What Are The Different Types Of Child Custody In California?

types of child custody

There are a number of factors that influence who will get custody of their children in California, and a judge will always rule with the best interest of the children in mind. A court will consider things like the child’s health and welfare, if a parent has any history of abuse, the amount of contact with each parent, any negative history of either parent, and anything else a court deems relevant. If your child is at least 14 years old, and mature enough to speak about their desires, the court will weigh in their preference.

There are two types of child custody: legal and physical. Both types of child custody can be either sole or joint. Let’s take a more in depth look at both.

Legal Custody

Legal custody means who has the rights and responsibilities of making important decisions for their child. Legal custody can be either joint, where both parents share these rights and responsibilities, or sole where only one parent is responsible.

Parents with legal custody make choices on their children’s:

  • Schooling and childcare
  • Religious activities and practices
  • Mental health counseling and needs
  • Vacations and travel
  • Health professionals
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Residency

Parents who share custody of their children may have opposing views but should work together to reach agreements. If a couple is unable to cooperate with one another, the court may decide against joint custody. Even if a parent does not have custody of their children, they are still able to parent their children and be an active role in their lives in other ways.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is when a parent has the right for their child to live in their home. Joint physical custody is when the child lives with both parents but does not necessarily mean that the child will spend exactly the same amount of time split between both parents. Usually there is one parent who gets more physical custody than the other depending on availability, and is granted sole physical custody or considered the primary custodial parent.

There are cases where couples have joint legal custody and both parents take part in important decision making, but only one parent has sole physical custody so the children primarily stay with that parent and have visitations with the other.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is when one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child and the other parent may be granted visitation rights. There are times a court may decide sole custody works better for the sake of disrupting the child’s life. Moving back and forth from each parent’s house regularly can be too hard for the children, but on the other end it may be depriving a relationship with one parent when limiting presence in the child’s life.

Visitation rights are given when one parent has sole custody:

  • Scheduled visitations are a common arrangement where both parents arrange a visitation schedule that defines when their children will spend time with the parent that has visitation rights. To avoid confusion or disruptions in the future, these plans should be clear and both parents must understand and adhere to the schedule.
  • Reasonable visitations are open-ended and allow both parents to work out a plan that works for both of them. Clear communication and flexibility is helpful in this arrangement, though this arrangement leaves room for conflict between both parents.
  • Supervised visitations are used for the safety of the children, where the visitation is with the other parent, a family member, or professional agency. This is an especially useful way to reconnect a parent who has not been present in the child’s life consistently and needs to build a bond.
  • No visitations are an option when one parent is a physical or mental danger to the child and having any contact is not in the best interest of the child.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is preferable when both parents are amicable towards one another and able to work out arrangements. The court will mix and match to fit your custody based on your situation. Joint physical custody typically works best when both parents live near one another making scheduling pickups, doing errands, and sharing time much easier. If you are willing and able to come up with a co-parenting plan, a judge can help modify or affirm when you present it in court.

Child Custody Arrangement Help in San Jose

Managing a visitation schedule can be a very important part of your child custody case. At Hann Law Firm, you and your family matter to us. We are here to listen to your challenges, offer the best solutions, answer questions to give you confidence in court, and prepare for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Contact us for a free consultation and let us help you achieve a desirable custody arrangement that keeps your children’s best interests at heart.

A Guide To Winning A Child Custody Case In California

child custody lawyer

When going through a divorce dividing assets or property is one thing, but having to divide your time and support for your children is another. It can make the process even more difficult, for both you and your children. If being in your child’s life is a priority, you’ll want to increase your chances of winning your case by proving you are able to provide a safe, loving, and stable life for your children.

A judge’s ruling has everything to do with the best interest of the children involved and is the top priority when making a decision in a California custody case. Below you’ll find guidance on how to create the best case for your child custody battle.

Be Active in Your Child’s Life

Regardless of the past, you can always begin to create a new bond with your children and show that you are a responsible parent. Despite what emotions you may struggle with when going through your divorcer, being able to set aside your feelings and be there for your children is the most important thing you can do now.

Spending quality time together
Using all the extra time you have to set aside for your children should be taken to show positive effort in maintaining a good relationship with your kids. Not showing up to appointments or special events can unfortunately represent you as an uninterested parent.

Being flexible and dependable

Accommodating to the times your children or ex spouse need you can show you have flexibility and willingness to be there and show up for your children whatever the case may be. Picking up your children on time from school or appointments reflects on your ability to maintain a good schedule and are a reliable parent.

