How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer
Finding the Right Car Accident Lawyer for You Looking for a good car accident lawyer is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are a ton of lawyers out there and they all seem to offer the same “high quality legal services” and parrot the same reassuring promises of “exceptional case results” – when in reality, the majority of them don’t have the skills, resources, or even principles to follow through on their words. But how can you tell the difference between the false package and the real deal? To put it simply, you have to know what to look for. So what qualities should you look for in a car accident lawyer? Well, it’s always educational to know what NOT to do, in any situation, so let’s go over that first. The Wrong Way When you choose a dentist, a doctor, a car mechanic, or even a place to go eat at, what do you usually do? Chances are you either get a referral from a trusted friend or family member, or perform extensive research – read reviews, watch video testimonials, draw comparisons with the competition, and so on. Then isn’t it logical that you would do the same when choosing a lawyer? However, you’d be surprised at how many people pick their lawyers based on television ads alone. Nothing is wrong with TV advertising in itself, but the fact is that ANY law firm can buy an ad spot as long as they have the money – in other words, being on TV, while outwardly impressive, has nothing to do with a lawyer’s abilities or, just as importantly, their desire to help you. But the question remains … What Makes a Good Car Accident Lawyer? A Good Car Accident Lawyer Specializes Would you hire a car mechanic to design your home? Would you hire an interior decorator to fix up your car? Clearly, the answer to both of these questions is no. So why would you hire a divorce lawyer or a criminal law attorney to represent your car accident case? A lawyer who specializes in car accidents and knows the ins and outs of handling these types of cases will get you the best results, while a jack-of-all-trades-type lawyer who spreads themselves too thin amongst too many different practice areas will only get you middling or just plain bad results. A Good Car Accident Lawyer Has Plenty of Resources Car accident cases can get expensive to prosecute, especially when complex legal procedures are involved. Your lawyer should have the resources to cover all legal fees, hire investigators and experts, and carry out your case from start to finish without any financial impediments. Hiring a lawyer who lacks resources may result in your claim being compromised. Their financial challenges are not yours. A Good Car Accident Lawyer Provides Personal Attention It’s been observed that an okay attorney-client relationship nets okay results while a great attorney-client relationship nets great results. Therefore, make sure the lawyer you choose has a reputation for maintaining close communication with their clients; this means access to their phone and e-mail, and regular case updates. Also, get a lawyer who caters their legal advice and strategies to each client’s unique needs, not a claims “mill” that processes cases with cookie cutter approaches. #1 Car Accident Lawyers in California Founded in 2007, Wilshire Law Firm is an AV Preeminent-rated, Top 1% Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Firm providing custom-tailored legal solutions for clients throughout California. Our goal is always to obtain the maximum award for a client’s injuries. In service of this goal, we utilize cutting edge technology for litigation management, legal and medical research, and data collection. In addition, we have highly trained specialists handle all aspects of a case – from medical treatment to liens reduction to litigation. We are so proficient in what we do that other lawyers often turn to us for help with their cases. To learn more about what our firm can do for you in a FREE consultation, call us today at (800) 52-CRASH.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Everything You Need to Know about Motorcycle Accident You are on this page most likely because you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another party, and you have many questions that need answering. Please check out the general answers to question about motorcycle accidents commonly asked by clients of Wilshire Law Firm. If you have any specific questions regarding your case, feel free to contact our experienced California motorcycle accident lawyers by calling (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations. THE INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERED ME A SETTLEMENT. DO I STILL NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER? Don’t accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting with an attorney first. If you do, you would certainly resolve your case in quick fashion but most likely end up with insufficient compensation for your medical bills and other damages. In spite of whatever the insurance adjuster says, he or she is not looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies are businesses, and like any other business, they prioritize their profits above all else. If you want to counter the insurance company’s attempts at weakening your claim, get legal representation from a qualified motorcycle accident attorney. You won’t regret it. HOW SOON SHOULD I FILE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM? In California, victims of motorcycle accidents typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their suit against liable parties. This deadline, also referred to as the statute of limitations, is strictly enforced – if you fail to file in