe. For example, if the safety measures/components perform in an unpredictable manner that could cause an accident, this could be considered a “safety” defect. Some examples of defects that have been shown to substantially impair the use, value, or safety of vehicles are provided below: Stalling Failing to start Repeated check engine light warnings Steering problems Brake defects (other than squeaking) Malfunctioning mirrors and windshield wipers Malfunctioning speedometers and fuel gauges Headlight malfunctions Brake light malfunctions Malfunctioning door locks Diminished acceleration Heating/cooling problems Batteries that repeatedly die Transmissions that lurch when starting or stopping Paint that bubbles of strips away Other engine issues (vibrations, noises, overheating, etc.) Contact A Lemon Law Attorney Today! If your motor vehicle suffers from one or more of these issues, you should contact one of our attorneys to find out about your legal rights.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

Is California a No-Fault State?

At our nation’s foundational level, we operate as a federalist system – meaning that our country is composed of various states. While retaining some degree of independence, our states all cede a certain degree of that independence and decision-making authority to the higher level of government (i.e., the federal government). One of the main consequences of having a federalist system is that different states have different laws. Where the federal government doesn’t regulate something, the states do, and they often do so differently. One area where the states’ differing rules are readily apparent is the laws surrounding car accidents. The different states have different insurance requirements, including various regulations on determining who pays for car accidents and why. We call these fault systems. There are two main types of fault systems in the US today: at-fault and no-fault systems. As a driver in California, it is essential to know where our state lies on this spectrum. More importantly, it is crucial to understand how these rules work in California. Here, to help our clients and readers, Farzam Law Firm breaks down at-fault and no-fault liability systems. What Is a No-Fault State? A no-fault state is one in which the question of fault never arises in determining liability in car accident claims. That is because the question is irrelevant. Regardless of who causes an accident, each party’s liability insurance policy covers its own damages. So who pays for an accident in a no-fault state? The answer is typically both parties.  No-fault states usually require drivers to carry the minimum liability coverage for both property and personal injury damages. The minimum coverage typically ranges from $10,000 to $100,0000 for bodily injuries and $10,000 to $50,000 for property damage. If the damage goes beyond a given threshold in a no-fault state, parties to an accident can still recover their damages—just not through their insurance company. Instead, parties whose damages exceed policy amounts can file a claim in civil court to recover the remainder of the damages they suffered. Today, the number of no-fault states is far less than the number of fault states in the US. Currently, the no-fault insurance states include: Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Utah. While these states (and Puerto Rico) use a no-fault liability system for car accidents, the minimum thresholds differ. As you can see, California is not a no-fault state. What Is an At-Fault State? California is an example of an at-fault state. The determination of who pays for a given car accident is by assessing each party’s degree of fault in the accident. Drivers in at-fault states must still carry liability insurance policies. However, on a general level, instead of your own insurance company paying for your claim, the other party’s insurance is liable for your claim (if they are at fault). In other words, liability corresponds directly with each party’s share of the blame for the accident. Instead of filing a claim with your own insurance company, you file a claim with the other person’s insurance company. At its most basic level, this is what an at-fault system does. However, there are two main types of at-fault liability systems that you should know about: modified comparative fault and pure comparative fault. Modified vs. Pure Comparative Fault Systems Pure comparative fault systems assign both liability as a whole and the percentage of liability purely based on the degree of fault. Conversely, modified comparative fault systems assign liability, to an extent, based on who is most at fault. In other words, there are limits. If your percentage of fault exceeds a specific rate (usually 50 or 51%) in a modified comparative fault system, you cannot claim damages from the other party.  To illustrate how these two different systems work in practice, consider the following example of a car accident: Party A is 90% at fault for the accident, and party B is 10% at fault for the accident.  In a pure comparative fault system like California, party A will recover 10% of the damages they suffered from party B (or their insurance company). Conversely, party B will recover 90% of the damages they suffer from party A (or their insurance company). The system is “pure” because the reduction in liability corresponds directly with the percentage of fault.  On the other hand, in a modified comparative fault system, party A will not recover any damages from party because their degree of fault is above the given threshold. Also known as a modified system of comparative fault, any party above that threshold of culpability(usually 50 or 51%) cannot recover any damages from the opposing party. Farzam Law Can Help Since California is a pure comparative fault state, determining the percentage of fault always challenges California car accident claims. Our team at Farzam Law Firm has years of experience working through California’s specific rules and regulations. In doing so, we have spent years helping people recover from car accidents. We can help you prove or disprove your degree of fault, establish the other party’s responsibility, and, most importantly, make sure that you recover the maximum amount of damages allowed by law. Whatever your individual needs are, our goal is to meet them. You can check it out for yourself, too. Our case results and testimonials pages speak for themselves. We go to bat for our clients, and we are always proud to do so. Whatever your needs are, let us figure out how we can help. Contact Farzam Law Firm for your free consultation today!.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

