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Frequently Asked Questions

It's difficult to provide an exact timeline for any given case without knowing the specifics of the situation That said, we can offer some general information to help you understand what factors impact the timeline.
Severity of Injuries
One of the most significant factors that can affect the timeline of a personal injury case is the severity of your injuries. If you have suffered significant injuries that require ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care, your case may take longer to resolve than a case involving minor injuries.
Case Complexity

Another important factor is the complexity of your case. If liability is disputed or there are multiple parties involved, it may take longer to reach a settlement or go to trial. Additionally, if there are complicated legal or factual issues involved in your case, it may take longer to resolve.

The jurisdiction where your case is filed can also impact the timeline. Some courts such as Ventura Superior Court have a backlog of cases, which can lead to longer wait times for hearings and trials.

In general, a personal injury case can take anywhere from several months to two years to resolve with some cases taking even longer.  It's important to keep in mind that settling your case quickly may not always be in your best interests, as you may be entitled to more compensation if you wait for a fair settlement or verdict.


Assessing liability for a car accident is a question which requires expert opinion.  In general, police officers lack the qualifications necessary to render such opinions and so any conclusions they offer regarding liabilityin their report would be inadmissible at trial.  Furthermore, to the extent their opinions qualify as admissible expert opinion, it is unlikely that whatever opinions were stated in the report were based on all of the available evidence in the case.  This means that an officer's determination in a report is never the final word as to fault for an accident.  Our law firm has achieved recoveries in countless cases in which law enforcement initially determined our client to be at fault.

Determining liability in a car accident can be a complex and challenging process, as there are often multiple parties involved. From negligent drivers to auto manufacturers and even liquor-selling establishments, this article explores the various parties that could potentially be held responsible for a car accident. Whether you're a driver, passenger, or pedestrian who has been injured in a car accident, understanding who may be at fault can be critical in seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.

The Other Driver

In most cases, the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident is held responsible. This is because drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws. For example, if a driver speeds, drives while distracted, or operates the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be found negligent and held responsible for any resulting injuries or damages.

The Other Driver's Employer

If the driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer may also be held liable. This is known as vicarious liability and applies when an employee causes an accident while performing work-related tasks. For instance, if a delivery driver causes an accident while making a delivery, the employer may be held responsible.

The Vehicle Owner

If the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident was not the owner, the owner may still be held liable in certain circumstances. For example, if the owner knew that the driver was inexperienced or had a history of reckless driving, they could be held responsible for allowing the driver to use their vehicle.

The Owner of the Property Where the Accident Occurred

If the accident was caused by a dangerous condition, the property owner may be held liable. For instance, if the accident was caused by a pothole or a poorly maintained driveway, the owner of that private property may be held responsible.  If the accident was caused by a faulty traffic light, the city responsible for maintaining the light may be liable.

The Auto Manufacturer

Auto manufacturers can be held liable for car accidents if the car or car parts were designed, manufactured, or sold defectively. A design defect occurs when the car or car part is designed in a way that makes it unreasonably dangerous. A manufacturing defect happens when there is a mistake during the manufacturing process that causes the product to be different from the intended design. A marketing defect occurs when the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the product's potential dangers.

A Negligent Mechanic

If a mechanic performs negligent repairs that result in a car accident, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries or property damage. However, the injured party must be able to prove that the mechanic was negligent in their repairs and that this negligence directly caused the accident.

To prove negligence, the injured party must show that the mechanic had a duty of care to perform repairs competently and safely, that they breached that duty by performing negligent repairs, and that this breach caused the accident and resulting injuries or property damage.

For example, if a mechanic failed to properly tighten the lug nuts on a wheel, causing the wheel to come loose while the car was being driven, and this resulted in an accident, the injured party would need to prove that the mechanic had a duty to properly tighten the lug nuts, that the mechanic breached this duty by failing to do so, and that this breach caused the accident.

A Business that Sold Alcohol to the At-Fault Driver

Under California Business and Professions Code section 25602, it is illegal for any person or business with a liquor license to sell alcohol to a person who is already visibly intoxicated. If a business violates this law and serves alcohol to an intoxicated person who later causes injury or damage, that business may be held liable for those injuries or damages.

This means that if someone becomes visibly drunk at a bar or restaurant, and that establishment continues to serve them alcohol, and the person later causes an accident or injury, the injured party may have the right to sue the establishment for damages

In conclusion, determining who is liable in a car accident case can be a complex and challenging process. However, pursuing all potentially liable parties can be critical in ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that your legal rights will be protected and that all possible sources of compensation will be pursued.


Remember that personal injury recovery is often limited by the sources available to pay a judgment. By expanding the pool of potential defendants, you may be able to increase the total recovery in your personal injury case. Don't hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney for guidance and representation if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident.


Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The amount of money that a client can expect to receive as a settlement depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and the strength of their case. In general, clients can expect to receive compensation for several different types of damages in a personal injury case. These damages can include:

  1. Medical expenses: Clients can expect to receive compensation for the cost of their medical treatment, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescription medications.

  2. Lost wages: If the client was unable to work as a result of their injuries, they may be entitled to compensation for their lost wages.

  3. Pain and suffering: Clients can also receive compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that they experienced as a result of their injuries.

  4. Loss of consortium: If the client's injuries affected their relationship with their spouse or partner, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of consortium.

  5. Punitive damages: In some cases, clients may be awarded punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant for their reckless or malicious behavior.

To determine how much compensation a client is entitled to, our law firm will typically consider a variety of factors, including the severity of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and the impact that the injuries have had on their life. Additionally, we may consider similar cases that have been settled in the past to determine a rough estimate of what a client's case may be worth.  In all cases we provide our client with a best estimate as to the range of outcomes they might expect at trial so they can make the best and most informed decision regarding whether to accept or reject any settlement offer presented to them in their case.



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5850 Canoga Ave., Ste. 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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990 Highland Dr. Ste. 212-D
Solana Beach, CA 92075

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Obtaining a settlement that adequately covers your immediate and future needs can be a challenging task, even when there's clear evidence of wrongdoing and negligence by the offending party. In such cases, an experienced attorney can provide crucial assistance in navigating the legal complexities involved. If you have been injured in an accident, contact Phillips & Associates for a free consultation today. We will work diligently and aggressively towards securing the best possible outcome in your case.

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