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Filing an Uber / Lyft Car Accident Claim in California

Being involved in a car accident is already a stressful experience. If you were the passenger in a rideshare vehicle or you were struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, it can be even more stressful and confusing. Accident claims involving rideshare vehicles such as Uber or Lyft are different from normal accident claims. If you need to file an Uber accident claim, it’s essential to understand how the process works. It’s also a good idea to speak with an experienced California rideshare accident lawyer. At Farzam Law Firm, we have extensive experience dealing with rideshare accidents. We understand how the claims process works and the roadblocks you could face. While ordering a ride through these companies may be easy, resolving an injury claim is often more challenging. If you sustained injuries in a rideshare accident, you might have a personal injury claim.  Understanding How Uber Insurance Works Uber accidents differ from other types of collisions. Just because there is an Uber driver involved in your accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Uber will compensate you for your injuries and other damages. As a large corporation, they are looking to reduce their exposure however possible. While Uber maintains a liability policy for its drivers, that coverage depends on the circumstances of the accident and what the driver was doing at the time: Driver is offline or has the app turned off: The driver’s personal automobile policy is primary. Driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a ride request: If the driver’s policy does not extend coverage for the accident, Uber will cover the accident. However, limits are lower ($50,000 in bodily injury per person; $100,000 for bodily injury per incident; and $25,000 in property damage).  Driver is en route to pick up a rider or is on a trip: Uber’s policy of $1,000,000 in coverage will apply. California has low liability limit requirements, which means an Uber driver could carry the minimum limits of $15,000 in bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per incident, and $5,000 in property damage. In the event of a severe injury, the driver’s liability limits most likely will not be enough to cover your damages because medical bills add up fast. How to Get Compensation in an Uber Car Accident Claim   Even if Uber agrees there is applicable coverage for the accident, you still need to prove liability against the Uber driver. Consider an accident where you are a passenger in the Uber vehicle and another driver runs a red light and hits you. If you file a claim with Uber for the accident, they will probably deny coverage based on liability because their driver was not at fault. You would need to pursue a claim for your injuries against the other driver’s insurance policy. If you were driving your own vehicle and an Uber driver with a passenger hit you, then Uber’s coverage would likely apply. But they will likely argue that you are at least some percentage at fault for the accident to reduce their financial exposure. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can still collect a portion of your damages, even if you are partially at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you can collect 80% of your damages. But under this rule, you at least get compensation for the part of the accident that is not your fault. Contact a California Rideshare Accident Lawyer If you sustained injuries in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you might have a legal claim for damages. Don’t attempt to pursue a claim independently. Let a skilled California rideshare lawyer help. Speak with an experienced attorney at Farzam Law Firm today. We have over 20 years of experience and aren’t afraid to stand up to big corporations like Uber. If necessary, we are prepared to take your case to trial to fight for your owed compensation. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

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Can You Receive Unemployment If You Quit?

