Should You Take the First Insurance Settlement Offer After Your Crash?

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Ventura, CA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A motorcycle accident can have numerous physical and psychological consequences, not to mention the toll it takes on your wallet. When you make a claim to get coverage for your accident expenses, you’ll eventually hear from the insurance company responsible for paying your settlement. If the other driver caused the crash, their insurance is the one who will pay your bill.

Usually this process takes several weeks to several months, but what if you receive a settlement offer only a few days after you’ve filed a claim? Should you accept or hold off? Keep reading for the answer, as well as how to handle insurance companies in general after a collision and why you should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Ventura, CA

What to Do with the First Settlement Offer?

A basic rule of thumb is to be wary of the initial offer from an insurance agent, especially if the other driver’s company is paying it. A claim that comes way too early after the accident probably means it is far below what you need. Insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of motorists’ desperation for cash after accidents. If you’ve been injured, you’ll have medical bills piling up, and your motorcycle most likely needs repairs. An insurance company may try to get you to accept a cheap offer to get your case off their plate and avoid paying you the true amount for your claim. Even when an offer sounds attractive on paper, you will want to take time to consider things and determine what a reasonable settlement is. Therefore, it’s a better idea not to accept the initial settlement. Instead, having an expert attorney on your side can help you determine how much compensation is reasonable from a settlement. 

How Do You Calculate All Your Losses and Expenses?

Calculating all of your losses is key for filing a claim. You need to account for medical costs, lost wages from not being able to go to work, motorcycle damages and any other expenses that come out of your pocket due to the accident. If the deadline is approaching to file a claim and your costs are still coming, you can estimate how much you’ll spend in total and file for an amount based on that. You should not take the first settlement offer because it does not give you enough time to add all of this up and they will most likely try to undershoot the amount they can offer. 

How Should You Handle Negotiations?

Finally, you are free to negotiate with the insurance company. Just because they have given you an offer doesn’t mean you can’t retort with a higher amount yourself. If the idea of negotiating intimidates you, have a lawyer do it for you. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can help get more out of your claim. Reach out to Quirk Law Firm to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer in Ventura, CA. They will be able to assist you with your case.

Understanding the Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages

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Personal Injury Lawyer Ventura, CA

Those who’ve been hurt because of someone’s wrongdoing are entitled to sue. There are two types of damages you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory and punitive. Understanding their definitions is vital when figuring out the value of your case and when you go to contact a personal injury lawyer in Ventura, CA

What are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages place a dollar figure on a victim’s injuries. These losses can be either monetary or non-monetary and can be a wide spectrum. 

Monetary losses include concrete expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, or property damages (such as in the case of an automobile accident.) In addition to doctor treatments that have already happened, personal injury lawsuits include the cost of future therapeutic attention. If you’re permanently disabled, you should be paid for all associated costs. For instance, an accident may leave you permanently wheelchair-bound. In this instance, you could insist on being reimbursed for installing multi-floor accessibility devices. Loss of future earnings may also be claimed, as can the cost of repairing (or replacing) damaged property. In extreme scenarios, someone dies. When this happens, the family of the deceased can sue for funeral expenses.

Non-monetary losses can be difficult to calculate. It’s recommended that you work with a personal injury attorney to figure out this aspect of your case. Pain and suffering is a legal term for anguish incurred by the victim. This can be physical discomfort, or it may be a type of emotional distress, such as constant fear or an inability to sleep and eat. If you can no longer enjoy your favorite activities as a result of the defendant’s actions, that should similarly be figured into the equation. Finally, there’s a legal term known as loss of consortium. This technical phrase describes the emotional turmoil a spouse experiences when their partner dies. While some states might impose caps on non-monetary losses, California has no cap except for when it comes to medical malpractice which is capped at $250,000. 

What Are Punitive Damages?

Rather than serving to make the litigant whole, punitive damages are used to punish the defendant. Essentially, these penalties serve to make an example of the convicted party, thus acting as a deterrent to the defendant and anyone else who might contemplate doing the same. They’re normally incurred when a violator’s conduct is particularly unwarranted. Punitive damages usually are subject to limits. Normally, a judge cannot award someone any dollar amount or compel a losing party to serve an unreasonable punishment; it is expected that punitive damages fall within particular guidelines.

Those with personal injury cases are allowed to ask for both classes of damages. A lawyer familiar with initiating such litigation knows the best way to construct legal filings. He or she will work with you to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the necessary compensation as well as hold the defendant accountable. You can hire a personal injury attorney in Ventura CA today by contacting Quirk Law Firm to determine how much you’re owed.

What Is the Definition of Negligence?

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Slip and Fall Lawyer Ventura, CA

What Is the Definition of Negligence?

The Legal Information Institute defines negligence as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).”

