When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
You should hire a personal injury lawyer if you have been injured and it’s at least partially someone else’s fault. Those responsible for others’ injuries are held financially liable for those injuries under California law.
You almost certainly won’t be able to obtain the full, fair value of your injuries from an insurance company or defendant without experienced personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen on your side. Insurance companies won’t respect you enough to offer you a fair settlement if you don’t have a lawyer. This leaves you with taking them to court over a low ball offer, and you can’t beat their expensive corporate lawyers in court without a lawyer of your own.
Those who file injury claims with insurance companies while represented by a lawyer, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), are paid 3 ½ times more than those not represented by a lawyer. In addition, the IRC found that 85% of all money paid by insurance companies in injury claims are paid to injury victims represented by lawyers. This means there is a high chance you will obtain nothing if you try to resolve your injury claim alone.
A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and protect your legal rights against the insurance companies who will do whatever they can to avoid paying you what you deserve for your damages and injuries. Most personal injury lawyers, like Nadrich & Cohen, work on a contingency fee, meaning you won’t be charged unless and until a recovery is obtained for you.
A personal injury lawyer can also handle all insurance company dealings for you, which is important because:
- Insurance adjusters are trained to trick you into admitting fault for an accident so they don’t have to pay for your injuries.
- Insurance adjusters are trained to frustrate you by refusing to cover your bills, implying you’ve done wrong or failing to return your calls. They do this hoping you get so frustrated you simply drop your claim.
While it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer whenever you’re injured and it’s someone else’s fault, there are also many specific situations where it’s absolutely imperative to hire a personal injury lawyer.
What Do I Do If The Insurance Company Is Blaming Me For My Injuries?
You definitely need to hire a personal injury lawyer if an insurance company is blaming you for your own injuries.
California is a comparative fault state. This means that your damages in a personal injury claim can be reduced by whatever percentage of fault for your injuries is assigned to you. In other words, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, the damages you recover for your injuries will be reduced by 40 percent.
Another party’s insurance company may accept liability for your injuries, but they might also claim you are partially at fault for the accident that led to your injuries. For example, an insurance company could claim that while the other party is mostly at fault for your accident because they were driving drunk and texting while driving at the time of the accident, they could claim you’re also partially at fault because you were speeding at the time of the accident.
Insurance companies have only their own profit margins in mind, so they’re not above making unfounded claims about your contributions to an accident. Personal injury lawyers make a living off of dealing with insurance companies, know all the insurance companies’ tricks, and know how to fight unfounded claims that you’re partially responsible for an accident.
What If Accident Liability Is Being Disputed?
Disputed accident liability is one of the main reasons for hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Injury victims must prove their injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence in order to obtain compensation for their injuries from another party in California. Negligence is not behaving as a reasonably careful person would behave in the same situation in order to prevent harm from occurring.
A personal injury lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation, hire accident reconstruction experts and gather evidence in order to determine how the accident that injured you occurred and who is responsible for it, then develop an effective legal strategy for proving that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.
If an insurance company contests liability in an accident, you need an expert to testify that someone else was at fault for your injuries. Experienced personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen who have been practicing personal injury law in California for decades will have built up a large network of all of the best experts in the state who can testify for you and help prove that your injuries were someone else’s fault.
What Should I Do If I Suffered A Permanent Disability Or Traumatic Injury?
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a traumatic injury or permanent disability in an accident. While it is foolhardy to think you can win in court or get an insurance company to respect you enough to offer you a fair settlement without a lawyer in any circumstance, it is especially foolhardy to take the chance of handling your personal injury claim alone when a lifetime of pain, suffering and huge medical bills is in play.
It can be very complex and difficult to determine the true value of personal injury cases that involve permanent disabilities and traumatic injuries. Traumatic injuries and permanent disabilities may cause you to be unable to work for the rest of your life, or may cause you to need ongoing medical treatment.
The consequences of permanent disabilities and traumatic injuries can mean future damages that might total millions of dollars, depending on your disability, age, etc. A personal injury lawyer can hire economic, financial and medical experts who can help determine the value of your future damages to make sure you receive every penny you deserve for your injuries.
