Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

How Much Are Personal Injury Lawyer Fees in California?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

California Personal Injury Lawyer Fees Injured in an accident? You might wonder if you’re eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills and other issues. You might also be unsure if hiring a personal injury attorney is worth the money. Unlike most other lawyers, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means inability to pay is never an issue. You will never lose money by hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. What Does “Contingency” Mean in Personal Injury Cases? If a personal injury attorney decides to take your case, you will not owe any money up front. Instead, the attorney will collect a fee for his services once they settle or resolve your claim. The attorney’s fees are a percentage of the total amount you recover from your personal injury claim. If you do not recover any money, the attorney does not charge you anything. An experienced personal injury lawyer will usually offer a free consultation to anyone injured in an accident. The attorney will review the facts and legal issues in your case, as well as the damages you have suffered. If he believes he can be an asset in your case, he will offer to represent you on a contingency basis. What Is a Fair Contingency Fee in California? Most contingency fees in California range from 33% to 50% of the total settlement. Most times the fees change based on various steps on a case. Usually, there is a lower fee if the case settles before you file a lawsuit or arbitration. The fees increase once the case is in litigation. It is not unusual to see fees go up once the first mediation passes, date of expert experation, or the start of the trial. You are your attorney will sign an agreement that defines the fee structure. California law prohibits an attorney from charging “unconscionable” fees for legal representation. This means the legal fees must not be unreasonable or outrageous. However, there is no standard maximum (or minimum) fee permitted. A personal injury attorney will usually cover the costs of litigation until final judgment or settlement. These costs are separate from the attorney’s fees. In most circumstances, the attorney’s fees are taken out first from the settlement then cost. For example, if you receive a $150,000 settlement, the attorney will collect his fee (let’s say one-third, or $50,000), plus the cost of litigation expenses (which can be several thousand dollars). What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney Every attorney has different levels of contingency fees. It is important to consider the value of finding the right attorney. You don’t just hire the cheapest attorney. A skilled personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain a bigger settlement offer or judgment. Clearly, this will yield a larger net recovery. Look for a personal injury lawyer with experience handling your type of case. You may find that someone who handles personal injury cases exclusively provides more focus to your case. Choose an attorney with a good reputation and a personality that meshes well with yours. You could be working closely with this person for quite a while. Do you need legal assistance? Michael Beliz is an experienced personal injury attorney dedicated to helping individuals receive fair compensation for their injuries. Contact our office in Long Beach, California to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Dealing with Concussions from Car Accidents

| Read Time: 3 minutes

A concussion, also called a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), is one of the more common injuries you may sustain in a car accident. While some concussions are minor and cause relatively few problems, others can be quite debilitating and may cause long-term issues. Concussions, like any head injury, are serious. A doctor should monitor them closely. Signs of a Head Injury After a Car Accident A concussion is a brain injury that can occur any time you hit your head, or even from whiplash. The symptoms of a concussion may be immediate or could develop up to several weeks after your car accident. Seek medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms: Confusion Memory problems Sleepiness Headache Dizziness Blurred or double vision Sensitivity to light and sound Nausea or vomiting Losing consciousness It can be difficult to detect the signs of a concussion in young children because they are not always able to communicate what they are experiencing. See a doctor right away if your child got in a car accident and shows any of the following symptoms: Extreme drowsiness Excessive crying or irritability Slurred speech Strange behavior Vomiting Confusion Vision or balance difficulties Delayed reactions Long-Term Effects of Concussions Most concussion symptoms will dissipate within a few days. However, a serious concussion can hang around for months, continuing to cause headaches, dizziness, and confusion. Some people may suffer long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. Concussions can be particularly dangerous if you have suffered a previous concussion or another head injury. Subsequent concussions are more likely to cause permanent brain damage. Treating and Managing a Concussion There is no cure for a concussion. However, the best medicine for any head injury is rest. Rest is absolutely necessary for your brain to heal, so be careful not to overexert yourself physically or mentally. Reduce lighting and noise in your home while you recover. Although your family and friends may be anxious to visit you after a car accident, keep socializing to a minimum for a few days. A low-stimulus environment is most conducive to MTBI recovery. Acetaminophen may be helpful for lingering concussion headaches but avoid ibuprofen and aspirin. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications for pain and nausea. Do not consume alcohol during your recovery period. As always, follow your doctor’s orders closely and ask before making changes or beginning a new treatment. You will want to avoid activities that involve concentration and problem-solving. For this reason, your doctor may recommend you take time off from work or school. As you recover, you should slowly and gradually increase the amount of “mental work” you are doing. This includes “easy” tasks like reading, texting, and playing games. When you return to work or school, remember to take frequent breaks. Try to find a quiet place to lay your head down and nap if possible. Get in Touch with a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney If you or a loved faces a head injury after a car accident, contact the Beliz Law Firm in Long Beach, California for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us anytime at (562) 452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

