Data from the National Center for Health Statistics state that approximately 39.5 million individuals get medical care after accident injuries annually. Out of these, around 29.4 million have injuries that are serious enough to require emergency care. 169,936 sustain fatal injuries. In fact, in the United States, personal injury is the third-most-common cause of death. It’s only ranked lower than heart disease and cancer. If you’ve been injured, and another party is at fault, you are legally entitled to pursue compensation. This is something you absolutely should do.
If someone else’s negligent behavior has caused you to be injured, you should seek compensation. Speak to one of Crockett Law Group’s Huntington Beach personal injury attorneys. We’ll work with you to secure a sizable settlement. If you contact our Huntington Beach injury firm at (800) 900-9393, we can schedule a free consultation.
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How Do You Know If You Have a Strong Personal Injury Claim?
There are three qualities a strong personal injury case needs: severe injuries, the ability to pay, and no liability dispute.
With that said, you can secure a settlement if your case does not meet these criteria. As a matter of fact, there are few clients with perfect personal injury cases. With that said, if your claim is lacking in these qualities, your claim’s value is lower overall.
Here’s one example of this. Imagine that you’ve been injured by someone driving drunk on the freeway. The driver admits that they bear full fault for the accident. There are no liability disputes. In this scenario, your head collided with a window, which led to a traumatic brain injury. There’s no question that your injuries are severe. However, the driver that is at-fault is unemployed. Their bodily injury policy only provides $15,000 of coverage. Even though the case has a high value, the ability to collect is limited.
No Liability Disputes
If liability in the accident isn’t disputed, liability is clear. As an example, the other driver may have run through a red light and offered an apology on the scene. There may also be video confirming that the other driver failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In situations like this, there’s no reason to dispute liability.
California qualifies as a “comparative fault” state, which is why a strong personal injury case needs clear liability. If you bear some fault for your accident, the recovery you are entitled to is reduced. For example, if you bear 50% responsibility for an accident, you’ll only receive 50% of your settlement. If the other party is completely at fault, you will be eligible for maximum recovery.
If you haven’t been injured, it isn’t possible to make a personal injury claim. By the same token, if your injuries or more severe, your case has more value.
As an example, look at these two different accidents:
- An individual is involved in a car accident serious enough to be reported in the Huntington Beach Register. The vehicle rolls over more than once, and the damage is so severe that the car is no longer recognizable. Thankfully, the only injury the driver has is a small scratch, and medical attention isn’t necessary.
- An individual is involved in a rear-end accident that only caused $2,000 worth of property damage. Sadly, the driver experienced severe whiplash during the accident. They needed a great deal of medical treatment, including surgery, in order to recover. The driver in the second accident has a stronger case.
The Ability to Pay
If the defendant has a greater ability to pay, accident victims are able to recover more. In some cases, clients are victimized twice. First, they sustain an injury because of another party’s negligent behavior. Secondly, their ability to recover is limited by that individual’s insurance.
Generally, personal injury claims are made through the insurance carrier of the person at fault. If the individual does not have insurance, or if it is not possible to locate them, recovery may not be an option. Generally, individuals with assets that need to be protected obtain insurance. Furthermore, the person that is at fault may have only secured the minimum amount of insurance required. In these cases, the individuals are unlikely to have assets that need to be protected. If they did have valuable assets, they would have obtained a larger insurance policy. Because of this, the insurance they have may limit what you are able to collect.
Is It Possible to Make an Injury Compensation Claim When You Were At Fault?
As mentioned above, California is a comparative fault state. Because of this, if you hold up to 99% of the fault for the accident, you have the option of seeking compensation. However, if you are 100% at fault, seeking compensation isn’t an option.
Both you and the other party will be assigned a percentage of fault in the accident. The settlement amount you are entitled to will be reduced based on the percentage of fault you hold.
As an example, an individual could hold 10% of the fault for a motorcycle accident near Huntington Beach. If that individual has an injury claim worth $100,000, the settlement they receive will be $90,000. This figure is designed to represent the proportion of damages that were caused by negligence from the other party.
The comparative fault system in California often benefits victims. Other states, such as North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, abide by a contributory fault system. In these states, if you are 10% at fault for an accident, you wouldn’t have the option of collecting. You can only recover damages if you can demonstrate that the other party bears 100% of the blame. When you compare this against California, it’s clear that this state does more to protect accident victims.
How Will a Personal Injury Case Play Out?
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering what the process will look like. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of how a personal injury case is likely to proceed.
- Medical Care
- Claim Investigation
- Securing and Analyzing Medical Records
- Sending out a Demand Package
- Settlement Negotiation
- Lawsuit Filing
- Medical Expense Negotiation
What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Huntington Beach?
In Huntington Beach, personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis. This means that lawyers won’t receive payment unless they secure a settlement for their client. If your lawyer doesn’t manage to secure a settlement for you, they won’t be paid at all. However, if your lawyer manages to recover funds for you, they will receive a percentage of your settlement.
It is standard to agree upon a percentage in advance. Different personal injury attorneys in Huntington Beach, CA, have different rates. This is something you should ask about during consultation. In most cases, personal injury lawyers in the area will be entitled to approximately 1/3 of your settlement based on their contingency fee agreement. With that said, if a case goes to court, the percentage is likely to be higher. 40% is standard.
As an example, you may have $5,000 in lost wages, medical expenses of $15,000, and a pain and suffering claim with a value like $10,000. Your personal injury claim is settled out of court for $30,000. In this scenario, your attorney would receive $10,000 of your settlement. However, if your attorney has to take your case to court, they would receive $12,000 of your settlement.
Some lawyers, such as divorce attorneys, are paid via retainer fee. This means that clients must pay a fee upfront in order to hire an attorney. The attorney will also be paid an hourly rate according to this agreement. In contrast, personal injury lawyers that work on contingency do not take upfront payments, and they are not paid hourly. You shouldn’t let a lack of funds keep you from talking to one of our qualified attorneys!
Hire a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney With Crockett Law Group
Our personal injury attorneys work with accident victims to make sure they have their interests represented. We can negotiate with insurance companies and handle all aspects of injury claims. Crockett Law Group fights hard for our clients and works to ensure they receive the settlement they are entitled to. If someone else’s negligent behavior led to an injury, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer at Crockett Law Group. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free case evaluation.