How Much Do Accident Lawyers Charge?

How Much Do Accident Lawyers Charge?

So, you’ve been involved in an accident, and unfortunately there’s been one or multiple injuries, serious damage, or another complicated twist that keeps this from being just a fender-bender. After thinking about the situation and getting advice, you’ve realized it’s time to shop around for some accident attorneys. But one nagging thought weighs on you: how much do car accident lawyers charge, anyway? 

Wrecked, But Not Broken

First of all, it’s important to remember that no matter how stressful things may seem, there’s always a course of action you can take. Even if you’ve been involved in a horrible accident involving life changing injuries or fatalities, you have options and avenues available to seek justice and move forward with your life.

At Dordulian Law, there’s a reason why we keep a licensed psychologist on staff. Being in a serious accident that requires intervention by accident attorneys can be a traumatic, complex, and stressful situation. On the other hand, choosing the right legal representation can take a lot of that anxiety off of your shoulders and help illuminate the clear path forward to resolution.

Understanding Legal Fees For Accident Situations

Many people who end up needing an attorney after an accident have never been in a position where they needed to retain legal counsel before. If that sounds like you, you’re probably nervous just thinking about the potential attorney fees that come along with quality representation.

You’ve heard all the horror stories about lawyer hourly rates and how in this country, a good attorney must only be available to the wealthy. Today, we’re not just going to dispel that myth: we’re going to shatter it completely.

How Much Do Accident Lawyers Charge?

OK, let’s get down to the real question here: what can you expect to pay if you need an attorney after a car accident or other mishap?

The reality is that every law firm approaches their fee structure differently. While it’s true that some firms charge a high price by the hour, you might want to consider looking instead for an accident law firm that’s confident enough to use a contingency fee structure.

What Is a Contingency Structure?

In the legal world, contingency means one thing for many clients: hope. It means that you don’t have to pay anything up front. Not a retainer fee, not an hourly fee, and not a deposit. No collateral, no credit cards, no second mortgage. No crushing debt, no asking friends and family for loans — nothing.

Contingency means that your attorneys only get paid on your case if they are successful in winning you a monetary award, whether that comes from a negotiated settlement or from actual courtroom litigation. As you may or may not know, most accident cases never actually see the inside of a courtroom. The vast majority are negotiated before it gets to that point, because a trial costs way more money for all parties and is incredibly time consuming for both sides.

An industry standard for contingency fees for accident cases is around 33%. That means that your attorneys, if successful, will take one third of your monetary award as payment for all the hard work they did up front for free. It’s a small price to pay for access to competent, active representation. And most importantly, it puts justice in the hands of anyone — from any walk of life — regardless of their financial circumstances at the time of the accident.

One thing to note, however, is that most law firms will up that amount from 33% to somewhere in the 40-45% range if the case is one of the rare ones that does actually go to trial. This is reflective of the huge increase in work required to prepare and execute an effective trial strategy on your behalf, compared to negotiating a settlement.

Justice For All

As you can see, a contingency fee structure is truly a beautiful thing. If you were under the misconception that only the rich and powerful could afford a good attorney to protect and represent their interests after an accident, now you know better. There are law firms like Dordulian Law Group out there who are willing to fight for you as hard as we can, for zero dollars up front.

Not only does that make justice something within your grasp no matter what tax bracket you’re in, it’s also representative of our confidence in our ability to win. We wouldn’t offer a contingency structure if we were in the business of losing cases for our clients very often.

If you were in an accident and believe you may be entitled to compensation as a result of your experience, it’s important that you contact the qualified attorneys at Dordulian Law Group sooner than later to preserve your best chance at receiving compensation. Now you know that you can afford quality accident attorney representation — so the only thing between you and justice is the courage to pick up the phone and dial our number.

California Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Claims

statute of limitations personal injury claims california

When you’ve been injured in California, you only have a short time to act if you want to seek compensation. This state has strict statute of limitations laws in place for personal injuries, and learning about California personal injury laws is essential if you want to make sure that your case will appear before a judge. Find out the details surrounding personal injury laws in California and why you’ll need a skilled lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

Background on California Laws on Personal Injury Lawsuits

In general, the state of California makes it relatively easy to seek compensation for personal injuries. Whenever you’ve been hurt and you’re convinced that another party is at fault, you’re eligible to file a lawsuit. Winning your lawsuit, however, is another matter; to get compensation for your injury, you’ll need to convince a California court that the nature and scope of your stated injuries is accurate, and you’ll need to present a clear theory of the case that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that someone else is responsible for your injuries.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in California?

No matter how ironclad your case may be, keep in mind that you’ll need to pursue legal action within a limited time window if you want your personal injury case to be heard in court. California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 335.1 states that any legal “action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another” must be filed within two years of the date of the incident. Any actions filed beyond this “due date” exceed the California statute of limitations of personal injury cases, and they will be ineligible for arbitration by a California court.

So, how long do you have to file a personal injury claim in California? Essentially, the state of California has set a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. When you’ve been injured, it’s natural for practically every aspect of your daily life to grind to a screeching halt, but unless you want to be saddled with medical bills and lost wages, getting started with legal action against the party responsible for your injury is something that can’t wait. The right lawyer will understand the unique concerns that arise after you’ve been injured, and he or she will be able to take the lead in taking legal action while you recover.

Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim After 3 Years?

