You see this phrase on many personal injury lawyers' sites. “No recovery, no fee” is a universal way of saying that if we do not obtain compensation for you by way of a settlement or verdict, you do not owe your attorney a fee. We also call this a contingency fee, in which the lawyer's fee is contingent on the outcome of your case. The contingent fee allows you to hire a lawyer without being required to pay anything up front. If you think you have a case, contact us for a free consultation. You will pay nothing until we win your case.
In general, “negligence” is when someone else, be it a person or company, commits some form of wrongdoing by acting in a careless or reckless manner concerning your safety and well-being. A prime example is texting while driving, running a red light as a result, and injuring a pedestrian in the crosswalk. If you, as a pedestrian are texting as you walked across the street you would bear part of the blame if you are hit, even by a distracted driver. “Comparative negligence” takes into account each party's blame for the accident. If you were 5% at fault, for example, your compensation is reduced by five percent. Comparative negligence is the law in California.
Everyone is responsible for their actions. For you as a plaintiff to get the maximum award, your lawyer would need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached this duty, and caused your accident, and as a result, caused you damage.
The statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file a personal injury complaint in court. Statutes of limitations for different types of cases differ from state to state and depend on the area of law. For example, medical malpractice cases have a one-year statute of limitations both in California and Nevada whereas most personal injury cases are two years, but there are exceptions.
In certain circumstances, the law account extends the time to file, such as delayed discovery, when the facts of the case did not come to light earlier, if the injured person was under age 18 at the time of the accident, or if the person who caused the accident was out of the state for a time. If you were injured, it is important to call me as soon as possible to make sure the limitation period does not expire. We want to file your case as soon as possible to get you compensation earlier.
It depends on the severity of the injuries and the complexity of the case. Some cases can settle within a few months, while others can take several years. Generally speaking the bigger the case, the longer it takes to resolve, but this depends upon whether fault is disputed and whether the injuries are disputed versus where everything is clear cut and undisputed. Some large cases can settle quickly if there is no reasonable dispute as to who is at fault and what injuries are suffered by the plaintiff.
- Call the police. You need a police report if an accident results in injuries or death. Because sometimes injuries are not apparent at first, calling 911 to request police officers and emergency medical services (if needed) is the wisest course of action.
- Do not admit fault for the accident to the other party or the police, even if you think you may be partially at fault. Do not make any statements to any insurance adjusters or representatives. Once we are on your case, we will deal with the other party's insurance.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Although you think you may feel fine or that your injuries are not serious, some symptoms, particularly head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can initially involve dizziness and no loss of consciousness. If you have a head injury with the concussion diagnosis you should have, at a minimum, a CT scan at an emergency room. They may do an MRI later to determine the full extent of the trauma. Soft tissue injuries may appear several days following the crash. If you wait too long to seek medical attention, the insurance company will argue that any delay is evidence that you were not really injured. My experience is that insurance companies embrace any fact they can find to argue that the injury is not serious or that they're not responsible.
- Get information about the other parties in the crash. This may seem obvious, but obtain the insurance policy information, the other party's name and driver's license number, and license plates of other vehicles involved including their make and model and approximate year.
- Take photographs. Most people have a smartphone, so this is easy now even though years ago, it was unusual to see parties photograph their vehicles at the scene. First, take photographs before the vehicles get moved. Also take photographs of your injuries. Some injuries may heal quickly, the sooner you take a photograph, the easier it is to prove the injury. If you are too injured to take the photos, try to appeal to witnesses to do so. You can even take a photo of the other party's driver's license and insurance card.
- Take detailed notes regarding both your injuries and the crash. (You can even record this on your phone.) Try to obtain as much information as you can about witnesses, including their telephone numbers and addresses. There may be individuals in the car that hit you so it is important that you get their names and addresses too. Obviously, if they don't want to release that information then you cannot force them to, but at least make the effort.
- Inspect the crash scene for any potentially dangerous conditions such as an intersection with poor visibility due to inadequate lighting, malfunctioning traffic lights, or stop signs that may not be clearly visible. There may have been a history of prior accidents at the location of the accident, if so, it is potentially a case involving a dangerous condition of public property which may be the primary reason for the accident. There are statewide databases that have a wealth of information about the history of accidents at particular intersections, including SWTTRS.
- Speak to a lawyer as soon as you can because having experienced and knowledgeable representation is vital in protecting your rights. Especially if the other party is at fault to a greater degree, their insurance company may want to make a quick settlement for less than what your case may be worth.We represent injured persons in various accidents including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, buses, and passengers in limousines, taxicabs, and Ubers and Lyfts. Even if you do not have insurance or a driver's license and think that you may be not entitled to make a damage claim, you still have rights. The right to a claim is available to those who are either not at fault or are partially at fault if you are injured. Call me today and I can explain these rights to you.
- Don't talk to the other insurance company on your own. Once you are on board with us, we will be the middleman between you and the insurance company for the other side. They may try to talk directly to you, offer medical advice, and even make you an offer. Most likely, what they offer is less than they know you could get from a trial or negotiation when your lawyer is present.
Typically, compensation is paid for past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, and future lost wages. In addition to these amounts. you can also recover damages for pain and suffering, inconvenience, stress, loss of consortium, and in some cases punitive damages. Pain and suffering are considered general damages which also include recovery for the mental anguish, physical pain, and emotional distress. Our firms will work with to you to determine the full extent of damages that your case merits.