How To Help Your Personal Injury Lawyer Win Your Case

personal injury

Were you injured in Glendale in an accident involving another person’s negligence? This article describes how a personal injury attorney could help your case, including potentially receiving compensation for your injuries. If you have additional questions, our Glendale personal injury lawyers can help today.

They Can Educate You About Your Rights

If you are like many personal injury victims, you may have more legal rights after an accident than you think. You should not rely on the other party’s insurance company to tell you the damages you could be entitled to. For example, in California, you could still be entitled to damages in a car accident if you were partially at fault. Your attorney at Ourfalian & Ourfalian will detail your rights and how they could affect a claim or lawsuit.

They Can Hire Expert Witnesses To Prove Liability

In some personal injury claims – auto accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability – expert witness testimony could be essential to prove liability. Experienced Glendale personal injury attorneys have established relationships with many professional expert witnesses who can help at both the settlement table and in court. They will hire an expert witness to provide convincing testimony about your case when needed.

They Can Investigate The Claim

In the initial consultation, the attorney will listen to your version of events and ask questions about the accident. They will investigate the claim and search for evidence to prove liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the evidence to search for and what is admissible in court.

For instance, a police report is often inadmissible, but any social media posts you make about the accident could be. Your attorney knows the details of the California Evidence Code, so they know what can prove and hurt your case.

They Will Negotiate With The Insurance Company

One of the ways that personal injury victims lose claims is by not hiring an attorney and settling for too little. Remember, insurance adjusters are trained, professional negotiators who aim to get injured parties to settle for as little as possible.

An experienced Glendale personal injury attorney will take charge of insurance negotiations and ensure you get what you deserve.

They Can Represent You In Court

Many accident claims are settled out of court; neither side usually wants to go through the time, expense, and uncertainty of a trial by jury. However, the insurance company sometimes will not offer enough money for someone’s injuries. In that case, a trial could be inevitable.

Most injured parties should not go to court against an insurance company if they do not have an attorney. Your lawyer has years of trial experience and can represent your rights vigorously, arguing passionately for your case before a jury of your peers.

They Will Work Within The California Statute Of Limitations

All states limit how long you have to file a claim in court after you suffer a personal injury. This is called a statute of limitations, and there are various deadlines depending on the type of claim.

In California, you have only two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, the clock starts when the accident happened. Your attorney will know the statute of limitations and ensure that all legal documents are filed promptly.

However, note that the statute of limitations only applies to court cases. Most injured parties initiate an insurance claim within a few days or weeks of the accident. But you should always remember the two-year statute of limitations to have plenty of time to sue.

They Will Draft Legal Documents On Your Behalf

You require a well-written settlement agreement if the claim is settled outside of court. A formal complaint and possibly motions must be filed if the case goes to trial. Just one wrong word or misunderstanding of California law can negatively impact your claim, so your attorney’s job here is of paramount importance.

Will Comparative Negligence Rules Affect Your Claim?

California courts must follow the state’s laws on comparative negligence when the case goes to trial. However, things can go differently when you deal with an insurance company during negotiations. It is not unusual for insurance adjusters to attempt to use the comparative negligence rule against you during settlement talks. But your attorney will fight vigorously to prove the other party was negligent. Thus, this is another strong reason to have an experienced litigator representing you.

Caps On California Personal Injury Claims

California does not have a universal cap on the damages you can receive in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some specific situations where limits are in place that your attorney is aware of.

For example, California law does not allow most uninsured drivers to receive non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) after an auto accident. This is true even if the other driver was 100% at fault.

Also, there are limits on damages in certain medical malpractice cases. The law sets a $350,000 cap for non-economic damages in most of these lawsuits, but the cap increases annually.

Large Claims Require An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

The bigger the accident and injuries, the more the at-fault party and their insurance company will contest it. California has comparative fault laws, so the defendant will attempt to blame you as much as they can.

