Updated: Oct 7, 2022
12 Important Things Your California Personal Injury Attorney Do For You
When you get into an accident, you might sustain economic and non-economic losses. These losses can be medical bills, rehab fees, a lot of income, Pain, Suffering, emotional distress, and so on. The point of the compensation is to make up for the damages and losses you sustained in an accident. A California Personal Injury Lawyer can assist you in obtaining compensation for your losses.
You must concentrate on your recovery whether you were injured in a fall, a car crash, by a defective product, or by any other incident. Your Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer will be focused on defending your legal rights while you focus on emergency medical treatment, doctors, nurses, drugs, surgical interventions, and other treatments. In short, your lawyer creates a barrier between you and anyone who might cause you stress during the recovery process.
That said, here are a couple of people who you might need to face if you didn't have a Personal Injury Lawyer to buffer:
Hospital staff and doctors will want to know how you plan to pay your medical bills as they mount.
The investigating officer will want to know what happened in road accidents.
Your statement will be required by your insurance provider. They'll want to figure out if you owe compensation and if the other driver owes you damages.
The other driver's insurance company will require your version of the story to determine whether they can walk away without paying you anything.
The liability insurance provider will want to know what happened if you fell on someone else's property.
If you were hurt on the job, your supervisor and HR department would have a few questions for you.
While you may be capable of dealing with these and other problems on your own, you have far too much at stake to do so. Your California Personal Injury Lawyer intervenes on your behalf during the perplexing post-accident days. Your legal counsel negotiates and submits documentation instead of you because they are your representative. A personal injury lawyer monitors your case from the minute you decide to hire him until you sign any final settlement forms.
Your legal rights are protected by a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles. That may sound straightforward, but it necessitates him recognizing and anticipating legal concerns and intervening on your behalf before they happen. This frequently entails a steady stream of tasks, which we will be briefly going through below:
1. Listens To Your Side Of The Story And Explains Your Legal Options
If you have been injured by someone else's negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. A Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles can help you determine what measures you need to take to reach an agreement. A lawyer should also be prepared to take your case to court if the insurance provider refuses to agree to a fair and reasonable settlement.
As your lawyer defends your legal interests, your version of the accident becomes an essential element of your California Personal Injury Claim. When you and your lawyer talk about your case, they listen for facts and information that need to be clarified and followed up on. Your lawyer will inquire about the circumstances of your accident, injuries, pain, recovery, disability, insurance, and other pertinent information.
Other information they might need (depending on the nature of your Personal Injury Claim):
Your legal counsel would want to hear about lights, traffic signals, speed limits, or traffic signs that control access to the roadway if you were wounded in a vehicular accident.
If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, they would want to know what kind of surface you fell on. Your lawyer will think about the lighting, your shoes, and any obstacles in your way. They'll also want to know about everything that might have contributed to or caused your fall.
If a defective product injured you, your attorney would want to know about when and where you bought the product. They might also need your personal account on how you used it, who used it, and what happened before you sustained injuries.
The above list of examples is non-exhaustive of the actual claims in California, and there are other instances that might qualify for Personal Injury Compensation. After all, no two cases are exactly the same, so your legal options will vary based on the circumstances surrounding them. Set up an appointment with a Personal Injury Attorney in California to fully understand your legal options from here on out.
2. Conducts Investigations On Your Behalf
Investigating the case and conducting discovery are both essential parts of preparing for a settlement or trial. Therefore, a California Personal Injury Lawyer will examine your case, which may include engaging expert witnesses and gathering all relevant evidence as a result of your accident.
Some lawyers perform their own on-site and in-person investigations. Others engage private detectives to do the job for them. Investigators can:
Track down and interview witnesses
Collect photos, videos, and schematics from the scene
Obtain police and employer reports
Obtain pictures of the vehicles involved
Document adverse circumstances at premises or locations where the accident happened
If there are no photographs or videos, your Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney may send someone to the accident scene to photograph evidence that has been left on the ground, such as skid tracks, vehicle pieces, and other physical evidence that cannot be picked up and stored.
Your lawyer will require additional documentation for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Your medical records and medical bills are examples of this. In addition, if you have diabetes or an immune system disorder that causes your injuries to heal slowly, your Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles may need records of your underlying conditions to establish that your recovery will be unusual and that the injuries you incurred in the accident exacerbated your underlying condition.
Finally, your lawyer will draft interrogatories, which are written questions addressed to the opposing side. The lawyer may also request depositions to question the other party under oath.
3. Talks To Insurance Providers For You
Both your vehicle insurance company and the other driver's liability company will want to speak with you if you are involved in an automobile accident. In addition, a general liability or workers' compensation provider will require information if it's a premises fall or an on-the-job injury. They'll all want their statements recorded.
Your lawyer will refuse the insurance adjusters' requests to control the flow of information that could jeopardize your claim. Instead, a Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles will either plan and workshop your statement or coach you ahead of time on what to say or not say.
