What Is a Personal Injury or Accident Lawyer?
Accident Lawyers or Personal Injury Attorneys are litigators who can give you legal advice and representation for personal injury cases. These are instances when you’ve received physical or psychological injury as well as financial loss caused by negligence, fault, or carelessness of someone else (individual or organization).
What Does a Personal Injury or Car Accident Lawyer Do?
They basically give you advice and represent you for your personal injury case. Their duties can include the following:
- They can help point out your privileges. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the implications of lawful issues in terms of your individual privileges. However, different states can have variations when it comes to laws relating to legal time limits and more. Your attorney can help you out with that.
- They can guide you through the process. Personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you strategize by guiding you through administrative work and clinical or protection language. These technical elements always come with personal injury cases. Your attorney can help assist you from start to finish.
California Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
For any personal injury case, you mustn’t wait too long before consulting a lawyer. According to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCCP) § 335.1, most cases provide you two years to file a personal injury claim. After that deadline, a judge will most likely throw your lawsuit out.
Discovering negligence after the fact and being under 18 can exempt you from the statute of limitations. However, it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as you know that you were injured because of a negligent party. Evidence can disappear and memory can fade. You need to get to work on your case as soon as you can.
What Types of Cases Does a Personal Injury or Accident Lawyer Handle?
Here at Jacoby and Meyers, our attorneys usually work on personal injury lawsuits caused by auto accidents. However, we help victims of negligence in any situation. Cases we handle include:
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car accidents
- Dog bites
- Pedestrian accidents
- Scooter accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Bus accidents
- Construction accidents
- Bicycle accidents
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident or Other Minor Injuries?
In some personal injury cases, the injured can choose to represent themselves without consulting a lawyer. This is common when the claim involves a relatively small amount of money and the people who caused the accident have insurance.
However, it is impossible to know the seriousness of your injuries at the time of an accident. At first, it can seem like a relatively small event, but it can become worse over time.
Small injuries can result in huge costs for long or short periods of time. Even if you sustained a minor injury from the incident, talk to a lawyer who specializes in this type of injury cases. An experienced lawyer can understand all the factors that contributed to the accident, along with potential long or short-term effects.
Other Reasons Why You Must Consult a Lawyer After an Accident
Here are more reasons to contact a lawyer after an accident:
- Determine the “hidden factors,” which might have contributed to the accident. Small delays can mean the loss of critical information. Also, some people can try to modify their stories after they realize that they might be financially responsible for an accident. Meanwhile, other people can innocently forget details of an accident over time.
- Injuries and damage may not be apparent at the accident scene. People experience an adrenaline rush immediately afterward that can mask injuries for 36 to 48 hours.
- Insurance companies can act first and settle a claim to manage their costs.
- Responsibility for an accident can be more complex than how it seems. If a vehicle accident was caused by a defective part or shoddy repair, those causes might not be obvious at the scene.
Consulting a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases soon after an accident can assure that you have the necessary information and advice. Hence, you can receive fair treatment and recovery in an accident.
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From an initial offer of $400,000 to a more satisfactory settlement of $𝟭,𝟭𝟯𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬.
“Top 50 Women” and Super Lawyer Laura Sedrish delivers Jacoby and Meyers’ promise of helping our clients get the justice they truly deserve. pic.twitter.com/sHEB8MUaNL
— Jacoby & Meyers (@JMLawyersCA) March 3, 2022
How Much Does an Accident or Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
Your charges can depend on the details of your case and how long your lawsuit lasts. Here at Jacoby and Meyers, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless you do.
Before working on your case, you and your lawyer can have an agreement that a certain percentage of your settlement will go to them. For instance, your lawyer will take out the percentage in the agreement after securing your settlement. The insurance company will send us the check then send the rest to you.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident or Personal Injury Case?
