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Personal Injury

Agoura Hills Personal Injury Attorneys

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Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

In a personal injury claim, you must establish that the other person’s negligence harmed you.

For any personal injury claim to be successful, your claim must include the following elements:

  • The defendant had a legal duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm to you.
  • The defendant violated that legal duty.
  • The defendant’s violation of the legal duty caused you harm.

Understanding Legal Duty

The legal duty in motor vehicle claims is to use reasonable care in driving a vehicle. Drivers must keep a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles. They must also control the speed and movement of their vehicles. The failure to use reasonable care in driving a vehicle is a violation of that legal duty.

The legal duty in medical malpractice claims is to use the level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that other reasonably careful medical practitioners would use in the same or similar circumstances. The level of skill, knowledge, and care is “the standard of care.” The standard of care is determined based on the testimony of experts. Violation of that legal duty is a “breach” of the standard of care.

Challenges in Proving Negligence

To establish liability, you must prove that the defendant violated their legal duty to use reasonable care to prevent injury to you. However, it is challenging to prove that the defendant engaged in the kind of actions or omissions that constitute a violation of that duty or a breach of the standard of care. Defendants and their insurance companies do not usually admit negligence willingly.

You must also prove that the violation of the legal duty caused your injuries. For instance, if you were involved in a bicycle accident but were not wearing a helmet at the time, the defendant and their insurance company will claim that you caused your injuries because you were not wearing a helmet. You have the burden to prove that the injuries would have occurred even if you were wearing a helmet, and that your injuries were therefore a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.


Call Effres & Effres at (818) 222-9720, or contact us online, to get started with your claim.


What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

Personal injury lawyers handle cases where an incident has occurred that has resulted in injury or harm to an individual. They work closely with their clients to understand the nature of the incident, assess the damages, and determine the best course of action to pursue legal recourse.

One of the primary responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer is to investigate the incident and gather evidence to support their client's case. This can involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records and police reports, and consulting with expert witnesses to establish liability and damages. The lawyer may also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to reach a settlement that adequately compensates their client for their losses.

In some cases, a personal injury lawyer may need to file a lawsuit and represent their client in court. This involves presenting evidence and arguments and advocating for their client's rights and interests. Personal injury lawyers must be skilled in legal research, writing, and oral advocacy, as well as have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations.

A personal injury lawyer serves as an advocate and legal advisor for individuals who have been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. They work to ensure their clients receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses, while also providing emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process.

Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area & San Fernando Valley

When you become the victim of an accident, everything immediately grows more complicated and confusing. It is all too easy to get overwhelmed by all the complexities of contending with the legal side of things while you are simultaneously trying to recover from your injury.

Insurance companies have been known to take advantage of this situation by attempting to offer a paltry settlement to the victims in hopes that they will accept it without thinking. However, once you are dealing with an injury, you will be surprised by how hard of a financial hit you may take-medical bills, lost wages at work, and other costs can quickly pile up.

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Our Clients' Success Stories

  • "I would hope that nobody NEEDS to have an injury lawyer, but if they did, I would absolutely recommend Effres and Associates in a heartbeat."
    In August of 2015 I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that involved the loss of operation of my dominant arm, as well as a traumatic brain injury. My parents had contacted Effres and associates (they were referred to them by another lawyer for another injury to a relative) and they drove from Agoura Hills down to Pasadena immediately, surveyed the accident scene, and then arrived at the hospital. Over the next two and a half years, Justin Effres and his father Steven Effres, relentlessly pursued this case for me, even when at one point it seemed like there wasn't much that could be done to resolve the situation. I had to go through the typical trial stuff such as meetings, deposition, medical appointments for Effres' firm and for the defense, but Effres did all that he could to make everything doable and smooth as possible for me. My perception of lawyers was certainly changed for the better after working with Justin and his dad, because of their genuine sincerity. They were always available and fully knowledgeable of the questions that my family and I had for them. Despite the case dragging on for over 2 years, they never left me hanging or feeling like the case was going nowhere, because Justin kept searching for answers and kept me updated with everything. All of his hard work paid off in a successful outcome for me. I would hope that nobody NEEDS to have an injury lawyer, but if they did, I would absolutely recommend Effres and Associates in a heartbeat.
    - E.E.
  • "I feel that nobody could have done a better job than you."
    Dear Mr. Effres: I just don’t know where to start to show you how much I appreciate your concern in my case. I am glad that I had you representing me in trial. I feel that nobody could have done a better job than you. I thank your family too, for putting up with the stress that this case may have caused, also the time that it may have taken you away from them. You will always be on my mind and I will never forget the experience I had. Thanx. by T. R
    - T.R.
  • "Thanks for a job well done!"
    Justin, Thanks for a job well done! Cheers, B. by B. H
    - B.H.
  • "We will recommend you and your firm without reservation."
    Dear Steve, With our case now settled, we wanted to reach out to thank you, Justin and the entire team for your representation of our daughter. It was clear to us that your professionalism, expertise and advocacy of our family’s interests made the entire process run smoothly. We specifically appreciate how well you interacted with our daughter. After we hung up with you on speaker phone leaving the courthouse that last day she said “I like him” in a very childlike, affectionate tone. We also wanted you to know that our decision to settle did not come easily. In the end, we believe the decision was in our daughter’s best interest. We know you worked hard to prepare a strong case and do regret not having the opportunity to see that through. Lastly, on a personal note, we wanted to compliment you on Justin. He is a truly impressive young man; intelligent, polite and very good natured. Just a couple of comments Steve made in the days leading up to our daughter’s trial as we got to know Justin better. To our daughter; “You can tell a lot about a man by seeing how his children behave; Mr. Effres seems like a really good man.” To S: “If you have a son, he (Justin) is what you want him to be like; if you have a daughter, he’s the kind of guy you’d like her to end up with.” Anyway, I’m sure you don’t need to hear it from us, but you and your wife must be very proud of your sons. I hope this doesn’t sound hollow, because it is most definitely not, but please keep in touch and let us know if there is ever anything we can do for you. If we ever come across a friend who is in need of representation, we will recommend you and your firm without reservation. Thanks again and best wishes by S, S, and M
    - S, S & M

    Put 35+ Years Of Experience In Your Corner

    At Effres & Effres, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys know you are going through enough as it is. Legal fees would just be one more stressful thing to handle. However, we believe you deserve access to skilled representation, no matter what your financial situation is like. That is why we not only offer free initial consultations, but we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not be required to pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

    We want to help you in any way that we can. Contact us if you have any questions about how to get started. We offer our services for residents throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, and all surrounding counties.


    Call (818) 222-9720 now to speak to a member of our team at Effres & Effres.


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