Why You Should Always Hire a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer to Handle Your Case
A car accident may be one of the most major life disruptions that a person could experience. This is particularly true if a person was seriously injured and suffered disabling or permanent injuries. There could be significant physical, financial, and emotional burdens on a victim and a family. It can also be frustrating when the auto collision is caused by the negligence of another person who ran a red light, was texting while driving, or violated some other California statute or vehicle code. While many people do seek legal advice from a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, unfortunately, some people think that they have a strong claim and try to handle it themselves.
This is a huge mistake. Our experienced LA car accident lawyers at the Broadway Law Firm know that, while a victim of a car accident can handle a car accident claim without a lawyer, a victim is likely guaranteeing himself or herself less financial compensation than if he or she hired a lawyer. There are many reasons why that is true, but here are the ten most common reasons.
Reason 1: Insurance Adjusters Train for This
California is an at fault state, which means that an injured party turns to the at fault driver’s car insurance for reimbursement of medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, and for pain and suffering. This means the first step is almost always putting a claim in with the insurance company you are accusing to be liable for your damages. Insurance companies know this and they specifically train their insurance adjusters how to handle claims—especially that first phone call or initial claim submission. This includes using borderline unethical strategies to get you to admit to unsavory facts that may not have actually happened to hurt your case. Other times adjusters will undermine your injuries and the damages you suffered. By not having a lawyer, you are allowing yourself to come against a well-trained and often very experienced insurance adjuster.
Reason 2: Most Insurance Adjusters Are Getting Support from a Lawyer You Don’t Know About
If you thought handling a car insurance claim with the insurance adjuster directly was a level playing field, think again. Most insurance companies have a defense lawyer or team of lawyers helping to review tricky cases, assessing liability, or even reviewing damages claims. That means that the non-lawyer adjuster you have been talking about is secretly being supported by one or more lawyers. It is no longer a fair fight, and insurance companies know this.
Reason 3: Most Insurance Adjusters Are Also Getting Support from a Doctor or “Independent Medical Examiner”
Not only are most insurance adjusters getting help from a lawyer, but they also have doctors that help review your medical records and give options on how to undermine your claim. Sometimes the insurance company has an “independent medical examiner” to help review your claim, but that doctor is hired by the insurance company, paid by the insurance company, and giving an opinion just to the insurance company—not very independent! Without hiring a LA car accident lawyer to help you, you are at a distinct disadvantage by not having someone who knows what experts to prove your damages and injuries.
Reason 4: Statute of Limitations Period
Every type of cause of action or claim, like a personal injury case, has a time limit to filing a lawsuit. This time limit is prescribed by the statute of limitations set by the Legislature. This is a mandatory time limit that must be followed. If a plaintiff tries to file a case outside that time limit, a court could automatically dismiss the case. While it sounds easy to comply with that time limit, there are many other rules that could shrink that time limit and give you less time to file a lawsuit. These rules and laws are not always obvious, which is why our LA car accident lawyers offer a FREE consultation to review your case and determine how long you have to file a lawsuit.
Reason 5: Special Rules for Municipal Defendants
Not only can there be different time limits to filing a lawsuit, but there are also special rules for municipal defendants. This includes state or federal agencies, county departments, or local town, city, or village municipalities. Generally, there is a special notice of claim period which is required to be given before a victim can file a lawsuit. If that notice of claim is not timely done, that could prohibit a victim from filing a lawsuit in the first place. This short time limit could be a matter of months too, not years. These special rules are often forgotten by lawyers that do not regularly handle personal injury cases and are usually overlooked by self-represented litigants.
Reason 6: Hiring the Right Experts to Prove a Case
Not only does a self-represented litigant have to work on proving a claim by himself or herself, but hiring the right type of expert can really help boost a claim. It also means that hiring the wrong type of expert can really torpedo a claim. Having a lawyer who knows what expert to hire to help prove damages, liability, or future needs can make or break a claim. For example, most individuals have never heard of a life-care planner. But this type of expert could be critical to establishing the future medical needs that a victim may have, including if there is a need for nursing care, future surgery, medication costs, and other physical or occupational therapy needs.
Reason 7: Resources to Perform Research
One of the most daunting parts about law is the research involved. This is because it is impossible for any lawyer to know every single thing about every single type of case, claim, law, injury, or issue that could arise in a car accident case. Having a lawyer’s research capabilities, including online databases for legal research like WestLaw or LexisNexis, as well as having research treatises, practice codes, an annotated statute books, are all distinct advantages when handling a legal claim. Trying to do this research on your own is not only difficult, but very costly.
Reason 8: Not Knowing the Courts or Judges
It is often joked that having a lawyer that knows the law is good, but having a lawyer that knows the judge is best. While this does hint at an impropriety or bias, the truth is that having a lawyer who knows the judge is a big advantage for many other reasons. This includes the judge’s local rules that must be followed and, if not followed, could result in a motion denied or even a case dismissed. Knowing a particular judge’s temperament is also important when it comes to discovery deadlines and handling a matter to know what would and would not be allowed. Also know a judge’s prior background and experience can help dictate what type of information you need to provide to a judge on a motion (if the judge is less familiar with this type of claim) versus what information that you do not have to discuss because it would be redundant. Moreover, knowing the “going rate” in the local court for certain types of injuries and damages can absolutely help settle a case at a fair number.
Reason 9: Law Firms Pay the Upfront Costs of Litigation
If the research was not expensive enough, know that there are court filing fees, medical record expenses, copying cost, postage fees, expert witness invoices, and many other expenses related to filing a lawsuit in California. By hiring a LA car accident lawyer, you do not have to pay these fees upfront. In fact, you only have to reimburse the Broadway Law Firm for these expenses if we make a recovery for you in a settlement, arbitration award, or court verdict. Whereas if you try to handle the case alone, you will have to pay these expenses win or lose.
Reason 10: There are No Legal Fees Unless We Recover Money For You
If the other nine reasons were not good enough, the best reason why to hire a LA car accident lawyer like one of ours at the Broadway Law Firm is because there is no upfront cost for legal fees in a personal injury case. That is because we accept cases on a contingency fee agreement meaning we only get paid a percentage of what we recover for you. That means if there is no recovery, there is no legal fee. It also means that there will be no out-of-pocket legal fees for you.
There is simply no upfront cost, financial risk, or out-of-pocket risk to hire a car accident lawyer like one of ours at the Broadway Law Firm. This means there really is also no reason to risk handling a car accident case on your own without a lawyer. Even if you are not sure you have a case, our law firm offers a FREE consultation to explore your legal rights. Call today by dialing 213.444.3155 to learn more or use our easy-to-use contact us box available by clicking the link here.