Personal injury is a primary legal term that refers to damage to the body, mind or emotions. People are always getting into accidents, and as a result, they suffer injuries. Sometimes the actions of other people are to be blamed, and other times, no one is to blame at all. Even though no one can undo the damage caused by an injury, personal injury attorneys are there to provide a way forward for the injured to ensure that their injuries are well catered for, as well as anything they might lose in the process of recovering.
In a legal perspective, relief for the injured usually comes in the form of monetary compensation and some cases, a type of remedy can be imposed by the presiding judge to ensure that future injuries are prevented. Lawsuits involving personal injuries are usually settled out of court, even before the court announces a ruling.
The need for a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney comes when the person bringing the lawsuit, commonly referred to as the plaintiff, has suffered injuries to his body, mind or emotions. This person is filing a lawsuit against the person or entity that is believed to have caused the harm through gross negligence, negligence, intentional misconduct, reckless conduct or even by strict liability. Compensation for the injured varies considerably, in most cases involving the injured person's medical bills, suffering and pain as well as his/her reduced quality of life.
When Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
After getting into a severe accident, you may be left wondering whether or not you are entitled to receive financial compensation for the sustained injuries. For a lot of people, it will help to know if one can file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to an insurance claim, or instead of the insurance claim.
A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit that is brought about by the injured person, who is also the plaintiff, against the person or entity believed to be responsible for the injuries they sustained. The claim is filed as an effort by the injured to recover some form of monetary compensation not just for their injuries but also for other losses incurred.
It is essential to note that even if one was seriously hurt, they may not have a valid personal injury lawsuit or claim, the latter of which involves making a claim directly to an insurance company without necessarily filing a lawsuit. For this reason, it is essential to find out in advance if you have a viable claim. These are some of the things that can help you:
- Be sure that you suffered a personal injury after the accident and not just property damage
- Establish whether your injuries were caused by negligence on the part of another person or entity
- Find out whether or not you have recoverable damages
To have a viable personal injury claim, your injuries should have been caused by the carelessness of another person or entity in the case of a business or government agency. In this case, negligence is the failure of a person to behave with the level of standard that is considered reasonable under similar circumstances.
There are four main legal components to negligence claim in a personal injury claim:
- Duty: if it is established that the defendant had a legal obligation to behave in a particular manner towards the claimant under the circumstances, and he or she did not. In that case, he or she will be liable to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff, and so, the personal injury claim will hold.
- Breach: if it is established that the defendant breached his duty or failed to act in a certain way towards the claimant after causing the accident.
- Causation: if the actions or lack of effort on the part of the defendant were the cause of the plaintiff's injuries.
- Damages: if the plaintiff suffered injuries or some harm as a result of the actions or lack of actions of the defendant and the injuries can be remedied by money.
Filing an Insurance Claim Settlement
An insurance claim is a formal request for payment to an insurance company by the injured party which takes into account personal injuries and other losses that the claimant sustained through an accident. After getting involved in an accident, the injured person may decide to file an insurance claim to obtain financial compensation for his injuries and other losses. Depending on the type of accident one was involved in, the insurance claim will be based on your type of insurance cover, your employer's insurance policy, or the insurance policy of the other driver, business person or homeowner.
The claim process is usually straightforward though the insurance company. The insurance company responsible will first open an investigation into the claim before making a decision.
Examples of Injuries that Require Claim Settlement
Many different situations can produce a personal injury claim. It is, however, important to note that not all cases that lead to injury can lead to liability. Some of the typical kinds of situations include:
1. Car Accidents
Car accidents are the most common types of personal injury cases in the US.
In most cases, when a car accident occurs, it is highly likely of someone not following traffic rules or he/she was not as careful as required by the law. Accidents caused by carelessness will cause the careless driver to take full responsibility for the injuries incurred from the crash as well as the financial burden the injured are left to deal with. In such a case, a personal injury lawyer will collect the other driver’s insurance information to file a personal injury and property damage claim with their insurance company.
2. Pedestrian injuries
Collisions between automobiles and pedestrians are equally frequent in Los Angeles and in most cases, serious injuries are sustained. If the driver was at fault, a pedestrian could get financial compensation to lighten their financial load as they recover.
3. Slip and Fall
This, too, is a common type of personal injury that is, in most cases, caused by negligence. In such a case, property owners (and sometimes those who are renting a property) are held responsible in case of slip and fall cases. This is because they have a legal duty to keep their premises rationally safe and free of danger so that those people who use those premises are safe from slip and fall injuries. Again, not all injuries that occur on properties will lead to liability. The duty of your personal injury attorney, in this case, is to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and did not fix it. The length of time the hazardous condition has been there and the injured person’s conduct will also come into play before a decision is made.
4. Workplace injuries
The law requires employers to keep the workplace safe for their employees. Employees are entitled to safety gear and safety education from their employers to ensure that they are safe as they work. Accidents at construction sites, factories, and other dangerous work areas are common and they can be very serious, and so, employers are held responsible for the injuries and losses are sustained.
5. Medical Malpractices
Medical malpractice cases will come as a result of professional failure by a doctor or a healthcare professional. If a doctor or healthcare personnel fails to provide competent and reasonably skilled care to a patient, the patient could be injured as a result. Doctors and other medical professionals are supposed to give an accurate diagnosis and quality care that should be aimed at making their patients feel better.
