Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
When to Seek Legal Advice from a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people handle simple injury claims on their own, and save on legal fees, but serious cases often benefit from a lawyer's experience and expertise.
Personal injury claims cover a wide variety of situations and different types of accidents. You may have been injured in a car accident, by a slip and fall on someone's property, or bitten by a neighbor's dog. All these things are considered personal injury and the level of your injury can make a big difference in processing your claim.
In some situations, you may be capable of handling a claim through insurance or Small Claims Court against the other party on your own. Other times, you may want to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced attorney. It all depends on the severity of your injuries and the legal elements of the accident.
When Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
- The Party You Are Making a Claim Against Will Have Representation
Lawyers are professionals who spend years and countless hours studying the particulars of the law and gathering knowledge to represent their clients to the best of their abilities. If the insurance company or the party you are taking to Small Claims Court has legal representation, it may be something for you to consider as well.
- Your Injuries May Not Be As Minor As You Thought
Many people are reluctant to hire a lawyer for injuries that seem relatively minor, but there are a few reasons why you might consider scheduling an initial consultation with a lawyer, even for seemingly minor injuries:
- Minor injuries may turn into major ones. If your injuries turn out to be worse than you and your doctor thought, and you have already accepted a settlement offer, there will be nothing you can do about it since you must give up any and all future claims arising out of the accident when you settle. A good lawyer will advise you to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries, and would help you to determine the right time to accept an offer.
- You're entitled to "pain and suffering" damages. Pain, suffering, and emotional distress damages would be considered by a jury if your case went to court, and so a settlement that doesn't include these types of damages might not be a complete one. Your lawyer can explain all damages you may be entitled to, even for injuries that seem minor, and will advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive a satisfactory settlement.
- Small Cases vs. Serious Injuries
Whenever you suffer from serious injuries, you need to get an attorney because:
- Your lawyer can help you make sure you get the full spectrum of damages you're entitled to.
- Lawyers are experts in negotiation and can maximize your recovery.
- The insurers and defendants may take your claim more seriously once you're represented by an attorney.
- Insurance Company Negations
One reason many people cite for not hiring a lawyer of their own is that they have insurance, or that the other party has insurance. You may believe that insurance companies are there to look out for you. But in many cases, the insurance company's interests are directly at odds with yours:
- You have a primary goal of getting as large of a damage award as possible to compensate you for all you went through.
- Insurance companies have a primary goal of paying out as little as possible so that they have more in the way of profits.
- Contingency Fee Agreements
Another primary reason people may be reluctant to hire a lawyer is out of fear of paying legal fees. But almost all personal injury lawyers work on something called a contingency basis. This means that your personal injury lawyer will not be paid any money or legal fees unless you win your case or settle outside of court.Contingency fee agreements work by allowing the lawyer to collect compensation right out of your settlement or damage award. It is common for the agreement to be structured based on a percentage of the amount of money you receive. For example, the agreement may stipulate that the lawyer gets 30 percent if you settle before a lawsuit is filed, one-third if you settle after the lawsuit is filed but during the discovery process, or 40 percent if the case actually goes to trial and damages are awarded by a jury.
- Represented Plaintiffs Often Receive Larger Settlements
Based on a 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council, the average person receives a settlement 3 ½ times larger with legal assistance than without it. In a personal injury settlement this can make a huge difference. The particulars of the law depending on your situation can become complicated.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Experiencing an injury of any kind is a traumatic experience. Injuries can cost you time, money, and peace of mind. Many people who suffer serious injuries downplay the necessity of hiring a personal injury attorney without realizing the advantages they can bring to their claim. Any time you are injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation according to the law.
If you or a loved one are currently dealing with a personal injury, you deserve an experienced California personal injury lawyer to fight by your side.
An experienced personal injury lawyer not only understands the nature of the legal system and the rules either regulate or outline your issue, an attorney also understands the nuances of personal injuries outside the framework of specific laws. A personal injury lawyer can:
- Calculate how much your injuries or damages are worth
- Help you receive the total amount of compensation to which you are entitled rather based upon the severity of your injuries or damages
- Protect you against claims, counterclaims, and possible issues related to other parties involved in an incident
- Fight to secure a fair settlement for you through negotiations or trial
If you have been injured in an accident, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will protect your legal rights and help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez have over 40 years of combined experience in handling personal injury cases, and can answer any questions you may have about the statute of limitations in your case.
Our responsibility is to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible throughout this entire process, and most importantly, earning what you are entitled to for enduring such pain.