What’s the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount in California?

Personal injuries happen every single day, leaving victims with injuries, property damage, and financial strain. But what is a personal injury, and what is an average personal injury settlement amount? The Farzam Law Firm can answer these and many other questions, helping you recover emotionally and financially.  What Is a Personal Injury? A personal injury is a harm caused by another individual or entity. This harm is not only physical but may also be emotional or financial. Personal injuries most often result from a defendant’s negligence.  Common personal injury claims arising from: Car accidents, Truck accidents, Workplace accidents, Construction site accidents, Slip and falls, and Wrongful death. If another’s actions have wronged you or a loved one, you may have a personal injury claim. Do not hesitate to contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Is There an Average Settlement for Personal Injury Claims You Can Expect to Receive? The details and circumstances surrounding personal injury claims vary greatly from case to case. Therefore, there is no “average” injury claim settlement amount. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend on your particular case. Your personal injury attorney will review your case and determine how much your case is worth. What Factors Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim? Many factors can positively or negatively impact the value of your personal injury claim. Some of these factors include: The type of accident; The severity of injuries; Medical expenses; The total amount of recovery time; Long-term injuries and effects; and Whether the victim contributed to the accident. Your personal injury lawyer will weigh these and other factors to determine how much they impact your personal injury payout. How Long Does Settlement for a Personal Injury Claim Take? As with many other details of a personal injury claim, the length of time it takes to resolve your case depends on your particular case and circumstances. Some of the factors that may affect the amount of time it takes to settle your claim include: The extent of your injuries; When you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI); Whether liability is disputed; Settlement negotiations; Whether your case goes to trial; and Your patience. While many cases settle outside of court, others make it to the courtroom. Even if settlement takes a little longer than expected, trust that your California personal injury attorney works diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.  Damages Available for California Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlements There are two types of damages available for personal injury claims in California: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages serve to reimburse for expenses directly related to your accident or injuries. They include: Property damage, Medical bills, and Lost wages. Non-economic damages are also related to your accident or injuries but allow you to recover for intangible damages. These damages include: Pain and suffering, Emotional distress, and Loss of consortium. Punitive damages, while not often awarded, may be available depending on your case. Punitive damages serve to punish a defendant. If a defendant’s egregious, malicious, or careless actions caused your injuries, a court might award punitive damages. Damages can be challenging to calculate, and you may not know the extent of injuries available for you to include. Fortunately, your attorney will calculate the appropriate amount of damages and fight aggressively for a fair settlement.  Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in California While you may be entitled to compensation after suffering a personal injury, it is easy to give up your rights by not taking action and filing your personal injury claim promptly. A statute of limitations imposes a limit on the time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the accident date. So, for example, if your accident occurred on October 1, 2020, you will have until October 1, 2022, to file your claim. By failing to file your lawsuit within two years, you will forfeit your right to compensation.  Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney Today Having a personal injury attorney working on your case can bring many advantages, including giving you peace of mind while focusing on your health and recovery. While there is no typical settlement for personal injury lawsuits, your lawyer will protect your rights and help you recover just compensation. The Farzam Law Firm is led by experienced trial attorney Joseph Farzam. Mr. Farzam has over 20 years of experience helping injured clients get the just resolution they deserve. He fights aggressively for clients’ rights and never backs down from even the more challenging cases. Our firm offers free consultations. Contact us today to get started on the road to recovery. 

Continue Reading