When so much is at stake, you should have an attorney representing you in negotiations or in court. Most personal injury attorneys are paid a contingency fee, so they will only take your case if they are confident they can win. So, it is to your benefit to have an attorney review your case. If your case is weak, they will let you know. But if there is strong evidence another party is liable, you could be entitled to compensation.

Speak To Our Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Being injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence is upsetting, but you have legal options. If negligence can be proven, you could be eligible for compensation in a lawsuit, and a skilled personal injury attorney can be an invaluable resource. Please contact our Glendale personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550-7777.

How Vicarious Liability Affects A California Personal Injury Claim

vicarious liability

In most cases, we are only legally responsible for our own actions. But under vicarious liability, some parties can be held responsible for an injury they did not cause directly. In California, vicarious liability can play a role in some personal injury claims. If you have questions about vicarious liability after reading this article, our Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can help you.

What Is Vicarious Liability Under California Law?

Under California law, vicarious liability refers to holding someone responsible for the negligent actions of another person or entity. Vicarious liability in California may apply in the following relationships:

Employer And Employee

The employer may be liable for their employee’s negligent actions, referred to in California as the respondeat superior law. In addition, the employer may be held liable when the employee’s actions that caused the injury happened when the worker was operating within the scope of his employment. This means that the worker must have been engaged in an activity that was reasonably expected by the company, regardless of whether the actions were a routine part of the worker’s job.

For example, suppose you are hit at a red light by a flower delivery driver. The driver was making a delivery in Glendale at Glendale Galleria or the Museum of Neon Art. If the employee was acting within the scope of his employment when the crash occurred, his employer could be held vicariously liable for his negligent actions.

This could be important because businesses usually carry commercial insurance policies with higher coverage limits. For example, if you have been seriously hurt in an accident and require surgery and months of rehabilitation, you could need more compensation to get your life back on track.

However, if the flower delivery driver was on his lunch break and hit you, his employer may not be liable for the driver’s actions, depending on the circumstances. If you are in a similar situation, a Glendale personal injury attorney should review the case promptly.

Principal And Agent

The principal can be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of partners, agents, joint venture members, and sometimes, independent contractors. The principal could be a person or a company. Liability would belong to the principal for actions that were within the scope of the partner’s or agent’s duties and ability to act for the principal.

Parent And Child

In some personal injury cases, the laws of California hold parents liable for the negligent actions of their children. The parent could be held vicariously liable for a child’s actions in these situations:

  • The child was engaged in willful misconduct.
  • The child drove the parent’s car and injured someone because of their negligent actions.
  • The parent allowed their child to use a gun, and they injured someone.

When Is An Employee On The Clock?

Most California accidents involving the legal concept of vicarious liability involve employer and employee relationships. As noted above, employers are not responsible for an employee’s negligent actions when they are not on the clock. However, when an accident involves an employee injuring someone, you can expect intense debates about whether the person was on or off the clock when the accident occurred.

Many legal disputes arise when a worker drives to or from the office, to or from a social gathering, or blends a personal errand with their work-related duties. To resolve these matters, California courts have devised rules governing these cases:

Work Commutes

California has a ‘coming and going rule’ that states that workers are not working when they are driving to and from their jobs. However, there is an exception if the company compensates the employee for their commute time or asks them to perform a work-related task when they are going to or from the office.

Further, the employee is deemed ‘on the clock’ if the company requires them to drive to and from the office so the car can be used for the company’s business. For instance, if the at-fault driver’s employer requires him to drive his personal vehicle to work so it can be used to make sales calls, the driver is ‘on the clock’ when going to and from work. If he hits you in a car accident in this scenario, his employer will be vicariously liable for your injuries.

Social Gatherings

Is an employee on the clock when going to a company-sponsored gathering, such as a holiday party? It depends. Was the employee’s attendance required or voluntary? Also, did the company benefit from the worker being present? A social gathering can sometimes cause the employer to be vicariously liable for an employee’s actions.

