What Are Injury Attorneys?
Personal injury law revolves around the concept of negligence, or one person’s or party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. When negligence causes injuries, death, property damage, or other losses, victims can recover these damages through personal injury claims. While some people attempt to represent their own interests in court, doing so often leads to stress, diminished claim value, and possibly even a failed case. It’s vital to know when to contact a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim.
Injury Attorneys Build Cases
Your relationship with your attorney will begin during the initial consultation. Many lawyers offer free or low-cost consultations to potential new clients, and your attorney will interview you to determine the validity of your claim, your damages, and your odds of success in court. Once you agree to hire an attorney and sign the required contract, you establish an official attorney-client relationship. Your injury attorney will typically start by helping you draft the initial complaint to the defendant in your case and then begin investigating for additional evidence. This could include checking the scene of a car accident, subpoenaing security camera or traffic camera footage, gathering statements from witnesses, and securing other documentation that is vital to your case.
Injury Attorneys Can Handle Insurance Companies
One of the most stressful aspects of any injury is dealing with insurance. Insurance companies make their profits by collecting premium payments from policyholders, but they lose money when they pay out on claims. This, unfortunately, encourages insurance adjusters to look for any reasons they can find to deny, delay, or lowball claims. It’s a good rule of thumb to never speak to any insurance company until after you have hired an attorney, and your attorney has advised you concerning communication with insurance.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you draft a letter of intent to an insurance company that outlines your damages, the elements of your claim, and the coverage you expect. Your attorney will help mitigate pushback and help to ensure you receive the maximum amount possible for your claim. A good injury lawyer will also help navigate your own medical insurance if necessary to ensure you receive proper care after an injury.
Your Injury Attorney Will Navigate Your Case
Many personal injury lawsuits end at the settlement negotiation table. A trial is a time-consuming and expensive process for everyone involved. The two parties can meet after the plaintiff has delivered the initial complaint to negotiate the terms of a settlement. If both parties agree to the terms, then the case ends there, and the defendant compensates the plaintiff as per their agreement. If the two parties cannot negotiate a settlement, then the case can proceed to trial.
If your case reaches this point, then your attorney will handle the pre-trial process including discovery, depositions of witnesses and key figures in the case, and prepare you for questioning. The pre-trial process involves a lot of cross-examination and depositions for all parties, and it can take weeks, months, or even years for a claim to reach the actual courtroom.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
The majority of personal injury attorneys offer contingency fee pricing, meaning they will only collect attorneys’ fees for successful cases. If the plaintiff loses a case taken under a contingency fee, the plaintiff will not have to pay attorneys’ fees. Most contingency fee billing operates on a percentage of the cash award.
The attorneys at the Eric Ratinoff Law Corp have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury claims in California. If you or a loved one has a personal injury claim, but you are not sure of what to do next, contact our Sacramento office for a free consultation today. Once we review your claim we can let you know how our firm can help and what type of compensation you could receive.