What Is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Claim?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Drunk driving remains a serious public safety problem in California. According to the most recent data from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), more than 1,000 people were killed in DUI crashes in the state in 2017. Many thousands more innocent victims suffered severe, even life-changing injuries in wholly avoidable DUI accidents. When a drunk driver hits you, it is a trying experience, especially if there are serious injuries. As you recover from injuries, it is natural to think about recovering compensation from the drunk driver who hit you. You have to consider medical bills, rehabilitation costs, missed work, and more. This raises an important question: But how much can you expect to recover? The truth is, each drunk driving accident claim is different. In that sense, there is no true ‘average’ drunk driving accident settlement amount. Each case is fact specific. However you deserve the maximum available compensation, to pay for your medical bills, cover for your lost of earnings, and the pains you have suffered. At The Beliz Law Firm, our top-rated Long Beach, CA drunk driving accident lawyer is standing by, ready to fight for your rights. Car accident lawyer Michael Beliz can help you understand what your case is worth. Consultations are always free – reach out today. Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Claim in California After an injury in a car accident, the driver at fault for the accident may be liable for your injuries. In some cases, the person that caused the accident was driving under the influence. If that happens to you, there is a good chance the other driver owes you compensation. An accident involving a drunk driver can often yield a higher settlement or judgment than a case in which the driver at fault was not impaired. However, the value of any personal injury or wrongful death claim depends on the case. Is There a Normal Drunk Driving Personal Injury Settlement? There is no “normal” settlement for car accident injuries caused by a drunk driver. In California, some personal injury awards are more than a million dollars. Other cases settle for under $10,000. The compensation owed in your personal injury case depends on many factors. They include the severity and permanence of your injuries, the economic loss you suffered, and the degree of comparative fault. The defendant’s insurance coverage and ability to pay will also play a large role in the value of a settlement. How Do We Calculate Damages in Personal Injury Cases There are two kinds of damages in personal injury cases: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages compensate an injured person for his loss. We categorize these into economic (special) and non-economic (general) damages. Special damages are those that have a specific dollar amount. These include current and future medical bills and expenses, lost wages or earning capacity, property damages, and anything else that cost the injured person money. General damages do not have a tangible economic cost but still deserve compensation. Non-economic damages compensate for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. There is no formula to use to calculate the amount of general damages. Your injuries and your story determine damages. Punitive damages (also called exemplary damages) punish the defendant for extreme neglect or bad behavior. To award punitive damages, California law requires the defendant must have “willfully and deliberately failed” to avoid the known consequences of his negligence. Not every drunk driving personal injury case will include punitive damages. In some cases, however, juries have awarded millions of dollars in punitive damages to the families of those killed by an intoxicated driver. CALIFORNIA DUI ACCIDENTS: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES Whether you are seeking compensation for direct economic losses — such as medical bills, lost wages, etc — or you are seeking compensation for non-economic damages — such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or emotional distress — it is crucial that your damages are properly documented and effectively presented. Ultimately, compensatory damages must be tied to your losses. To obtain compensation through a settlement or personal injury verdict, your claim should be carefully documented with strong supporting evidence either through receipts, bills, photos, etc. Indeed, the key to obtaining successful results in the personal injury settlement process often lies in the evidence. Notably, the large insurance companies that typically defend DUI accident claims have a well-established reputation for being highly aggressive. It is rare that these insurers will lead with their best and final settlement offer at the beginning of the negotiation process. Their fundamental goal is to settle drunk driving accident claims for the lowest amount possible and as quickly as possible. Insurers train their representatives to look for any information that they can use against plaintiffs in order to reduce a personal injury settlement. For this and other reasons, it is highly recommended that you deal with the insurance company through a top-rated Long Beach car accident attorney. Your attorney will make sure that your interests are protected. WHEN CAN YOU RECOVER PUNITIVE DAMAGES IN A CALIFORNIA DUI ACCIDENT CASE? Punitive damages will only be awarded in cases where there was gross negligence or extraordinarily reckless misconduct by the defendant. In DUI accident cases, California courts are instructed to look to the state’s statutes on punitive/exemplary damages (Civil Code § 3294). What is notable is that California requires plaintiffs to present ‘clear and compelling’ evidence in seeking punitive damages. This is a significantly higher legal threshold than the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard that is used for compensatory damages. In order to recover punitive damages for a drunk driving accident, you must be able to clearly demonstrate that the defendant (the intoxicated driver) was grossly negligent or willfully reckless. The worse the behavior of the defendant, the more likely punitive damages are to be awarded. An example of willfully reckless behavior is a prior DUI conviction. If you are considering seeking punitive damages in your case, it is imperative that you seek guidance from an experienced Long...