Most personal injury lawsuits are grounded in negligence, meaning that you’re not accusing the defendant(s) of deliberately or maliciously injuring you. Rather, you’re claiming that he, she or they acted recklessly or in disregard of your safety and welfare, resulting in your injury.

A slip and fall lawyer at Quirk Law Firm, LLP can help you understand the law of negligence and how negligence principles apply to your case.   

What are the Elements of Proof for Negligence?

To win your personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, you and your lawyer will need to present sufficient evidence in court to prove the following:

  • That the defendant owed you a duty of care
  • That he, she or it breached that duty
  • That you sustained injury as a result of this breach
  • That the breach was the main cause, called proximate cause, of your injury
  • That your injuries resulted in economic and noneconomic damages which the defendant is legally obligated to pay

What is a Duty of Care?

The precise duty of care the defendant owed you will depend on the type of injury you sustained and the person or entity who owed it to you. For instance, the duty of care your physician owes you is considerably different than the duty of care that all other drivers owe you when they get behind the wheels of their respective vehicles or the duty of care a product manufacturer owes you to produce a safe product.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit with multiple defendants, the duty of care owed by each of them may also be different. For instance, your doctor’s duty of care differs substantially from that of your nurse, your physical therapist, your pharmacist, and the hospital or other facility in which your injury occurred.

Who Qualifies as an Expert Witness?

One of the main reasons why you need an experienced local personal injury lawyer to represent you is that he or she may well need to obtain the services of expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. An expert witness is someone recognized as an authority in his or her field. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, each of your expert witnesses usually must match one of the defendants in terms of education, background, practice area and other important aspects. In other words, if you’re suing your surgeon, your expert witness needs to also be a surgeon practicing the same type of surgery.

Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Claims

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Wrongful Death Lawyer

When somebody dies as a result of somebody’s accidental or intentional actions, usually negligence is involved, the estate of the decedent is able to file a wrongful death claim. However, unless you will file this type of claim before then you are not going to know the key aspects to wrongful death claims being filed. In this case you should most likely hire a wrongful death lawyer such as the ones available at Saavedra Law Firm PLC.

You need to understand how Arizona defines wrongful death because federal law does not define wrongful death that is up to each state to do. You need to know who can file the wrongful death claim in the state’s court and this can differ from state to state. And you should understand the potential damages that could be available if you are filing a wrongful death claim and of course you need to know this time limit on filing this lawsuit in the state you were in.

So under Arizona law the wrongful death is a death that is caused by acts of neglect or default, this law can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes 12 – 611. So basically a wrongful death is going to happen when somebody dies because of somebody else’s fault and negligence.

This could look like a negligence based accident like a car accident, a slip and fall accident, perhaps it is medical malpractice which is technically negligence based but medical malpractice does have its own series of laws, or an intentional act such as a crime.

Just like with personal injury lawsuits the liability in a successful wrongful death case is going to be told and expressly financial terms. What damages can the court give you from the defendant, what damages should the defendant pay to the decedent’s family or the estate of the decedent. However there is one major difference between wrongful death lawsuits and a homicide case.

A homicide case has a conviction rate where you can wind up in jail or in prison, be required to pay fines, receive probation and many other penalties depending upon the state and the crime. In a wrongful death case you are usually not going to be able to send someone to prison or prosecute them as a criminal.

In Arizona when you are filing a wrongful death case, you can file if you’re the sees person’s surviving spouse, the child, the parent or guardian, or the executor of the estate. And if the decedent is a child in either of the child’s parents or legal guardians can file a claim in their honor.

Damages that you may receive in a wrongful death case or funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, the value of lost wages, benefits the decedent would have earned if they had lived, the repair of any property that was damaged in the event, the loss of the decedent’s love, affection, comfort, companionship the loss of household services, and emotional pain and suffering. 

Your wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix AZ is going to know how to prove negligence in a wrongful death case, and sometimes negligence is very obvious such as with medical malpractice cases but other times it may not be obvious.

Examples of Personal Injury Cases

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Do you know what constitutes a personal injury case? Any injury that occurred because of someone else’s negligent actions or inactions could fall under “personal injury law.“ It is always important to contact a personal injury lawyer if you believe someone else was at fault for an accident you were involved in. Here are some of the most common examples of personal injury cases.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and falls can happen anywhere. It can be difficult to prove that another party was at fault for this type of accident, but personal injury lawyers are trained to do this. Your lawyer may go back to the scene of the accident to see if there is any evidence that will prove fault in your case. If you have photos or witness statements from this accident, these could prove to be very useful in court.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the most common seen in personal injury cases. This is because almost everyone rides in a car or vehicle on a daily basis whether it is going to and from work or running errands for the family. Since there are so many opportunities for danger to occur on the road, personal injury lawyers are consulted for car accidents often. You may be tempted to settle through insurance, but it is always wise to seek out the assistance of a lawyer to make sure you are being compensated fairly for your injuries.