6. Defective products
In the case of faulty products that cause injuries and harm to the consumers, manufacturers can be sued or required to offer financial compensation to the injured persons.
Do You Need an Attorney for Your Insurance Claim?
Filing for an insurance claim is not as easy today as it was years ago. Then, all that one needed to do were to fill out the required forms in person and wait for their losses to be reimbursed quickly and fairly. These days, insurance companies are looking to minimize losses and so, you may end up with a lesser compensation than you deserve or no compensation at all. That is the primary reason why you should seek the help of a personal injury attorney.
The Process of Insurance Claim Settlement
Insurance companies today are using insurance adjusters, also known as claims adjusters. These are the people who inspect damage or personal injury claims in detail to determine how much an insurance company should pay for any losses incurred. Adjusters will also interview the claimant and any witnesses present, conduct a thorough inspection of the damaged property and also conduct additional research such as getting some details from the police reports. That is why it is advisable to have an attorney who will protect your interests.
Additionally, the company, through its lawyers, will ask so many questions about you or any parties that may have an idea of what might have happened to cause the claim. They will also want to know the damage in detail as well as take photographs and complete reports. Due to confusion, the claimant might end up giving out wrong information or contradicting themselves, for instance, by providing out-of-date information or inaccurate figures. The insurance company might use this contradicting or inaccurate information against the claimant to lower the claim amount, making it almost necessary to work with a personal injury attorney.
In some instances, the insurance company may deny a claim, or it may fail to pay the full value of the application. Alone, a claimant may accept the result even when they know that it is unfair. An attorney will, however, not rest until you get the benefits that you genuinely deserve under your insurance policy.
For the above instances, hire a personal injury attorney promptly. A reasonable attorney will be able to represent your claim in the most favorable manner. He/she will ensure that the adjusters of the insurance company have been given information that is correct to adjust your claim and provide you with the maximum value for the claim. This way, you will be fully reimbursed for your losses.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
A lawyer will always act solely on behalf of the claimant, bearing the claimant’s best interests in mind at all times. They will do everything possible to ensure that maximum compensation is awarded. Some of the benefits you get include:
An attorney already knows how much your claim is worth, including information that the claimant does not have. Even though there are tools such as a personal injury settlement calculator today, many people do not have an idea of how much money they can get from their injury claims. A calculator may give you a rough idea of the final value of your settlement, but other factors come into play, which may increase or reduce your claim. Attorneys are well skilled in analyzing injuries, putting a value on the suffering and pain and in understanding how insurance companies work to negotiate an accident settlement successfully.
Also, attorneys understand the legal processes better. You may have a rough idea of how much money you deserve as a settlement, but if you are unfamiliar with the legal procedures, you may never get your claim. Attorneys know when to litigate and when to negotiate for a reasonable settlement. They know the right legal documents to file, how to complete the forms as well as the applicable statute of limitations. Alone, the insurance company may take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge to deny the claim or offer the minimum amount.
An attorney will as well improve your chances of getting a better claim. Insurance companies are always ready for a fight, even when your complaint is justified. They will try to fight so that they can minimize their losses. An injured person is not able to take up such a battle. Even with thorough preparation and a lot of coaching, you may not be able to put up an intense fight against an insurance company. A skilled personal injury attorney will always increase your chances of obtaining a high settlement.
With an attorney by your side, the case can go to trial. Even though most personal injury cases are settled before they go to the courts, insurance companies know too well that they may end up losing more if they fail to cooperate with an attorney and the case goes to trial. In most cases, the courts will rule in favor of the claimant, and this means a higher compensation from the insurer. That is why chances of getting a good settlement agreement when working with an attorney are always high.
Lastly, an attorney will be motivated to help you, especially if they are working on a contingency basis. They know too well that they can only get paid if you get the insurance settlement; therefore, they will do their best to win the case for you. Besides, an attorney will try his/her best to ensure that you receive the agreement as soon as possible because this is the only way they can receive their compensation for their services.
In a Nutshell, the Roles of the Personal Injury Attorney in Claim Settlement Include
- Gathering details about the accident from the claimant and other sources. He/she must represent the claimant in the negotiation for a claim settlement; therefore, he/she will do his/her best to understand the vase thoroughly by gathering all the necessary evidence from far and wide. Some of these details include reckless misconduct, apportionment of fault, and a fault of more than one person.
- Assessing the client's case to give the client a rough idea of the reasonable amount of settlement that the claimant deserves. Using his/her knowledge regarding insurance policies and experience on the job, they should be able to come up with reasonable estimates of the money the claimant may recover for their injuries and other losses.
- On behalf of the claimant, the attorney will prepare all the required documents and fill all the forms needed to file for claim settlement. This eases the burden on you and the lengthy legal battle that such legal processes have.
- Lastly, representing the claimant in the negotiation for claim settlement or even in the court of law if the case goes to trial. As you guessed, an attorney will press for a court trial to settle the case. This ensures that you get fair compensation, especially when the other party is unwilling to offer fair compensation.
Can I Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me?
Personal injury can cause significant harm to the body, mind, and emotion of the affected party, which explains why compensation is necessary. A Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney can play a great role in helping you prove your case, so you can receive the insurance claim settlement that you truly deserve. Call us today at 424-231-2013 and let us negotiate for a better and quicker settlement on your behalf.