Our firm has handled hundreds of car accident cases throughout Southern California and throughout the State.  We know how shocked you might be after a car accident and how it can completely change the course of your life. After a car accident or injury, we tend to hear the same questions from our clients regarding the process of Personal Injury claims when they initially call us. For example, what is the claims process, what can we recover for, will we need to go to trial, and how long will it take. Since you’re probably going through a lot following your car accident, we figured we would make it easy on you and answer as many of these  frequently asked questions related to this process:

Question:
What is the Personal Injury claim process?
Personal Injury claim processAnswer:
After a car accident, you generally want to make a claim to the at-fault parties’ insurance company. This process generally starts the personal injury case. Generally, we try to resolve the case with the insurance company informally and without going to court. However, some times the insurance company try to low-ball us and refuse to pay what we demand. When that happens, we file a formal complaint in court and force the insurance company to reconsider their unreasonable position. After we file a formal complaint, we continue to try and negotiate a settlement on our clients’ behalf.

Question:
What to do immediately after a Personal Injury accident?

personal injury attorney los angelesAnswer:
After any injury, we always recommend contacting an attorney to walk you through what to do next. Remember, we do free consultations and will be happy to walk you through exactly what to do without any charge.  However, if you don’t want free advice, we recommend you immediately gather as much evidence as possible.  Take as many photographs, record as much as possible, and get as much information about how you were injured and who caused your injury.  Ask for insurance information, driver’s licenses, addresses, phone numbers, of as many people as possible.  Not just the defendant, but try to get information on as many witnesses as well.  After this, we highly recommend you make an immediate appointment with your primary care doctor.  If for some reason they can’t see you immediately, go to an emergency room or urgent care to document what you’re going through and to prescribe you medications you might need.

Question:
How long until we settle and do Personal Injury cases go to trial?bakersfield personal injury lawyerAnswer:
Majority of the cases are settled outside the court before it reaches the trial stage. However, some cases are so complex with so many disputed facts, the parties just can’t seem to reach an agreement. Generally, the three things that we focus on to determine any settlement is how the injury occurred, how the person was negligent, and what a person’s injuries are. If all three of these are very easy to prove, the case should settle fairly quickly.  However, if one of these things is in dispute, it might cause significant delays in any settlement and even require you to go to trial. It all depends on how well the case is presented. The best personal injury lawyers know how to gather and present evidence to avoid needing to go to trial. However, if the insurance company is too stubborn or unreasonable, your lawyer should be ready to go to trial.

Question:
How will the lawyer be paid?

personal injury attorney bakersfield Answer:
The best personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will take a case on “Contingency.”  That means the lawyer will be paid a certain percentage of what the lawyer can recover for you.  The standard percentage is 33.3% if the case is settled without the need to go to court.  However, if the case is complex, disputed, and the parties can reach an agreement, the attorney will have to file the case in Court. At that stage, the standard percentage is 40% of any recovery. This might seem like a lot, but when you consider that a lawyer will likely recover many multiples more than a person could without a lawyer, it’s a no brainer.