Once you are involved in an accident, you are eligible for compensation from the at-fault party. The process of getting compensated is complicated. This needs careful planning and execution of your plans. We at the Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney are here to help increase the possibility of winning your case. We will employ relevant legal techniques needed to ensure that you win your case.
What you Expect from your Attorney
Most people think that hiring an attorney will automatically require them to go to court. It is impossible to make any guarantee, but most cases are settled out of court, saving the expenses and stress that comes with a trial.
In most cases, lawyers usually present an estimate of the value of your case and the time that it will take to settle into compensation. However, there are chances of having an error in your consideration and have everything go contrary to your expectations. Despite this kind of expectation, your attorney has to obtain the best results within the shortest time possible. Below are some of the things you expect from your attorney.
Dedicated Attention to your Case
A personal injury attorney should treat your case with passion and energy, regardless of its scope and size. If an attorney takes up a case, you should know that it is essential hence, the need for undivided attention. The goal should be receiving the maximum amount of compensation you would possibly get. You should expect the following dedication in your case.
- An exclusive and thorough investigation in your accident to determine the cause of the accident and the responsible parties
- A complete and exhaustive analysis of the evidence gathered during the investigation to build a strong case supporting your compensation claim
- A straightforward explanation of the possible outcomes of our case and what you should expect during the legal process
- Provide necessary legal arguments and trial preparation for your case, if found to be necessary.
Settlement Negotiation With The At-fault Insurance Company
Negotiating with an insurance company involves a lot of haggling. You have to engage an insurance adjuster and your attorney to make this process successful. Your attorney should proceed with the settlement after being released by your doctor or recovered from the injuries. The attorney can also decide on starting the settlement process if your physical condition has stabilized.
The settlement process begins with presenting the recipient insurance company with a demand letter and the proper supporting documents. The recipient insurance adjuster might comply or decline to your letter’s demands, depending on how reasonable it seems. Some of the issues that an adjuster would raise include whether the alleged at-fault party was responsible for the bus accident and the length of the physical therapy you intend to undertake.
After two or three phone calls, both your attorney and the recipient adjuster will either agree or disagree with your demands, which might prompt you to file a lawsuit. The following are a few factors that your attorney should consider when negotiating for your settlement.
- Have a Settlement in Mind
As part of writing your demand letter, you need to determine how much you should be compensated. With a settlement range in mind, you will have a basis to discuss your demand with your adjuster.
Please note, this figure should be your information to avoid putting yourself under pressure when negotiating for a settlement. However, this does not mean that you have to cling to the figure that you have set. If the adjuster brings forth some facts that make a claim unreasonable, your attorney should help you determine whether the facts provided are genuine. If the adjuster seems to agree to your minimum, your attorney should advise you to revise the claim and seek an upward figure if necessary.
- Emphasizing on your Emotional Pain
While negotiating with the at-fault insurance company, you need to negotiate your strongest point in your favor. For instance, you need to emphasize that the other party was utterly at-fault of the bus accident that led to a painful injury, leading to the medical costs that you have presented or to the permanent physical effects that have resulted.
It is also recommendable to mention a strong emotional point towards your claim to ensure that you get the best results. For instance, you can send a picture of a severely smashed car, injuries, and mention that your child suffered from the accident based on the lack of ability to care for your child. Even though it is hard to put a dollar value on the emotional distress resulting from an accident, it can go a long way into helping the recipient insurance company decide on a fair settlement.
- Write Down your Settlement
Once you have reached into an agreement with the adjuster, you should immediately confirm the terms you have agreed on through a letter. The letter should include the amount that you have settled on, what the settlement would cover, and the date you expect the compensation to be done.
No Upfront Fees
When hiring a personal injury attorney, you should not pay an upfront fee for the services you will get. He or she should be paid only once you have received a settlement from the at-fault party. The amount should be a percentage of the compensation that you will receive from the responsible party. Discuss the terms of your payment exclusively before you sign the agreement.
Communication between a client and his or her attorney is crucial to the success of a personal injury case. In case you are undergoing communication problems with your attorney, you should be worried about whether you will get a remarkable outcome as per your expectations.
A reasonable attorney should give you a general overview of your case and answer any question that you raise. He or she should also call back or return your email promptly. If your attorney does not respond within a business day, he or she should explain why he or she did not answer your phone. Most likely, attorneys fail to respond in time when working on multiple cases or while in court.
Apart from ensuring clear communication between you and your attorney, he or she should maintain competency in the whole legal process. Competency can be explained as the core knowledge and expertise that a lawyer should employ in the issue that their client is facing.
Despite the level of competency expected from your attorney, you should know that they are not machines and can also make mistakes. However, this does not provide a leeway to make unnecessary mistakes that can be avoided. The attorney should take due caution in the whole process to avoid any errors. Any form of malpractice can end up costing your compensation, which you are not prepared for.
What is Expected from You In your Case
Despite the expectations that you have from your attorney, there are several expectations that the attorney has from you to win a case. You need to consider these expectations to achieve the best results in your case. Below is a detailed view of the things that your attorney expects from you.
Communication is a two-way street. As much as you expect your attorney to maintain communication with you, you need to be receptive. Let the lawyer know your preferred means of communication and update him or her with any changes in your phone number, home address, and email. You should also try to respond to your attorney within twenty-four hours or sooner if you can. Finally, be an active participant in your case and raise questions when needed.