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) oversees unemployment insurance and state disability insurance programs. You may wonder whether you can get unemployment if you voluntarily quit your job. Ideally, most people opt to have a new job lined up before leaving their current occupation. However, in some situations, you may choose to quit your job before securing a new position. Unfortunately, this can severely impact your ability to obtain unemployment benefits. What Is Unemployment? Unemployment benefits are typically available to those who are actively searching for work but unable to find employment. Understanding the purpose of unemployment benefits assists in answering the question of whether you can collect unemployment if you quit your job. Unemployment insurance provides unemployment benefits, typically in the form of weekly payments, to eligible workers. In California, to qualify for unemployment benefits, a worker must satisfy eligibility requirements.  How Do I Qualify for Unemployment?  Generally speaking, the answer to Can you collect unemployment if you quit your job? is no. The following general requirements qualify an individual for unemployment. Minimum Earnings Requirement California looks at your work history and earnings during your one-year base period. Qualifying for unemployment requires the following minimum earnings: $1,300 in your highest-paid quarter, or  $900 in your highest-paid quarter and during the entire base period, at least 1.25 your high-quarter earnings.  A base period represents the earliest four of the last five complete quarters of the calendar year. For example, if you file for unemployment in November 2020, the base period would be July 2019 through September 2020. The last complete calendar quarter was July 2020 through September 2020 and the base period is the four quarters before the last full quarter.  Unemployment Reasons  An additional requirement qualifying a person for unemployment is that the employee involuntarily lost employment. Currently, due to the recent global pandemic, California extended eligibility requirements to those who previously may not have qualified for unemployment benefits. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extended the time limits for coverage. Additional benefits under the CARES Act were extended under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to September 6, 2021.  Qualifying individuals receive an additional $300 a week for their unemployment benefits. The following individuals qualify for additional unemployment benefits under the CARES Act: Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are currently trying to get a diagnosis or experiencing symptoms; Persons caring for a family member with COVID-19, or a child whose school closed due to COVID-19; Persons whose employment closed due to COVID-19; and Persons forced to quit solely due to COVID-19. The Act also extended benefits to individuals owning small businesses and contractors. Despite being ineligible for general unemployment benefits, the PUA permits benefits to the following individuals: Business owners, Self-employed workers,  Independent contractors,  People with limited work history, People who used all their regular unemployment insurance benefits, and People serving false statement penalty weeks on their regular unemployment insurance claim.  Qualifying individuals under PUA may collect benefits beginning when you were affected by COVID-19.    Who Does Not Qualify for Unemployment?  Generally speaking, there are two groups unable to qualify to receive unemployment benefits in California. These two groups include the following persons:  Those quitting their jobs voluntarily, and Those terminated from their jobs “for cause.” For the first group, the question of, Can you get unemployment if you quit? is most often answered in the negative. However, in situations where you quit your job based on harassment, discrimination, or a hostile work environment, your claim for unemployment may not be barred. Additionally, in these situations, you may possess grounds to file a discrimination claim against your employer.  The second group includes those terminated from their positions “for cause.” “For cause” refers to situations where an individual violated rules of conduct in the workplace such as failing to adhere to employer rules and policies. It also applies to situations of misconduct. Misconduct generally refers to a breach of an important duty or obligation owed to the employer, which is found to be willful and wanton in character. Most often, this misconduct harms or injures the employer in some way.  Additionally, one may not qualify for unemployment for the following reasons:  Lacking sufficient work history, Lacking sufficient earnings,  You are not able to currently work, or  You are not a U.S. citizen. Failing to complete the application for unemployment benefits also results in a denial of your claim. The letter of denial from the EDD typically includes the reason for the denial of unemployment benefits.  Can I Appeal My Denial of Unemployment? Denial of unemployment insurance benefits may be appealed. The time to file an appeal in California is only 30 days from the Notice of Determination and/or Ruling. You may submit your appeal with the EDD appeal form. However, if unable to obtain a copy of the appeal form, you may submit to the EDD a letter stating your request to appeal your denial.  The Office of Appeals notifies you at least 10 days in advance of your hearing date. An administrative law judge oversees the hearing and reviews all evidence presented. If you plan to appeal your denial of unemployment benefits, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced employment attorney. Gathering and presenting all appropriate evidence strengthens support for your claim. An unemployment attorney can work with you to maximize your chances of succeeding on appeal.  Contact Us After leaving your place of work, determining whether you can collect unemployment if you quit your job may be at the forefront of your concerns. Circumstances may arise which prevent you from securing another job before you quit your present job, such as having to leave due to a harassing work environment. Farzam Law Firm dedicates its practice to pursuing full remedies for employees. This includes individuals seeking answers regarding the recovery of unemployment benefits. Our firm is composed of experienced trial attorneys with years of employment law practice. We know all the tricks and understand the complexity of the unemployment benefits...

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What Is a Defective Product Liability Claim and Whom Do I Sue?

When a product harms a consumer, the injured person can open a defective product claim to sue for product liability. Generally, the at-fault party is the product’s manufacturer or seller. California’s strict liability laws protect product liability, claim plaintiffs. Defective Product Claims Liability In California, product liability claim plaintiffs can bring their lawsuits based on three theories of general liability: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. What Is Strict Liability? California case law says that a manufacturer or seller is liable for their products’ defects when they place their product on the market and a consumer is injured. For a product to be considered defective, the following must apply: The consumer was using the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner;  The product was defective when placed on the market; and  The defect caused the person’s injuries.  The defect could have been due to improper manufacturing or design or a lack of sufficient safety warnings. A plaintiff can show manufacturing defects by establishing that the individual product deviated substantially from the intended design because of the manufacturing process. A design defect means that the very concept of the product is fundamentally flawed. The plaintiff does not need to prove the defendant’s negligence in a strict liability case; a manufacturer is responsible for injuries simply by putting the faulty product on the market. Other Ways to Recover Alternatively, injured people can also bring a defective product lawsuit in California based on negligence and breach of warranty claims. Plaintiffs can include these arguments with their strict liability claim to strengthen their case and cover all their bases. Proving negligence requires the plaintiff to show that:  The defendant had a reasonable duty of care to their consumer;  They breached that duty;  Their breach caused harm to the plaintiff; and  The plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages.  In breach of warranty claims, the plaintiff must show that the seller or manufacturer breached either their own express warranty or an implied warranty of merchantability. An express warranty includes representations the seller or manufacturer made about their products that consumers relied upon. An implied warranty of merchantability means that the goods are of acceptable quality and fit for their intended purpose.  The Farzam Law Firm’s Experienced Defective Product Lawsuit Attorneys Are Here for You Clearly, it is easy to see that manufacturers and sellers are likely liable for their defective products. In more complex cases, defendants can also include wholesalers, online distributors, and other involved parties. Your Farzam Law Firm product liability lawyer will investigate your claim and discover who should be involved in the lawsuit. We also work with some of the best experts in the field who will evaluate the products and testify as to their defects. Farzam Law Firm attorneys are competent and knowledgeable trial attorneys who will aggressively pursue your claim to fight for the compensation you deserve for your suffering and injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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How to Obtain a Copy of a Los Angeles Accident Report

