Every day, thousands of people across the United States experience all types of personal injuries from the negligence and intentional misconduct of others. Car accidents, medical negligence, premises liability, and a host of other issues can easily generate life-changing injuries, significant economic losses, and very difficult questions of liability. If you or a loved one is struggling in the aftermath of an injury you suffered from the actions of another party, you likely have grounds for a civil claim for damages against them.
Experienced and Compassionate Personal Injury Representation in Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is a busy metropolitan area, and visitors and residents to Los Angeles face a host of risks in all types of situations. When a personal injury occurs, the victim is likely to have many legal questions concerning liability and how they will recover from the resulting damage. Trustworthy legal counsel is invaluable, and the Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates team is confident in our ability to provide the responsive and compassionate legal representation you need to approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.
Why You Should Choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates for Your Case
Most personal injury claims in Los Angeles County pertain to physical injuries and illnesses. These ailments can generate very expensive medical bills and prevent victims from working, compounding their financial distress very quickly. It’s easy for the victim of a personal injury to feel lost when determining their best legal options. As a result, they may unintentionally settle for much less than they legally deserve or overlook available channels of compensation that an attorney could have explored on their behalf. Additionally, many personal injuries result in permanent disabilities, and the victim of any catastrophic injury faces a very desperate set of circumstances they will be unlikely to effectively address on their own.
Attorney Kenneth Sigelman is a licensed medical doctor with years of experience treating patients and an experienced attorney. This unique set of credentials means that our team can provide a level of personal injury representation you cannot find from the majority of other personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles County. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to help you fully establish the scope and severity of the injuries you suffered and the long-term or permanent complications you face. In addition, while our firm is especially qualified to handle medical malpractice cases, we accept a wide range of personal injury claims on behalf of clients in Los Angeles.
We understand the challenges you are likely to face in your impending recovery efforts, and you likely have many pressing legal questions about what you can expect in your proceedings. We take all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis to keep our legal counsel as accessible as possible to those who need it most. You are most likely to reach a positive outcome to your personal injury claim when you have an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney representing you.
Proving Liability for a Personal Injury
Success with your impending personal injury claim will require meeting specific legal criteria to establish liability. First, you must identify the party you believe is liable for your damage and prove they directly caused it. Second, you must provide a complete list of all the economic losses you suffered because of their actions and prove those losses strictly resulted from their negligence or misconduct. Again, your attorney will be an invaluable asset for accomplishing these requirements.
The process of proving fault in a personal injury case varies based on the unique details of the case. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will be crucial for securing physical evidence, obtaining credible witness testimony to support your claim, and arranging expert witness testimony for complex cases. When you choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to represent you in a personal injury claim in Los Angeles, we take time to learn as much as possible about your situation to deliver truly individualized legal counsel throughout your case.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Los Angeles
When you must hire a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, it is essential to find one who has appropriate professional experience with cases similar to your own. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can provide effective personal injury representation in a variety of cases:
- Car accidents are among the leading causes of accidental injuries and deaths in the United States each year. These incidents generate a large percentage of all the personal injury claims filed in Los Angeles each year. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver to secure initial recompense for the losses you sustained and provide ongoing legal counsel for further recourse if you must file a personal injury claim.
- Truck accident claims are similar to car accident cases, but these incidents can pose additional complications for victims. Determining liability for a truck accident can be very difficult, and multiple parties could share fault for your damage. Additionally, the large size and inherently dangerous nature of these vehicles mean that truck accidents can easily cause catastrophic injuries and permanent harm.
- Property owners could face premises liability claims from the people injured on their properties if they failed to address known safety hazards or otherwise failed to adequately maintain their properties. Property owners in California have a legal responsibility to address foreseeable safety risks on their property and address them so they cannot cause harm to lawful visitors. Property owners are not liable for injuries that intruders or trespassers suffer while illegally being present on their properties.
- Medical malpractice. While thousands of people in California trust their medical providers to administer safe and effective treatment every day, medical negligence continues to be among the leading causes of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States. A medical malpractice claim is very different from any other type of personal injury claim, and it is essential for the plaintiff to have legal counsel they can trust for this type of case.