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

How Long Does the Personal Injury Claims Process Take?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Personal Injury Claims Process In California Most people involved in a personal injury lawsuit are anxious to close the book on this part of their lives. The plaintiff has medical bills and other expenses piling up. So he may find himself out of work and unable to support his family. Unfortunately, the personal injury claims process can be a lengthy one. It is impossible to predict how long your personal injury case will last. This depends on the individual circumstances of your case. If the defendant acknowledges fault for the facts of the accident, your injuries and offers fair compensation, your case may settle within a few months. If your case involves factual disputes, or either party refuses to entertain reasonable settlement offers, it can take years to obtain a final judgment in your case. Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in California A statute of limitations is a law limiting the amount of time you have to bring a legal action for any given reason. Statutes of limitation vary by state and legal matter. If you unable to settle your claim or fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations passes on your claim, you will be permanently precluded from seeking compensation for your injuries in court. So, a judge will dismissal any lawsuit you file, and you may not be able to recover anything for your injuries. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in California is two years. This is how long you have from the date of the accident or injury to make a claim. However, this statute of limitations applies when the claim is against a citizen. Against the government, the statute of limitation shrinks to six months. It is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident to determine if there is a governmental claim with a shorter time limit. In addition, sometimes, an injury may not be immediately apparent after an accident. Injuries can take weeks or even months to fully develop. If this is the case, contact an attorney as soon as you are aware of the injury. Understanding the Extent of Your Injuries Understanding what injuries you have and how they happened is crucial. That is why treatment is such an important step in the personal injury claims process. Injuries may take time to develop, and testing isn’t always conclusive. This can draw out this part of the process and even take several months. Learning the extent of your injuries is critical to understanding how much your personal injury claim is worth. We calculate damages on the economic and non-economic losses. You must have suffered these losses as a result of the accident. This includes expected future damages, like ongoing medical costs and reduced earning capacity associated with a permanent or long-term disability. If may take months to years to get a reliable medical prognosis for your injuries. You do not want to settle your claim premature until knowing all of your damages. Gathering Evidence to Prove Your Claim You will need to present a detailed documentation of the accident and your injuries. You can do this a variety of ways. Obtain accident reports, gather witnesses, or even take pictures of the accident scene. The information you collect can help support the facts of the case. In addition, you will need to provide doctor’s opinions and other medical records. This documents the severity of your injuries. As part of their defense, your opponent may also want to collect evidence from their own medical experts. The process of gathering evidence to support (or defend against) a personal injury claim is discovery. Parties have a duty to share any information or evidence used with the other side. Some methods for obtaining information from the other parties in a lawsuit include: Depositions: Attorneys on both sides of the case interview parties and witnesses. Subjects make statements under oath and a court reporter transcribes the process. Interrogatories: Written questions presented to either party by counsel for the opposing side. Requests for Admission: Similar to interrogatories, requests for admission are questions that each side must answer affirmatively or negatively. Attorneys use them to pin down a party’s position on a particular issue. Production of Documents: With the exception of documents protected by attorney-client privilege, parties must provide the opposing counsel with any documents they intend to use in their case. Like every other step in the personal injury claims process, gathering evidence and discovery can take many months. The actual amount of time it takes will depend on the complexity of your case. Negotiating a Settlement for Your Personal Injury Claim Once the plaintiff calculates damages, settlement negotiations can begin. The plaintiff’s attorney will usually send a letter to the defendant or his insurance company demanding a specific amount of damages. The defendant’s attorney or insurance company will typically respond with a counter-offer. It is unusual for either party to accept a first offer or demand. So negotiations could go back and forth this way for quite a while before sides reach an agreement. The parties may agree to attend mediation to try to reach a mutually acceptable solution. Litigating Your Personal Injury Claim About 95% of personal injury claims will be voluntarily settled out of court. For the small number of cases that go to trial, a judge or jury will decide what damages the plaintiff receives. The cases that go to court obviously last longer than the average personal injury claim. Once a trial date is set, prepare to see it rescheduled at least one time maybe twice. It may take at least two years, sometimes longer, from the time of an accident to take a personal injury case to trial. Hire Personal Injury Attorney in Long Beach, California If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone’s negligent behavior, reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Michael Beliz, an experienced attorney in Long Beach, CA is eager to assist...