Some personal injury victims choose not to get a lawyer because of various misbeliefs, such as the process taking too long, the investment being too high, or being left with little money in their settlement. Furthermore, some people don’t want to spend time finding a good personal injury or auto, accident lawyer. Sometimes, they simply don’t want anything else on their plate while going through stressful times.
Industry data proves that working with a personal injury or accident lawyer improves your chance to get thousands or even millions more in your settlement. A great personal injury case can help you get a settlement amount that truthfully reflects your injuries, your prognosis, losses, as well as the injury’s impact on your family and livelihood.
Industry data proves that working with a personal injury or accident lawyer increases your ability to get thousands or even millions more in your settlement.
Compensation You Could Get For a Personal Injury or Accident
Compensation helps assure your recovery. The personal injury settlement will often include:
- The costs of long-term medical care
- The costs of physical rehabilitation
- The payment of wages the victim would have earned if they had not been injured
- The costs of vocational training so that the victim can find work in a different field with the long-term disability
Additional compensation for long-term pain, mental, and emotional damage can also be included. Certainly, a personal injury or accident lawyer can help assure that you have the resources to fully recover from medical and other expenses caused by your injuries.
What Should You Do After You Have Suffered a Personal Injury?
In any accident, time is important. You must gather as much information as possible. You must document the facts at the accident scene. Getting information immediately makes sure that you have the best chance to pursue and win an injury case as the victim of an accident.
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How to Gather Information after an Accident
Here are some tips for documenting what happened:
- Note the time, date, and location of the accident
- Describe any unusual conditions. Rain, fog, ice, construction, heavy traffic, or any hazards. Wetness, construction, or other conditions can cause accidents in a workplace, home, or public place.
- Gather as much information at the scene as you can, including contact information for people involved in the accident, witnesses, or owners of the vehicle or property.
- Take pictures using your cell phone or other gadgets with cameras. Document the details of the scene, paying attention to any hazards or unusual conditions in the area.
- Identify witnesses. Get their names and contact information.
- Get medical care for yourself and anyone else involved in the accident. Even if you feel fine, consult a doctor or visit an urgent care facility immediately after the accident.
- In a vehicle accident or act of violence, make a police report if the police weren’t at the scene. Create a record of the accident and the parties involved. Also, avoid admitting any responsibility yourself or blaming others for what happened. Just discuss the facts of the accident: Who, what, where, and when. Then, contact a personal injury or auto accident lawyer immediately.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident, but talk to your lawyer before settling with them.
Who Is Liable for My Personal Injury?
Reimbursement for the healthcare and property costs depends on who was negligent or at fault in the incident. It’s often not as clear as it seems when the accident happens. Many factors can cause an accident. Causes might not be apparent at the time of the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help determine these factors, using various resources to research and document them in your case.
Examples of Accident and Personal Injury Scenarios
Here are examples of individuals or organizations that might be liable for an accident and personal injury:
- The owner of a vehicle or property
- The business that rents a space
- Parents, if the person who caused the accident was underage.
- Service organizations – organizations that provide services to buildings and parks might be responsible for a personal injury if their carelessness or actions contributed to an accident.
- Employers can be held liable when their employees cause an accident.
- Third parties at a worksite that produce and provide products or services used by a company.
- A local, state, or federal agency can be liable if there are unsafe conditions in an area they are responsible for
- Some government agencies are responsible for overseeing the actions of certain industries or organizations, like the trucking industry. If that agency doesn’t identify unsafe or hazardous situations, the agency can be held responsible for personal injuries.
- Manufacturers can be responsible for personal injuries caused by defects of a product.
- Repair services that improperly repair a vehicle or other products can also be liable if the faulty repair contributed to an accident.
Claims involving sources of compensation beyond insurance require knowledge and research. Thus, reliable personal injury attorneys can help pinpoint potential sources of responsibility. For instance, Jacoby and Meyers has investigators who know how to research specific aspects of an accident. They also have the legal experience to pursue a claim to a final settlement.
What Damages Can I Get for a Personal Injury?