Medical Malpractice

Perhaps one of the most alarming types of personal injury cases is one that involves medical malpractice. People trust their doctors to always have your best interest at heart, but even these professionals make mistakes. It is important to hold them accountable for their actions so that other people do not fall victim to the same problem that you encountered. These can also be difficult to prove, as do you need evidence that a doctor did something that hurt you and that it wasn’t merely something with your own health that went wrong. A personal injury lawyer will know what to look for in a case like this. 

Contact a Lawyer Today

Do not hesitate to reach out to a personal  injury lawyer, like one from Hayhurst Law, to speak about whether or not you may have a case. It is important to act with haste so that you do not miss the statute of limitations in your state for filing. You can often set up a free consultation with a lawyer, as personal injury cases are typically taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer only gets paid if you win your case, which means you owe nothing unless you get compensation. Since it is risk-free to work with a lawyer, you might as well take advantage of having someone with experience on your side. 

Why Should You Avoid Social Media When You’re in a Lawsuit?

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Social media is part of the fabric of our lives today. We share almost everything and anything. If you’re going through a lawsuit, particularly a personal injury case, social media can be your enemy. Here are things to know about social media and why you may want to avoid it during your lawsuit.

Nothing Is Really Private Online  

You can reset your privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter, but anything you share could be fair game for the defendant’s lawyers. You can even delete posts, but if someone made a screenshot, it could come back to haunt you. Lock down what you can.

Resist Temptation to Post About Your Accident

We all want to let friends know when we’re in a crisis, but a seemingly harmless post can discredit your claims that you were injured. That post that says, “I was in an accident, but I’m OK,” may be what the defendant’s lawyers can use to show that you weren’t really injured in the accident. Sure, you might have been fine at the time, but many soft tissue injuries aren’t obvious right away.

New Posts Can Show You Aren’t as Injured as You Claim

Your posts may not be related to the injuries or the accident at all, but they can still be used against you. Maybe you’re tagged in a wedding photo, which shows you at a party, when you’re claiming that you can’t do things. You might have dragged yourself out there, relying on pain medication, but the story is still out there. You can’t imagine how the defense team may use your posts against you, but they might.

Don’t Private Message About Your Case

You may think you can use private messages to talk about your case, since they are “private.” Anything you say online can be used against you. Some courts have gone as far to order plaintiffs to give up their social media passwords to the defense team to collect evidence. It’s rare, but it can and does happen.

Talk to Your Lawyer About Your Social Media Use

It can be difficult to stay off social media. If you can’t avoid it, talk to a personal injury lawyer about using social media during your lawsuit. A hiatus may make sense for some people, but when your job includes social media, it might not be an option. You just want to make sure your social media use won’t impact your case. Talk to a personal injury attorney about it.

Experienced DWI lawyers, like those from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., are ready to speak with you about your case, so call today for more information. 

Marita Jimenez, 2018 Scholarship Winner

The 2018 First Generation Scholarship Winner

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2018 First Generation Scholarship Winner

We are very pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 First Generation Scholarship. The rising cost of higher education can be a stumbling block for those seeking to improve their lives, and for that reason, we created the First Generation Scholarship. For 3 years we have helped first-generation students reach their academic goals.

With over 300 individual applicants, we enjoyed seeing the achievements and accolades of each student. We struggled to choose from so many qualified candidates, but we are pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 First Generation Scholarship, Miss Marita Jimenez

Marita Jimenez, 2018 Scholarship WinnerMiss Jimenez has shown her dedication to her education during her time in High School. With a 3.8 GPA, and awards such as a Seal of Biliteracy-Spanish, and a place on the Honor Roll. She also participated as a member in the Future Farmers of America, the California Scholarship Federation, a member of the Associated Student Body,  and as president of the Movimiento Estudantil Chicano de Aztlán. Her commitment to her education, and improving her life is evident.

On receiving the award, Miss Jimenez said, ”

At the University of California, I will make it my mission to not only gain an education but to also engage in this community that has been so welcoming towards me. I plan to major in Genetics and Plant Biology with hopes of becoming a Soil Scientist. This will help me pursue my dream of one day opening my own organic farming business. If there is one thing that I am extremely appreciative about is the help and support that business such as yourself give towards aspiring scholars. The financial assistance you provided will be of great help in paying my educational expenses, and it will allow me to concentrate my time solely on studying. Not only has my short time here at Berkeley already gave me so much insight on improving the future, but also allowed me the opportunity to expand my knowledge. Coming here was something I had never envisioned before, money played a crucial role in my life choices. When it comes to my education I wouldn’t let it be a barrier between me and achieving a better future.

Thank you again for your generosity and support. I promise you I will work hard with hopes of one day being able to give back to others and improving the world whether it be as an Agriculturist or perhaps something else.”