Create a Safe, Supportive Home

Not only to prove to the court, you should provide a safe and stable home life for your children. Living out of a suitcase doesn’t allow your child to really feel at home when having to go back and forth to each parent’s house. You want to present to the judge that you can offer a supportive and comfortable environment for your children. Make sure to avoid anything that can give your ex an opportunity to accuse you of having an unsafe home.

Ensure a safe inner circle

Do not let anyone around your children that can be seen as dangerous or a threat. This especially includes anyone with a felony, sexual-related offenses, or drug users. If you have a new partner after your separation, keep some distance from your home and children to avoid potential conflict when going through your custody battle. Make sure the people watching your children are responsible adults that are healthy and safe for your children to be around.

Keep your home safe and clean

Be aware of any dangers that can cause any harm to your children in your home. Keep things like weapons, prescription drugs, and alcohol in locked away spaces out of reach from your children. Your home may understandably have some clutter or messes from time to time, but make sure your home is a sanitary and comfortable place to live.

Inappropriate gatherings or outings

No matter how much you still would like to maintain your social life, at this point in time it is a better idea to hold off on party mode. Leaving your children unattended or for lengthy periods of time to spend time with a new partner or friends is not appropriate, as well as throwing large parties and letting your children mingle around adults with alcohol or any illegal substances. Your children are able to inform your ex spouse about your behavior so keeping them in safe spaces and healthy environments is much more beneficial to their own growth and your child custody case.

Showcase Your Good Character

You want to make sure the people in your children’s lives can vouch for your good character and presence in your children’s lives. Attending school gatherings, sports games, PTA meetings and the like show your attempts of being a good parent. 

Though it can be hard, it is best to not lose your temper or show emotional volatility when communicating with your ex. It is understandable how difficult it may be to control these feelings when you are going through so much, but not dispagaing your ex and being as cordial as possible can help you and make the whole process move a lot more smoothly. Use friends, family, or a therapist to learn how to cope with these difficult emotions in a healthy way.

Document Everything for Your Case

All of the things above are important behaviors to put into practice prior to your case, but as you begin to work closely with your attorney you’ll want to properly document everything to have the outcome you want. You will want to tell your attorney everything, including any past mistakes or bad behavior. Letting your attorney know the good and the bad means they are able to appropriately prepare for it and it may give useful context. Record all things that are involved with your case like when or how often you pick up your children from school, how much you see them, or visitation schedules.

Let Us Help You Prepare Your Child Custody Case

Finding a trusted attorney is the best chance you may have when keeping custody of your children. An attorney will advise you throughout your case, keeping you confident and knowledgeable of everything that may happen in court. At Hann Law Firm, you and your case matter to us. We are here to listen to your challenges, and prepare for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Contact us for a free consultation and let us help you create a desirable custody arrangement for a positive future.

4 Leading Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents In California

motorcycle accidents

Whether commuting to work every day or taking long scenic routes to enjoy what California has to offer, getting on a motorcycle always comes with its own set of risks.

Motorcyclists are more exposed when riding and are much more likely to die or recieve extreme injuries in an accident than those in a regular passenger vehicle. Aside from potentially losing a limb or a life, coping after an accident can be challenging as medical bills pile up and time off work is taken.

Hiring a trusted accident attorney will negotiate with insurance companies and get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injury to help while you heal.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding the leading causes of accidents allows you to be hypervigilant in avoiding dangerous situations and how to stay safe as a motorcyclist.

Errors Made by Other Drivers

Motorcycle accidents often are caused by automobile drivers, and occur because a driver is unaware of the motorcyclist when making left turns, changing lanes, or coming on to a roadway.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles offer a handbook for guidance when riding a motorcycle that recommends riders to:

  • Avoid riding in automobile’s blind spots, and maintaining visibility to others
  • Communicate with other drivers with hand signals and lights
  • Increase visibility by keeping headlights on at all times
  • Give adequate spacing when passing or lane splitting
  • Be a defensive driver and act quickly to avoid other vehicles

Negligence of the Rider

Negligence when riding means engaging in risky, dangerous, and sometimes illegal activities when on a motorcycle. When motorcyclists have been at fault in accidents, the cause was usually:

  • Speeding
  • Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Improper turning
  • Ignoring signals
  • Improper lane positioning

These accidents are typically avoidable by simply obeying traffic laws and riding safely. Experience is a major part in most motorcycle accidents, and those with less experience can find themselves in trouble without the basics of safety while riding. It’s advised to attend a safety course before riding on streets with other traffic, and to make sure your motorcycle meets your level of experience.

