A personal injury attorney provides legal representation to those who claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, governmental agency, or other entity. Personal injury actions occur in day-to-day life and are the result of negligence; negligence is the failure to act reasonably in order to avoid harm. A valid personal injury claim must prove not only that you were injured, but also that the injury was caused by another’s wrong doing. The mere fact that you have been injured on someone’s property or “almost” got hurt does not generally amount to negligence. You have a limited amount of time to settle your case or file a law suit after being injured—typically two years in California for most personal injury actions such as car accidents, slip and falls at a department store, etc. However, some types of claims have different time restraints. For example, any claim against a government agency such as a sidewalk defect that caused your injury, you have a 6 month window to open a claim and inform the government of your intent to persue a claim. Another example are claims against doctors or medical providers for malpractice. In those claims you typically have only 1 year from the moment you realize or should have known you were injured by their mistake or neglect. In any event, there are special rules and considerations to consider for each type of claim and you must consult with an attorney immediately to make sure you have not missed the boat. These limitations are known as the statute of limitations: if you fail to resolve your case or file the law suit within the time frame, you will be unable to claim any compensation for your injury. So please dont wait till the last second, if you have been injured please consult an attorney immediatley. Most cases are settled far in advance of any statute of limitation and never involve a law suit. Know your rights.
Several types of accidents may form a valid personal injury claim. Amongst the most common types are auto accidents or recreational vehicle accidents, slip and falls, medical mistakes and malpractice, equipment malfunction and products liability, and dog bites and animal attacks—just to name a few. Personal injury claims can be filed against an entity or against an individual who has injured you. Please keep in mind that you must know the individual or agency you wish to pursue a claim against.
Don’t hesitate to call for a FREE consultation to determine if you have a valid injury claim. Our experienced attorneys can usually let you know right over the phone if you have a claim. At The Law Offices of Savin & Bursk, we have been handling personal injury claims for over 25 years, and our experienced staff and expert attorneys can maximize the potential of your case.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
If you have been injured, you may be asking: How much does a lawyer cost? How am I going to afford my medical bills? How can I afford to take time off of work to recover from my injury? How much compensation can I expect to recover? Can I handle my claim myself?
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER?
There are many good reasons to hire a lawyer to handle an injury claim. At the top of the list are insurance company tactics. An insurance adjuster will offer a victim 10% to 20% of what would be offered if the victim had an attorney. The insurer will end up keeping the other 80% to 90%. If a lawyer works on a contingency basis at 33.3%, the victim receives 66.6%—as opposed to the 10% to 20% that the victim might receive without representation. In fact, when you retain an attorney to work on your behalf with the insuranc company, the insurance typically assigns a new adjuster to dispute the claim with your designated Law Office. Ths is generally due to the fact that the insurance company needs to assign a much more quaified adjuster to handle your file since your attorney will know exactly what elements to push and issues to raise. Something to keep in mind is that the insurance company will have their tricks and tactics. They will have there team in place to limit any amount of money they may be liable for. So who is on your team? At Savin & Bursk we will fight for you. Feel free to give us a call and discuss whether or not you have a claim. While we are never able to accuretly estimate the value of a claim, we are able to explain to you the strengths and weaknesses of you claim and what you can expect.
ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES
In all personal injury cases you have the option for a no out of pocket cost for attorneys fees. What this means to you is that our office takes all the risk and if we dont win, you dont pay anything.
Attorneys’ fees are based on a number of factors that may include the time and energy spent on a case, the outcome of a case, the difficulty of a claim, the experience and prominence of the lawyer, and the costs associated with the case. There are several standard payment options a personal injury lawyer may offer his/her clients. These options include contingency fees, hourly rates, flat fees, and retainers.
There are several advantages to contingency fee arrangements. Most importantly, there is No Out Of Pocket Attorney Fees for you. But depending on the complexity of the case, you may still be required to pay for experts, documents from third parties, court filing costs, etc. Typically, in cases where liability has been established and we are fighting for higher compensation, our office will advance ALL cost. Also, you will be able to receive medical treatment on a lien basis with our doctors and pay them back when you win your case. However, you will pay nothing if your case is unsuccessful. Our staff is experienced in negotiating medical bills down substantially so you can keep more of your personal injury award.
Our trained staff works to resolve cases quickly and obtain monetary recoveries through settlement, mediation, arbitration, and negotiation. Our policy is to present the best possible evidence and work diligently with the opposing side to come to a settlement and avoid a lengthy process and trial—as well as higher fees and the need for expert testimony and additional charges. However, trial is not always avoidable. We prep every personal injury case for trial and prepare to expect the unexpected. If we don’t win, and you receive no money: we go unpaid. Thus, it is in our best interest to expedite your case to a successful outcome. Our experienced lawyers and staff are highly trained and fight vigorously for our clients.