We hope that this $1,000 scholarship is of great benefit to Miss Jimenez, and we look forward to seeing her achieve her goals in the academic world and beyond. We thank her, and all those that applied.

Trevor Quirk Named Trial Lawyer of The Year

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VCTLA 2017 Trial Lawyer of The Year Award

On May 22nd, the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association named Attorney Trevor M. Quirk of Quirk Law Firm the 2017 Trial Lawyer of the Year. This honor was bestowed upon Trevor at a special dinner. Quirk was selected from a group of four nominees.

According to their website, the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association “is a local organization of trial attorneys committed to bettering the civil justice system, the lawyers who serve it, and the community it serves.”

There were two major accomplishments that contributed to Trevor receiving this honor. The first was the $1,000,000 verdict he got for his client, Mayra Silva, in March 2017. Silva was rear-ended on Highway 101 in Ventura on November 8, 2013. She suffered severe back and neck injuries due to the collision. The second contributing factor was all the work he did with Upper Ojai Relief to help families affected by the wildfires.

Attorney Trevor Quirk speaking after receiving VCTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year award

In a Twitter update, Trevor Quirk thanked all his peers who voted for him and reiterated that, while he is proud of the award, it’s not about him. It’s about all the people in his life who made it possible. He cautioned against using the “self-made” moniker and emphasized that no one can reach success alone. Rather, there are many people who speak into our lives that share in our success.

aftermath of a car accident in Oxnard, California

Distracted Driving Accident Claims In Oxnard, CA

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Distracted driving remains a huge public safety problem in our communities. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 3,330 Americans are killed and another 365,000 are injured in distracted driving car accidents each and every year.

Victims of distracted driving accidents in Oxnard, CA are entitled to full financial compensation for their losses. Yet, unfortunately, proving that a distracted driver actually caused an accident is far more challenging than it might seem. The big insurance companies often work aggressively against victims, attempting to limit their financial recovery.

To ensure that their legal rights and financial interests are fully protected, distracted driving accident victims should always work with a qualified attorney. For immediate help with your personal injury case in Oxnard, CA please do not delay in contacting the Quirk Law Firm LLP today.

Distracted Driving Is Negligent Driving

California is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction. In essence, this means that parties will be held legally liable for a personal injury in direct proportion to their level of fault for causing that injury. Generally, in a California car accident case, the fault is established by proving negligence. Put another way, you can hold another driver (or their insurance company) liable for your injuries if you can prove that the other driver did something unsafe and that those unsafe actions played a role in causing your accident. Distracted driving is one of the most blatant forms of negligent driving. If you can prove that your accident was caused by another driver’s distraction, then you will be able to hold them liable for your crash.

How to Prove Distracted Driving

Of course, distracted driving is not always easy to prove. In many cases, the car accident victim may not even know that the other driving was texting or talking on the phone at the moment when the crash occurred. Sadly, in all too many cases, drivers will simply lie to responding police officers and insurance companies. These drivers will falsely claim that their attention was always on the road and that they were not affected by any distractions. This is one reason why an auto crash in Oxnard requires a vigorous investigation by a qualified injury attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to determine whether or not distracted driving played any role in your collision. Ultimately, the strong supporting evidence is the key to a successful legal claim. There are many different types of evidence that can help prove the distraction, including:

  • Accidental or intentional admissions by the other driver;
  • The crash report;
  • Police officer testimony;
  • Witness testimony;
  • Cell phone records;
  • Videos or photographs; and
  • Expert crash scene analysis.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyer Today

At Quirk Law Firm LLP, our top-rated California car accident lawyer Trevor Quirk has extensive experience handling distracted driving accident claims. Mr. Quirk can help you recover the full and fair injury compensation that you deserve. If you were hurt in a crash with a distracted driver in Oxnard, CA, please contact our office today to set up your free legal consultation.

This Blog Was Provided By:
Quirk Law Firm, LLP
4222 Market Street, Suite C
Ventura, California93003
Phone: 805-650-7778

Announcing The 2017 First Generation & Foster Child Scholarship Winners

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graduation celebration

This year was another great year for our First Generation Scholarship. We received hundreds of submissions throughout the year. After multiple days of reviewing all applications, the Quirk Law Firm is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 First Generation Scholarship.

The 2017 winners is:

Antonio Borjas
First Generation Scholarship

Antonio Borjas - 2017 Quirk Law Firm Scholarship Winner

Antonio is from Clovis, California and is planning on attending Grand Canyon University. We were very impressed with his application and wish him nothing but success.

We are still in the process of selecting the winner of the Foster Child Scholarship. This blog post will be updated with information about the winner once we finalize it.

We would like to thank all of the applicants who applied for either of our scholarships. We also want to wish both Antonio all the luck in the world as he continues improving his education at the college of his choice.