How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney in California?
There are no upfront costs to hire one of the personal injury attorneys at LA Lawyers Group, since our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only get paid if we win or settle a case. When we recover compensation for a client through a settlement or a successful outcome in court, we’re paid a percentage of the compensation our client receives.
Do I qualify for a personal injury settlement?
If you’ve been injured due to the negligent, reckless, or malicious actions of another party, you could be entitled to recover compensation under California’s personal injury laws. Whether or not you could recover a settlement in your case is very much dependent on the circumstances involved in the case.
If you’re wondering whether or not you have a personal injury case, reach out to LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free consultation. Our expert California injury attorneys can provide you with a free case evaluation and help you better understand your legal options.
How much is my injury case worth?
The compensation available in an injury case is always different depending on the unique circumstances involved in the case. Damages in a personal injury case must be determined by assessing numerous aspects of the injury, such as what contributed to the injury, the extent of the injury, and the types of losses the victim has suffered due to their injury. Depending on the specific case, an injury victim could recover compensation for any number of losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
One of the most valuable things a personal injury attorney can do is help their client understand the exact type of compensation they could be entitled to under the law. A personal injury attorney can thoroughly investigate and analyze their client’s situation in order to determine a fair amount of damages for their unique claim. They can also compile the evidence needed to prove that their client’s proposed damages are fair and appropriate, helping improve their chances of a positive outcome in court or at the negotiating table.
What’s the difference between a serious injury and a catastrophic injury?
A serious injury may or may not also be a catastrophic injury. Legally, the term “catastrophic injury” refers more to the expected outcome of an injury than the initial injury itself. A catastrophic injury is any severe injury that results in long-term or permanent pain or bodily damage. Essentially, if a serious injury “permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work,” it’s a catastrophic injury. Some examples of injuries that may be catastrophic include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, injuries causing blindness or deafness, and chronic lung damage.
Can I pursue a personal injury claim if I was partially at fault for my injuries?
In California, you can. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that fault in a case is assigned in percentages and that each party is liable for their percentage of fault. In pure comparative negligence states like California, even someone who was 99% at fault for their injuries could pursue damages for 1% of the harm they suffered due to another party.
In the event that you are partially, but not entirely at fault for your injuries, your available damages would simply be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, say the court finds that you have suffered $100,000 in damages. If you were 0% at fault, you could recover all $100,000 of these damages. If you were 20% at fault, your damages would be reduced by 20%, so you could recover $80,000 in damages.
What does a personal injury lawyer do?
A personal injury attorney’s job is to guide their client through the claims process, help them create the strongest possible case, pursue fair compensation for their losses, and generally protect their best interests. Exactly how an attorney does this for a given client can vary from case-to-case, since every injury can involve unique circumstances.
Personal injury attorneys often do quite a bit of investigation and preparatory work. For example, a personal injury attorney may conduct research and investigations in order to gather evidence to create a strong case for their client. This includes doings like tracking down records, locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting an on-site investigation, and recovering camera footage. Personal injury attorneys will also compile relevant evidence in a compelling way in order to furnish the various types of proof needed in an injury case, such as proof that the defendant is liable for the client’s injuries and proof that their client sustained losses due to their injuries. An injury attorney will also handle all of the legal paperwork on their client’s behalf and protect their legal interests by helping them understand what they should and should not do in the wake of their injury.
The preparatory work a personal injury attorney does will support their client’s case during negotiation or trial proceedings. Most personal injury cases are settled with insurance companies, so an injury lawyer will generally use their research and evidence to aggressively negotiate a fair settlement for their clients. Occasionally, personal injury cases will also go to trial, so an attorney will need to use their research, evidence, and resources to fight for their client’s rights in court.
Do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer that can go to trial?
Technically, a lawyer doesn’t need to have trial experience to handle a personal injury case, since they could still negotiate a settlement on an injury victim’s behalf. However, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer who tries cases for multiple reasons. One is that working with a trial lawyer expands your options, since you can easily go to court when necessary. Then, there’s also the fact that your lawyer’s trial experience is a good bargaining tool. Defendants usually have a strong desire to avoid going to trial, so they are typically more anxious to settle when they are negotiating with a lawyer who regularly tries and wins cases.
Do I have to go to court?
The vast majority of personal injury cases and wrongful death cases are settled out of court, so going to trial for these types of cases is generally rare. Yet, it can still happen. When an at-fault party or liable insurance company refuses to negotiate a settlement in good faith, your attorney could advise that you bring your case to court in order to recover appropriate justice. Ultimately, whether or not you go to court in the rare instance that this decision arises is up to you.
Who pays the medical bills connected to my injuries?
Damages for medical bills are very commonly awarded in personal injury cases. If an individual or entity causes your injuries due to their negligence or malice, they can be held legally responsible for the losses you suffer due to your injuries. This includes your financial losses connected to your medical expenses.
It’s important to note, though, that the liable party doesn’t pay a victim’s medical bills as they come in. They’re only required to pay damages after you settle or win your case against them. In the meantime, injury victims can submit their medical bills to their health insurance provider and pay any out-of-pocket expenses. If you can’t afford certain out-of-pocket medical bills that accrue in the time before your case is finalized, your personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate with your health insurance company on your behalf. An experienced personal injury attorney can often get a healthcare provider to keep outstanding bills out of collections during your settlement negotiations or trial proceedings.
Can I hire a California personal injury lawyer if I live in another state?
You’re legally entitled to hire a lawyer from any state, regardless of which state you live in. Note, however, that it’s best to hire a lawyer that has experience handling personal injury claims within the state you were injured in. For example, if you are injured in Los Angeles, you would want to hire a lawyer that specializes in California personal injury law. Personal injury laws vary from state to state, so you want a lawyer with an expert understanding of the unique laws within the state you were injured in. Additionally, while you can hire a lawyer from any state, they won’t be able to represent you in your injury case unless they were admitted to the Bar in the relevant state. So, generally, you need to hire a personal injury attorney that works in the state you were injured in, regardless of where you live.
What’s the difference between a personal injury case and a wrongful death case?
Personal injury and wrongful death cases have some things in common, but they involve different circumstances and are governed by different laws in the State of California. Both of these cases occur when a negligent, reckless, or malicious party harms someone. However, in a personal injury case, the plaintiff is the injury victim who was harmed. In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff or plaintiffs are the surviving family members of someone who was killed due to their injuries. This defining difference means that many things are different in these cases, including the available damages, since the harm an injured party suffers is different from the harm a surviving family member suffers.
If you are in need of a California attorney who can handle a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim, our team can assist you, as we specialize in both personal injury and wrongful death cases.