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Attorney Portrait Brain Injury Lawyer

Treatment for a Brain Injury from a Car Accident

| Read Time: 3 minutes

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Brain Injury from a Car Accident? Most brain injuries stem from car crashes. They are typically caused by force, such as the skull hitting the windshield, steering wheel upon impact, or the back of the headrest. The brain may continue to move inside the head even after the impact. This can cause internal bruising or bleeding. A brain injury can occur with or without the presence of an open wound. Brain injuries may not heal quickly. They may require various forms of treatment for many years—even for the rest of the victim’s life. Read on to learn more about the types of treatment often required for brain injuries. Initial Treatment Immediately following the accident, the victim will most likely be given a series of tests to estimate the severity of the injury. Based on the category the victim falls in, the victim will need to begin treatment for resuscitation and stabilization. This treatment may range from immediate surgery to relieve the pressure to rest and relaxation within a dark room until the symptoms subside. The more severe the brain injury, the more attention the victim will receive from medical professionals in the beginning. Rehabilitative Treatment The next level of care requires rehabilitation. This is the most important stage of the recovery process. On a very severe case, once the patient regains consciousness, they will move to a facility to help regain physical and mental function. Less serious cases, the victim will do their resting at home and do outpatient treatments. Either way, medical professionals will assist with safety and daily therapy. This includes appointments with neurologist, neuropsychologist, and neuropsychiatrist, in addition to diagnostic exams like MRI and CT-scan. Physical therapy may be used to restore balance, posture, and strength. Mental tests like problem-solving, puzzles, and word games may be helpful in stimulating the brain functions. In many cases, victims will have to adapt to an altered lifestyle. Medical professionals will help in this regard. They will also focus on health and nutrition, ensuring optimal care of the patient. On a serious brain injury case, there is also a focus on preparing the victim to return to the home. This will involve helping him or her with daily skills such as transferring in and out of bed, eating, getting dressed and personal hygiene. The victim will also need to redevelop life skills. Thing like grocery shopping, banking, and budgeting will be crucial. Hopefully, then they can return to the workforce. Ongoing Treatment Treatment may likely continue for many years or even the rest of the victim’s life. It can take many months or years to see an optimal recovery. Frequent doctor appointments are necessary to assess the victim’s health. They also ensure there are no secondary complications from the brain injury. The victim may require multiple medications and physical therapy on a daily basis to help with physical and mental issues caused by the brain injury. Get Compensation for Your Brain Injury Brain injuries can be life-threatening. Those who survive often require lifelong medical care. This can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. If you suffered a brain injury as a result of a serious car accident, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Then, you can recover the compensation you need to pay for your expenses. The Long Beach car accident lawyers at The Beliz Law Firm can assess your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us and schedule a consultation by calling

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Attorney Portrait Slip and Falls