Remain Open-Minded and Receptive
Your attorney may give you information that you would not hear. For instance, the attorney might highlight your claim’s factual or legal weakness or the value you expect to be compensated is not what you wanted to be. Remember, compensation for your injuries is a matter of negotiation, and your attorney’s goal is to get the best value for your claim. The best way is to remain open-minded, work with the attorney to address weakness, and develop a strategy that will resolve your claim and get a reasonable amount.
Participation in Your Case
You have to participate in every aspect related to your case. This includes providing documents, emails, phone messages promptly. Put in extra time at the beginning of the case and make the necessary preparation for your deposition. Your active participation in your case may bring a lot of difference between your substantial settlement.
Your attorney should not be the only person that should be honest. Avoid destroying any evidence or hiding any facts that might help your case. Your attorney can manage to deal with adverse circumstances and minimize any impacts that may affect your case. If something that you destroyed or lied surfaces during the litigation, this can significantly affect your case and cause it to be over.
Your lawyer cannot guarantee the outcome of your case. There is a lot of uncertainty in a case, and no matter how hard your attorney works, some things can be out of control. In that case, you should have realistic expectations since your case might take an unexpected turn.
Tips for Maximizing Compensation in Your Injury Case
Regardless of the ways that you have put in place to win your case, you should plan on how to maximize your compensation. Maximizing your compensation depends on what you do after your injury. There are distinct steps that you must make to understand your injury case, take control of it, and get the maximum amount. Here are a few considerations you should make to maximize your compensation.
The jury usually decides on your case based on the evidence that you present. The other party also decides whether to offer a settlement, based on how strong your evidence will be. This means that you should do everything possible to preserve evidence to maximize your chance of getting the compensation that you deserve.
Preservation of your evidence starts immediately after incurring the accident. You need to take photos of the scene and the injuries you sustained. Also, you must have the names of the witness and a copy of the police report. Finally, your attorney should follow up on this information if you are undergoing treatment.
Seek Medical Treatment
The chances of winning a personal injury case depend on your injuries and other losses. In that case, you must have an accurate picture of your damages. You cannot get such information if you are not attended to by your healthcare professionals and go through a treatment plan. These documents will leave the other side without any choice but to settle your claim.
Getting medical treatment gives an accurate value of your expenses since doctors usually attend to their patients according to the extent of their injuries. Doctors also recommend a treatment plan that is custom to the nature and extent of your injuries. This includes seeking physical therapy and psycho-treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Know your At-fault Party
Since you are involved in a bus accident, establishing the at-fault party can be a challenging process. The most likely at-fault party includes the bus company, the driver, or the state department. Establishing the at-fault party will help you work within the statute of limitations and avoid wasting a lot of time focusing on the wrong party.
Value your Claim in Full
You should not assume that you are limited to specific damages. There are different types of damages that you might have suffered due to the injury. You might be unaware of some of these damages and some of the losses, but it is essential to consider them.
It is easy to overlook non-economic damages such as loss of body function and emotional damages, but it is relevant to include them in your claim. Also, every expense made out-of-pocket is relevant and should be compensated as well.
Avoid Being too Eager
Once you have been hurt, it is easy to accept the first check presented to you. Taking the first offer that you receive might prevent you from maximizing your compensation. Rejecting some of the compensation offers presented to you may also show that you are willing to go the distance until you get what you deserve. This means rejecting the first, second, or even the third offer presented by the at-fault party.
Explain why the Offer Presented to You is Inadequate
You have to present a strong case to get maximum compensation. When you get an insufficient settlement offer, you should respond to the at-fault party by showing why it is irrelevant. The best way to do so is by providing relevant documentation that will reinforce your assertions. Your attorney should help you present these documents and explain to the court why the compensation is inadequate.
Do Not Forget Future Damages
Bus accident cases might cause immediate and long term damages. Therefore, it is hard to recover from your injuries before you go into a trial. This makes it crucial to make considerations of your future recovery when negotiating for your settlement amount. You need to work with your medical professional to document these losses and include them in your claim.
Build a Strong Case
You should build your case methodically to maximize your damages if you go to trial. Preparing for the case includes serving various discovery demands and having your attorney conduct a request record and deposition. You might also need to seek help from relevant medical experts and work with an expert witness.
Having a strong case at your disposal will pressure the responsible party to offer a fair settlement. If they sense that you have not done enough to build your case, they would likely bail your settlement offer, hence the need for a strong case.
Don’t Stay for Long Before Filing Your Case
You do not have to stay for a long time before you bring your case to court. Staying long before you bring a case to court may easily make the case go past the statute of limitations, which may prevent you from recovering your compensation. Filing your lawsuit will also allow you to begin to gather evidence formally.
Making this decision will also help you preserve the evidence necessary for your case. It will also make the other party know that you are serious about getting a fair recovery by moving the case to the court as quickly as possible.
You deserve to be compensated if you are a bus accident victim. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we have established a track record of recovering settlements in personal injury matters for various types of auto accidents. Feel free to contact us anytime at 424-231-2013 for a free legal consultation. We are ready to answer all questions related to your case and will not waste any time to start your claim.