What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

personal injury lawyer

What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in representing accident victims who have been hurt or injured as a result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. These lawyers possess expertise in tort law and help injured victims recover compensation for their damages including medical bills, future medical expenses, mental distress, and pain and suffering. Personal injury lawyers advocate for their clients to ensure they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.


What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

While not all personal injury cases require legal representation, having an experienced personal injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Personal injury lawyers can help your case in the following ways:

  • Personal injury attorneys assess the circumstances of the injury to determine if there’s a viable case.
  • A California personal injury lawyer will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and ensure the other party’s insurance company doesn’t use misleading tactics.
  • They preserve and gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review medical records to strengthen your case.
  • Personal injury attorneys work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, they can represent you in court to obtain the compensation you deserve.


Common Types of Auto Accident Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of auto accident cases, including:

Car Accidents: Car accidents are unfortunately common in California. Deaths involving motor vehicles increased by 11% in 2021.

Truck Accidents: Accidents involving commercial trucks often result in severe injuries due to their size and weight. In 2021, there were over 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes.

Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road and often sustain serious injuries in motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle riders make up 14% of all traffic deaths.

Pedestrian Accidents: When pedestrians are struck by vehicles it can result in significant injuries or fatalities. In 2021, about 7,388 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents.

Bicycle Accidents: Bicyclists can experience severe injuries in collisions with motor vehicles. In 2021, over 960 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents.

Wrongful Death: If you lost a loved one in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your losses including funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.


Can You Claim Personal Injury in California if You Are Partially at Fault?

Car Accident

Yes, you can still pursue a personal injury claim in California even if you are partially at fault for the accident under the state’s comparative negligence rule. California follows a pure comparative negligence system, which means that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are liable for. For instance, if you are found to be 30% liable for the accident and your total losses are $100,000, you may recover $70,000.


What Evidence Is Needed for a Personal Injury Claim?

Evidence plays a crucial role in the success of a personal injury claim. Some essential pieces of evidence include:

  • Medical Records: Documentation of injuries, treatments, and a medical prognosis.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from individuals who witnessed the accident.
  • Photographs/Videos: Visual evidence of the accident scene, injuries, and property damage.
  • Police Reports: Official documentation of the accident.
  • Expert Testimony: Evaluation by medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, or economists.
  • Financial Records: Proof of financial losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.


Is It Worth Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries. They have experience negotiating with insurance companies and know how to advocate for maximum compensation. By entrusting your case to a skilled attorney, you can focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects.

In addition, most personal injury lawyers in California work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay for legal fees if they secure a fair settlement.


How Soon Can I Get a Personal Injury Settlement?

The timeline for receiving a personal injury settlement varies depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, and whether liability is disputed. In some cases, settlements can be reached within a few months of the accident, while others may take years to resolve. Here are some factors that can impact the timeline of a personal injury case:

  • Serious injuries may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, prolonging the settlement process.
  • Delays may occur if the insurance company disputes liability or offers a low settlement amount.
  • If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement the case may go to court. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can extend the timeline significantly.
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers may expedite the settlement process through skilled negotiation tactics.


How an Attorney Can Assess the Severity of Your Accident Injuries

Personal injury attorneys play a crucial role in assessing the severity of accident injuries to determine the appropriate compensation. Attorneys review medical records and consult with healthcare professionals to understand the extent of injuries and their impact on the victim’s life. They consider the long-term consequences of injuries, such as ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and potential disabilities.


What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in California?

In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, claims against government entities have a shorter statute of limitations, typically six months from the date of the injury. It’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer who will ensure you file your claim within the statute of limitations that applies to your case.


How Successful Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?

personal injury law book

The success of personal injury lawsuits depends on various factors, including the strength of the evidence, the attorneys’ skill, and the parties’ willingness to negotiate a fair settlement. While some cases may result in substantial verdicts or settlements, others may be less successful due to challenges such as:

Disputed Liability: Cases where the fault is contested by the defendant or multiple parties may be more difficult to win.

Inadequate Evidence: Insufficient evidence to prove negligence or causation can weaken the plaintiff’s case.

Insurance Coverage: The defendant’s insurance policy limits may affect the amount of compensation available to the injured party.


How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Cost?

Many personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect a fee if they win the case or secure a settlement on behalf of their client. Therefore, if the lawyer does not win the case, the client will not have to pay for legal fees. Although, they may still be responsible for certain expenses, such as court filing fees or expert witness fees.

Contingency fees typically range from 30% to 40% of the total compensation awarded. A contingency fee arrangement is between a lawyer and a client. Before signing a contingency agreement it’s crucial to review the document carefully and ask questions about what each provision means.


Get Help From an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, seeking help from an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential to protect your rights. At Rose Accident Lawyers we are dedicated to helping personal injury victims obtain justice. We provide personalized legal guidance, advocate for your interests, and navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf. Call our Pasadena law office today to schedule a free consultation.