If you have been hurt in a collision, you may suffer significant pain and face large medical expenses and time away from work. You may be unhappy with your present personal injury attorney and want to hire a new firm to handle the stress of your injury claims.
Many individuals are unaware of the actions they should take to safeguard their rights to the benefit of legal representation in an accident.
Each personal injury claim and personal injury lawsuit remains unique, as does the justice obtained for the personal injury victims involved in the case.
For more information on your legal rights, read the below answers to the most commonly asked personal injury FAQs created by top, knowledgeable California personal injury lawyer Michael Ehline. Ehline Law Firm hopes you enjoy the below personal injury law article, and we’ll provide some bonus information at the end that most personal injury attorneys won’t.
The essential thing is to obtain medical care if you have been hurt in an accident. If you are not taken to the emergency department immediately, take pictures or videos of the accident scene and get the phone numbers of any witnesses. You should not concede responsibility or apologize to anyone else who was involved, even if it appears as though it would be
Anything you say after an accident may be used against you if you pursue a claim or lawsuit later. If you believe someone else was at blame, it’s wise to consult with an attorney about your choices. Almost always, the first consultation is entirely free.
It would help if you were not concerned that you do not have enough money to hire a lawyer. Most personal injury attorneys take cases for free, collecting a percentage of any settlement or judgment they obtain for you as their fee.
If your case receives no compensation, neither will the attorney. This is known as a contingency fee agreement. An attorney’s share of a settlement varies, but it is generally around 30-33 percent. It may be more if you go to trial.
You do not need to make this decision on your own. To go over your circumstances in depth, contact an attorney and set up a free consultation. The lawyer will be able to instruct you as to whom you can sue and what you may expect to receive, based on the facts of the accident and the laws in your state.
Essentially, if someone else’s carelessness caused your injuries in most circumstances, you will have a claim. However, applying this standard is more difficult than it appears, which is why the assistance of an attorney is recommended.
Even if you do not feel injured at the scene, you may still have a claim. The body’s biological response to a traumatic event, such as an accident, is a rush of adrenaline that can temporarily reduce pain sensations.
Later on, you may experience significant discomfort or develop other symptoms. Even if you don’t feel acute, excruciating pain right immediately, it is still a good idea to visit a doctor since some of the most severe diseases take time to manifest themselves.
This depends on your state’s statute of limitations. A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within a year of the accident in some states or up to four years in others.
If you’re not sure whether your rights have been waived under the rule, check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that you don’t inadvertently do so. The statute of limitations has some exceptions, but they are extremely limited, so don’t assume anything.
Furthermore, you should act in a timely manner in order to avoid diluting your case. This will assist you in establishing liability and calculating your damages. (Read more about the California statute of limitations here).
No! Never communicate with an insurance adjuster on behalf of someone else involved in a lawsuit. They may appear to be nice and sympathetic, but they are almost certainly attempting to get you to say things that would reduce or eliminate their insured’s liability.
Tell the adjuster to contact your lawyer if you have one or your insurance company if you don’t have one. If a friend’s attorney contacts you, remember that the same rules apply. (Here are some tips to deal with adjusters over motorcycle wrecks).
Compensatory damages are the most common sort of losses, which are divided into economic and non-economic components. Economic damages are calculated based on tangible, readily measurable expenditures and expenses, such as medical bills, lost income and earning capacity, property damage, and future treatment costs.
Non-economic damages are more subjective, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. To be compensated, damages must be reasonably measurable; they cannot be speculative. If the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, you might be able to receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
These are designed to punish the defendant and deter others from doing likewise. Punitive damages are seldom granted. However they may be significant; nevertheless, there are constitutional restrictions on how many punitive damages can exceed compensatory compensation.
The severity of your injuries will determine the amount of money you recover. Until your case has been thoroughly investigated, this can’t be determined. You may get a rough estimate from personal injury attorneys in your region based on similar situations they have handled.
Attorneys are not permitted to promise that they will recover a specific amount or otherwise predict the outcome of a lawsuit, but you should be aware that they are not allowed to do so.
Any prediction you receive is likely to be vague and qualified. Another issue to consider is how much money you can actually make; this may be determined by such things as pre-existing conditions and insurance coverage amounts.
Learn more from a wrongful death attorney with backbone and resolve to win your case.
Even if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you might still be able to sue them. The damages could be lowered to account for the pre-existing condition, but you can hold another person or entity responsible for aggravating it.
Someone who interacts with you takes you as they find you, so the question of whether someone without your condition would have been injured is irrelevant.
That said, these cases tend to be more complex and may require the assistance of experts, so hiring an attorney may be especially important. (Read more about the Eggshell-Skull Rule here).
The amount you can get if you were only partly at fault is determined by the state where you reside. Only a few states adhere to a contributory negligence rule, which asserts that a victim cannot recover any compensation unless they are entirely blameless.
In certain jurisdictions, you will be able to obtain compensation as long as you are not 50% or more (or sometimes 51%) at fault. In other words, you will be able to seek compensation in some jurisdictions as long as you are not entirely culpable.
The damages will be proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault. If there are multiple defendants in a case, some states provide that each defendant will be liable for the defendants’ total share of fault if you cannot collect from all of the defendants.
The rules in this area are technical and state-specific, so you should consult an attorney for further guidance. (Read more here about comparative negligence law).
Most personal injury claims do not go to trial, as the insurance company and lawyers settle them. The overwhelming bulk of cases conclude with a settlement or an insurance company. Unfortunately, settling remains a time-consuming and unpredictable process even when you hire a personal injury law firm. Settlement times can fluctuate considerably.
In general, a claim for significant injuries and a large sum of money will take longer to resolve because the insurance company will fight harder over it. If the case is complex or liability is unclear, negotiations may take longer.
