You never think it will be you, until it is. Every day in Los Angeles you hear reports of car and truck accidents, slip and falls, and other injuries that happen to people who think it would never be them, either. But when a personal injury happens, you need someone to stand up for you and protect your rights.
Hershey Law is a professional personal injury law firm in Los Angeles whose mission it is to become the go-to law firm for everyone in need of an attorney in California. To do this, the lawyers here understand that not only must they be highly knowledgeable and competent in all aspects of personal injury and employment law, but they must also keep that personal touch when working with clients.
When you come to us because you were injured, you are likely already stressed and confused. We make it our goal to guide you through what you can expect based on your individual situation. We are here to answer your questions and give you support while you go through the process of a personal injury lawsuit.
With our expertise and guidance, you can focus on healing and recovery while we focus on protecting your rights and getting you the benefits you are entitled to receive.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do, Exactly?
Personal injury lawyers practice in the field of law in an area known as “tort law.” This means that they provide services to clients (the plaintiffs) who have been injured due to the negligence of another person or persons (the defendants). This injury may be physical or psychological, but the personal injury attorney is retained to provide evidence that the injury did occur, and it occurred due to the defendant’s neglect.
Although most people automatically correlate hiring a lawyer with going to court, that is actually not what happens in the majority of lawsuits. Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights and get you the best settlement possible without dragging out the case. To do this, you and your attorney will likely discuss out-of-court options through a process called “mediation.”
In mediation, both parties of the case meet to try to come to an agreement that is agreeable by all involved. This agreement can help save everyone the time, expense, and stress of a trial. When that agreement simply can’t be reached, only then will the case continue on to trial.
With most personal injury attorneys, you can rest assured that they have your best interests at heart because they operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if your case wins, at which point they will receive a pre-determined percentage of the settlement. Your attorney will advise you on what they feel your best course of action will be, but ultimately you have the final say.
What Does the Personal Injury Process Look Like?
During this process, as your attorney attempts to obtain sufficient evidence to prove your case, they will likely be working through the investigative process by gathering official reports, witness statements, photos, and other evidence of the accident or incident. This is important to establish that the accident did occur and that it occurred due to the neglect of the other party.
Meanwhile, you should be doing your part by seeking medical treatment and following the course of advice given to you by your doctor. Once your physician releases you as fully recovered or as stable as you are likely to get, your attorney will begin the task of collecting medical records and bills, documenting financial losses that you faced, and itemizing damages. The length of time this takes often depends on how quickly the records are returned from the physicians and employers.
After all of the paperwork is completed, your attorney will approach the insurance company for an offer. This often takes time as well, but when the offer is received, you and your attorney will review it and determine the next step.
If the offer is fair, you may accept it and be just about done aside from paperwork. If it is not, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair offer, but if they can’t, they will file a lawsuit and demand arbitration. From that point, the defendant has 30 days to respond, at which point a discovery process ensues.
In discovery, your lawyer and the other party’s attorney will take depositions of all of those involved, including witnesses and experts. This can become quite expensive and lengthy, but when all discovery is completed, the trial date is requested and your attorney prepares you for trial.
Again, trial rarely happens in a personal injury lawsuit, but when it does, you want to know that your attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable and can present your case professionally and satisfactorily. When you work with professionals like those at Hershey Law, you know you are working with experts who care.
When Can You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Each state follows a different “statute of limitations” for personal injury claims, which is simply a deadline that must be met. For instance, in Los Angeles, an injured person has two years from the date of the injury file a lawsuit against those who may be responsible, according to the California Statute of Limitations.
You can hire an attorney at any point in this time frame, but the longer you wait, the closer you become to missing important deadlines and losing the opportunity to pursue your case.
What Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You With?
Here are just some of the avenues that we can assist you with should you need a personal injury attorney.
Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury in the United States, with crashes totaling an estimated $18 billion in lifetime costs per year. Statistics show that for every one person that is fatally injured in a car accident, 8 more are hospitalized and 100 were treated for injuries.
Car accidents are dangerous and can be deadly, and if you were injured in a motor vehicle crash you may be entitled to more than what your insurance company is telling you about. We can help you through the process and make sure that your rights and benefits are protected.
Truck Accidents: Large truck accidents fall into a different category than motor vehicle accidents for multiple reasons. For one, due to the size of the vehicle involved the damages and injuries sustained in these crashes is usually much more severe.
Additionally, when a large truck gets in an accident there are often multiple parties at fault. Your attorney will investigate all of the avenues to ensure that the right person or company is held responsible for your injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents: The number of motorcycle accidents has been steadily climbing over the last few years. In fact, motorcycle fatalities have been at their highest rates in over a decade, and almost every accident results in a serious injury.
Motorcycle accidents are usually due to the negligence of the other driver, and a personal injury attorney can help you to ensure that the at-fault party is held responsible and that your medical bills and lost wages get covered.
Brain Injury Accidents: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are due to a blow to the head of some sort that ends up disrupting the way the brain functions normally. These types of injuries affect over two million people each year, with over 50,000 fatalities.
Many of these injuries are due to someone’s negligence. Car accidents, sports impact injuries, falls, and assault are often the cause of TBIs.
TBIs can be life-altering and require ongoing changes and medical treatment. If you sustained a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should retain an attorney to ensure that your medical bills and life accommodations are taken care of as best as possible.
Wrongful Deaths: When a loved one passes away it is never easy, but when that death is the outcome of someone else’s negligence it is categorically more difficult. Many wrongful deaths occur each year as the result of medical malpractice, car accidents, and other preventable incidents.
If your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death, you can make sure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions by obtaining a knowledgeable personal injury attorney like those of us at Hershey Law.
Slip and Falls: We’ve all seen the “Wet Floor” signs in the grocery stores and gas stations warning us to avoid certain areas, but what happens when those signs are not there or in the right area? Property neglect has caused millions of people to slip or fall every year, causing them to sustain injuries that were preventable.
These injuries are not usually covered by your insurance, and medical treatment for them can become expensive. Personal injury attorneys can help you get your medical bills covered and get the compensation you are entitled to for your suffering.
Spinal Injuries: Severe spinal cord injuries are life-changing, resulting in physical and psychological effects that will last a person’s lifetime.
If you were in an accident that resulted in injury to your spinal cord, you are likely looking at the need for long-term medical treatment, changes to your lifestyle, and more that will mean significant costs. An expert personal injury can help you to make this happen so you can focus on recovery and not stress the finances.
Product Liability – Accidents happen, but when that accident is due to a product malfunction or a defective product and you are injured, you may feel like you have no recourse to get help for your medical bills.
Let a knowledgeable product liability attorney, like the ones at Hershey Law, do the legwork to track down the responsible party and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
Los Angeles is full of attorneys, but not all of them have their clients’ best interests at heart and are professional and experienced. The attorneys at Hershey Law know that you are the reason they are able to keep working every day, and they want to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
At Hershey Law, you are more than just a number. Reach out today for a free consultation to see how we can help you with your personal injury lawsuit.