time, you will be barred from pursuing compensation for your losses. Keep in mind that the standard two year statute does not apply to every single personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may have as little as 180 days from the date of the accident to file your claim. Therefore, it is highly advised that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, before your claim is put in jeopardy. WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE MEETING WITH MY ATTORNEY? Do not hold back anything from your attorney. The more information you provide, the better he or she will be able to achieve an optimal case outcome. Give your attorney police and medical reports, key eye witness statements, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, relevant photographs and video footage, and any other documentation pertaining to your accident and/or injuries. WHAT DAMAGES CAN I SEEK IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM? Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may seek the following types of damages: medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, and pain and suffering. If you were hit by an impaired or reckless driver, you may pursue punitive damages as well. However, punitive damages are rewarded only in certain limited circumstances. Speak with an attorney to receive a rundown of your potential recovery. CAN I RECOVER DAMAGES EVEN IF I WASN’T WEARING A HELMET AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT? While this circumstance may impact the amount of damages for which you are eligible, it does not bar you from pursuing compensation altogether. In such cases where both parties are at fault, California determines damages based on a comparative negligence standard. This means the court will look at the details of your case, assign percentage of fault to each involved party, and then decrease your damages by the equivalent percentage of your fault. You may still recover damages even if you were 99 percent at fault. WHAT IF AN UNIDENTIFIED DRIVER CAUSED ME TO SWERVE OFF THE ROAD AND CRASH BY CUTTING ME OFF? It’s understandable if this scenario has left you feeling like you have no possibility of recourse or recovery. However, with assistance from an experienced attorney, you may still be able to identify and locate the liable driver and get justice from him or her. And if finding the driver is not possible, then you may still pursue damages through the uninsured motorist coverage provided by your insurance policy. You may have options – contact an attorney who can help you explore all of them. Since 2007, the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm have collected more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. We can help you get the full and fair compensation you need to get your life back together and bring about a better tomorrow. Call us at (800) 522-7274 to learn more about your rights and legal options.
NFL Concussion Lawsuit
Important Information for Former NFL Players Are you a former NFL player suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Whether you qualify under the recent Federal District Court-approved settlement, or wish to file a separate lawsuit, you should consult an experienced NFL concussion attorney to learn more about your rights and best legal options for recovery. Millions of dollars may be at stake! The NFL Concussion Settlement has, finally, been approved » » NFL Concussion Litigation NFL Concussion NFL Qualifying Symptoms NFL Concussion facts NFL Concussion Settlement approved Symptoms of Concussions Why Do I Need a Lawyer At Wilshire Law Firm, we are helping former professional football players get what is rightfully theirs, including: Full medical coverage for testing, treatment and monitoring Full credit for time and seasons in the NFL Compensation for pain and suffering And more The NFL Concussion Settlement has been approved The court finally approved the NFL Concussion Settlement, effective from January 7, 2017. Registration opened on February 6, 2017. THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS AUGUST 7, 2017. IF YOU DIDN’T REGISTER BY THEN, YOU WILL BE FOREVER BARRED FROM CLAIMING BENEFITS FROM THIS SETTLEMENT. Players could get compensation for as much as $5,000,000.00. If you are a former NFL player, please call us today for legal advice and how to claim. Don’t wait until it’s too late! For a FREE, no-obligation case evaluation, call us today at (800) 522-7274. We understand just how much is at stake in a high profile case such as yours, and will use the time-tested legal strategies we have developed over the years to reach an optimal resolution. NFL Concussion Lawsuit Menu Important Information for Former NFL Players Qualifying Symptoms Terms of the Federal District Court Settlement Why You Need a Lawyer If you are a former NFL player please contact us today for help in this process, don’t wait until it’s too late. Qualifying Symptoms From as early as the 1920s, the medical community has been aware of the potentially devastating long-term effects of repeated blows to the head. In spite of this, however, the NFL ignored the medical risks and neglected the well-being of their players, even going so far as to sending rattled players back out onto the field during the same game. It is only recently that the media has focused much-needed attention on the issue of brain damage among former NFL players, forcing the league to finally rethink their concussion policy. However, it is too little, too late. Many retired NFL players have sustained brain injuries with symptoms that are often progressive, permanent, and sometimes even fatal, such as: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Memory