If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, you’re probably already aware that personal injury attorneys in the state of California almost always work on a contingency basis and offer free consultations. What that means is that California personal injury lawyers only make money if they successfully negotiate a settlement or win your case in court. In other words, they only get paid if you get paid.
But you might also be asking what a personal injury attorney does for their contingency fees. And more importantly, is it worth sharing your settlement with a personal injury lawyer? Choosing legal representation is a serious matter and could affect your recovery. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a full-service personal injury attorney. Make sure that your attorney selection checks all of the boxes before committing to their firm.
Representation in Settlement Negotiations
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re entitled to compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages. Insurers will attempt to contain their costs by denying or minimizing certain aspects of the claim. Your personal injury attorney should be able to itemize your expenses: medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, et cetera. Additionally, they should be able to calculate a reasonable, legally-defensible dollar figure for pain and suffering, as well as any diminished earning capacity. In nearly all cases, the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ figures are greater than the initial settlement offer from insurers.
Managing Debt Collection
If you’ve been injured in an accident, your bills will begin to rapidly accumulate. This is not something that you want to worry about when you’re trying to recover. Personal injury attorneys have experience negotiating with debt collectors. Moreover, they often have established relationships with medical providers and can get them to reduce certain fees. This is doubly beneficial in that it helps contain your debt load and reduces the portion of your settlement that goes towards medical expenses.
Act as a Liaison to Your Employer
If you’re injured in a job-related accident, your employer’s worker’s comp insurance should cover your expenses. But what if you have to miss work due to an off-the-clock accident? Many California employers will try to accommodate an injured employee’s recovery period, but some will use the incident as an excuse to terminate the injured worker. There are, however, legal protections in place that offer limited protection to accident injury victims. Ideally, your attorney should be able to help you keep your job without having to pursue legal recourses.
An Attorney is a Tool to Your Recovery
Personal injury lawyers in places like Huntington Beach network with doctors, physical therapists, expert witnesses, and other key figures that can be instrumental in your physical and financial recovery. In many instances, the net amount of their clients’ settlements — settlement amount after all expenses including the contingency fee — is greater than what the insurance company would have voluntarily paid without the assistance of a lawyer.
If you have been injured in an accident and have questions about what a personal injury lawyer can do for you, contact the attorneys at Timothy J. Ryan and Associates of Orange County for a free consultation.
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