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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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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:

Some examples from our Google Business Listing include the following:

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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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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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La importancia de contratar a un abogado no un asistente legal para una demanda por lesiones personales en los Estados Unidos es muy importante saber.  En México y en muchas otras partes de América Latina, es común que los asistentes de abogados para prestar asistencia jurídica en diversos tipos de quejas, en particular los casos de lesiones personales. Debido a esto, muchos asistentes legales tratan de hacerse pasar por abogados aquí en los Estados Unidos, especialmente en las comunidades de América Latina en Los Angeles y en otras áreas urbanas. Sin embargo, es importante entender que en los Estados Unidos (incluyendo California) pasantes no están autorizados por un órgano gubernamental del Estado de proveer representación legal.

En California, la función de un asistente legal es apoyar el trabajo de un abogado con licencia. Sólo los abogados están autorizados por la ley para dar consejos legales, preparar y firmar el papeleo para ser presentada en la corte, los honorarios establecidos para los servicios jurídicos, y para comparecer ante el tribunal en nombre de una persona lesionada. Si un paralegal intenta hacer cualquiera de estas cosas por su cuenta sin el consentimiento expreso de un abogado, que están involucrados en la práctica no autorizada de la ley, que es un delito en el estado de California.

Con respecto a las demandas por lesiones personales, es muy importante asegurarse de que usted está siendo representado por un abogado. Abogados en California están obligados a completar un máximo de siete años de la escuela universitaria y la ley y pasar un examen muy difícil de obtener su licencia para ejercer la abogacía. Paralegales, por otro lado, no tienen licencia y pueden simplemente

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California law on punitive damages are the legal remedies provided to the citizens of the Golden State when they are harmed by egregious or reckless conduct. What does California Law say on punitive damages?  To answer this question, we first have to explain what punitive damages are and when they might apply to a claim for personal injury in California.

California Law

What are punitive damages?

These are damages that a defendant in a civil action may be ordered to pay to punish them for particularly egregious conducting including personal injury and employment claims.  They are meant to have a deterrent effect on the defendant from acting in a same or similar way in the future.  They can be awarded to the plaintiff in addition to “compensatory” damages like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.  Generally the cannot be awarded for a simple breach of contract but, can be awarded in cases such as insurance “bad faith” claims where an insurance company wrongfully refuses to pay a legitimate claim.  In order to obtain such an award against a corporate employer for the acts of an employee, there also needs to be proof that the employer (through a manager or officer) had advance knowledge of the conduct or “ratified” (approved) of the conduct.

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What is the process of bringing a personal injury claim in California? As a California personal injury attorney, I find that many people have questions about this process. I would break this down in stages as follows:

From The Date of The Accident to Filing a Lawsuit

Obviously, it is not a pleasant thing to be involved in a car, motorcycle or other type of accident but, if one happens, it usually follows this course:

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Personal injury evidence must be gathered in a systematic and organized manner and checklists are one way of doing this.  I think they keep us mindful of certain things that need to be done on each and every case. In addition, they keep the personal injury lawyer from forgetting to uncover every stone that might provide useful information to gain maximum monetary recovery for their client.  Here is a simplified version of my basic index as follows:

  • Obtain the information of all persons involved including names, addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s license numbers, Vehicle Identification Numbers of both parties and witnesses.
  • Examine Automobile Insurance Policy coverages including:  medical payments, rental, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage for my client and bodily injury and liability coverage for any drivers at fault.
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