In most cases, the answer is “no.” However, keep in mind that the state of California has set up certain exceptions to its strict two-year personal injury statute of limitations that may apply in your case. If you’ve sustained an injury as a result of domestic violence, for instance, California provides you with three years to file a personal injury case. In addition, this state extends the statute of limitations in cases of medical malpractice or childhood sexual abuse, but these types of cases aren’t directly related to personal injury law in this state.

To be safe, it’s best to file your personal injury claim within two years to make sure you’ll be eligible. If you wait too long, unfortunately, it’s most likely that there will be no legal recourse you can take to receive compensation for your injuries.

Details on California Shared Fault Laws

It’s certainly possible to go it alone when you’ve been injured in California; it isn’t strictly necessary to be represented by a lawyer when you take legal action to receive damages for your injury. However, entering the fray without a qualified lawyer could add serious insult to your injury. The state of California has complex shared fault laws that could either reduce the amount of damages you receive or turn the tables on you entirely if you aren’t careful.

In a nutshell, California shared fault laws reduce the amount you can receive in damages if it can be determined that you were at least partially responsible for your accident. It isn’t necessary to prove that you were entirely responsible for your injuries for California shared fault laws to come into effect. The only requirement is that the court must find that the party you named as responsible for your injuries isn’t 100% to blame.

What Is Strict Liability for Dog Bite Cases in California?

Different states have varying laws related to liability in dog bite cases. California law has taken a “strict liability” stance, which means that the owner of a dog that causes an injury is strictly liable for the injury. This one-party liability even applies if the dog has never hurt anyone before and the owner had no idea that their dog was dangerous.

The “one bite” rule in California is an important aspect of this state’s strict liability stance on dog bite cases. All it takes is one bite for you to be held liable for your dog’s behavior in California; your dog doesn’t need to have a history of attacks for strict liability to be enforced.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in California for Car Accident Claims?

How long do you have to file a claim for a car accident in California? Well, car accident law in California is slightly different from general personal injury law. While you still only have two years to take legal action in relation to injuries you’ve sustained as a result of a car accident, the state of California provides you with three years to file lawsuits for property damage related to vehicular accidents.

Even if the personal injury statute of limitations has expired for your car accident, therefore, you’ll still be eligible to receive compensation for property damage for another full calendar year. In most cases, property damage claims related to car accidents are handled by the responsible party’s insurance company, but getting compensated for car accident property damage can get complicated quickly.

Most car accidents, whether minor or severe, result in injuries, so it’s rare to file for property damage without filing for personal injury compensation when you’ve been involved in an automotive accident in California. It’s usually best practice to take action within two years of your car accident whether you’ve suffered personal injuries or property damage, but it’s technically possible to file for car-accident-related property damage after the statute of limitations for personal injury has expired.

How to Find the Best California Personal Injury Lawyer

Filing a personal injury case in California can be tricky when you don’t have the right lawyer by your side. Even if you file your case within the required two-year window, you’ll still need to avoid a ruling of shared fault by proving that another party is responsible for your injury. At Dordulian Law Group, we’re fully familiar with all the types of personal injury cases in California, and we’re standing by to help you with your case. Call (855) 804-9636 today for a free consultation!

How To Negotiate A Car Accident Injury Case Without A Lawyer

how to negotiate a car accident injury case without a lawyer

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s natural to panic and feel like you’re helpless in the aftermath of the trauma you’ve experienced. Collecting yourself and looking at the situation calmly, however, is always the right way to proceed — and after you’ve had a chance to calm down, you might find that getting a settlement for your accident will be easier than you expected.

Whether or not you end up deciding to hire a lawyer, trying to get a settlement yourself is an option that some people take, and it certainly is possible. In this guide, we’ll help you decide whether you can argue for a settlement yourself… or whether it’s better to have an experienced lawyer take over your advocacy.

Can You Get a Settlement by Yourself?

Believe it or not, there’s no law requiring that you hire a personal injury attorney for your car accident case. In fact, these cases are theoretically designed to settle themselves outside the legal arena; in an ideal situation, you’ll simply make a few calls to the relevant insurance companies, and you’ll get a fair and equitable settlement. However, as many of our clients can tell you, car accident injury cases are hardly ever as simple as they should be.

If you decide to seek a settlement by yourself, keep in mind that you’ll essentially be serving as your own lawyer. Therefore, you’ll need to have a decent understanding of accident law and know your way around paperwork if you want to receive anything resembling a fair settlement. If you think you can settle your case without putting in a significant amount of effort, you’re in for a rude awakening.

When you forgo the expertise of a car accident lawyer as you seek a settlement, you leave yourself wide open to being ripped off by insurance companies. Only try to handle your settlement by yourself if you’re confident that you won’t make any unfortunate statements or perform any other blunders that might hurt your case.

What Types of Accidents Might Not Require a Lawyer?

The simpler the case, the easier it is to handle it yourself. If your injuries are relatively minor and the details of the accident are straightforward, some people feel there is better value in trying to handle the case themselves.

You might be surprised to learn, however, just how complex car accident scenarios can be. While the scene of the accident might seem straightforward to you, it’s impossible to determine ahead of time which obscure questions an insurance company might ask; and while that injury might seem to be short-term, there’s nothing worse than kicking yourself 10 years down the line for not seeking a greater settlement.