Suppose an intoxicated worker hits your car after a work party he attended. The party included both clients and employees. He was not required to go but attendance was encouraged. If you were hurt, will his employer be liable? It depends in the situation, but the answer could be yes. The gathering involved clients, so the company probably benefited from the employee attending.

Also, while attendance was not required, the employee may have thought his career could be negatively affected if you did not attend. Also, if the employee drank at the work party, the employer also could be liable because alcohol was provided.

Independent Contractors

Vicarious liability does not usually apply to independent contractors. This is because the company that hired the contractor does not directly control the contractor’s work. The independent contractor offers the tools, materials, and workers required and oversees the work. So, the contractor and not the hiring organization would be liable.

However, there are cases when a business could be liable for their contractors’ negligent actions, such as if the business hired an unqualified contractor who injured someone. Or, the work that the contractor did was inherently dangerous, so the business could be held liable if the contractor injured someone in the course of the hazardous work.

Contact Our Glendale Personal Injury Attorneys

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, they may be liable for your injuries and other damages. But their employer could be vicariously liable if they were working when the accident happened. Talk to our Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550-7777. We can identify every possible party responsible for your injuries and hold them accountable.

Are There Limits To Personal Injury Awards In California?

personal injury

People injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your case is successful, you could be compensated for your medical bills, property damage, loss of earnings & loss of future earnings capacity, and pain and suffering.

While California does not have limits, there are exceptions and pending legislative changes to be aware of. Learn more about limits to California personal injury awards and related information. Contact Encino personal injury lawyers Ourfalian & Ourfalian if you have questions.

The Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages

In a lawsuit, damages are what you allege you suffered because of the other person’s recklessness or negligence. Economic damages refer to the compensation you may receive for:

  • Medical bills
  • Medical co-pays
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medication costs
  • Car repair or replacement
  • Rental Expenses
  • Loss of Earnings
  • Other related expenses

These are considered economic damages because you had to pay out of your pocket for them. The idea behind a claim or lawsuit is to recover these expenses. These damages are generally easier to obtain in a claim than non-economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated by adding up medical bills and other hard, countable expenses.

The court may also award non-economic damages, but they have no objective value. For example, the jury cannot review the objective costs of the pain and suffering from your injury, but they can assign a value and award that to you.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula to decide how much pain and suffering damages should be. Some insurance companies assign a number between 1-5 to a victim’s pain and suffering and multiply that figure by the person’s economic damages. Your attorney will review past pain and suffering awards in the area to estimate what your case could be worth.

What Is a Damage Cap?

A damage cap limits the compensation you can receive in a lawsuit. In cases where a cap is in place, it always involves only non-economic damages (pain and suffering).

Medical Malpractice Damage Cap

California has no limits on economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. However, California has put a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap is $250,000, so the jury cannot award more than that. In 2023, Governor Gavin Newsome signed Assembly Bill 35 (see below).

The $250,000 limit on non-economic damages for medical malpractice has been controversial because of the following factors:

  • There is no adjustment for inflation. One estimate found the $250,000 limit put in place in 1975 would be $1.3 million if adjusted for inflation
  • The $250,000 is lower than most states that have passed a similar cap
  • The damage cap was put in place because of tort reform effects by doctors and insurance companies
  • The cap prevents some medical malpractice victims from getting their deserved compensation
    They also cannot provide compensation above $250,000 for any other non-economic damages, such as:
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of intimacy (loss of consortium)
  • Emotional pain for disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life because of a disability

The jury can award punitive non-economic damages if the defendant was especially reckless or engaged in intentionally harmful and dangerous conduct. However, punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases in California.

In one case, there is a cap on damages for convicted felons in California. The convicted criminal cannot recover financial damages for injuries they incurred in the commission of their crime. A common situation is a driver arrested for DUI after hitting another vehicle. The DUI suspect may be injured but they cannot sue for damages.