Loss Dementia Impulse Control Problems Alzheimer’s Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Chronic Fatigue Insomnia or Other Sleep Disorders Debilitating Anxiety Bipolar Disorder Parkinson’s Intermittent Explosive Disorder Panic Disorder Psychosis Most lawsuits have a two year window to file from the time the injured individual has reasonable knowledge of the injury, so any players with symptoms should file as soon as possible. Terms of the Federal District Court Settlement Under the terms of a Federal District Court settlement approved by Judge Anita Brody, former players with major cognitive impairments that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, and certain cases of CTE (usually confirmed after death) are entitled to an award. The amount of the award is impacted by the player’s age as well as the duration of his playing career. Eligible parties that register in time may receive the following benefits: Baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations, along with medical testing, counseling and/or treatment Monetary awards for aforementioned major cognitive conditions Education programs promoting safety and injury prevention with respect to football players Unfortunately, the limited terms of the settlement exclude many former players with TBI from receiving the coverage they need and deserve. Also, there are many who do qualify for benefits under the settlement but are dissatisfied with its terms. NFL Concussion Fast Facts Many former NFL players are now filing lawsuits against the NFL because of the fact that they have hidden serious information regarding the long term neurological dangers of playing football. The NFL have taught their players how to play football by tackling one another on the field, with their heads, all the while knowing that there could be serious head injuries involved and that players could become prone to concussions and other brain traumas. This is what brought about the specialization of NFL Concussion lawyers who are now dealing with many ongoing cases for players who have suffered and are suffering from head injuries due to playing professional football. The NFL has been aware of this danger since the early 1920s, but they did not release this information until 2010. According to the policy, the NFL and NFLPA will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed. Following the investigation, the NFL and NFLPA will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter will be brought to a third party arbitrator. After conducting a thorough review, the arbitrator will issue a report to the Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director and the involved parties. As jointly agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, the Commissioner retains absolute discretion in determining penalties for violations of the concussion protocol. Potential disciplinary action includes: A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club. Whatever the case is for you, it is highly recommended that you retain a trusted NFL concussion attorney. It can mean the difference between obtaining the financial compensation and benefits you need and possibly receiving nothing. Symptoms of Concussions in NFL Players First off, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a massive or hard hit to the head, which is what NFL players do on a daily basis in their football games. A lot of concussions occur even when the person is completely conscious and they don’t even know they have one. CTE, which is also known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a brain disease that occurs when someone is repeatedly diagnosed with concussions in the head. Here are some common symptoms of this terrible condition: Mood swings Hearing changes Loss of memory Imbalance Headaches and dizziness Confusion Unconsciousness Changes in vision Depression Exhaustion Why Are NFL Concussion Lawyers Needed? Players are now holding the NFL accountable for their head injuries due to the fact that they were not warned about this before they had joined the league. This means that the organization did not take responsibility for the health of their team and failed to inform their players about the long term side effects and dangers of playing football. There have been many cases where NFL players have already suffered chronic brain traumas such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, loss of memory, mental illnesses, mood swings, changes in personality and cognitive defects. Now that players have become more and more aware of all the diseases and injuries they are suffering from, they are hiring NFL concussion lawyers who can file lawsuits against the organization for not taking any reasonable action to protect their players from such head injuries in the long run. Wilshire Law Firm maintains its reputable status in the Law industry with their skilled and professional NFL Concussion Lawyers who are ready to fight any cases coming their way. For those who are in search for the best lawyers, Wilshire Law Firm is ready to help those who are looking to file lawsuits against those organizations that should be held accountable for the neglectful and unjust behavior they have shown. The NFL is a large and powerful organization. Litigation against them will be costly and complicated. It is important to hire an attorney who has been successful in high profile cases against large corporations, who is comfortable trying cases with huge potential verdicts. At Wilshire Law Firm, we have the financial resources, the brain power, the personnel, and the determination to fight an important battle on your behalf. We are so confident in our abilities that we are willing to take your case on contingency; in other words, you will pay us only if there is a successful settlement or verdict. This is our ironclad guarantee. If you have further questions about what our firm can do for you, call us at (800) 522-7274. Our dedicated legal staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Personal Injury FAQ