Only try to settle your case yourself if you’re fully confident you know all the details surrounding your accident and you’re sure you won’t accrue unexpected medical expenses as time goes on. Since you’ll have a hard time assessing these factors without formal legal training, it might be safer to simply hire a lawyer.

NOTE: Keep in mind that going without a lawyer might not actually save you any money. Experienced car accident lawyers can usually get you at least twice as much in settlement value as you can get on your own, which would more than cover even the most expensive legal fees.

Information You’ll Need to Collect

You’ll need to be well-equipped with all the relevant documentation before you try to settle your case without a lawyer. Here are some examples of the documents and data you’ll need as you proceed:

1. Official Recorded Statement

In most cases, an official statement regarding your role in the accident, which is called a “recorded statement,” is not required. As a layman, you might have a hard time figuring out whether preparing a recorded statement is a good or bad idea, and there’s no simple answer to this question.

On one hand, a recorded statement clears the waters and firmly affirms your role in the accident. On the flip side, however, it’s all too easy to accidentally incriminate yourself with a recorded statement, which could harm your settlement. Our best advice? Make a recorded statement, but don’t hand it out unless you must. Even if you’re fully honest about what happened, your recorded statement could still hurt you.

2. Photographic Evidence

There’s nothing wrong with going crazy with the number of pictures you take at the scene of your accident. With the wonders of modern smartphone cameras and increased storage capacity, it’s easy to make a folder on your phone with a gigabyte or more of detailed images and photos that clearly depict exactly what happened.

Make sure to also take plenty of photos of any injuries you might have sustained. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no obvious correlation between the value of property damage and the degree to which a car accident injures you, so providing proof of the damage to your car won’t be enough to secure adequate compensation for your injuries.

When in doubt, photograph everything. Even if you never use 90% of the pictures you take, being more prepared is better than being less prepared when it comes time to make demands from insurance companies. You can’t go back in time and collect extra evidence. This is true whether you’re planning to represent yourself or not.

3. Bills and Medical Records

Do you know what the collateral source rule is? Insurance companies are hoping that you don’t, but a full grasp of this principle will help you get everything you’re owed for your accident.

Essentially, insurance companies are legally bound to pay all the medical bills associated with car accidents even if these bills have already been covered by insurance. If you don’t specifically cite the collateral source rule, however, the insurance company you’re dealing with might try to weasel its way out of this obligation.

Don’t simply rely on your hospital or clinic to forward all the relevant medical information on to the insurance company. Take possession of your medical bills and records personally, and flex this evidence to make sure you get compensation for the costs associated with your injury.

Important Considerations

There’s more to consider when you decide to go it alone with your car accident settlement. Make sure you’ve covered all these points before you strike out on your own:

1. How Much Medical Care Is Just Right?

Figuring out exactly how much medical care you should get after your accident is tricky. If you don’t get enough medical care, the insurance company will think you’re overstating your injuries. If you get too much medical care, however, the insurance company will claim that you’re seeking frivolous care to rack up the amount you can seek in a settlement.

Unfortunately, getting medical care after your accident isn’t as simple as visiting the doctor whenever you’re in pain. You’ll need to think strategically if you want to get the type of settlement you deserve. This is a tricky balance that an experienced attorney knows how to strike.

2. Understand Your Local Statute of Limitations

Under California law, there is a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases including car accident settlements. If you try to seek compensation outside of this two-year window, it’s likely that a California judge will throw your case out of court.

Keep in mind, however, that statute of limitations law in California is another area of complexity. Like many other states, California sets a shorter limit on cases against government entities, and there may be other restrictions you’ll need to follow if you want your case to be heard. While it seems silly, it’s not uncommon for California judges to dismiss cases based on easy-to-miss statute of limitations technicalities.

3. Tell the Truth in Medical Consultations

Assume that you’ll get caught if you lie. We can’t emphasize this enough: There’s no such thing as a “little white lie” in car accident law, and if you make false statements or try to falsify your records, your case won’t stand a chance.

Let’s be clear though: You shouldn’t spill every detail of your life of misdeeds to your doctor or insurance company just because you want to be honest. Oversharing could actually hurt your case. Instead, just answer any questions fully and truthfully.

Remember that insurance companies have access to all your previous claims, so you can’t hide previous injuries. This wide-ranging access to your personal information doesn’t, however, force you to disclose incriminating details that you’ve never made public.

How to Set up Your Demand Package

Now that you understand some of the benefits and pitfalls of settling a car accident case without a lawyer, it’s time to cover the most important process of the settlement process: Filing your demand with the relevant insurance company or companies.

Before we proceed, it’s important to make one point abundantly clear: No insurance company will care about your personal story. Instead of writing a long missive about what a great person you are, your favorite things about your dog, and who you think should have been in a car accident instead of you, stick to the facts and only provide the information that the insurance company wants to see.

We’ve covered some of the relevant information already, but here’s a full list of the materials you should include in your demand package:

1.     Your demand

2.     Brief explanatory statement

3.     Medical bills records related to the accident

4.     Proof of lost wages

5.     Photographic evidence

6.     Any other materials the insurance company requests

Make your demand package look professional. Clearly demonstrate that you put time and effort into making your demand. Handwritten statements on loose-leaf paper are not acceptable. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer, make it look like a lawyer compiled your demand.

How Much Should You Demand?

