Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a lawyer for my car accident or injury case?
In most cases, yes. If you have been injured in an accident, consult with a personal injury attorney to make sure your legal rights are protected. Do not speak with the other person's insurance company. They may even say you don't need an attorney. Their main goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible. Since you probably won't have knowledge of the fair value of your case, the insurance company can take advantage of you. Insurance companies are much more likely to settle your case for a bargain when you are representing yourself because they know you don't understand the full value of your case. Additionally, when you don't have legal representation, the insurance companies know you don't have the advantage in the event your case does not come to a settlement.
An experienced attorney can properly evaluate a settlement offer for you so that you know whether you are receiving fair compensation. Another advantage a personal injury attorney has, especially a lawyer who has a track record of success with insurance companies, is that a lawsuit will be the response to an unreasonable settlement offer. Insurance companies are fully aware of who the serious personal injury attorneys who will take their client's cases to trial. Likewise, they also know which attorneys settle the vast majority of their cases. Frequently, your settlement offer will reflect this. In many cases, more work is required to be able to put your personal injury case in the best position to receive a reasonable settlement offer. For example, your case could need additional work to prepare an offer beyond collecting medical expenses.
Our experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators and can make a meaningful impact of your case. You will need somebody to clearly explain why your case deserves more money than what the insurance company believes its worth. You might think you can better negotiate your own case with the insurance company because you have a better understanding of your own injuries. However, the problem with taking this approach is that you might make statements to the insurance company that ends up hurting your case. Remember, they are looking for reasons to settle your case for the least amount possible or even deny your claim. Don't help them. So many people handling their own personal injury case fail to understand their legal rights or will say something to the insurance company they should have never said, which is used against them later. The insurance company you are making a claim against will have several lawyers representing and fighting for their best interest. Having a lawyer early in the process helps you avoid mistakes made by inexperienced accident victims dealing with highly trained insurance adjusters.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will thoroughly review your case and discuss all potential legal options. We will help you process the claim properly. If you want to maximize the amount of your recovery, then you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at our office as soon as possible.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
There are NO cost up front. Our clients are not charged until we settle your case. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys work on contingency fee basis. Legal fees are paid from the settlement or jury award. Contingency fees will depend on what stage your case is in. The closer to trial, the higher the contingency fee due to outlay of needed costs. If you do not make a recovery, you pay us nothing. The specific terms of our contingency fees will be fully explained during your free consultation. The specific details will be contained in the paperwork you sign when officially retaining our law firm. We do not charge our clients until we win the case.
Can I resolve my case without going to court?
Yes. In the majority of cases, a personal injury claim can be resolved without ever going to a courtroom for trial. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or deny your claim, it may be necessary to take your case to court. Only when a personal injury claim can't be fairly resolved between you and the insurance company, it could be time to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The vast majority of Los Angeles personal injury cases are settled before trial by a mutual agreement between both parties. Every personal injury case is different. There are always unique circumstances surrounding the injury and different likelihoods that a victim might win their case. It's ultimately up to the victim, whether you want to take the case to trial. It will depend on whether you are willing to make an attempt to settle your claim. Taking your case to trial will take a lot of time and expenses, meaning you should deliberate this decision with a personal injury attorney at our office. You should first think about the offer you have received from the other party that caused your injury. These offers are typically made through their insurance company. If their offer satisfies the amount your are seeking in your claim, including damages to cover all the medical expenses, it would probably be a wise decision to go ahead and settle the claim. When a settlement can be reached, its typically beneficial for both parties.
Additionally, settlements are a great opportunity to eliminate cost and delays and often result in a higher recovery. Only in cases where all attempts to settle the case fail, should you proceed with filing a personal injury lawsuit and litigate the matter in court. Litigating is the legal process of taking a personal injury case through the often complex civil court system. In simple terms, litigation is highly expensive and has to be considered as a major factor in our strategy on whether to settle your personal injury case. Another factor we consider is the cost to the opposing party, which is normally the insurance company for the the defendant. It's the high cost of litigation that is the main reason insurance companies will want to settle the claim rather than challenging them in the civil court system.
Our Los Angles personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees. This means we will receive a percentage of whatever amount you recover. It also means we will receive nothing if we don't win your case. Insurance companies don't work on this type of a contingency fee agreement. They must pay their attorneys by the hour, meaning their legal fees will add up quickly. In deciding whether to take your case to trail, another important factor we must consider is the high cost of expert witnesses, including medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts. Most of these expert witnesses charge thousands of dollars on just one personal injury case. Finally, another very important factor is the amount of time it takes to resolve a personal injury case through the court process. If you decide to take your case to trial, it might take several years before an award is actually paid. As you can see, negotiating a settlement before trial has the major benefits.