Copyright: hafakot / 123RF Stock Photo So you’ve been in an accident and now you’re dealing with a painful injury, expensive medical bills, and other physical, mental, and financial burdens. What makes the situation even worse is the fact that the accident wasn’t even your fault! Why should you have to suffer for someone else’s mistakes? The answer is, you don’t. Check out this FAQ provided by Wilshire Law Firm to learn about your rights and legal options after an accident. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your case with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys, call (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations. How Much is my Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit Worth? While an attorney cannot provide you with an exact figure – and you should not trust one who claims otherwise – he or she can give you an estimate based on several factors, including but not limited to: the severity of your injuries, the circumstances surrounding your accident, the identity of the liable party, and the limits of his or her insurance policy. The amount of compensation you receive will be affected by not only the extent of your damages but also the strength of the evidence supporting your claim. That is why it is essential to get help from a personal injury lawyer who has experienced investigating and resolving cases like yours. If you are in the process or filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is perfectly natural to wonder how much compensation you are entitled to. And while this is not an easy question to answer, there are ways to predict a potential settlement or case resolution. The answer will always rely on what are known as “damages.” Damages are whatever harm has been inflicted on you, and how much that harm is worth: Monetarily Physically Mentally In some cases, the defendant may be punished further, which could also increase your reward. This is known as punitive damages. Monetary damages will be paid to a successful plaintiff who can prove that the defendant was legally responsible (at fault) for any negligence that caused the plaintiff property damage or personal injury. A damage reward is sometimes agreed upon with a negotiated settlement before the case goes to trial. These settlements must be agreed upon by the parties, the attorneys, and the insurance companies involved. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to court, and a judge will decide the amount of your reward. Before you can begin to guess what your reward will be, it’s important to know what kind of damages for which you’re claiming compensation. Damages for which you can claim compensation Compensatory damages are the most common form of personal injury rewards. They are meant to compensate the plaintiff for what was damaged or totaled, during the accident for which the defendant was at fault. The parties will attempt to put a dollar amount on the actual damages, which can be tricky if you don’t have an experienced personal injury lawyer. The point of putting a dollar amount on the damages is to reimburse the plaintiff for their losses. Some compensatory damages are easy to quantify, while others are not so straightforward. Check out some of the more common forms of compensatory damages below: Medical treatment Most personal injury cases involve some form of compensation for medical treatment. Hospital bills, doctor visits – these items add up fast. If you have sustained any type of injury, it is very important that you seek medical treatment. If you don’t have medical records for your injuries, with hospital bills, your chances at recovery for physical injuries will be severely diminished. Income If you’re unable to work, due to injuries sustained in your accident, and lose your ability to earn income, you may be entitled to compensation for future and past wages. This is commonly referred to as “loss of earning capacity.” Property loss Any personal property that is damaged or lost during your accident is potential for compensation. Repairs, replacements, and more, may be compensated for at fair market value. Pain and suffering Any pain and suffering that you experienced during the accident, in the immediate aftermath of the accident, or for extended periods of time after the accident will be factored into your reward. Emotional distress If you have any psychological damage from your accident, you may be entitled to emotional distress compensation. Types of emotional distress include, but are not limited to: Fear Anxiety Loss of sleep Loss of enjoyment Many cases involve injuries that deter the victim from participating in everyday hobbies and activities that, in the past, contributed to their happiness and overall enjoyment. If your injuries keep you from your favorite activities, you may be entitled to loss of enjoyment remedies. Loss of consortium If the injuries of your accident result in any negativity with regards to your spousal relationship, you may be entitled to consortium compensation. The loss of companionship or sexual relationship is common forms of consortium remedies. Punitive damages in personal injury cases When the defendant’s conduct is found to be egregious, or particularly careless, your compensation may include what are known as “punitive damages.” Punitive damages are designed to inflict extra monetary punishment on the defendant, which, in turn, may