Governor Newsome Signs AB 35

The passage of AB 35 in 2022 will bring changes to the compensation of victims for certain personal injury cases. The limit for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases has been only $250,000 since 1975. The following changes will be enacted on Jan. 1, 2023:

Increases in the non-economic damages cap for personal injury cases, including medical malpractice. The new amount will be $350,000 for 2023 and will increase by $40,000 annually for 10 years. The amount will increase by 2% per year after 10 years.

Increases in the non-economic damages cap for wrongful death lawsuits. The amount will be $500,000 in 2023 and will be increased $50,000 per year for 10 years. The amount will increase 2% per year after 10 years.

The possibility of the cap to be stacked up to three times if there was negligence by healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, or separate negligence of facilities or providers at separate institutions.

For example, a medical malpractice victim could theoretically receive $350,000 stacked three times in 2023 and beyond, which would be $1,050,000. This significant increase would provide improved compensation for personal injury victims.

The noneconomic damages cap also will go up every year. Notably, the year the claim is resolved will determine the cap, not when the victim reports the claim. This is a critical difference in medical malpractice cases because they tend to be complex and take years to resolve.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in California remains at two years. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident, it is vital to speak with an Encino personal injury attorney as soon as you can. It may take months to build a strong case that results in compensation.

Contact Encino Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you were injured recently in an accident, you are likely facing a pile of intimidating medical bills, thousands in lost earnings, and an uncertain future. How will you pay for your recovery and the rest of your monthly bills?

Encino personal injury attorneys Ourfalian & Ourfalian have 35 years of experience representing people who were hurt in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

Ourfalian & Ourfalian represent injured clients in Encino, Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, El Monte, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Van Nuys, and the rest of Southern California and the San Fernando Valley. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation at: (818) 550-7777.

Why You Should Never Settle a Personal Injury Claim Without an Attorney

personal injury

It is human nature to seek a quick fix and move on as fast as possible when we get injured. This is part of our fight or flight response, and it can last longer than the few minutes following a car wreck or embarrassing slip and fall. Additionally, you have medical bills to pay now, and the bill collectors do not care that you are injured and out of work. For these reasons, insurance companies will often try to settle a personal injury claim quickly, before you have a chance to hire an attorney. But beware: this settlement offer is far lower than what you are owed.

That Quick Settlement Offer is Worth Much Less Than Your Damages

California has the highest hospital costs in the country, according to The average daily cost for hospital care in California is $3,726. If you have to stay overnight, the cost quadruples to a national average of $12,600. And, of course, if you have to undergo complicated surgery or stay in an Intensive Care Unit, the cost is even greater. As you can see, even a few days in the hospital can easily amount to between $50,000 and $100,000 in medical bills, depending on what you are treated for.

Pain and suffering (often the largest damage in a personal injury claim) is calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. This “multiplier method” multiplies your medical damages by a number between 1 and 5 (with 5 being the most severe injuries) to calculate your pain and suffering.

As such, your pain and suffering damages for an injury that costs $50,000 in medical bills could well be two or three times greater ($100,00 to $150,000 in pain and suffering alone). In addition to pain and suffering, you must also take into account your lost wages, lost earning ability, property damage, emotional distress, and other damages. You will never be offered this type of fair compensation by an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in Encino and Why You Need a Lawyer For Each

