Should I negotiate with the insurance adjuster without the help of a lawyer to settle a case?
No, representing yourself and negotiating with an insurance adjuster is usually not a good idea. Because you are not an attorney and have not handled personal injury matters before, you are often unaware of the full value of your case. The insurance adjuster may take advantage of your inexperience. Insurance adjusters generally offer much less money to a person representing themselves than they do to an attorney representing a client.
Also, when you represent yourself in a personal injury or slip and fall case in California, the insurance company knows that you don’t know how to fight a claim. So you don’t have as much leverage with the insurance adjuster.
How does a California personal injury attorney charge for personal injury cases?
Most California attorneys accept personal injury, premises liability, dog bite, slip and fall, and auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that attorneys do not charge a fee unless they are successful in resolving your personal injury case or winning a verdict at trial. The attorney will usually take the costs of the case from the settlement or verdict at the end of the case. Most attorneys anticipate the costs of the case.
If I hire a California personal injury attorney, how does the process work?
You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the car accident or other accident. At the first meeting, the attorney will typically obtain all important information related to the accident, including but not limited to the names of witnesses, all injuries, the treating physician, and paramedics.
The attorney may want to visit the scene of the accident so that they can gain a broader perspective on how the accident occurred. If the case is a slip and fall case, the attorney should visit the accident scene if possible and interview potential witnesses. If you have any pictures of the accident scene, the damaged car, or the resulting injuries, it’s usually a good idea to show them to the lawyer.
If your attorney is interested in taking the case, he or she will usually enter into a contingent fee personal injury fee agreement with you. You will need to provide a list of the names and addresses of all witnesses. Your lawyer will also ask you for the names and addresses of all treating physicians and the names and addresses of all hospitals and treatment centers. The attorney will ask you to sign medical releases under federal law that will allow your attorney to collect your medical bills and medical records from your healthcare provider regarding your injury.
The lawyer will be very interested in knowing whether or not you have health insurance and the extent of your health insurance coverage. If your health insurance plan covers your medical bills, you generally have a lien on any settlement proceeds you receive. Your attorney on your behalf is required to reimburse your health insurance company for the proceeds of any settlement or verdict you receive. These liens can usually be negotiated with the health insurance company. Some insurance companies will typically reduce your lien from 25% to 33% to account for the work your attorney has done on the case.
Sometimes, if liability or damage is in question, you can get an additional lien reduction. Usually, your lawyer will not be able to disburse any money until she has paid the insurance company the amount of the lien.
After the initial consultation and after you have retained the personal injury attorney, the attorney will typically conduct an investigation, if necessary, calling witnesses, reviewing police reports, or doing whatever else is necessary to further your case. The attorney may need to read negligence law to assess the merits of your personal injury case. The attorney will collect your medical records and billing records. Obtaining accident billing records from medical providers is extremely important because the number of medical bills you have is a very important factor in determining the final value of your case for settlement or trial purposes.
Typically, your attorney will wait until he or she believes you have reached a certain point in your medical treatment before making an offer to the insurance company to settle your personal injury case. Lawyers are often concerned that they will settle the case before knowing the full extent of a person’s injuries. After a case is resolved
car accident and the release is signed, there is no way you will be paid more damages, even if your injuries become much more serious. Therefore, it is generally not a good idea to settle your personal injury case before you have some idea about the extent of your future injuries. Your back, neck, shoulder, or leg injury may get worse over time.
After the lawyer meets with you, they will usually send a representation letter to all the insurance companies involved, giving them general information about the case. The insurance company will open a personal injury case file and respond to your attorney. Insurance companies are required by law to investigate the facts and analyze the possible cause of action for personal injuries. When the attorney is sure the time is right, he or she will usually send a settlement package to the insurance company. This resolution letter typically includes an assessment of the permanence of the injury, if any, and describes the client’s pain and suffering, as well as any lost wages and medical expenses incurred. The attorney usually includes in the settlement package an initial demand for settlement of the case.
The insurance company will usually respond to the letter with an offer to settle the case or a denial of liability. If the insurance company denies liability in the personal injury case and refuses to pay, then the attorney will have no choice but to file a lawsuit seeking damages. In the event that a settlement offer is made to the attorney, there will usually be a period of negotiation to see if the parties can agree on a settlement amount.
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury or negligence lawsuit in either the California District Court or the California Superior Court. In California, most personal injury, car accident, premises liability, and slip and fall cases are settled in California Superior Court because if it involves more than $10,000.00, it must be heard in superior court.
My California Personal Injury Lawyer Can’t Resolve My Auto Accident Case With The Insurance Adjuster, What Happens Next?
If the lawyer cannot resolve the case with the insurance adjuster, then it is necessary to file a lawsuit in court. The California personal injury civil lawsuit process can take up to a few years to resolve. Your attorney will file a complaint with the court alleging negligence or other causes of action asking the court to award you damages. After filing the claim, the insurance company will usually hire an attorney to represent your insured. The insurance company’s attorney will file a response to the case.
After the complaint and response are filed, there is usually a discovery period. Parties can send each other interrogatories, which are written questions that the other party must answer. The parties may also take witness statements, which is when the other attorney asks you questions about the case in front of a court reporter. After the discovery period, there may be a motion to dismiss or motions for summary judgment that are filed by either party.
If the case is not dismissed or summarily resolved, then the case will proceed to trial. The average amount of time for a lawsuit in California is approximately two years, although the amount of time for a lawsuit can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the availability of witnesses, and the number of cases on the docket.
How to obtain evidence in a personal injury case in California?
Take pictures of all injuries, including but not limited to cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Don’t wait too long after the accident. Do your best to obtain witness names, addresses, phone numbers, and other information that you can provide to your California personal injury attorney. Keep records of your expenses on medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred, such as medications and medical supplies. You must keep accurate records because you will need to provide them to the insurance company. If your injury was caused by whiplash caused by a rear-end accident in your vehicle, you may need to hire an expert to testify on your behalf about the severity of your upper and lower back injuries. caused by whiplash.
Will my California personal injury lawyer keep everything I tell him confidential?
In California, there is an attorney-client privilege. Your lawyer is prevented from divulging confidential information that you do not want him to divulge to others. There are certain limited exceptions to the attorney-client privilege that generally do not apply.
What types of costs are typically incurred in personal injury cases in California?
Out-of-pocket costs are expenses your attorney incurs to properly settle or litigate your case. Out-of-pocket expenses are generally prepaid by the attorney. Medical providers generally charge a nominal fee to copy your medical records. Most doctors also charge a fee to write a comprehensive medical report that details the course of your treatment, the prognosis of the injury, and whether or not your injuries are permanent. If it is necessary for a doctor to testify at trial in your case, then the doctor may charge a substantial fee for his or her assistance.
The amount of costs incurred in your case varies from case to case and depends on how complex your personal injury case is. The more serious your injuries, the more expenses that can be incurred. Most attorneys will obtain pre-approval before incurring any substantial cost on your behalf.