deter them from repeating their actions. Punitive damages are a major source of massive personal injury settlements and verdicts. In many states, punitive damages have caps because they run up so high. How your actions affect your recovery amount If you are deemed to have had any partial fault for the accident, that will be reflected in your claim. Comparative negligence If you are found to be at fault (wholly or partially), this can seriously diminish your chances at full compensation. Contributory negligence In some states, if you are deemed to have any fault for the accident, you may not recover any compensation. Failure to mitigate damages You need to take reasonable steps toward minimizing your damages, or else the courts may deem that you did the exact opposite. For instance, if you don’t go to the hospital and receive medical treatment, your injuries will not be recorded. When Should I File a Lawsuit in California? In California, the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, also known as the statute of limitations, is two years from the injury or date of discovery in most cases. However, there are exceptions. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following your accident if you want to ensure that your suit is filed in time. Missing the deadline can result in you being barred from pursuing compensation for your injury. How Long will my California Personal Injury Case Take? To put it simply, it is extremely difficult to determine how long it will take to a resolve a personal injury case. Each and every case presents its own unique set of circumstances which affects its length, so it’s impossible to come up with a general timetable. Some lawsuits may settle in a few months without the need for litigation, while others can take years to complete. Why Do Personal Injury Cases Take a Long Time to Settle? Some personal injury cases take longer to settle than others. Does this mean there’s something wrong with your lawyer? No, probably not. But there are many factors that may affect how long your personal injury case will take to settle, such as: Injuries you have suffered and recovery time Legal issues How extensive damages are in your case Due to the numerous factors involved in personal injury cases, it’s impossible to determine exactly how long a case will take to settle. Injuries you have suffered and recovery time For a better representation of the compensation you deserve, you should reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling. Your MMI is the point where you have recovered enough to be considered stable. It is only once you have hit your MMI that your attorney can better assess how much your case is worth and any future impacts your accident will have on you. Unfortunately, there’s no universal formula dictating what everyone’s MMI is going to be. In fact, two people could experience the exact same type of collision and suffer from the same injuries, and their MMI’s still might be different! The only way to know for sure is to be patient and heal. If you settle before reaching your MMI, you could end up paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to pay off medical bills. Legal issues Insurance companies want to draw out the settlement process for as long as possible, hoping you’ll settle for a lower amount. They can do this by disputing liability, damages, and the value of your case. Insurance companies will fight your case, especially when liability is unclear. Settlement negotiations will open up once it has been made clear to an insurance company that your injuries were, in fact, from their client’s negligent and/or reckless action. But this process can take time. Sometimes, for insurance companies who refuse to acknowledge the plaintiff’s claim, a judge will have to grant them the right to sue. A personal injury lawyer will fight to push through these legal issues as quickly as possible to help their client earn the money they need and deserve. But even the most experienced lawyers need time. How extensive damages are in your case Cases involving extensive damages are likely to be worth more. In situations like these, expect insurance adjusters to use delaying tactics. Tactics can include: Adjusters requesting small bits of information at a time, instead of asking for it all at once Insurance companies constantly changing your adjuster An adjuster trying to convince you to use your medical insurance to pay for your medical bills Furthermore, when a lot of money is on the line, an insurance company will want to do their own investigation before settling. They will investigate every aspect of your case using a fine-tooth comb, until they are convinced of all the following: Your injuries were not exaggerated Your credibility is solid Your defense is better than theirs Experiencing harm and extensive damages from an accident is stressful. You want to get paid, quickly. But by moving and settling too quickly, you risk losing valuable compensation. By waiting, you can earn more money for your accident. Take, for example, a few of these cases Wilshire Law Firm’s lawyers have won on behalf of their clients: $1,000,000 motorcycle vs. automobile settlement $985,000,000 motorcycle vs. automobile settlement $2,000,000 motorcycle vs. automobile settlement Cases like these are not resolved in a manner of weeks, but the payoff was more than worth it! The key, though, is to wait. What Is Involved in the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process? Hire a lawyer Once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you need to do is hire a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. Although you can represent yourself, we would highly recommend hiring an attorney, anyways. They