An injury, even a minor one, can mean months of medical bills and lost work. From a car accident to a slip and fall, or a boating accident to a dog bite, there are a number of things that can cause serious trauma. If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, you could be able to receive payment for your accident.
If you are seeking justice and compensation for an accident, you need to find the best personal injury attorney Los Angeles has to offer. Our firm has been proud to serve LA since 1972 with the most experienced personal injury lawyers in California.
When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in L.A.?
Injuries happen every day, and while they are sometimes the result of a simple, random accident, they are often linked to negligence. When someone else’s negligent or reckless actions cause your injury, they should be liable to pay for your medical bills, lost work, and more.
If you think someone else was responsible for your injury, no matter how small, you should get a free consultation with one of our L.A. personal injury attorneys. They can assess your case and tell you what the next steps should be.
California Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
Don’t wait too long to get in touch with a lawyer. According to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCCP) § 335.1, in most cases, you have two years to file a personal injury claim. After that deadline, a judge will most likely throw your lawsuit out.
While there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations like discovering negligence after the fact and being under 18, you should contact a lawyer as soon as you know that you were injured because of a negligent party. Evidence can disappear, and memory fades, so we need to get to work on your case as soon as you can.
How Much Does a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
How much your personal injury attorney charges will depend on the specifics of your case and how long your lawsuit lasts. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.
Before they get to work on your case, your lawyer will agree with you on a certain percentage of your settlement that will go to them. After we secure your settlement, the insurance company will send us the check, your lawyer will take out the percentage that you agreed on, then send the rest on to you.
What Types of Cases Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles Handle?
Any Los Angeles personal injury attorney on our team can tell you that car accidents are the number-one cause of personal injury lawsuits in this city. According to the California Highway Patrol, 277,160 people were injured in car accidents in 2017.
That may be the most common source of injuries, but we can help victims of negligence in any situation. The types of cases our personal injury lawyers in L.A. handle include:
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Pedestrian accidents
- Scooter accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Bus accidents
- Construction accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Paraplegia injuries
- Brain injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Burn injuries
- Wrongful death
- Broken bones
- Laceration injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Orthopedic injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Quadriplegia injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Rideshare, Uber, and Lyft injuries
The best personal injury attorney Los Angeles has to offer can help you get the right medical treatment necessary to get your life back on track with no devastating medical bills left over. Our lawyers can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your pain and losses.
What is a Good Settlement for a Personal Injury?
What one person may consider a successful settlement could be regarded as a lowball reimbursement by others. Our firm defines a successful personal injury case outcome as one that meets the following criteria:
- The victim receives immediate medical attention.
- The right medical treatments and procedures are performed, without delay.
- The maximum case value is established taking into account current and future suffering, losses, and hardships.
- No unpaid medical bills are left for the plaintiff to deal with.
- The highest possible settlement is awarded based on actual hardships, and not based on the summary of an insurance adjuster
In order to get the highest possible settlement and get on the path to making the best quality recovery, you need to get the highest possible settlement. This means you will need to partner with the best personal injury attorney Los Angeles has to offer before the insurance adjusters are able to convince you to settle for a fragment of what you are really entitled to.
Is a Personal Injury Lawyer in LA Worth It?
In some cases personal injury victims may bypass working with a lawyer because they are under the misconception that the process will take too long, the investment will be too high, and they will be left with little money in their settlement. Furthermore, some people simply don’t want to spend the time to find the best personal injury attorney Los Angeles has in the county, nor do they want something else on their plate to deal with in stressful times.
However, industry data proves that working with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles increases your ability to get thousands, and in some cases millions more in your settlement than if you simply work with the insurance companies.
The fact is that a truly successful personal injury case results in a settlement amount that reflects the extent of your injuries, your prognosis, losses, and how the injury has impacted your family and your ability to live a full life. We know how to build a case based on these points to ensure you get the highest possible settlement.
Compensation You Could Get For a Personal Injury in Los Angeles
Compensation in an injury lawsuit is intended to assure that an injured person is restored–as much as possible–to the level of health, work, activity, and lifestyle that they enjoyed before the injury. In cases of serious injury or wrongful death, a personal injury lawsuit may also include an award for the physical and mental pain and suffering caused by the accident.
An injury can be so severe that the person will never have the same level of health or ability to perform normal activities that they were able to perform before the accident. In those cases, 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, as well as mental and emotional anguish
If you or someone close to you has suffered medical and other expenses as a direct result of injuries from an accident, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney may be a reasonable and effective way to assure that you have the resources to fully recover.
