Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injuries can occur anywhere, at any time, and to anyone. When personal injuries occur as a result of someone else’s negligence, often, personal injury claims are filed to compensate for damages suffered by the injured. Damages like loss of wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills, for example, can be recovered when someone is at fault for another’s personal injury.
Personal injury law exists as part of the civil court system. It is a means for people who have been injured due to the fault of someone else to seek and recover damages that are a result of the injury. The most severe type of personal injury is catastrophic personal injury, in which victims incur the most serious of consequences. If you feel you might have a legitimate personal injury claim, the experienced and knowledgeable Santa Monica personal injury lawyers of McLachlan Law, APC, can help you navigate the details of your case in accordance with state law.
Experience Matters in Personal Injury Claims
At McLachlan Law, APC, our personal injury attorneys have more than 25 years of experience and successful claims in Santa Monica personal injury cases. Representing hundreds of clients in their personal injury cases, our team has as many successful case outcomes, reached by means of negotiation (a skill that is honed over time), knowledge of the law, and aggressive litigation when necessary. We have won millions of dollars for our clients in their personal injury settlements, which include both victims and families of victims.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law refers to the legal system that governs compensation for individuals who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing. This can include injuries sustained in car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice, product defects, and other types of incidents.
In personal injury cases, the injured person typically files a claim against the person or entity responsible for the injury. This is a legal process that seeks to recover damages for the injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the injury.
Why Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
To be successful in a personal injury claim, the injured person needs to prove that the other party was negligent and that their negligence caused the injury. This involves demonstrating that the other party had a duty of care to the injured person, that they breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injury. This is done by a personal injury attorney who understands the law and the conditions that must be met to rule an incident as personal injury. This is where personal injury cases can be complex and confusing.
If you fail to meet the requirements for proof, your case will be denied, and you will not receive compensation for damages. Furthermore, attorneys representing victims in personal injury cases are paid on contingency, which means you are not required to pay for their services until you are awarded a settlement for your case. Therefore, you have nothing to lose if you hire an attorney and everything to lose if you don’t.
If you hire a personal injury lawyer to assist you in navigating this complicated process, you will incur less stress throughout, which is important because you are likely already suffering hardships from your injury. The truth is most victims need the assistance of an experienced attorney who can help them navigate the legal system and pursue the compensation they deserve. Those who try to do it themselves often end up getting frustrated or putting it off until the statute of limitations has expired.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Claims in Santa Monica?
State law sets the statute of limitations, or deadline to file a claim, for personal injury claims at two years after the date of the injury. However, if the injury was not discovered right away, the statute of limitations would be one year following the date the injury was discovered.
One other exception to this rule is for claims against the government or a government agency. When suing a government agency, an administrative claim must first be filed within six months from the date the injury occurred. Once the administrative claim is filed, the government must respond within 45 days. If the claim is denied by mail by the government, the individual will have six months from the date on the denial letter to file a legal claim with the court. If a denial notice is not received, the individual will have two years to file from the date of the incident, though they may not actually have two full years before their statute of limitations expires. This makes determining if you can make a timely claim difficult. Talking to a Santa Monica injury lawyer can clear up any confusion about how long you actually have to file a claim before your time runs out.
Keep in mind also that if you have been personally injured and have two years to file a non-government claim, this also means if someone was injured as a result of your negligence, they could not sue you after two years from the date of the injury. If you think someone might have a personal injury case against you or if someone has filed a claim against you for personal injury, the consequences of your case can be significantly diminished if you enlist the aid of a private Santa Monica personal injury attorney.
Will I Get More Settlement Money If I Use A Personal Injury Lawyer?
In California, you have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you if you have been the victim of personal injury. A personal injury lawyer can help with many aspects of your case, specifically negotiating with insurance companies. Attorneys who are experienced with these types of negotiations know when an insurance company will pay more, and they know the first offer is always the lowest. Insurance companies are more inclined to negotiate with an attorney who they know is knowledgeable, whereas they also know most individual claimants are not. Furthermore, an experienced personal injury attorney knows what not to do and what not to say in negotiations, as there are certain technicalities that can get your personal injury claim denied in court.
Another way in which hiring a personal injury attorney can maximize your settlement amount is by advocating for your rights in court, if necessary. They know how to determine and fight for the full extent of your damages and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible. Thus, while hiring a personal injury lawyer does not guarantee you will receive more settlement money, having an experienced lawyer on your side can increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement or jury award.
How Do I Go About Hiring A Lawyer For My Personal Injuries Case?
If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer in California, it is important to research potential lawyers and firms in your area. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a big decision, and you should take the time to choose a lawyer who is the right fit for you and your case. It is not recommended that you pick the first one you see. Below are some steps to keep in mind when choosing a personal injury lawyer.
First, research potential lawyers. Start by doing an online search for personal injury lawyers in your area. Once you have a decent list, mark a selection of personal injury lawyers that seem to have experience and success in dealing with cases like yours. You may want to read some reviews to narrow down your list. Next, select a personal injury law firm you would like to talk to, as well as a couple of backups. Then, check their credentials. Verify the lawyer is licensed to practice law in your state and has no disciplinary history. You can check the state bar association’s website to find this information.
Once you have a single attorney you feel will suit your needs, call them and schedule a consultation. Most reputable personal injury lawyers are happy to schedule this meeting with new clients to hear about their cases. This initial meeting or conversation gives both the individual and the attorney the option to accept or deny services based on the various details of the case. You may want to take advantage of this opportunity and schedule a consultation with a few lawyers to discuss your case, so you will have a better idea of which attorney is the right fit for you and which ones are not. After consulting with several lawyers, carefully evaluate your options and choose a lawyer whom you feel comfortable working with and who you believe has the skills and experience necessary to handle your case effectively.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in CA?
It is important to note that personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case or reach a settlement. Therefore, hiring a personal injury lawyer may be a viable option even if you do not have the financial means to pay for legal services upfront. Always discuss legal fees, as well as court fees, prior to hiring an attorney for your personal injury claim.
What Are Some Tips for Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers?
Follow these tips if you’ve been injured in an accident or due to someone else’s negligence and are looking to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve:
- Always ask your lawyer questions. During the initial consultation with an attorney, which typically occurs before you hire them, ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, the firm’s track record with cases like yours, and their approach to handling cases. Ask about their fees and how they handle payment. You can also ask questions about the laws that pertain to your case if there’s a possibility a settlement can be reached outside of court, and how their firm would handle your case if it were to go to court. Additionally, inquire about how a lawyer will keep you up-to-date about the progression of your case. A good lawyer should be responsive to your calls and emails and should be able to explain legal concepts in a way you can understand. Write your questions down so you have them ready for each call you make.
- It is also important during the consultation to consider the communication skills of an attorney. You want to choose a lawyer who is good at communicating with you. Not all personality types will be a match, and therefore, if you feel a personality clash between yourself and an attorney, they may end up being hard for you to work with.
- Read lots of reviews and ratings before hiring a lawyer online. Also, check the lawyer’s website, social media profiles, and online directories like Avvo or Martindale-Hubbell to learn more about their reputation. You can also ask an attorney for references from previous clients whom you can call and inquire about their experiences with that attorney.
- Trust your gut. Ultimately, you should choose a lawyer who you believe has your interests at heart and with whom you feel comfortable. Choose a lawyer you feel confident will get you the compensation you deserve.
Effective Personal Injury Attorney in Santa Monica
If you have been injured in an accident or due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may also be running out of time to file a claim. To learn if you have a legitimate legal personal injury claim, contact McLachlan Law, APC, to get invaluable advice on your case. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, and we can do the same for you if you are the victim of a personal injury.
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