Personal injury cases involving traumatic injuries and permanent disabilities are insurance companies’ worst nightmares and they will fight aggressively to minimize their losses in these cases. Experienced personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen know how to make sure you get the most money for your pain and suffering and know how to document damages so you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What If Multiple Parties Are Involved In My Injury Claim?
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer if multiple parties are involved in your injury claim.
Multiple parties being involved in an injury claim can lead to parties arguing about who is at fault for your injuries. While multiple parties being involved can lead to you getting more money, multiple parties being involved can also mean a more challenging, complicated and lengthy battle.
Common case types that often involve multiple parties include product liability claims, accidents involving multiple vehicles, construction accidents and medical malpractice claims. Experienced personal injury attorneys like Nadrich & Cohen know exactly how to deal with all of the additional issues in cases involving multiple parties.
Filing an injury claim against a single party can be difficult, complex and time-consuming, and most people don’t have the experience or training to properly handle it. Add in multiple parties and handing a personal injury claim alone goes from a nearly impossible headache to a completely impossible nightmare. An established personal injury firm like Nadrich & Cohen has the resources, lawyers, paralegals and staff to handle every aspect of a complex, multi-party injury claim.
What If A Governmental Entity Is Involved?
Claims against government entities absolutely necessitate hiring a personal injury lawyer because they can be a lot more complex than your average personal injury claims. For one, governments are immune to many lawsuits; they cannot typically be sued without permission.
You should discuss your injuries with experienced personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen to see if you have a valid claim against a governmental entity responsible for your injuries. While governmental entities are often immune to lawsuits, there are certain circumstances which may allow you to file a lawsuit against them. For example, if you are injured in an accident which was created by unsafe roadway conditions, a governmental entity may be held liable for creating the unsafe roadway conditions.
It is harder to hold governmental entities accountable for injuries because they have special protections under the law, but an experienced personal injury law firm like Nadrich & Cohen will know exactly how to get around these protections in order to obtain compensation for your injuries.
The time limit to file a personal injury claim against a governmental entity is also much shorter than the time limit to file a typical personal injury claim, so you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately if you’ve been injured in an accident and think it might be a governmental entity’s fault.
What If The Insurance Company Doesn’t Want To Pay Me?
One common reason people need personal injury lawyers is that insurance companies often act in bad faith.
Insurance companies do not have your welfare in mind. They only have their own profits in mind. Because of this, they will sometimes try every trick in the book to be able to avoid paying you for your injuries.
Insurance companies may try many dirty tricks to avoid paying you, including:
- Delaying your claim as much as they can so the statute of limitations expires and you can’t file a lawsuit
- Asking you to file excessive paperwork to file your claim
- Refusing to investigate claims
- Falsely accusing you of being partially or completely responsible for your accidents
- Refusing to pay your claim, no matter how valid it is
- Giving you false information about your legal rights
- Giving you false information about your policy terms
Experienced personal injury attorneys like Nadrich & Cohen have been dealing with insurance companies for decades and know how to deal with all the insurance companies’ tricks, so hiring personal injury lawyers can help you ensure that their tricks won’t prevent you from obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
In addition, insurance companies are much less likely to try dirty tricks like these in the first place if they know you’re represented by a lawyer. In fact, in most personal injury claims, the mere presence of a lawyer and the mere threat of a lawsuit is enough to force the insurance company to offer you a fair settlement for your injuries.
How Soon Should I Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?
You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after being injured in an accident that’s at least partially somebody else’s fault. There are numerous reasons for this.
One, there are strict time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits. Failure to file a lawsuit within the time limit can prevent you from obtaining financial compensation for your injuries. The process of filing an insurance claim, negotiating with insurance companies, having negotiations come to a standstill without a favorable outcome, and finally filing a lawsuit over it is a long, complex process. You should contact personal injury attorneys immediately to make sure there’s enough time for this process to be completed.
In addition, it is ideal to hire personal injury lawyers as soon as possible from an evidence preservation standpoint. Defendants and plaintiffs can accidentally destroy accident evidence without being aware it should be preserved.
Vehicle parts/products/components may be key evidence and losing them can be devastating to a case. It’s easier to find witnesses early on in a case, and their memories of the accident will be fresher and more accurate. Relevant photos and videos are easier to obtain early on in a case and the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a relevant one when it comes to personal injury claims.
