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What does a personal injury lawyer do? A personal injury lawyer represents clients who are victims of personal injury accidents, helping them seek compensation from liable parties responsible for their injuries and other damages.

For help with a case from an experienced personal injury lawyer, call Kuvara Law Firm in San Rafael, CA, at 1-800-4-INJURY today.

Types of Cases Handled by Personal Injury Lawyers

One of the first questions you might ask after sustaining a personal injury is, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” There are many cases a personal injury lawyer can handle. The following are examples of cases that fall under the purview of these types of attorneys:

Car and Truck Accidents

Most personal injury cases involve vehicle accidents, including car and truck accidents. While many of these accidents are minor and don’t involve injuries, they’re often severe and result in serious injuries or fatalities.

In California, the number of fatalities in vehicle accidents actually rose from 3,980 in 2020 to 4,285 in 2021.

As such, many victims attempt to file personal injury claims or lawsuits against liable parties in accident cases. Many of these accidents involve negligent drivers, often due to impaired, distracted, or reckless driving, but other parties could be liable in these cases.

For instance, mechanics could be liable for faulty work that insufficiently repairs or maintains vehicles. Other cases could involve incomplete or inadequate roadwork that falls under the responsibility of road workers or municipalities.

While pedestrians have the right of way in most instances, they could also be liable for accidents if they cross the middle of the street unexpectedly or otherwise fail to yield to traffic when necessary.

Truck accidents are often particularly serious because of the mass and weight of these vehicles, with many of these accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Slip and Falls

Another common type of personal injury case involves slip and fall accidents, in which instances property owners are often liable. Examples of these accidents can include slip and falls resulting from slippery surfaces without proper signage warning of them, uneven or cracked sidewalk panels that don’t undergo necessary repairs, or debris that property owners should have removed.

These cases count as premises liability, enabling accident victims to sue negligent property owners.

Dog Bite Injuries

Other personal injury cases could involve dog bites. In these cases, owners could be legally responsible for bites from their dogs.

While some states have a “one bite rule” that only makes dog owners liable for bites if they should have known or were aware that their dog is likely to bite or otherwise act violently toward people, California makes dog owners strictly liable for dog bites, regardless of whether the dog acted violently in the past.

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do

Following any type of personal injury, you might ask, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” Generally, it’s in your best interest to hire experienced personal injury attorneys to handle a case to successfully seek compensation from a liable party or his or her insurance company.

Personal injury lawyers have the ability to represent clients when filing insurance claims, filing lawsuits directly against liable parties, and determining the total amount of compensation you can seek. If needed, an attorney can also take your case to court if it goes to trial, representing you throughout the legal process.

A personal injury lawyer can meet with you in a free consultation to discuss a case. During this consultation, he or she will review the details of your case and discuss the options available to you when it comes to compensation. From there, the attorney may decide to provide representation and begin building your case, only charging you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay unless and until the attorney reaches a settlement.

Questions to Ask at Your Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

If you want to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case, there are key questions to ask when consulting with a lawyer. You can consult several attorneys to determine which one is the right fit for you, during which time you can ask various questions to get a better feel for how the attorney might handle your case.

Here are some questions to ask in a consultation:

Who Will Handle Your Case?

Ask the attorney about who will actually handle your case. Large law firms might have paralegals and others who assist with your case, while smaller firms may connect you directly with the attorney who appears in your consultation.

The attorney should disclose exactly who will be responsible for building your case, gathering evidence, and filing a claim or suit.

What Kind of Experience Do You Have?

Another question to ask pertains to the attorney’s experience. You should seek an attorney with experience handling cases similar to yours, whether you sustained injuries in a vehicle accident, slip and fall, or another type of incident.

The attorney should also discuss how many years he or she has in this practice area. The more experience the attorney has, the more likely he or she is to successfully help you seek compensation.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire You?

Attorneys should explain what kinds of costs are associated with their services. As mentioned, most attorneys in this practice area charge a contingency fee, which means that you shouldn’t have to pay unless you reach a successful outcome. However, attorneys could charge other fees associated with your case, including court filing costs, the costs of hiring expert witnesses, and other related costs.

In any case, you should not feel uncertain about what you can expect to pay throughout your case.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The majority of personal injury cases settle during the negotiation process with insurance companies in a claim. However, some may warrant a lawsuit and go to court, in which case your attorney should have trial experience.

Ask questions such as, “Why do personal injury cases go to trial?” You can also ask about what happens in a personal injury lawsuit, through which your attorney should guide you.

While an attorney may not be able to give a clear answer to this in a consultation, he or she could wind up taking your case to court if negotiations don’t result in a favorable outcome.

How Will You Maintain Communications?

A good attorney will stay in touch with you consistently to update you on your case as needed. If you have questions or concerns throughout your case, you should be able to easily reach out to your attorney or others at the law firm, including paralegals and secretaries.

Ask about how you will maintain contact with the firm, whether it’s via phone, email, or even video meetings.

Can Your Attorney Negotiate With Insurance Companies?

Wondering, “Why hire a personal injury lawyer?” One of the main reasons for doing so is to receive help during insurance negotiations when filing a claim.

While cases involving minor injuries and other damages may be straightforward during the claims process, insurers want to minimize the amount of payout and will work harder to deny claims or severely reduce them when the stakes are higher.

So, if you’re curious to know, “Do I need a personal injury attorney,” the answer is generally “yes” if you want to maximize the amount of compensation available to you and succeed with your claim. Insurance adjusters may ask you questions with the goal of getting you to admit liability or otherwise compromise your claim, or they may make initial offers that are far lower than the actual value of your case.

An attorney can learn the ins and outs of your case to determine its true worth and fight for total compensation. If an insurer makes an offer that is lower than what you deserve, the attorney can make counteroffers until he or she achieves a desirable settlement offer.

If your case doesn’t settle during negotiations, you may need to take it to court in a lawsuit, with which an attorney can also assist. Having a personal injury lawyer by your side can mean the difference between succeeding and failing with any kind of personal injury case.

To increase your chances of successfully recovering compensation, you may benefit from working with a reliable personal injury attorney in San Rafael. To learn more about what Kuvara Law Firm can do for you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

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