Motorcyclists are also able to reduce their injuries by wearing the appropriate protective gear when riding. Helmets are obviously the best way to avoid having head and face injuries in an accident. It’s advised to wear other eye protection, boots with steel-toe protection, riding gloves, fitted clothing with full body coverage, and bright or reflective colors to make yourself more visible.

Poor Road Conditions

It’s important to always keep your eyes on the road ahead to avoid any potential road hazards. Potholes, debris in the road, poor road conditions, construction zones, or animals in the way can lead to an accident if you’re not watching your speed or paying attention. If you are aware of extreme weather conditions, avoid riding if you can to lessen your chances of running into storms, slick roads, or potential dangerous situations.

Motorcycles are on two wheels that makes maintaining control on uneven or hazardous roads much more difficult than when riding in a car or truck. In the event of getting caught up in bad weather, pull off the road and try to take shelter until you can safely continue.

Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failure can have dire consequences for a motorcyclist, especially if you do not have proper training or knowledge of how to steer and maneuver while experiencing a tire blowout or brake failure. Any faulty mechanics on your motorcycle can make riding much more dangerous.

California law states that all motorcycles require brakes, tires, a rear view mirror, and horn in operating condition, a multi-beam headlight to remain on at all times, and a tail light with a license plate light. Inspect your motorcycle before and after riding to avoid a crash from mechanical failure in the future.

Defective manufacturer parts also can be a part of a motorcycle accident, and being injured in a crash that has been caused by faulty parts may allow you to seek out compensation from the manufacturer of the part that was defective.

Seeking Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident?

Even if you are the safest rider in the world, it is not a matter of “if” you get into an accident, it is a matter of “when”. If you or someone you love have been injured by another person’s negligence during a motorcycle crash, you have the right to seek compensation for damages and injuries caused by the accident.

At Hann Law Firm, you and your case matter to us and we will work tirelessly to compensate you for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. 

Contact us today and let us defend you and protect your rights. You do not need to stand alone against the ones who have caused you harm.

Pet Custody: Who Gets The Family Pet In A California Divorce?

pet custody

To many, especially those without children, pets are beloved members of the family. Navigating through pet custody legalities can be confusing and cause anxiety about potentially losing your pet, but luckily with newer laws set in place and guidance from a trusted attorney you can come to an agreement over your pet’s ownership.

California Pet Ownership Laws

Prior to January 2019, pets were considered property, and considered no different than any material possession. In 2019, AB 2274 was enacted into law, adding Section 2605 to California’s Family Code, which separated pets from other types of inanimate marital assets.

This new law requires the court to assign sole or joint ownership of the pet when requested, and also asks the court to take consideration of the care and well-being of the pet when custody is being determined. Temporary custody can also be given during the time of the divorce being reviewed, based on the well-being of the pet.

Determining Your Pet’s Well Being

A judge will consider a few factors when establishing pet custody, including:

  • Who takes more responsibility for feeding, walks, and playtime with the pet
  • Who has taken the pet to a majority of veterinarian appointments
  • Who’s name the animal is registered under
  • Who has sufficient space and time to take care of the animal

Your emotional well-being can also be a consideration when determining pet custody during your divorce. It may not be necessary to claim your pet as a support animal, but the court will look into the emotional connection each individual has with the pet.

Mediation

Court is not the only option when regarding the custody of your pet. Mediation is a way to reach agreements without bringing your case to court. This involves reduced costs, faster outcomes, confidentiality, and greater control of the situation. While you might not resolve every decision during mediation, the process itself can help resolve some issues, leaving time and focus on the unresolved issues you may need to take to court.

When both partners have an exceptional attachment to their pet, and when no prenuptial agreement is in place, a dispute during the divorce is common. Sometimes during a divorce, ownership over the pet may have another underlying issue, and the pet may become a grasp for power and control, rather than caring about the well-being of the pet.

Caring for Your Pet Through and After Divorce

Pets can often pick up on our energy and stress levels, and the changes that ensue after a divorce can not only be a difficult transition for you, but for your pet as well. A divorce can impact pets due to total change in routine, especially when getting less attention and exercise due to only having one caregiver. Separation anxiety and depression can be common when separated from a family member.