The standard of “negligence” assumes that everyone has the duty to act reasonably and should try to avoid causing harm to others or to the property of others. Negligent acts may be committed by individuals, businesses, governmental agencies, etc. who cause injuries by failing to act reasonably or provide the required standard of care. The standard of care owed to you changes with the circumstances. In a department store, for instance, customers are considered to be business invitees. The store owes a duty of care to its customers and employees. The premises must be monitored for safety issues, and warnings of any defaults present must be reasonably posted, announced, etc. Similarly, visitors to anther’s home may be considered social guests. But the home owner only has the duty to warn guests of dangers that s/he knows about at the time.
Legal methods for evaluating negligence also change depending on the circumstances. In some cases, the law imposes strict liability: applied if an injury occurred under particular circumstances regardless of the plaintiff’s intent. For example, owning a wild animal such as a tiger imposes strict liability on its owners for ALL injuries even if they took the most extreme precautions. Other times comparative negligence is the appropriate method: percentages of fault are evaluated and damages are recovered accordingly. For instance, if the reckless actions of two parties caused an auto accident, the court can determine that one party was 60% at fault requiring him/her to pay 60% of the damages. Furthermore, another method can be applied to violators of statutes which are designed to protect a specified class of persons from particular dangers.. If one is speeding in a school zone and causes an accident, for example, s/he is presumed negligent if the statute was designed to protect against that particular type of harm. This is known as negligence per se. These are amongst the most common forms of negligence.
Typically, to prove that a party was negligent, we must establish all of the following: 1) The party owes you a duty of care: s/he/it is in a relationship or proximity to you that requires reasonable care be taken to avoid harm. 2) The party breached its duty of care toward you: the neglect or carelessness was a direct and legal cause of your injuries. 3) And your injuries were caused directly by the breach which resulted in damages.
STATUTE OF LIMITATION
The statute of limitations sets forth the maximum amount of time in which one may legally pursue a personal injury case. It begins on the date of injury, and legal proceedings must be initiated within the time limit. California law typically allows for a two year statute of limitations in personal injury cases. You must file a law suit before the two year mark of the date of injury, or you will forever waive your right to sue and collect money based on that event. If your injury was caused by a government agency such as an auto accident involving a police car or fire truck, or a dangerous condition created or neglected by the government such as a dangerous sidewalk, you must file a government claim form within 6 months of your accident to preserve the statute of limitations. Causes inolving medical malpractice, mistake or neglect has a statue of 1 year which in some instances can be extended if the harm was unknown to you until a later time. Furthermore, depending on the type of harm, children under the age of 18 may have an extended period of time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations is a very serious set of rules that may bar recovery for any injury claim so please contact our office immediately following your accident or incident. It is important to know your rights and how long you have to file a claim.
Personal injury and tort law aim to make an injured person whole again, if possible. You may be eligible to receive medical treatment including doctor visits, medications, surgeries, rehabilitation, or continuing treatment at no out of pocket expense (at the cost of the wrong doer). As a part of your settlement, we fight to make sure the opposing party pays for all the expenses and bills they are legally obligated to pay, and we fight to reduce your medicals bills and liens so that these do not consume your personal injury award.
Getting to the right doctors is essential to your recovery. With over 25 years of experience in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles area, our attorneys know the best doctors in the business. We can help orchestrate a successful recovery and receive the maximum benefits you may be entitled to under California law.
Once your case has settled or been successful at trial, you may be awarded payment of all medical bills and reimbursement for damage to yourself or your personal belongings such as car repair, lost wages, and pain and suffering compensation. If you missed work due to your injury or if you were hospitalized and unable to work, we can get actual lost wages added to your settlement. In some limited cases, you may even be entitled to punitive damages if the opposing party acted intentionally or in a grossly negligent manner.
CALL TODAY to set up a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your claim. The Law Offices of Savin & Bursk are ready to help.
COMMON PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
AUTO ACCIDENTS AND VEHICLE RECREATION ACCIDENTS
Auto accidents often result in a wide range of injuries from minor bruising to serious trauma like whiplash and head injuries. When car accidents occur, an auto accident personal injury claim is often the only way to receive compensation for damages to your vehicle, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
In order to file a claim, there are things that should be done even at the scene of the accident, if possible. Make sure to get the name and drivers license number of the other driver. Trade insurance information and take note of his/her license plate and car description. If feasible, use a cell phone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage.
Auto accident personal injury insurance claims are typically settled in one of two ways: 1) through settlement with the insurance company; or 2) through court litigation and a compensation award. In the case of minor injuries and automobile damage, insurance companies generally offer to settle out of court. This can be tricky, and an attorney should, at the very least, look over any settlement offer. If medical issues arise after paperwork is signed, the victim may not be compensated for related treatment. Having a good personal injury attorney look over settlement documents will help assure that you are not waiving any of your legal rights.
SLIP AND FALL
A claim or case based on a person slipping (or tripping) and falling; a tort based on a claim that the property owner was negligent by allowing the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall to exist—or by failing to warn of a dangerous condition s/he knew about or should have known about.