  • Traffic Collisions—Tens of thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are injured in traffic collisions each year. For some age groups, driving is the most likely way in which an individual will die. The at-fault party’s insurance company will use every trick in the book to devalue your claim. This can include blaming you for causing the crash, attempting to poke holes in your story, and claiming that your injuries are less substantial than they really are. The average disabling traffic crash has an economic cost of over $100,000, according to the National Safety Council, which does not take into account non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering.
  • Premises Liability Claims—All businesses and property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for all invitees (people who are allowed on the property legally). Slip and falls and trip and falls are the leading cause of premises liability claims. Other types of liability claims include dog attacks, negligent security (specifically for a bar, nightclub, or parking lot/parking structure), and swimming pool injuries and drownings. It is impossible to receive fair compensation for your damages in a premises liability claim if you do not work with an attorney. For example, an attorney will instruct you to keep the shoes you were wearing at the time of your slip and fall as evidence, they will procure video surveillance footage of the incident, and an attorney will pour through the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
  • Product Liability—Manufacturers, designers, distributors, and other companies can be held liable for dangerous or defective products that lead to a consumer’s injury or death. The easiest way for a company to get out of trouble when it comes to a product liability claim is to argue that the consumer was using the product improperly, or that they did not adhere to the safety warnings on the package or label. An attorney can help disprove these claims to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Medical Malpractice—Physicians and hospitals must meet a specific standard of care when it comes to treating injuries and illnesses, as well as diagnosing said injuries and illnesses. A diagnostic error can lead to late-stage cancer that would have otherwise been easily treatable. A surgical error can lead to prolonged suffering and pain. A birth error may cause permanent disability for a child. These medical mistakes are always fervently denied by the hospital or physician clinic. And, with such large insurance policies at stake, the insurer will do everything in their power to minimize your personal injury claim.
  • Wrongful Death Claims—Tragically, insurance companies will use all of the above-mentioned tactics to deny or reduce liability in wrongful death claims. It does not matter to them that your loved one perished because of a careless driver, negligent property owner, corner-cutting manufacturer, or unskilled doctor. As the deceased victim’s surviving spouse, child, or parent, you need to work with an attorney to be taken seriously.

Call an Encino Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were recently sent an offer to settle, do not take it. In fact, do not even discuss your injuries or your case with the insurance company or the at-fault party because anything you tell them can be used against you to devalue your claim. An attorney will help you gather evidence, determine the at-fault party’s policy limits, and negotiate a fair settlement.

If such an agreement cannot be reached, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will try the lawsuit in court so that you get the compensation you deserve. Remember, you have options, and you do not have to take a settlement before you discuss the matter with one of our Encino personal injury lawyers. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Personal Injury Claim In California?

personal injury

Being injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident is a traumatic experience that most people usually want to put behind them as quickly as possible. After all, we are wired for fight or flight, and in times of injury and uncertainty, flight is often the most desired method of coping with a serious injury.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive fair compensation for your damages without fighting for what is rightfully yours. This requires working with an attorney, closely following your medical progress and long-term outcome, and generally taking the time needed to create a strong case against the at-fault party and fully establishing your damages. None of the personal injury claim processes can be rushed.

Residents of California that need help with a personal injury claim can trust the experienced legal counsel of the Van Nuys personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian.

Four Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

In order to have a case against another party for causing your injuries, the following must be true:

  1. Existence of a Duty—The other party had a duty of care to you.
  2. Breach of the Duty—That party breached that duty.
  3. Injury—You were injured.
  4. Causation—The other party’s breach caused your injury.

Timeframe of a Successful Personal Injury Claim

No personal injury claim can be rushed, simply for the reason that no one really knows what your long-term physical and psychological outcome will be, at least not in those first few weeks or months.

A slip and fall victim may seem fine after being released from the hospital, only to relapse days later and require additional medical treatment. Similarly, the outcome of a victim of a traumatic brain injury can be impossible to predict; it may take years for them to regain their full capacity if they make a full recovery at all.

As such, the first, and often long process in a personal injury claim is simply to receive medical treatment and monitor the client’s progress, or lack thereof. The following questions must be asked during this time.

What type of work did they do and what life did they lead before the injury?

What type of work and life are they able to lead currently? What do their physicians predict their medical outcome to be?

What do the victim’s PTSD and other psychological test results reveal?

Fully understanding the client’s damages (medical expenses, projected medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of joy of life, permanent disfigurement and scarring, property damage, etc.) is key to a successful personal injury claim.

Filing the Lawsuit

A lawsuit can be filed within weeks or years (the California statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury). As such, an attorney can file a lawsuit before or after settlement negotiations.

Settlement Negotiations

Settlement negotiations usually take many months. During this time, the plaintiff’s attorney will thoroughly analyze the defendant’s insurance policy and either call, email, or write a formal letter to the other party, demanding a certain amount of compensation. The defendant’s insurance company will likely counter with a much lower offer. Negotiations may end up meeting somewhere in the middle, or the process moves on to the next step.