Helping Your Pet Transition Through Divorce

  • Being mindful of routine: Dogs specifically like routine, and benefit from having a sustained daily schedule where they are walked and fed at times they are accustomed to. Before any major changes are made, you can get your dog used to a new schedule if possible. Reaching out to friends or family to help with walking or feeding times can be beneficial, or hiring a walker or pet sitter who can help when transitioning your dog or pet into a new routine.
  • Help them settle in: After a move, if a dog or pet has not had enough time to settle into new surroundings, they might develop separation anxiety. This may include excess barking, howling, or destructive behavior when left alone. If possible, take extra days to help your pet transition and feel more comfortable in their new home and routine before leaving them alone and going back to work.
  • Bringing them to work, or choosing doggy daycare: If none of the above is possible, it could be beneficial to look into doggy daycare while you’re at work and still settling into a new routine. Some workplaces have happily allowed pets to be brought into work. It may be in the best interest for both you and your pet to grant visitation rights for your pet, and co-ownership can be attained.

Hiring a California Divorce Attorney

Even with the most amicable discussions, a divorce lawyer will review your agreements, and can help ensure your rights are protected. Besides pet ownership, a divorce requires many different issues to navigate through. Having an experienced divorce attorney at your side can help guide you through the process, giving you a higher chance of getting the outcome you were hoping for.

At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach from the very start. We address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome in the courtroom, and create a personalized approach for each client.

We know your case is important to you, and we take it just as personally. A court battle over your furry friends can be exhausting, but our custody lawyers can fight for your and your pet.

Contact us for a free consultation and get quality, compassionate legal guidance today.

Division Of Debts In A California Divorce

division of debts

We all know divorce means splitting our properties and assets, but often forget that debt is included in that separation. Assets you wish to keep are one thing, but fairly dividing debts is also another factor when pursuing a divorce. California is a community property state, meaning the community is liable for the debts that have accumulated throughout the marriage.

Determining the character of debt, whether either spouse is entitled to reimbursement, or how to make the division completely equal is not always straightforward or easy. It’s advised to seek consultation from an experienced family law attorney to help you ensure you do not pay debts you did not incur.

Dividing Marital Property and Debts in California

California is a community property state, meaning generally, assets acquired and debts incurred by either spouse during their marriage belong to both spouses equally. Unless both spouses have entered their own agreements to the division of their property and debts (either through prenuptial or postnuptial agreements), a court will order a judge to divide their community property and debts equally. The court may not divide each asset and debt in half, the ending goal is to split with equal division.

There is an exception to this rule, when the value of the community debts exceeds the value of the community assets. If this is the case, the law allows courts to order an unequal division of the debts by assigning the excess debt to the spouse in a better financial situation.

Unlike marital property being divided equally, debt is not always divided in the same way, and it is the responsibility of each party to pay off the debts assigned to them under their divorce settlement terms. If one spouse fails to pay off an assigned debt, creditors can potentially pursue them over the overdue payments. 

If creditors contact you to pay off a debt that has been assigned to your ex spouse, you may file a motion with the court to have the divorce settlement enforced. It is possible for creditors to still pursue you for the debt if your former spouse has declared bankruptcy, and if this is the case you should hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.

Community Debt vs. Separate Debt

Community debt are debts that are induced after the date of marriage, but before their date of separation. Debt that incurred during the marriage belongs to both of the spouses equally, even if only one spouse caused the debt.

Separate debt is debt that occurred prior to getting married, or after the separation of spouses. These separate debts only belong to the spouse that incurred them.

Date of Separation

A judge will typically consider debts incurred after a couple separates as separate, and assign the debts to the spouse that incurred the debt post-separation. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine the date of separation. Courts occasionally will hold a trial just to determine the date of separation before a judge is able to move forward.

Under California law, there is a two-part test when establishing an official separation date:

  1. There must be a physical separation between the two spouses. Physical separation is determined when one spouse moves from their shared home. The courts may also find physical separation occurred when the spouses have started sleeping apart in separate areas of the same home.
  2. In addition to physical separation, one spouse must have had intent to end the marriage.

Dividing the Family Home

Dividing the mortgage and the family home proves to be difficult, as even the most straightforward cases involve a couple buying their home together and only using community funds for the purchase and payments.

When divorcing, the couple will be equally responsible for the mortgage on their home. A court may order the couple to sell the home to a third-party, and then divide the sale proceeds equally between both spouses. In another instance, the court may order one spouse to buy out the other, and refinance the mortgage so only one spouse is responsible for future mortgage payments, taking the other spouse off the mortgage.

Each case is different and can be complicated, and speaking with a divorce attorney who understands the in-depth laws regarding post-separation mortgage payments and reimbursements will ensure you receive a fair and equal share when splitting your family home.