What Should You Do After You Have Suffered a Personal Injury?
In any accident, time is critical. This means that you should gather as much information and document the facts at the accident scene when it happens.
Once you leave the scene of an accident and the area is cleared, the witnesses and details of the accident scene disappear. Gathering as much information as possible immediately assures that you have the best opportunity to pursue and win an injury case if you have been the victim of an accident.
Here are some guidelines for documenting what happened:
- Note the time, date, and location of the accident
- Describe any unusual conditions. Rain, fog, ice, construction, heavy traffic, etc. in a motor vehicle accident. Any hazards, wetness, construction, or other condition in case of accidents in a workplace, home, or public place.
- Gather as much information at the scene as you can. Be sure to include contact information for people involved in the accident, witnesses, or owners of the vehicle or property.
- Take pictures. Cell phones and computers have cameras. Use them to document the details of the scene. Pay particular 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 ok, see 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 there were no police at the scene. This creates a record of the accident and the parties involved. Avoid admitting any responsibility yourself or blaming others for what happened. Just discuss the facts of the accident: Who, what, where, and when. Again, avoid admitting any responsibility yourself or blaming others for what happened.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.
- You should also let your insurance company know that there has been an accident, but talk to your lawyer before settling with them.
Should I Get a Personal Injury Attorney for a Minor Accident?
In many personal injury cases, the people injured choose to represent themselves, without consulting a lawyer. This is especially 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. What at first appears to be a relatively small event can turn out to be something, much, much worse.
Small injuries can grow into problems that have huge long- and short-term costs. Talk to a lawyer who specializes in injury cases even when the injury seems minor because an experienced lawyer will understand all the factors that could have contributed to the accident and all the potential long- and short-term effects.
Here’s why you should contact a lawyer any time you are involved in an accident no matter how minor it may seem at first:
- A lawyer can determine the “hidden factors” that might have contributed to the accident. A delay of even a day or two can mean the loss of critical information.
- 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.
- While we all like to believe everyone is honest, quite often people try to modify their stories after they realize that they might be financially responsible for an accident. Other people might innocently forget details of an accident with the passage of time.
- Insurance companies may act too quickly to settle a claim in order to manage their costs.
- Responsibility for an accident can be more complex than it first appears. If a vehicle accident was caused by a defective part or shoddy repair those causes would 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 information and advice necessary to receive fair treatment and recovery in an accident.
Who Is Liable for My Personal Injury?
Reimbursement for the healthcare and property costs caused by an accident depends on who was negligent or at fault in causing the accident. That determination is often not as clear-cut as it seems when the accident happens.
Many factors may be involved in causing an accident. A number of these may not be apparent at the time of an accident. A good injury lawyer will know what these factors may be and will have the resources to research and document them in your case.
Here are examples of individuals or organizations that may be liable for a specific 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 may be responsible for a personal injury if their carelessness or other action contributed to an accident.
- Employers may be held liable when their employees cause an accident. In cases of workplace injury, Workers Compensation sets conditions and compensation. However, employers may be held liable beyond these limits if they knew about an unsafe condition and did nothing, disabled a safety device, or caused employees to deliberately take unsafe shortcuts in performing their jobs.
- Third parties at a worksite or that produces products purchased by a company or that provides a service to another company. If the product or an employee of a third party causes an accident, that business may have liability for resulting personal injuries. An employee injured because of a third party may pursue a personal injury lawsuit outside the conditions set by Workers Compensation.
- Different governmental agencies have responsibility for the care and maintenance of streets and public areas. A local, state, or federal agency could be liable if there are unsafe conditions in an area they are responsible for if the area has become unsafe or if construction creates hazardous conditions.
- Some government agencies are responsible for overseeing the actions of certain industries or organizations, like the trucking industry. If that agency does not identify unsafe or hazardous situations, the agency may be held responsible for personal injuries that result.
- Manufacturers may be responsible for personal injuries caused by the design or manufacture of a part or product.
- Repair services that improperly repair a vehicle or other product may also be liable if the faulty repair contributed to an accident.
Claims involving sources of compensation beyond insurance require knowledge and research. Reliable Los Angeles attorneys specialize in personal injuries and know these potential sources of responsibility. We have investigators who know how to research the specific aspects of the accident as well as the legal experience to pursue a claim to final settlement.
What Damages Can I Get for a Personal Injury?
A personal injury lawsuit is intended to reimburse a person for the mental, physical, economic, and emotional injuries they have received as the result of another person’s decision or action. In cases where the injuries are severe or life-changing, the compensation can consider the cost of changes that affect a person’s ability to care for him or herself, hold a job, maintain personal relationships or pursue interests that they had before the accident.