Four Examples of Slip and Fall Negligence

| Read Time: 2 minutes

There are many situations in which you can suffer a slip and fall injury. But they all hinge on one main cause: negligence. Property owners and business owners live busy lives. It’s easy to overlook spilled milk or a cluttered walkway. However, when these types of situations occur, time is of the essence. When you fail to clean up these messes promptly, they become dangers for customers and guests. If someone slips or trips and falls and suffers injuries as a result, the party in charge of maintaining the property is often held liable. Read on to learn about four common types of slip and fall negligence. Wet Floors Wet floors are the most common cause of slip and fall accidents. They tend to occur in stores and restaurants, where water and other liquids can spill and cause puddles. Customers can also make floors wet by bringing in water from the rain or ice outside. Store managers and employees should be aware of these situations. They need to take the proper steps to clean up floors promptly. Further, once an employee has mopped a spill, it’s a good idea to set up “Wet floor” signs. This lets customers know that the floor is potentially wet. They can then take necessary precautions. Damaged Flooring It’s not uncommon for old carpet to get loose from the floorboard and start to pile up. This can cause customers to trip over it and fall. Mats and rugs that are not securely attached to the floor can also come up and cause trips and falls. Stairs are especially notorious for trips and falls. A lack of maintenance can cause floorboards to come loose or even fall, resulting in serious accidents for guests. Property owners need to maintain and inspect floors often. They should make repairs as soon as possible. Ditches, Potholes, and Damaged Sidewalks Sidewalks and parking lots should be free of huge, overt cracks and openings in the ground. They can cause customers to trip and fall. Whoever owns the property—typically the city or store owner—needs to ensure that even the outside areas of the store are free of defects. If they cannot fix the situation immediately, they should post signs, fences and other warning markers to let customers know. Inadequate Lighting Inadequate lighting is a major issue in outdoor areas, such as apartment complexes. Property owners have a responsibility to provide sufficient lighting so that customers can walk safely. A lack of lighting can cause someone to walk in darkness, which can affect vision and lead to trips and falls. Owners should inspect lighting regularly. This will ensure there are no burnt-out light bulbs or other situations that can cause reduced lighting. Get Help for Your Slip and Fall Injury A slip and fall injury is no laughing matter. You could suffer broken bones, torn ligaments, head trauma, brain injuries, paralysis and more. Your injuries could be long-term or life-threatening in nature. They will likely result in expensive medical bills. You may not be able to return to your job. The Long Beach premises liability lawyers at The Beliz Law Firm can assess your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us and schedule a consultation by calling (562) 452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Motorcycle Accidents

California Motorcycle Laws Every Rider Should Know

| Read Time: 2 minutes

You finally decided to buy that Harley-Davidson you’ve had your eye on for months. Now that you can enjoy the open roads in the California sun, you need to follow the rules so you can stay safe. Every state is different when it comes to motorcycle riding laws, however, so don’t assume you know what is and what is not legal in California. Read on to become more acquainted with laws in the state before you head out on your bike. Wear a Helmet Not all states have helmet laws, but California does. When riding on California roads, you must wear a helmet at all times. And not just any helmet—it must be one approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The helmet of your choice should have a DOT sticker on it, meaning that it meets the minimum safety requirements. Use Your Turn Signals California law requires that motorcycles have working front and rear turn signals. The state excepts bikes first built and registered before 1973, though. Follow Handlebar Height Limits Your handlebars cannot be more than six inches above your shoulders. Follow Laws for Passengers There are no age restrictions for passengers, so even the youngest or smallest child can ride with you. However, the motorcycle must have a seat that is securely fastened behind the driver. In addition, there must be footrests placed at the appropriate height. This is so the passenger can place his or her feet safely on them while the motorcycle is in motion. Special seats with built-in footrests may be required to accommodate small children. Ride at the Appropriate Age California law requires that you be at least 16 years old before obtaining a motorcycle license. Other motorists must complete a driver’s training course, but motorcyclists must also complete a motorcycle training course. Don’t Tamper With Your Exhaust Many motorcyclists want to make their exhaust louder, so they invest in aftermarket systems. However, you can get a ticket for having a non-compliant exhaust. In 2010, the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act came into effect and this applies to bikes purchased after January 1, 2013. Share the Lane Safely California is the only state that allows lane sharing. Lane sharing means that you can drive between cars in adjacent lanes. However, you must do so in a safe manner. This means traveling at a speed no higher than 35 mph. Motorists may find this law a bit insane but they must abide by it and not attempt to open their car doors or try to impede the motorcycle in any way. Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help! Even if you follow the laws, motorcycle accidents can still happen. If you’re a victim, make sure you take the proper steps so you can get damages. Recovering compensation can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyers at The Beliz Law Firm can assess your case and help you file a claim against the liable party. Contact us and schedule a consultation by calling (562) 452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