An attorney may help an insurance adjuster make a reasonable offer sooner by knowing that they will be less likely to victimize you with personal injury lawyers and paralegals by your side.
A release is a contract you sign in order to obtain reimbursement for your injuries. It essentially states that you agree to release all of your legal claims against any defendant and their insurer as a result of this incident.
You should be aware that a release usually covers claims against everyone, not just the defendant you sued for financial compensation or who paid a settlement. This is because if you sued another person afterward, they could cross complain against the party who settled.
Because of this, this contract is titled a universal release or general release of all parties. Any other potential party not involved in the litigation is cleared. If you’re married, your spouse may also need to sign the consent form.
You should not expect a long wait between receiving your settlement and receiving your compensation. Most insurance companies want to wrap up their case files as soon as possible. Thus they will mail the check within a week or two of signing your settlement agreement.
The arrival of the bill is contingent on whether the insurer sends it immediately after receipt of your completed release.
Once you’ve gotten the compensation check, they will prepare a settlement statement (aka final distribution letter) if you have an attorney.
This will show how much money was collected and the lawyer’s fee, court expenses, reimbursements to your insurance companies (see below), and any other necessary deductions.
Then you’ll review and sign the settlement statement, after which your attorney will send you a check for the rest.
Because the defendant’s insurance will not cover expenses until liability is proven, you will need to reimburse these expenditures first. After a motor vehicle accident, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage might be used. Medical Payments coverage or health insurance may apply after any sort of accident.
You might be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage if you were hurt at work. Any insurers are likely to be reimbursed by any future payout you receive. If you don’t have insurance, you should be able to locate a doctor or hospital willing to treat you under an agreement where they will get paid from your eventual settlement. (Learn more about work comp law here).
Your lost earnings will not be compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance in the early days following an accident. PIP coverage might help you receive short-term or long-term disability payments from your workplace if you were hurt in a car accident or another motor vehicle collision.
Your policy does not cover Insurance-related expenses. If you get a settlement, these costs will generally have to be reimbursed. You can also use any of these if you have vacation time, sick time, paid time off, or other forms of “comp” time from your existing employer.
If you were hurt on the job and have suffered a work-related injury, you may be eligible for compensation in a number of ways. In most situations, your employer will pay workers’ comp benefits to cover your medical expenses as well as a portion of your missed wages.
Workers’ compensation may also provide training and lump-sum payments for certain sorts of injuries or disabilities. If your accident was caused by someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you might be eligible for an additional personal injury claim against that third party.
For example, suppose you were hurt at work due to faulty equipment supplied by a manufacturer. In that case, you could sue the company for a personal injury settlement or jury verdict.
Although workers’ compensation may be entitled to reimbursement from the lien proceeds of your claim, pursuing a personal injury claim (if applicable) is usually a good idea. Sometimes you’ll receive more money through an auto or health insurance policy than a workers’ compensation claim would net you. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate each scenario on your behalf.
Personal injury claims that do not require the assistance of an attorney may be handled in a variety of ways. Perhaps you were rear-ended in a collision in which the rear driver was to blame, and neither person was badly harmed. If you don’t have health insurance, you may handle this claim on your own.
However, if the facts of the accident are complicated, your injuries are severe or unusual, or the responsible party denies responsibility, you will almost certainly require legal assistance. If a large amount of money is on the line, it’s time to call.
Also, a bodily injury liability attorney will almost always be needed, as well as expert testimony. For example, you need experts to prove the standard of care in most medical malpractice and product liability cases involving a severe injury and legal malpractice cases.
In sum, whether you have health insurance coverage or not, some damages like pain and suffering can only be obtained after you seek medical attention and file a personal injury claim. For example, forming an attorney-client relationship remains crucial in those rare accident cases involving fatal car collisions.
Many victims worry that they won’t be able to afford an attorney. But we will work on a contingent fee to help you avoid the additional emotional distress of paying a personal injury lawyer out of pocket. The injured victim would be well served to follow our tips or contact our contingency fee basis attorneys for legal advice before posting anything about your case on social media or speaking to the at-fault party or their insurance agent/adjuster.
The idea is to streamline accident cases, avoid legal fees and increase your overall monetary recovery after taking legal action over your injuries. Fair compensation, including medical costs, can only be obtained with a thorough investigation.
The money collected on behalf of the accident victims remains directly related to how much leg work for the injured party and their attorneys do to gather evidence against the parties involved. That’s how you achieve a maximum settlement and lessen your emotional distress after suffering a harmful act with substantial injuries.
Many law firms won’t touch medical malpractice cases in California, so don’t assume these answers will solve that problem when seeking claims against the other party.
Don’t listen to adjusters and lawyers making unrealistic promises. Exercise common sense if you want to receive compensation, including the dollar value of other expenses related to a dangerous condition or situation.
Here we have discussed just several factors in answering questions. Most victims will have unique questions. We are available 24 hours, seven days a week, to answer your essential queries about PI Law.
Injury victims will need legal representation to deal with the other driver’s insurance company no matter how the accident happened. The insurance adjuster will fight tooth and nail to diminish your personal injury case worth without an experienced attorney on your team.
You may also have an uninsured motorist coverage issue or related workplace injuries involving wrongful death cases. Even nursing home abuse allegations against a health care professional providing medical treatment and personal care involve elder abuse laws unrelated to med mal.
Never settle quickly. Always seek a free initial consultation from a lawyer for car accidents, truck wrecks, bus collisions, premises liability (slip and fall, dog bite, etc.)
To receive financial compensation for all these past and future expenses for physical therapy and prescription drugs, including any court costs from the legal system, call us today by dialing (213) 596-9642.
Our best personal injury lawyer will work on a contingency basis, which means no recovery to injured persons or fee to our personal injury lawyer team.