In additional negotiations with your insurance companies, you and your lawyer may discuss medical bill payments, auto repair, health insurance subrogation rights, and primary liability reports.
4. Sending Notices
Your California Personal Injury Lawyer informs all relevant parties that he represents you to prevent them from contacting you. All future contacts or queries must go through your lawyer's office, informing each individual or entity. This enables a personal injury lawyer to keep track of insurance communications and claim statuses, injury prognosis, medical treatment and bills, and other crucial case information.
An attorney will typically follow up with a formal letter of representation after giving initial notice via phone or email. They'll send letters of notice to other drivers involved in an accident, employers of injured workers, makers of defective machines, insurance firms, and anyone else who might want to contact his client about the occurrence.
5. Requesting Insurance Documents For You
Your California Personal Injury Lawyer will usually ask your insurance provider for a copy of your car accident policy or other applicable policies. Once your attorney has these, they will address any issues you may have regarding your auto insurance coverage and perks.
Your lawyer will go over liability, medical expenses, Uninsured Motorist coverage, and Underinsured Motorist coverage if they're appropriate. Your legal counsel also asks your health insurance company for information on your benefits.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles CA will also look through any subrogation clauses in your health and auto insurance policies. This document will clarify your responsibility to safeguard their subrogation rights and name your insurance firms as defendants in future cases. Your attorney, as your agent, must be aware of your insurance company's right to recover the damages it has paid out. When your attorney settles your claim or prosecutes a lawsuit for damages, they will also look out for the interests of your insurance company.
6. Investigate The Defective Products
If a defective product was the cause of your injury, the product becomes crucial evidence. If it's still in your hands, your California Personal Injury Lawyer will tell you not to hand it over it to anyone other than their law firm or a representative. Your lawyer will almost certainly have an investigator pick up the product and transport it to the office for storage or rapid testing.
When an attorney obtains the aforementioned defective product, they will then arrange for non-destructive testing to be performed by an industry expert. When a client alleges that a defective product caused their injury, it's critical to secure it before the manufacturer or insurer does. Unfortunately, destructive testing, in which a product is virtually destroyed, is sometimes used by defendants. Plaintiffs are unable to conduct meaningful tests to confirm a defect because of this procedure.
The expert your California Personal Injury Lawyer hires will determine the nature of any defects and whether the defective product directly caused or contributed to the client's injuries. Non-destructive testing ensures that a product's structural integrity is preserved. They allow the plaintiff to test the product while leaving it intact for the defendants and their insurance carriers to test themselves.
If the aforementioned product caused your injury, your lawyer would look for comparable events on consumer websites, prior lawsuits, and government websites. And again, your attorney may request a full report explaining the expert's conclusions once the product has been tested.
7. Explains Foreseeable Legal Issues
Your lawyer will conduct a detailed liability analysis once they gathered enough information and evidence. A Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles typically goes over the relevant statutes, case law, common law, and legal precedents. Then, they analyze the data to build a solid case for pursuing a lawsuit against the parties involved.
When a case involves a car crash, the process takes less time. However, if your injury involves complicated concerns, uncommon situations, or novel legal theories, it will necessitate a thorough investigation.
8. Gathering Evidence For Economic Losses
Medical bills and hospital records should be collected. As your treatment progresses, your doctor will go over all of your medical bills and request anything he hasn't yet received.
Your Best Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles will request medical reports from your physicians after you've reached maximum recovery. Your injuries, the course of treatment for them, initial diagnosis, prognosis, and disability information will all be detailed in the reports. In addition, it will determine whether you can return to your previous level of work and activity or if you have permanent impairments.
Your attorney will also need confirmation from your employer of any lost wages resulting from your injuries to assess your damages. Your doctor's report should also substantiate your loss of income.
Severe and catastrophic injuries frequently result in complicated diagnoses, treatments, prognoses, and disabilities, all of which can have a significant impact on your life. Your California Personal Injury Attorney may hire a medical expert to confirm the diagnoses and forecast future impairments, restrictions, and treatment.
Your attorney may also hire an economist to project the values if your case involves the possibility of significant future medical treatment and wage losses. Likewise, your California Personal Injury Attorney will meet with medical experts in person or over the phone to discuss your case. If the findings and testimonies support your claimed injuries, restrictions, and disabilities, he will request a narrative report.
Your lawyer will try to settle your claim with the proper liability carrier once you have reached maximal healing, or your attorney has a good picture of the incident and what they feel you will need to cover your past and future medical bills.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles frequently follows a process of submitting a settlement demand with a compilation of medical bills, police reports, income loss documentation, and liability analysis. If the defendants respond with a counteroffer, informal negotiations begin, which may lead to a settlement.
However, if the insurance company does not respond or responds with a lowball counteroffer, and the attorney believes that further negotiations will not result in you receiving fair compensation, you and your attorney may decide to go to trial.