Legal Separation Guidance with a California Divorce Attorney

At Hann Law Firm, we are an advocate for you in the face of challenges when navigating through difficult legal issues, like debt division.

We know your case is important to you, and we take it just as personally. Your case matters to us, and we’re here to help you see through it every step of the way. We are here to fight for you, ensuring you are set up for a successful and happy new chapter after your divorce.

Contact us for a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.

The Biggest Personal Injury Myths You Need To Stop Believing

personal injury myths

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions surrounding personal injury lawsuits, which unfortunately can keep many people from filing claims. Some of these common myths circulate throughout social circles and media, leaving those who are dealing with long-term effects and injuries feel as though they are not entitled to compensation. 

Misconceptions About Personal Injury Myths

To have a more realistic expectation through this process, let’s take a look at the most common misconceptions surrounding personal injury claims, lawsuits, and lawyers:

Your Insurance Will Cover All the Costs

Injuries from car accidents are very common, yet insurance companies only pay approximately half of the costs associated with vehicle accidents. Victims of car accidents may have to pay up to 25% of their injury or repair costs out of pocket, and depending on the severity of the accident, these costs can add up quickly. Depending on your coverage, your insurance rates may also increase. This gives plenty of reason to file a personal injury claim, as insurance companies will often refuse to pay what the claim is worth.

It’s Greedy to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

This perception is typically the reason so many people choose to not file a personal injury claim, but if you have been the victim of someone else’s negligence or malicious intent, it is not greedy to require medical expenses and property damage repairs to be covered. Medical bills add up quickly, and property damage can inflict trouble in your everyday life and your ability to work. Filing lawsuits against those who have caused harm is important to hold them responsible for their actions, and seeking justice for your own property damage and injuries may help mitigate those damages to others in the future.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Take a Long Time

Not all personal injury lawsuits are the same, so it is impossible to determine how long a claim may take to process. Some cases can be complicated, which can take years to resolve, whereas some are straightforward and able to be processed in a shorter amount of time. Most injury lawsuit cases are not sent to trial, and victims are compensated through negotiations of both parties.

You Can File a Personal Injury Claim Any Time After Your Accident

There are occasionally personal injury victims who think they should wait to file their claim until their injuries have healed, but with statute of limitations in place, it’s important to contact a lawyer immediately after your accident. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years that begins from the date of your accident. If you believe a state, county, or city agency is at-fault for your accident, you have six months to file a claim. When seeking compensation for property damage, like vehicle repairs or replacement, you have three years. There are some occurrences where you are able to extend the time frame to file your lawsuit, but typically these circumstances are complex and limited.

The Negligent Party Will Pay Out of Pocket

Some victims in an accident will choose not to file a claim against the person at-fault because they believe the other party will have to pay out of pocket for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, and property damage. Even if the other party is responsible for the accident, their insurance will be paying the settlement and compensation. Your lawyer will be negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, while you pay out of pocket or through your health insurance for your own medical expenses until the negligent party is obligated to pay a certain amount.

You Are Guaranteed Compensation

Many personal injury claims can be resolved without appearing in court. While it is rare, if your case does go to court, a jury will be required to determine if you deserve compensation for your injuries. Each case is different, and depending on circumstances, your compensation amount will vary. Even if you are able to prove the other party is guilty, the defending legal team can evade liability, so it is important to gather as much evidence as you can for your personal injury attorney to review every detail of your case in order for you to receive the best possible compensation.

It’s Not Worth Hiring a Lawyer for Minor Injuries

Even if your injuries are relatively minor, the costs of hospital visits, diagnostic tests, or ongoing treatment can add up over time. Instead of paying for these expenses out of your own pocket, the other party should be liable for those costs. It is important to never downplay any of your injuries, and if you are a victim of someone else’s negligence or malicious intent, you should not have to pay for medical expenses to treat your injuries. 

Trusted Legal Support from Hann Law Firm

At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach from the very start. We address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome in the courtroom, and create a personalized plan to help guide you through your personal injury lawsuit and receive the compensation you deserve.

We know your case is important to you, and we take it just as personally. You and your case matters to us, and we’re here to provide the best quality legal representation.

Contact us for a free consultation if you or someone you love has suffered from any type of injury, and let us help negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement on your behalf.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?

personal injury lawyer

After suffering a serious personal injury, recovery can feel impossible when you have medical bills, paperwork, and insurance companies looming over you. Handling a personal injury claim on your own can be difficult, and without professional knowledge, you can end up with a lower settlement, longer claims process, or not receive any compensation at all. 

