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 protect your legal rights. 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 know 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 total value of your case.
Additionally, when you don't have legal representation, the insurance companies know you don't have the advantage if your case is not settled.
An experienced attorney can properly evaluate a settlement offer for you to know whether you are receiving fair compensation. Another advantage an attorney has, especially one who has a track record of success with insurance companies, is that a lawsuit will respond to an unreasonable settlement offer.
Insurance companies are fully aware of the serious personal injury attorneys who will take their client's cases to trial. Likewise, they also know which attorneys settle most of their cases.
Frequently, your settlement offer will reflect this. In many cases, more work is required to put your 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.
We are skilled negotiators and can make a meaningful impact on your case. You will need somebody to explain why your case deserves more money than what the insurance company believes it is worth.
You might think you can better negotiate your case with the insurance company because you have a better understanding of your injuries. However, the problem with taking this approach is that you might make statements to the insurance company that hurt 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 personal injury lawsuits 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 correctly. If you want to maximize the amount of your recovery, then you need to contact an experienced injury attorney at our office as soon as possible.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
There is NO cost upfront. Our clients are not charged until we settle your case. We work on a 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 the 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 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 most cases, a personal injury claim can be resolved without ever going to a courtroom for the 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. It could be time to file a personal injury lawsuit only when a claim can't be pretty resolved between you and the insurance company.
Most personal injury cases are settled before trial by a mutual agreement between both parties. Every individual 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 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 an attorney at our office. It would help if you first thought about the offer from the other party that caused your injury.
These offers are typically made through their insurance company. If their offer satisfies the amount you seek in your claim, including damages to cover all the medical expenses, it would probably be wise to settle the claim when a settlement can be reached; it's typically beneficial for both parties.
Additionally, settlements are an excellent opportunity to eliminate costs and delays and often result in a higher recovery. Only in cases where all attempts to settle the claim fail should you proceed with filing a personal injury lawsuit and litigating the matter in court. Suing is the legal process of taking a case through the often complex civil court system.
In simple terms, litigation is costly and has to be considered a significant factor in our strategy on settling your personal injury case. Another factor we believe is the cost to the opposing party, which is usually the insurance company for the defendant. The high cost of litigation is the leading reason insurance companies will want to settle the claim rather than challenge them in the civil court system.
As noted, we 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 win your case. Insurance companies don't work on this type of contingency fee agreement.
They must pay their attorneys by the hour, meaning their legal fees will add up quickly. Another important factor we must consider in deciding whether to take your case to the trial is the high cost of expert witnesses, including medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts.
These expert witnesses charge thousands of dollars on just one personal injury case. Finally, another significant factor is the 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 to pay an award. As you can see, negotiating a settlement before the test has significant benefits.
We can't accurately predict if your case can be pretty settled before 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 of 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 is that no personal injury attorney can accurately tell you how much your case is worth until you have completed treatment and are ready for settlement. In a general sense, the total value of your case depends on the type and extent of your injuries.
For example, a victim might sustain severe property damage in some cases and be taken to the hospital for an examination and pain medication. If the victim recovers a few weeks later, this speedy recovery is a vital consideration in determining the value of the injury case.
Even in severe car accident cases. 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 dollar value on the case.
If the victim takes a year to recover with physical therapy assistance, then the injury case would have a far greater dollar value. Your personal injury lawyer will play an essential role in ensuring 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 lawsuit will be worth in the end. We will need to thoroughly review your case to determine what you might be able to recover.
We will closely examine a wide variety of factors to decide 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 injury,
- Were there any life-changing disabilities due to your injuries?
- Were there any losses related to property damage?
- Any pain and suffering you experienced from the injuries.
In addition, we will need to determine the probability that you will be able to 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 we 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. You have to call us for a free case evaluation for more detailed information about how much your specific issue could be worth.
What Damages Am I Entitled To Recover?
Any damages you might be entitled to recover depend on the injury case type 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.
You could also recover other damages that include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Review the list below that describes some common types of legal compensation available in a personal injury case to understand what kind of damages you may be entitled to recover.
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 costs, among others. The victim will need to show these expenses are related to medical conditions involving their injury. Future costs are typically calculated by estimating the victim's 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 recovering from their injuries.
Lost Earning Capacity – after an injury, these damages can be recovered if the victim can prove their ability to earn money in the future was impacted due to the injury. Various factors are used to determine this award, including victims' age, health, life expectancy, occupation, and 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 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 victim's 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 personal injury. Different factors are considered to place a monetary value on pain and suffering. These factors include the nature of the damage, severity, future pain, and how long the victim will likely be in pain.
Punitive Damages – in some cases, a victim may 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 accountable person and other people from engaging in the same harmful behavior in the future. A typical 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 loss due to the 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 get the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Call our law firm for more information about what type of damages you may recover in your case.