What Are The Common Types Of Personal Injury Cases That You Handle?
Most of the personal injury cases we deal with involve motor vehicle accidents. We also help people with animal bite, slip-and-fall, dangerous property conditions and other injury cases. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis. If you have an injury related problem and we cannot help you, we will find a highly recommended attorney that can.
What Exactly Is A Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim arises at the time you are injured by the fault of someone else. We formalize the claim with a letter of representation sent to the person who caused the injury or to his insurance company alerting them that our client has a claim. The letter states that the individual has been injured, expenses have been incurred, there has been pain and suffering and possibly wage loss as well. It becomes a personal injury action when we file a lawsuit. Generally there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in California. If there is a government entity involved, the time period to make a claim can be drastically shorter. It is important to seek competent legal counsel early on to avoid problems with your claim.
What Is The Personal Injury Recovery Process In California?
The process to recover from a personal injury claim begins with the individual who is injured hiring an attorney. That person may then continue medical treatment by paying cash to their medical providers, or they may have insurance through their employment, a spouse or parent. In some cases there may be medical payments insurance on their automobile insurance or we can help arrange for a lien so the individual can get medical care and payments won’t have to be paid until the case settles. Once treatment is complete or the individual has reached the point where medical providers have stated they’re not going to get better or they may be at point of for whatever reason they’re ready to make a claim. We then gather up all of the evidence, prepare a demand letter and send it to the insurance company.
The insurance company reviews it and comes back with a counter-offer in most cases and we, with the client, reach a number that’s amicable to both sides and settle. If the insurance company is not willing to make an offer that’s amicable to our client that compensates them adequately, then we will file a lawsuit and if we go to trial, we’ll have to ultimately let the judge or jury decide.
How Important Are Witnesses And Evidence In A Personal Injury Claim?
The evidence is one of the most important things in a personal injury claim. Without adequate evidence, it’s hard to make a case for the client. For example, if it’s your word against mine, then it comes down to who is more believable. On the other hand, if it’s your word against mine and against a witness, then, provided the witness is credible, the testimony of that person will support one or the other side. Other evidence that’s vital to a personal injury case is video, such as a red-light camera, a dash-camera, or possibly video from one of the stores that has surveillance and saw the accident happen. That information and evidence can be critical to show who was at fault and possibly the extent of the damage. Photographs show what the scene looks like, the conditions of the surroundings, and can show damage or dangerous conditions. If we’re dealing with a car accident, the extent of the damage of the automobile can lend credibility to the claimed injury.
Further, evidence provided by medical providers is used to support whether there was an actual injury, the extent of the injury, and whether the treatments were medically necessary for the person to recover. If you are claiming an injury but never obtain treatment from a medical provider, then there is not very much credibility to a claim for an injury.
A wage loss claim will also be needed to support a claim showing, for example, for the six months prior to the accident, the injured person was paid for 40 hours a week. Since the accident, however, he has missed work completely and then only able to work part-time for the following six weeks before resuming full-time employment. That evidence would make it hard to refute whether there was a wage loss.
What Are The Consequences Of Delaying Medical Treatment In A Personal Injury Claim?
Any delay in treatment may cause the injury to become worse or you to lose credibility in your claim that the injury is related to the incident. You should seek medical treatment as soon as you know or feel an injury after an accident. If you wait too long, the insurance companies are going to attempt to deny that the injury was related to the accident. There are ways to justify waiting, of course. For example, let’s say you’ve made statements to third parties after the accident such as your employer. Statements like, “I’m a little sore. I am going to see if I can get over this without going to the doctor.” Then you wait a week, maybe two, before seeking treatment, your boss can corroborate that. In this instance, it would not be as damaging as just not seeking treatment altogether. Often when someone is involved in a car crash adrenaline is flowing. You may not feel the injury at first because you are in the fight or flight mode. It’s important to carefully evaluate yourself after an accident and to seek medical treatment as soon as you know that there is some injury.
How Long Do Personal Injury Claims Typically Take To Get Resolved?
The length of time to resolve a personal injury case depends on the extent of the injury. On average, we see cases resolve within two years. If treatment takes longer than two years, we can file a lawsuit to extend the period of time it takes to get a case resolved beyond the two year statute of limitations, even if a lawsuit to settle is not necessary, however the statute of limitations must be preserved. If a minor child, under 18 years old, is injured, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until they turn 18 years old.
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