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Articles Posted in Personal Injury News

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personal injury lawyer, California, Los AngelesDoes my personal injury attorney have a discipline record with the State Bar?  This is a question that you should ask (among many others) when trying to decide who to hire to represent you on any matter.  It is especially important to know if you are considering retaining a lawyer to represent you or your family in a personal injury or wrongful death case.  Why?  Oftentimes, attorneys with disciplinary records have been reprimanded for things like failing to adequately represent their client’s interests or improperly accounting for settlement funds in their attorney client trust account.  While every lawyer is “innocent until proven guilty” by the system, a simple check can tell you whether the legal counsel you are considering hiring has prior or pending charges lodged against them.

How to check if the personal injury attorney I am considering has a disciplinary record with the State Bar of California?

Most states, including California, have State Bar Associations who are charged with making sure lawyers in that state are in compliance with the rules which govern the practice of law.  Many of these State Bar Associations now have online resources and websites where clients can look up the lawyer they are considering hiring and see whether or not that attorney has a record of pending or prior discipline.  The web address in California is as follows: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/ .  When you go to this site, you will see a small box towards the upper right hand of the home page, which says, “Attorney Search”.  Simply type in the name of the lawyer, and look towards the bottom of the page under the category entitled, “Actions Effecting Eligibility to Practice Law”.  The page will also tell you a lot of useful information about the lawyer including their educational background, official address and phone number, and the date they were initially admitted to practice law in the State of California.

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Los Angeles Personal Injury LawyerThe truth about for profit attorney referral services is that they are not law firms, lawyers or attorneys at all.  The truth is that these for profit referral services are simply advertising firms who charge lawyers a fee to be referred personal injury cases.  As I was watching the Dodgers game over the weekend, I was inundated with the television commercials from several of these services with “non-attorney spokespersons” touting their ability to represent victims of car accidents and other mishaps obtain money with “no upfront costs to you” and giving you “access to the best attorneys in Southern California.”  In the “fine print” disclosure of these ads (which no one could possibly read in the amount of time it is on the television screen), it states, in pertinent part, as follows: “Spokesperson is not an attorney.  Not a lawyer referral service or a law firm.”  If you note past commercials, the names of this “group of independent attorneys”, varies from year to year.  When you dial up the catchy “1-800-bestlawyersintown” jingle #, and ask if it is a law firm, you are told that they are not attorneys but, an “answering service” for attorneys.

What does this all mean the the California consumer? These companies are FOR PROFIT enterprises and are NOT law firms or lawyers.  The people in their ads are not attorneys but, “attorney spokespersons.”  They are not “lawyer referral services” in the traditional sense (i.e. set up by a bar association or other formal, legal organization with a screening process for attorney members pursuant to California Business and Professions Code §6155).  Attorneys pay a fee each month (which can run into the thousands of dollars) to get cases referred to them by this group.  When callers respond to these ads, they are referred to the paying to be a part of the “jointly advertising” attorneys.  Because lawyers all pay to be in the group, calls are referred in a rotation to whoever is “in line” to take the call.  In other words, getting “access to the best personal injury attorneys in California” really means getting random access to the lawyer who has simply paid a fee to be a part of advertising program.  In addition, the attorneys that choose to pay a fee and receive cases in return are constantly turning over and changing.  In my opinion, you would be better picking your lawyer by throwing a dart at a board or flipping a coin!

Why hiring a personal injury attorney from a TV or Radio Ad By A For Profit Advertising Group May Not Be the Best Way to Get Quality Legal Representation for An Accident Claim:

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lawyer reviews, los angeles personal injury attorneysLos Angeles personal injury lawyer reviews are one way to determine if the law firm you hire to assist you with your accident claim has a reputation in the community for quality legal representation related to bodily harm or wrongful death claims in and around the SoCal area.  L.A. is the second largest metropolitan area in the country and it is estimated that Los Angeles County has a population slightly over 10 Million people which is a little more than a quarter of the entire populous of the State of California.  California, in general, and Los Angeles, in particular, also have a glut of attorneys simply due to the number of law graduates and new lawyers admitted to the bar versus the number of available jobs (See stats here ).  With so many attorneys to choose from, it is tough to decide.  The best way is not to simply pick an injury attorney out of the yellow pages or from a television or radio ad, but, rather to do your homework and look at things like consumer and peer reviews of that personal injury law firms you are thinking about employing for your accident claim.  Here are what some of these reviews have been for Los Angeles Injury Firm, Steven M. Sweat, APC:

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California Law, Laws of the Golden State, Personal Injury Laws in CaliforniaNew laws important to California personal injury victims is something I thought I would review here at the first part of 2014.  It is not every year that new statutes are passed in the Golden State that may affect persons making claims for injuries or wrongful death but, this year there are a few, important new laws as follows:

Texting and Driving Restriction Loophole Has Been Closed for Teens in CA

The statistics don’t lie.  Teenagers and young adults are statistically more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident where the driver has been distracted from the use of a cell phone, smart phone or other mobile device.  For this reason, California chose to enact greater restrictions on persons under 18 than older drivers in this area.  The prior statute, enacted in 2007, banned any cell phone use (whether by voice commands, wireless, hands free or otherwise) by any teenage driver. However, as the law was amended in 2012, there appeared to be a loophole which may allow for voice texting by teens.  Therefore, the CA state legislature made the language of the law more clear and now any talking, texting, or use of a cell phone or mobile device whether by voice commands or otherwise, is now against the law.

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settlement of personal injury claims in CAWhat is involved with a personal injury settlement and release in California?  Statistics show that the vast majority of personal injury claims in California and throughout the U.S. get resolved by way of a settlement.  This is finalized and memorialized in a written contract typically called a settlement agreement and / or a Release of Claims.  The finality and scope of such an agreement usually depends upon the terms of the contract and the circumstances surrounding the execution of the agreement.  I thought I would explore these issues and why it is crucial to have an attorney representing you if and when you decide to settle your claims for bodily harm.

What is the likelihood of an injury claim settling before trial?

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Korean personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles are not unheard of but, quality accident lawyers for the Korean American community are far too few, in my opinion.  This is a shame in that the Los Angeles area including Orange County and the Inland Empire has the highest concentration of Koreans anywhere in the world other than Korea itself.  In fact, it is estimated that somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000 Koreans and their families live in Southern California.  For this reason, I see a great need in the community for a quality, honest, hard working law firm to get maximum compensation for accident victims.  That is why I created my new website:

http://www.koreanattorneylosangeles.com

While the site has just begun, my hope is to grow this as a great online resource full of good information for consumers to go to when they have been injured in any type of accident including car crashes, slip and fall mishaps, pedestrian injuries, and any other type of catastrophic event that causes bodily harm or wrongful death.

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child accident attorney, child injury lawyer, los angeles personal injury attorney, California LawRecovering personal injury damages for children in California is one task I enjoy more than just about any other in my role as a injury and accident attorney.   Children are our most precious asset and we should protect them and compensate them when they are harmed by the wrongdoing of another person or business.  This can sometimes be a difficult process but, I can summarize the basics as follows:

What are the most common causes of personal injury involving children?

A child can be injured in any number of ways just like anyone else.  The most reprehensible instances involve intentional abuse or neglect. However, there are also many common types of unintentional injury.  Statistics show that the most likely cause of bodily harm in minors is a motor vehicle accident.  While most injuries occur when the child is a passenger in the vehicle, pedestrian accidents and bicycle collisions also occur at very high rates among kids between the ages of 4 and 14 especially in urban and suburban areas with high traffic like Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, CA.  Recent studies have also linked a dramatic rise recently in motor vehicle injuries involving teenage pedestrians being distracted by using electronic devices like cell phones and headsets.  Falls and being struck by objects are leading causes of injury especially for younger children ages 0 to 9 years old.

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As a personal injury attorney, a knee injury or knee injuries are one of the most common serious afflictions I see stemming from traumatic events such as traffic collisions.  In order to understand the complexities that sometimes stem from these injuries, it is important to understand both the structure of the knee and the potential damage it can sustain as a result of trauma.

How Does My Knee Work?

The knees, along with the ankles and feet, are the main weight bearing devices our bodies have to stand, walk, run and move.  The knee connects the upper thigh bone (the femur) with the lower shin bones (the tibia and the fibula).  The bones are connected by four large ligaments as follows: the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (or ACL) and the Posterior Cruciate Ligament stabilize the femur and tibia and keep them from sliding forward or backward over each other; the Lateral Collateral Ligament attaches the femur to the fibula and the Medial Collateral Ligament attaches the femur to the tibia and both keep the two bones from sliding from side to side.  In between the two bones are the Medial and Lateral Meniscus which act as a kind of shock absorber for the joint.  This is protected in front by the Patella bone (or knee cap).  There are also various Bursae (or fluid-filled sacs that act to lubricate the movement of the joint) and various tendons connecting muscle tissue in and around the knee joint.

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