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure your claim is handled efficiently, so there is less time waiting for your compensation that could help benefit your recovery. Personal injury lawyers are able to investigate the accident you were involved in, process insurance claims, and represent you in court.

Let’s take a look at how handling your claim with a trusted personal injury attorney can help protect you, and ensure you receive the justice you deserve.

Pursuing the Best Compensation 

When hiring a personal injury lawyer, you have a higher chance of receiving financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer with experience will be able to seek compensation on your behalf, covering medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your accident. Personal injury claims do not often go to court, and settlements are usually reached through negotiations between you and insurance companies of those who caused you harm. Personal injury lawyers are often familiar with these insurance companies, and are not swayed by any of their tactics, nor feel pressured to settle for a lesser compensation.

Working with an attorney who has your best interest can ensure you receive the best settlement offer possible, rather than settle for a speedy compensation out of anger, pain, frustration, or fear.

Accident Investigation

Revisiting the place where you were injured can be emotionally and physically draining, so having your lawyer accompanied by a specialized investigation team can be extremely helpful when gathering evidence needed to prove your case. While they interact with the parties at fault, insurance companies, or law enforcement on your behalf, you are able to focus on your own recovery. Your lawyer will listen to your own accounts of the incident, but may need more investigation on the people or company that were involved in the damages against you. 

Handling Paperwork and Expediting Your Claim

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can save you time and effort when it comes to handling paperwork, and stay on top of your claim in order to expedite the process as quickly as possible. In many cases, personal injury claims can take months, or even years, due to insurance negotiations, legal paperwork, witnesses, and other countless delays. When recovering from an injury, waiting for a payout can be stressful and financially crippling in the meantime. Having an attorney who can expedite your claim, or help suggest strategies in the event of going to court, will swiftly get you the compensation you need.

Representation in Court

In the event that an insurance company denies the claim, or offers an unfair compensation, you will want to file a personal injury lawsuit and have your case handled in a civil trial. While you may decide to represent yourself, the defending party most likely will have a professional litigator working for them, and not having a professional on your side can lead to a misstep in your case due to unequal expertise. Your lawyer will be an advocate for you, and know the arguments necessary to be persuasive to a judge or jury. 

Prior Professional Experience

A reputable personal injury law firm will likely have represented others in similar cases, and know the appropriate steps to take, facts and information needed from you, common mistakes made, and have knowledge of the state’s legal system. Having experience in this specific area of law can help you assess your claim from the very beginning, and determine if your claim is worth pursuing in court.

While court action is usually the last resort, having someone who understands your specific situation and understands court proceedings can help your chances of winning your case. Any unforeseen legal challenges that arise during the process are resolved by your attorney when they have professional experience from past cases.

Personal Injury Help at Hann Law Firm

At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach from the very start. We address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome in the courtroom, and create a personalized approach to help you through your personal injury claim.

We know your case is important to you, and we take it just as personally. You and your case matters to us, and we’re here to help you see through it every step of the way. You deserve justice when being injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Contact us for a free consultation and get quality, compassionate legal guidance today.

Essential Evidence You Need for Your Car Accident Case

car accident

Car accidents happen when you least expect it, even if it’s close to home. In the event of an accident, it can be hard to remember what you need to do at that moment. 

In order to build the best case for your car insurance claim after an accident, it’s important to document as much as you can about the crash, how it happened, and how it has affected you. 

The more documentation you have to support your claim, the more likely you will receive a fair settlement. Let’s look at some of the essential pieces of evidence you should gather after being involved in an accident:

Medical Records

If you were injured in the accident, seek medical attention as soon as you can. In order to secure compensation, you’ll need to prove your injuries happened as a direct result of the accident, and also correctly establish how much compensation is needed.

Make sure to document the nature and extent of your injuries. By keeping track of all information surrounding your healthcare appointments, the doctors you visited, treatments given, and whether or not you were required to pay any money out of pocket. Any time you complete a necessary visit, ask your healthcare provider for a record of your medical treatment, including important imaging like x-rays or MRIs.

Police Reports

Regardless of the accident or injuries, call for the police and wait for a report to be made. This police report being made at the time of the accident can be helpful in your case later with the responding officer’s determination of which driver was at fault.