Mediation is actually another step in the settlement negotiation process, though instead of by phone or email, it is done in person. The plaintiff and their attorney will be in one room, while the insurance adjusters of the defendant will be in another. A non-involved third party (the mediator, who is usually a former judge or attorney) will act as the go-between. The goal of mediation is to come to an agreement by the end of the day (and avoid a trial), though this agreement is not binding until both parties sign.

Civil Trial

If settlement negotiations and mediation fail, the last step in a personal injury claim is a trial. During the civil trial process, the court will usually demand that settlement negotiation conferences continue to take place, the court’s goal being to resolve the matter outside of the courtroom so that the court’s time is not used up by the matter. If a settlement still cannot be reached, a jury will hear the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision regarding compensation. Either party can appeal the decision by taking the case to an appellate court.

Trials can be very costly, and the parties should take this into account when negotiating settlements. Sometimes compromising some at the settlement stage, may benefit the plaintiff by avoiding uncertainty and trial costs.

How Likely is it That My Case Will Go to Trial?

If you and the other party or parties cannot reach an agreement through negotiations, mediation, or arbitration, the last step in a personal injury claim is going to trial. This will add many months to a claim, as well as additional attorney’s fees and court costs. As such, it is often in both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s best interests to avoid a trial hearing, though not always.

In some cases, if the other party refuses to cooperate and help come to a reasonable settlement, your only option may be a civil trial. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 3% of personal injury torts are resolved in trial, so chances are that you will not have to go through this long, arduous legal process.

The Length of Your Personal Injury Claim Depends on How You Were Injured

When it comes to the timeframe of resolving your personal injury claim, it matters how you got injured. For example, traffic injury claims are generally faster than toxic tort, medical malpractice claims, or product liability claims, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, when all personal injury torts are taken into account, the average time to resolve a case is about 14 months.

However, in all of these cases, a settlement should be put off until all of the injuries have fully resolved, or have reached a plateau. All uncertainties should be avoided prior to settlement, as once the case is settled, newly discovered injuries can no longer be considered.

Contact Our Van Nuys Personal Injury Lawyers

The most important thing you can do right now, following a personal injury, is to contact a Van Nuys personal injury attorney. Do not discuss your case, or anything at all, with the other party or their insurance company, as that will only harm your case. Feel free to contact Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.

Who Can I Recover Compensation From Injuries at a Concert Venue?

concert venue injury compensation

When rap artist Travis Scott had a concert in Harris county, 10 people were killed and more than 300 were injured according to The Guardian. The cause of death was found to be “compression asphyxiation,” which occurred because fans, of which there were 50,000, were squeezed “so tightly together that they could not breathe or move their arms.” The Astroworld crowd surge tragedy is just the latest on a long list of crowd surges in which 10 or more people were killed, according to Business Insider, which can occur in stadiums, Black Friday sales, concerts, protests in which police use violence, and religious events. But when it comes to concert venue injuries, crowd surges are not the only cause of injury or death.

Dangerous Conditions at a Concert Venue Can Lead to Serious Injuries

Both outdoor and indoor concert venues can become dangerous places if the property security measures or emergency measures are not taken, if the event organizer crams too many people into the space, or if the property owner lets the venue fall into disrepair. Even on a good day, a lot can go wrong, given the circumstances of a large concert; after all, concerts involve large crowds compacted into a small space, the crowd—some of whom are intoxicated—is amped up and often unruly, there is poor lighting, and it can be impossible to even hear the person next to you talking. This all combines for a dangerous situation if something goes wrong, or if an occupant requires medical help.