| Read Time: 5 minutes

If you’re facing an injury from an accident, the first thing that likely comes to your mind is, “How much money can I recover?” And for good reason. You don’t want to pay for medical bills and other expenses for injuries that weren’t your fault. You want to make sure the liable party pays for all the damages you suffered. So that begs the question: How much is your personal injury case worth? Does a car accident result in more compensation than a slip and fall case? What about a dog bite? There is no straightforward answer. It all depends on the facts of the case and the resulting injuries. For the most part, it depends on damages. There are many types of damages you could receive for suffering a personal injury. Typically, the more serious the injury you suffer, the more damages you can expect to receive. It doesn’t really matter what type of accident occurred. A slip and fall accident could be worth millions of dollars, especially if there is a traumatic brain injury. If you broke your arm in a car accident, it may be worth only $10,000. There are many factors that can affect your total amount of compensation for a personal injury. Read on to learn more about how people value cases. Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case These types of damages are available to victims to make them whole again. Being made whole again refers to being in the same physical and mental condition as before the accident occurred. This is not always possible, however, depending on the extent of the injuries. Therefore, the purpose of compensation is to aid the victim in recovering to the fullest extent possible. Common types of damages include: Medical Bills This is often the most expensive part of the recovery. A hospital stay alone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Compensation includes previous medical bills, current treatment, and future medical bills. Lost Wages If you had to take time off work after the injury, you could receive compensation for your lost wages. This also includes any loss of earning capacity caused by the accident. For example, if you can’t work at all due to your injuries, you could receive compensation based on the amount of income you are losing out on in the future due to the accident. Property Damage This is common in car accidents. If the crash left your car totaled, you could receive enough compensation so you can buy a new one. You could also receive compensation for anything else damaged as a result of your accident, such as clothing or other personal items. Pain and Suffering This is a type of emotional damage that is difficult to calculate, but you can receive compensation for ongoing pain that you are experiencing from the accident. Some parties determine this by taking adding medical bills and using a multiplier based on the severity of the injuries. Another way to determine the monetary number is to give a value for every time you ache from the injury. Emotional Distress This is often included in pain and suffering damages. This refers to psychological damages that the victim may face after a serious accident, such as anxiety, depression or loss of sleep. Loss of Enjoyment This refers to the victim’s lack of ability to enjoy once-favorite hobbies. If the victim was an avid tennis player, but now cannot play due to a back injury, he or she could receive compensation to make up for this loss. Punitive Damages The Court awards punitive damages in cases where the liable party acted in an especially malicious or purposeful manner. These damages punish the liable party for their intent to harm. By hitting the defendant in the pocketbook, it will deter him or her from engaging in this type of behavior in the future. One of the most classic examples for receiving punitive damages is for injuries in a drunk driving accident. Punitive damages can exceed millions of dollars. Because of this, many states have caps on punitive damages. California, however, has no cap on these damages. However, they must bear a “reasonable relationship” to other damages. This means that a claim worth only $20,000 should not have $5 million in punitive damages. Other Factors Affecting Your Case Value Besides damages, there are other things that can affect how much money you get for your case. Negligence is one of these factors. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you still might be able to recover damages. California state law allows collection for your damages even if you were as much as 99 percent at fault. This is pure comparative negligence. It reduces your compensation amount based on your percentage of fault. For example, if your damage award is $100,000 and you were 50 percent at fault, you would receive 50 percent of the damage award, which would total $50,000. As a victim, the law requires you to take appropriate steps to fix or mitigate your damages. You should do so as soon as possible following the accident. If you don’t see a doctor for two weeks after the accident, the court is going to assume that you are not seriously injured. This could cause the jury to significantly reduce your damage amount. Let us Value Your Personal Injury Case Valuing your personal injury case is no simple task. There are many variables involved, and no two cases are alike. A thorough assessment of the case is needed so you can what types of compensation you are eligible to receive. The Long Beach personal injury lawyers at The Beliz Law Firm can assess your case and help you get a fair value for all the damages incurred by the liable party. Contact us and schedule a consultation by calling (562) 452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Serious Car Accident Injuries You May Face After a Crash