We can't make an accurate prediction if your case can be fairly settled prior to trial. There are times when no fair resolution can be reached in an injury claim without taking the matter to court. However, based on our experience, a settlement is the most likely outcome on your personal injury case.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, the first step is to contact our Los Angeles personal injury law firm to review the details and discuss potential options. All consultations are free of charge.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
This is one of the most common personal injury questions. The simple answer no personal injury attorney can accurately tell you how much your case is worth until you have completed treatment and ready for settlement. In a general sense, the total value of your case depends on the type and extent of your injuries. For example, in some cases, a victim might sustain serious property damage and was taken to the hospital for an examination and pain medication. If the victim recovers a few weeks later, this speedy recovery is a strong consideration in determining the value of the injury case. Even in serious car accident cases. where the victim had to be rushed to the hospital and required to spend several days there, it's necessary to understand the full extent of the injuries over time before attempting to place any type of dollar value on the case. If the victim takes a year to recover with the assistance of physical therapy, then the injury case would have a far greater dollar value. Your personal injury lawyer will play an important role to ensure you are receiving proper medical treatment. You are entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, property damage, among others.
Every personal injury case has unique facts and circumstances. This is one of the main reasons there is no way to accurately predict what dollar amount your case will be worth in the end. Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will need to first thoroughly review your case to determine what you might be able to recover. We will closely examine a wide variety of factors in order to make a determination on a potential maximum recovery from your case. The factors that will have an influence the dollar value of your case include:
- The specific type of losses you sustained due to your personal injury
- The total cost of medical and rehabilitation expenses due to your injuries
- Past and future lost wages due to your personal injury
- Were there any life-changing disabilities due to your injuries?
- Were there any losses related to property damage?
- Any type of pain and suffering you experienced from the injuries
In addition, our personal injury attorneys will need to determine the probability that a you will be able to actually recover damages in the case. There are several factors to consider, including the strength of evidence that another person was responsible for your injuries, documentation of the medical expenses and other losses, and our attorney's ability to negotiate with the insurance company.
After our experienced injury lawyers have closely reviewed all these factors above, we will be able to provide you with a reasonable estimate of what your injury case may be worth. For more detailed information about on how much your specific case could be worth, all you have to do is call our Los Angeles personal injury law firm for a free case evaluation. We don't charge any fees unless we win your case.
What damages am I entitled to recover?
Any damages you might be entitled to recover depends on the type of injury case and the extent of damages sustained. If your injury requires medical treatment, then past and future medical expenses can be recovered and wages lost from your employment. Additionally, you could also recover other damages that include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. To get an idea of what type of damages you may be entitled to recover, review the list below that describes some common types of legal compensation available in a personal injury case. Consult with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at our law firm to explain all your options.
Medical Expenses – damages for medical expenses can include the cost of past and future medical care and rehabilitation. Includes expenses for medical services from doctors, hospitals, emergency room treatment, ambulance cost, among others. The victim will need to show these expenses are related to medical conditions involving their injury. Future expenses are typically calculated by estimating the victims medical needs for the rest of their life.
Lost Wages – these damages will represent the amount of money the victim would have earned from the exact time of the injury to the date of settlement. This means the victim can recover any lost wages while they were recovering from their injuries.
Lost Earning Capacity – after an injury, these types of damages can be recovered if the victim can prove their ability to earn money in the future was impacted as a result of the injury. There are various factors used to determine this award, including victims age, health, life expectancy, occupation, among others.
Loss of Consortium – a spouse of a personal injury victim could receive damages for the loss of emotional elements of marriage, such as affection, companionship, comfort, sexual relations, and assistance in life. Typically, the uninjured spouse will make the claim and their financial recovery depends on whether the injured spouse recovers damages.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life – these damages involve the inability to enjoy daily life pleasures due to the injury. Loss of enjoyment of life is physical and mental limitations caused by a personal injury that impacts the victims ability to participate in activities that gave them pleasure before the injury. This could include quality time with their family, recreational activity, hobbies, volunteer work, among others.
Pain and Suffering – this award is for past and future physical pain involving the personal injury. In order to place a monetary value on pain and suffering, different factors are consider. These factors include the nature of the injury, severity, certainly of future pain, and how long the victim will likely be in pain.
Punitive Damages – in some cases, a victim may be able to recover punitive damages, which are intended to punish the responsible person in cases where their actions were reckless or intentional. The primary goal of a punitive damage award is to discourage the responsible person and other people from engaging in the same harmful behavior in the future. A common example where punitive damages may be awarded is when a victim sustains injuries from a drunk driver.
Should I Pursue an Injury Lawsuit?
It's important to understand that not all injury cases are good candidates for pursuing a personal injury claim. This is why any accident case requires a clear understanding of California personal injury laws. If you were involved in an accident that caused you some type of loss due to negligence of another party, then you should consult with an experienced attorney. Finding the right personal injury attorney to help you navigate the often complex process will help ensure you are fully protected and that you get the compensation you are entitled under the law.
Call a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at out law firm for more information about what type of damages you may recover in your case.