Determining exactly how much you should demand is one of the hardest parts of settling a car accident case when you don’t have a lawyer. Without a personal injury lawyer’s expertise, it’s easy to demand too much and be rebuffed. At the same time, you could also demand less than your accident is worth, which is potentially even worse.

Remember that insurance companies will usually be fair if it doesn’t seem like you’re shaking them down. Don’t make any veiled (or not-so-veiled) threats, don’t demand $1 million in cash in a briefcase down by the pier, and in general, don’t look like an uninformed amateur.

Take a look at similar accident-related injuries, and come up with a number that seems fair and equivalent. Just keep in mind that whatever number you come up with won’t come close to the value of a carefully calibrated figure that a veteran attorney can dial in.

How Much Will You Get?

How much you’ll get from your settlement all depends on the severity of your case and how well you present yourself. Before you get carried away, keep in mind that it’s rare for car accident injury cases to settle for more than $50,000. In rare circumstances, settlements of $100,000 or more will be granted, but don’t assume that you’ll get a huge payout. Always keep in mind that the right lawyer can get you a bigger settlement than you can acquire on your own.

So, you’ve submitted your demand, and you’re awaiting your settlement. Remember that if things don’t go as you planned, insurance companies hate dealing with lawyers. If the insurance company tries to skimp on your settlement, simply threaten to hire counsel, and see if the reluctant insurer changes its tune.

A Lawyer Might Be Necessary: Here’s What It Will Cost

Even the simplest types of personal injury cases can get complicated quickly. While deciding to take on your car accident injury case without a lawyer is admirable, doing without an attorney’s expertise could harm your case to the point that you don’t receive adequate compensation.

Whatever you do, don’t proceed rashly. While you might be convinced that your back and neck injuries will dissipate within a few weeks of your accident, you might be left with your injuries for the rest of your life. Remember that protecting your long-term health with a lawyer’s help won’t cost you anything up front: confident car accident lawyers only charge once you’ve won your settlement.

A qualified personal injury lawyer will be able to take a look at your medical records, and together, you and your attorney will develop a plan for receiving the greatest possible compensation for your injuries. To learn more about how to get just compensation for your car accident, reach out to us at Dordulian Law Group at (818) 322-4056 today!

Types of Personal Injury Cases

types of personal injury cases

Here at Dordulian Law Group, we understand that injuries can can suddenly impact your life in profound ways, leaving you struggling to cope with your new circumstances. No matter what type of injury you’ve suffered, we can help you if that injury was the result of someone else’s negligence or ill intent. In today’s post, let’s learn more about the different types of personal injury cases and how our firm can help you get the justice you deserve.

1. Brain Injury

When you’ve suffered a brain injury, it can seem like returning to your old way of life is an uphill climb. It’s true that traumatic brain injuries can take a huge toll on your life plans, but getting the financial compensation you deserve can help you deal with the aftermath of your injury as much as possible.

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries, and these types of injuries are especially common in rollover accidents or other types of severe car wrecks. It’s certainly possible to cause a rollover accident without anyone else’s involvement, but all too often, other drivers or hazardous road conditions can cause your car to go plummeting down a hillside or roll into the median.

Even a “smaller” brain injury, like a concussion, can take a long time to heal and can disrupt your quality of life and/or earning potential. Here at Dordulian Law Group, we’ve helped countless clients successfully sue for the brain injury compensation they deserve in California courts.

2. Pedestrian Accidents

Driving isn’t just dangerous for the people behind the wheel and the occupants of cars. All too often, pedestrians are the victims of automobile-related accidents.

It’s relatively easy to establish responsibility in pedestrian accident cases. If you were observing every rule of the road, such as stopping at crosswalks and obeying traffic lights, in most scenarios we’ll be able to show that the driver was to blame.

With the rise of electric scooters in urban areas, pedestrian accidents are becoming even more frequent. To achieve the generous compensation you deserve for your accident, you’ll need a legal team by your side that understands the rapidly shifting intricacies of pedestrian accident law in California.

3. Work Injury

Workplace injuries happen with alarming frequency, and they’re often avoidable. To help you with a work injury case, we’ll start by meticulously probing into the details of the situation. We’re masters of workplace regulations and laws here at Dordulian Law Group, and as soon as we’re up to speed with the specific details of your workplace, we’ll be able to determine whether your accident qualifies for legal action.

To secure adequate compensation for your injury, we’ll produce a theory of the case that carefully explains how, even though you were following every relevant rule and regulation, negligence in your workplace led to your injury. We have a proven track record of achieving excellent results for our work injury clients.

4. Truck Accidents

Semi trucks are no joke: 20,000 pounds of steel can do a lot of damage. California truck accident law is clear; whichever party failed to uphold its duty to keep California’s nearly 200,000 miles of roads safe is responsible for the accident. In most cases, all the relevant details of the case can be established at the scene of the accident.

Getting reasonable compensation for a truck accident, however, isn’t always straightforward. To properly deal with the type of damage that a semi tractor or trailer can do, you’ll need to work with attorneys who know how to navigate the complexities of California truck accident law.

5. Vaccine Damage

Did you have an allergic reaction to a vaccine? Thousands of people have successfully sued for vaccine damage, and the federal government has set aside a special fund to provide compensation for people who experience adverse reactions to vaccines.

Vaccines are an important part of public health in general. However, there’s nothing in the world that can make up for the unexpected horror of watching a loved one suffer from vaccine damage. If a court determines that you’re eligible for compensation for your vaccine damage, however, precedent shows you could receive a settlement of as much as $250,000.