If law enforcement was involved, you will be able to use the report the responding officer filed as evidence in your claim. The report will include valuable information like a description of the accident, names of drivers and witnesses involved at the scene, and the responding officer’s assessment of how the collision occurred. This document can highlight any inconsistencies in the at-fault driver’s story, giving your case more credibility and provide more insight about the accident.

Evidence of Damage

In most car accidents, a large portion of compensation is related to the vehicle’s damage. Gather all records related to the repairs, possible car rentals, and also any recent repairs or improvements done to your car prior to the accident. If you have receipts that your car has higher value due to any new improvements, this can help increase your compensation.

If you were injured, your medical records can also provide sufficient evidence, such as the extent of your injuries, and the cost of treatment you received. Aside from the medical bills from each visit with your medical provider, make sure to track all pay stubs, W-2’s, and other evidence supporting lost wages or income.

Scene of the Accident Photos

If you are able to move around safely, and avoid causing any further injury, gather all evidence you can at the scene of the accident. Take photos at different angles of the collision, of the location of traffic signals, all vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks, debris from the vehicles, or any other evidence. Photographs can help your attorney build your claim, and ensure consistency of your story.

Witness Statements

An insurance company or court will want to hear from any third-party witnesses. People who have witnessed the crash can provide testimony to help determine how the accident occured, and who was responsible. Having witness testimonies can act as evidence to validate your story, and disprove any contradicting claims against you from the other driver. If any of the drivers were driving for an employer at the time, include their employer’s name and contact information when gathering information from those involved.

Remember that you cannot leave the scene of the accident without gathering personal information from all parties, including name, address, phone number, and insurance provider information. If the at-fault driver flees the scene, try to get their license plate number and contact police immediately.

Count On Hann Law Firm to Help

Being in an accident is a disorienting experience. Once you’ve gathered all information at the scene of the accident and received necessary medical attention, contact a trusted car accident lawyer.

At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach from the very start. We address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome in the courtroom, and create a personalized approach to help you through your insurance claim and receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and get quality, compassionate legal guidance today.

How Much Can I Get for a Spinal Cord Injury in California?

When you suffer a spinal cord injury, it can feel like the world has come to an end. Not only are you dealing with physical and emotional pain, but you may also be wondering how you will support yourself and your family. Fortunately, an attorney can help you navigate this delicate situation, and aid you in getting your life back on track. 

You may wonder how much money you could potentially receive in damages to cover your ongoing care and lost wages. Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer to this question. Each case is unique and depends on the injury’s specific circumstances, such as how you were injured and who is at fault.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, you’ll want to do some research to find out exactly what you need to do next. We can help by providing an overview of what you can typically expect from a spinal cord injury lawsuit in California. Keep in mind that this information should not be taken as legal advice, and you should speak with an attorney directly to get more accurate information about your particular situation.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

The amount of compensation depends on many different variables such as what event caused the injury, the extent of injury, impacts on daily life, expected medical bills, and the expected amount of time to recover— as well as future opportunity costs related to any ongoing disability caused by the accident. With an experienced attorney on your case, it’s possible to have a claim worth over one million dollars, especially if you’ll experience lifelong disabilities.

What Factors Affect Spinal Cord Injury Compensation?

Your case is unique, and all the case facts affect what compensation you receive. Two of the main factors that may affect compensation are liability and the prognosis from your injuries if someone other than you is liable for the accident that caused your spinal cord injury, especially if they acted recklessly and without regard for others.

Your spinal injury is the main factor tied to your compensation. For example, if you should become permanently paralyzed, you would receive more compensation than someone whose injury resulted in bulging disks. Another compensation factor tied to your injuries is lifetime care or disability expenses. While everyone’s wish is for minor injuries and a quick recovery, it is important that you are aware that the severity of your injuries plays a major role in your case and compensation.

The Facts Regarding the Defendant Matter

One significant fact your attorney considers is who is liable for your injury. If another person or company acted in a way that resulted in your spinal injury, you have a higher chance of receiving a large settlement. When looking at the facts of the case, we consider whether the defendant acted intentionally, recklessly, or in any way that causes them to be liable for your sustained injury.

What Does Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Usually Include?

Compensation for a spinal injury usually covers your medical claims at the baseline, but often you will receive compensation for future medical expenses if you are not expected to recover. You may receive compensation for your lost wages, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. When you have a lawyer on your side experienced with advocating for those with spinal cord injuries, you can be sure that your future medical needs are considered in any compensation you receive.