have a deep understanding of the law surrounding personal injury claims, the legal processes, and how to deal with insurance companies who will use many unsavory means to lower your compensation. Schedule a free case consultation with a lawyer. During this consultation, a lawyer will ask you questions about your injuries and request information relating to the accident, such as medical treatments, repair costs, and potential witnesses. File a lawsuit Starting a lawsuit involves filing a complaint or petition, which is a document that identifies the plaintiff (you) and the defendant (the person or party that caused the injuries), sets the court’s jurisdiction over the dispute, states your legal claims, and relates the facts leading to the claim. In it, you will set forth what you want the court to require the defendant to do. The court then issues a summons, which is an order stating where the lawsuit will be litigated (heard). The court notifies the defendant about the lawsuit and establishes the window within which he or she must file an answer or seek to have the lawsuit dismissed. If the defendant fails to respond within the given timeframe, he or she will be “in default”. Discovery Process The lawyers of both parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) collect the facts pertaining to the accident and injuries to present in the court as evidence. This is called ‘Discovery’. The discovery process involves the following: Interrogatories and requests for admission: Interrogatories are written descriptions of your version of the facts. Request for admission involves asking a party (plaintiff or defendant) to admit or deny certain facts. Document production: The lawyers of one or both parties may request the other party to provide documents pertaining to the case. The documents may include diaries, photos, letters, emails and computer files. Depositions: A deposition is a question and answer session in which the opposing party’s attorney asks the plaintiff, defendant or a witness a series of questions in the presence of a court reporter, who records everything that is said and produces a transcription to be used at the trial. Deposition takes place in the attorney’s office and may last from a few hours to several days. The discovery process may be long, but it is absolutely necessary to build your case. Once the discovery is finished, lawyers from both sides will begin preparing for trial. Pretrial Motions Before the lawsuit goes to trial, the lawyers of one or both parties may file a motion asking the court for a ruling on a particular matter. It may be to have the case dismissed, change the venue of the court, grant a summary judgment, etc. If the ruling on the motion can resolve the dispute and terminate the lawsuit before trial, it is called a dispositive motion. If the ruling resolves some questions that have arisen during the litigation, it is called a non-dispositive motion. Trial The trial is the final and the most high-profile phase of a lawsuit. In this phase, the judge or jury examines the evidence presented by both parties and decide, by a “preponderance of the evidence,” whether the defendant should be held liable for the injuries and harm caused to the plaintiff. The plaintiff is given the opportunity to present his or her version of the facts with evidence. The defendant is also given the opportunity to refute the plaintiff’s allegations, presenting his or her own version of facts with evidence. A trial has six phases: Jury selection: The judge selects jurors from a pool of eligible citizens, both the lawyers and judge will question jurors for bias, and dismiss biased jurors for cause. Opening statements: Both parties make their first statements through their lawyers. Witness testimony and cross-examinations: One or both parties call witnesses and ask questions. The opposing party’s lawyer cross-examines the witnesses with questions. Closing arguments: Both parties make their final statements through their lawyers. Jury instruction: The judge establishes a set of legal standards that the jury must adhere to when making their decision. Jury deliberation and verdict: The jurors gather in a separate room to discuss the case and make a decision. The verdict is then announced in the court. That ends the lawsuit. If you win, you can collect your claim. If you lose, you can either forget about it or file an appeal in a higher court. Since a personal injury lawsuit can be a lengthy and complicated process, never go to the court without help from a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. What Should I Expect at a Personal Injury Deposition? If your case has a good chance of going to trial, you will likely undergo a deposition, an oral question and answer session with the opposing attorney. Be prepared for the following questions: Have you suffered other illnesses and/or injuries in the past? Is this the first time you have been involved in a legal claim? Can you produce any witnesses to the accident? Have you filed an insurance claim? What is your employment history? How has your injury affected your life? When was the last time you received medical treatment for your injury? An attorney can help you prepare for a deposition by going over important documents related to your injury claim and coaching you on your answers. He or she will also be at your side during the deposition itself. Can I Still Pursue Compensation if I was Partially at Fault for my Injuries? Yes. The state of California uses a “pure comparative negligence” system for determining damages in a personal injury suit. Under this system, your compensation amount will be deducted by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault. So, for