A personal injury lawsuit reimburses a person for the mental, physical, economic, and emotional injuries they have received from the incident. Compensation can consider life-changing and severe injuries. This can cover the cost of changes that affect a person’s ability to care for him or herself, hold a job, maintain personal relationships, or even pursue interests that they had before the accident. The damages covered in a personal injury case fall into three categories:
- Special damages are specific, measurable costs that can be documented, primarily medical costs and lost wages.
- General damages are not as easy to measure because they include factors like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and long-term costs because a person can no longer work or follow the lifestyle they had before the accident.
- Punitive damages are awarded for wrongdoing and are not usually allowed in accident cases. Punitive damages can be appropriate in cases of lawbreaking or deliberate injuries.
How Do You Determine the Amount of Compensation?
Compensation for a personal injury primarily depends on the severity of the injury. In fact, serious injuries like loss of a limb, a spinal cord injury, or brain damage will receive the greatest injury settlements. Those accidents and injuries can cause major lifestyle changes because of long-term physical effects as well as intense physical pain and suffering.
Determining the recovery appropriate, those responsible for the accident, and the resulting injuries can be a complex process. However, a personal injury lawyer can make calculations and determine the best ways to pursue a claim for these costs.
How to Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with a personal injury or accident lawyer ensures that you can get the compensation you deserve. You can get the right medical treatment with peace of mind, knowing that you won’t end up with devastating medical bills. To help you out, here are five questions you can ask when you’re looking for a lawyer:
Are they reliable?
When looking for the best personal injury attorney, ask how long the firm has been in business. This is important because the length of time is a testimony to the firm’s success. Also, take note of their ability to stay in business and to grow with their success rate. For example, Jacoby and Meyers has been serving accident victims all over California for more than 48 years. Every one of our attorneys attended a top law school and came to our firm with a remarkable record.
How is their track record?
A solid track record is proof of a personal injury lawyer’s ability and skill. For example, a lawyer from Jacoby and Meyers has expert teams in many niche areas of personal injury cases. For instance, a team can include an insurance expert, police report expert, medical record expert, researchers, and a specialist responsible for securing witnesses. Your personal injury attorney with these resources can help establish the maximum value of your case and successfully argue for its payout.
Case studies are a great way to know if the lawyer you are hiring can deliver the results that they promise.
Watch this short video below about how our esteemed attorneys Laura Sedrish and Laura Davidson navigated a complicated Summer Camp Aquatic Accident:
How are they publicly represented?
If you grew up in Southern California during the 70s and 80s, you will remember Jacoby and Meyers TV commercials. While having a catchy jingle helps, top-performing personal injury attorneys don’t need a gimmick. Instead, look for an attorney from a firm that has experience, dedication, and results.
Check the attorney’s LinkedIn account and see what their peers or past clients have to say about them. Check your attorney’s connections and what organizations they belong to. Also, check the firm’s social media accounts, so you can check if their content is professional and relevant to your needs as a victim.
What awards do they have?
Look out for “award-winning” firms that display awards that might not speak about their ability to practice personal injury law. When researching awards, you might find out that they were chosen by an editor (people who get paid for the publicity). Also, the award might be generated from an entity affiliated with the firm.
The best awards come from bodies made up of other attorneys, or from verified client reviews. Also, look at the verified reviews in Google Business, Yelp, or on the firm’s website.
How do I feel about them after a consultation?
Once you have had a free consultation with an attorney, you should have a very good idea about the fit. Did the attorney explain everything thoroughly? Did they speak to you in a concise way? Were they easy to talk to? Was the attorney friendly enough and did they seem genuinely passionate about your case?
If a firm or attorney ticks all of the right boxes, it’s safe to say you have a strong contender that you can move from your shortlist to your top choices. We can help you get access to a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer here at Jacoby and Meyers.
We have a team of the best personal injury or auto accident lawyers in California, including Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento. Our lawyers can help you get justice as well as the compensation you rightfully deserve, including car accident settlements and more. Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you.