Slip and fall cases are tricky to prove because …general perception…partly the fault of the injured person. Two basic defense arguments are the greatest threats to a successful claim:
(1) The defendant/property owner was not negligent. For instance, if you slip on a banana peel in a super market, the owner may claim that the banana peel had been dropped on the floor only moments ago by another patron. And in the exercise of due diligence, a typical store owner acting with reasonable care would not have had time to discover and take steps to mitigate the danger.
(2) The person who was injured was at fault. For example, the owner may claim that any reasonable patron, exercising due diligence for his or her own safety, would see a banana on the floor and take those steps necessary to avoid slipping on it.
For slip and fall investigations, several circumstances need to be evaluated such as the slope, slipperiness of the floors, the floor plan of the area, and building codes—to only name a few. These details are usually filled-in by hired experts selected by the attorney.
If you or someone you know had a slip and fall and are injured as a result of it, call our office for your free consultation to determine if you are eligible for medical treatment and compensation for your injuries. We can evaluate your claim on the spot and usually determine if you have a valid claim or not. Call the Law Offices of Savin & Bursk today.
Under product liability law, the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held liable for the injuries their products cause. Product liability claims usually cite negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and/or various consumer protection laws.
Amongst the most common claims are:
• manufacturing defect
• design defect
• a failure to warn
• warranty claims
Design defects cover product designs that are inherently dangerous or defective no matter the level of manufacturing quality. There are typically two ways this can be demonstrated:
1) Showing that the product fails to satisfy ordinary consumer expectations; the ordinary customer would seem this product un-safe in its normal use.
2) The risk/benefit test shows that the risks of the product outweigh its benefits; thus, the product was designed defectively.
Breach of warranty product liability claims usually fall under one of three categories: (1 Breach of an express warranty: the warnings labeled on the product or expressly stated, 2) Breach of an implied warranty of merchantability, 3) Breach of an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose: the product does not perform as promised.
Call the Law Offices of Savin & Bursk today so we may evaluate your claim.
A medical malpractice claim alleges professional negligence against a health care provider (i.e. doctor, nurse, dentist, therapist, etc) who failed to meet accepted standards of medical practice and thereby injured or caused the death of a patient. Patients who have suffered malpractice may be uncomfortable and uncertain in approaching the situation or confronting the physician who will likely deny that any malpractice occurred. Many patients worry about the fact that they have signed consent or waiver forms. But health care providers are not given a license to commit malpractice simply because a patient signed a consent form. If you signed a consent/waiver form acknowledging the stated risks associated with a given treatment or operation, your health care provider is still responsible for meeting the standard of care in performing such treatments or operations.
The Law Offices of Savin and Bursk are experienced in handling medical malpractice claims. As your attorneys, we can facilitate your claim and work with the hospital system to make sure you receive the maximum benefits under the law. Please call our office for a free consultation if you believe you or a loved one may be the victim of medical malpractice.
DOG BITE & ANIMAL CASES
Dog bites are a common occurrence in the United States. Nearly 1,000 people visit a hospital or emergency room for dog bites/attacks every single day in the US. Vicious strays account for some dog bites, but many occur in or around the home by domesticated dogs.
Dog bites most often fall into two scenarios:
1) On the job: delivery men, gardeners, etc.
2) Day-to-day interactions like visiting a friend’s home or taking a walk in your neighborhood. If you have been bit or attacked by a dog on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim, as well as a personal injury claim against the dog owner. If you were not on the job when bit, you can be compensated through the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance.
A dog bite victim may suffer numerous damages such as medical bills, emotional trauma, and loss of the opportunity to earn income in the future due to disfigurement or disability. A victim may be entitled to recover these losses from the dog owner and his/her insurance company. Hiring the right attorney will help ensure that you or your loved ones receive the maximum compensation available under California Law.
Wild animals are typically not domesticated. Wild animals are pets such as lions or bobcats, wolf hybrid dogs, extremely dangerous reptiles, or any other animal that should be left to professionals or in the wild. California law usually applies strict liability in torts against those who own wild animals as pets. In these cases, it does not matter if the victim was negligent or teased the animal. If a person has a pet characterized as a “wild animal,” s/he is strictly liable for all the harm caused by the animal—even if the owner used extreme precautions.
The Law Offices of Savin and Bursk have successfully handled numerous dog bite cases. Please give us a call for a FREE consultation and let our attorneys evaluate your claim on the spot.
SCHOOL LIABILITY CASES
As a parent we leave our most beloved asset (our children) in the hands of school professionals and teachers, and expect them to safeguard, protect, and ultimately keep safe our children during school hours. In recent years there has been an alarming amount of cases where schools and school districts have failed to protect, failed to warn of known or anticipated dangers, failed to rectify, and ultimately have failed to keep safe our children. Every week there seems to be more cases on the news where we hear about children bringing guns to school, children being raped on campus, children being touched by teachers and/or teachers assistants. The types of cases and number of occurences go on and on and on. If your child, your grandchild, or perhaps you have been injured due to a schools failure to protect, please call Savin & Bursk. These types of injuries are very serious and our office takes them very seriously.