Each year, over 39.5 million people will become injured to the point that medical attention is required according to statistics by the National Center for Health Statistics. Out of almost 4 million injuries, 29.4 will be bad enough to be sent directly to the emergency room. Furthermore, 169,936 of the injuries will result in death.
This makes accidents involving personal injury the third leading cause of death in the US. If you are one of these individuals who have been stricken by a personal injury, not only can you receive compensation it is your right by the law.
If you have been injured because of the incompetence or negligence of another party, it is important that you find out what your legal options are and what the best course of action will be to ensure you full compensation. Contact an experienced Anaheim personal injury attorney by calling the Crockett Law Group. Call (800) 900-9393 to arrange a free consultation with our Anaheim injury law firm. Our attorneys can review your case value and advise you on what you should do from here.
Table of Contents
What Makes a Good Personal Injury Case?
The highest value personal injury cases with the highest payouts feature three important ingredients: serious injuries, clear liability, and considerable resources, although they may not always be present in this order.
You don’t have to wait till all the stars are in a position to make a legal claim against an at-fault party. As a matter of fact, it rarely works out so easily. Nevertheless, the value and chances of success in a personal injury case can be greatly diminished if one of these key ingredients is missing.
Let’s look at a true to life example:
Imagine you are driving down freeway 405 and are suddenly hit head-on by a drunk driver and suffered severe head injuries. The driver is quick to admit fault. So liability is clear, the head injuries are serious so the value you could collect is high. But, unfortunately, the driver is unemployed and only carrying the minimum $15,000 insurance policy required by the law.
Even though two of the three ingredients are present and strong, the final point, unlimited resources, is greatly limited by the financial capacity of the at-fault party.
Clear liability is when there is no argument about the fault of the accident and injuries. For example, someone who has run a red light caused an accident and accepted responsibility. The same goes for someone caught on camera performing a risky “California Roll.” In either case, liability is not even disputed.
The reason clear liability is so important in a California personal injury case is that liability under the great state of California is decided by “comparative fault.” In other words, if you were 49% responsible for the accident that happened, you will only be eligible for just under half the compensation.
If the other party is 100% to blame for the accident, made obvious by clear liability, you will also receive the full value of your injuries.
As you may imagine, if there are no injuries, you simply don’t have a case. By the same measure, the more serious the injuries sustained in the accident are, the greater the compensation due.
Compare these examples. In the first case, a serious accident was entered into the Anaheim, CA, register in which a car was struck from the side and rolled over multiple times till the car is no longer recognizable as such. But, the driver escapes unharmed but for a minor scratch on the forearm arm and no other injury. In the second case, a car is rear-ended and sustains minor damage that accounts for about $2000 in property damages. However, the impact caused the driver severe whiplash which will require much recovery time and even surgery to address properly.
Which case has more value? Obviously, the unfortunate person with the whiplash and need for serious medical attention will receive higher compensation.
The more extensive resources that are at the command of the at-fault driver the far better your compensation will be. It is a common point in personal injuries that a victim is twice injured. First for being affected by the negligence of another, and then being pigeon-holed because this person does not carry insurance.
Can I Claim Injury Compensation If an Accident Was My Fault?
California’s comparative fault laws mean that you can seek compensation for your injuries if you were mostly at-fault, even 99% at-fault for the accident. If you were 100% to blame for the accident, you will not receive any compensation whatsoever.
This is the way that it works if you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was 10% your fault. So if your compensation was $100,000 you will be entitled to $90,000. The compensation you are eligible to receive will be set by the amount of responsibility you have in the accident.
Actually, residents near Anaheim should be very grateful to live in a comparative fault state. Some other states, like Washington D.C., Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina, use a contributory fault law. This system works a little differently. If you were to be involved in an accident that was even slightly your fault, you would not be eligible for any compensation for your injuries. This means that your legal representative would have to prove that you were 0% to blame and the other party 100% to blame for the accident if you hope to get compensation for your damages.
When you consider this, you will see that contributory negligence laws are considerably harsh compared to the comparative fault law applied here in California.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Case?
Before beginning your own quest to seek compensation, you would probably like to know how the process works. This can help you make the decision to move forward with your claim. In the following section, you will find a standard timeline for personal injury cases that are seen commonly here in California.
- Professional Medical Treatment
- Investigation for the Personal Injury The Claim
- Review of Medical Records
- Compiling and Submitting the Demand Package
- Filing a Lawsuit
- Negotiation for Medical Bills
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Anaheim?
Hiring an expensive lawyer is probably the last thing you want to consider in the wake of an injury to any degree of severity. The good news is that the personal injury lawyers at Crockett Law Group work on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement means that the lawyer agrees to provide legal services with no upfront costs. Actually, the lawyer’s payment is completely contingent on them winning the case. If your attorney should be unsuccessful in getting you the payment you deserve they will not get paid.
If your attorney is successful in obtaining the compensation due, they will take a small percentage of the total settlement.
The exact percentage of the settlement your lawyer will take as payment can be different between lawyers. But, this is certainly a good question to bring up in your initial consultation. The average percentage your attorney will take for their legal services in Anaheim is 1/3 of the recovered settlement. But, if the case will have to be taken to trial before a court, the situation will become far more complex and you will probably be charged 40% of the total cost.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine your medical bills for treating the injuries were $15,000, the wages you lost for time away from work were $5,000 and the amount of pain and suffering you experienced amounted to $10,000. Then your case has a value of $30,000, a typical personal injury lawyer in Anaheim, CA, will charge $10,000 for their contribution to the case. However, if a $30,000 settlement was reached after your lawyer filed for litigation, the charge will be closer to $12,000.
This is a very different system than the “retainer” plan used in other legal services. If you were to hire a divorce attorney, you would need to pay an upfront fee to “retain” their services. This will cover the lawyer’s hourly rate. But personal injury works by another plan and is not charged by the hour.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With an Anaheim Personal Injury Attorney
As experienced personal injury lawyers, we fully understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be and are fully committed to getting you the compensation you rightfully deserve. At Crockett Law Groups we know what it takes to build a case that will have heft in negotiations and be bulletproof on the courtroom floor. If you have been injured by the negligence of another person, get in contact with us today, call (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free appointment.