Evidence collection can be a long, painstaking process, and you shouldn’t have to do it yourself after being injured in an accident. Hiring personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries while evidence collection experts collect all the evidence for you to bolster your case and ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Cost?
Depends on your claim in most situations
Most personal injury lawyers don’t operate on an hourly basis. They, instead, earn their money by obtaining settlements or winning lawsuits for their clients.
Most personal injury lawyers, like Nadrich & Cohen, operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that their services will never cost you any money out of your own pocket.
Contingency fee lawyers charge a percentage of any recovery they obtain for you as their fee. This fee is only charged in the event they obtain a recovery for you, and is not charged until the recovery is obtained.
In other words, most personal injury lawyers will not charge you a fee if they don’t recover financial compensation for you.
What Should I Do In Addition To Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer?
The most important thing you need to do in order to maximize your recovery in a personal injury claim or lawsuit is to seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible and be diligent about following doctors’ directions and attending any follow-up medical appointments.
It is absolutely critical for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible after being in an accident, even if you don’t think you were injured. It is very common to not realize that you’ve been injured in an accident until days or even weeks after an accident. Adrenaline and endorphins can mask injuries in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Insurance companies can claim your injuries were caused by something other than your accident if you wait too long to seek medical treatment for your injuries, and they can use this to deny you compensation for your injuries.
If you don’t follow your doctors’ directions after an accident or if you fail to diligently attend all medical follow-up appointments, insurance companies can claim that your injuries must not be as bad as you claim and use this to deny you fair compensation for your injuries.
You should avoid posting on social media after being injured in an accident. You should wait until your personal injury claim is resolved before posting on social media again. Insurance companies monitor claimants’ social media accounts, looking for any little thing they can twist, manipulate or misrepresent in order to pay you less or nothing at all. It is very easy to accidentally post something that an insurance company can claim means your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
You should avoid talking to insurance companies after being injured in an accident. Insurance companies are trained to try to trick you into admitting fault for accidents so they don’t have to pay you for your injuries. You should let your personal injury lawyers handle all correspondence with insurance companies for you so you don’t risk incriminating yourself.
What Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Do For Me?
Personal injury lawyers possess a wide variety of skills allowing them to help you maximize financial compensation for your injuries. The personal injury claim/lawsuit process is a long, complex one involving many steps that a personal injury lawyer can handle for you:
Evidence gathering: It is necessary to gather evidence in order to prove that your injuries were the result of somebody else’s negligence. Personal injury lawyers can gather this evidence for you while you focus on recovering from your injuries. This evidence can include medical records, medical reports, medical bills, incident reports, police reports, witness statements and other evidence that can bolster your case.
Negotiations: Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult and frustrating, and you shouldn’t have to do it yourself while you’re recovering from your injuries. Personal injury lawyers can review insurance polices, determine how much compensation is available to you, then negotiate with the insurance companies to get you every penny you’re entitled to.
Sending a demand letter: Personal injury lawyers will send insurance companies demand letters after conducting thorough investigations on your claim. These letters detail the circumstances of the accident and document all of the damages you’re entitled to in detail.
Pleadings preparation: If the other party’s insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, a personal injury lawyer will prepare a legal complaint against the defendant. This complaint will explain in detail why the defendant is liable for your injuries and state the compensation you are looking for.
Discovery: The discovery process is when a lawyer conducts depositions of involved parties experts, witnesses and defendants to gather critical data that can bolster your case.
Representation in court: Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, if your case goes to court, your personal injury attorney will represent you in court. They can make sure all of the court customs and procedures are followed since they’re familiar with them.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
The length of a personal injury case depends on the individual circumstances involved. Some cases are resolved in a few months. Some cases take years.
Most personal injury cases are settled in under two years.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of a personal injury case also depends on the individual circumstances involved.
Factors that influence the value of a personal injury case can include:
- The costs of past and future medical treatments
- The amount of past and future income lost as a result of your injuries
- The amount of property damage sustained
- The amount of pain and suffering sustained
- The amount of emotional distress suffered
- The loss of enjoyment of life created by your injuries
- Loss of consortium, or the loss of the benefits of your relationship with your spouse as a result of your injuries, such as loss of companionship inability to enjoy a sexual relationship