Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long has Michael A. K. Dan been practicing law?

Michael A. K. Dan has been practicing personal injury law since December 1970, more than 50 years.

2. What is Michael A. K. Dan educational background?

Michael Dan attended UCLA, graduated with Honors in 1966, and then went to the University of California Law School at Los Angeles, graduated in 1969. He was president of the senior law school class. Michael Dan passed the California bar the first time and then, went to Kings College, University of London, graduated in 1970 with a Master of Law in International Law, studying specifically Aviation and becoming familiar with the Warsaw and other international conventions and rules which covers international travel by air.
Michael A. K. Dan attends regular seminars and training for trial lawyers.

3. When did he pass the Bar?

Michael Dan passed the bar in 1969 on his first attempt.

4. What type of cases do you typically pursue?

Michael Dan has specialized in the plaintiff’s personal injury field with an emphasis on severe and permanent injuries, such as brain damage, birth injury, burn, disfigurement, paralysis, and wrongful death. He is involved in cases dealing with automobile claims including auto/pedestrian claims; slip and falls or trip and falls; premises liability; construction defect; plane crashes; bus crashes; legal malpractice; medical and hospital malpractice; pharmaceutical and medical devices; product liability and defects; defamation; sexual harassment; employment discrimination; elder abuse.

5. What is the office philosophy?

The office philosophy is to work hard. We investigate the claim, obtain appropriate experts, and vigorously represent the client to maximize recovery. It is our view that insurance carriers are not charitable institutions; they will not pay fair compensation just because they “like you.” Rather, they must be concerned that the jury verdict would be greater than the settlement amount. This will require them to go to the bargaining table. The insurance carriers and their lawyers know that Michael Dan is not afraid to pursue and if necessary try the case. He brings expertise and vigor to your matter which will maximize your potential for settlement and victory.

6. What is the burden of proof?

Almost invariably, each client wants to know what the burden of proof is and its significance. “The burden of proof” is the legal standard that a person bringing a claim, i.e. the plaintiff, must meet. In a civil or tort case, generally one must prove by a preponderance of evidence each element of one’s claim. In another words, if the case is 50/50 or slightly tilted to the defendant, the defendant will win. On the other hand, if the preponderance of the evidence favors the plaintiff, you’ll win.

7. What are the elements of my case?

Almost every personal injury case has the same general issues, i.e. negligence, whether or not the defendant acted reasonably, or breached a standard of care; causation, and damages. Each of these is discussed in details below.

8. How do I know if I have a case?

Contact us
After you have given us information, we’ll do an initial review to determine whether additional data is required to evaluate, study, or assess the situation, and contact experts if necessary

9. What is a statute of limitation?

California requires lawsuits be filed within a certain period of time, these are called the statutes of limitation. If one files after the statute has expired, the claim is lost. These should not be confused with governmental claim requirements. Statute(s) of limitation apply to each case. These limitations setmandatory times within which you must file your lawsuit or be forever barred from suing. A determination of the precise date the statute expires is a difficult legal problem subject to interpretation and dependent upon the unique facts of a particular case.
There are different statutes of limitation for different injuries. In general, if your personal injury occurredbefore January 1, 2003, you have one year to file your claim and two years if it occurred after that. However, specific kind of personal injury claims may have different statute of limitation. There are differences for minors and professional negligence.

10. What is a claim statute?

To the extent a governmental agency, entity, or organization is involved you must generally file a claim with the appropriate entity within six months of the accrual of the cause of action. The rules are different if you sue the federal government.

11. Are there different statutes of limitation for different kind of claims?

Yes, there are.
For example, in medical malpractice, your rights are controlled by Code of Civil Procedure §340.5 which in essence provides one year from the day of discovery, not to exceed three years from the date of injury for adults. For legal malpractice, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of discovery, not to exceed four years.

12. Are there different statute of limitation for minors?

Yes, there are different rules for minors. The amount of time a minor has to file a lawsuit is usually greater than for an adult. However, there are traps. The rules for most minors are that they have some time after their 18th birthday to bring a lawsuit but this doesn’t apply in medical malpractice where the rules are quite specific and limitations are drastically shortened. Birth injury cases also have a different statute of limitations and provide generally only six years from the date of birth although if a physician is involved it may be up to eight years.
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations depends on the kind of claim that is being brought, the age of the plaintiff, the person bringing the lawsuit, when malpractice may have been discovered, and whether the potential defendant is a governmental entity. If a governmental entity or hospital district is involved, a claim must be timely provided, in some cases as little as six months. If you have a claim involving a minor, you should immediately be contacting the office to obtain information in that area.