- Dog bites. California upholds a strict liability rule whenever a dog injures another person. The dog’s owner is fully liable for any damage their pet inflicts on another person, regardless of whether the dog had any past incidents of aggression. In addition, state law expects dog owners to exercise control over their pets at all times
- Catastrophic injuries are those resulting in permanent disabilities, chronic adverse symptoms, and other long-term complications. If a defendant has caused a devastating injury to you or a loved one, you will need an experienced attorney’s assistance to hold them fully accountable for the immediate and future damage they have likely caused. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation injuries, and any injury resulting in permanent loss of sensation, blindness, or other permanent disability qualifies as a catastrophic personal injury.
Our team can handle all other types of personal injury claims on behalf of clients in the Los Angeles area. We know the common causes of personal injuries in the area and the common challenges facing victims of these incidents. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our clients understand the legal mechanisms in play, make informed decisions about each phase of their case, and approach each new step in their proceedings with confidence.
Unique Considerations for Motor Vehicle Accident-Related Personal Injuries
Your recovery process from a personal injury will vary based on the unique details of the incident. When it comes to personal injury cases pertaining to car, truck, or motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles, victims must typically first file auto insurance claims for initial compensation before proceeding with their personal injury actions. Every California driver is required to have auto insurance with the state’s basic coverage requirements, but California has among the highest rates of uninsured drivers of any US state, so there is never a guarantee that insurance will be available to you after a car accident in Los Angeles.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney is an ideal asset to have on your side when it comes time to file your auto insurance claim after a car accident in Los Angeles. They can draft a demand letter to the insurance firm on your behalf to minimize the chance of the company pushing back unfairly. Then, once you have secured as much compensation as possible for your damage through insurance, any remaining losses can be sought as damage in a personal injury claim.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Los Angeles
In the event that your personal injury pertains to medical malpractice, the team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates is uniquely equipped to handle these difficult cases. A medical malpractice claim imposes several unique requirements on a claimant they would not face in a standard personal injury claim. For example, the claimant must provide advance notice of their intent to file their claim to the defendant, and they must secure testimony from a medical expert verifying that the defendant breached the patient’s standard of care.
A medical malpractice case can enable the plaintiff to recover compensation for any damage resulting from the experience. These are likely to include increased medical expenses for correcting the harm done by the defendant and managing symptoms in recovery. The plaintiff can also recover compensation for lost income and lost earning potential if they are left unable to return to work. Finally, the plaintiff can also claim pain and suffering compensation, but state law limits this compensation to $250,000.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites in California
Dogs are widely considered “man’s best friend,” but dog attacks can be incredibly painful and traumatic. Strict liability applies for a dog attack case as long as the plaintiff can prove two qualifying criteria. First, they must have been legally present wherever the attack happened. Strict liability does not apply to trespassers or intruders on the dog owner’s property. Second, they must not have provoked the dog to attack. While a dog attack case might seem straightforward at first, these cases often escalate into contentious legal battles. Our team helps victims of these incidents approach their cases with peace of mind, holding dog owners accountable when they fail to properly control their pets.
Vicarious Liability and Comparative Fault in a Los Angeles Personal Injury Case
Some personal injury cases are more straightforward than others, and some pose very difficult questions of liability. California enforces a pure comparative fault rule, meaning that liability for a personal injury has the potential to fall to more than one defendant as well as on the plaintiff. It is also possible for vicarious liability to come into play if one party is responsible for the harm done by another party, such as an employer’s liability for the actions of their employees.
When comparative fault applies to a personal injury claim, the judge overseeing the case must assign a percentage of fault to each defendant and the plaintiff, if applicable. In the event a plaintiff bears comparative negligence, they lose a percentage of their award equal to their percentage of fault in causing the incident in question. It’s relatively common for defendants facing personal injury claims to push a comparative fault narrative to allege that the plaintiffs share liability.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim in California
Once you have explored all your preliminary recovery options, such as insurance, you can begin filing your personal injury case against the party responsible for your injury. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will help you craft your initial complaint, outlining the exact nature of the defendant’s misconduct or negligence and presenting the evidence and arguments necessary to establish their fault for the incident in question. Once you complete your complaint, it must be filed with the Los Angeles civil court, and the court contacts the defendant named in your complaint to give them the opportunity to respond.