6. Car Accidents

From minor fender benders to serious rollover accidents, nearly every type of car accident results in some type of damage to your vehicle or your body. In some cases, automotive collisions can be true accidents with no clear responsible party, but someone is almost always to blame when two vehicles collide.

To defend your interests to the best of our abilities before a California judge, we’ll learn everything there is to know about your case. While we never guarantee results we might not be able to achieve, our detailed understanding of California car accident law combined with our total dedication to our clients consistently delivers excellent results.

7. Slip and Fall

The administrators of public places have a responsibility to keep these spaces safe and reasonably clear of obstructions. Whether you fell because of negligent walkway maintenance in front of a downtown hotel or slipped on a poorly-maintained city sidewalk, we can help you receive just compensation from the party that was responsible for your accident.

California slip and fall injury law is clear: As long as you were lawfully on the premises where you fell and the owner of the property was aware or should have been aware of the hazard, the proprietor is responsible for compensating your injury. Here at Dordulian Law Group, we know exactly how to frame your case to leave no question that the proprietor was responsible.

8. Dog Bite

Most dogs are harmless, but the wrong dog might injure or scar you for life. California dog bite law clearly lays the blame on the dog owner as long as you were in a public space or lawfully on the dog owner’s property.

Plus, dog owners in California have strict liability for any injuries their pets cause. Strict liability means that a California dog owner can’t get off the hook just because he or she didn’t know that the dog that bit you was a menace.

Even if the dog owner tries to argue that you were trespassing as a defense to your suit, we know how to put together compelling case theories that leave no confusion about who is responsible. If you were wrongly injured by a dog, we’ll do everything in our power to set things right.

9. Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can easily be deadly. Even when these types of accidents don’t claim lives, they can cause serious injuries that may never heal.

Litigating a motorcycle accident lawsuit is similar to litigating a car accident case in many ways. As in the case with normal vehicle accidents, winning a motorcycle accident case is all about clearly expressing who was in the wrong.

Many car and truck drivers aren’t mindful enough of motorcycles on the road, and dangerous road conditions can also cause avoidable motorcycle accidents. If circumstances beyond your control caused your accident, we won’t rest until you’ve received the justice you need to overcome your injury.

Give Us a Call to Get the Help You Need

An unexpected injury can make it seem like your whole world has been turned upside down. Receiving compensation for your injury, however, can help you get started on the healing process the right way. To learn more about how Dordulian Law Group can help you get your life back after your injury, reach out to us at (866) 595-2252 today!

Types of Personal Injury Compensation

types of personal injury compensation

When you’ve been wrongfully injured in California, the first and most important focus is your health. Once that’s squared away and you’re physically taken care of, the next thing you’ll likely want to know is how to receive compensation for the financial (and non-financial) damages you’ve suffered. In this guide, we’ll break down the different types of compensation you can potentially receive from the entity who injured you (i.e. personal injury Defendant).

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Under California law, there are a few different types of personal injury claims you can file, representing the wide array of injury situations that can occur. After conferring with your personal injury lawyer in Glendale, CA, you may decide to file for multiple types of damages.

Special Compensatory Damages

You can file for special damages for any economic hardship you have endured as a direct result of your accident. The goal of special compensatory damages is to compensate the injured party for any money lost because he or she was too injured to work or otherwise promote his or her economic well-being.

For instance, special compensatory damages cover the cost of medical bills related to the accident, and they can also cover the expected cost of future medical care. Furthermore, these damages cover lost earnings or earnings that the injured party expects to lose because of his or her injury.

Special damages can even cover household costs like rent, mortgage, landscaping, and utilities. If the injured party had any short-term or long-term travel or relocation plans that he or she had to change because of the injury, special damages can also cover these types of financial losses.

General Compensatory Damages

General damages are any types of compensatory damages that don’t fall under the heading of special damages. These types of damages are for non-economic types of hardship; if your injury caused you to lose your romantic partner, for instance, a skilled attorney may be able to secure monetary compensation for this abstract type of damage. Every accident victim is expected to file for some sort of general compensatory damages, but you may not be able to get all the types of general damages you seek without the right lawyer.

One common type of general compensatory damage is for “pain and suffering,” which is a broad term that can refer to any type of misfortune or decreased quality of life that the victim of an accident experiences as a direct result of the accident. Pain and suffering damages are sometimes hard to litigate since they are so abstract, but with a qualified personal injury lawyer by your side, you’ll receive the general compensation you need to get your life back on track.

You can also receive general damages for “mental anguish,” which is an even more abstract type of damage. When an injury robs you of the person you love, the job you depend on, or the home you find comfort in, it’s natural to experience psychological issues. The changes that an injury forcefully imposes on your life can cause depression or outright despair, and general compensatory damages for mental anguish seek to recoup these psychological losses.

Wrongful Death Damages

Special rules apply under the circumstances of wrongful death claims. These types of damages seek to compensate the bereaved for the loss of a person who was important to them, and they generally cover costs directly associated with the victim’s wrongful death.

These types of damages can include funeral expenses, and they can also cover medical expenses incurred before death. You can sue for wrongful death damages for the emotional or financial hardships that you’ve experienced since the victim’s death, and you can also sue for more abstract damages if you were the victim’s romantic partner.