instance, let’s say a jury awards you $100,000 in a verdict but also determines that you were 50 percent at fault for the accident. In the end, you will receive $50,000 ($100,000 minus 50 percent). When Should I Sue in a Personal Injury Case? Let’s say that you were injured in a car accident or when your new cellphone exploded in your hand. Besides the pain and suffering, there will be added burdens of medical bills, lost wages and other associated expenses. There may even be the possibility that you will never be able to work again. Naturally, you will want to be sufficiently compensated for your injuries and losses. The law offers two options: negotiated settlement and lawsuit. Claim vs Lawsuit Let’s say that you were injured in a car accident or when your new cellphone exploded in your hand. Besides the pain and suffering, there will be added burdens of medical bills, lost wages and other associated expenses. There may even be the possibility that you will never be able to work again. Naturally, you will want to be sufficiently compensated for your injuries and losses. The law offers two options: negotiated settlement and lawsuit. Should you file a claim and try to negotiate a settlement or should you sue the person or entity responsible for your injury? You should talk to experienced personal injury lawyers for advice. Before you can decide the right course of action, you need to know the difference between a claim and a lawsuit. Personal injury claim: A personal injury claim is filed with the insurance company of the responsible person or entity. This is before considering any lawsuit. Once you have filed your claim, a series of negotiations take place between you and the insurance company. You may be asked to attend an independent medical examination (IME) to have your injuries assessed and verified. If the negotiations conclude with a mutually satisfactory settlement, then will be no need to go to the court. Personal injury lawsuit: If a mutually satisfactory settlement can’t be reached with negotiations, then you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit is often a complicated and lengthy process that includes a petition, discovery of harm, depositions and trial. You will be required to appear several times at the court and produce witnesses. Before your cases reaches the trial stage, your defendant’s lawyer will try to have it have it thrown out. Even after the court gives a decision in your favor, the defendant may appeal to have the decision overturned or to have the compensation reduced. Consider the Following Before Filing a Lawsuit If you have received an offer of settlement that you did not find satisfactory, then consider the expenses and the time needed to pursue the lawsuit to its successful conclusion before rejecting it. Even when you have a strong case, there is no guarantee that you will win or that court will award you the full amount of your claim even if you win. If you lose the lawsuit, you will not be able to recover any of your expenses. Your lawsuit expenses may include petition filing fees, payments to law enforcement officers, costs of depositions and transcripts, costs of medical examination, travel expenses, copying costs for medical records, witness statements and police reports, and other associated expenses. Add to that the loss of wages due to time off from work and even the possibility of losing your job. Arbitration is Often a Better Recourse If the negotiations for settlement have failed, then you should consider arbitration as the next step. Arbitration takes place after the failure of the negotiations but before filing a lawsuit. It is the use of an independent person or a group of persons officially appointed to settle a dispute. The arbitrator listens to both sides and gives his decision. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision cannot be appealed. Arbitration is an excellent alternative to a lawsuit. It takes less time and the costs are much lower. There are various types of arbitrations, including one that guarantees that you will be paid at least some amount of money even if the arbitrator’s decision goes against you. Sue Only After You Have Run Out of All Other Options Technically speaking, you can file a personal injury lawsuit at any time you like after the accident. You can file it the same day you were injured, if you want to. But considering the complexity of the legal process once it goes to court, it is sensible to seek a negotiated settlement first. Experienced personal injury lawyers will give you the same advice. Therefore, you should consider filing a lawsuit only after you have run out of all other options, including arbitration and mediation. How Much will it Cost to Hire Wilshire Law Firm? At Wilshire Law Firm, we provide our services on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you won’t have to pay us any attorney fees unless we make a recovery. We advance witness fees, court filing fees, deposition costs, and other legal expenses. We have ways to take care of your medical costs as well! Once we obtain a settlement or verdict, we will take a fair percentage of the proceedings as payment for our services. We won’t ask for even a single cent beforehand. So there is literally zero risk to seeking our help! If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by another party, contact Wilshire Law Firm today to get started on the road to recovery. Since opening the doors of our first Los Angeles office in 2007, we have obtained more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys have years of experience and the results to show for it. You won’t go wrong with our legal team at your side. Call us today and let us fight for you.