The defendant may immediately contest the claim and demand a trial, and if so, the parties involved will proceed with pretrial motions and discovery until the trial begins. However, the defendant is far more likely to seek a settlement with the plaintiff. Most personal injury claims filed in the United States end in private settlement negotiations because this offers both parties the best chances of securing swift and favorable results. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will help you prepare for settlement negotiations, but if this is not an option for your case, then you need an attorney experienced in civil court litigation.
Economic Damage in Los Angeles Personal Injury Claims
California state law enables the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek repayment for all the losses they sustained because of the defendant’s actions. Some of this economic damage is relatively easy to prove, such as hospital bills and vehicle repair costs immediately after a car accident. Others are more challenging to prove, and some plaintiffs will face long-term or permanent harm because of these experiences.
If you intend to file any type of personal injury claim in Los Angeles, the economic damage you are likely able to claim can include the following:
- Medical expenses. If you incurred medical costs for treatment, ongoing medical expenses, and other health care-related expenses from your personal injury, the defendant is liable for any and all the medical treatment you require to reach maximum medical improvement.
- Long-term costs for medical treatment. Some personal injuries result in long-term or permanent medical complications that require ongoing treatment and symptom management. If your personal injury results in any type of long-term or permanent harm, the defendant faces liability for your future medical expenses in addition to immediate health care expenses after the injury.
- Lost wages. Many personal injuries in California are damaging enough that victims cannot work until they recover, and some victims are left unable to work due to the severity of the injuries. Your attorney will help calculate the earnings you lost after your accident.
- Diminished earning power. Some people will never fully recover from their personal injuries, and this may leave them unable to resume their previous job. In addition, some are left unable to handle any type of gainful employment due to the severity of their injuries. If your personal injury resulted in any type of diminished earning capacity, the defendant is liable for the future income you will lose, and your attorney will calculate how much you likely would have earned if you weren’t injured by the defendant’s negligence or misconduct
- Property damage/loss of business. If a defendant’s negligence or misconduct caused your business to lose revenue or other property loss, you could also hold them accountable for these losses.
Most people who sustain personal injuries are capable of calculating the immediately recognizable economic losses these experiences cause. However, they are likely to require more robust legal counsel to help them accurately determine the full range of economic damage they can seek from the defendant. With the right attorney handling your case, you will be able to recover full repayment of all the economic losses the defendant caused you to suffer. You will also be able to claim compensation for the painful and traumatic nature of your experience.
Pain and Suffering Compensation in California
It may sound difficult to put a monetary value on the physical pain and psychological suffering you have endured from your personal injury, but this is a loss you can claim in your personal injury action. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will carefully review the details of your injury and determine the full range of economic damage you can seek from the defendant. If you suffer any long-term or permanent harm, these variables are going to influence the final compensation you obtain.
The law doesn’t limit how much pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff can seek in a California personal injury case unless they are filing a medical malpractice claim. If not, their attorney can help them calculate appropriate compensation that will reflect the level of pain and trauma their injury caused. Plaintiffs who sustain permanent harm from defendants’ actions are likely to secure significant compensation for pain and suffering.
Attorneys use two specific methods to calculate pain and suffering compensation for their clients. The first is the per diem method, which demands compensation for each day until the victim reaches maximum medical improvement. The second is the multiplier method, which multiplies the plaintiff’s claimed economic damage by a factor that reflects the severity of their experience. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury you experienced, pain and suffering could be the largest portion of the total compensation you obtain.
Intentional Misconduct, Criminal Prosecution, and Other Potential Variables in Your Personal Injury Case
Even if the fault for your recent personal injury appears perfectly clear to you, there is no guarantee that winning your case will be straightforward or easy. Therefore, you need experienced legal counsel on your side if you want the best chance of winning your personal injury case, and you are also likely to need their assistance to defeat any allegations of comparative fault levied against you by the defendant.
California enforces a pure comparative negligence law, and this means a plaintiff could lose a percentage of their award if they bear any partial liability for causing their claimed damage. Conversely, if a defendant’s actions exceeded the scope of typical negligence, were criminal in nature in any way, or the defendant intentionally harmed the victim, they are likely to face criminal charges along with a civil suit from the victim.
