Frequently Asked Questions
Have you been injured? Was your injury sustained by a negligent person or because someone allowed an unsafe condition to exist? You deserve representation! At Ghozland Law Firm, we understand that this time in your life is difficult, but we aim to make sure that you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries. Many people who have been injured are faced with the dilemma of where to turn and what to do next. If you find yourself considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, feel free to review the information in this section.
Should I talk to each of the insurance companies on my own?
While it is a possibility for you to communicate and negotiate with your insurance provider and the provider belonging to the other party involved in the accident, it can be somewhat risky. It is the goal of an insurance company to save as much money as possible, meaning that they do not want to have to pay out money for your claim. They want to take your money, but are very hesitant to give out money for anything. Oftentimes insurance company employees will try to trick or deceive their clients into accepting lower claim amounts than they deserve. They may pretend to want to work with you and sympathize with you, trying to resolve your claim in a quick fashion; however, it is highly likely that they just want you to settle quickly before you realize that the amount of compensation they are offering is way too low. They may even deny your claim altogether or delay the amount of time is takes for you to receive your payment.
If you obtain a qualified and discerning Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from our firm, you can rely on us to take over the negotiating for you. We understand their schemes and know how to get you the restitution you truly need and deserve. Do not allow them to operate on bad faith insurance policies, but allow us to communicate with them on your behalf.
Can I wait to pursue a claim or do you I have to purse it immediately?
In the U.S. there is a system set in place to help protect individuals and businesses from people filing lawsuits years and years down the road from an injury or other incident. These are called statutes of limitation and for the state of California; the time limit to pursue a personal injury case is within 2 years from the date of the incident. There are exceptions to this for those that did not discover their injury until a later date. They then have one year after the date of discovery to seek out financial restitution from the party that acted negligently.
After the allotted amount of time is up under the statutes of limitation, a case can no longer be pursued and it is considered invalid. So you can wait only a short amount of time before you decide to seek out legal recourse for your injuries. Time is of the essence, so do not hesitate to get in touch with our office immediately. Fill out our free case evaluation today to get started towards financial recovery! We make ourselves available 24/7 because we understand the time sensitive nature of your case.
How can I determine how much my claim is worth?
Every case is completely different and unique, making it impossible to give a proper estimate without talking with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. There are few basic factors that will be considered as the worth of your case is determined, including the following:
- Amount of pain, suffering and loss
- Cost of medical expenses for the injuries that were incurred
- Any future medical costs, including surgery, therapy, medications, etc.
- Lost wages during time off for recovery
- Loss of any future wages and income as a result of the injuries
By looking at the logistics of your case such as how serious your injuries are, what the cause of the accident was and if there was any criminal intent from the other party involved could all greatly affect how much your case is worth. Talk with our legal team as soon as possible to adequately define how much compensation you deserve.
Will I be charged for a consultation?
Not at our firm! Some firms believe in an initial fee to speak with an attorney, but at Ghozland Law Firm, we provide free case evaluations to all potential clients, which allows you an opportunity to speak with an experienced lawyer before deciding to move forward with your case.
How long will my claim take?
Because each and every situation is different (the injury, the person that was hurt, the circumstances that they were injured under) each case will be slightly different. Some cases can over as quickly as we are able to receive a settlement, usually shortly after the release from your doctor’s care; however, the time that you spend receiving medical treatment may vary.
Is it expensive to hire an attorney?
It can be, but when you work with Ghozland Law Firm, you will be able to work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee contract with an attorney means that there is no fee unless we reach a favorable settlement and/or judgment for you and your case.
Should I give a statement following an accident?
No! As innocent as this may seem, insurance companies will always encourage you that a statement is the “right thing” to do. Insurance companies will distort any statement you give them for their own benefit. The insurance company or their lawyers will always try to use your initial statements against you. All statements should be made to your lawyer and your lawyer should direct any questions and communications. You should also never sign any statements, papers or legal documents without first confronting an attorney.
Why do I need a lawyer?
California tort laws can be difficult to understand and the time restraints are important to abide by. Although representing yourself may be possible, it is definitely not recommended. When you retain the legal guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that your rights and compensation are being fought for. Insurance companies will often try to low ball victims or pry statements out of you that they can be used against you; but when you have an attorney that they need to answer to, you have a better chance at being able to receive the highest amount of compensation available for your injuries.
What can I recover financial compensation for?
In personal injury cases, you can recover financial compensation for injuries caused by the negligent, reckless or wrong behavior of another person. Gross negligence, car accidents and even wrongful death and dog bites can all be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured through the negligent, reckless or illegal behavior of another person, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Under California injured parties are typically entitled to compensation reflecting the following: medical expenses, lost wages, future medical care, emotional trauma and pain and suffering. The amount of damages will vary depending on the type of injury as well as a number of other factors. The attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm can evaluate your case to determine the appropriate value of your case.