Bicycle Accident FAQ
Common Questions about Bicycle Accidents How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim? In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Since the window to file your claim can vary depending on the circumstances (e.g. the statute of limitations for cases involving government employees is six months), it is best to consult with a trustworthy attorney ASAP. Otherwise, you may miss the opportunity to pursue compensation for your damages. How long does a bicycle accident case take? A typical bicycle accident case in California can take anywhere from a few months to several years. There is no clear answer, though there are a few guidelines. More serious injuries usually lead to longer cases, as do liability disputes and other complicating factors. While no attorney can give you an exact figure regarding the length of your case (and don’t trust those who tell you otherwise), he or she can extrapolate an estimate from the facts of your case. What if I was partly at fault for my bicycle accident? Bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists, and thus have a general duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of themselves and others. However, bicycle accident victims who are partially at fault can still get compensation for their injuries, albeit reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury awards you $100,000 in damages but determines that you were 30% at fault, you would still be entitled to recover $70,000 ($100,000 – 30%). What damages may I claim for bicycle accident injuries? If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for the following damages: Past and future medical expenses Lost income and loss of earning capacity Pain and suffering Loss of enjoyment of life Property damage Only by getting an experienced legal professional on your case can you ensure that the value of your case is preserved. The faster, the better. What if my child was injured or killed while riding a bicycle? There are a few major differences to claims where a child is injured. First, a guardian ad litem is appointed by the Court to act on behalf of the child. Second, the child’s personal injury compensation is placed into a blocked account that is made accessible only once the child turns 18. For more information, reach out to a lawyer experienced in these cases. Do I need an attorney after a bicycle accident? Yes, only a qualified bicycle accident lawyer can protect your rights and make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. To discuss the specifics of your bicycle accident claim with a dedicated legal expert, call Wilshire Law Firm at (800) 522-7274. We represent bike crash victims all throughout California.
Can I Choose My Own Repair Shop After A Car Accident?
The law says yes, you are well within your rights to choose your own repair shop after an accident, and there’s nothing the insurance company can do to stop you. They are allowed to give you recommendations, but the choice is ultimately yours. That being said, there are advantages – both for you and the insurance company – to going with the insurance company’s preferred repair shop. First, you don’t have to deal directly with the repair shop since all transactions go through the insurance company. Second, the insurance company provides a guarantee on repairs, meaning if you’re dissatisfied with the repairs for any reason, you can contact the insurance company and have them resolve the situation. Third, the shop doesn’t have to wait for approval from an adjuster to start repairs. As for the insurance company, they benefit from significant discounts on parts and labor … But they may also cut corners, partnering with unreliable repair shops that work with cheaper, lower quality parts. There are many reasons why you may want to go to another repair shop, and that’s perfectly fine – again, the choice is yours. However, the insurance claim representative will likely attempt to persuade you otherwise, telling you that estimates on your car will be needlessly delayed, that they won’t be able to warranty the repairs if you decide to have your car repaired at another shop. Don’t fret. As long as you go to a reputable repair shop, an experienced shop estimator will handle the estimate process and repairs efficiently. After all, it is in their best interests to do so. Do you have any questions regarding your auto accident injury claim? If so, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for answers. We can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights and options in a FREE consultation.