Kevorkian & Madenlian LLP

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Kevorkian & Madenlian LLP

When Should I Get A Personal Injury Attorney?

Accidents happen every day—some are an unavoidable part of life, while others would never happen with the right amount of care and precaution by those ultimately held responsible. Sustaining an injury as the result of another person’s error or negligence is a terrible experience to undergo, and one that can have lifelong consequences. This is why it’s imperative to seek justice. Unfortunately, seeking justice in a personal injury case can be extremely difficult without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney—not just in Orange County or Costa Mesa, CA, but across the country. The primary reason for this lies in the fact that the insurance companies representing at-fault parties are known for doing whatever it takes to avoid paying out on personal injury claims. This is particularly true in cases that involve serious injuries and damages, such as car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Admitting to fault in such a case could mean losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

In order to avoid this obligation, insurance agents will employ a number of tactics, including searching the victim’s medical records for evidence of a preexisting injury to which they can attribute the victim’s alleged symptoms, surveying the victim’s social media pages to look for any piece of evidence which they could use to their advantage in trying to prove that the victim is not truly injured, and pointing to gaps in medical care as evidence of the victim not really being in pain. In addition, insurance agents are known for approaching victims as soon as possible after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, in order to get a statement from them and offer a low settlement before the victim, has even had a chance to speak with an attorney. This is one of the many reasons it is important to obtain a personal injury attorney as soon as possible in an Orange County or Costa Mesa, CA personal injury case.

Having a personal injury attorney working on a case from the very beginning will not only provide a protective barrier for the victim but also allow for the initiation of a thorough investigation into the facts surrounding the incident and the sources of potential evidence. It is critical to obtain evidence and witness statements in personal injury cases, and delaying in doing so can result in evidence being removed or destroyed, and witness’ memories of the incident fading or becoming increasingly fallible. Retaining an attorney immediately following a personal injury will give the attorney the best chance of building an unbeatable case, and will give the plaintiff the best chance of receiving the compensation they deserve.

Can I Afford To Pay For A Personal Injury Attorney?

Many people operate off of the assumption that they can’t afford a personal injury attorney in Orange County or Costa Mesa, CA, and as a result, they end up agreeing to accept a settlement offer that’s thousands—or potentially even hundreds of thousands—of dollars less than what they would have received with a personal injury attorney by their side. This is particularly true in car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases, where the injuries involved are usually very significant and sometimes require extended hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and physical or occupational therapy for years afterward. With the right personal injury attorney, these cases can end in million-dollar verdicts for the victim, rendering their initial concerns about attorney’s fees irrelevant. However, even if a victim of personal injury weren’t significantly more likely to obtain a higher settlement with an attorney than without one, they should still pursue representation by an attorney for the simple fact that personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that payment of attorney’s fees is contingent upon the attorney’s ability to win a settlement for the client. This means no out-of-pocket expenses for the victim; they will only pay their attorney once their attorney has helped them win the case or obtain a favorable outcome.

What Types Of Damages Might A Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Claim?

The types of damages a personal injury attorney can help a victim of personal injury obtain will depend in part on the circumstances of the case at hand. In most cases—especially those involving car, truck, and motorcycle accidents resulting in severe injuries—the greatest source of financial compensation will be for the medical and rehabilitative costs associated with the injury. A victim will also be entitled to receive compensation for lost income (past and future), loss of future earnings capacity, damage to vehicles and property, and pain and suffering.

In addition to these damages, a defendant may be ordered to pay punitive damages if it can be shown that they acted with gross negligence, extreme recklessness, or with malice or intent to cause harm. Punitive damages are awarded to a victim as a way of punishing the defendant, rather than compensating the victim. Nonetheless, punitive awards can be significant—particularly in an Orange County or Costa Mesa case since there is no cap on punitive damages in California.

What Do I Look For In A Personal Injury Attorney?

 Choosing the right personal injury attorney to handle an Orange County or Costa Mesa, CA personal injury claim is arguably more important than choosing an attorney at all. First off, the importance of experience should never be underestimated, as there are some things that simply cannot be learned in law school. It is also important to look for an attorney who focuses a large part of their practice on personal injury, as this will not only ensure a higher level of experience but also indicate that the attorney is not continually jumping from one frame of mind to another in juggling a multitude of fundamentally different cases.

Prior to selecting any attorney, their experience, background, and reputation should be confirmed by outside third-party sources. Having an attorney who has a reputation of buckling under pressure or settling a case for less than it’s worth rather than eagerly pushing for trial when necessary could destroy a plaintiff’s chance of obtaining a fair settlement. Lastly, one of the most important things that a plaintiff should pay attention to when selecting a personal injury attorney is how they feel with that attorney. Do they feel comfortable asking questions? Do they feel as though they are being heard and understood by the attorney? Do they find the attorney trustworthy? Answering these types of questions is crucial to know whether or not the right selection is being made.

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