What is Personal Injury
Personal injury is any injury sustained by a person that occurs out of negligence. This can include injuries to the body or emotional damage caused by the injury or situation itself. A personal injury lawsuit is a tort lawsuit that brings the wrongful party to justice for allowing an unsafe condition to exist that resulted in your injuries.
What is negligence?
The word negligence literally means “to neglect” and is a direct result or failure to exercise proper care to avoid accident, injury or potential harm. Carelessness, recklessness and wrongdoing are all words that are interchangeably used to describe a negligent situation. An example of negligence in a personal injury law suit, would be not placing a “Caution Wet Floor” sign on a freshly mopped tile floor, thus resulting in a slip and fall accident.
Am I an Employee or Independent Contractor?
There are many benefits to being classified as an employee that are not offered to independent contractors. As a full-time employee, you have access to important benefits like healthcare, retirement plans, social security, worker’s compensation, business reimbursements, and overtime wages However, in lieu of workplace benefits, independent contractors do have increased flexibility with respect to work. The best practice to determine which category you fit under is by utilizing the ABC test.
What if I have unpaid wages by my employer?
It is not uncommon in the workplace, for employers to take advantage of employees, whether it is unintentional or malicious. Both state and federal law afford protections to employees in order to prevent lost wages. The three most common types of unpaid wages are unpaid overtime, violation of minimum wage, and meal and rest breaks.
- Unpaid Overtime: Federal law requires that employers pay employees for overtime hours worked at the rate of one and a half times an individual’s normal hourly pay. However, there are exemptions to overtime pay as some employees do not qualify for it. If you do not qualify for overtime pay, but feel as though you have been misclassified, reach out to our team today to learn the remedies available to you.
- Minimum Wage Violation: On the federal level the minimum wage is set at $7.25, while the state level is $12.00 per hour, which is set to rise to $15.00 by the year 2022. If you are an employee in the state of California and are being paid less than the minimum wage, then you may be entitled to monetary damages.
- Meal and Rest Breaks: All non-exempt employees working over 5 hours are owed a 30-minute meal break or two 30-minute meal breaks if 5 hours are exceeded. Often times, employers will schedule workers for shifts under five hours and in this case a 10-minute break should be offered for every four hours worked. If you have been denied these breaks by your employer, that is a serious violation to your rights as a worker and there may be legal remedies available to you.
What is Workplace Harassment in California?
Workplace harassment is completely unacceptable and often causes individuals to feel unsafe at work. According to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, harassment is defined as any unwelcomed behavior, whether pervasive or severe, that specifically targets an individual or group of individuals that are part of a protected class.
Harassment can arise in many forms, whether it is malicious or accidental, it can seriously affect the career of the individual being subjected to it. The two main types of harassment in the workplace are hostile work environment and quid pro quo. The details of each are outlined as, but not limited to:
- Quid Pro Quo: This is a type of sexual harassment in the workplace, it involves a supervisor offering employment benefits or threatening negative employment conditions in return for sexual favors. An example of a benefit that could be offered is monetary raise and an example of a threat could be a potential demotion.
- Hostile Work Environment: This type of harassment can either be sexual or non-sexual. A hostile work environment is a result of behavior directed at a coworker or subordinate that is abusive or pervasive in nature that causes a toxic work environment.
What is Workplace Discrimination in California?
Workplace discrimination is a serious issue that can commonly arise in a working environment. Fortunately, the state of California offers a wide scale of protections that act as a deterrent to discrimination in order to provide safety to employees, contractors, unpaid interns, or volunteers.
Under the Federal Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), discrimination is illegal when it violates a protected class. The protected classes are, but not limited to:
- Sexual Orientation
- Nation of Origin
- Marital Status
- Military or Veteran Status
What is Wrongful Termination in California?
Do you feel as though your employment was unlawfully terminated? In the state of California an employee is protected from wrongful termination through the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Although employment is at will in the state of California if the rights granted to you by FEHA are violated, meaning you were let go as a result of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, then there are legal remedies available to you.
The topic of wrongful termination is difficult in the state California, however, there are still legal remedies available to those unlawfully subjected to it. Reach out to our team today to understand the action you can take today.
What is Employment at Will?
According to California law, employment is deemed as at will. What at will means is that an employee and an employer may terminate employment without notice or cause. There are benefits of employment at will, such as a flexible working environment, however, the downfalls arrive when it comes to wrongful termination cases.
Due to employment at will, the burden of proof is placed on the employee. If you feel as though you were a victim of wrongful termination, it is crucial that you understand what both state and federal laws consider wrongful termination as.