There’s a lot to deal with after being injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to physical injuries and emotional trauma, many accident victims incur significant financial costs from medical bills and missed work. Recovering from an accident can affect your family and cause inconveniences if you are without a vehicle, as is often the case after a serious car crash.
When is it time to hire a personal injury lawyer? There are many things a reputable attorney can help you with, even if you don’t ever need to file a lawsuit.
You Want to Make Sure You Get a Fair Settlement
If you or a family member suffered any injuries, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to make sure the settlement offer you accept from an insurance company or an at-fault party is fair.
Insurance companies have different strategies for dealing with accident claims. Sometimes, they’ll try to get to you early in the process and make an offer, hoping to settle the claim quickly. Often, this offer will be less than what your claim is worth (sometimes much less). They’re hoping that you might feel desperate for cash and just want to get on with your life.
Sometimes, this is actually a good option. Maybe you do need money right away. It all depends on your case and your situation. Even if that’s the case, a lawyer can help you get the best possible settlement.
Other times, an insurance company may engage in delay tactics instead. They may ask for loads of additional paperwork, deny your claim, or simply refuse to respond to you. At best, this can cause you to get frustrated, which can lead to accepting less than you deserve when they finally get around to presenting you with a settlement offer. At worst, it can put you at risk of missing the deadline to assert your rights in a lawsuit.
A good personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case and ensure you aren’t getting taken advantage of by the insurance company handling your claim.
You’re Not Sure What Your Claim is Worth
Many people aren’t aware of what compensation they can recover in a personal injury case. Long-term financial consequences can be significant. You only get one chance to get the money you deserve. A personal injury attorney will help make sure you aren’t overlooking anything.
While each case is different, most personal injury victims can seek compensation for economic (monetary damages) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering).
This means you could recover for:
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages (including future reduced earning capacity)
- Prescription drugs
- Home medical equipment
- Physical pain
- Anxiety and depression
Fatal accidents or ones involving severe injuries are generally worth more. But those are also the most fiercely defended. Having an aggressive injury lawyer is essential to getting the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
You Could Share Fault for the Accident
Are you afraid you can’t recover any compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident? In most cases, that’s not true. Most accidents have multiple causes, and many states have laws that deal with this scenario as equitably as possible.
If you are partially at fault for an accident in LA, California’s pure comparative fault law will apply. This causes your compensation to be reduced by the portion of the accident caused by your own negligence. As long as you aren’t completely responsible for the accident, you should be able to recover some compensation. But that’s much easier to do when you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
Even if you are partly responsible, your attorney will make sure you don’t get stuck with more of the blame than is fair. That means you’ll get the maximum possible financial award.
Your Accident Involved Multiple Parties
If you were in a multi-vehicle accident, a slip and fall accident, or a workplace accident, it’s likely that more than one party could be responsible for your injuries. Complex accidents often require an investigation to pinpoint the exact cause and the correct party (or parties) responsible. It’s tough to do this on your own.
Personal injury lawyers do this all the time. They have access to experts such as accident reconstructionists, engineers, toxicologists, and more. These experts help determine the cause of your accident and support your case.
When multiple parties are involved, multiple insurance companies (and their lawyers) will be involved. Hiring your own lawyer to protect your interests and assert your rights will help level the playing field.
You Were Injured in a Workplace Accident
If you were hurt on the job, you’re probably covered by workers’ compensation. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll get your benefits without a fight. Your employer’s insurance company will be trying to protect its bottom line, just like any other insurance company. They may deny your claim outright for procedural reasons or deny certain treatment or medication, claiming that it’s not medically necessary.
Or, they may try to get you to return to work before you’re completely recovered. A personal injury attorney can help you file your workers’ comp claim and monitor the process to make sure you’re treated fairly.
An experienced lawyer can also evaluate your accident to determine if you’re eligible to file a third-party claim. In many cases, workers’ comp may be your only source of recovery. But, if someone other than your employer was at fault, they should be held accountable. This could be the driver of a vehicle, another contractor or vendor, or the manufacturer of defective equipment.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help After an Accident in Los Angeles?
Now that you know a few key situations when you should hire a personal injury lawyer, let’s talk about how they can help.
When you hire an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, they will:
- Conduct an independent investigation into your accident to determine the cause
- Locate and interview witnesses and collect other evidence to support your claim
- Hire experts to analyze the evidence, write a report, or testify on your behalf
- Protect you from unfair blame
- Handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies
- Calculate your damages to include all current and future costs associated with your accident
- File a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement
- Represent you in all court proceedings and appeals as necessary
What’s really valuable about hiring a personal injury attorney is that they handle every aspect of your case from beginning to end. This relieves you of stress and worry and lets you concentrate on recovery.