13. If I am partly responsible for the accident, can I still file a lawsuit?

Yes. The State of California has a concept of comparative negligence, i.e. that even if you are partially responsible you can recover.

14. What if I’ve been injured in an automobile accident?

First, obtain the name and address of the operator and owner of each vehicle, the license plate number of all vehicles, and the name of the automobile insurance company for each vehicle. If possible, obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
If any injury, the police should be called and write a report which includes the details of the accident and the nature and extent of any damages and injuries. Insurance companies will require that a report of the accident be obtained before providing any benefits.
It is most important to immediately contact your own insurance company to report to them any property damage or personal injury.
If you or a family member is injured in a motor vehicle accident, prompt medical attention should be obtained. If you are seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not talk to any representative of the negligent driver or owner’s insurance company until you have sought the advice of your own attorney.

15. If the plaintiff has been diagnosed with lifelong injury, how do we assess what care he or she will need in the future?

Experts can help us evaluate the care needed and obtain projections for the future, as well as loss of earnings due to the injury. Economic experts can be utilized to convert damages into dollar amounts.

16. What is product liability?

When a person is injured by a product such as toaster, automobile, elevator, drug, medical device, they may have a claim for compensation for injury caused by these products, including medical expenses, decrease of quality of life, and past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation from a manufacturer or distributor because the products used in their treatment did not live up to reasonable consumer expectations, or was defective or unreasonably dangerous, either in design, manufacture, or warning.

17. What are the chances of settling my case “out of court”?

Michael A. K. Dan is well known for his ability to settle most cases for full and fair compensation.
This usually cannot be determined ahead of time and for some cases do end up in a jury trial. Michael Dan has a reputation as a skillful, knowledgeable and aggressive trial advocate on behalf of his clients if the case must be tried.
In order to settle, we must present a compelling case to the other side; so the defense’s insurance carriers feel the chances are against them in court and therefore are more likely to settle.

18. How long will it take to settle my claim?

Each case is unique and it depends on the circumstances surrounding it. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. Cases can take anywhere from 8 months to 2 years with an average of 18 months.

19. How are attorneys’ fees paid in a lawsuit?

Michael A. K. Dan handles most claims on a contingency basis. It means he recovers fees from the recovery.

20. What is MICRA?

MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, is the establishment of a series of statutes passed by the legislature in 1975.
MICRA provides that evidence may be presented in a medical injury case to establish the existence of collateral source payments thereby preventing the plaintiff from receiving a double recovery for his claim. A $250,000 cap was placed on a plaintiff’s recovery for “non-economic” damages. MICRA also allowed for the periodic payment of damage awards over $50,000, and gave health care providers and patients the authority to contract for binding arbitration to settle disputes. MICRA tightened the statute of limitations on medical injury claims.

21. What is the consent provision in cases with health care professional?

Unfortunately, and almost unique in the law, a health care professional must give written consent in order to settle a claim against it. If you are bringing a claim involving a hospital, physician, nurse, pharmacist, they must actually sign off in writing that they agree to the settlement amount. This can be problematic since doctors in particular are concerned about their reputations, their hospital privileges, and reporting to federal and state data banks. It has become more difficult with each year to obtain any physician’s consent to settle. Therefore, it is necessary to have a skillful and experienced lawyer in the medical malpractice field to represent you.

22. How can Michael A. K. Dan help me win my case?

With our extensive experience and reputable experts, we will prove your case. While no legal action can ever bring a loved one back or correct a catastrophic disability, successful prosecution of a claim can offer the appropriate financial compensation to provide the necessary care or income replacement.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is solely intended for informational purposes. It should not be used as legal advice nor opinion. Consult a lawyer before taking any action. Any e-mail through this website is not confidential and would not create nor form a client-attorney relationship. We do not have an obligation to file a lawsuit or claim to protect your rights until a contract is signed.