Types of Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries

Your personal injury attorney will guide you through the process of fighting for compensation for your injury. You might face two options during this process, a settlement or trial in civil court. Listen to your attorney’s advice, and they will guide you through the best option for your unique situation. If you opt to go to trial, the jury will consider all of the facts in your case and consider awarding you a settlement. Jury awarded settlements vary widely but still depend on the extent of your injuries and the defendant’s liability.

Reach Out to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney for Help

At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach from the start. Listening to our clients is at the heart of our success in the courtroom. When you work with us, we’ll address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome, and create a personalized approach to help achieve your goals.

While other firms see a case number and a bottom line, we see each client as a human being who deserves to be heard. We know your case is important to you, and we’ll take it just as personally. You and your case matters to us. 

Contact us for your free consultation and get quality, compassionate legal help today.

What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 6 million car accidents happen annually. 

From distractions to lack of safety measures, drivers are at risk to some extent every time they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the majority of car accidents are caused by driver error. 

The importance of driver safety and strict adherence to traffic laws can prevent accidents from occurring. However, just because you are driving safely doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road is following suit. Protecting yourself and your passengers comes first. 

Some accidents can be minor while others can be serious. Damages, injuries, and, in serious cases, fatalities can occur from car accidents involving driver error and other causes. 

Accidents can happen in a split second, but can change the course of your life, the lives of your passengers, or the lives of the passengers/driver of another vehicle forever. Knowing some of the top causes of car accidents can help you to take precautionary action and possibly prevent them from happening in the first place. 

Top Causes of Car Accidents in the United States

Distracted Driving

As one of the leading causes of car accidents for decades, distracted driving has become a driver’s worst enemy, especially in the age of technology. 

Texting and social media have drivers glued to a screen while behind the wheel more often than you might think. Bluetooth technology built into vehicles has sought to limit distractions but has become a distraction in-and-of-itself in many cases. Billboards, makeup application, personal grooming, food, messing with items in your car while at a stoplight, and even talking with your hands to the passenger next to you while driving have all contributed to car accidents over the years. 

How do you keep distracted driving out of the picture? Keep your eyes on the road. Be attentive to what is going on around you, pay attention to traffic signals and other drivers, and always be on guard while driving. 

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving causes more than 10,000 deaths annually and is one of the most dangerous causes of car accidents in the U.S. today. While impaired driving laws have long been in effect, that doesn’t always stop people from having a drink or two and getting behind the wheel. 

Given that drunk driving is a criminal offense, keep your keys at home or give them to a friend if you plan on heading out for a drink. Line up a designated driver or make use of modern-day ride-sharing companies like Lyft or Uber. 

Speeding

It’s Monday morning, and you’re running late for work. Flooring it isn’t the answer. 

As the second most common cause of traffic accidents, speeding causes some of the most serious traffic accidents, many of which lead to fatalities (as traveling at high levels of speed means a most severe impact for the vehicle, driver, and passengers). 

Speed limits are designed to give you enough time to brake and keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. Take your time and follow the posted speed limits whether you’re in a neighborhood or on the highway. 

Weather

Weather plays a major role in the flow of traffic and how drivers react to situations on the road. 

Slippery roads caused by rain, ice, and snow can result in treacherous road conditions for even the most attentive and safe drivers. Rain can cause hydroplaning while ice and snow can cause wheels to spin out or cars to slide off of the road or into other vehicles. 

Precipitation on the road, however, isn’t the only concern here. Visibility issues also result in a significant number of car crashes. Dense fog, snow bursts, heavy rain, and even full sun in your eyes can cause blind spots while driving, possibly leading to traffic accidents. 

While the conditions may seem outside of a driver’s control, an accident involving a driver rear-ending another vehicle because of weather-related issues is still the driver’s fault. Taking precautionary measures like slowing down or waiting for the bad weather to pass can help in preventing weather-related traffic accidents. 

Running Red Lights

A cardinal rule of driving, red means stop. You might be at an empty intersection, but traffic can change in an instant. 

Driving distracted, speeding to get through a light while it is yellow, or simply ignoring traffic regulations can result in cars going through a red light and potentially hitting a car coming from the opposite direction. 

You might think you can get through a yellow light in enough time, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yellow lights are designed to give you enough time to stop before it turns red and opposing traffic starts moving through the intersection. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the middle of the intersection and hit by a car coming the other way too. 

Get In Touch With A California Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident in California and would like to learn more about your legal rights, Hann Law Firm is here to help. 

We provide a thoughtful approach to personal injury cases and help you get the compensation you need while you focus on your recovery. We are seasoned California personal injury attorneys who know how to win – Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve.