It takes less than a second for a serious accident to happen, but the resulting pain and emotional distress can last for months. Some victims never make a full recovery. Beyond the physical and psychological trauma, the cost of medical care and lost income can threaten the financial future of the entire family. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys understand the adversity you’re facing, and we’re ready to help you fight for the compensation you need to get your life back. We’ve represented thousands of clients in a wide array of personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our track record of success speaks for itself—with more than $300,000,000 recovered for clients. Insurance companies throughout California know that we don’t settle for anything less than our clients deserve, and we’re not afraid to go to trial if they refuse to cooperate. We offer free consultations and accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Call our 24-hour phone-line at 1-800-GO-HARRIS to speak with a member of our team.
Types of Claims our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Handle:
- Motorcycle Collisions
- Semi-Truck Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Scooter Injuries
- Bike Accidents
- Turo Vehicle Accidents
- Boat Accidents
- Airplane & Other Aircraft Accidents
- Public, Tour, & Other Bus Accidents
- Pedestrian Injuries
- Dog Bites & Other Animal Attacks
- Brain Injuries
- Burn Trauma
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Rideshare Vehicle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Other Personal Injuries
How Can I Strengthen My Personal Injury Case?
Many people assume that filing a personal injury claim is a fairly straightforward process. Unfortunately, this is far from true. A dispute can arise at any moment of the proceedings and derail your entire case. Even if you have strong evidence to prove fault, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will cooperate and pay a fair settlement. It’s wise to prepare for all eventualities by taking steps to strengthen your claim such as:
- Undergoing an Immediate Medical Evaluation: Your first step is to seek medical attention. No matter how minor your injury seems, getting an evaluation right away is essential if you intend to file a personal injury claim. Without official documentation of your injury and symptoms, it will be difficult to tie your injury to the accident and to prove its severity.
- Preserving Evidence: It’s not uncommon for a seemingly insignificant piece of evidence to play a critical role in proving liability or damages. For example, if you crashed your vehicle due to an auto part defect, it’s important that you preserve the vehicle so your attorney and relevant experts can evaluate the damage. If you get the vehicle repaired, it might be difficult to prove that the part was defective or that the defect was the actual or proximate cause of the accident. To avoid disposing of important evidence, it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
- Calling a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer: The guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney can help you avoid critical mistakes that would lead to unnecessary disputes, delays, and complications. The sooner your lawyer can investigate your case, the better. Essential evidence might be altered or otherwise become unavailable. The best time to contact an attorney is immediately after you undergo a medical evaluation, which should take place on the same day of the injury but certainly no later than 48 hours afterward.
- Not Speaking to the Insurance Company: Do you remember what you were doing in the moments leading up to the accident? Which parts of your body are in pain? Have you been able to return to work? These questions might seem simple and straightforward, but your answers may be taken out of context to dispute your claim. Insurance companies are businesses like any other, so one of their primary goals is to pay claimants as little as possible. In pursuit of that goal, insurance adjusters often ask leading questions to elicit responses that can be used to deny or undervalue claims. The bottom line: Your lawyer should handle all correspondence with anyone affiliated with the insurance company.
- Limiting Your Social Media Activity: Social media posts are often used by insurance companies to dispute liability or damages. To protect your claim, it’s a good idea to disable your social media profiles until the conclusion of the proceedings.
- Following Your Doctor’s Orders: If you do anything that might cause your injuries to worsen, the insurance company may refuse to pay for 100 percent of your damages. By following your doctor’s orders, you’ll be less likely to face a dispute regarding a failure to mitigate your damages.
How Soon Should I Contact an Attorney?