In the pursuit of making a bereaved family whole after the loss of a beloved family member, your lawyer may be able to secure damages for loss of services or support. Just remember that you’ll need a highly qualified lawyer to get the types of damages you deserve.

Punitive Damages

These types of damages are rare, and they’re in a completely different class than normal compensatory damages. If a California court finds that the defendant’s behavior was particularly despicable or reprehensible, you might be awarded punitive damages in addition to special or general damages.

Punitive damages are usually only leveled at large companies or international corporations that can afford to fork over increased sums in contrition for their reckless actions. To apply punitive damages, a court usually prefers to establish that the defendant acted in a knowingly reckless way that clearly had the potential to harm someone.

Collecting Your Damages

If you’ve been harmed by a major corporation, you may receive compensation immediately. Average people, however, can’t usually pay the immense costs of compensatory damages all at once; other techniques, such as liens on property and wage garnishing, may be necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.

NOTE: To learn more about the different types of injuries you can sue for in California, check out our Types of Personal Injury Cases article.

California Compensatory Damage Laws

In California, personal injury damages law isn’t that different from elsewhere in the country. However, your California personal injury compensation lawyer might refer to special compensatory damages as “economic damages” and general compensatory damages as “non-economic damages.” Here are some of the other aspects of compensatory damages that are specific to California:

Shared Fault

California has special “shared fault laws.” If a California court determines that you were at least partially responsible for your injury, you might be found to have “comparative fault” for the incident.

A finding of comparative fault reduces the amount of damages you’ll be able to seek in your case. If you aren’t careful, a skilled personal injury defense lawyer could even turn things around on you and contend that you’re entirely to blame for your injury.

Injury Damage Limits

If you were involved in a car accident but you were uninsured at the time, the state of California won’t let you sue for non-economic damages even if the other party was entirely to blame. However, if the other party was driving under the influence of alcohol and is convicted of DUI, then you can sue for non-economic damages whether you’re insured or not.

California Civil Code 3333.2 specifies that physicians can only be sued for $250,000 or less in California. This piece of legislation passed in 1975, and there is no indication that the cap will be increased any time soon.

Dog Bite Law

California Civil Code 3342 specifies that the owner is strictly liable in all dog bite cases. Whether or not the owner knew that his or her dog was a menace, you should be able to receive compensation easily.

Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Glendale, CA

With the right mindset, it’s possible to see a path to financial restitution after even the most crippling injury. At the very least, you can sue for damages that will cover the direct economic cost of your injury; and under certain circumstances, you could even sue for more abstract decreases in quality of life or see the responsible party punished for his or her reckless behavior or negligence.

To see the types of results you deserve, however, you’ll need to work with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Here at Dordulian Law Group, we’re intimately familiar with the intricacies of California personal injury law, and we are deeply dedicated to the long-term well-being of our clients. To learn more about our services and receive a free, straightforward consultation about your case’s chances, get in touch with us at 800-880-7777 today!

Pedestrian Laws in California

pedestrian laws in california

In California, it’s incredibly dangerous to be a pedestrian. In fact, almost a full quarter of all traffic accidents in this state involve a pedestrian fatality. Despite the fact that CA is notoriously reliant on “car culture” and is a traffic-heavy place, that figure is far too high for anyone’s comfort.

So, what causes so many personal injuries in the Golden State? The answer is still unclear, but it likely has to do with a combination of driver distraction, confusingly laid out urban roadways, and a lack of knowledge about pedestrian laws in California.

If we were to ask you to name a pedestrian law in CA, you would probably be able to think of just one thing: “pedestrians always have the right of way.” While that’s generally true, there are definitely some gray areas to that concept that make pedestrian incidents a hot, contentious topic for insurers and state legislators alike.

For example, the way California Vehicle Code 21950 actually reads is: drivers “shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

In other words, if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, or crossing the street at the corner where you would normally expect a crosswalk to be (even if it isn’t painted on the ground), the pedestrian definitely has the right of way. In fact, if a driver has the chance to slow down for a pedestrian, they must do so — no matter what. However, the law goes on to stipulate an important caveat:

“No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

In other words, a driver isn’t at fault if you had zero awareness of your surroundings and decided to suddenly leap into oncoming traffic. This makes sense, of course, because drivers aren’t superhuman: they can only do so much to prevent an accident if a pedestrian is being careless.

As you can see, the law in California is very clear about the two extremes: cases where pedestrians definitely have the right of way; and cases where drivers definitely had no chance to avoid a pedestrian suddenly leaving the curb.

However, this leaves a huge gap in interpretations for cases that are more of a gray area: where a driver believes they had no chance to avert an accident, for example, but a pedestrian claims that they were clearly visible and not acting recklessly. In these cases, what can be done?

Insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid liability in these so-called gray area pedestrian cases. If you were involved in an accident along these lines, a qualified pedestrian accident layer in California like the ones at Dordulian Law Group can help you achieve monetary compensation for your injuries and suffering.

Remember, in your quest to achieve rightful compensation for your injuries, you need a legal advocate in your corner to push back against the insurance company (or other party in the accident) who is going to try and maximize your liability and minimize their own obligation.

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in California, Dordulian Law wants to hear from you. We’re standing by, ready to tirelessly represent you and demand the restitution you deserve after experiencing such a traumatic accident. Don’t try to go it alone: enlist the help of veteran legal counsel to increase your likelihood of finding a silver lining after a pedestrian incident.