Los Angeles residents rely on their cars to transport them through busy days on multiple highways throughout Los Angeles County. Los Angeles is one of the most congested cities in the world. Los Angeles roadways are notoriously dangerous, and unfortunately, car accidents happen every day. If involved in a car accident, it’s vital to obtain a copy of your Los Angeles traffic accident report.  What Do I Do After a Car Accident?  After a car accident, there are multiple steps to take to preserve evidence and protect your rights. Maintaining a clear state of mind may be difficult after a jarring event like a car accident. However, the following steps may prove advantageous if you attempt to recover damages: Always stop and assess your injuries and those of others around you.   If medical attention is needed, call 911.  Call the police and report the crash immediately. The responding officer will create a Los Angeles car accident report detailing damages, injuries, and other details regarding the car accident.  Never admit fault in any situation. Obtain contact, vehicle, and insurance following information from the other parties involved in the car accident. Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the car accident.  Take detailed photos of the vehicles involved in the accident and the surrounding area. Notify your insurance company of the accident. Obtain a medical evaluation to determine if you suffered any injuries. Even if you feel fine, in many situations, minor injuries may become more serious.  Obtain a copy of Los Angeles traffic accident reports.  Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney.  While these are all crucial steps to undertake, it’s entirely understandable if you fail to complete the recommended steps after a car accident. Contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney to review your options. A qualified attorney works to piece together the events surrounding your accident and gather evidence on your behalf.  How Do I Obtain Los Angeles Accident Reports?  The Los Angeles Police Department directs all individuals wishing to obtain a copy of Los Angeles accident reports to do so by mail. Include the following information with your Los Angeles car accident report request:  Location and names of parties involved (if known);  A signed release by an involved party if the requesting party is an attorney;  The type of report; The date and location of the accident;  A report number, if known; and The license plate number of the vehicle involved.  Include a check or money order with the mail request for $18.00 for all Los Angeles traffic accident reports. All requested must be mailed to:  The Los Angeles Police Department  Records and Identification Division Document Processing Unit  P.O. Box 30158 Los Angeles, CA 90030 In the event no Los Angeles car accident report exists, you may request a refund of the $18.00 check. However, you can avoid complications by consulting with a qualified car accident attorney in Los Angeles to assist you in recovering a copy of your car accident report.  Contact Us At the Farzam Law Firm, our clients are never treated as just another case number. We go anywhere to represent you, including making special visits to your home or hospital. We understand the stress you may be under after enduring the trauma of a car accident. Let us help you. At the Farzam Law Firm, we never charge clients unless we win your case. We want to assist you in recovering from your losses, so you can begin the road to recovery without a financial burden. Contact us today for a free consultation and case review.

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What Are Common Passenger Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries?