9. Filing Lawsuits
A new phase in your lawyer's representation begins when they file a lawsuit. First, all of your California Personal Injury Attorney's legal theories, allegations, and data are formalized. Then, the parties concerned relinquish some power to a judge. When a case goes to court, both parties and their insurance companies start paying legal fees and expenditures. Defendants are sometimes compelled to settle due to rising costs.
Most attorneys settle the majority of the lawsuits they file. Because the courts recognize this, they encourage mediation, settlement conferences, and other methods to address disagreements and reach a settlement early in the litigation process.
Mediation is usually in a more casual situation. You, your California Personal Injury Attorney, the insurance company representative, and the insurance company's lawyer meet. The opposing sides exchange information and attempt to reach an agreement.
10. Prepare You And Your Case For Trial
Because most of your case's work is completed during the investigation and discovery phases, a California Personal Injury Attorney ready for settlement negotiations is almost ready for trial. They must now file the lawsuit and ensure that all evidence is in order and prepared to be presented in court.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer must ensure that the defendant (the person you're suing) receives copies of every piece of evidence they intend to present at trial. The defendant must also provide her attorney with any evidence they intend to present at trial.
If your California Personal Injury Attorney believes that expert witnesses are required to describe certain aspects of your case at trial (such as the likely amount of future medical costs, etc.), the law firm or your California Personal Injury Attorney will hire those witnesses on your behalf. The lawyer will arrange a trial date with the court if everything is ready for trial and the insurance company has not provided a fair and reasonable settlement. A trial can last as little as a few hours or as long as several days.
Your attorney will present your evidence to a judge and jury if your case gets to trial. However, only a judge will hear your evidence and decide your case if you request a bench trial.
If your case involves a workers' compensation claim, your lawyer will assist you in completing any necessary reports and forms. If the insurance provider refuses to pay your claim, your lawyer will help you file a petition. They'll also represent you at any required hearings and assist you in obtaining any lump-sum settlements that you're entitled to.
11. Listing Your Demanded Compensation
For your injuries and/or losses, you may be entitled to "damages," which is a legal term for cash recompense. There are three sorts of damages in personal injury cases:
These are damages that have a monetary value associated with them. They're easier to prove with receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other documents. They're also known as economic damages, and they can include things like:
Expenses for medical treatment incurred as a result of the accident
Additional operations, rehabilitation, or follow-up doctor's appointments may be required in the future
Wages that have been lost
Future wages lost
Personal property repair or replacement
As mentioned, economic damages are not limited to expenses and losses that you have already paid for. It can also include future prospective costs and income loss. For example, if you need to go to regular checkups and rehabs after the accident, they should also be accounted for in the damages you seek.
Your California Personal Injury Attorney will know how to calculate past and future expenses, as well as find the right medical and economic experts to back your claims for these expenses.
These are damages for which precise monetary values are difficult to assign. Some would refer to these damages as "intangible" damages because you can't just show a receipt, invoice, or medical report to prove their monetary value. However, if you have long-term injuries or have lost a loved one in an accident, courts or insurance companies may pay you this form of compensation.
In addition, compensation for the following items may be included in general damages:
Pain and Suffering
The inability to use a limb or a portion of it
Loss of the enjoyment of life
Loss of companionships or relationships
That said, how a jury or judge will determine whether the cost proposed is reasonable depends on your current overall status before the accident and the abilities of your California Personal Injury Lawyer. On top of that, these intangible (but otherwise necessary) damages cannot be easily acquired by just negotiating with insurance companies.
Sometimes, an act of negligence is so egregious that a judge will be compelled to teach the at-fault a lesson.
Punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant's actions were willfully detrimental or excessively negligent. Damages of this nature are employed as a form of punishment for the defendant.
For example, if a court finds that the defendant was driving under the influence at the time of the accident and directly caused injuries or the death of a loved one, the court may give you punitive damages.
In some circumstances, where the defendant committed an intentional violation, such as trespassing to hurt you or your family, the court may also award punitive damages. Likewise, in a legal dispute, if the defendant trespassed on your property to commit arson while you were present, a court may order the defendant to pay punitive damages. Of course, the defendant could face criminal charges in a criminal court for trespassing and arson; but that can be filed separately from your Personal Injury Claims in California.
12. Finalize Payout Arrangements
The California Personal Injury Attorney will collect the award from the defendant once the lawyer has reached an agreement with the insurance company or you have received an award through a court order.
Again, you won't have to deal with any more stress when you have your lawyer doing these things for you. Besides, they'll know how to process your documents and get the payout you deserve.
If you were on a contingency arrangement, your California Personal Injury Attorney would take the agreed-upon lawyer's fee from a percentage of your winnings. The attorney will also cover your medical costs and give you a check for the remaining funds from the settlement or court order.
Find A Los Angeles Top Personal Injury Attorney
Getting into an accident is stressful on many fronts. Not only do you have to deal with physical and emotional pains, but you will also face economic losses from medical and other recovery bills.
Hiring Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles will ease the difficulties you are already experiencing in the workplace.
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