8 Reasons You Should Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Reasons to hire personal injury attorney

Being seriously injured can be a life-changing and overwhelming experience, especially if it happened through no fault of your own. The severity of your injury could disrupt your usual lifestyle, take you away from work, and result in costly medical bills and lost wages. You may also have to undergo a long, difficult journey to physical healing, which can involve extensive rehabilitation, specialization, and treatment. Depending on the nature of the accident, some injuries may also involve seemingly endless questioning from doctors, law enforcement, and insurance companies.

When you’ve been injured in an accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re seriously hurt and are looking at loss of income, extensive medical treatment, or are experiencing significant pain and diminished quality of life as a result of the accident, a personal injury lawyer can fight for a financial settlement that achieves some measure of compensation — if not justice — for what you’ve endured.

So why hire a personal injury lawyer at Dordulian Law Group after you’ve been in an accident? Here are eight good reasons. 

#1 – Our Personal Injury Lawyers Have Vast Experience

You probably have many questions to ask a personal injury lawyer about your particular case and unique circumstances. An experienced personal injury lawyer, like those at Dordulian Law Group, can answer any question you may have based not only on their extensive knowledge of the law, but by drawing on their years of experience as well. Our attorneys know exactly how personal injury laws work in California, as well as how to file all the necessary paperwork with the court. They can set you up for the best chance of success before aggressively negotiating for a settlement on your behalf. 

In addition to knowing how to navigate court procedure, personal injury lawyers know how to work with insurance companies. Our veteran personal injury attorneys and their teams know their way around insurance adjusters and policies, and so can effectively negotiate or contest denials if needed.

#2 – Our Personal Injury Lawyers Know What Your Claim is Worth

Many injury attorneys and insurance companies calculate settlements based on factors such as ongoing and future medical treatment, loss of income, and general damages, which cover less quantifiable kinds of damage: pain and suffering, physical discomfort, stress, and the impact of the accident on the injured’s quality of life. 

Experienced personal injury lawyers use these formulas to arrive at a figure that becomes the basis of negotiation—depending on the circumstances of your case, this value can go up or down. We know how to calculate this figure precisely.

#3 – Our Personal Injury Lawyers Have Investigators

Our personal injury lawyers can build your case by establishing degrees of fault and liability. They do this by gathering documents, reconstructing the accident, looking at surveillance footage, interviewing key people such as doctors, even going through social media to find relevant information, if another party is involved in the accident. .

Usually, personal injury lawyers will deploy a team to collect and assess evidence to back up your case. This team can bring in other experts to help you, if needed. That’s a benefit of leveraging Dordulian Law Group’s network of professionals that we’ve built over the years.

#4 – Personal Injury Lawyers Can Navigate Bureaucracy

Observing proper procedure and legal requirements is the key to maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. Our personal injury lawyers will completely take care of the documents for your lawsuit; from crafting demand letters, to setting the stage with the filing of the complaint and pretrial motions, to trial, collection, or even appeal. 

An experienced lawyer can make sure your interests are served every step of the way, and never miss an important deadline, form, or opportunity to bolster your case.

#5 – Personal Injury Lawyers Represent Your Best Interests

Dordulian Law Group’s personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning their compensation is tied to the size of the settlement that you’ll win. That should be a sufficient starting point to realize that our personal injury lawyers are highly motivated to advocate for you to the best of our ability. When you hire a professional that’s confident enough to work on contingency, you know you have someone who will assertively fight for you. 

#6 – Personal Injury Lawyers Can Offer Alternatives

Not every personal injury case has to end in a trial. In most cases, attorneys will settle a personal injury claim out of court, which can save claimants a lot of time, money, and emotional distress. A veteran personal injury lawyer knows when an injury claim can be resolved through mediation or arbitration, or when a case will have to reach the court system. 

#7 – Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Compassionate

Accidental injuries don’t just cause physical pain; they also bring about mental anguish and emotional trauma, as well as financial worries. The anger and pain that you’re going through may cause this ordeal to become overwhelming for you at times. 

Our personal injury attorneys have seen it all over the years, and we understand exactly what you’re going through. That leaves us uniquely positioned to anticipate your needs before you experience them, and find ways to ease the difficulties you’re newly facing.

#8 – Dordulian Law’s Personal Injury Lawyers Give You Peace of Mind

When you’re seriously injured, our firm strongly believes that you should be focused primarily on your recovery. The process of seeking compensation for your injuries or fighting with an insurance company can be an additional source of anxiety, since it can a labor-intensive, time-consuming process. If you hire our personal injury lawyers, that burden is gone – you can focus on getting better while your personal injury lawyer takes care of all necessary actions while being your round-the-clock advocate.

Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re thinking about possibly hiring a personal injury lawyer, we humbly suggest that you call Dordulian Law Group immediately. With more than 20 years of experience, our team of experts – comprised of attorneys, paralegals, and dedicated insurance negotiators – have the skills to handle your case and get you your just compensation.

You can rest assured that we will be your tireless advocate to recover the costs associated with your injury, including medical expenses, emotional suffering, physical therapy, income loss, and more. To date, Dordulian Law Group has recovered well over $20 million for our clients.