Cruise ships, like all other businesses, have a duty to keep their passengers safe during the voyage. Passenger cruise ship companies and their employees owe a reasonable duty of care to ensure that their vessels are in good working order and no hazards exist that would endanger passengers. Of course, negligence and unfortunate accidents do happen.  Common Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents Depending on the ship and what amenities it offers, the types of hazards can vary widely. Cruise ships offer many activities that people enjoy on land, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, swimming pools, restaurants, etc. All the hazards that normally exist in those premises also exist on the ships. However, some incidents happen commonly just because of the nature of being on a ship on the ocean, including: Slip and falls—the most common accident on cruise ships from wet and slippery floors, inconspicuous changes in floor levels, etc.; Food poisoning; Legionnaires’ disease—a pneumonia-like lung sickness caused by bacteria in poorly maintained water systems; Assault or sexual assault; Drownings—in swimming pools or if a passenger falls off the cruise ship; or Injuries suffered while participating in recreational activities. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the possible passenger cruise ship accidents. The list of injuries suffered in cruise ship passenger accidents is also extensive and includes: Spinal cord or neck injuries, Traumatic brain injuries, Broken bones, Burns and disfigurements, Illnesses, or Death. Pretty much any type of injury that can happen on land can happen on a passenger cruise ship as well. Legal Difficulties of Passenger Cruise Ship Claims Dealing with a personal injury claim where a cruise ship company is involved is much different than pursuing a normal personal injury matter. Cruise contracts generally try to limit the ways in which passengers can bring claims against the company. Most of them insert a clause restricting passengers to arbitration with the company or to force passengers to bring claims only in certain jurisdictions that are convenient for the company. By purchasing their tickets, passengers are implicitly agreeing to be governed by the terms of the contract. Federal admiralty and maritime laws generally govern cruise ship companies and operators. There are also state laws that may apply to your contract and the duties of any company offering public transit and their liability for negligence. Litigating within these parameters and rules takes specialized legal knowledge. It is not so simple as proving negligence and settling the case. What Should I Do If I Was Injured on a Passenger Cruise Ship? If you were injured on a cruise ship, you need a maritime attorney to handle your claim. The Farzam Law Firm has years of experience handling these uniquely challenging lawsuits. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We will zealously and aggressively litigate your case and help you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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California Class-Action Lawsuits

A class-action lawsuit is when someone brings a legal claim on behalf of a larger group of people—all of whom have the same claim against a common defendant or group of defendants. The point of class-action lawsuits in California is to prevent repetitive legal actions from bogging down the courts. Another benefit is that they help avoid contradictory outcomes for the same legal issues in different jurisdictions. Who Would File a Class-Action Lawsuit? Class-action lawsuits are sometimes the only way for injured plaintiffs to recover compensation for damages that would otherwise be too small to warrant filing an individual lawsuit.  For example, a common type of class-action lawsuit is for consumer rights violations, e.g., for harm caused by defective products, fraudulent marketing, or illegal fees. Now suppose a business knowingly sold defective products for $100 each to a million people. So a single person’s direct loss is only $100, even though the entire claim is worth a minimum of $100,000,000. It could be worth far more if some of those people suffered additional damages resulting from the defective product. But for purposes of our example, let’s just assume that each person only stood to recoup their $100 loss. If an individual pursued their singular claim, it would cost more to file the claim than they would recover in compensation. In such cases, joining a class-action lawsuit together makes litigation more practical and efficient for everyone involved. How Do California Class-Action Lawsuits Work? California class-action lawsuits proceed as follows: The class representative files a lawsuit on behalf of a class of plaintiffs with similar claims. The class representative then moves to certify the case as a class action with the court. The court determines whether the claim meets all the criteria for a class-action certification.  If the court agrees, all of the class members receive notice of the class-action lawsuit and the choice to opt-in or opt-out. People who opt out must file their own individual lawsuits. The parties try to negotiate a settlement that works for both sides. If they cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to trial. Once there is a settlement or verdict, the class members receive notice about how to make a claim for relief.  Someone whose damages outweigh the losses of the other class members might want to consider filing their own case and opting out of the class action. Class members who opt-in will likely be unable to file further legal action. How Are Class-Action Lawsuits Settlements Paid?  California class-action lawsuits are paid and divided according to the settlement agreements. The parties can agree to any terms for payouts, e.g., cash, bill credits, gift cards, etc. The court usually awards a separate settlement to the lead plaintiffs—i.e., those who file the lawsuit and actually participate in litigation. Usually, if the plaintiffs prevail, the judge orders the defendants in a class-action lawsuit to pay for plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees as well.  Contact the Farzam Law Firm The attorneys of the Farzam Law Firm are experienced consumer class-action trial lawyers who have helped many clients recover compensation for their damages. If you were the victim of a company’s wrongful actions, we can help. Please contact us today to discuss your case.

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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...

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What is the California Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death?

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’s 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. If you have questions about wrongful death in California, please don’t hesitate to send us a message online or call (866) 932-0623 today for a free consultation. 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 California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations 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 California Personal Injury 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 wrongful death 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 California wrongful death lawyers provide 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 online here.

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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...

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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.

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