Coachella concluded its first weekend, and that means lots of phone calls for Phony ID and Minor in Possession arrests. The arrests are always in the fenced off Bar section. Those that drink, legally or illegally, often have trouble while leaving Coachella that results in an Accident or DUI.
If you were not at fault, you need an experienced PI lawyer and you will be inundated with ads on TV and social media. Who do you retain? How do you not get run over by an Attorney and the Insurance Company after the traffic accident? Most importantly, understand that NATIONWIDE IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE, YOU ARE NOT IN GOOD HANDS and YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR WILL NOT GIVE YOU A PIECE OF THE ROCK.
Insurance Companies are able to build high-rise buildings, because they are in business to make money. Adjusters are trained to Deny and Delay. If thousands of cases can delay payment for a month, they make interest on many millions of dollars.
The question is, How Much Is Your Case Worth? Everyone that has been in any kind of accident, Auto, Motorcycle, Slip and Fall, Truck, Dog Bite, Train, Boat, etc., wants to know, what their case is worth. An honest lawyer will say… it depends! It depends on many factors…..liability, medicals, timeliness of treatment, length of treatment, future medicals, past medical history; type of injury, who is the doctor, who is insurance company, age of victim, loss of earnings and of course who is the lawyer etc.
Accident cases require Proof of Liability, which means proving Negligence or Who is at Fault? Then you must prove
Damages…money for Pain and Suffering and Loss of Earnings.
If you rear-end someone, arguing the other driver was at fault would be hard to prove. However, if someone rear-ends you, that is good liability. However, if you are rear ended, and don’t seek med treatment, the damages are minimal and you would not expect to receive much money, if any, for your pain and suffering.
Likewise, if you rear-end someone, and then have major injuries, such as a loss of limb or vision, the damages would be good. However, why should anyone pay you for an accident that you arguably caused. In other words, you were liable?
A good case requires both Liability and Damages, and without both, lawyers usually reject a case. That does not mean there is no case, but rather that a lawyer doesn’t feel the value of the case is worth pursuing.
The age of the Victim could be an issue. The older the victim, the more likely the insurance company will deny and delay. This is because, if the V passes before the case is settled, the heirs can only recover for the med bills and NOT pain and suffering.
If a V is rear ended, and delays seeing a doctor for 1-2 months, most PI lawyers would question the value of the case. Adjusters and defense lawyers will argue the driver was not injured from the accident. If the V delays treatment, the defense could argue, maybe the V slipped and fell in the shower and thought, “I was just in an accident 2 months ago, I will say it is from that?” If there is a 50% chance a jury would believe it, then a case worth $100,000 has its value reduced to $50,000.
You must Prove whatever you allege! You can’t just say I have a Concussion or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has to be medically diagnosed and treated. In addition, the claim must be filed within the Statute of Limitations. For an accident it is 2 years…(for an Oral Contract 2 years, a Written contract 4 years and then 6 month notice is needed for a Governmental claim). You can also file in Small Claims (for up to $10k) using forms at the Judicial Council Website……….(form SC100).
No matter where the case is filed, you have the same challenge of proving who was at fault, and after that the value of the damages. Only an experienced PI lawyer knows how to maximize your recovery.
To find a well credentialed PI/DUI lawyer, look for a lawyer who has an AVVO “Peer” rating of 10.0; a 5 Star Rating; a Martindale Hubbell AV rating (A for legal ability and V for very high ethics) and one who has been awarded TOP LAWYER OR BEST LAWYER.