Let us help you through this difficult time and emerge from this chapter stronger than ever before. Get in touch with us today if you’ve experienced the following injuries: slips and falls; car, truck, or motorcycle accidents; dog bites; brain injuries; head, back, neck, or spinal injuries; pedestrian or bicycle accidents; and other traumas that may cause lasting damage. No matter what, a phone consultation with Dordulian Law Group to discuss your case is always free.

Victim Of Sexual Assault? You’re Not Alone

Victim of sexual assault

Being a victim of sexual assault is a complicated, intensely personal experience. Besides the event itself, the trauma is often ongoing as victims grapple with how to move forward. At Dordulian Law Group, we’ve been working alongside victims of sexual assault for years — and we’ve learned that there is no “right way,” or “one way” to be a victim. Everyone heals in their own way, and in their own time. The most important thing is to realize that you’re not alone, and help is always available.

The Road To Healing

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, we’ve recently seen a much-needed shift in our social narrative. We’re learning that sexual assault and abuse is actually incredibly common in today’s world. We’ve learned that, often, delicate power dynamics cause victims to stay silent out of fear of retribution, shame, or being disbelieved.

That’s why it’s so incredibly important to communicate to sexual assault survivors that it’s more than okay to come forward and speak your truth. You will be supported. You will be believed. And you will have the opportunity, through your voice, to ensure that others aren’t victimized in the future.

As we’ve said, there is no single correct way to deal with the fallout of sexual assault. Our sexual assault attorneys have seen victims of all different personality types choose to handle their unique circumstances in their own way. Some want to shout about their assault from the rooftops, while others prefer to remain private about their experience. But above all, there is one thing that we try to communicate to each and every sexual assault survivor that walks through our doors: what happened to you is not your fault, and you are not alone in your journey towards healing.

Sexual Assault Survivor Options

Do sexual assault victims have legal options? Of course they do. For sexual assault survivors who want to take action against their assailant, there are two main legal avenues available: criminal and civil. Importantly, you should know that a criminal investigation or trial does not prevent you from simultaneously pursuing civil action (or pursuing it afterwards). In fact, a criminal case or judgment can actually make your civil case that much stronger.

Criminal sexual assault cases result in prison sentences for guilty offenders. Civil cases, on the other hand, can result in substantial financial settlements or awards for the victim. Nobody is suggesting that a pile of cash suddenly makes your victimization or your trauma instantly better. However, those funds can be used to help restore normalcy in your life and compensate you for the suffering you’ve endured.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, and you’re ready to come forward, we’re standing by 24/7 to protect and advocate for you once you do. Dordulian Law Group is a discreet, compassionate, safe place for you to privately discuss your rights and options in the wake of this traumatic event.

If you’re suffering in silence, please remember that you’re not alone. Help is available, and it does get better.

Benefits of Using A Car Accident Injury Attorney

Benefits of using a car accident injury attorney

After experiencing a car accident, you may be left reeling. Your current medical bills are piling up, your vehicle is damaged, and your future income is uncertain. Don’t let insurance companies intimidate you and don’t feel that you are alone. Dordulian Law Group is here to be your advocate and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Hiring a car accident attorney can help you in a multitude of ways, from easing your burden to recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Explore some of the benefits of using an auto accident attorney below.

Your Car Accident Lawyer Knows Insurance Law

The first ting you do after getting into an accident is often contacting your insurance company. You may need to deal with your insurance provider, the insurance provider of the driver that struck you, or a combination of the two. Always remember: insurance companies are working in their own best interest, not yours! Knowing what you are legally entitled to is extremely nuanced and important. Your auto accident lawyer will be sure to review your case and circumstances in extreme detail to find the exact amount of compensation you are owed. Battling an insurance company without the wealth of knowledge an attorney provides can be difficult – more importantly, it can leave you without crucial compensation that can pay for medical bills, your damaged vehicle, physical therapy, wage loss, and more.

Your Car Accident Injury Attorney Exists to Represent YOU

Hiring a car accident attorney ensures that your best interests are being represented by a knowledgeable and trusted individual. Again, always remember: your insurance company is interested in protecting themselves! At Dordulian Law Group, we are so invested in protecting our clients’ best interests, we won’t take a penny from you unless we win. This way you can feel comfortable knowing you will receive our full commitment and you can be certain we are working our absolute hardest to earn you compensation. Our goal is to be your advocate so you can achieve peace of mind.

Your Car Accident Attorney Does the Heavy Lifting

The last thing you want to do after being involved in an auto accident is to wrestle with insurance companies, struggle to pay medical bills, struggle to support your family, and be left without reliable transportation. Your priority should be recovering, physically and mentally. Hiring a car accident attorney not only helps you best position yourself to receive the highest amount of compensation you may be entitled to, but it also helps you relax and recover with peace of mind. Dordulian Law Group understands how stressful experiencing an automobile accident can be, and we want to make your recovery as smooth as possible. We have experience in a multitude of auto accidents and are prepared to help you along the road to recovery today.

So, Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Ultimately, that is up to you. Do you feel like you are prepared to face insurance companies alone? Are you willing to risk additional compensation you may be entitled to that you are not aware of? Do you feel that your physical and emotional trauma may hold you back from representing your best interests? Your compensation and peace of mind are at risk when you choose to fight insurance companies alone. Know that Dordulian Law Group is here to be your advocate. We’ve helped over 1,000 clients recover over $20 million, and are eager to do the same for you. We do not collect any legal fees if we do not recover compensation for you. Contact Dordulian Law Group now for a free, private consultation.