How Much Money Can I Get For My Personal Injury Case?

Posted: April 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Legal and Law | No Comments »
Looking at the motorcycle case file

Michael Ehline reviewing the new client motorcycle injury file

To determine how much money can I get for My Los Angeles personal injury case, there are many factors to look at. One major factor is whether or not the person who caused your serious injuries in Los Angeles even had insurance.

This is true whether it is a premises liability case, car accident, or airplane crash mishap. You must first consult the below checklist to secure your rights and build the value of your Los Angeles personal injury attorney’s ability to recover money damages.

1. What Should I Do If I Am Hurt in a Car Accident?

You must take pictures with your cell phone camera, make a diary about your injuries. The law requires you make a report of the accident to the DMV. Never give a recorded statement to anyone, never admit responsibility. Only talk to your attorneys and only if you are in a confidential relationship with no conflict of interest (i.e., if you were a car passenger, make sure the car driver is represented by another lawyer, as he is potentially conflicted with your interests.)

2. How Long Will it Take to Get Money in My Case?

Before your Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys can get you money, or send the insurance company a settlement demand, make sure you have completed all necessary medical treatments. Normally, your attorney will get the property damage portion of your claim settled within a few months after your accident.

3. Does Failing to See a Doctor Immediately Hurt Your Insurance Claim?

Even if you’re not feeling pain right away, you must take an ambulance to the hospital. The human body produces adrenaline, a natural pain killer, when it is under the trauma of a serious auto accident, or other injury caused by negligence or willful neglect. Make sure to document when the pain started in your diary, and all your doctor visits. Failure to do the above gives the defendant an argument you are committing insurance fraud!!

4. Do I need Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys, or Should I Hire that Guy on the Back of the Bus or 12:00 Midnight TV?

It is always in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney. But remember, the defendant’s insurance company has a very experienced adjuster, law school graduate who never took the Bar, or full blown lawyer negotiating for them. Many TV attorneys and face men on the back of buses actually don’t even practice law. Instead, they simply have a phone bank sign you up and then get a referral fee for sending you to an inexperienced attorney. Alternatively, they have so many cases, you don’t get the personal attention you deserve. It is better to retain a boutique law firm who learned law in a law office on the California State Bar Law Office Study Program

5. The Guy Who Hit Me Didn’t have Auto Insurance; How Do I Get Paid Now?

If the Defendant was uninsured (“UM”) or underinsured (“UIM”) in a California car accident, you will need to seek recover from their personal assets. However, if you were smart, you already purchased UM, or UIM motorist coverage on your own insurance policy. Your attorneys can seek recovery against that insurance policy in that case.

6. Who Will Pay for My Medical Bills While I Wait to Get a Verdict or Settlement?

Sometimes your own insurance will pay right away. But usually they will seek reimbursement from your award. Experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will review your medical coverage and discuss that option when appropriate.

7. How Do I get Around When My Car is Being Repaired?

Look at the declaration of coverages and exclusions in your insurance policy. Your policy may contain a rental car clause. Sometimes you’ll end up with a crappy car unless you pay extra. Make sure to track the expenses that went over. You may be able to get loss of use coverages for a similar car as you lost in the auto accident case.

8. I Can’t Return To Work; Are Unemployment Benefits Also Available?

Normally no, unless it was a work related injury. But often you may be able to seek state disability benefits in California.

9. Who Pays me for Dangers in the Roadway Like Potholes?

Sometimes defects in the roadway cases damages to your car due to improper maintenance or repair. Often you will need to file a government claim. There is a statute that requires you to file a claim within six months of the damages. Good luck!!

10. How Much Money Will I Get if I do the Above Things?

There are many considerations to determine the amount of an award or settlement. You are usually entitled to seek lost of wages, pain and suffering, property loss, like your car. Assuming it’s not a Prop 213 case, all damages will be considered. Your attorneys review the case and do a work up in order to give you an estimated amount of reasonable jury verdict or settlement in your accident claims.

11. Is It Better to Settle Instead of a Jury Trial?

Not usually. A jury trial in California courts can take months and sometimes you’ll get less than the insurance company was willing to settle the case for. Plus the attorney’s contingency fee will normally go up and you could even end up paying the defendant’s costs and attorney’s fees even if you win!! (See Code Civ. Pro. Sec. 998.) You must weigh the risks and benefits.

12. What if The Defendant’s insurance company offered me money. Should I Accept the Settlement and Cut Out a Lawyer?
Only if you want to get ripped off. Insurance companies know you have no idea what your case is worth. They will offer you a fraction of what an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles would get you. Contact and retain an attorney and watch insurance company’s offer increase. Never take money from an insurance company unless you consult with a lawyer first.

13. But What If I Can’t Afford an Experienced Attorney?

Los Angeles personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingency fee basis. Normally, in cases like that, you pay nothing unless there is a recovery. If your lawyer wins your case, you get a percentage less the contingency fee. You and your attorneys agree on this in advance with consent after consultation. How much money can I get for my Los Angeles personal injury case depends upon the above factors, so it is imperative that you get a lawyer before the statute of limitation expires in your civil cases. Ehline represents injured victims in California and they are recognized as by their clients as some of the best Los Angeles car accident attorneys. To learn more about author and advocate Michael Ehline, check us out on Google Buzz.

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