Examples of Hazardous Conditions Resulting in a Concert Premises Liability Claim

Any number of overlooked hazards at a concert venue could potentially lead to an otherwise avoidable injury. Common examples include the following:

  • Overcrowding causes dangerous squeeze or crowd surge conditions
  • Dangerous walking or standing areas caused by uneven surfaces, cracks, rips or tears in carpeting, unmarked level changes, and tripping hazards such as cords or merchandise
  • Spilled food, drink, or other substances causing a slip and fall hazard
  • Unmarked stairs or step-ups/step downs
  • Lack of hand railings on ramps and stairs
  • Broken stair steps or slippery stair surface
  • Inadequate ventilation, air conditioning, shade, or access to water or other liquids for rehydration
  • Unsanitary conditions leading to the spread of communicable diseases (particularly regarding inadequate restroom infrastructure or removal and management of human waste)
  • Negligent security leads to fights or dangerous mosh pits
  • Inadequate lighting in hallways, stairs, bathrooms, or other areas
  • Failure to seal off or barricade construction zones or other dangerous areas unfit for concert-goers
  • Failure to have enough emergency medical personnel on-site
  • The disrepair of the building leads to infrastructure collapse, such as a collapsed balcony
  • Fire hazards include faulty wiring, defective or worn-out speakers and other electronics, lack of fire extinguishers, or lack of smoke detectors

Liability for Concert Venue Injuries

Various parties can be held liable for injuries you or your loved one sustained at the event. These parties include the:

  • Event promoter
  • Event organizer
  • Event security
  • Property/venue owner
  • Concert manager
  • Artist or performers

All of these above parties have a duty to create and maintain a safe environment, which includes minimizing dangers by addressing hazards quickly and thoroughly.

Actual Knowledge and Constructive Knowledge

In order to prove fault, the liable party must have either known about the hazard that caused your injuries, or they should have known. These two types of knowledge about a hazard are termed actual and constructive knowledge.

  • “Actual” knowledge example: the week before the event, the venue owner is told by an employee that the railing of a balcony is damaged and loose. During the event, the crowd pressure causes the railing to fail, and multiple people fall a dozen feet to the ground, resulting in broken bones and spinal cord injuries. In this scenario, the at-fault party had real knowledge of a hazard.
  • “Constructive” knowledge example: constructive knowledge is the knowledge that the party “should have known,” even if they did not have that knowledge directly. For example, a venue owner who simply let the building fall into disrepair because they decided to cut costs by not hiring an employee or contractor to upkeep the facility can still be found negligent if a balcony railing fails during the concert. They might not have had actual knowledge of the hazard, but they did have constructive knowledge because, after years of neglect, it would be assumed that a building that is heavily used by tens of thousands of people every week would sustain damage due to wear and tear.

The next factor necessary to prove fault, after actual or constructive knowledge is proven, is time to address the hazard. Did the potentially negligent party have enough time to fix that balcony, clean up the slippery surface, or fix the out-of-commission lighting in that unlit stairwell?

Common Premises Liability Injuries in Concert Venues

  • Fractured arm, wrist, ankle, foot, hand, and leg bones
  • Fractured ribs
  • Fractured collar bone
  • Contusions and lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured neck or back
  • Herniated disc injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
  • Asphyxiation

Damages Awarded for Injuries Sustained at Concert Venues

There are two types of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury claim involving concert injuries: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve the costs and economic losses incurred from the injury, including medical care, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages include the victim’s pain and suffering, loss of joy in life, emotional distress, PTSD, and more. You can be fairly and heavily compensated for both, but only if you make the decision to work with a qualified Glendale premises liability attorney.

Talk to a Glendale Premises Liability Attorney Today

The premises liability lawyers in Glendale at Ourfalian & Ourfalian have handled countless concert venue claims in which our clients sustained serious injuries due to the property owner or promoter’s negligence. There is a limited time to file a claim for compensation. Call us at (818) 550 – 7777 for a free consultation and to get started today.

How Is The Amount Of A Personal Injury Award Determined?

personal injury

The world of personal injury can be a confusing place, fraught with misinformation and false guidance. Falling at the local Home Depot, for example, may not “entitle” you to millions in compensation. Similarly, experiencing a poor outcome from a medical procedure is not always a clear case of medical malpractice.