After a serious injury, there are all sorts of concerns vying for your attention. You might have to complete a rigorous treatment program involving multiple doctor’s visits, surgeries, and physical therapy. You may have to find someone to cover your shifts at work, help with domestic duties, and assist with child care. With so much to do, it may be tempting to postpone your personal injury claim; however, failing to take immediate action could reduce your chances of obtaining a fair settlement. You should contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Specifically, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney immediately after you have undergone the first medical assessment, which should take place promptly after the accident. Here are just some of the reasons why you should schedule the free legal consultation without delay:
- Time-Sensitive Evidence Might Disappear: You won’t be able to prevail without strong evidence to support your claim. Unless you bring the claim against a no-fault insurance policy, you will have to prove liability, causation, and damages to win the claim. Much of the evidence that could be used to prove these elements might be time-sensitive. For instance, if a surveillance camera recorded what happened, its footage might be overwritten in a matter of days. The same applies to dashcam footage. If you were hurt in a slip and fall, the property owner might fix the hazard that caused your fall before it can be adequately documented. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will want to begin compiling evidence at the earliest possible point in time.
- Eyewitnesses Could Forget Essential Details: It is not uncommon for someone who witnesses a traumatic event to forget essential details within just a few days. It is even possible for their memory to become distorted, and they might recall things that didn’t actually happen. Your lawyer will want to speak with eyewitnesses while the incident is still fresh in their memory. If they saw something that could strengthen your case, your attorney might depose eyewitnesses during discovery.
- There Are Deadlines for Filing Tort Lawsuits: If you choose to put off your legal action for too much time, you might lose your right to compensation. There are time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits. The specific deadline in your case will depend on the circumstances.
- The Insurance Company May Want a Statement: Most personal injury claims are brought against the insurance company of the person or entity that is liable for the injury. When reviewing claims, insurance adjusters go through a meticulous process to determine whether the claim should be approved and, if so, how much to offer in a settlement. As you may already be aware, the insurance company will be looking for reasons to deny or reduce the value of your claim since every dollar they have to pay out cuts into their bottom line. One common strategy they use to challenge claims is to get the claimant to provide a recorded statement that brings liability, causation, or another element of their case into question. It is important that your attorney handles this correspondence from day one so you don’t say something that would harm your case.
- You Could Make an Early Mistake That Derails Your Case: There are countless mistakes a personal injury claimant could make that would derail their claim. We’ve already mentioned how providing a recorded statement to the insurer could cause problems down the road. You might also run into trouble if you publish something on social media about the accident. You should also avoid posting photos of yourself taken after the accident. In fact, it’s a good idea to stay off social media entirely during the proceedings. Another common mistake is putting off the medical assessment. Your attorney will instruct you to visit a doctor right away if you have not done so already. And once you have received a formal diagnosis, it is critical that you follow your doctor’s orders to avoid a dispute over the mitigation of damages.
How Can I Increase the Chances of Recovering Fair Compensation?
If you hire a talented attorney from Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team will handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on your health, family, and other important matters. We will gather evidence, build your claim, consult with relevant experts if necessary, and handle the other tasks involved in pursuing the settlement or verdict you deserve. There are, however, some things you can do to improve the chances of securing a favorable outcome to your case. They include:
- Visit a Doctor Immediately: Go to a hospital or clinic as soon as possible so your injuries can be officially documented. Not only can this ensure you get prompt treatment, but it can also reduce the likelihood of facing a dispute from the insurance company.
- Obey Your Doctor’s Orders: You have a duty to mitigate your damages by following the instructions of your medical team and taking reasonable steps to facilitate your recovery.
- Let Your Lawyer Handle Dialogue with the Insurer: Your statements to the insurance adjuster might be taken out of context or misrepresented to weaken your case. The best way to handle correspondence with the insurance company is not to speak to them at all but, rather, to let your Los Angeles personal injury attorney take over this dialogue.
- Preserve Evidence: Any documents and other evidence that might strengthen your case should be carefully preserved. These include medical records, financial records, photos of the scene, and eyewitness statements and contact information.
- Keep a Personal Injury Journal: A personal injury journal is a record you can use to track how the injures are affecting your personal wellbeing. In addition to making notes about missed familial and social events, you should also record details about your symptoms, their severity, and their frequency.
- Stay off Social Media: By staying off social media, you will be removing a common source of evidence used by insurance companies to dispute claims.
Speak with a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys are available 24 hours a day to take your call. For a free consultation, dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or send us a message on our Contact Page.