When a defendant is prosecuted for causing a personal injury, the state handles the criminal case while the victim’s personal injury case unfolds in civil court. The judge handling criminal sentencing may include restitution to the victim as part of their punishment, and the judge overseeing the plaintiff’s civil case may award additional restitution. These are just a few examples of the legal complications that can unexpectedly arise during a personal injury case and why you need experienced legal counsel on your side.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has extensive professional experience guiding clients through a wide range of personal injury claims and uses this experience to create individually tailored legal strategies for all the clients we represent. Our goal is to help you fully understand the legal mechanisms in play in your case and guide you through your proceedings as efficiently as possible.
What to Expect From Your Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
When you choose the Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates team to represent you in any type of personal injury claim, you have instant access to the broad professional experience of both a medical doctor and an attorney. In addition, your legal team will carefully review the details of your injury, learn how it happened, who is responsible, and the effects it has had on your life.
The average person is typically able to identify the immediate effects of a personal injury but may struggle when it comes to calculating the total long-term impact they face. When you choose an experienced team of attorneys like Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to represent your personal injury claim, you will be substantially more likely to secure a favorable outcome to your case. We strive to maximize our client’s final case award in every way we can in every case we accept. Your personal injury has likely impacted your life in many ways, and there is no reason for you to shoulder the burdens imposed on you by the defendant who caused your accident.
Most personal injury cases filed in California end through negotiations of settlements. If the defendant is clearly at fault and recognizes they have little room to contest their liability, a swift settlement process generally offers the best possible outcome for the defendant. Swift settlement also helps the plaintiff receive the compensation they need to recover as quickly as possible after their accident.
Our team is prepared to help you settle your case as swiftly as possible if we can, but we are fully prepared to provide the litigation support you need if your case must unfold in the courts. We have won many personal injury claims in California due to the unique experience and professional resources we can offer and our commitment to helping each client reach the best outcome possible for their case. The sooner you connect with experienced legal representation, the easier it will be for you to approach your personal injury claim with confidence and peace of mind.
Personal Injury Attorneys FAQs
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer?
A: Most personal injury attorneys understand that the average person does not have the financial flexibility to handle expensive legal fees in the aftermath of a damaging accident. The attorneys at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates accept personal injury claims on a contingency basis, meaning we only take a percentage of a client’s final case award as our fee, and only if we win the case. You will pay no ongoing legal fees and nothing if we do not secure compensation on your behalf.
Q: How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in California?
A: State law allows you to seek full repayment for all the economic damage you suffered from the incident in question, and you also have the right to claim whatever amount of pain and suffering compensation you feel is appropriate to reflect the severity of your experience. State law does not limit pain and suffering in personal injury claims except for medical malpractice suits. Your attorney will calculate an estimate of your claim’s total potential value.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
A: The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California is two years, beginning on the date an injury occurs. This statute is flexible; however, if the defendant concealed their liability, fled the scene of the injury they caused, or if the cause of the victim’s injury isn’t immediately determinable. Therefore, it is always best to start your personal injury claim as soon as possible to have the best chance of maximizing your recovery.
Q: Will a Defendant Go to Jail for Causing a Personal Injury in California?
A: The majority of personal injury claims filed in California pertain to acts of negligence. It is unlikely that a defendant will go to jail for causing a personal injury unless they did so through an act of intentional misconduct or a clear desire to harm the victim. For example, if a driver was negligent behind the wheel and caused an accident due to distracted driving, they may still face substantial liability and may face penalties for traffic offenses, while a driver who caused an accident because of DUI would almost certainly face criminal prosecution.
Q: Can a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Really Make a Difference in My Claim?
A: The right attorney can make an incredible difference to any personal injury case’s outcome. When you have an experienced legal team managing your case, you can focus on your recovery, your medical needs, and your other personal obligations with peace of mind. Your attorney will keep you informed of the latest updates in your case proceedings and prepare you for each new phase of the case. You are more likely to win a personal injury case and more likely to maximize the final compensation you obtain when you have an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney representing you.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can provide a unique level of personal injury representation you cannot find in any other law firm in the Los Angeles area. With the combined experience of a licensed physician and an experienced attorney behind your claim, you have the best chance of recovering to the fullest extent possible under California law. Contact Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates today to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney and find out how we can empower your recovery.