When and how a personal injury verdict is awarded takes a high level of knowledge, including both past precedence and current law. Knowing how much to award a victim can be even more confusing. While there may be guidelines set forth for injury awards, such amounts can vary substantially based on numerous factors. The type of injury, how it occurred, whether it will completely heal and more are all factored into the decision of an award.

When negligence is a factor that causes an injury event to take place, it may be possible for victims to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Securing the most compensation from a claim is critical. In California, the Glendale personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can assist you with your California personal injury claim. Even though most personal injury claims settle outside of court, the talented California personal injury lawyers at Ourfalian & Ourfalian will be prepared to see your case through to the end and be ready to litigate should you end up in front of a judge and jury.

The Keys For Personal Injury Award Decisions

There are multiple types of damages that may be awarded. For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on compensatory damages. These are damages that may be awarded to the plaintiff in order to make them “whole.” Put simply, compensatory damages are provided to make it as if the injury never occurred.

There is no set formula for how a jury may award damages. In order to make the plaintiff whole again, the jury may need to award both past, present, and future damages. These damages may include hospital and treatment bills, lost wages if unable to work and even future wages if going back to work may take time if it happens at all. The specific facts of each case will be considered and are part of the decision-making process.

Two Types Of Compensatory Damages

There are two different types of compensatory damages that may be awarded. There are “general damages” as well as “special damages.” The general damages pertain to the non-economic part of the case. These damages may be viewed as pain and suffering damages.

Special damages, on the other hand, take into account all of the necessary economic factors. These factors may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, Rental expenses, and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the injury.

Medical expenses can become quite expensive. Special damages include medical costs both for the past as well as the future. This means that medical expenses could include costs for both emergency room visits as well as ongoing physical therapy. Whatever the treatments may be, the injured must show them to be necessary due to the injury and reasonable in regards to their expense. Claiming $250,000 in medical costs for a splinter, for example, is not likely going to be considered reasonable.

To recover for future medical expenses, the injured must show that they are reasonably priced, reasonably needed, and reasonably certain to be needed in the future. Medical expert testimony will be necessary to award future expenses.

The awarding of general damages may depend on several factors. General damages are awarded for the non-economic part of the case and are calculated by human judgment. These damages can be awarded for such issues as:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Quality of Life
  • Permanent Disability or Impairment
  • Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement
  • Mental Anguish

How much is awarded is based on the facts of the case, with every case being different. Jurors are instructed by the courts in California to use their judgment to determine a reasonable amount based on the case evidence and using their common sense. Needless to say, this may leave a lot of wiggle room.

If the defendant in the case has paid out for similar injuries before, they may not be taking the issue seriously. Multiple injuries sustained due to defendant negligence may be awarded larger sums as a means of punishing the defendant. A defendant with no history of being at fault for an injury may be required to pay a smaller amount as they have not made it a habit. (In CA punitive damages are not awarded for personal injury cases as insinuated herein)

A plaintiff that is scarred may be awarded based on the size and specifics of the scarring. Total scarring of the face, for example, may cause more emotional distress to the injured compared to a scar on the bottom of the foot.

Putting a fair and reasonable value to a victim’s personal injury claim is not always an easy task. But it is critical to ensure that a victim does not accept a settlement that is far below the damages they suffered. To increase the potential that the highest amount of compensation is agreed to, working with an attorney is advantageous. The legal team at Ourfalian & Ourfalian has more than 35 years of successfully representing victims of injury accidents and fighting to protect their rights and get the compensation they deserve.

The Bottom Line

When considering the potential awards for an injury, there are many factors that are taken into account. The key to obtaining a larger award may be in knowing all of the factors involved and how to demonstrate them to a jury.

If you have been injured and are seeking compensation, you are best off consulting with an experienced California personal injury attorney licensed in the State of California. The right attorney can make all of the difference, potentially assisting you in winning very large sums of money for your suffering.