The damages covered in a personal injury case fall into three categories: special damages, general damages, and punitive damages:
- 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.
Compensation for a personal injury primarily depends on the severity of the injury. A serious injury like loss of a limb, a spinal cord injury, or brain damage will receive the greatest injury settlements because those injuries often have long-term physical effects combined with intense physical pain and suffering and cause major lifestyle changes.
Determining the recovery appropriate and those responsible for an accident and the resulting injuries can quickly become a complex process. Lawyers who specialize in these types of cases have the experience and resources to make these calculations and determine how to best pursue a claim for these costs.
How to Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you know you need to work with a personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. You should be able to get the right medical treatment, and you want to have peace of mind knowing that you won’t get stuck with any devastating medical bills that can set your family back for decades.
However, knowing how to find the best personal injury lawyer in California is no easy task. Here are five questions you should ask that will ensure you find the best personal injury attorney in all of California.
How Long Has the L.A. Personal Injury Law Firm Been in Business?
When searching for the best personal injury attorney, ask how long the firm has been in business. This is critical, as the length of time is a testimony to the firm’s success to not only stay in business but grow due to their success rate. After all, firms staffed with poorly trained lawyers will see ongoing decreases in clients, and will eventually fold.
Our firm has been serving accident victims all over California for more than 48 years. Every one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys attended a top law school and came to our firm with a winning record.
Who Will Work on My Personal Injury Case?
Look for a personal injury attorney that has a team of hand-selected experts. For example, a personal injury attorney from Jacoby and Meyers has expert teams in multiple niche areas of any personal injury case that includes an insurance expert, police report expert, medical record expert, researchers, and a specialist responsible for securing expert witnesses.
Your personal injury attorney should have access to such resources, and work directly with them to establish the maximum value of your case, and successfully argue for its payout. That said, be prepared to talk to multiple team members, as this is how big cases are won.
How is the Personal Injury Attorney 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 a personal injury attorney from a firm that has experience, dedication to the community and clients, and results. It shouldn’t take smoke and mirrors to convince people to have a free consultation.
Check the attorney’s LinkedIn account and see what their colleagues and past clients have to say about them. This is a great place to discover who your attorney’s connections are, what organizations they belong to, and give a good idea of their presence in the personal injury law space. You should also check the firm’s social media accounts and ask yourself if their content is professional and relevant to the needs of injury victims.
Has the Firm Won Any Awards?
Look out for “award-winning” firms that showcase awards that really don’t speak to their ability to practice personal injury law at a top level. When researching awards, you may discover that it was chosen by an editor (people who get paid for the publicity) or the award was generated from an entity affiliated with the firm.
The best awards come from bodies made up of other attorneys, or from verified client reviews. For example, Laura Sedrish, one of the partners at Jacoby and Meyers has been nominated to the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers for the sixth time now–a list of top-performing attorneys elected by other lawyers.
Finally, look at the verified reviews in Google Business, Yelp, and on the firm’s website. When looking at client reviews and accolades, you can rest assured you have found a top-performing personal injury attorney that can help you get the maximum settlement you deserve and one that will monitor your medical treatment.
Trust Your Own Instincts
Once you have had a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, you should have a very good idea about the fit. Did the attorney explain everything thoroughly? Did they speak to you using a language easy to understand? Was the communication comfortable? Was the attorney friendly enough and did they seem genuinely passionate about your case?
If so, and the other points in this article fall in line with the lawyer and their firm, it’s safe to say you have a strong contender that you can move from your shortlist to your top choices.
Our firm is available to take your call around the clock. We are eager to hear about your case and present a clear path forward. Together, we can complete this journey and set you and your family up for a life ahead of joy and ease.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles?
Due to the overwhelming size of Los Angeles and its sprawling county, the tricks insurance companies pull on freshly injured victims to limit their claim, and the complexities of the legal system, partnering with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can make all the difference to protecting and improving your lifestyle and family’s security.
When another person or an organization makes a careless decision and the consequences of that negligence leave you with an injury, you are entitled to receive justice at the highest possible level within your rights. An experienced personal injury attorney in LA is your best bet for financial compensation for your accident.
Talk to a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today
Whether you are left with catastrophic injuries like an amputation, or you have whiplash from a car accident, you deserve the highest possible compensation.
Contact Jacoby and Meyers for a free consultation with our dedicated and compassionate team; we have the best personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles, and our passion revolves around helping our community members get the justice they deserve for their injuries and losses.