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a car crash, the extent of injuries that you may incur depends on different factors. What position were you in when the crash occurred? How fast were the vehicles traveling at impact? What was the angle and position of the crash? Were you wearing a seatbelt? These factors will impact the extent of your injuries. Serious car accident injuries are most common in head-on collisions, when occupants are not wearing seatbelts, or when vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Some of the most serious car accident injuries include: Spinal Cord Injuries The spinal cord is one of the most important and most delicate systems in the body. It is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and other systems. It is thanks to your spinal cord that you can walk, pick up a book, or even control when you go to the bathroom. The spinal column protects the spinal cord. It is a collection of vertebrae that form the shape of your spine. While these vertebrae are very strong, an accident can cause serious trauma. Damage to vertebrae can be serious enough to affect the spinal cord. If the accident impacts the spinal cord, the result is permanent partial or complete paralysis. Traumatic Brain Injuries Another type of serious injury that car accident victims may face are traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. There are multiple types of traumatic brain injuries. This type of injury may occur from several types of collisions, including: A hard hit directly to the head Violent shakes or whipping back and forth Oxygen deprivation (less common in car accidents) Cuts or lacerations from contact with sharp objects. Some traumatic brain injuries will heal with time. Others will leave a victim with long-term complications. This may affect cognition, memory, learning, sensation, speech, and emotions. Serious Injuries to Extremities A person may also suffer serious injuries to their extremities as a result of a car accident. Soft tissues injuries, fracture injuries, and amputation injuries can all be very serious, and may permanently impair a person’s mobility. An injury to an extremity may also cause permanent nerve damage, weakening or paralyzing the affected part of the body. Back Injuries One of the most common types of car crashes is to the rear of your vehicle. Rear end car accidents may shake you backward and forwards. This pushes your body against the seat and seatbelt and can injure your back. This forceful movement may cause disc bulges and protrusion to your spinal column. If the bulges and protrusions are too severe for physical therapy, the remedy may be epidural injections or surgery. Psychological Injuries Car accident victims are often very seriously injured, but they may also be psychologically injured too. Psychological injuries can be very challenging to live with. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can all be as limiting as physical injuries. Our Attorneys Are Here To Help You Seek Compensation A serious injury from a car accident can change your life. We know that nothing can give you back what you have lost. Hopefully, receiving a fair compensation amount can you with a small portion of what you need to improve your future. At the offices of The Beliz Law Firm, our Long Beach car accident attorneys care about you. You can schedule a consultation with our law firm, free of charge, by sending us a message.

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Attorney Portrait Bike Accidents

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries from Bicycle + Car Crashes

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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that bicycle trips account for fewer than one percent of all trips in the United States. It is uncommon it is to travel by bike relative to other modes of transportation. Those who ride their bikes face a higher risk of crash-related injury and death than people in cars. The following considers some common bicycle accident injuries caused in a bicycle-car crash: Head and Face Injuries Nearly all cyclists involved in a crash with a motor vehicle experience some sort of harm to their head. While the level of injury may vary in type and severity, some of the most common types of head injuries include: Skull fractures; Contusions; Concussions; and Intracranial hemorrhaging. Head injuries are often accompanied by facial injuries. This could affect the bones, skin, or eyes. Dental fractures, facial fractures, road rash, and more are all possible. One of the easiest ways to prevent head injuries is to always wear a helmet while riding. Musculoskeletal Injuries The musculoskeletal system refers to all the joints, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the body. “Musculoskeletal injuries,” refer to injuries such as bone fractures, dislocations, sprains, and strains. Common areas of fracture in a bicycling accident are the wrist and elbow. Chest and Abdominal Injuries Injuries to the chest or the abdomen can be very traumatic. They may even be fatal if the rider gets hit with a strong amount of force and does not receive immediate medical care. Chest and abdominal injuries include rib fractures, pancreatic trauma, lung injuries, and more. Skin and Other Soft Tissues Injuries A bicyclist is likely to suffer a number of skin and soft tissue injuries when involved in a crash with a vehicle. For example, the cyclist may suffer lacerations or bruises or may suffer a serious road rash or road burn injury. Dragging or skidding along the surface of the road can cause these injuries. They can be very painful and may leave permanent scars. What to Do After Suffering Serious Injuries in a Bicycle Crash A bicycle crash can injure in several ways. It can cause physical, psychological, and economic injuries. When you’re hit by a car while riding bicycle accident in Long Beach, you have the right to seek the full amount of damages you have suffered. At the law offices of The Beliz Law Firm, our talented Long Beach bicycle accident attorneys can help. We handle every case we take on with the utmost competence and confidentiality, and always work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today to learn more.

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